15 November 2010

the label maker

The eagle-eyed among my select readership will have noticed the appearance of labels on my entire blog archive. Michelle suggested this idea as a way for her to delve into my literary nonsense with at least some direction. Speaking as an indefatigable cataloguer, lister and categoriser, self-certified neat freak and all-round terminal Virgo, it is frankly astonishing that I hadn't done this sooner!

So, after three hours of browsing, choosing and applying labels, there is now a "tag cloud" sitting ominously in my sidebar leading the curious to fictional flights of fancy, pompous pontifications and rip-roaring reviews. For those with a visual preference, many posts still carry links to my photo site. This has proved an interesting trip down memory lane.

I found the exercise supremely satisfying. Similar but on a slightly smaller scale to completing the writing of my "Memoirs to Age Fifty," listing my complete worldly possessions, scanning my three thousand 35mm photographs, tagging them all along with the fourteen thousand or so digital photos in my files. It leaves me feeling comfortable. Yes, tidiness is very soothing in a chaotic world, therapeutic even.

There came a time when I couldn't rest until my music, film and book collections had been catalogued in Excel spreadsheets. Now for example, I can sort the whole music file into alphabetical order by band, chronological order by release date, alphabetical order by genre, chronological order by purchase date, ascending order of purchase price, descending order of personal star-rating and... need I go on?

... ok I will. I have all fourteen hundred CDs ripped to mp3 on my hard drive (with obligatory backup of course).

My stamp collection includes used examples of almost every British issue since 1840 and mint examples of everything since 1900. My coin collection is practically complete with every British coin minted since 1837 (plus a fair quantity of European, American and Canadian examples). Oh, and of course they are all catalogued in exciting spreadsheets! I had weeks of fun scanning the coins (both obverse and reverse naturally)!

Is it all a sickness, an affliction of details? Probably. But does it rule my life? Not that you would notice, I hope!

Now, where's my label maker? :)

Someone shoot me if I start printing labels for "TV," "couch," "fridge," "spoon..."


Pickled said...

I'm dying here. Great post, Paul!

Last night, I added a cloud tag to my blog. I really didn't care about making it easier for the reader. I just logged into my blog and saw that my sidebar was sufficiently shorter than my single post on the home page and it annoyed me so much I added the cloud tag as filler. :-/

I envy the organized. I daydream about having such care and respect and patience that I honour my most prized possessions. Unfortunately I am the exact opposite. Every city I've abandoned, I've left a trail of books (the only thing I actually, regularly, collect) behind me. I thow things out on whim because I'm too laze to actually make a home for them.

I began collections for pretty much everything you mentioned because I thought collections and collectors were so cool but when I learned that you had to commit, I gave up.
(Not before collection about 7 regular, Canadian stamps that I ripped off my father's mail in junior high and taped them to a book - you're envious, I'm sure).

Do you have an entire room dedicatd to your collections? The music alone must take up so much space.

Again, great post!

Perfect Virgo said...

Glad it made you chuckle, Cheryl!

Curiously, although I like to collect a wide variety of things, I am not a hoarder. If something is past its sell-by date it goes. My motto is 'if in doubt, hurl it out!'

I would love a room devoted to music and see, in my minds eye, a future basement (partioned at least) giving me a retreat where I can shake the foundations with relatively little inconvenience to others. For now my CDs sit on a discreet revolving shelf in the living room and my hi-fi doubles as a sound system for movies.

Luckily umpteen thousand stamps only take up half a dozen chunky albums and the coins, though mighty weighty, about the same.

Sadly my library is sitting in shipping boxes in our storage room until space permits a nice big bookshelf all of my very own!

C.J. Duffy said...

I really don't care if it is a disease or not. I for one am glad you are the way you are as it sure helps when you edit and amend my stuff in the total logical way you do. Besides, I, if not as organised, like my albums and CD's kept in alphabetical order as i do my books and comics. I don't, as I suspect you do, catalogue my music into genres though as I make a point, and yes it is me making a point, of mixing all my various styles together so that Bjork, Bowie< Blondie and Beefheart sit side by side with Bassey and Beethoven.

Great post and fun to read.

Perfect Virgo said...

CJ - I thought you'd recognised these symptoms! No, my music is filed in alphabetical order on the shelves too. There is no other way! I catalogue the stuff in an Excel spreadsheet so I can sort the data into any order I like and that brings up some interesting versions of the list.

PS: I'm editing page 120 of your book right now!