In the garage, I feel safe...

One of the great things about owning as opposed to renting is being able to hold garage sales. I suppose someone who rents an apartment could hold a garage sale, but they've never gone over that well in my experience.

This past weekend, our townhome association was holding the neighborhood garage sale. This is an annual thing that really didn't do so well last year because there were only a few sales throughout the association and they were meager, at best.

This year, however, a neighbor across the street felt it might serve us better to pool our resources (read: "items to be sold") into one big sale instead of several smaller ones. True there aren't as many places to stop, but when you hit that one big one, it's a goldmine.

Katie and I never had the chance to go through all our belongings to get everything that we wanted to sell, but we did scrounge together about six or seven grocery bags worth of old stuff including VHS tapes, record albums, video games, wine glasses, flower vases, books, and some other crap. Not a lot, but a little something is better than nothing, right?

I ran the stuff over before work on Friday morning. About an hour or two before the sale was officially set to start. I took over two bags and went home to get two more. As I was leaving her place, a kid in a sports car pulled up and started talking to my neighbor. I continued across the street and grabbed two more bags and, as I was crossing the street with the swag, the kid pulled away from the curb in his car.

I put down the two bags and my neighbor looked in and said, "are those record albums?" I said yes. She said that the kid who had just left was looking for vinyl and she told him she didn't have any not knowing that was what I was bringing over.

. . . Strike 1

On Sunday after the sale, I went back to our neighbor's place and picked up some of what remained. About half my records were sold, plus a bunch of other stuff. We only made about $70, but that was great considering how little time we had to throw everything together.

Granturismo3 I got home and began looking through a few things when I opened up the case for a video game I was attempting to sell. It was a PlayStation 2 copy of Gran Turismo 3: A-Spec (a car racing game). And, as I did not expect, the CASE WAS EMPTY. Someone had stolen the game right out of the case and walked off with it leaving me with a useless box and an instruction book.


I've never heard of stealing from a garage sale.

While it makes perfect sense since there's no security and few people working it to watch over all the goods, you'd think people might be a bit more honest seeing as how far marked down the goods are at these things. I had the game marked at $5 and was more than willing to dicker down to 50% of that cost. And still they felt the need to steal it.

What kind of CHEAP-ASS FUCKTARD do you have to be to steal from a garage sale?!?!

It's two days later and I'm still in shock over the whole thing.

. . . Strike 2

Then I went ahead and started to put stuff away. As I went through the few remaining VHS tapes, I noticed a videotape that was never mine. Ever.

It was a copy of Empire Records.

Oh yay.

To any of you who love this movie, I apologize in advance for what I'm about to say. This includes people who may be somehow related to people who helped make the film (Sandra, are you at all related to writer Carol Heikkinen?).

I hated Empire Records. I just could not get into that movie. And I've given it three full chances to win me over. Yes, you read that right... I watched it once straight through and hated it. Despite this hatred, I felt I should give it another chance because so many people I know loved the film. So I did. And I still hated it. I watched it a third time fairly recently and nothing.

I just don't get it. Why do people obsessively love this damn film? The only real reason I watched it those few times, aside from forcing myself to find some merit in it, is because of Liv Tyler's ultra-mega-fuzzy-hyper-miniskirt that she just looks so wickedly adorable in. Other than that... nada.

Considering this hatred of the film, I must classify the discovery of this tape as...

. . . Strike 3

And I'm out.

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We had a garage sale this past May and I was cracking up at the old ladies who came by said (quite loudly) how overpriced my books were. 3 times. They were $1 each! Hardcover! People are cheap, that's all there is to it.

Also, I've heard a few stories where people have grabbed the money and ran. You're right, no security. Things just aren't the same as when we were kids.

And Empire Records it a damn good movie. ;-)


Umm...I hope those records are disco or muzak or something crappy like that, and not any rock/metal! That really sucks about the theft. I'm not too knowledgeable about garage sales, but I've never heard of people stealing at them. Empire Records I thought was an ok movie. I think it had A LOT of potential, but it just went wrong in a few places. A VHS copy of it is definitely not adequate compensation for the videogame theft


I love Empire Records. I own it on DVD, VHS and I think I have it recorded on Tivo now. But if you don't like the movie, then it is definitely not compensation for the fact that your video game got stolen.

