by adam mathes
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What to Take

I had to go through my old room at my parents’ house to determine what to take with me to California.

I suppose none of the decisions I made are all that important, as anything left behind will just stay there indefinitely and I can always get it if I want to. But there were still decisions to be made, and it was harder than I thought.

In the past I’ve just taken the essentials, and then a few personal items. I guess I’ve been living lightly since I left for college in 1998. This time I’m leaving for good, I guess, and need to try and take some of the things that matter most to me with.

What books to take? Some of the ancient Egyptian textbooks, but left the three volumes of ancient Egyptian literature. All of the Gene Wolfe, but not the Harry Harrison and Frank Herbert. Books that were gifts from some people I want to remember, or can’t bear to forget make the cut. Foundations of Programming Languages, but not Computer Hardware Organization and Design, although it seems the chances of me having to deal with lambda calculus are about even with having to deal with motherboard design. (But I like lambda calculus.)

The Stormtrooper helmet comes, but the extensive collection of Star Wars posters, toys, and paraphenilia stays behind. Ok, and I might take the 1983 Star Wars Talking Alarm Clock (with original box.)

The entire drawer of Adam Mathes Archives materials: personal correspondence, papers, ticket stubs, and various mementos gets packaged and boxed up for transit.

I decided to take all the DVD cases out of storage and bring them with. It’s only one banker’s box, and DVD cases are sort of nice to look at when displayed properly. I decided to leave the multiple boxes of CD jewel cases (the CDs themselves are in big notebooks and are coming with.) Partially because I hate CD jewel cases in general, but I think there’s so much music there that I bought from years and years ago it might only depress me to have it displayed somewhere. (Although there is the complete collection of Mr. T Experience albums to think of, and various others that are good, or at least I still think are good, and have good packaging.)

Most of the Adam Mathes Filed Material drawer: including a copy of all the old high school school newspapers I contributed to and edited, school records, test records from the SAT, SAT II, GRE, financial records, and other papers. Left behind the files of handwritten and printed works from high school English classes, as most of the handwritten stuff is illegible and most of the printed works have been migrated forward through the computer iterations.

Sometimes I worry that I’m too nostalgic, and too much of a pack-rat, but I part of me thinks it’s important to have this sort of stuff around so I don’t forget who I was.

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