Thursday, June 15, 2017

For the Record


Morning Readers,

How's everyone's summer going so far?

With all four kids back home, I've been easing into it and pleasantly surprised all of them have taken up a quiet hobby they work on all day long.

Kidding!

They fight like stray cats, roam for food multiple times a day, and I'm almost sure the four-year-old is close to figuring out how to build a time machine out of Legos. The again, he mumbles a lot while he builds, so it could be a zebra, who knows? In an act of self preservation, I tend to stealthily go about my regular household chores and observe what's going on from a distance. Once the toddler spots me, for instance, I'm cornered, until I respond to demands of, "Up," and let her hit me in the neck with a spatula.  Hiding is key. I've spent many good hours inside the bathroom closet, wondering about the universe and whether the daddy long legs I'm in there with will bite me.

Besides the normal summer chaos, Husband and I have been making some life and budgeting changes. We went about it like this...

"Kids, we're cutting the cable."

*seven days later*

"Kids, we got you a record player."

Not to be outdone by the neighbors and their new Corvette, we've lovingly taken in our new/old machine and given it a home next to the wet bar in the living room. Birthed by JC Penney in 1983 and still turning its table, the record player is quickly becoming a solution to a Friday night devoid of the mellow crackle of Creedence Clearwater Revival. Admittedly, I thought Husband was a little crazy for dragging it home, but after putting our heads together, we both got the hang of it. We're 90's kids after all, experienced in the art of cd's, digital, and winding cassette tapes up with a pencil eraser. This was new.

"So, you just plop down the needle?"

"No, you're breaking it."

"What's this lever for?"

"To lift the needle."

"Oh, I get it. But how does it know?"

"How does it know what?"

"How to read everything on here."

"These grooves. See the grooves?"

"Is that why everything was "groovy" in the 60's?"

"Is this how divorce starts?"

Eventually, Husband got everything dusted off and hooked up to a pair of old speakers he'd also dragged home. Not on the dainty side, both stand a couple feet tall and compliment the scratches the kids have left all over the couch. When everything connected and sound spilled out, we might as well have invented fire.

"It works!"

"I knew it would work."

"It just keeps going in circles."

"I know. Pretty cool, huh?"

"Look at it go. Watch, honey. It's about to come back around again."

"Stop jumping up and down, you'll knock it over."

"Sorry, it's just, I haven't been this excited about anything since I found out the trash man does a free large item pickup once a year."

As odd as it sounds, the record player makes music more of an interactive experience. This is seen in three main areas.

1. You have to get up to turn records over.

Oh, did you get comfortable on the couch during the first three songs? Tough. It's time to get back up to flip that piece of vinyl over. If you want to enjoy the three songs on the other side, you're gonna have to work. Last night, we tried a record that had a six minute rendition of I Heard It Through the Grapevine. That's right, six whole minutes of couch sitting. I felt spoiled.

2. Double yelling

Listening to music on an ipad, phone, or laptop is one of those deals where you pick a playlist, then put said device up and away from small hands. Not so with the record player. This particular machine is stationary and requires the extra step of yelling from wherever you're sprawled, "Don't touch that. We can't replace something that was built thirty-four years ago. You're wiggling that knob like you don't value your life."

3. Adventure

Finding particular records one wants to listen to is a process. You don't download a piece of vinyl, you go out and find. Sure, you could order a coveted record online for an exorbitant sum, OR you can drag all of your children out to antique shops on the weekend and stressfully look through boxes.
More on that later.

Well, I have to run. The kids are fighting about who gets the last piece of licorice, and I think I just heard a foot make contact with drywall.

Summer updates to follow as I survive them

Until Next Time, Readers!

And now that I've awkwardly made you my friend, come hang out with me on: