Back in the 90s I had to go about furnishing a small apartment that was all mine, no roommates. I needed a coffee table and, for whatever reason, ended up using a metal trunk for the purpose. It had so many drinks spilled on it and got gooped up with so many candle wax drippings. Fast-forward to today, where (until two weeks ago) it served as a bedside table. It was covered in mostly-immovable things like a table lamp, multiple alarm clocks, charging stands, and so on, meaning it was difficult to open. When moving up the coast from Orange County to Portland, I’d stuffed it with t-shirts and things, then forgot about it. I replaced the trunk-bedside-table with a proper, and more accessible, bedside table a couple of weekends ago, which gave me the opportunity to sort through the contents of the trunk.
The t-shirts in the trunk could be sorted into some broad categories: hacking, Betty Page, shows, and work. I was very much into the “hacktivism” of the 90s. Let’s start with the hacking.
Through a friend organizing and encouraging me to go, I wound up at the second Defcon (lower-left shirt). The other ones I think are out of order: 3, 5, and 4. I guess I don’t have others (or if I do, they’re in another box), but I do have badges from Defcon 2 up to 13. That might be fodder for a different post. The hacker print magazines at the time were 2600 (which is still going strong) and Mondo 2K (which is hilarious, looking back at it). The other four are assorted nondescript hacktivism-type shirts.
The next category would be “Betty Page and anime.” An alternate category title might be “shirts that make me cringe today and which I wouldn’t be caught wearing.” These cringey shirts went off to Ridwell for textile recycling.
Nine Inch Nails, from the Broken and Downward Spiral tour era.
Next up are some Penn and Teller shirts. I remember at one of these shows, Weird Al was in the audience. At intermission he was politely and embarrassedly signing autographs.
They Might Be Giants: Apollo 18 and… something after Apollo 18.
This is where my opsec reveals some osint. While working through college, I ended up at Virtual World (an early multiplayer VR arcade), getting fired from there (for hacking the games), and at Virgin Interactive Entertainment. Shirts and hats. I’m pretty certain I have more Virgin shirts in a box in the back of the closet.
I no longer have a use for the stained and rusty trunk. It’s lived a good life, and I felt this t-shirt time capsule was a fun distraction. But it was way past time to move on to adult furniture.
(Addendum: Christine snagged it from the curb and plans to use it to store costuming.)