Stuff AWOL

I’m making a list,

I’m checking it twice,

I’m gonna know who’s got Castles of Ice

Where oh where have my DVDs gone?

Last night I was witness to a small hissy fit that was directed at my DVD loaning policy. In a nut shell, I am only allowing one DVD out per person per visit (Welcome to the DVD Library of Boo, can I see 3 pieces of identification and the deed to your place of residence? Thank you so much and this will be due back by midnight Friday.) so if you want to see two of my (our) movies you gotta return the first before getting the second. I guess there is a pain-in-the-ass-esque quality to this if there are two or three movies you are dying to see because, really can’t you just take the two or three and return them all later? It’s so much easier to have them all in one place just in case you want to watch a double feature because shlepping over one movie to get the next is an enormous waste of time and effort.

Yeah it is and no you can’t. See, I have at last count 137 DVDs and this does not include the 40 or so TheMan has which I added to the collection (awww, we have integrated DVDs-we are serious now!). We have close to an entire 5 shelf book case filled with DVDs and that’s a lot of material to keep track of and you know what? I can’t keep track of anything past 3. It’s true. When I go to sleep at night and need to remember things for the morning I count up how many things there are and go to sleep with just the number in my head. I wake up and remember that there are 4 things I have to do that day and usually I can reconstruct the list from that. 4 being a list of one item, you see. It works. Trying to remember that I need to take the bills to the post, pack the potato salad for the picnic, make sure I have my other bank card for a construction supplies run AND to call the florist by noon is a lost cause and something is bound to be forgotten. Remembering the number 4 I can handle, even if it takes me ten or so minutes to dredge up what the four tasks are. So yeah, when I start to get a lot of people borrowing stuff I tend to get a little paranoid and clamp down on the loaning privileges.

It wasn’t always this way but lately I’m tired of finding stuff missing. I discovered that a CD I clearly remember having is now AWOL when Paul the Other was looking through my collection. He was borrowing a bunch of tunes and remarked that he hadn’t heard Ah-ha for ages. I just assumed he was referring to Hunting High and Low, which is pretty much the only album anyone has ever heard, so I agreed and said that the other album was really a disappointment. He looked puzzled and asked “What other album?” “Why, Scoundrel Days. It’s the one right before High and Low. See look, it’s…not here.” Yes indeed, I had no second Ah-ha album. I was certain I had it, it was right there! It was the one with the lightish colored jewel, sorta reminiscent of clouds. I think. Wasn’t it? Yeah. Maybe it’s filed wrong (which can happen) or maybe…was it called Scoundrel Days? Yeah I’m pretty sure it was. I remember getting it and being excited to find an album of theirs other than Hunting and being disappointed that it sorta sucked. It did suck right? Did I even have that album? I’m sure I did. It was right there. Right?

I hate that feeling. I had to look on Allmusic.com to check to see if Ah-ha actually had such an album as I remember having. They did and it looks like I remembered it but now my copy is gone. I am sure I loaned it to someone who assured me that they would return it and now, I am missing a CD. Yeah, I know you wouldn’t do that and why can’t I make an exception for you because you swear on your mother’s grave that you will return everything that I loan you and blah blah borrow cakes. Everyone who borrows anything from me always tells me this and yeah, I get a lot of my stuff back yet someone still has my Scoundrel Days and I have no idea who. I did not even know Days was out, as I thought it was snug up happy alongside Hunting where it should be. Now I am going to have to find it again and buy it (again) so I will have it back in my collection. I am very vexed.

So, when I started up my DVD collection I created a list for everything I bought. I always wanted to do this with my CDs but I didn’t think of it until I was several years and many CDs into the collection and now there are way too many of the suckers to even think of starting. The DVDs, on the other hand, are a much newer collection and I started “cataloging” them at the beginning so adding a title here or there is pretty simple. Also DVDs are about twice as expensive and I don’t want to be re-buying anything that gets lost. That’s a little too much slop money spending for my tastes.

The list also helps me from re-buying anything I already own. You laugh? I was just looking at my list and discovered I own Reservoir Dogs. When did I get this? No clue, probably it was one of those chance “Oh look, it’s only $8, buy it!” happenings where I’m not expecting to get a DVD but passing up such an offer would be ludicrous. I must have brought the disc home, popped it on the shelf and promptly forgotten that I had ever purchased it. It happens. When a collection gets over a certain size I begin to lose track of exactly what I have if it’s not all spelled out somewhere. TheMan and I even have one disc we bought (A Knight’s Tale) that neither of us can remember why we have it. He says I bought it, I know it was never on the list of Movies I Want to Own so I assumed he was the one who bought it. Regardless of who threw the movie in the cart, it was bought and now it sits there on the shelf as part of our collection. That’s not going to be a real memorable disc now is it? You want to borrow it? Sure! Just bring it back. And if you don’t, I doubt I would have even remembered I ever once owned it if not for the list.

So no reflection on anyone wanting to borrow anything, I just have too much out at the moment to comfortably let anything else go in mass quantities. Heck, I have one DVD that I bought when it first came out in 2001 (I believe) that I have had in my possession a total of two weeks. We watched O Brother Where Art Thou one weekend and when I told a dojo brother about it, he asked to borrow it. He had it for more than a year until he gave it back, at which point a dojo sister saw it and asked to borrow it. She gave it back after a while, I put it on the shelf and three days later one of the gaming guys asked to borrow it. He gave it back at his game, which was at Alessar’s house, and true to the nature of this particular disc Alessar asked to borrow it just moments after it was handed to me. I own it, I just haven’t had it in my possession for very much time. I can easily see this disc disappearing somewhere down the road if this keeps up. Just in case though, I acted on a suggestion from DQ and made little notes as to who has what. Now I shouldn’t have that strange self doubting “Did I even have that disc anyway?” feeling when I cant find one but I’m not sure who has it. I’m not crazy-Bob just hasn’t returned Spaceballs in three years. Whoo!

I’m still just letting one DVD out at a time though even with the whole new scribbling names in the Library of Boo database plan. I like to have a mental feel for what is where even with a paper back-up. Counting the chicks so to speak. Do you know where your DVD children are? So yeah it’s a pain and obnoxious but you know what? It’s my stuff. I think that might entitle me to have some say in what happens to it. If that’s going to get panties all in a bunch then just don’t borrow from me, Mmmkay? There are always Blockbusters and Hollywood videos a plenty who have a very good stock of movies just waiting to be rented and watched.

Otherwise, sure. Grab the DVD of your choice and watch it to your hearts content. I don’t mind sharing. I just mind sharing so much at once.

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