Archive for the ‘Gallery of Gives and Gets’ Category


A little reminder to my Freakcycle winners.  Your packages are in the mail. And don’t worry, I didn’t post a kid for Chrissakes, only hands. I’m not crazy, you know.


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Who is going to open their mailbox to this scene?

And the winner of Freakcycle’s first giveaway is………….

Aaargh.  It was a tough decision.  We got a Haiku, a hand over fist, a creepo bathroom re-do with a cool towel rack idea, and a single-hand clapping experiment.

After much deliberation here at Freakcycle HQ, we couldn’t come to a unanimous conclusion.  Naturally, we asked ourselves as we always do when we’re in a quandary…”What would Oprah do?”

That’s right, you are all getting a hand, and I don’t mean applause.

Congratulations to Darediva, Barbara, Resident Hippie and Kit.  Send us your addresses via the comments section here (don’t worry, they won’t be published) and within weeks, you’ll all have five extra digits to call your very own.  Ain’t we grand?

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Or if you’d rather not clap, do the finger-snapping poetry thing because you know we’re cool cats.  We wrestled with posting this in our Gallery of Gives and Gets because while we did not get these beauties on Freecycle, we certainly got these for free.  Yup, at a yard sale.  I was at this particular sale for about 20 minutes or so and noticed shoppers walked by this box of hands with a look of horror on their face.

These are high-quality, highly detailed rubber hands that were salvaged from the dump.  They came from a doctor’s office, not a CostumeCity store or ExtremeHalloween. No one wanted them except lil’ ol’ me and since it was my friend Sue’s yard sale, she sent me home with this box.  I love her.

We can justify posting this if we cut you off a piece of the action, though.  On the comments section, leave the most imaginative use for these hands in the form of a Freecycle request  (no Halloween decoration suggestions…too obvious) and we’ll send you one via snail mail.  Contest ends on June 3rd so hurry and get your handy posts in!

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Any way you look at it this post is going to make me sound like a geek, but what the hell, I’ve already disclosed the WWF info so I have little to lose.

I visited my mom a couple of weeks ago and was getting the last of my boxes out of her basement.  I found lots of junk.  Bad artwork I made in high school, many remnants of single and broke living like my $2.00 tea kettle and sculptures made out of junk and twine used as apartment decor back in those days of lean living.

Amongst all these valuable objects was my collection of comic book antihero the Tick and all his cronies.  I quickly bagged it up with the full intent of Freecycling it.  I don’t remember actually buying this collection but somehow I had amassed two Tick figures, his accountant sidekick Arthur (not pictured because M kicked him under the sofa before the photo shoot), American Maid, Chairface Chippendale, Charles (AKA The Brain Child), Dynamole, Dean, El Seed, The Human Bullet, Sewer Urchin and the Caped Chameleon.

When I finished my ride down Nostalgia Boulevard, I came back and opened up the bag.  I picked up each figure, one by one and examined them carefully.  I was smiling like an idiot.  What the hell was I thinking?!  I loved the Tick.

The photos are proof that I meant to upload them into the Freecycle album for all the greedos to see what a prize they were getting from me.  The photos are further proof that I smugly wanted to prove to you dear readers, that I wasn’t just a mocker of Freecyclers Gone Wild but I was what they should aspire to be… a truly perfect Freecycle specimen who gave selflessly, had considerable powers of generosity and the ability to conquer clutter in a single bound, a tried and true protector of the landfills of the North American region.

I thought for a LONG time (just like Charles up there).  Did they really take up that much space in my tiny abode?  Would Freecycling them serve a greater purpose? I decided that my daughters needed some new toys.

Sorry comic book dorks, you ain’t getting my guys.  In the words of the immortal Tick, “Destiny’s powerful hand has made the bed of my future, and it’s up to me to lie in it.”

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I know you are turning green with envy.  Freakcycle Headquarters is now equipped with a state-of-the-art sound system cleverly disguised in a mouthless kitty cat shell.  I don’t wan’t to rub it in since at this point, you must be foaming at the mouth, but there was a Backyardigans CD inside it too.  Double ecstasy.

Back in the day, as a small Hispanic girl in Queens, I used to go to the Chinos’ stationery store and drool over the Little Twin Stars, My Melody, and Hello Kitty circular display rack.  It was conveniently placed right in front of the counter so that yours truly and the little crew of street urchins I ran with wouldn’t get any funny ideas and walk out with any of the lovely merch.  I coveted the pencil cases, the metal lunch boxes and diaries with the little locks, of course the pencils and the pens, the furry zippered bags, I could go on and on.  Yes, I was a Sanrio Fanrio.

