I Hate Entropy (and the feeling’s mutual)

by Erin on May 14, 2007


ebay item 8305987417

Why must things fall apart? In the last three weeks I have discovered a hole in one of my favorite (Liberty-print, sob) skirts, a grease stain on another, and have, after multiple "treatments", decided that the Blue Mystery Stains on a Duro I made are never, ever, ever going to come out, and that if I want to salvage the (also-Liberty, sob) fabric I used to make it I'm going to have to take the damn thing apart.

Entropy, I spit in your general direction.

And the worst, the absolute worst, the créme de la horrible of everything, is that, after months of diligent eBay-alert-watching, finding another pair, in my size, of my perfect shoes, and after buying them, waiting breathlessly for them to arrive, waiting some more, waiting and waiting and waiting, and after finally getting a tracking number to check … discovering that some person with NO REGARD FOR KARMA had STOLEN my precious shoes off my front porch.

If I see this person wearing MY SHOES in the neighborhood … well, I probably will NOT run home for my handy anti-burglar cricket bat. Probably.

So I got my other pair re-soled. Again. And I bet the shoe guy, next Tuesday when I pick them up, is going to shake his head mournfully and say "No more for this one, 'kay?"

Entropy, if I see you coming, I will get my handy anti-burglar cricket bat. Except that's just what you would like, you sick bastard. I know! I'll just make something new, instead. That'll show you.

Picture is from Flickr, the photographer is Jari Schroderus.

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

twollin May 14, 2007 at 8:04 am

Someone. Stole. Your. Shoes. Off your front porch. I’m speechless, really. I’m not sure that anyone can go any lower. But I also have to admit that I always have things delivered to my work address. Sometimes people get very crazy – I once had a nyckelharpa delivered here and practically had to hold a news conference when I opened the thing up – since it was coming from Sweden, the UPS guy would not leave until I’d opened up the box within the box within the box and OK’d that it was not damaged. But, having things delivered to work usually works.

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trenabdesigns May 14, 2007 at 8:09 am

Ugh, Erin, I’m so sorry about that! I ordered some vintage brooches from eBay that USPS confirmed as delivered, only they never were. So then when a friend sent me some vintage fabric and it didn’t arrive after a couple of days from close by I started to get verrrry nervous. Thank goodness it arrived! What I hate about the stealing of goods–usually the person who steals them has no use for them and the items are of limited resale value, so I imagine they just get thrown away a lot of times. What a waste.

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Erin May 14, 2007 at 8:10 am

twollin, the problem with having things delivered to work is that I work from home … I’m fighting with Fedex about it as I was home when they supposedly rang the bell, so I don’t know what happened. :-(

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Anonymous May 14, 2007 at 8:22 am

No chance a friendly neighbor took it in for safekeeping? I’ve had such luck; with neighbors running after me crazily waving a package that they ‘rescued’ from certain thievery. Sometimes they’ve forgotten and taken a couple days before the across the street journey. I suppose I should be grateful.Good luck hunting down entropy. He usually hits my motivation as well before I can do more than sigh. dramatically, of course.

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Theresa May 14, 2007 at 9:36 am

Oh Erin I am so sorry about your shoes!And your fabrics! Here is a horror/comedy story for you. I am having a coffee themed reception for my wedding. I have to pay for everything myself as I am 41 and this is a second, albeit, final marriage. I ordered 5 lbs of chocolate covered espresso beans. My dear son set them on the table not knowing what was in the package. My dear dogs, all three, ate through the packaging and devoured 2.5 lbs of chocolate covered espresso beans. They vomited all over the living room –all over the sofa — all over everywhere. It took 4 hours to clean everything. Luckily, they survived (the dogs) and I still have 2.5 lbs of untouched chocolate covered espresso beans in the fridge.

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jessicajlee May 14, 2007 at 9:46 am

This makes me sad. Especially about the shoes. Porch stealing is SO ridiculous.Last summer, I had various products stolen off of my porch. I lost my rake this year, and someone stole one of those giant boxes of recycling bags (the discount ones from Costco that you need a membership to buy; someone had bought them for me!) while I was taking the groceries in.Grrr.

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India May 14, 2007 at 10:12 am

Oh, how mean people suck! Why do they take things they can’t possibly use? Once I dropped my eyeglasses on the sidewalk and didn’t realize it for a few minutes. When I walked back, people outside a restaurant on the spot told me a guy had picked them up and taken them. What was he going to do with a girl’s green-framed prescription eyeglasses?!?!? What is wrong with people?Every now and then, I imagine what I would have done to the guy if I’d found him. Gets the blood racing, let me tell you.

