There is something about listening to music on vinyl records that makes me very happy. I know that some of it is nostalgia. I still remember my burning jealousy when my best friend got a stereo and 10 (ten!!) record albums for her sixteenth birthday. Donna Summer, Madonna, Prince… ten albums! When I finally got my own stereo I set it up in my bedroom and spent countless nights listening to Purple Rain and Borderline in the dark with my friends. I could stack up to five records on the long, slender rod and as each record finished the next would drop and start spinning, the arm gliding over to drop the needle with a hiss and a pop.
When I was much younger I would listen to my parents' records on the stereo in the living room over and over again. Simon and Garfunkel, Olivia Newton-John, Gordon Lightfoot, Helen Reddy, Peter, Paul and Mary and Neil Diamond. Mixed in were The Fifth Dimension (I still love to belt out "Marry Me Bill"!), The Association and The Mamas and The Papas.
My cousin had a whole collection of 45's. She an my sister shared a bedroom with two day beds that met in an L shape with a white Formica table where the two beds met with a record player built right in. It was so, so cool and so very 70's! The bolsters for the daybeds were shiny black vinyl – very mod. I used to sneak into their room when they weren't at home and listen to Seasons in the Sun and Billy, Don't Be A Hero on 45.
But some of it is the sound. I know digital audio is remastered, crisp and clean. But it doesn't have the hiss and pop, the almost inaudible tick and whisper as the needle moves through the smooth ring separating the tracks. I just love it.
I have a much bigger record collection now than I could have dreamed of as a teen. My young self would be green with envy. I have purchased a few off of eBay – up to now every Belafonte at Carnegie Hall two album set that I have purchased over the years has had scratches that render it unusable. I recently found a mint, beautifully cared for set on eBay and have been doing my best to wear it out since it arrived. Most of my albums I have picked up in thrift stores or swap meets for a dollar a piece. At Christmas I play the same records that my parents played when I was growing up.
Don't get me wrong, I have an iPod, an iPhone and an iPad. My computer(s) both have Beats audio and are heavy with audio files. Nothing beats a digital recording of Yo Yo Ma's cello pouring out of high definition speakers and I don't miss my Sony Walkman or the box of cassette tapes I used to carry in my car.
But there is something about listening to music on vinyl records that makes me very happy.
I am still working on my resolutions – I really work on them all year long. I realized last year that they are perpetually in draft form which doesn't get in the way of me working on them and keeps them fresh and vital all year long.
I moved over the holidays from one state to another as well as one job to another which has left me feeling a little disconnected and insubstantial. I left two of my kids in the other state – they are young adults, not kids, but still. They are my babies regardless of age.
My employer has a very rich and robust intranet with all of the customary business related data as well as a lot of more employee focused, not necessarily business related features. One of the articles up this week is focused around New Year's Resolutions. It has some pointers that you would expect, check your finances, get in shape, track your performance with an eye toward the mid and year end reviews, but there are also a couple of points that made me sit back and think Wow. I really like the company I work for. I know there are underlying reasons – happier employees equal more productivity, yadda, yadda. I get that Mr. Employer is not more concerned about me than about the health of the company. But still. They don't have to include things like this on the intranet, either. Take a look at these, taken verbatim, but not credited due to privacy concerns.
So, for my 2009 Resolutions as they are right now:
And thanks to the employer:
Resolutions The time for resolutions will be upon us in no time. It’s always a surprise when New Year’s day arrives immediately after the mad rush of the holidays. One New Years I am little more than exhausted, hardly ready to leap into a whole new me. So I decided to pull out my resolutions from last year and keep them in front of me for the next several weeks. Maybe I can modify, adjust, tweak and improve them so they are ready to go for New Years this time.
Write a scene a week - absolute bare minimum
Still a WIP…. is there a deadline for finalizing resolutions?