Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

Friday Five

Okay, I normally don't get around to these. And this one is, of course, terribly late. But having seen it in dagonell's journal, I find myself compelled to fill it out, because it's much more interesting than most...

1. What is your most prized material possession?

The hardest question of the lot. Despite having vast amounts of cruft, very few individual items matter all that much to me. There are some individual comics that I'm very fond of, but not that much so. For a while, my copy of A History of Board Games Other Than Chess was way up there, because I spent so long hunting down that book; however, it's just come back into print, which sort of spoils the fun. Possibly the library collectively -- I take great pride in our collections of both facsimiles of period texts, and specialized libraries on subjects like games and cooking. But that seems too large to really match the question.

Really, I'm not sure. I think the things I prize most tend to be intangibles like my writings and other intellectual works, more than the material possessions, so the most accurate answer would probably be my websites. (Not "material" precisely, but it's psychologically real.) And the cats, of course, but one can hardly call them "possessions". (One does not own cats; one is owned by cats.)

Bit by bit, I'm trying to bring out my own Buddha nature a little, and get less attached to specific things. I was very struck the other night, when I had a dream that I'd come home and found that the house had burned down utterly. The striking thing was that, after a moment of anguish, I basically shrugged and said, "we can rebuild". I think that would have been a much worse nightmare only a few years ago...

2. What item, that you currently own, have you had the longest?

Hard to be sure, but it's probably paper. Might be one of the kids books (if I still have any of my early ones); might be my first comic book (which would either be Flash or Legion of Super-Heroes; I'm not sure which came first); might be one of my notebooks with incredibly trite stories written when I was young.

3. Are you a packrat?

I think it is fair to say that msmemory and I are close to the Platonic ideal of packrats. We don't so much collect stuff as we accumulate it. (Well, okay, that isn't true -- we also collect stuff. It's not as if we've actually used all of the cookbooks -- we just like the security of knowing that, no matter what the question, we can look it up.) We're fairly serious packrats individually, and we enable each other to an astonishing degree.

Actually, though, things are beginning to improve. I've finally begun to turn my thinking around, so that when I contemplate a purchase, I no longer ask myself, "can I afford this?". (Which almost never stops me.) Instead, I ask, "can I find somewhere to put this?". At this point, that test seems to be preventing the vast majority of my impulse purchases...

4. Do you prefer a spic-and-span clean house? Or is some clutter necessary to avoid the appearance of a museum?

While I think we'd both like the house tidier than it is, I think we'd go insane in a "spic-and-span" one. I look at houses on HGTV, and they look like they're owned by incredibly boring people. Cruft is fun, provided it doesn't take over completely...

5. Do the rooms in your house have a theme? Or is it a mixture of knick-knacks here and there?

I don't know if I'd call it "themed" per se -- it's mostly functionally defined, and mostly by which books are where. The SCA materials and files are in the library (along with the SF); the more idiosyncratic subjects like religion and humor and literature are in the sewing room; the stuff we use day-to-day (or is simply cool) is in the living room; and the cookbooks are in the kitchen, of course. (For the moment; we've only got 20 or so linear feet of bookshelf in the kitchen, and it's pretty much full.) Exactly which collections go where is a tad random, but we're moderately consistent about putting things in the places we expect...

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