I have two bags of VHS tapes to donate soon, as I’m also soon bringing over another carload of stored stuff. The more I downsize, the less it feels like I’ve downsized. The hallways are clearer and there’s less stuff blocking other stuff, it’s just… I keep unearthing more stuff to sort through, and increasingly, less of it interests me. Why keep anything that doesn’t immediately excite or inspire you? Just to “have” it around?
My VHS collection sat for months, inconveniently blocking an aisleway, intentionally being an intentional eyesore. Incidentally, with months of packing, donating, and keeping context, and a renewed interest in watching occasional movies, I’ve purged anything that I can watch in a higher definition or anything that isn’t rare/resellable. VHS represents a particular aesthetic for me, so if I’m going to enjoy it, it needs to be manageable, otherwise, I won’t want to deal with it.
The day I wrote this essay saw a historic event for Seattle, Washington with the closure of one of its major traffic routes. Did I go? No. I spent the better part of the day shuffling my antiquated media husks. I alphabetized DVDs, prepping them to pack while listening to CDs, and decided what to keep and what to donate/sell. It was even a nice day out! Would I trade all these for digital equivalents?
After donating three boxes of VHS tapes, my remaining VHS collection fits into 7 mid-sized boxes, with a TV/VCR and spare VCR/DVD player rounding out the pack. Other than two additional boxes of Disney tapes, which will join me on this first hop on my moving adventures… if they don’t sell, most of the tapes here aren’t worth much. Besides, maybe, some of the anime tapes. Why keep any of them? Is nostalgia worth their weight?
How many movies per year do you watch? If my RYM movie tags are as accurate as I think they are, I’ve seen 11 feature-length movies since starting Better Zombie in August 2016. Watching less than six movies per year means there isn’t much of a point for me to own an extensive movie collection, especially if I’m planning to live in apartments for the next few years. Just keep the essentials and sell the rest… right?
My first entry to the Better Zombie catalog eight months ago was a proto “Thrifting Adventures” post about a thrift shop I like and some stuff I got there. I made this review and forgot about it. As I’ve been clearing out my backlog, upped my lightbox game, and strengthened my reviewing skills, I figure I’ll add to that practice and get this review of the Sub Pop Video Network Program 1 tape in the can.
The sign from the road caught my eye. I hadn’t seen any garage or yard sales on craigslist in the area, I wasn’t on a strict timeline, and I needed to check my map app for directions. Two other signs guided me through a friendly neighborhood to a quiet upper-middle-class cul-de-sac. I won’t always stop at a garage sale. I’ll usually glance over the sale and park if there’s anything that catches my eye such as cool or interesting items, toys, tools, or in this case, thin rectangles holding videogames and movies.
When you’re not in a big hurry, and have some general goals in mind, you may find a better outcome than you’d expected. My work bag needed some cross-head (“Phillips”/Thompson) screwdrivers and I figured it would be a good excuse to stop by my favorite pawn shop. I didn’t urgently need more screwdrivers, so happening into a rather new shop at Pike Place Market called Rummage Around – equal parts thrift store, antique shop, and hoarder’s garage sale – was a nice surprise.