My Brain is Playing Tetris

I’m finding that I have relatively little of any worth to say lately. Friday’s blog was a nonsensical musing about chipmunk noises. If you didn’t read it, don’t even bother. I don’t know if this is because I am simply too busy to think or if I have run out of things to say. I am in the process of moving to Florida from Iowa right now, which is taking up a considerable amount of my time as well as occupying a lot of space in my head. Perhaps when things settle down from the move, I will begin having coherent ideas again. In the meantime, most of my thoughts right now are dedicated to brainstorming techniques for packing as efficiently as possible. I have gotten rather creative. All those hours of playing Tetris instead of working are finally paying off.

I have a classic steel lunchbox collection and a large number of Legos. Naturally, I packed Legos inside of lunchboxes and labeled the boxes “Legos in lunchboxes.” To outsiders (and any moving day helpers) this will seem like a bizarre and ridiculous label, perhaps even a euphemism for something more sinister or seedy. Why do I have things like this? The bulk of my stuff is weird. I have ten boxes full of useless collections, and one box of dishes. I have twenty boxes of books and a single suitcase of clothes. There is a box containing classic Smurf glassware and another box of Xena: Warrior Princess trading cards. I have zero boxes of toiletries. I mean really, what’s more important: Buffy the Vampire Slayer comic books or shampoo and conditioner? I think we all know the correct answer to that question. Also, I cut off all my hair. My needs are simple. For example, I don’t own any Alvin and the Chipmunks memorabilia. (Serious question:  If Alvin is a chipmunk, why is his band called “Alvin and the Chipmunks”?)

Today’s dilemma is problem solving what to do with the entire original Star Wars radio drama on cassette. It takes up a surprising amount of room—there are three boxes with about ten tapes each. I considered selling them but according to eBay, they’re only worth about 25-30 bucks . . . if you can even find a buyer. So, I guess I’m keeping them. Unfortunately, I no longer own a device that plays cassettes. They are probably getting packed with my Inside Star Trek LP ($15), The Star Wars Storybook ($10), and a vintage 1950s cap gun in the original package, worth $65 but not sellable on eBay because it’s a gun. Also, Led Zeppelin’s Houses of the Holy and Iron Butterfly’s In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida on vinyl. I do not own a turntable. Ironically, I do own a VCR but am getting rid of all my VHS tapes. Do you need a gently used copy of the 1994 Rosie O’Donnell movie Exit to Eden? According to eBay, it’s “rare.”

I packed a large number of books into a large number of small boxes. Books are heavy, and although they’re treasures to me, their resale value is pretty much zilch. A great deal of my identity is tied to my literacy, which happens when you get advanced degrees in English Literature and Rhetoric (or perhaps it’s the other way around.) In any case, I can’t very well get rid of my identity. I’d no more leave my books behind than I would my cats. I am still trying to figure out how to pack the cats. So far, it involves pillows and sedatives. They’re suspicious.

All of this really begs the question: What can I live without? Honestly, I’ve been struggling with this question for the last few months now, ever since I made the decision to move out of state. I concluded I could live without my vintage Star Wars action figures and my Lord of the Rings Pez dispensers, but apparently, my tubs full of Legos are non-negotiable. Don’t even get me started on the artwork. That is a headache I have yet to tackle.

In summation, humans acquire a lot of crap we think we need. I don’t think chipmunk nests are full of shiny bits of trash, are they? Perhaps this is an inborn trait of our species. Either way, it’s terribly inconvenient.