I thought I should include a photo of my own.

On the left is a metal hand I got at the flea market years ago. Propped on it is a flexible rubbery ear that came from one of those .25 mini-vending plastic bubbles, along with the hand, tongue, nose and foot you see on the right. The tiny plastic baby sitting on the stump of the foot came from a baby shower I attended recently. Leaning against the metal hand on the left is a tongue depressor stick with a sharp end, invented by my friend Eric. The print on it reads: Human Hair & Co.’s SUBWAY POKER. He lives in NYC, this tool is for protecting your personal space (or just surprising someone?). Behind the hand are two thin books: A. Bierce: The Devil’s Dictionary and T.S. Eliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats (Drawings by Edward Gorey). To the right of the books are two items my sister brought me from Taiwaan a decade (or longer?) ago. One is a can of beer called “I WANT BEER” and another is some alcoholic drink with cherries in the bottom. The liquid is still in that one, the cherries are bloated and the stems have detached. I decided to open and taste the beer years ago (watery-surprised?) and then removed the lid to use it as a pencil container. In front of the I WANT BEER is an oyster shell with the beginning of a pearl in it (Jim found it for me at the beach) and several mineral rocks I have collected over the years. I have them arranged to radiate out from the oyster shell. There is also a little noise maker that says “Chirp for Tru-Ade”-when I went through the garage boxes for Doug a couple of months ago one box had about a hundred of them in it. When I looked it up I found this:

TruAde Noncarbonated Orange

“A Better Beverage”

The beverage sold as Tru-Ade was actually a pasteurized, non-carbonated soft drink. It was made with concentrated fruit juice and was available in both orange and grape flavor. It was bottled in Washington, DC from 1942 to 1969, although they were headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. In 1947, after the sugar shortages of WWII were behind them, the management at Tru-Ade, Inc. decided to get into the cup vending business. They designed and had manufactured a vendor called the Tru-Ade Cup Dispenser. Tru-Ade seems to have gone out of business some time in the 1970s.

Tru-Ade is no longer available as far as I can determine, but there are an awful lot of people who’ve left posts all over the Internet asking where they can find some. It must have been a delicious drink!

Tru-Ade, Inc.
Chicago, Illinois

What else…behind the two drinks from Taiwaan is a knife I got when I studied abroad in Finland in 1999. The handle is made of birch and the holster from reindeer skin. I think Chrissy got one too. I sometimes take it camping with me. There is a photocopy of an image of a guy seated at a grand piano holding his ears. I cut it out more than 10 years ago, its a bit tattered. The Old Spice shaving mug with a ship on it and an old timey razor used to be on my grandmother’s shelf. Lastly, a trilobite fossil. An ex-boyfriend brought me this back from his trip through national parks in the southwest. There are two parts that nest together. When he gave it to me he told me that if I ever broke up with him he wanted me to give him one of the pieces. Obviously, I never did.


I always take a picture of my old cellphone when I get a new one and I make it the wallpaper on my new one.  Just for a month or two.

Claire’s bowl



I really don’t know what I’m going to use this bowl for, because it’s pretty little, and I don’t want to put it in a cupboard, because its so pretty. I think it’s supposed to be for eating grapefruit. But I never eat grapefruit.

I have to admit I can’t find the email in which Doug provided the explanation for sending this but it went something like…

We got this Suburban for our family of 6 in 1985. Many good times were had.

These are from a restaurant in Bristol, Tennessee, where my uncle and aunt lived till I was 6. We went to this restaurant every time we visited them, and they had plastic monkeys in the drinks, and I always played with and kept the monkeys. 25 years later, I still have a pair of them.

My friend Sarah returned to the library and presented me with the pink mermaid. A mere McDonald’s Happy Meal toy or a plastic representation of my mindset while studying for finals? I began snapping pictures of her in a variety of poses over increasing piles of books, versions of my final papers, etc. and posting them on Facebook, where those suffering with me would comment and commiserate.

Brought to me from a trip to the fair by my daughter. She said he had a smiling mouth before she put him in her pocket and got on the tilt a whirl ride. He has worn a frown ever since but the memory makes me smile each time I look at him because he was a sweet gift and joke rolled into one