Monday, December 13, 2010

Get Control of the Papers

This picture was taken some time in the late '90's I think. Not sure. Found it in my dad's stuff. Perhaps my mother shot it with her camera. And, yes, I look like one of those 'paper and bones' ladies surrounded as I am by newspapers and magazines I'm trying to sort. Or read. Or something. I see a precipitous pile of magazines on a table in the room, too. This was our media room and the place we sat in chairs and watched TV for a while until we moved that activity mostly to the bedroom. We also entertained in this large room. You know, when it wasn't so messy!

I have a real love/hate thing with newspapers. I love getting my three papers every day really. (Except on Sundays. Then only two.) And, of course, we pick up those weekly give away Chronicles and get a West Austin News in the mail every week.

I hate the way they pile up, taunting me. If I try to trim the pile down, quickly tossing the sports pages, some business sections, ads, etc. then I end up with a smaller but, in a way denser, pile of arts sections, interesting front pages, metro sections (gotta read those obits). When we moved to the condo, I had to do a better job of controlling the accretion. I decided to use two bins I had. One would hold that day's papers (assuming they weren't stacked on the dining table or beside my chair). One would hold those sections I couldn't bring myself to discard and the ones I hadn't even sorted. When the latter got too unwieldy...I'd do something about it, by golly. I usually do. Although lately there have been some tough times and getting reading done didn't seem to be in the cards.

Plus when I settle in and read the papers it depresses me. The bad news, of course. But also the things I just don't know about that seem to be dispatches from another world. You would think, with all this newspaper reading that I would know a lot about world issues, local issues, politics, the arts. But really. No.

And yet I can't give up the papers. I do get lots of news on RSS feeds, through links on social media, from the TV and even sometimes on the radio. But. I need to be a person who gets the papers. I am a newspaper reader. I need to work the Monday New York Times crossword and feel that smug satisfaction of getting the puns or whatever. Yeah, yeah, Monday is easy. Sometimes I can work the Wednesday or Thursday one. Or the Sunday magazine. Without cheating too much.

It's been a rough day. FFP was sick this weekend but is getting better, I hope. (He's got the energy to take a load of papers down to recycling!) Actually getting sick after his surgeries and recoveries was an unnecessary blow I thought. And so it goes. I guess I'll go read some papers. And work that Monday crossword. I am so lame.

1 comment:

Forrest Preece said...

This photo brought a tear to my eye. What a typical day that shot described. My guess is this time frame was around 13 years ago. We'd sit in that room, with our health and our careers still solid and take the few minutes of bliss and relaxation we were granted by life to veg out with our dogs, read and listen to music or the TV. Back then, it seemed like we'd always be there.

Now another family owns the "big house" and we haven't even returned to see it since we signed it over to them. Life moves at such a scary and fast pace.

Thanks for posting this one, LB.