Sunday, August 07, 2005


I'm currently reclining on my couch, laptop in my lap, TV on but muted, listening to the gentle wheeze/purr of a large, contented, grey cat. He has not been far from my side all day, as I've floated from bed, to couch, to floor, back to couch, and soon, back to bed. The time I spent on the floor I was organizing stacks and stacks of CDs. You see, for the past few weekends, I've spent Sunday afternoon lazily watching bad TV, yes, but also performing the arduous task of loading all my CDs into iTunes. Well, not "ALL"; I'm finding a few here and there that I just feel ridiculous to even own, so I'm setting them aside in a separate pile known as "if everything fits and there's still room". Then there's the pile of "yet to load", and the pile of "iTunes spits these out for some weird reason". As I'm loading them, I'm re-alphabetizing them in my CD rack. This hasn't been done properly since my sister started having babies 5 years ago and the babies started crawling around my house looking for things to destroy/eat at their eye level. But with the babies safely in CO, I can once again alphabetize to my anal-retentive heart's content.

I'd say I'm more than halfway done loading my CDs. I thought, when I began, that I would rediscover all these old CDs I'd forgotten about, that loading them onto the iPod would somehow bring them back to life. Turns out, I now no longer have any idea what's on my iPod. There's just so much, and I can't ever decide what I want to listen to, since I'm overwhelmed by the choice of having access, always, to almost every freaking CD I've bought since 1991. I spend a lot of time in the driveway staring blankly at my iPod screen, trying to comprehend how best to find something to suit my mood; should I search by artist? album? genre??? Forget it, I'm late -- I'll just listen to the radio. I was also under the misguided delusion that once I loaded the CDs into iTunes, I could them take bags and bags of old CDs to the used CD place and make a million dollars on resale value. This could still be possible, I suppose, except that I'm having a VERY difficult time getting rid of even the most silly CDs in my collection. Because, you never know -- what if my iBook dies the same day as my iPod and I lose ALL THE MUSIC OF THE PAST 15 YEARS????? I will most likely give in to my paranoia and end up storing them all in boxes, "just in case", and giving myself more crap to cart around when I move someday. But people, it's a collection -- how do you just abandon a collection?? You see, I am a Oualline by blood, and we Ouallines have trouble parting with unnecessary objects.

For example. Other collections I still have but no longer actively collect: cats. lots of little cat figurines, plates, lamps, everything. And fireflies. And blown-glass paperweights. And lizards. Ok, this does not mean I no longer like any of those things, it just means I no longer need 500 of them to feel complete. But -- I cannot get rid of them. I just can't. It's not in my genetic makeup. The only one of us who seems to have escaped this curse is my sistah. In her giant feat of rebellion, she gets rid of anything that isn't nailed down or currently in someone's hand. This chick has been known to sell belongings of others in her garage sales (ahem, stereo, cough). She won't admit it, but SURELY she's had a few "oops" moments from this behavior -- right??? Or is it just me that slowly and painfully cleans out my closet, lugging it all tearfully to Goodwill, only to need that green pair of flats I bought 8 years ago the very next week because they go PERFECT with something after all those years. Is it? Just me??

My brother collects broken or discarded computer parts, DVDs, Texas A&M stuff. My dad collects barware -- all kinds of crystal shot glasses, traveling bar paraphanalia, etc. Baseball caps. My mom? She collects...everything.

So back to my CDs. I really don't know what to do when they're all loaded up. Will I ever again stick a CD in a player? I mean, I have a converter in my car now, so I can use the iPod, and I'm quite sure my next car will have a built-in adapter. This digital music thing is here to stay. So will I just hold on to my CDs indefinitely, "just in case?" Well... now that I think about it, I still have a box of old cassettes somewhere....sigh.

it's a curse. a curse, i tell you. At least at this point in life, I recognize my obsessions and try to stick to things that are consumable -- like lotion or bubble bath, for example. By the gallon. And sugar scrubs. Oh, and body sprays ...shampoo...soap...chocolate. ice cream. chocolate ice cream. um, yeah.


Crazy MomCat said...

Wow. I have seen your CD collection and know what a task this must be!

If it makes you feel any better, you can't get JACK for CDs now if you try to sell them or trade them in. It sucks. I have a ton I don't even want anymore but can't get rid of--even in garage sales.

Andrew said...

Some thoughts on iPods (I'm obsessed with mine):

I just recently started using the Shuffle mode and listen by genre. It has made me realize that my music collection is much, much larger than I think. I really only listen to 10% of my CDs on a regular basis, so now it seems like my collection is 90% bigger.

My brother-in-law swears that his iPod is magical and he has mystical experiences with the Shuffle feature every day. Examples: It'll play three songs in a row with the word "Silver" in the title. Or it will play a Beatles song and then the same song as covered by another artist. I haven't had any mystical experiences with mine yet, but I'm still hoping.