Saturday, April 23, 2011

Evan Michelson


Oddities is a pretty entertaining show on Discovery Science about a curiosities shop and the people who frequent it. Evan Michelson, co-owner, is unapologetic and droll about her interest in morbid and unusual artifacts. She's absolutely right when she says that these interests that catch us at children remain for life to say the least.

Like her, I think my favorite niche of dark bizarreness is weird and morbid Victoriana. There is an endless supply of this shit and I still get a little shocked sometimes.

When I was a child, I was sure that I had been alive late in the period due to my obsession with old buildings and cemeteries. My dad took me to the Citizens' Cemetery in Prescott when I was in grade school, and it was incredible for me. It was in disrepair and utterly overgrown. There was a crude pentagram made of rebar lain over the double plot of a couple. A tree grows through one of the graves. Another stone had a long Annabel Lee-like poem written by the husband about his young dead wife, and I remember that the last line was "She sleeps sweetly." There was a pile of broken headstones tossed in the corner, and I think was there the last time I went, too. Some of the stones were made from red sandstone and have worn totally soft and illegible.

Anyway, it was amazing and I was most caught up on the grave-tree and the poem. I have to say that I was kind of disappointed last time I went, because it was cleaned up and very orderly looking. It needs to be maintained but the creep in me still likes the appearance of some forgotten rural graveyard.

Evan Michelson on Craig Ferguson. I want to tour her house.

Our house growing up was full of weird shit. My dad bought it after the prior owner had died, and everything in it conveyed. I played with 1960s office equipment and other random 40 year old ephemera instead of toys. It smelled musty and dusty and old in there, and funnily enough, the smell inside the Smithsonian reminded me of our house when I went there as a child.

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