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kathyg May 14, 2007 at 10:23 am

I empathize, Erin..that’s a shame. I found a gorgeous pair of vintage shoes on Ebay several years ago, won the auction, paid for them and waited anxiously for their arrival. One week, two weeks, a month…no shoes. The seller had proof of insurance for the mailing, so I can only hypothesize that somewhere between the PO and _my_ front porch they disappeared into the ethers. Sigh…I have not seen another pair like that one, in my size ,since.

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xstpenguin May 14, 2007 at 11:06 am

That’s awful! Well loved fabric/clothes becoming worn-out or damaged can be so sad. And to get your shoes stolen!? Well I hope whoever it is gets boils.Interesting that you would reach for a cricket bat and not a baseball bat.AJ

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Erin May 14, 2007 at 11:12 am

I’m not a cricket fan. (I don’t understand the game at all, although the terms are nice — “silly mid-on” anyone?) I just happened to run across a cricket bat at a yard sale, and since it fell under my “Dollar Rule” (if you want it, and it’s a dollar, buy it) I bought it. I figure a cricket bat is scarier than a baseball bat for warding off burglars — first, I assume the burglars, knowing even less about cricket than I do, will have the WTF?? reaction. Then of course a cricket bat has a nice broad face for walloping, plus a thinner edge for really hard hits.Not that I have ever put this to the test, nor do I intend to. But it’s a comfort, just the same.

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Spring May 14, 2007 at 11:17 am

I’ve had things go missing from my mailbox several times. One time the box came. Open. With the card still inside but the videotape that was sent stollen. USPS seems to like my videos as when I sent one to a friend, she received the book but the tape… not in the package. I’ve also had some boxes partially opened as if they were looking at what I was getting before being delivered.I DO NOT TRUST my mailman. At. All.As for the grease stain, have you tried mild dishwashing liquid on it? I’ve had a lot of luck using that to get rid of grease. Just be sure to rinse it out really well before putting it back in the laundry or you’ll be more sudsy than you want.

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ambika May 14, 2007 at 12:29 pm

My anger would know no bounds were my shoes stolen. Seriously.I usually get all packages delivered to my job because I live in a skeevy neighborhood. I think, even were I to live in a nice neighborhood, I’ll continue to do the same.

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Sherry May 14, 2007 at 12:48 pm

Hi, Erin. Sorry about the theft of your shoes. On a happier note, the grease stain may come out if you use a drop or two of eucalyptus essential oil. Dab a drop on the spot, making sure to cover it completely. Let it sit, usually overnight. Then launder as usual. I’ve used it multiple times and each time the grease/oil stain has come out. You may be able to salvage that skirt yet!

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geogrrl May 14, 2007 at 1:27 pm

If you have a Hancock Fabrics around, go there and find the display of “Carbona” products. Buy a bar of the “Stain Soap” for about $2.It says on the package “bio-enzyme formula removes stains from hands and fabrics”. It sounds gross, but the “bio-enzyme” is bile salts, an old and effective remedy for removing organic stains–especially grease–from fabrics. Works like a damn.The blue stains I can’t help with. The only salvage I can suggest is possibly the RIT dye remover, but that may remove the original pattern. Another one of limited use on ink stains is to pour boiling water through the taut fabric, but that fades the stains–it doesn’t eliminate them. Another old remedy was hairspray–the solvent in it helped remove the ink–but try it on an unobtrusive area if you can.I know what you mean about having things stolen. I made an afghan for my nephew and his wife (took about a year) as well as two little sweaters for their children. It was not a small box. As far as I’ve been able to find out, the package never even got as far as the central sorting area in this town. I do not trust any of the USPS staff at all. I’ve had similar problems with vintage knitting patterns I’ve ordered just never showing up.Good luck with the stains and I’m sorry about the theft.Love the blog! You’ve inspired me to take up sewing again (I used to be a very good tailor/seamstress) and learn pattern drafting.

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Margo May 14, 2007 at 1:29 pm

noooooooo! Bad karma visited my porch this morning too! I had put out an envelope of paychecks to be deposited at our credit union (like I often do), but it disappeared before the mailman came. I’ve spent the day with that sinking feeling, making phone calls, and trying to gather my wits. sighhhhhhhAs for the grease, Erin, have you tried boiling water? Dear Rebecca tipped me off to that, but she recommended it for food stains. But hey, if you’re about to give up, what’s the harm in trying? I put on gloves, boiled up a kettleful, and just poured, then rubbed, then poured. . . You deserve some loveliness (like the time you were gifted out of the blue with an old-fashioned sewing machine). May it be so.

