Friday, December 06, 2013

My DVD Collection

All you see before you is Lilly's.
A few years ago, Beefcake and I went to visit his brother in Montana. Beefcake's brother is married to a collector of many items - Halloween buckets, plastic Christmas trees, Cookie Monster mugs, salt and pepper shakers, etc. Her mother is also a collector of Things. They were both there at the time, and I the only other woman in the house. At one point they were talking about their collections and one of them looked at me and asked "So what do you collect?"

I sort of shook my head. "Not anything that I can think of."

You'd think I just sprouted three heads. How could I not collect things? They were polite to me after that, but I could tell they knew they'd never be able to understand me.

But recently I came to realize that I lied a bit that day. I didn't know it at the time, but I am totally collector. I choose to keep my obsession simple, though. I collect movies.

Beefcake's favorite movie is Robocop. So one day he loaned Robocop out to someone, and then he no longer had a copy of Robocop. Months went by, and it was clear he would never get it back. So I asked him, "Don't you want another copy?"

He shrugged. Anytime he wanted to watch it, he could probably find it on TV or the Internet somewhere. Besides, he's seen it a million times.

This boggled my mind. How can you not want a copy of your favorite movie around all the time? So when I finally gave in and bought a Blu Ray player, Robocop was the first new purchase I made. He was pretty ambivalent about it. I guess that was more for my peace of mind than for his.

Since I became a professional dog walker, I've visited the living rooms of a lot of movie professionals and seen a lot of DVD collections, and though some of them make mine look puny, I still think I have a pretty strong showing.

I feel like if I love a movie, I need to possess it. What happens if I want to watch something for reference? What happens if it's 3am and I suddenly wake up with an overwhelming desire to watch an episode of Buffy? I need to have these things available, not in an unreliable streaming form, but in my grubby little hands.
Sometimes I think "There. That's it. That's the last one. I don't need anymore for a while." Then ten seconds later it's like "OOOOOOH Goonies is five dollars!" And the special features. Do not get me started on the special features. When I get a new disk, I go through everything in order until I have gleaned every second of information out of it. That's probably why I still have almost a dozen new disks I haven't even opened yet. By the time I finish one, especially if it's a TV season, I've already bought three more.

(While I was typing that last paragraph, I looked up Run Lola Run to see how much it would cost.)

I recently had to upgrade my storage system. For the longest time I was using an old Wal-Mart purchase I made when I was 19, alongside a more recent Ikea purchase. Like so:
Wibbly wobbly pain-in-the-assey.
As you can see here and in the picture up top, Lilly the dog has a bit of an empire built up in this location. Every time I wanted to get a DVD below the second shelf, I had to move her bed and the door to her crate in order to get to it. In this version, I also had the movies arranged in a very peculiar order.

I matched movies up by common features. So if you look closely, you can see that Blu Rays, boxed sets and foreign films are on the Ikea tower. I left that as it is because it was easier. But the rest of the DVDs are arranged like so:

Terminator is next to Commando is next to Total Recall is next to Conan is next to Predator. Obviously, those are all Arnold movies. And who do you think of next when you think of Arnold? Stallone, which is why Rambo is next. Then Rocky. Rocky is a movie about fighting, so Fight Club is next. And so on.

That shit got hellacomplicated after a while. Where do I put The Muppet Family Christmas? It's the only movie I have with Muppets in it. Farscape has puppets, but that's a TV series and a Blu Ray boxed set, so that will never work. These are the agonizing choices my organizational system forced upon me.

One thing I always found fascinating about doing it this way is that because it ended up mostly by genre, the action movies at the top are all dark colors. Can you tell where the comedies are?

Anyway, now it's alphabetical by TV or film.

Neatly organized into alphabetical piles by this stylish puppy.

But that doesn't solve the problem of display and storage. Our living room is a funny shape with huge windows, so there's not a lot of space for a DVD tower. I either needed something to mount in a limited space on the wall or something that would go under a window. After a long search that brought me nothing I liked, I decided to make shelves.

I have never done any woodworking before, but to hell with it. I made some measurements and went to Home Depot and bought some boards and then remembered that I drive a Mini. (I call it the Mini Tardis now.) So I took the top town and drove home with boards sticking out of my car.

Beefcake and Friendly Neighbor sawed the wood according to my marks. I drilled screws into it. After repeated assurances that I would not break the drill bit if I put all my weight on it, I broke the drill bit. I googled how to remove a broken drill bit. I removed the broken drill bit. I continued drilling. I made four acceptable shelves - three big ones and one small one.

I spray painted.

Then on Thanksgiving Day, while Mother-In-Law and I wrangled the kitchen, the Beefcake and his dad put my shelves on the wall. There was much cursing and throwing things.

Anyway, I'm pretty goddamn proud of myself. Once they were up, there was much high fiving. This is the end result:

Look upon us and be impressed!
The Beefcake was like "Now you have to stop buying DVDs because there's no more room." But I counted. There's room for at least six more.


  1. Nice collection. I'm trying to grow mine too, check out coolduders collection on YT. thats the dream.

  2. I know exactly what you're saying, as I have built a collection of several hundred videos over the years, (although I haven't even watched many of them since my purchasing them). But they're on hand should I feel the sudden urge to watch one, like what happened recently with Breakfast at Tiffany's. However, I have bought very little in the last couple of years, as films are available in many more ways now. When I do, the videos are so full of special features that I can't justify not having them.


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