Aug 242016

Most people, if they are fortunate enough to have a few coins to rub together, accumulate a lot of stuff in their lifetimes. Some accumulate more stuff than most. Others are obsessed with accumulating mountains of stuff of every kind imaginable. If you’ve ever watched American Pickers you know exactly what I mean.

There are three known drawbacks to collecting irresistible stuff that you find so fascinating that you absolutely must have it under your own roof so you may gaze on it lovingly and dust it occasionally.

Vampire Ashes 1 Continue reading »

Oct 212014

Jolana Malkston 4Several years back, after the release of the first Star Trek film with the Star Trek: The Next Generation series cast, my avid devotion to all things Trek began to wane. Aside from the fact that the film was unquestionably dreadful in every respect and a total embarrassment to every living Trekker, I thought I was getting a bit long in the tooth to be known as “a Trekkie.” It was long past time to divest myself of my sizeable collection of Star Trek mugs, books, magazines, artwork, videotaped episodes, videotapes and DVDs of the theatrical films, a mouse pad, a phaser TV remote control, Hallmark Christmas ornaments, and a light switch plate.

Firstborn and his Little Brother informed me in no uncertain terms that neither of them, their wives, their progeny, or their dogs, wanted to inherit my Star Trek collection. They urged me to sell it on eBay post haste. I suspected their need for speed was fueled by their fear that I might meet an untimely end before unloading the collection, and then they would be tasked to do so following my demise.

I could hardly blame them, understanding mother that I am. I dreaded selling the collection myself. So, I did what I usually do under similar circumstances. I procrastinated, and procrastinated again, and again, and again. Continue reading »

Jul 302014

Jolana Malkston 4I had wireless network issues that I could not resolve on my own, but that didn’t stop me from trying—and trying and trying and trying. I put off contacting The Geek Squad for the better part of two weeks. I waited that long because I have a hesitation problem.

The root of my hesitation problem is a little voice in my head that says: “You don’t have to waste money hiring someone to do this; you can manage by yourself if you try hard enough.” At other times, the niggling little voice says: “Are you sure you’re right about that?”

That little voice in my head is my late mother’s voice, intoned to evoke endless guilt, which did not pass over to the other side when she did. Instead, it took up residence in my subconscious where its main function is to promote doubt, waffling, and self-loathing should I ever decide something in my own self-interest.

One memorable time when I heard this voice, Mom was alive then and chastising me for selfishly thinking of hiring a part-time cleaning lady to help out after we enlarged our small raised ranch home with a sizable two-story addition. I was tempted to remind her that she had help cleaning her apartment—two young daughters that she pressed into service and paid them deep, deep, deeply below minimum wage—but that would have opened another can of guilt. Continue reading »

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