Happy International Women’s Day! I can’t say that I did much to celebrate—I finished yet another ridiculous Left Behind
novel (No. 3), took a walk down to the street for CD shopping and coffee, then spent a ridiculous number of hours feeding my CD collection into my laptop’s maw so I could compile a database of my CD collection.
I can’t really understand how I came to spend my Friday evening and Saturday moving CDs from the piece of flat-pack furniture that’s supposed to hold my collection (it’s sadly inadequate, but there’s no room for any more CD or bookshelves in the apartment) to the bedroom so that I could put them in and take them out of the laptop’s CD player—it certainly wasn’t how I’d planned to spend the first half of the weekend—but Friday evening while I was waiting for a tardy writer to file his copy, I was reading not.so.soft
, when I noticed a link to “CD list
.” Fascinating, and something I’d been thinking about doing for a while, without any progress, of course. Then I noticed that the list had been compiled with a bit of freeware
, and before I had a chance to think about what I was getting myself into, I was opening and closing the CD bay door like a maniac. Without digging out the discs that are scattered around the house, manually adding the details for the CDs that CDDB didn’t recognize, or worrying about whatever is sitting on my desk at work, the total was 225. Fewer than I’d expected, but as I’ve said before
, there were several years in the last decade where I bought—and listened to—hardly any music.
I’ve left a lot of CDs—and even more records—in the various places I’ve lived since leaving home. Until I arrived in Seattle 12 (yikes!) years ago, I was pretty flighty—a year in a city was a long time, and since I always traveled light, a lot got left behind. (Since I don’t drive, if I couldn’t carry it on the train—or on occasion the plane—I had to abandon it.) I was a pretty bratty abandoner of stuff, too. When I left London for the last time (I suppose I should say “the most recent”—you never know), I didn’t have a lot of notice (I was waiting for a visa to come through), so I just jammed a ton of stuff into the wardrobe of the room I’d been renting in a Stoke Newington council flat, and took off. I intended to return for it, but, well, I never have. (And I'm sure it's long gone by now.)
I’ve lost some CDs to thieves. When I lived in that Stoke Newington flat, we were robbed one Christmas when we were all off in North America for the holidays (it was sort of a scam that we had the flat, but that’s another story). I had a bunch of jazz CDs stolen, some of them unavailable in Britain. A few weeks later, I was in that jazz store near King’s Cross when I saw one of my records—but of course there was no way to prove it was mine, though I’m convinced mine was the only copy of that disc in Britain.
I also have a lot of music that’s not on CD—either stuff I downloaded from the Internet—quite legally, mind you, I’m a happy subscriber to Emusic.com—or albums from my days doing a jazz radio show in D.C. Once again, I left the vast majority of those records behind when I left Washington, but a friend once brought me a few of them when she drove out for a visit. Since I don’t have a turntable at the moment, I don’t ever listen to those reminders of another time and place.
But back to International Women’s Day. Back in D.C. the women’s radio collective I belonged to used to take over the station—WPFW—for IWD and provide 24 hours of music by women. Because I didn’t have a mainstream job, I usually took the graveyard shift. Every time I see or hear Tania Maria’s “3 a.m.” I remember playing that song more or less at 3 a.m. on International Women’s Day.
In Spain, IWD is (or was when I lived there) a time for marches and general noise-making. On one of those marches I realized that two of the women who also worked at the academy as me were a couple, not so much because they were marching—lots of hets were yelling “No te prives, gritalo! Mari Pili te quiero
!”—but because they were wearing each other’s shoes.