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Thursday, January 4, 2001

After five months, you'd think I'd be moved into this place by now. You'd think I'd be unpacked, but I'm not. And I'm not sure why that is.

Christmas helped. Those two big bookcases John made for me are fully stocked now, and yesterday I took the empty boxes out to the garage. I used the bookcases for books that I haven't read yet, and for reference books that I refer to often. I still have boxes of books, the ones I've read, and so I can't really say that I've unpacked.

Whenever I have restless energy, one of the things I do is reorganize my CD collection. There are dozens of ways to do it. Alphabetical order. Year of release. Categories, subcategories, free association. I have one rack that's based purely on whim, with Joe Williams next to Lucinda Williams. It has Charles Brown, Greg Brown, James Brown and Ruth Brown. Also Jackson Browne.

I have several CD racks, and I got another one of those for Christmas, too. But it wasn't until about two weeks ago that I started putting the CDs I have into the racks. I just got antsy one day and took a notion to empty some of the boxes that I'd been keeping in the loft.

Then when everyone was here for Christmas, Suzanne noticed that I'd filled up only one of the two big units I had. She knew they were giving me another one, and she was worried that I might not need it. I didn't know that, of course, but I reminded her who she was dealing with. In my usual slothful manner, I simply hadn't got around to filling up the empty rack.

After Christmas, with all these empty slots to fill, I went to work. I organized and reorganized and made up new categories, shuffled things around, and then remembered I had another 200 CD holder in the garage. Just last night I filled that up with a mixture of country, alt-country and folk. I'm estimating about 650 CDs are on all these racks, with about 500 more upstairs, still in boxes.

Is it any wonder I've given up buying these things for at least a year?

Yesterday's mail brought the monthly magazine from the jazz club that's been the beneficiary of a lot of my weak-willed spending for the last year. And of course I looked at it and found maybe half a dozen recordings I can't live without. But I'm resisting, holding to my resolution.

This isn't my only weakness, but it's probably the most expensive one. With thirty music channels on my satellite system, it probably doesn't make sense to keep adding to a collection that's already well over a thousand CDs. At least, it wouldn't make sense to a rational person. But it's a disease, you know. I can't help myself, unless I quit cold turkey and stick to it.

It's great to have all this organization, though, because now I can make sure all the CDs I already have get played regularly. I mark my place in each rack and box, so that I know where I've left off. This way I don't have to decide exactly what I want to play. I just pick a genre or close my eyes and point, like blind-man's-buff or pin-the-tail, and then play the ones on the other side of the marker.

That's how I found myself last night listening to James Taylor, Lisa Loeb and Doug Sahm. That was after I played Bob Dylan, Merril Bainbridge and Bruce Cockburn in the afternoon. (It's a three-CD changer, you know.) This morning's selections are Mandy Barnett, Fastball and Kenny Wayne Shepherd. (And people say I have no taste. Hah.)

What a lot of money I'm going to save this year! I only hope it's enough to pay off all those credit card bills I've been racking up, buying all this stuff.

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Latest recommendations:

Lynda, (Parenthesis), January 3, Not Exactly Paris

Michael, Baker Street, January 3, Sputtering in Disbelief

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There was music in the cafes at night and revolution in the air.