it's cheap, i know, but...


animal friends. i love this painting and if my walls weren't already in danger of giving out from the sheer volume of stuff i've got hung up on them i would have snagged it. everything about this is cool and if you don't like it then you don't have a heart.

four bucks.


come on...


they just don't make jokes this obvious any more. it doesn't happen.

this has got to be some kind of prank.

no? really?




what is it? (1)

cable box? no. electric compass? no, that makes no sense. intercontinental ballistic missile aimer? maybe, but i doubt it.

never mind, youtube has the answer!



comic nerds ahoy

just thought you'd like to know that the MIFA store (corner of vance and east downtown, check the map) has a couple of shelves worth of well preserved small press comics from the eighties - stuff like "JUSTICE MACHINE" here which while perhaps not the medium's finest achievement, is still pretty interesting (and basically like crack if you're a total comics nerd like me). i didn't notice until i was walking out the door but they're half off too, or they were that day at least so if you've got a buck fifty to spare then


there's some dumb stuff like hot rod magazines mixed in and whatnot but if you feel like sifting through that nonsense you could snag a whole lot of comics that are (trust me) IMPOSSIBLE to find in this shape at this price anywhere else...for financial and storage reasons i had to pass but i really hope they find a good home.

also of note currently at MIFA: 15 pack cases of Propel™ Invigorating Water (Citrus Flavor) for 2.50 and little boxes of white taper candles for a buck a pop and who doesn't need some of those?

luv ya kids be back soon



fondue, anyone?

new, unused, completely intact fondue set at the goodwill on highland st. 7 bucks. you can bet i bought it. our next pot lach is leaning towards hors d'ouvuereues or however you spell it so perhaps we'll bring a little fondue for everyone to snack on. who knows?


i almost bought this, just because i mean how often do you ever see something at a thrift store with your name on it, you know what i mean?


space cadets

this is the space hat.

these are my friends, will and ashley.

i leave it up to you to decide which one of them looks more adorable.

this is the community dolla warehouse on the corner of south main and east georgia, a brand new thrift store that i'll be doing a proper write up on in the very near future.

look forward to it.




umpty millionth nautical clock picture

i've heard of people collecting black velvet paintings - in fact once you start looking around there's a frightening amount of stuff out there about it:

WFMU Hallway Gallery Flickr
Indignico Inc
The Velveteria
Paintings of Snoopy on Black Velvet

jesus. anyway, point is there doesn't seem to be the same wealth of resources pertaining to something that's equally as ubiquitous (and for my money, every bit as funny): nautical painting clocks. oh, sure, you can buy a few here and there on ebay but come on! where's their web site? where's their museum? maybe it's because no one's really agreed on nomenclature just yet. nautical picture clock? boat painting with clock? nautical picture clock painting picture? i myself do not know, i just know someone needs to get on the ball about this stuff. dammit



lesotho coffee cup

taken at thrift town on winchester ave, my personal favorite thrift store in town. never slouches when it comes to coffee cups and silly kitchen equipment (this is the place that gave us the ROTATO! after all) they once again failed to disappoint with this BAD ASS piece of african folk sentiment. i guess when you live in lesotho you had better be pretty damn quick on the uptake or you are going to get left in the copious quantities of dust they have just lying around all over the place over there.

i've never met anyone from lesotho (lesothans? lesothians? lesothoites? a whale's vagina?) but i guess they must be pretty sharp to have survived for so long while being completely surrounded by south africa. anyone who's played risk for thirty seconds can tell you that's a pretty untenable position to be in, but i guess that's why you learn the damn game before the players have dispersed, huh? that particular proverb is gonna be kind of a bitch to try and work into casual conversation but i'll do my best, dear readers, rest assured.

catch you next time



11/26/2008 - DAV Mendenhall

DAV Mendenhall. November 13, 2008. my traveling companion will and i pause with trepidation before entering this most hallowed of thrifting holes. i think even at this early point we could tell we were in for a...


okay, so it wasn't that intense of an experience, i just thought that record cover was funny and i couldn't think of anything else to say to start this week's entry off. my friend will and i went to the dav on mendenhall and thrift town on winchester this outing, and i'll be breaking it up into two chunks for easier digestion:

bitter/books - may cause cramps, bloating, or gas. use only as directed.

