Saturday, May 22, 2004

The Most Depressing Thing About Painting

No, not the first scratch on the new paint -- although I just did that.  (I remember when I last got the place painted.  Every time I scratched something, I dug out the touch-up paint and fixed it.  That must have lasted for three weeks.  This time I scratched the paint, thought, "Heh, maybe we'll touch it up tomorrow....  or not.")

No, the most depressing thing about repainting is putting all your stuff back.

In my case, the videotapes.

Remember when videotapes were cool?  An exciting new piece of amazing technology -- not something big and clunky filling up six times the shelf space of a DVD.  I remember that time.  I have tapes from that time.  I remember when we had "OnTV" and we paid some astonishing amount of money to see "Purple Rain" on the precursor to Pay-Per-View.  And I made a tape so I could watch the movie whenever I wanted.)  I still have that videotape.  Not like I've watched it since ... oh, since I made the tape, most likely.  But I made the tape.  And, apparently, couldn't bear to ever throw it out because, y'know, someday I might want to watch Prince back when we thought he was weird for calling himself "Prince."

I can't just toss these tapes.  (Well, ok, maybe that one.)  But I've found that, when you tape a lot of anything, it will turn out to have something that will be of interest to you years later.  I taped the 1987 Tony Awards because there was a performance from Les Miserables -- but fifteen years later, I found the real treasure to be a scene from the play "Coastal Disturbances" starring a very young Tim Daly and Annette Bening.  I taped all of "Twin Peaks" because, at the time, I needed it for reference to follow the damn show.  But, some years later, when "X-Files" was a big hit, I was able to call up the few episodes featuring David Duchovny as a transvestite.  And all those old figure skating competition tapes are great -- to see the early performances of people who have since hit it big.

Since I have a history of finding the stray treasure in these tapes, I am loathe to throw them out -- because I'm sure that a few weeks after I do, I'll have the overwhelming desire to revisit something in an old Dr. Who tape or something.  Even though I've gone at least ten years without even thinking about the fact I own it.

And because of this, the tapes have been happily sitting on my shelves untouched,  partially unindexed (like I'll ever have time for that project), and generally not causing any trouble.  But now that my shelves are nice and clean and freshly painted, it seems wrong to waste their space by just putting decades-old videos on them.

Dammit.  If I hadn't painted, I would have remained in blissful ignorance and/or denial of my Videotape Problem -- but now that I'm actively required to pick up the tapes and put them back on the shelf (or someplace else), I'm face to face with the fact that ... I've got an awful lot of big, clunky, out-of-date videotapes.  That I can't bear to get rid of.

Help me.  Please.

(And don't say I should get a box and put them in my closet.  Because that would mean ... no, no, it's too hideous to even contemplate ... cleaning out my closet.)


brianswife7378 said...

they make dvd recorders now... the price isn't actually all that bad.... all you do is hook up both vcr and dvd recorder thingy (the instructions can help you with that more than i), pop in the tape, pop in the dvd to record upon, and a bit later, viola!  easily accessible memories and referencees that take up approximately 1/6 of the space.  no, don't throw those tapes out or shove em in a box in the closet- that's sacrelige of the pack-rat code.~Liz (mmmm crunchy! now with more nuts!)

janothy said...

Hi!!  I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with a massive VCR collection!!  -Jan

kiskar said...

I just faced the same dilemma. My husband finally finished building a new entertainment center, so I got to unpack boxes and boxes of video tapes, which I surprisingly haven't needed to access for more than a year yet suddenly needed to display in my new entertainment center. Haha! Oh, I also have taped classics, such as Purple Rain and The Outsiders, and a tape filled with episodes of 21 Jump Street. Johnny Depp was always hot! My plan is to sell them at my garage sale, which I should have sometime between now and 2010. - K. :)

onestrangecat said...

I try to buy DVD's of what I know I love before I toss the tape.  Also you can transfer videos to DVD's although I don't know how.  I am sure some place that sells DVD's can tell you.

When I bought my DVD player they didn't have a record mode.  Bummer.  So I still use my VCR to record things.


mrccgoody said...

I have a videotape problem, too, so I'm right there with you.  I was able to throw a lot of my old tapes away when they started releasing TV stuff on DVD, so I can get rid a lot of my old Buffy and Star Trek stuff (slowly, it's expensive)! LOL  But my sports tapes and award shows (I recently found my tape of Susan Lucci finally winning her Emmy) I'm still unable to part with.
Sorry, I've been completely unhelpful... Let me know if you find a better way!

annalisa135 said...