Cloister Commentary, Day 269: Crates of Vinyl and Clearasilled Zits

I’m helping a friend find homes for his vinyl collection, so I spent the morning going through the first two of four crates and doing some sorting. I had forgotten how heavy record crates were; I hadn’t moved any since I was in my forties, but damn! I’m feelin’ it as I thumb this out. Flipping through the stacks and seeing original vinyl copies of Hüsker Dü, The Replacements, Minutemen, Meat Puppets, Johnny Thunders and more took me straight back to the days when those acts were the meat ‘n’ potatoes on our dinner table. Not that I don’t play them anymore, but, to paraphrase George Jones reflecting on Hank Williams, they were everything to us.

Later, Nicole and I celebrated a couple of bits of wonderful national news–couple of zits got Clearasilled–by treating ourselves to curbside dinner, a cocktail, “Whiskers R We,” and a Jimi Hendrix documentary/concert. We then lapsed into sleep smiling.

Streaming for Strivers:

All essential music’s been digitized, right? Wrong. Found this in my friend’s stacks, though I already have a copy of my own.

Cloister Commentary, Day 3: Pandemic So Real

It was inevitable under these circumstances that I’d face up to the facts, and yesterday I just up and did so–I needed to organize my CDs. Yes, I still have CDs (do I!), and I have a system: in order to help Nicole stay aware of new acquisitions, I keep them out of the general stacks (yes, there are stacks…see below) so they don’t disappear. At the end of the calendar year, I then integrate them into the collection after thinning the library out a bit (with the help of Kylie and Taylor at Hitt). Except I forgot to do that in early 2019, so I had two years’ worth of CDs to integrate. Had I sold enough to make room?


No. People who’ve done something similar will probably understand why I moved backwards from the Zs, but, unfortunately, Dizzee Rascal, Busdriver, and Buck 65 now occupy an overflow cubbyhole until I make more space. Those aren’t new acquisitions; in the process of shelving the new ones, they got bumped.

Yes, this is boring–but it’s all about control. I didn’t jump to it consciously, but I know that’s why I did so yesterday. Like yours, I bet, my mind has just been toggling relentlessly back and forth between the immediate present and the possible future, and I needed a regulator on that damn switch.

Elsewhere in the day: we started reading Alex Kotlowitz’s NEVER A CITY SO REAL (the city is Chicago, and we were inspired by having seen Steve James’ new documentary CITY SO REAL, which was inspired by the book); now that I have a yawning yawp of time, I can sample some podcasts, and I LOVED Zadie Smith’s appearance on Desert Island Discs; we had a Messenger conference call with our friends Kenny and Gwen Wright; we chuckled through episodes of KEEPING UP APPEARANCES (on BritBox) and KEY & PEELE (on Hulu); and we sampled a touch of Jim Beam Double Oaked.

Streaming for Shut-Ins: The Staple Singers, always good for Sundays and spiritual reinforcement, even for heathens.