it was a pretty usual visit to the good old disabled american veterans store, replete with hilarious records, like this "musical salute to the statue of liberty" (do you really think she cares? i don't) aaaaaand

who could forget liberace? unfortunately, not me. you know for all the chuckles i've gotten out of liberace over the years (many, to be sure) i never really stopped to wonder what kind of music he actually played. turns out his repertoire included the themes from the movies "on golden pond," "dragon-slayer(?)" and "raiders of the lost ark," along with apparently the usual smattering of showtunes. sounds like a hoot.

also typical for the dav - extremely interesting, extremely overpriced books. this awesome looking coffee table book on rembrandt was like ten bucks or something, and of course i was there the day before their "first and third thursday" storewide half off sale, so there was no way i was buying it, even though i couldn't come back the next day. i really have to remember to only go on thursdays from now on. i bet it's mobbed, but it's still worth it.

two volume encyclopedia - in case you're curious:

"zy⋅mur⋅gy –noun
the branch of applied chemistry dealing with fermentation, as in winemaking, brewing, the preparation of yeast, etc."

i had no idea.

longtime readers of the blog (if there are any) might remember an early idea i had for an "other people's vacations" party where everyone sits up and looks at secondhand slides of other people's trips around the world, seeing as they're pretty widely available at thrift stores if you look hard enough, but i had no clue as to whether or not it were really possible, taking into account all the different sizes of slides, slide carousels, slide projectors, etc etc etc this is really boring. anyway turns out it's not so simple, that each brand of projector usually only has a handful of compatible carousels, which usually only have a few types of compatible slides, and on and on. not saying it's impossible (and i still think the idea of sitting up drinking looking through other people's old vacation photos is insanely hilarious) just that it might take some work. anyone still interested? anyone still reading, for that matter?

weird little collection of mostly broken baseball bats, all overpriced. i think there must be one person who works at this place one day a week who just has wildly unrealistic ideas about how much people should be paying for a mostly unraveled half-size aluminum baseball bat, and just goes around pricing as much stuff as they can in an eight hour shift, leaving a trail of crap in their wake. i have really been excited about the idea of getting a baseball bat to just keep around the house lately though i cannot explain why.

ditto for the golf clubs, although not for keeping around the house. sadly overpriced too - that metal driver on the left side of the frame? 19.98. not kidding. i really do like this store a whole lot but i cannot for the life of me fathom who they think is going to pay 20 bucks for a used golf club. i realize they're a whole hell of a lot more expensive than that if you buy them new but come on. anyone who is even marginally interested in golf AND shopping at thrift stores is going to know they can get a much better deal than that at a lot of other places. i did however pitch will my idea about snagging a few cheap clubs and a bag and heading out to overton park when the weather gets nice again and having a drunken freeform golf afternoon and he didn't seem completely uninterested which was encouraging. if it ever comes together i will be sure to document it on my other blog, as hilarity will almost certainly ensue.

they did have some more badass, reasonably priced board games though - definitely a strength of this store. this one, "TOUCH," claims to be the "game of palmistry" although from what i could tell it just had some charts and lists and stuff and you read each other's palms, noncompetitively. i didn't really dig too deeply into it, although the cards are huge and cool looking

neat, huh

they had, no shit, upwards of TEN dokken tapes (we counted) including this cassingle of the theme from the third nightmare on elm street (i was not aware that dokken had performed that). i just imagine some ungracefully aging hesher dude tearfully donating his whole collection of dokken tapes after being browbeaten by his mom to move out of her trailer for the umpteenth time...what a moment. also saw this sweet pigface tape with david yow on it that i really wish i had bought for my wife (she loves that shit)

this has to be a joke, right? wow it's not a joke. wow.

i kind of wish i had bought this damn thing now

usual hilarious assortment of carafes, thermoses and other liquid storage items, all pretty cheap. i think if i were ever going to turn into a crazy collector person i would probably buy this type of stuff. i do not know why

kind of a nice looking rug - this is the type of thing people never think to look for at thrift stores, myself included, but we should, we all should, fools that we are.

