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Why are some people packrats?

 
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 12:22 pm
@NickFun,
There's a guy who could use learning about archives on the internet..

Ah, I could easily be called a pack rat since I have a lot of stuff. But my stuff has had a lot of value to me and has, up until recently, been constantly culled for the main areas of interest. Now I need to cull massively and am organizing for that, via ebay, craig's list, garage sale, donation. There is pain in the reduction of several categories.

I have my reference material and major books for landscape architecture/garden design - boxed. I can toss at least some of the ref notebook material, painful as it may be. I can sell most of the books. I have some of my old designs and drawings but I culled a lot of that before moving here. It sort of kills me to toss my old structural details and I'm keeping those for a bit.

I have a bunch of art books, which I've culled down to one set of bookshelves.
Will be selling probably 2/3 of those. I have a bunch of my own art and I'm not through with that. My paintings sold for good money not that long ago, and I'm at a lull phase on painting. Once I take it up again (soon, soon) I'll find it easier to cull the old.

Photography - I've a lot of slides and photos, have to get them on a website, toss a good portion of the originals, plan to.

I have a lot of books on the history and mores of italy, originally purchased out of broad fascination but many of which back up in some way information about piazzas, which I had been seriously writing a book about in the nineties, even had a well reputed publisher's letter of intent - but then the divorce and moving four times cut into my will power to finish. I'm still not over that I may work up my thick outline even now. So, culling is apt to be slow on that.
Those books are still in boxes.

I have some items from my parents. My parents died in the sixties and seventies; I'm a divorced only child living far away from many close friends.. The items from my parents provide some kind of underlayment for my life as a whole in the way of continuity - rather the opposite of how most people feel re the positives of living free from material desires. But I've already culled and reculled those. Got to do more.

Clothes - I have a lot, and a good portion needs to go to the destinations listed
earlier. I've got those set aside with more being added to the "get rid of" portion.

I no longer clean like my frenetic self of my twenties. My floors even get dirty and may gather dust for a while.
If someone doesn't like it, they're not welcome here. I do have a degree in bacteriology and an interest in a non-noxious environment, but my choices on that may not match yours.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 03:33 pm
@hamburger,
hamburger wrote:
[...] just looking around my computer-room (formerly ebeth's bedroom) [...]

Laughing Laughing H, if you were like us, the kids were out the door 5 minutes, and we're moving stuff into their former bedrooms.

My wife and I now each have our own hobby rooms. Wink
hamburger
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 03:53 pm
@Mame,
reminds me of visiing my mother in germany for the last time . she was in her 80's , my dad had died the year before .
she was sitting in the living room , emptying photo-albums and cutting up photographs .
i was aghast , but she said : "i can't leave behind an apartment filled with junk ! " .
i scooped up us many pictures as possible and brought them back to canada - and i'm beginning to feel the way my mother did some 30 years ago !
haven't started to cut up things yet ... ... but
hbg
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 06:06 pm
@Reyn,
Reyn wrote:

hamburger wrote:
[...] just looking around my computer-room (formerly ebeth's bedroom) [...]

Laughing Laughing H, if you were like us, the kids were out the door 5 minutes, and we're moving stuff into their former bedrooms.

My wife and I now each have our own hobby rooms. Wink


That reminds me of that very funny commercial about a couple whose kid just left for college... papa was saying goodbye at the door, kid asking where mom was, papa giving some excuse... cut to mom dancing around measuring kid's room for a renovation Smile Home Depot, perhaps? lol
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Thu 13 Nov, 2008 06:08 pm
@hamburger,
I gave all the family photos to my daughter some time ago Smile Better her storing it than me, esp since I never look at them.
0 Replies
 
Reyn
 
  1  
Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2008 06:53 pm
@Mame,
Mame wrote:
That reminds me of that very funny commercial about a couple whose kid just left for college

Yes! I remember seeing that one. We both laughed!
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2008 11:16 am
When one of my wife's grandmothers died, there were about 140 frozen chickens in a big freezer out back. She'd been off her rocker for as long as my wife can remember, and it probably didn't help that she moved to the US from Italy in the '20s or '30s and never really learned to speak English. Initially they lived in an Italian neighborhood in Chicago, where this wasn't a big issue, but they moved to southern CA in the 1970s, so it was pretty much her and her husband, who was pretty much deaf, and spent his days watching old Westerns on TV (perhaps the landscape reminded him of home). Their children only spoke on the level of about a 3 year old. Anyway, she only had a couple of things she talked about (in addition to her broken-English farting song) -- her 1st son, who died as a baby; crossing the Atlantic on a rowboat while be fired upon by submarines (yup); and the importance of buying a chicken when they were on sale. Apparently she stuck by this last one, but never actually cooked them.

My own grandmother was a little less crazy -- though I'm convinced there was something wrong with her mentally, aside from her virulent racism and general disapproval of everything that had happened since 1955 -- but she saved every issue of Parade Magazine from the Sunday paper dating back for decades. Sometimes on birthdays she would clip out a years old article and send it to somebody as a present; the connection between the article and the person receiving the gift was an utter mystery. Otherwise, though, their house was immaculately clean, if poorly lit, and the furniture bought in the '60s (some of which must have been pretty fashionable then and would be now) was in mint condition. She and my grandpa maintained several fruit and nut trees and a big patch of tomatoes and let nothing go to waste (her canned apricot preserves were legendary), kept everything in perfect working order. But in the back of the house was this room stuffed with boxes of ancient issues of Parade Magazine. Somewhere in the room was a solitary shoebox that held all of my grandfathers WWII mementos (aside from the barber strop, which hung menacingly from a hook in the bathroom; all the grandkids knew it had been the preferred spanking device in the house back in the day).
jespah
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2008 12:16 pm
@patiodog,
Look up Collier Brothers or Collier's Mansion (might be Collier Mansion) on Wikipedia and you'll see an article about packratting as, essentially, a mental illness.
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Wed 19 Nov, 2008 03:14 pm
@jespah,
Yeah, I've heard of them. Reading the description reminds of my neighbor Dirty Mike in Seattle, except he was cordial and welcoming among his stacks of yellowing newspapers and abundance of dandelions and he wandered around the neighborhood in his bathroom and his ancient toy poodle had big pendulous balls and crapped in everybody's yard while Mike dispensed advice on how to stay healthy. His house, though -- I carried a chair inside for him once and it was literally just a maze among head-high piles of newspapers. It's a good thing Dirty Mike didn't smoke...
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 02:32 am
@patiodog,
Quote:
there were about 140 frozen chickens in a big freezer out back