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Pamela May 14, 2007 at 2:26 pm

Mail thievery is the lowest! My experience with the USPS is pretty good. Despite that, I recently bought some patterns on ebay. They arrived at my local PO and, for some strange reason, were routed back to the seller in Canada. Totally the fault of my local PO. Kindly, the seller mailed them back to me free of charge. It’s particularly frustrating when ebay stuff goes missing, because it’s usually quirky stuff unobtainable elsewhere. At least in my case, it is!For the grease stain, try this: I sat in black oil on a beach, wearing new white pants many years ago. My father, who grew up in the days (1920s) when many people did their own dry cleaning, knew just what to do. Working outdoors, with the pants arranged over the top of a bucket, we poured gasoline throught the fabric and brushed it. Voila! Worked like a charm. This is black oil on white pants! You must work outside or it is dangerous. The “Womens Institute” book on laundry and dry cleaning describes this process in detail, including the cleaning of gloves and other leathers. These books are great for all the old-fashioned cleaning methods.My father also has a story about a neighbor in Boston, circa 1924, who blew up part of their back porch, when gas was left outside on a hot day. So…. do the cleaning and then store the gasoline correctly.

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bootyvintage May 14, 2007 at 3:50 pm

Erin, you have to try these excellent stain removal suggestions, then report back! So sorry about your shoes. My dad put *Christmas cards* out to mail last year and they got stolen before the mailman came. He mails everything at the PO directly now.

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Zoltar Panaflex May 14, 2007 at 4:51 pm

Mail theft is why I got a PO Box. All boxes are left up the street in an open cubby hole. We apparently have the world’s laziest mail carrier, no complaints make any difference, USPS can’t get anyone to take the route, so she stays.Mail theft is a HUGE issue around where I live. I got so sick of policing every stinking package, I got a PO Box. Since then, nothing has been missing or misappropriated.Also, Franco Sarto had a loafer very like your beau ideal, might be worth trying to hunt that one down. The concept of ‘what goes around comes around’ is all very well and good, but it would be more gratifying to WITNESS the end-result-karma which is just not something that happens enough.

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AnitaAshland May 14, 2007 at 11:16 pm

Dang! I was content with my black Bass penny loafers until now. :-) That low vamp makes all the difference. Now I want a pair too. I wear ballet flats most of the time in the summer but sometimes that inner preppy needs to come out.

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mina May 15, 2007 at 6:43 am

So sorry to hear about your shoes. You know we’ll all be keeping our eyes out on ebay and everywhere else!

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Theresa May 15, 2007 at 8:00 am

For ink – use alcohol. Denatured works best, but rubbing works too. I work in marketing and we used to have a small “Roller drum” press. Everytime I changed a master or changed the drum INK all over my clothes. The alcohol really works!

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Anonymous May 15, 2007 at 11:07 am

My mailman is my father-in-law, so no problem there. But once, when I was living in Ecuador, I sent a pair of HAND-KNITTED SOCKS to my mother, which I had labored over for months (only my third knitting project EVER), and they never got there. Now what is the sense of that? All I can figure is some Ecuadorian has toasty warm feet, and no appreciation of the work that went into them.

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JuliaR May 15, 2007 at 11:54 am

At least the hole in the fabric pictured is in the shape of a heart. That has to mean something.

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erma May 15, 2007 at 1:33 pm

I’m extremely lucky because I once had a brand new Macintosh delivered to my doorstep, and it didn’t get stolen! I was both pleased to get my new computer and furious that UPS just left it on my porch. It’s a generally safe neighborhood, but I still wouldn’t trust leaving a computer in its own packaging (which read “Expensive computer inside! Steal me!”) on my porch for several hours.I had, of course, requested that UPS get a signature for delivery. When I looked up the tracking number, I found that not only had UPS claimed that they had received a signature, I could even see it: “L Brown”. But this is not the Brown residence. I suspect that the UPS guy just signed it himself so he wouldn’t have to lug the box back down the steps and into his truck.

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john May 15, 2007 at 2:08 pm

The UPS Store is the answer.A personal mail box there costs as little as $8 a month and sure makes things easier.And if I need to be out of town for a while they will hold items or even ship them to me where I am.

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