And I am not at all surprised that someone stole from a garage sale. People have no shame any more.

Tracy Lynn

Dude, if it weren't for bad luck, you'd be luckless.
I liked Empire Records, but not like that.
People that steal go straight to the section of Hell that has the perpetual itchiness and the constantly screaming babies. So at least there's that consolation.


Wow, you got robbed. I freakin' hate garage sales. People are so damned cheap it's unbelievable. "This is marked for $1. Will you take 50 cents?" Um, how about I shove it up your ass and we'll call it even?

Never seen "Empire Records." Never looked appealing to me.


Mmmmmmmmmmm...Empire Records. I can quote the entire movie for you if you'd like. It might be more enjoyable that way?


I'm with Karl about garage sales; the last one I had went so poorly that I vowed to just donate all of the crap we get rid of from now on. People snarking and talking you down from 2 dollars to $1.50 as if they are Bob Barker and shit.


Alissa, now I feel bad that I had some hardcovers priced at $2. But they all did sell.

Eve, classic rock that I don't listen to that often anymore. Some oldies. No disco. I've got a bunch more at home. This was only a third of my collection. The stuff that's been collecting dust. The good swag is still at home. But for the right price...

Allison, so why is it good? That's what I can't figure out. All I got from it is a haphazard plot that jumps around everywhere with bad transitioning and borderline acting and directing. The only good scene is the guy (from Dazed and Confused and CSI: Miami) chasing the thief (from the X-Men movies) who winds up working for them.

Tracy Lynn, I like that consolation.

Karl, it does seem rather pathetic. As for Empire Records, get the film from On Demand and mute it so you can watch Liv in the skirt. That's all you need. Honestly.

Chase, if it were coming from you, I think I could even enjoy Gigli.

Hilly, I think I'd agree with you regularly. And, usually, we do donate most of our crap. However, since the garage sale was already occurring, we figured we may as well see if we can pull in some cash. I can only imagine how it would've turned out if we really had the time to go through it all. And arrange for armed guards.

Pauly D

I hate throwing garage sales (makes it sound like a party when I use the word "throwing" doesn't it?).

Mostly because people think that since it's a bunch of your stuff on a rickety old card table on your driveway, that they can get away with buying stuff for like zero cash down. I say go eBay. At least then you have everyone bidding on stuff. But I'm not selling a PS2 for $20 bucks.

People get indignant when they don't get "deals" at garage sales.


Glad to know I'm not the only person who can in fact quote Empire Records word for word. Also glad to know I'm not the only one who owns multiple copies (I have it on VHS, DVD, and my iPod). What's with today, today? But I'm sure my love of the movie comes from watching it at a certain time in my life with certain people. That and it has a kick-ass soundtrack.


i am an empire records fan. i did work in a record store after all, however, it was never a fun as that ;)


Pauly, and yet, ironically, isn't everything at a garage sale a "deal" as compared to its original retail price? Cheap bastards. I may try some leftovers on eBay. It just takes me so much time to set up a single sale.

Nicole and Suze, but why? Why is it so good? Nobody has nailed that one down for me yet. Hell, I used to work in Applebee's, but it didn't make Waiting a bearable moviegoing experience for me. Please help me understand.


I'm with Chase on this one. I just donate now. Although I have noticed I must donate the 'good' stuff because oftentimes the employees at the Goodwill Truck will put my donations to the side (which lead me to believe they are take home items). Goodwill volunteers stealing from the poor...what has the world come to.

Johnny C.

I really like that Weezer song alot. Damn, that lbum is probably in my top 5. Sorry I stole your Gran Turismo 3. I'll gave you $1.50 for it?


Tag sales can be a real hassle, but the one I held by myself the week before I left LA went great. I just lugged a bunch of stuff to the my spot in the carport/drive of the apartment building which faced the street. Didn't put up a single sign, and though I had sent out a mass email to friends/acquaintances, all but a couple buyers were people who were just walking or driving by.

Best of all, I sold my futon/bed to the guys next door who kindly let me hang onto it until the day before I left. Location is everything.


