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June 2021
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Whatchamacallit 177: Star punk (magnet)

Star Punk

I bought this magnet while in Berlin on vacation from a stand at the Boxhagener Platz flea market on Sunday morning.

The back of the magnet is signed, with a 2007 date mentioned.

I cannot read the signature, but there is a clear marking:

jan m. petersen
OBJEKTE
www.kunstkaufhaus-ost.de

Much to my surprise, some 13 years later, the website still works.

I’m not entirely sure why this spoke to me – but I still like it all these years later.

It is attached to my metal bookcase at eye height – I’d say that I see it a few times a week, each timing making me smile.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 176: Ghost in a Four Room Apartment

Ghost in a Four-Room Apartment

This book is not the first copy of this book that I’ve owned.

The first copy of this book I got in either kindergarten or first grade – I would guess kindergarten, but logically it feels more like first grade.

It was free, a gift from RIF – Reading Is Fundamental – a program that, since 1966, gives books to children. I have this recollection of going into the library at Park Hill Elementary School – we must have been told we were each allowed to take one book – and this is the book that I found.

Apparently I was so enraptured with the book that, as my Mother used to say, that it was difficult for her to find out which book I had selected, since I was holding it so tightly.

It is, like most children’s book, ambiguous in its meanings and the story it tells – but, in this case, what does is brings back memories of elementary school and the time spent there.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 175: Buffalo Wool Hat

Buffalo Wool Hat

I bought this hat from a shop in Laramie, Wyoming. I have no idea how long ago, how much, or which shop.

The shop did have a small selection of goods made from buffalo wool, including coasters, which I keep in my living room. The hat was also there. Given the difficulties of obtaining buffalo wool, everything was expensive, but the hat is incredibly and wonderfully soft.

Except that it never gets cold enough in Berlin to justify wearing it – I tend to wear less expensive hats when I need this kind of hat.

When I removed the hat from its home – on my metal man – I discovered that I use the hat to store three other things: two buttons from my Kent Monkman collection and a pair of solar eclipse glasses – which I last used in 2017. That was not the same trip when I bought this hat; I think I bought the hat a few years before.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 174: My Panama hat, bought in Ecuador

Panama Hat (bought in Ecuador)

This is an expensive hat: I bought it in the country that is home to Panama hats, Ecuador.

If my geography is correct – and the store has continuity of ownership, I bought it at EBD Carmal Hats – Casa del Sombrero on my last morning in Quito, just before heading to Panama, where I bought my Panama hat, bought in Panama.

The price different – US$300 for this one – can be seen in the quality of the weaving: this one is much better woven with many more strands woven tightly together.

It rests on my metal man in my living room – so I see it whenever I go into my living room – an instant reminder of a splendid few days in Ecuador’s capital city.

Essentially, if I wear straw hats in Berlin, I wear one of my two alternative ones – this one is too pricey for me to lose to the wind or forget in a café.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 173: XXX Pepper

XXX Pepper

A dear friend re-gifted me this XXX Pepper shaker as soon as the person who gave it to her left the house.

The friend’s friend cockily assumed that the friend wouldn’t mind a pepper shaker with, “Love From Amsterdam” written down the side of the shaft shaker (not visible in this photo).

What a prick of an assumption.

I graciously accepted the gift – it does fit, somehow, better into my apartment – though it is not really visible because, well, just because. No special reason.

My favorite thing about receiving this gift is that I flew home – so the shaker went into my backpack and I had the nice pleasure of being able to see what the inside of my backpack looked like on an airport x-ray machine – apparently a knob isn’t worth opening the bag to personally inspect, even if the security hunk agent is hot.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 172: Impolite, Arrogant Women Make History

Impolite Arrogant Women Make History.

Last year, Elizabeth Warren was one of the presidential candidates I supported early on. Clearly, I am somewhat disappointed that she did not do better in the primaries. However, I am going to vote for Joe Biden, enthusiastically.

Is he my dream candidate? No.

Do I agree with everything he says or does? No.

However, I will vote for him because four more years of the current president would be an unmitigated disaster for the United States of America.

That said, I still wear this t-shirt: I paid $30 for it – had to get it shipped to a friend Stateside because US presidential candidates will not sell merchandise that shipped outside of the country. That make it difficult, especially during Covid-19-times, to get a Biden T-Shirt.

Depending upon where I am wearing the T-Shirt, it gets noticed and commented upon. The message is valuable: women matter. Women need to participate. Women need to be just like men: Impolite and Arrogate if they are to make history.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 171: Kings County Distillery: peated bourbon, bourbon whiskey

Kings County Distillery peated bourbon

This is the other bottle of whisk(e)y that I bought while in New York City last Christmas (see: 97, Bull Head Bourbon).

Distilled in New York City – Brooklyn (King County) to be precise – Kings County Distillery is, apparently, the oldest (and largest) distillery open within the city limits: it was established in 2010.

My bottle comes from batch 13 (oddly, just like my Tidewalker Bourbon Whiskey).


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 170: Quoridor

Quoridor

I saw this game for sale at the Winterfeldtmarkt – for several months – and I was intrigued.

So I bought it.

I do not know how much I paid, but I would imagine 20-30€; roughly what the game appears to sell for today on Amazon.

I will say, one of the things that attracted me to the game is that it is entirely made out of wood.

I’ve played it maybe a dozen times since buying it; it’s a nice strategy game, something to play against a guest who is visiting on a day when the weather isn’t optimal for wandering Berlin.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 169: Adam, 1978

Adam 1978

A few weeks ago, I posted Adam, 1977, a magnificent piece of art that I cannot bring myself to throw away, even as I hide it in a drawer, unsure of what exactly I am supposed to do with it.

Here is the sequel.

The only comment my Mother made upon giving this to me was that she had instructed whoever was in charge to give me brighter colors. Hence, it comprises orange, red, brown, light green, green, dark blue, grey, and a swirl of yellow.

Like Adam 1977, the back says “Texas Ware.”

No idea what on earth to do with this.

Back into the drawer it goes.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.

Whatchamacallit 168: Charles Rennie Mackintosh Ring

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Ring

I’ve previously noted that I am not really a jewelry person – and so here is the only ring that I own.

Although I rarely wear it, I love it: it is a Charles Rennie Mackintosh Ring by Shetland Jewellery. I bought it on June 1, 2013, paying £739.00. It had to be custom made, so although I paid for it then, I did not get it for about a month – give or take – as it was shipped to me in Berlin.

I am not entirely sure, right now, which metal it is made of. I’m reasonably confident that it is 18ct White Gold – but I would have to read the hallmark, something that I would first have to photograph carefully, then blow up to make it readable, then research how to read hallmarks.

I like how it feels on my finger – but I am paranoid that if I were to wear it outside, I would lose it and then be unhappy.

Strangely, I knew I wanted this ring before I arrived on Shetland Island – in travel planning, I’d run across the Shetland Jewellery website and was instantly enchanted with the ring. The pattern is associated with Charles Rennie Mackintosh, an architect from Glasgow, and Art Deco. I’ve actually toured a couple of his buildings in Glasgow, which is why I knew who Mackintosh was – although I must admit that the setting of Shetland Island was a bit odd.


During the Covid-19 crisis, I am going to try and make a point of writing a blog post about an object in my home.

We’ll see how long this lasts.