Lernaean Hydra

negativesOr maybe Whack-a-mole more aptly describes my ongoing dilemma.

A facebook friend posted today about the huge prodject she’s tackling this week. Organizing / scanning a multi-generational collection of family photooos. Yes, she did say “week”. [snort] I fling this and that and I make some progress and then we go down to Crazy Old Florida (man, that was fun!) or somewhere and I backslide a bit. And then I get started again.

I can deal with most of the “stuff”. Well, there are some struggles about lamps and crappy old furniture but we’ll get there. It’s the photos that stymie me. Everywhere. Everywhere. Everywhere. Photos. Negatives. Slides. A few moldy old movies. Multi-generational media from every branch of the fam — Fin, Mac, cFam, you name it. I. Cannot. Organize. This. Stuff. I am a paid systems analyst. I get paid to analyze and organize data. Slice it and dice it and turn it on its head. Look at it in a new way and wallah voila! Family photos? I am flummoxed.

That little shoebox in the photooo? It represents the tip of the iceberg. Doesn’t look like much does it? It is chock full of [mostly] unlabeled negatives. There are other boxes, every shape and size, albums galore, portraits in plastic bags. BIG portrait of my eccentric great aunt Anna in her old age — wonder who talked her into getting that thing done (and I’m not gonna post it because I bet she wasn’t happy about it). Anyway, I can’t even sort out the CONTAINERS, let alone their contents. I can’t even seem to get the containers into one room! Jeebus!

This box came from The Commander’s house. She spent the last six years of her life diligently deacquistioning things so that her living children (aka meeeee) would not have to put a dumpster in her driveway or hold an Estate Sale (horrors!). She did a pretty good flinging job but I don’t think she could quiiiiite manage to deal with the photos. And that’s okay. It is a daunting task.

And so here I am. Again. Because this is not a new topic. The conundrum of the moment is how to look at the negatives in this box. I need some kind of a musheen to view them properly. Those musheens exist but it is daunting to research them. I had a moment yesterday when I wanted to bag it and throw all the negatives out. If they turn out to be crappy photos from the parents’ trips to Europe, I don’t really want them, except for the few that include my parents. But then, I thought I could make out a gal who looked a lot like UKW in The Comm’s house with a baby. I might want to keep that one. But it was a negative and I couldn’t exactly see what it was.

I wished my facebook friend good luck and asked her to share any tips she may come up with during her prodject journey. I could sure use some.

Maybe “How do you eat an elephant?” would’ve been the best title.

6 Responses to “Lernaean Hydra”

  1. Tonya Says:

    I can relate so much to this. I have boxes upon boxes full of envelopes of photos and negatives and I DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THEM. Negatives! Argh! I would shrug and brutally chuck them, but I am ALSO missing a very important photo album (when I used to actually do albums) of the best photos from when Nate was little, and if it’s gone forever, then somewhere there are negatives of those best photos. Organize them? What’s that?

    If you find out anything about that “musheen” to view negatives (easily), let me know!

  2. Margaret Says:

    Patt had all his photos in the garage and I haven’t been through those yet; he was a landscape photographer mostly, so I doubt that I’ll keep most of them. I’m getting in BAD habits with my iPhone. My photo album obsession was a good one, but I’ve gotten very slipshod lately about whether photos are printed, whether they’re on my phone or my camera. Yikes, I see what you meant.

  3. Pooh Says:

    Mark has a Canoscan 4400F which scans 35mm negatives and slides as well as photographs. Here’s a link: http://www.usa.canon.com/cusa/support/consumer/scanners/canoscan_series/canoscan_4400f
    I don’t know how much he paid for it. I’d say we could bring it to the cabin, but Mark will only be there for < three weeks, and I doubt you want to spend cabin days inside! Let me know if you do, though.
    Do you know when you plan to be at the cabin? The bulk of the Regenstreifs will be there starting July 2, until on or before July 19. Rey and I will stick around along with Bubs and Harry. Not sure about Jane.

  4. jane Says:

    I see a potential job in this – scanning others negatives for them! If I get too sick of the 9 – 5 (yeah right – 9 – 5 has happened approximately twice) I could do that as my next job.

    cabin – don’t know my dates. work is a bunch of moving parts with new co-workers, one leaving, one on maternity leave, etc. and my boss having no time to figure thru all the PTO requests for the summer. I know that I will NOT be going to the cabin on 7/2 since I will be working. Harry claims there will be enough beds that weekend, but need to check with Banana to see if they will have any free beds just in case.

  5. jay Says:

    Negatives? We just still have boxes with both.
    Jane – we have definitely counted on bed-space for you. You get priority over any that are less than 30 years of age for sure.

  6. Pooh Says:

    Well, you might have to leg wrestle Dan, since he is no longer less than 30! 😉 JK on the leg wrestling.