Feeling a bit under the weather, I’ve hunkered down today. I’m psychologically incapable of relaxing, though, so I’ve spent the time tidying bits of the house. The difficulty with having an outsize house for our needs—especially one with an easy-to-forget attic—is that mess gets archived rather than tidied up. Archiving means preserving a problem of organisation and categorisation so that the problem will still make sense when retrieved from the archive; it doesn’t solve the problem in the way that tidying does.
I have CD difficulties. K. still prefers putting physical CDs on to using something like iTunes to play through the equivalent album: I don’t understand that completely but do I sympathise; sympathy in this case takes the form of leaving my CDs available in the living room. That way, if I’m not around or if there’s some reason we can’t use the old iMac, we can always reach for the original metal disc. I rationalize this as coming from the same principle as burning CDs from my downloaded music: media is in such a transitional phase right now that “backup” physical copies are still important.
Still, my CD collection consists of around 250–300 albums and some 50-80 singles. Some of those albums are annoyingly wrapped in cardboard sleeves, a marketing gimmick I’ve never quite understood, as the packaging doesn’t seem to add size or generally content to the purchase (hardback-sized packaging of tiny computer CDs is in part a psychological trick to make them feel in the hand like something worth paying hundreds of pounds for). Worse, albums like Ladies and Gentlemen We are Floating in Space aren’t CD-shaped at all, designed like a bubble pack of pills, consisting of a single dose. Thanks a lot, Jason Pierce. At least it wasn’t the limited edition twelve-mini-CD pack.
I’ve stripped off those cardboard covers (not throwing them away, of course: yet) and spent a good hour or so working out precisely what CDs I own. My old A–Z collection has now been bedded down like an archaeological layer, with a newer A–Z on top of it consisting of the last few jewel-case plus de-covered jewel case albums from years past. On top of that is a layer of a few random large-case singles, which are convenient to store in the few remaining slots in my album storage. And alongside it are all the tossy odds and ends, squashed and stacked inside an old 386 PC case.
Finally I think I know where everything is. K. will be so pleased when she comes home. Once she works out where everything is too. She’ll come round.