Phoenixing

Do we love the new site? I do. All credit goes to R. who used his entire Memorial Day weekend to re-design, re-tool and re-publish every last little thing on the site. He has been promoted accordingly.
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While R. was looking forward, I was looking back. To be precise, looking back through a huge stack of videotapes that have moved from New York to San Francisco, several times around the city since, including in and out of paid storage spaces, most recently from storage to the upstairs landing and thence to the living room floor last month when the insurance inspectors were en route to tell us what a fire hazard blocking access to the roof is, especially with a box made of wood and filled with flammable plastics. Never mind that the roof is a vast expanse of tar paper and has no railings. Anyway, I mentioned the paid thing about our storage space because I firmly believe that things you pay for should have some value. Hmm. We’ll see.

I should stress that these tapes are not the same tapes as the ones in another box (still in storage) that are meticulously labeled with their contents. Those tapes were made in college when I had a television addiction and two VCRs. I recorded Saturday Night Live and David Letterman and Due South and Friends and Lois & Clark. Then I would re-record it onto a clean tape, cutting out the commercials and skipping the skits and segments that sucked. This enormous investment of time made sense to me then, as I had a lot of school work to avoid and not much money for videotapes. (You might well ask why I didn’t spend all that work-avoidance time at a job that would have netted me an income and boxes of videotapes. Good question.)

My manual Tivo’ing yielded a priceless set of compilation tapes, each with its own index card describing the contents. Perhaps that’s why they’re called index cards, come to think of it. Those tapes are a separate issue. I’d like to put them on DVDs but it would cost me a huge drawer of cash. (Any suggestions on how to bypass that would be welcome. I think I heard a rumor about being able to transfer videotape to Tivo to computer to DVD but that sounds like another three-day weekend of work.) No way I’m throwing them out. One of them has Letterman interviewing a clearly high as a kite Phil Hartman. How could I give that up?

Back to this weekend though. I fast forwarded through about twenty-five tapes and am holding onto two of them so far. One is a BBC documentary on Steve Martin which I didn’t even know I had and which was very interesting. The other is Princess Diana’s funeral. I’m not completely clear why I can’t seem to throw it away, but I think it has something to do with not having kept the historically significant Star Wars figures in their packages back when I was a greedy six-year-old. I could retire on those now if I’d held onto them. Similarly, the logic goes, someone will be looking for a tape of Princess Di’s funeral someday and I’ll have it. Just me and every single television network in the world.

Given the ratio of time to retention rate, I should have just tossed the whole pile of tapes, but that’s what you get for a.) being a compilation-tape-making optimist, and b.) not having accidentally burned or flooded or otherwise lost or destroyed your material possessions every once in a while.

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Categories: News, Nuisance, Miscellany

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