You sold vinyl? Are you mad?

Also I do not own Empire Records. Well, at least I do not own the movie. I own the soundtrack though.


Sadly, we're unrelated. I say sadly because that would mean I was connected closely to someone who could help me land a kick-ass writing gig.


Anomie-Atlanta, yeah, donating seems to be the easiest and most efficient. Just drop it off and go. However, I actually had Goodwill turn away a donation. Can you believe that? I was giving them something and they said no. What's that about looking a gifthorse in the mouth?

Johnny, your math is as bad as your honesty. Since when is 50% of $5 equal to $1.50? Try $2.50, bucko.

Claire, the biggest hassle for us is finding the time to get our stuff together and then finding a place to store it all until the damn sale actually occurs. That carport sale sounds great. Glad it all worked out well for you.

Dagny, just stuff I don't listen to anymore. Better that it be used by someone who will listen to it than to allow it to collect dust, right?

Sandra, that would be nice. And then, when you get your kick-ass writing gig, you'll hook a pal like me up, right? Okay, you can stop laughing now.


When we moved to Chicago we had an unbelievably successful garage sale. We sold everything you could imagine. The sale was supposed to last for two days but we had sold so much on the first day that we had to dig through our stuff to find more for the second day. We ended up selling all the crappy old groceries that had been sitting in our pantry (canned beets, soup, etc.) USED makeup (ew!), some DIRTY dishes (no, really) and those little soaps and shampoos you get from hotels. We made over $1,000 but all the cheap-assed people grossed us out and pissed us off so much that we swore we'd never go through that again.

Donating to charity is the way to go. It's better to give something to someone for nothing that they'll "fully" value then be haggled to death by some cheapskate wanting to buy a $50 item for $2.50 instead of the $5 you priced it at.


It was pretty ideal, but I don't expect I'll have such luck again.


Me love Empire Records... So many good good things... It's my happy movie, because no one can be sad on Rex Manning Day!


Wow, you got a lot of comments. How does it feel to be so loved???

I haven't ever seen Empire Records and I HATE HATE HATE garage sales. I know I'm gonna have a lot of crap when we start moving and it's all going to Goodwill.


Whats not to like about Empire Records? The not-quite-witty dialouge. The shallow characters. The sound track of bands that never really made it. I mean, c''s got everything!

Upon review, I stand corrected. The movie is pretty much not good. But your right, Liv's fuzzy skirt is 'teh bomb.'


No, no, no - it's not the fuzzy skirt.

Three words:




(That's one word, right?)


Maybe you didn't make much money and got some stuff stolen, but the fodder for this post is priceless.


ChicagoDave, nasty, nasty, nasty... dirty dishes and used makeup? Any old underwear in there? That is a nice haul, though, in terms of cash. But I can't say I blame you for never wanting to do it again. Actually, most of the stuff that wound up being leftover we did donate. I brought home most of the media stuff because I still had outlets for selling it. The rest was donated, though.

Claire, they say lightning never strikes twice, but it couldn't hurt to try.

Bec, talk about a guy who needs to be bitchslapped.

Jacquie, every last bit of it?

Dustin, I think that about sums up the movie for me, too.

Carly, pretty sure it's one word. And it is quite cute. Perhaps I should have said that it is the skirt, shirt, and any skin showing as a result.

jackt, yeah, I guess it is a small price to pay for this particular post. Good point.


To quote a line from another great movie, Empire Records is "way existential."

"Damn the man!" I can't believe you don't love the cheesy acting and the convoluted plot. I love the fact that you don't understand the first scenes from the movie until the end.

I also can't believe you gave this movie one star and Daddy Daycare 3 stars.


It just goes beyond bad. "Existential"? That's being kind. Daddy Day Care was at least enjoyable. I could laugh at it.


I love and own Empire Records. It's the characters that do it for me more than the lightweight plot.

I have never had a garage sale in which something didn't get stolen! But afterwards, when I have to haul the unsold stuff back in, I'm thinking Why couldn't they have stolen all this stuff?


We were thinking that very thing. Some of the stuff we never wanted to see again wound up going to Goodwill instead of home with us. Just couldn't bear to look at it again.

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