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Cat notebook and pen from the 1980s,
The "Winnie the Pooh" collection (my collection) in a plastic bag,
A few loose pages from a college English text I love but can't be bothered to look up the references to anymore,
A box of my most-used pens and some old ink bottles,
A book of my favorite authors and a book of the most-loved poets.
(If I really want to feel like a literary scholar, I'll add some books on language and composition, plus some academic journals and a few academic books on writing. But I don't think that qualifies me as a literary scholar. I'll add my poetry books, some biographies and novels I've read but not been able to write about, and some novels of a sort that might be considered literary but are a bit of a stretch from my usual subject matter. For example, "The Catcher in the Rye" was written by a boy from the Midwest in the 1950s. I don't see any connection between that and me, other than that I'm an old man and have some things in common with Holden Caulfield. I'd like to read a few non-fiction books on psychology, but I'm not sure they'd fit.)
But then I thought about it some more, and here's what I really have:
A few clothes I've worn a lot.
My toothbrush and toothpaste,
A small collection of photographs of my parents, grandparents and relatives,
A collection of family heirlooms and souvenirs,
A collection of my favorite books, magazines, and newspapers,
A few books and magazines I have read but haven't taken the time to look up the references to anymore,
A collection of my old college and high school texts and papers,
A collection of my old college and high school art,
Some personal notes from old friends,
Some old journals and diaries,
And some random objects and collections that I've accumulated over the years.
I think this is a lot, and I don't like it at all. I think it reflects a person who has spent a long time looking after himself and trying to have a good time. But my time is running out, and I'd like to have a lot of fun before it's too late. And I think I can do that in my own way, my own way of looking after myself. And that means going in search of stuff, rather than looking at stuff I've already accumulated.
If I do go in search of stuff, I've got a few ideas for places to start, and some things that I've already heard of. I don't think I want to go out and spend money on something I don't have a definite plan for, so I'd rather have a list of ideas than a list of places to go. I'd like to start with the most recent, and move backwards, looking at the past through the present and the present through the past. I'd like to spend the next month or so looking at things I don't want or need, so that I have the list of things I do want or need in front of me. And if there's a gap on that list, I can fill it up later. And then I'll look at things I might want but don't really need.
So far, the biggest gap is the books and magazines I don't need.
I know where to look, so if I find a way to start it soon, I should be able to find enough of the stuff I don't need.
That means I've got a bit of work to do, and I should be able to find it a lot easier if I'm on my own, with my laptop. And that would mean no one to bug me, because if I find something useful, I don't want to share it with anyone else. So that's the next project:
How do I find enough of my own books and magazines that I don't need?
And I thought I'd ask for help from my fthful readers, because I'm sure there are people out there who have more stuff than they need and who aren't interested in anything except keeping their own collection as complete as possible.
You know what I'd like to see next?
The old newspaper clippings of my career.
I've spent a long time researching and writing about the entertnment business. If you go back through my blog, you'll find lots of stories about stars, directors, producers and studios, and sometimes I'm even allowed to say something about the work. But no one's ever given me the chance to look at the work I've done, to go back and see if I'm still happy with it.
The first step would be to find the boxes, or the digital files, or whatever they use these days.
The next step is to sort through the boxes, looking for the old clippings. But they're mostly from the 1980s and 1990s.
And I don't know how much I want to know about my own career. I do remember enough of it to know that there were good times and bad times. I know what a film I did was good and why it didn't do well, and what a film I didn't do was bad and why it was successful. But I don't know what I think about what I've done, and what I think of it now.
So I guess my next step is to write a few posts about what I remember and what I think, and maybe write a few posts about what I've been doing since the last time I posted.
I know what I'd like to write about: I'd like to talk about my books, my writing, my reading, and what it's been like to live this long and to be this