January 11, 2007: The Beginning of the End in Geneseo

Today begins the process of leaving Geneseo.

I got up around half past eight and got right to work. I am in Geneseo this morning and am taking a “work from home” day so that I can get five full days up here at the house. I had some actual work to do first thing this morning so I worked for about an hour before showering and getting ready for the day. Since I had so much work early this morning dad and I ended up getting together more for an early lunch rather than a breakfast.

Dad picked me up just before eleven. We made it almost to the Omega when I got an email of more work to do so we turned around and ran back to the house so that I could wrap that up and just call it a lunch. It didn’t take long so it was just after noon when we finally made it to lunch.

While working from home today I took the opportunity to begin catalogueing all of my technical books that are not all ready packed. I was using Google’s online spreadsheet program to do this but quickly discovered that for doing anything that goes over one hundred rows that Google’s online tool is capable but not at all efficient so I downloaded the work that I had all ready completed and switched over to working with OpenOffice instead. That was a lot easier.

Dominica decided that she and Oreo are going to leave Newark tonight and will travel up to Geneseo to be with me. She had thought about waiting until tomorrow morning to come up so that she could travel in the daylight but it would meaning losing quite a bit of time with an extra commute and spending all of tonight down in Newark. This way she will get almost three full days in Geneseo. She took Friday off from work so that she could come up and pack. It seemed to be the most efficient use of our time. I am glad that they are coming up tonight. It is lonely packing up the house all by myself.

After work dad came back over to Geneseo and we went over to the Shanghai for the dinner buffet. Dad came over after dinner and hung out for an hour or two. Andy called and we worked for about forty-five minutes and Dominica called to say that she was just passing through Clark’s Summit, Pennsylvania where we like to stop to get Waffle House just to the north of Scranton.

While I was working on moving the basement to the upstairs this evening I moved the guitars and it occurred to me that I have never so much as taken any of the guitars out of their cases since we moved to Geneseo! To be honest I have been very afraid of opening my classical guitar’s case as the last time I did in 2001 it turned out to have broken – the neck having separated from the body. At that point I had only not played it from February of 2000 (when I stopped playing professionally for Wegmans) until May of 2001 (when I took it out again to practice so that I could play at Craig and Emily’s wedding.) After their wedding I had the guitar repaired in Ithaca but never played it again. So it has been sitting since June, 2001 until now without ever having left its case! Dominica has never even seen it let alone heard me play it. She has never seen any of my guitars which is really strange to think of as I spent such a huge portion of my life playing guitar.

Dominica and Oreo arrived around half past eleven.  They made very good time coming from Nutely.

We decided that it is time to start throwing out some of the books in my library that are no longer relevant to anything.  Mostly this will be exam question and answer books to exams that no longer are offered and product manuals to completely antiquated products that just don’t matter.  I plan to err on the side of conservatism when it comes to the books.  I definitely don’t want to throw out a book that I spent a lot of money on just to find out that it would have been useful sometime down the road whether as a technical resource or for historic or nostalgic purposes.

While choosing books to throw out Dominica just haphazardly flipped through one of the books.  Just one.  Just at random.  Both of us saw it.  Just a tiny flash for a second.  We looked at each other and looked back in the book.  There it was – after seven years or so there was my original birth certificate!  It was lost on a trip to Toronto one time when this book and the birth certificate were kept in Josh’s gym bag.  We thought that it was gone forever.  I had no idea that it was still around anywhere.  So now I have it again.  It doesn’t do me any good as the City of Rochester didn’t emboss the certificates back when I was born so my new one is the only “official” one anyway but still, it is nice to have the paper that has been with me since I was born.

Deciding what books to throw out is going to be tough.  I have never been one for getting rid of things and books especially are resources to be treasured and kept and protected.  It would never have occurred to me to throw books out before but I really do have large numbers of completely useless books now.  They were mostly good at the time but now they really are pointless.  I can’t even donate them to libraries as it would just be an expense for them to keep worthless old technology books on the shelves.  What they need are modern books.  Or to just stop being libraries and let people read stuff online.  But what they definitely don’t need are books that even I am not willing to store anymore.  I probably won’t throw out more than two dozen books but at least it is a start.  I have also cut back on my magazines that I keep and I am storing only a small fraction compared to what I used to keep.  Mostly Baseline and Windows IT Pro and TechNet and Linux Journel.  I used to keep tons of stuff but that just got silly.

I am also thinking of selling off one of my guitars.  Or maybe two.  I can’t bring myself to part with some of them but there are one or two – the electric and possibly the twelve string acoustic – that I should be storing and moving from place to place.  My classical will be with me forever, of course.  And my bass is quite nice and I wouldn’t want to part with that.  And my original acoustic I will hold on to for some time yet as it was the instrument that I learned on.  Instruments are, I think, very tough to part with as you spend so much time with them.  They become an extension of you and a real piece of your life.  But I am not a guitarist and if I was to be one now I would use different tools than I did when I was young and only the classical guitar is really something that I really need to keep.  Maybe I will be able to bring myself to part with a few more of the guitars.  We will have to see.  It is so easy to become attached to stuff.  Just knowing that I still have it makes me feel better sometimes.  A little connection to the past.  But as we see how much stuff we have to store our perspective is forced to change.  And it isn’t like if I were to have children that they would want to use my old guitars or read my ancient books.  They will need new things.  If I keep my old acoustic guitar from the ’80s it will be just for me to take out of its case once a decade, blow off the dust and remember my childhood.  But it won’t be to play.  I hope to play the classical again.  I can see that happening quite easily.  But not the others.  That time has passed.  Now they are just memories.  Memories and storage space.

Dominica and I went to bed around half past midnight.  Oreo beat us to bed after having run around the house like a maniac.  He is always so excited whenever he arrives in Geneseo.  He really loves the wall to wall carpeting and just goes crazy.

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