November 12, 2004

Okay, Okay, Okaaaaay!!!

I had blocked out this morning to go tackle the leaves in the front ditch. However, it's a cold and rainy day here in Your Nation's Capital. I happen to love this sort of weather and even five years ago I'd probably have donned my beat up old Burberry jacket and wellies and headed into the yard with my rake and wheelbarrow. But now? I think I'll stay inside.

Which isn't to say that I don't have a lot to do. I pulled laundry detail today and have about three baskets' worth of folding to deal with. I also have to hit the bathrooms, spraying enough soapscum remover to permanently melt my contacts onto my eyeballs. And I'll also have Llama-ettes Two and Three on my hands after the bus drops them off at lunchtime. (And I mean that literally. They love to grab on to my arms and swing Tarzan-like.)

As you can tell by the fact that I'm still dawdling around here at the Butcher's Shop, I'm not very enthusiastic about all of this.

What I'd really like to do today is reorganize my library and clean up my study. Many of my library shelves are already full. As I've acquired additional books, I've taken to just shoving them in on top of the others instead of making proper room for them. I'm running out of space to do even this and am now at the point where I have to decide which sections of books get moved from the library down to my study in order to make room for all these top-dwellers. My study, in turn, is a sea of seed catalogues, family papers, CD's, office flotsam and wooden ship-modelling bric-a-brac in sore need of tidying up.

The reason I'd much prefer the latter chores is that I derive a real pleasure from them. Clothes are just clothes. And if there is a zen to cleaning potties, I've never heard of it. But fiddling about with books is a delightful exercise. What fun it is to wrestle with the issue of whether the Patrick O'Brian and C.S. Forrester novels should go in the section reserved for 19th Century British naval history, or whether they should go across the room in the shelves dedicated to 20th Century fiction writers. How invigorating I find it to dither over whether Uncle Fred in the Springtime should go with the other Uncle Fred novels or whether it is really more properly placed in the Blandings Castle cycle. Should I put the dozen or so Antonia Fraser biographies I have together or spread them out into their appropriate chronological slots? All primary source material for a given literary period together, or interspersed with subject or author-specific commentary and analysis?

I could spend hours and hours wallowing in these crinkly little issues, rather like Slartibartfast designing Norway. It's the kind of job where the doing is as rewarding as is the final result. But because of this, it's also the sort of thing that I refuse to rush or do half-assed and requires a biggish block of uninterrupted time. Unfortunately, with everything else that needs to be done, I am very much like Captain Kirk trying to stall Khan from blowing apart the Enterprise: time is a luxury I don't have.

Perhaps later on. In the meanwhile, I suppose I'd better go fold the damn laundry......

Posted by Robert at November 12, 2004 12:00 PM | TrackBack

Damn! I have the same problems! In case you care how I solved some of my similar problems concerning library organization... O'Brien/Forrester HAVE to go with fiction. (Sure they capture the millieu, but they are still fiction.) Antonia Fraser's works must be integrated chronologically into your other biographies. You look too much like a groupie if you put them all together. (Or even worse, it might appear as though you got them all at once in some clearance bin at a shuttered library. Shuttered by religious nuts to be sure!)

Well... You get my drift at this point. Enjoy the laundry.

Posted by: The Maximum Leader at November 12, 2004 12:34 PM
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