I'm feeling a lot better than I did last night. Not so much that I'm comfortable answering my 90% of my phone calls or looking at my e-mail, but I'm better. Eventually, most of my friends learn to put up with the fact that I do this, and that it's nothing personal. A few people commented to last night's post, and I'm just afraid to look at those comments because I just don't want to deal with them yet. When I get depressed, I'd usually rather just be left alone because you probably have better things to do than to try to cheer me up. That probably sounds like an insult, but I don't mean it to be. Stated another way, I feel worse when you feel sorry for me because now two people are involved instead of one. I can't state that I'm depressed without making people want to be sympathetic, but I can ignore offers of sympathy. It's probably not a good way to handle the situation, but it's the one I've chosen.
What did I do to help myself feel better? Not a whole lot. I had the day off, so after a relatively unproductive morning, I convinced myself to do something that I've been planning since I moved in August: organize my CDs.
Every couple of years I reorganize my CD collection. Come to think of it, this usually happens when I take them to a new place of residence. Things stay more or less alphabetized for a few months, and then I start getting lazy. Inevitably I end up doing something that involves taking many CDs off the shelf at once, and replacing them haphazardly (say, ripping MP3s of a whole bunch of albums). Once they're so out order, what's the point of trying to maintain a system?
ribsinbacon informs me that nobody actually organizes their CD rack, but my priorities are so skewed that I own in the ballpark of 500 CDs (legal ones at that). Do you know how hard it is to find the Mulholland Drive soundtrack when you don't even organize vaguely by genre? The answer is "pretty."
Organization is necessary. I classify by five genres: Popular music, a cappella, soundtracks, classical music, and humor/spoken word. Actually, it's eight categories: They Might Be Giants, Frank Zappa, and Blue Öyster Cult all get their own spaces. "Popular music" is a catch-all category which should also enclose a capella, but separating a capella makes popular music fit on the shelves better. Beyond genre, everything is alphabetized, and the system (which probably sounds good up to this point) becomes incredibly ambiguous:
- The Beatles' White Album doesn't actually have a title. Does it belong before or after Abbey Road?
- Many of my albums are promo copies in cardboard sleeves. Do I file them among regular jewel cases where it will be more of a hassle to find them?
- Spinal Tap and The Rutles: both bands were created for films and recorded a followup album independent of the film's soundtrack. Do I split them up between soundtracks and popular music or file them together under one category? Which category?
- The soundtrack to 200 Motels: I'm an AP-style kind of guy, so do I file it under "T," or file as a number? Is it a soundtrack, or does it belong in with the other Frank Zappa albums?
- King Crimson's output has sucked since Discipline came out in 1981. Why do I keep buying King Crimson albums?
Addendum: I wasn't asking for help on that bullet list, I'm just pointing out my quandary, and the fact that my system is fraught with inconsistency. You know what I really want to know? How do I alphabetize Ben Folds Five? If he were simply Ben Folds, he'd go under "F," but the addition of the word "Five" makes this problematic, hence the "Ben Folds Five -- filed under B" sign they used to have at Record Town. I'm putting him under "B," I'm putting his side project, Fear of Pop under "F," and I'm filing the independent side projects of John Flansburgh and John Linnell next to They Might Be Giants. Hooray for discrepancies.