REALLY nice looking guy's dress shirt that actually gave me pause. i tried it on, it fit really well, it was two freaking bucks, and i thought for a moment to myself i thought "hmmm...." but then i put it back on the shelf, cursed my completely monochromatic fashion sense and moved on. if it's not black or white or grey, don't even waste your time looking at it, i told myself. damn

SPEAKING of golf, there were like half a dozen pretty much immaculate pairs of golf cleats here, which made me laugh and actually consider buying a pair until i stopped and looked at the price tag. guess how much. no, really, guess.

was that ten i hear? nope, more than that.

twenty? nope.

surely they can't be more than thirty, you say? wrong again

forty? higher.

fourty four bucks, is how much they were, a pair. that is just insane. i understand, again, they're a lot more expensive new and it's really specialized footwear for a sport that people with money usually favor but that's the whole idea. your average rich golf asshole isn't going to be trolling the disabled american veterans thrift store on a wednesday afternoon, looking for bargains. i could go on, at length, about how ridiculous this is, but i get the sense i might care a whole hell of a lot more about it then most of you do, so i'll just say it's silly and leave it at that.

SPEAKING of specialized footwear, anyone have any idea what these are? will figured it out pretty quickly, which i was muchly impressed by - i knew right away but that's because i'm a thrift store jedi (he said, arrogantly). anyway they're for like tai kwan do and kickboxing and stuff - if you look at the picture you can see there's no bottoms to them, they're just pads that fit over the tops of your feet and the backs of your ankles with elastic straps to keep them in place, for kicking people repeatedly in the leg and shin and ass without chewing your feet up too much. basically like boxing gloves for your lower extremities. pretty neat, huh? talk about stuff you never expect to see. i couldn't for the life of me think of a use for them. now if there had been two pairs maybe we could have bought them and sparred in the parking lot or something, but sadly no. anyway pretty hilarious.

and that's a wrap for part one of our outing. i'll get part two up as soon as i can although i might as well take this occasion to formally announce that i'm dropping the "updated weekly" part of the mission statement of this blog, effective immediately. i obviously don't have the time or energy any more to stay on the weekly schedule, and that shows no signs of abating any time in the near future, so it's just causing me needless anxiety trying to meet a "deadline" that i invented in the first place and that i suspect none of you really give quite so much of a shit about, anyway. so we're going with "updated when time and inebriation permits" until further notice - all the more reason to get all web 2.0 with it and follow this humble operation via RSS, google reader, or your blog reading apparatus of choice. i'll still be thrifting and taking pictures just as fast as my little legs (and shutter finger) can carry me, and writing about it as much as possible, it's just clearly not going to be every week.

anyway on that note i'll bid you all a fondue and wish you a happy turkey day unless you are a turkey in which case RUN FOR YOUR FUCKING LIFE MAN!

talk to you later



11/11/2008 - Amvets Elvis Presley Blvd

hi all - welcome back to bitter/books, trying to catch up on the backlog of accumulated photographs and weird thoughts i've been sitting on for the past month or so while every friend and relative i've ever wanted to see comes to town to visit. it's been fun, y'all, make no mistake, but lord are we ever tired. but, as they say, the thrift must go on.

in this week's inevitable caravan towards madness we went back to the amvets on elvis presley boulevard. it was beautiful. i can see why it's my wife's favorite thrift store in town. it swept us all off our feet, which is unfortunate because this week we brought a guy in a wheelchair, who made us all feel bad, seeing as he was already swept off his.

just kidding. i would never hang around with someone in a wheelchair. what a downer!

just kidding again

as the sign says, the amvets welcomes all, just as i welcome all to this blog, regardless of age, race, creed, nationality, disability, permeability, sustainability, transubstantiation, transmogrification, trans-canada highway...you name it, you're all welcome. as long as you're not this guy

they always have a lot of neat kids books here, including (nearly every time i've visited) one or two selections by this gentleman, either under the pen name "theo lesieg" or as you may know him, one Dr. Seuss. yes that's right folks and kids, for some reason Dr. Seuss (born Theodore Geisel) felt compelled to publish under a pseudonym for a while, apparently before he had the cojones to come out as a full fledged lunatic and publish books like "On Beyond Z" and his earlier offerings are everywhere, usually illustrated by Bennet Cerf or other capable but unremarkable guys like the Roy McKie that did this one, you know what, they're still worth picking up, because a rose is a rose and dr. seuss will always be dr. seuss.

