If you are around me on Foosbook you know I’m slowly but Shirley going through my father’s stuff. Right now I have glassware to get rid of. Last week it was a stack of 78rpm records. Next it’ll be, well, I dunno, but the intent is to make space. I have a lot to do and I need space. And all this packrat shit is taking up a lot of space.
Right now it’s the old lab glassware. It’s all older than me. An old chemist might feel good keeping it around, but not me. I keep dead old electronics on the half-ass notion that it can be used in some weird kind of art. But glassware is too fragile. And useful. It has to go. I’ll find a school that will take it. Soon, I hope. It’s kind of in the way.
Last week the 78s were taken away. All but the single-side Enrico Caruso that I hung on the wall. But the rest were all late 1930s / early 1940s swing. Great music, but easily obtained in a more useful format, while I have no intention of owning a player that can spin at 78rpm. People have suggested I get one, but I don’t get that. Under what circumstances does it ever make sense to spin a large single-track record? None, I tell you. None but one. That one is what the person who took them took them for. He’s a DJ and has some sort of electroswing project in mind. Saw someone spinning once with dual Victrolas and thought it was pretty rad. So, I guess, I dunno, whatever. Have at em, hombre.
These were mine. I had a brief foray into card collecting when my son was an infant. It was psychologically an expression of my unmet need for traditional American father-son interaction. It faded away long before he grew up. I put an ad on Craigslist under Free Stuff and they were gone within an hour.
Meanwhile I sit here meaning to upgrade my resume again because I ought to be seeding the contract design world with it and haven’t been. In truth, I don’t really want to work. I want to be supportive of the household and the art business and write my book. But I need an income. Not right this minute, but I will before long; and then I’ll need to rebuild my retirement, which is why I really just want to write a really good book. I’m not going to make any money as an engineer. I’m not going to make any money working for anyone else. But it’s sort of the more logical path right now, being as I’m not exactly starting my own engineering firm. Too busy researching, and assembling a story to tell.
And it’s so fun! I’ve collected a huge array of minor historical personages whose theoretical interactions I find fascinating. Lines cross and paths intersect all over the place. But that’s nothing but hobby-talk. Until I craft this story of mine that takes place in the fast-moving decade between the Gold Rush and the Civil War and is all about social upheaval and political skullduggery and disruptive technology and naive romance and wild multiracial group sex that sparks a bidding war between the country’s major publishers, it’s just a stupid hobby.
Anyway, back to the things. It takes so long because I’m like the people who kept it and am sentimental. I find I can’t just take the box and toss it, or call it a mystery and let someone risk $5 on the unknown. No, I have to create a spreadsheet detailing every item and do a little online searching to see what each item might be worth while simultaneously imagining that slice of my father’s or whoever’s life during which they decided to keep it; and THEN give it away for free to whoever gets to me first. Seems like a lot, but I am serene when it’s gone.