Out With the Old

November 22, 2014

I love afternoons like this. I really love them. I understand that there is more to life than purging and organizing, i do…but give me a rainy day, some very messy bookcases in serious need of de-cluttering, and books stacked all over the house crying to be shelved, and oh my but the sorting section of my brain begins to convulse.

About noon, I took this before photo.


Then got to work.

The first thing I did was throw this out.


Have you ever seen anything so weird? I’ve been holding onto this “tree” for about eight years and I guess today I reached my limit. It was an award presented to Davis Community Network for some work we’d done to benefit nonprofits. I honestly cannot remember the organization that gave us the award, nor exactly what it was for. I’d gone back to Washington, D.C. to receive it on DCN’s behalf, believe it or not, in conjunction with a conference that made sense to attend, and carefully carried it back with nary a scratch. It’s heavy, made of some kind of plaster, and quite fragile. And it is ugly as all get out. DCN no longer has an office in which to display such a thing and I think nobody will be the wiser.

I only regret tossing what is without a doubt the best White Elephant gift a person could ever hope to have… but can’t see holding onto it for that one chance to unload it.

Here’s another thing that was easy to unload:


No idea how or why I ended up with this book in the first place, but now, after all that’s come out about the once-lovable Bill Cosby, I certainly don’t want it. Creepy, huh?

Here are some other book oddities:

After pulling every book off every shelf in the house (not counting the shelves in Peter’s room, which I’d culled last year, nor Jim’s office shelves which I’d never dare touch), cleaning them all and sorting by genre, I found that I had:

– Three copies of Pema Chodren’s “When Things Fall Apart,” which seems kind of ironic.. or maybe desperate? Dunno, but it cracked me up.

– Two copies of Noam Chomsky’s “What Uncle Sam Really Wants,” which I find weird since I can’t remember even knowing about, much less acquiring, this book.

– Three copies of “Catcher in the Rye,” which is okay by me, but good as it is, I only need one.

– Two copies of “Three Cups of Tea,” which I know exactly how that happened because I remember buying my second copy while in an airport in Kathmandu, but now I have a great gift to give to somebody, except now I also want to get Jon Krakauer’s rebuttal to that whole story (“Three Cups of Deceit”), because it sounds like he’s got a bone to pick with the way the story was represented and I’d like to hear his version, and would like to add that to the other great Jon Krakauer books I have. Which are all now together in a section that includes other adventure mountain books. We all have a dedicated shelf for that, right? I am so organized.

By 6:30 I was done with most of the project and had re-loaded this bookcase:


Looks great! I can’t take my eyes off it.

Jim helped me hang three of the pictures that had just been gathering dust on the bookshelves for years. This is a big deal because Jim absolutely despairs of this picture-hanging process. I sure don’t know why, I’m a total team player, non demanding, non critical (I swear), but man, black cloud over his head the whole time. Still, I’m thrilled to get those up at long last.


I still have stacks of books to dust and load into another three cases (two in the living room, one in my office), but the hard part’s over– deciding which genres go where and making sure there is enough room for them all.  I will finish that tomorrow.

And.. after all this, there were about a hundred books that didn’t make the cut… so we’ll donate them to the Davis Food Coop which is coordinating a book drive for STEAC.

Win win.

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