oh dear. at the time i thought this was hilarious but now i really really wish i hadn't taken these pictures. ladies and gentlemen on behalf of the whole bitter/books organization i must sincerely apologize for the images you are about to witness. the fact of the matter is that simple curiosity pulled me into a situation that i could not truly understand until it was far far too late. i have been to a place that i can never fully return from and, now, dear friends, i am going to take you there with me. this, in two short snapshots, is "I'm Made of Mama's Milk," by one Mary Olsen.

ugh. not so bad though right


her website is long gone but this page remains. every once in a while i like to go look at it, just to remind myself that i'm not alone. feel free to do the same. who knows, maybe we can take the damn thing over and turn it into a support group

i wish that champagne made my nights this awesome. usually it just makes me burp

old gregg?

this place really is amazing. great full sets of furniture, as per usual. cheap, too...and enigmatic! check this out

perhaps someplace to hang your jacket on WHO KNOWS ONLY TIME WILL TELL

aspiring serial killers...need someplace to buy your body-disposing-of tools without attracting a bunch of needless attention? amvets on presley has just the thing for you - CHEAP BONE SAWS

aspiring money launderers...need a way to count your ill gotten gains without attracting a bunch of inattention from the useless dumbfucks that work at officemax when all you needed were some god damned index cards how fucking hard could that possibly be to just keep out on a shelf where someone can see them i mean for christ's sake does no one even USE the damn things any more?

jesus what was i saying oh yeah amvets on presley has just the thing for you - CHEAP MONEY COUNTERS

at the risk of using the capital letter gag a little too much i gotta play another round of




with y'all. here's the second ancient macintosh i've seen in as many visits to thrift stores, and just butt-ass-cheap like the other one. same problems as before, but god when you see two of these things in a row like this you just have to believe (if you're a superstitious cave person who is afraid of mobile telephones, like me) that it has to mean something, somehow

once again i did not buy it

i think this thing would pay for itself real damn quick if you went out on like second and peabody and just stood around for long enough. of course you would need a very very long extension cord, depending on where you lived. maybe i could buy it and put it in the bathroom of the p & h. oh god wait no...i think it would get used for all the wrong things.

or all the right things?

substitute this device for the previous one in all the jokes i just made and i think they get EVEN FUNNIER

also it looks like a transformer

one advantage that the amvets on presley has over almost any other store in town is that it's unbelievably huge, fairly well kept, and in such a nasty weird mixed up part of town that lord only knows what will come through on any given day. case in point. these banks of filing cabinets assuredly came from some industrial business or commercial office that operates nearby, and the store is so huge and funky that of course they won't turn them away, and it's so far out of the way and scary that your usual thrift store vultures (read: professional junk dealers and trust fund hipsters with too much money to spend) won't touch it, so here you are, average people who just want 14 stacks of file cabinets (or just want to photograph them, in my case)...as you like it.

what the hell was this for? sewing? something like that? god i gotta stop waiting so long between taking these photographs and writing about them. jesus i thought this thing was cool but now i cannot remember why. is it a picnic basket? 8 tracks? what the hell is it for? sewing. i think it's sewing. is it sewing?

i found these in it. someone call valerie weed and ask her what this thing is for. i would do it but i'm scared

if you want to look like a badass bowler but you don't actually bowl all that well, AND you love coffee...OR you know someone who fits either of those descriptions...

i TOLD you! i TOLD you santa claus was black! now will someone finally believe me? kris kringle was a brother and apparently so was ebeneezer scrooge.

i had one of these

as i've said earlier, nothing more enjoyable than a christian board game

except of course this, which might as well be called "scream at the tiny ball as it rolls into the hole AGAIN, and again and again and AGAIN AND AGAIN, then scream at your parents when they come into the room to find out what the hell you're screaming about, then scream at the police and and the ambulance and the emts as they come to sedate you and take you away to a locked, padded room where you will sit for a very very long time until you forget about balls and holes altogether"

sometimes i hate board games

finishing up, i should just say that if you have a few bucks to spare and some extra time on your hands (not that any of us really have either of those at the moment, but just suppose) i would highly recommend that you pick up one of the cheap, readily available, marginally functional vcrs that line the shelves of nearly every thrift store in town, and do yourself a favor and go hunting through the stacks to find some of the amazing bargains. this picture, by the way, is not one of them. highlander completely blows

i did however find "Radar Men From The Moon," a Bugs Bunny Movie, and a homemade MST3K tape that still had all the commercials on it, from 1993, 2 bucks each! AWESOME!