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Survivor Journals

Bob of If I Die Before I Wake has invited nine journallers to participate in a Cyber Survivor Adventure.

Every couple of weeks, the group will be issued a "challenge entry". The site will post a excerpt from the challenge entries, as well as the link to the complete entry found on the journaller's own journal site.

After the challenge entry is posted, the nine journallers will vote one of the writers off the site.

The "ousted" journaller will actually remain on the site, but rather than posting further challenge entries, they will act as a judge and commentator.

The first challenge entry has been issued, and can be found at the Survivor Journal website. The actual entries should be completed by
October 1, 2000.

Please take the time to visit, especially once the challenge entries are posted. There is a message board to post your thoughts/comments and also a instant poll where visitors can vote for who they would want to see kicked off the site.

The reasons behind Survivor Journals are simple.

1. To try something new.
2. Increase the interaction of the journal community.
3. The challenge.
4. Increased exposure to all journals involved.

So take a look around, explore all the journals involved.

If you would like to take part in Survivor Journals, Year Two, let Bob know!


November 28, 2000

There is a scientific experiment taking place in my living room. I am testing the theory that after a certain point, the layer of dust doesn’t get any thicker. That it reaches a steady state and stays that way forever. Peggy wanted to write her name in the dust while she was here, but I asked her to please not destroy the ecology I was creating.

Someone who doesn’t clean house should never collect tsatskes. It’s a recipe for disaster. But somehow I seem to fill my life with the detritus of memories of special times and special places. It might not have gotten as out of hand as it did if Gilbert hadn’t died, but when he died, I took his two glass and brass etageres and they seemed to cry out for junk to fill them. I was just the shop for it.

I’d love to say that I "collect" wonderful things. I have a couple of cheap Wedgewood plates, but I don’t collect Wedgewood. I have some Belleek china that the Irish cousin gave me, but I don’t collect Belleek. Mostly I collect eclectic junk.

The shelves are filled with gifts brought to us by people from other countries staying with us, souvenirs I picked up in our travels (generally cheap souvenirs--I don’t spend lots of money on my junk), and crafts made by the kids.

This is a good example of the sorts of things that will be found on a typical shelf:

[ alas this photo was a victim of the Yahoo purge ]

1. Delicate Pooh (I wrote a journal entry about him)

2. This is a doll from Yugoslavia that one of our foreign visitors brought on one of his several trips.

3. This tennis ball was one that our dog Seymour, who had a passion for balls, used to chase. There is another one just like it which one of the kids made into a Christmas ornament and which hangs on the Christmas tree each year.

4. This is a faux Roman statue which I bought when we visited a section of Hadrian’s Wall in England.

5. This statue of St. Ann, the mother of Mary, and her daughter, was given to me by my godmother when I made my first communion.

6. The aforementioned Belleek pottery. This bowl and the pitcher were given to us by the Irish relative when we visited Ireland.

7. This is a junk dinosaur tooth that we brought home as a souvenir for the boys when we visited the LaBrea tar pits many years ago. I would throw it out, but it’s just been "around" forever, so it won a space on a shelf.

8. This is an Irish drinking cup that Walt’s sister brought us after one of her trips to Ireland.

9. This cut glass vase was made by a Brasilian student who stayed here and took a craft class.

10. A cookie jar given to me by my friend Phil, in the days when we were still speaking to each other. It’s never had a cookie inside it because I liked having it as a decoration in the living room (and I have another cookie jar anyway).

11. This is a boat which was made by either Paul or Tom. Seems to me I have pictures of each of them holding it. Whichever made it was in grammar school at the time.

12. This is a statue of St. Brigid, which I bought in an Abby in Ireland. I attended St. Brigid grammar school and thought this was an appropriate souvenir of our first trip to Ireland.

13. A music box that plays "Happy Wanderer," which a friend gave me for my birthday many, many years ago.

14. An animal figure made by one of the kids out of Styrofoam. I don’t know if anybody remembers who made it. Why can’t I throw it away?

Not all the shelves are this full. One small shelf is my "Gilbert shelf." It contains a fan he used when he played KoKo in a production of The Mikado, a monkey I gave him as a souvenir of a show we wrote together, his baton, a baton he bought in England which is purported to have been used by Sir Arthur Sullivan (but the authentication papers weren’t found when we cleaned out Gilbert’s house). There is also a ceramic statue that Paul made shortly before he died, and 2 martini glasses I didn’t know where to put, and 2 cups from a Gilbert & Sullivan festival we attended, which depict Gilbert’s two most famous roles: KoKo and Jack Point.

I have to admit that I love all this junk. Everything on the shelves brings a warm memory. Of course I’ve timed it and to just dust the etagere takes 45 minutes. That doesn’t even take into account the credenza top or the two bookshelves that also have their own collection.

Some day I won’t be here any more and I’m sure the people who are left behind will think unkind thoughts about me as they wonder what to do with all this junk. I might as well let them know that it’s really OK if they just put it all in a big bag and stick it out in the trash. It’s my treasure, but I know that it’s most people’s trash.

Just let me enjoy it while I’m here, OK? (And please don’t write your name in the dust.)

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created 11/28/00 by Bev Sykes