Thursday, January 20, 2005

The Projects are Killing Me

So as you may or may not know, I'm moving residence in a week to Pennsylvania. What this entails, besides the standard-issue moving malarkey, is that in preparation for this 4,000km transfer I've created all these little projects that -- in aggregate -- amount to a full-time flippin' job!

The most excruciating one I did detail last week, but there have been more.

I had this idea to create a postcard that served multiple purposes:

- wish our friends and families a Happy New Year
- inform people that I'm moving and my new address
- show photos of ourselves, the plane, Hugh the cat, venues, the rings, etc.
- give preliminary information about the wedding (dates, venues)

That's a LOT of information to cram into a postcard, let me tell you!! David and I collaborated on the design, as we did with the rings, and came up with this:

January 2005 postcard
I wanted to wait a bit for people to receive the postcard, but then I realised that most of the recipients don't know this blog exists, and those who do probably have it by now.

I took all of the photographs, except for the plane (David, who took that photo?), and he took the one of Tripp House. I haven't seen Tripp House yet, only the photographs David e-mailed to me. David Photoshopped the pictures into the layout, and formatted it for my Canon photo printer. I printed the cards out, and sat in cafes and wrote, wrote, wrote... until my hand felt like it was going to fall off and I had shooting pains in my right shoulder. After I'd posted them all, I went through the list and counted 70 postcards, and of those, 5 of them were full-fledged letters... that's the problem when you're behind in correspondence -- there's simply too much to say!! I'm usually pretty good with keeping in touch with people, but I was feeling guilty over Christmas, receiving cards from people with photos of their kids I'd neglected to send congratulatory birth announcements for, people who I'd been meaning to inform that I'm engaged, people who got married, people who had "just" moved into their new house half a year ago! I had a stack of cards I'd purchased just for those occasions, for those people, sitting on a shelf that is no longer here because my furniture's all been moved. So of course I had to root around for them, so that I could include this postcard and give them the full allotment of news. For anyone who's received a postcard from me, it's well-known I fill up every bit of white space available, so writing 70 postcards means writer's cramp!!

Another project I've been working on is burning my entire music collection to my PowerBook and then copying them to my iPod. (It's what inspired me to create that movie of the kids' puppet show, because I'd come across a CD single I'd purchased while living in the U.K. of a song used in one of my favourite Guiness adverts, Guaglione by the Perez Prado Orchestra.) So far I'm on stack four of six CDs, but it's a fairly passive process, not the painful one that is re-uploading archived photos, formatting, and fixing bad code.

Ever gone through your music collection in its entirety? It's wacky. First of all, you'll come across music you won't even remember having, let alone buying. I have a fair number of compilations, and I found about a dozen songs that cut across them. I know it's been a long time since I've gone through my music, because it's been a long time since I've made a CD for a friend, something I used to do with some regularity. Except most of the time I did it the hard way -- CD to tape, because I only acquired a CD burner a few years ago, when the office bought one for my home machine. (Remember the days of tape-to-tape compilations? OUCH! Or, even worse -- making my own tapes off RADIO broadcasts in grade school... DOUBLE OUCH!!!)

Actually, I did make a CD for a friend a year ago, but since it was a cat theme, I trawled the music download sites instead of my music collection for the songs I wanted -- I knew I didn't have many (any?) cat-themed songs. Cat Stevens, that's about it. Oh, and Tom Jones' What's New Pussycat? I wanted to copy my entire music collection so I won't care so much if the CDs get damaged in shipping, or I can leave them with a friend to take with me on a later trip. I can also use the music to make more iMovies, for friends or for web publishing. It's definitely one of the more pleasurable projects.

One of the things I like to buy when I'm in a foreign country is local music. Or, at least music that is available there and new to me. I find prices in Europe and even the U.S. (with the exchange rate), a lot more expensive than in Vancouver (sometimes 3x), so I try to be selective. Which is not easy when you don't know what you're buying and there aren't any listening stations, but part of the excitement is finding great music that I wouldn't know about otherwise. So yes, it's definitely worth archiving my music collection, I keep telling myself after I import CD after CD into iTunes. It does bring back a lot of memories and I wouldn't know where to start trying to make a mental inventory of it all!

Thankfully, four years ago I spent three whole days in my apartment organising my photo collection. My word, was that ever a project. I don't think I left the apartment those three days; I was surrounded by hills and vales of photographs. One day I'll scan them all, but at least they're in some semblance of order now. If I'd had to do that this month, I would've started crying!