Thursday, April 22, 2010

Hoarding in the 21st Century

My grandma lived through the Depression. So, as you would expect, she became a pack-rat. When I was fifteen or so, we went through her little tin shed and as a service to her, threw a ton of crap away. Then we raided the old dog house (the city's former jail) and threw out everything she'd squirreled away in there, too. Most of the stuff she collected was small scraps of cloth she accumulated from working as a seamstress at a nearby factory.

We wore surgical masks, which was good, since one of the treasures we unearthed in the mounds of cloth was a mummified cat. It still had skin and everything. Poor cat. What a horrible way to die--buried beneath towers of fabric.

The coolest feature on my grandma's property, next to the very dangerous run down barn with the rickety hayloft I was so fond of, was the former jail. It's made from the white rock (limestone? probably) that's really prevalent in central Utah. The walls are inscribed with lots of weird stuff--creepy drawings and your run-of-the-mill scrawls counting the days till freedom. My uncle's St. Bernard once lived there as well, but lacking an opposable thumb never contributed to the graffiti. He was probably more literate than the former prisoners, however.

All this work to say, I'm getting rid of my 500+ albums on CD. I'll keep the information, but sell the actual albums (if anyone will buy them haha). My Grandma had a good reason for keeping everything. After all, if you've got fabric, you can sew a blanket, a patchwork cloak, or a fancy pair of patchwork trousers. What can I piece together from a bunch of plastic discs? I suppose some clever genius can come up with a way to construct raiment from discarded CDs, but I'd rather wear a towel as a loincloth before donning a pair of pants made from plastic.

There's no excuse for me to be a hoarder. Is there? It did its work, the CD collection, that is. It was around to convince Stoker that I'm cool. That I have excellent taste and a sufficient amount of aplomb to own Survivor's Greatest Hits ("I Can't Hold Back" anyone? The only reason to own the album--this was before you could buy a song one at a time), Asia: Then and Now, ABBA, and the Bee Gees, in addition to the obvious cool bands like Ani Difranco, Pink Floyd, and Miles Davis.

I'm keeping the LP's, though. And just for the sake of one-upmanship, I was buying LPs before you were (unless you were buying them in the 80s).

The horseshoe above Spring City, Utah. It watches over all the city's residents. If you look closely, I think you can see the gods within the pattern of the snow.

Ye olde school house down the street from my Grandma's. It's haunted.


Kim Justice said...

Before freeing your CDs, my Inner Audio Geek would suggest ripping them to a lossless format, not MP3.

Aries327 said...

Thanks, Kim. That's a great idea--for some of it. Ha. :)