Top Ten List: Xiu Xiu's Jaime Stewart

Xiu Xiu's Jaime Stewart presents us with a mini photo essay of 10 things he likes in his apartment.

By Salon Staff
August 18, 2005 7:30PM (UTC)
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Top 10 Things I Like in My Apartment
by Jaime Stewart

I am not sure if it is a product of insecurity or Protestant modesty, but more often than not, unless I am talking about something that involves politics and/or death, I feel the need to qualify and apologize for anything I like. So then, I know it is goofy to do a photo top 10 of things I like in my apartment. But, I have gone such a long time living in awful, awful, awful places that since December of 2004, having finally found and been able to afford a place that isnt dangerous or cold or disgusting or high, high stress and tension or a shack in a backyard with no running water or toilet, I have almost been reverent toward the idea of home, especially my own home.


Three and a half of the past months since moving in I have been away on tour so it is ever more delightful to get to walk up the steps, be tired and only feel good to be back. Anything odd or beautiful or funny I want to look at will be there and wont be broken or stolen or washed or literally covered in shit. It will be quiet and smell good and there will be no one there.

From the time I was 18 until I turned 32 (14 years!!!) I hated where I lived and hated to be at home. I moved 13 times in those years.

It is surprising to be able to open the door and look at some objects, just material things, but feel so much relief and reassurance that a new life is possible. But as I said earlier, more or less, because it is in my nature to assume anything I am feeling is wrong, now I wonder if it is heretical to be so comforted by stuff. Hopefully it wont drive me to move again to live in the desert, eating locust and honey.


1. Cactus collection -- there are 27. I am obsessed with numbers. The next acceptable amount would be 34 so I will have to buy 7 more if the forest is to expand.

2. Plastic feet purchased from a shoe store in Hanoi, Vietnam. Three are left and one is right.

3. Mousy toys chewed up by the cat Roberta. They were artfully framed in Seattle by a fading Goth dude.


4. Papier-mâché Mexican doll hanging over the sink in the kitchen. I have to be careful not to splash water up to it.

5. View from the bathroom window. It is so California it hurts.

6. Silkscreen art on paper towel by James Morrison. Before we became friends he mailed it to me.


7. Ceramics I inherited from my grandfather. He was a merchant marine and smuggled people from Asia to the U.S. in exchange for antiques.

8. Colorform vegetables on the fridge that my niece rearranges every time she comes over.

9. Black beanbag that my sister gave me for Christmas. It is perverted and silly looking.


10. Tiny white tuxedo presented to me for my 33rd birthday from my bandmate, Caralee. It is the best gift I have ever received.

Salon Staff

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