When the offer came in on Freecycle, I immediately began typing furiously on my Blackberry like a teenage girl.  Two hours later, I had in my hands a combination AM/FM radio and CD player which came with the Backyardigans CD.  ‘My daughters will be so happy’ I thought to myself as I lovingly cradled HK in my arms.  Today I salsa-danced in the shower with the big-headed, big-bowed feline contraption blasting away on the sink.

Why am I suddenly trawling websites looking for my next Hello Kitty fix?  Here’s why.  This is the next thing on my wish list…


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Ektorp sofa


Oh heck, I just wanna Freecycle everything now.  Once the sofa, loveseat and coffee table were gone, I felt liberated. I like my minimalist living room.  Suddenly everything that’s left around my blissful empty space feels like clutter.  I see my kids’ toys and I throw them in the toy box, even if they’re still playing with them.  I’m just kidding.  I don’t do that.  I throw the kid in the box too along with the toy. They like it.  I really am kidding although my friend’s kid jumps into the toy box all the time and he’s okay.

Getting rid of large items via Freecycle  is not that easy.  All Freecyclers know that for every good and reliable pick-up there are at least one or two no-shows.  I know from personal experience that if I respond to a post for an Amish-made, 12-foot cedar cabinet, I better be prepared with my Budget Rent-A-Truck, my husband and one or two foolish friends. You’re giving away free stuff and people flock to your porch, right?  Not always.  There are some ungrateful bastards out there.

The coffee table got lots of interest, and I wasn’t into giving it away initally so I just ignored all the requests for it until it was clear that I really had to let it go.  It sat for about two years on my porch until I realized that having a sharp, steel table around babies was a bad idea.  Then last week when we moved the couch onto the porch for someone to pick it up, the table was relegated to the driveway.  I looked out the window one night after a huge thunderstorm and I felt horrible.  I didn’t want it to suffer needlessly through all the rain that has plagued us for weeks so I finally gave it to some Craigslist dude who clearly knew how valuable this table was as he picked it up almost immediately.  Sniff, sniff.

The loveseat, the flowery number up there absolutely had to go.  Our house is pretty eccentric and there is no room for a couch like that in this place.  The only reason it stayed so long was because it had a sweet twin bed in it that my Aunt Yoli slept in every time she stayed over. We also kept it covered with an Indian patterned sheet to camouflage its true identity.

The sofa was ancient but incredibly comfortable.  It’s an Ikea Ektorp sofa and a full sleeper rolled up into one cozy package.  This sofa belonged to my friend Geoff’s parents who gave it to us right before they moved out West.  We were still huge garbage pickers at the time and were thankful that we knew the owners of the couch instead of having to trash pick an item like this.  Many things happen on couches that no one wants to know about, right?  At least an Ektorp has a removable, washable cover and we knew the previous owners.

So many people wanted this sofa yet no one came to pick it up.  I had responses coming in from both Freecycle and Craigslist (I posted it in the Free section) and time and again, the pickup fell through.  I even got into an email volley with some crazy man who worked at the Marina and emailed me at least nine times a day, only to not show up at the scheduled time after three days of emailing back and forth.  Being the Queens, New Yorker that I am, it was very difficult to craft an email that would convey my frustration yet not sound as though I wanted to clock him with my brass knuckles for disrupting my attempts at green living and recycling.  I finally settled on this email:

You had been in touch all morning and afternoon about this couch. You said you were coming to pick up. I took time out of my schedule to return every email and I stayed home from 3 o clock onwards, all for a couch I am getting no money for. If you decided not to take the couch, at least have the courtesy to inform me.

Two days later he countered with:

when we were in touch the other afternoon i requested your phone number so i could call you when i was outside.  I never recieved a number and I was outside of your house.

Okay…I emailed him back, told him I’d given him my number and asked why he hadn’t rung the bell and POOF, the guy’s a ghost.

Needless to say, the couch was eventually picked up by a lovely Freecycler and that leads me back to my original thought.  Thanks for hanging in there…If you’re on Freecycle and someone chooses you to pick up their junk, hop right into your Prius or whatever and get the beep over there without delay!

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