Maybe she just plain didn't like chickens. She wanted them dead, and that was about it.


Actually, my own granma ended up somewhat loopy too. She lived for like 40 years in the same flat. Apparently my aunt managed to convince her to clear out all the clothing she had accumulated since pre-WW2 and she did. Then, with all of it bagged and ready to go, she flipped and tore into my aunt as a thief and worse. Dementia. Lived through the sharp end of two world wars and still made it into the 21st century. And she never touched a drop.
0 Replies
 
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 02:38 am
Much later in my life I would like to be able to fit all my serious possessions into a space of 1 cubic metre. That's what I want to leave to my kids. If the space is organised correctly it should be able to be turned into a coffin as well.

I just have no interest anymore in accumulating things. I don't even want a house of my own anymore. I could just be a tad contrarian, but the more you have the more you want - that's my opinion.
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Thu 20 Nov, 2008 06:02 pm
@Mr Stillwater,
I long for the days when I could fit everything I owned in the back of my Datsun pick-up, and that included a Fender Rhodes piano, a big tube amp, and a little couch.

Alas, 'tis no longer so. Though I could probably fit everything I actually had a use for in the back of that old truck, especially now that business attire is scrubs and a pair of sneakers.

Let's see, what would I really want to keep...

Guitars (3), laptop, pants (4 pair), boots (2 pair -- snow and work), socks, underwear, tee-shirts (12 or so short sleeve (including mementos), 3 or so long sleeve), sneakers (2 pair -- work and other), sandals, winter-wear (waterproof pants, down vest, light rain coat, heavy parka -- it gets damned cold here), barbecue, cell phone and charger, a couple of plates, a pan, a pot, a couple of glasses, coffee maker, piano...

D'oh -- I think piano and barbecue are going to put me out of the small truck category...
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 01:17 am
@patiodog,
Just buy the house, you need it.
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 06:03 am
@Mr Stillwater,
Already have, still. It wouldn't have fit in the truck either.
0 Replies
 
Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 06:10 am
@patiodog,
Tell me you didn't get rid of the Fender Rhodes! Like a fool I did, and now I need to downsize my big ole Nordheimer upright. Trade ya.
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 05:53 pm
@Tai Chi,
I did get rid of the Rhodes. I'd abused it for a good 10 yeas after I got a great deal on it and the amp when they, um, fell off a truck, and it was in bad shape. I'd maintained it to a certain extent, but then I went to Europe for a couple of months and stored it at a friend's house who promised it'd be safe. It wasn't -- ended up in a shed that had a leaky roof, and water finally did it in. But, then, the action for D over middle C had been broken for a while, which is a pretty damned inconvenient key to lose.

I really kick myself over the the amp, though. Very antique Fender twin reverb tube amp, absolutely beatiful tone and a tough, tough presence. Sold it for next to nothing when I split town. (Obviously not a pack rat, eh?) Which would have been all right, but I sold it to a complete mook/hack. A guitarist friend of mine gave me a lot about that -- and he'd have given me a lot more money for it, too.


This was my baby...

http://www.fenderrhodes.com/img/models/mark1a/stage73.jpg

Didn't know until now just how old that piano was. Older than me, damn it...
Mr Stillwater
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 06:09 pm
@patiodog,
Wow, Dude - so YOU'RE the geezer from Murph and the Magic Tones!!
http://bb.wynnear.com/pics/magictones.jpg

Things pick up after that 'dry spell'...

Cuando, Cuando, CUANDO!!
Quote:
Thank you. Your marvellous. Your marvellous. Thank you. I'm Murph and these are the Magic tones. Steve 'The Colonel' Cropper, Donald 'Duck' Dunn, Willie `Too Big' Hall and Tom `Bones' Malone. We'll be back with the Magic Tones for the Armada Room's two hour disco swing party after this short break. Til then, don't you go changing.
Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 06:34 pm
@Mr Stillwater,
No, no Mr. Stillwater, that was ME playing Olivia Newton-John to the beat of knife and fork.

Patiodog I had one just like that. Sold it 20+ years ago (after the Mr. complained about dragging it around) for @$200. Even threw in a mike. Now I could kick myself around the block. (You're sure I can't interest you in a ten ton Nordheimer upright?)
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 07:01 pm
@Tai Chi,
I couldn't even hack the 130-pounds Rhodes any more, TC.

I have a 40-plus-year-old classical guitar that I can't find any information on (made by "Orlando Guitar"). Probably worth nothing to anybody, else, but it still plays great. My father, in his infinite 18-year-old wisdom, put a "Wherehouse - Where Else?" sticker on it way back when, then never learned to play it. Bastard.
Tai Chi
 
  1  
Reply Fri 21 Nov, 2008 07:38 pm
@patiodog,
Oh man, thanks for reminding me. We've got a guitar nobody plays too. And a 35 year old clarinet. And my dad's old harmonica collection. (It would seem I qualify as a packrat.)
 

 
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