"Now that aunt #6 was dead, we could be a hand. If we are a hand, my grandmother is the cupped palm at the center of her five remaining children. If we are a hand, my mother is the thumb, and the other fingers are her brothers and sisters.... Mamá is the thumb, and I am her fingernail."
Darryl Kelly was hired to clean out Harry Shunk's New York City apartment. Things worked out well for Kelly.
It turns out that up to an estimated five percent of Americans—nearly 15 million people—suffer from hoarding disorder. A few years ago, Samson (not his real name) unplugged his refrigerator. It had, he says, “got out of hand.” He didn’t empty it, and he hasn’t opened it since.
Columbia students stuff Nutella in their pants to the tune of $1,000s a week. (SLNYT) Last month one of Columbia’s undergraduate dining halls began serving Nutella every day, not just in crepes on weekends. The problem was that the Columbia students went through jars and jars of Nutella — at least 100 pounds a day. Apparently they were not just eating it in the dining hall. They were spiriting it away in soup containers and other receptacles, to be eaten later.
Vince Hannemann is The Junk King. A very short documentary by Evan Burns about the Cathedral of Junk, an ongoing art installation made from mass-produced garbage collected since the 1980s.
The Personal Analytics of My Life by Stephen Wolfram
Barbie Trashes Her Dreamhouse is a series of photos of a Barbie-sized house, in which Barbie is a hoarder and the place is stuffed full of shopping bags, pizza boxes, newspapers, and other debris, all in realistic miniature form. It's the work of artist Carrie M. Becker, who has previously created somewhat neater scenes -- as well as some rather ominous. [more inside]
“The irony is [that Greg’s parents] were saving this for him,” she says. “Every little baby bottle, every little scrap, every rock that you see. In their minds they were doing it for him. And it’s just turned into this beast." Inheriting the Hoard is the story of Greg M., a man whose parents were hoarders, and his year+ struggle to clean out the house they left behind. [more inside]
"Hoarders is a fascinating look inside the lives of two hoarders per episode. Tivoids set your season pass here, or watch complete episodes online. Kind of a mix between the documentary "Possessed" (previously) and A&E's Intervention. Discussion board includes some drama between the hoarders on the show and the production staff.
"When Harold Carr's nephews and nieces inherited a dusty old lock-up garage from their eccentric uncle their expectations were low. But when they opened the doors of the car collector's Tyneside [England] garage they discovered what may prove to be a life-changing inheritance."* Inside they found a rare 1937 Bugatti Type 57S Atalante. Having sat hidden, gathering dust for over 50 years, the classic car -- of which only 17 were built -- goes up for auction by Bonhams at the Retromobile auto show in Paris on February 7, 2009. [more inside]
From the dryly professional US National Fire Protection Agency (who write the US national electrical code among other things), to the 1998-ish web stylings of The 911 Site portal page, there's a lot of fire/firefighter related content on the web. [more inside]
POSSESSED is a short documentary film that 'enters the complicated worlds of four hoarders; people whose lives are dominated by their relationship to possessions'.
Children of Hoarders: unpacking family secrets.
Death (?) of a Small-Press Legend The link points to a page dedicated to Bill-Dale Marcinko, one-time gonzo Rutgers University newspaper editor, small press publisher and a character it seems no one who knew could ever stop thinking about. Marcinko, who had been supporting himself selling CDs on eBay, apparently died in a house fire when firemen were held back by cardboard boxes full of his collections. Still, he did fake his death several times before. His friends, most of whom haven't spoken to him in years, are hoping this is just a more elaborate prank. Clifford Meth's tribute page celebrates Bill-Dale and his work, including AFTA zine, described as perhaps "the first comics 'zine distributed to book and comic shops that combined comedy, politics and reviews on books, films, and comics. It was very much an underground version of Crawdaddy, though with vastly personal content." (via Mike Appelstein, a contributor to the Rutgers Livingston Medium)
These are a few of my favorite things: We've spoken previously of Disposophobia, crazy eBay moms, and all things Collyer--to that end, here's a support group and an enterprising company specializing in Clutter Management and Disposophobia, with lots and lots of before, during, and after pictures, some of which may not be safe for viewing while eating.
"My mother is insane. Like, one of those ladies-you-see-on-the-local-news insane. Since it's inevitably going to come up I'll get out of the way that I am too, but at least I take a full dose of my medication... Anyway, let's take a tour of our house."
Squalor Survivors Is your house messy?
Examining the Roots of Hoarding - A "mini-collyer" is saved from his junk hoard. As for the real Collyers, "The bizarre collection of objects included 14 grand pianos, two organs, and a clavichord; human medical specimens preserved in a glass jars; the chassis of a Model-T Ford; a library of thousands of medical and engineering books; an armory of weapons; the top of a carriage; 6 U.S. flags and one Union Jack; a primitive X-Ray machine" - Langley was crushed to death by his own garbage boobytrap, leaving blind, helpless Hiram to die trapped in their junk packed labyrinth of a mansion. Accused of living like the Collyer Brothers? - Here's a photo (NYT, reg. req.).