14 February 2009

oink; or, step away from the printer

I'm a hog. Also a pack rat. Maybe not quite at the level of the Colyer Brothers, but I do tend to amass and wallow.

Last Tuesday, I was home from work, recovering from the side effects of a Reclast infusion. Apparently, one of the side effects is a sudden realization that one is living in squalor.

In my case, the squalor I focused on was piles and piles and heaps and more piles of papers, on tables, on my desk, on the floor, stuffed into tote bags...

Side effects be damned. I got to work. Nearly all of the papers, you see, were knitting patterns. I'd say that I'd purchased about 15% of them, the ones in nice plastic protectors. The rest were free patterns I'd discovered on Ravelry or in my wanderings, and printed. I'd always meant to organize them, but - hadn't -

It took me 4 hours to sort them into general categories ("feet," "head,""hands") and to dedupe them. The oinkage wasn't just in the sheer number of patterns I'd collected. No, that wouldn't have been a problem. The oinkage was evident in the
number of times I'd printed some of the patterns. (I'll admit to 10 of one particular pattern that has always stymied me by line 5. That must mean something.)

After the sorting came the hole-punching. Then came the vacuuming. Then came the stuffing into an inadequate number of looseleaf binders, and into trash bags. Then came a shower...

I'll get around to an index one of these weeks.

What do I do for a living? I'm a cataloger. I organize things...

I was happy to discover, hidden between the patterns, some short works by Elizabeth Gaskell, amongst others, and articles about various folk /fairy tale heroines that I'd printed out a couple of months ago. (So that's where they went.) They'll travel in my tote bag to protect me from a reading emergency. (One of the great horrors of my life is to be stuck somewhere with nothing to read. I'm sure you all know that.)

At the risk of sounding like a commercial --
The side effects of Reclast (flu-ish symptoms and aches, etc.) are so, so worth it. Listen up, women: we are fortunate indeed to live in a time when osteoporosis can be diagnosed early and treated. Some of the women in my family have been ravaged by the disease. At 57, I've broken ribs by coughing, and I've lost 2" in height. (I don't want to get much shorter than 4'11'' - it's already hard enough to reach the knitting magazines at Barnes & Noble.) Meds in pills have maintained my already-compromised bone density fairly well, but the once-a-year infusion will maintain and may even build bone. Whatever you do - Don't take your bones for granted.


amy said...

I can relate! Except I save them to a file on my computer, and try to print them only when I'm going to knit them. I've more than once tried to save a file I'd already saved, though. :-) I did the whole paper-to-binder thing sometime in the past year or so, and now I just try to keep up with it. Oh, and I bought little plastic sleeve thingies to put my printouts in, too!

I worry about my bones. Three pregnancies, nursing for what will probably end up being 8 years total. I often ask the kids if they'll come visit me when I'm in The Home, all broken. They've promised me they will.

Larjmarj said...

Congrats on getting organized! I'm usually pretty good about organizing the only bummer is that my printer is so lousy that I end up wondering what the pattern is actually supposed to look like from the grayish blur of a pic.
Thanks for the info on osteoporosis. I went to the "Body Worlds" exhibit at the science center in Detroit this last year and they had some bones that had been affected. What an eye opener! I've been taking calcium with vitamin D for years, ever since I had a patient scold me about taking it. Come to think of it, she really read me the riot act!

KSD said...

The fact that you do it for a living explains why it isn't done at home. Eight hours of organizing a day is enough!

Jennifer said...

Count me amongst the pat rack crowd. It feels good to organize doesn't it? I always feel really great about it, and then forget to keep up with it.

Aunt Kathy said...

My mom needs the shots monthly... my Aunt was 4'8" when she died, I am 46 and I have shrunk 1 1/2" already. YIKES, pass me a glass of milk, NOW

Stefanie said...

Wow, did you ever do some organizing! Did you have a scheme for organizing within each category? I've pared down the number of my knitting patterns dramatically but still have more than I will ever be able to make in two lifetimes!

KnitNana said...

I must must must do what you did - I have a ton of paper all over this home office (I do confine it). And I am so prone to multiple copies of the same pattern. I also keep everything I've purchased on my home computer as well as my office computer. There's something to be said for duplication - but I keep telling myself that a CD would take up a lot less room - or even a flash drive!

I worried about side effects of Reclast. I will have to check it out - and whether the insurance will cover it...I do have osteopenia.

Bobbi said...

Good for you! About the organizing, I mean. I've shrunk some too and am due for a bone density test. I made a start organizing my digital photos into my own stock footage file on Sunday. It felt good and now I can learn how to edit and such. See, some resolutions actually happen.

Carrie K said...

I've got most of my printed out patterns in plastic sleeves but I will admit to a whole mess of them stuffed into a paper bag.

Ten times? Clearly you must knit it. What's the pattern? Why is row 5 so cruel to you?

Bones? Bones are always there, aren't they?

Denise~ said...

I'm impressed with the organizing! Recently I separated some of my patterns by designer. I can visualize a Sunflower pattern when I'm contemplating it and so now it's easier to locate them.

Bone loss really worries me. A cow milk allergy has kept me from drinking anything but raw goat milk for some time now. I get deep cravings for it now and again. My mom is shrinking and recently my dad had a bone density test. Haven't heard the results

Isabel said...

You had me at "oink". (Although my first thought was Wodehouse' "Heavy Weather")
So hard to throw away those extra copies! My sister and I spend time talking endlessly about why we cannot keep the dining room table cleared off (or desk, computer station, nightstand, etc.) genetic? an evil spell? vitamin deficiency? oink? ;-))

glad you are feeling better!!