Tuesday, January 31, 2006

The A to Z of breaking up

Yesterday was yet another “personal development” day for me. I tried to basically avoid two things, talking to people on the phone and computers. I managed half of it. Let’s just say that Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic II is a bit of a time sink. I did manage to pry myself away from the computer screen to flex my geek muscles. They’ve been atrophied as of late.

So I dug up my one long box from the “box room” that is the spare bedroom in the basement of our new flat. I had a chance to put away the comics that have been gathering in piles around my various sitting locations (office drawers, shelf next to my bed, bookshelves, coffee tables). I put a few CDs I hadn’t listened to in a while into the multi-disk changing stereo I got for Christmas, popped open the box and got crack-a-lackin’.

I noticed a couple of things as I did this. Firstly, I have this love/hate relationship with alphabetical order. I used to be quite type-A about having things going left to right A to Z. I had my bookshelf more or less alphabetized and would incorporate new books into the flow every now and again. I even had my 200+ CD book thing in alphabetical order. Then Allison came along and “cured” me. Basically, CDs went everywhere. There were stacks on top of boom-boxes, CDs jammed into any location in the collection. It was bloody carnage I tell you. I fixed it once, but realized it was a loosing battle. Now when I want some music it’s like hunting large game. Well, small circular shiny game but a hunt none the less. I realized I didn’t really need to give a shit about the order of my music especially since I had to incorporate hers into the collection. Like golf, you play where it lays.

Then there was the book shelf. We’re have two English degrees a piece so needless to say there’s enough paper in our home to be a fire hazard. We only have one big book shelf and like 3 huge bins of books that were rotated out of the main team. We’ve realized now that we need blank space on the shelf or the books start to be like rodents or some sort of infestation in our house. Where we used to have this really high-brow collection on display it’s now mysteries and sci-fi. We’ve both had our meal of literature, now we read for dessert. Anyway, when we first moved in together the A-Z bookshelf got “updated” as well. This wasn’t her doing but mine. It was sort of a hybrid at first – genre and theme was the main division then spurts of alphabetical in each genre or time period the books were sorted in, mostly by author.

Anyway, I realized that the whole alphabetical thing is a pain in the ass when you’re dealing with comics. It hit me when I got to Detective Comics. Do I file them under D or under Batman. Same with Action Comics or The Adventures of Superman. In the end, I kept characters together. I put New Avengers under A because at some point they won’t be “new” anymore and well, they’re still the Avengers aren’t they? But Young Avengers was under Y because there’s a whole separate vibe with that book. They’re not replacing the Avengers they’re just a reflection thereof.

As I was doing this whole ordeal I realized that I needed to purge. Which is the second thing I noticed. Now, I know a few of you out there are reading this thinking I have some mental disorder. Yes, I am coming close to filling one complete long box whereas you have whole rooms full of longboxes or have purchased separate storage locations for your collection. I just don’t want this to become like the book collection. Too unwieldy for me to actually purge when I could have previously. I have this backpack in the basement box-room full of books I’ve been meaning to bring to the second hand bookstore for like a year now.

I noticed that for every copy of All Star Superman I have a copy of The Outsiders, not Batman and the Outsiders but the ones with John Walsh in them. It’s a long story. And for Paul Pope’s 100% I have two Green Arrows, Batgirl or Robin. I was new. I didn’t know any better. But at least there is some logic behind these purchases. I was reading story arcs. If I really hated the arc I let the series drop – although I don’t know why I stopped reading Batgirl, I liked it, but needed a change I guess. I was naïve but there was a purpose to the madness. I was looking for a good title that I could try and write for. It’s a long term plan that I may bring up again when I’m further along.

So I’m thinking of hitting e-bay or waiting for the neighbourhood yard sale day to sell off stuff I know I will never ever read again. Nothing wrong in that, I’m not fooling myself. Some stuff I really like and plan to go back to, the rest is more or less ready to go.

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