Close to the end

After more than two years and many starts and stops, I’m finally almost done with Phase One of my massive home video archiving project. This is seventeen years of video–nearly three terrabytes–that’s now completely digitized and organized into folders by date. It was no small task. I’ve shot lots of video over the years in multiple analog and digital formats. And I still have all of it, save for a defective tape from 1995 (shot in North Carolina) and one from 1996 (shot in Minneapolis and San Francisco) that I lent to an ex many years ago and never saw again.

I started working on this project right after Mark moved back to San Francisco and kept working on it off an on through the pretty thoroughly miserable two years of personal and family drama that followed. It may not have been the best timing since a virtual walk down memory lane was probably not exactly what I needed at the time. There were a few times when I stopped because things were getting too intense–I was in no mood to listen to romantic banter or my parents in healthier times–or because I didn’t have time, or I was experiencing equipment failure (e.g. the G5), or whatever other reason. All in all, it was sort of like watching my middle age unfold as sort of a documentary. And it wasn’t an altogether bad one, I suppose.

Phase Two will involve making MP4 versions so that I’ll have accessible copies in one consistent format. At that point, I’ll probably complete an index of sorts as well. Yes, I’m a geek and an archivist. If you didn’t already know that by now, you’ve obviously not been paying attention.

A few important realizations:

  • I’ve never been terribly social, but I’m even less so than I used to be.
  • I used to smoke a whole lot.
  • Radio used to suck less than it does now, but not by much. Particularly in places like Winnemucca.
  • I say incredibly stupid and repetitive things while driving.
  • When I look at video from the past few years, I can really see those forty pounds I’ve lost since September. I like that.
  • I hope that my love affairs with Pittsburgh and Los Angeles never go sour.
  • I used to be able to have my way (date, cavort, etc.) with lots of really cute boys. Not quite sure what happened there. OK, I have an idea what happened…

Cruising

Vacation cruises have just never appealed to me. I appreciate that some people really like the relaxation they offer, but I think I would go out of my fucking mind on a cruise ship. It would be utter hell for me. All the same, I’d never considered it could be quite this bad.

Wherever I lay my hat…

Since I can’t (and probably shouldn’t) sell it right now, the thought occurs to me that I could save a fortune in housing and commuting costs by simply moving into my parents’ vacant house and putting mine back on the market–maybe a bit more aggressively.

The pros, of course, would be all the money I’d save on the mortgage once my own house was sold, and the fact that I’d no longer be commuting sixty miles a day. I’d save $150/month in gas alone. I could keep my house perpetually “staged” and ready to show on a moment’s notice. And I’d have that extra hour a day; that would be nice.

But there are cons as well. I don’t particularly like my parents’ house. I like my house much better, even if it is too big and in the wrong city. In fact, my love for it has been rekindled somewhat lately. My parents’ house is kind of awkward, needs a lot of work (can you say “deferred maintenance”?), and comes with a tremendous yard–a whole extra vacant lot next door, even. Frankly, all the memories associated with it over the past year or two sort of depress me. I’d feel I was giving up some of my privacy since my aunt lives next door. I’m also not sure if there would be any legal issues although that seems unlikely.

Of course, I could pay someone to deal with the yard (I already do that) and to do the repairs. I’m not really all that concerned about my aunt or my privacy (I rarely throw orgies these days) and it wouldn’t be permanent anyway. I have to take care of the house either way. The idea here would be to live in it until my mom needs the sale proceeds for her continuing care…or dies. At that point, I’d sell it and use all the money I’d saved on a place I liked better.

It’s not something I have to decide immediately but it is one of many things on my mind his week.