Candy Rant

"I killed a rat with a stick once."

Friday, August 24, 2007

The Zen of Organizing

With my day away from teaching yesterday I once again dug into the process of unpacking. I had not yet organized my CDs, and sitting for 3 hours sorting them by category and then alphabetizing them turned out to be a very helpful thing. For that 3 hours, I was focused on one task. A familiar thing that I've done half a dozen times before when I've moved.

(One task is always the best thing for me. Scott is the best multitasker I've ever seen. I am a tasker. Can't do 2 things at once any more complex than eating and watching TV. I'm a big slow dog who must eat out of one bowl and then drink out of the other. And do not distract me with a treat.)

By looking at the many artists and titles, I can travel down the infamous Memory Lane and see, musically, where I've been. As you know, Memory Lane can be frightening. Disturbing even. Like when I rediscovered, again, the Jermaine Jackson CD I own. Remember his one hit, "Do What You Do?" I don't have the heart to throw it out. He looks so very earnest and somber on the cover, wearing some kind of blue velvet marching band uniform with gold satin accents, and standing next to a carved marble armless bust of a man staring blankly at him, probably thinking, "Oy vey, he will never be his brother." Because this CD was released in 1984, back when Michael was still cool and admired. Before the bones of the elephant man and the face bleaching and the tawdry sexual politics of Neverland.

I examined my copy of Ozzy Osbourne's double album "Live & Loud." The case is made of steel mesh. How could you be more of a badass than that? The fact that Ozzy and Jermaine are shelved in the same room is enough style dissonance to cause a chemical reaction. Chernobyl 2.

There is an international section of music, which includes "Songs of Ancient Egypt" and something New Age-y called "Global Meditation." I won't even try to remember what prompted me to buy that. But I have a pretty good idea. Substance abuse. "Dude, like, this planet is so huge. Listen to these African drums." Or it was on sale.

The Jermaine Jackson was, thankfully, at least a "remainder." The little hole punched in the jewel case says to me "Yes. This was a mistake, Candy. But an inexpensive one." Would that all my mistakes were this minor. It would be a comfort if all the bad decisions I ever made could line up in plastic cases with holes punched in each one. Reassuring me that they were only momentary lapses in judgment and that now I can throw them away. Let them go. Never think about them again. Release the baggage, Candy! Embrace the now! Don't put that hideous Jermaine Jackson CD back on the shelf!

But I did. Memory Lane needs a few thorny bushes among the beautiful fruit trees. And anyhow, Kajagoogoo and Ace of Base would be lonely.


  • At 5:40 PM, Blogger Jerry said…

    Oh how sweet the memories and oh how painful. Remembrances are bittersweet. The poignancy of past moments, events in our lives, relationships, people we knew--all encapsuled in the musical moments.

    Music integrates experiences with emotions. Painful--yes, but sometimes encouraging and life affirming.

  • At 6:10 PM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    I just love how, in that minute when you hear an old song on the radio, you zap back immediately to some past reality. This can be hazardous when driving.

    I guess I find it life affirming that I can even remember those junior high days.

  • At 10:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I think I threw/sold/gave away at least half of what I owned the last time I moved. It still wasn't enough, I fear.

  • At 9:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I remember being so in love with Kajagoogoo....sitting in front of the Mtv for hours waiting to see the video again.
    Too funny! Thanks for the memories

  • At 11:36 AM, Blogger Citlali said…

    Wow, and I bet you have Bananarama in there somewhere too. I still have quite a few tapes, you know, my pre-cd collection that's of stuff like that. This is stuff I know I won't necessarily go out and buy on cd, ok, definitely not. But it's still nostalgic enough that if for some weird reason I get an urge to hear them immediately -- then the taped version will do. Probably the only time that tape will be played in a decade... How funny, I never even thought about throwing them out. = ]

  • At 11:48 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Fer, weren't they just the COOLEST? I saw them on some "where are they now" kind of show about 3 years ago, and the guy had the same haircut, but they were all chunky and had double-ish chins. I was so relieved! :)

  • At 11:49 AM, Blogger Candy Rant said…

    Citlali, I definitely have Bananarama!!! I even have it on vinyl! And most of the stuff from back then, if you crave it, can be downloaded free at Limewire. It's like a treasure chest.

    Never throw those tapes out!


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