January 16, 2016

Curated and Loved

I’m a total idiot, and I have been one for a pretty longer time.

The way I've been consuming music for the last few years seems downright stupid to me, now that I have crossed to the other side.

To understand my idiocy, we might need to transport ourselves back to 1985. I am around ten or eleven years old, and in Grade 5 or 6 and the anchor of our house is my dad’s stereo/turntable and his record collection. When he was home, the records were constantly spinning and the volume often high. When he was not home, I would gently place the needle on the spinning black circles, losing myself in the jackets, lyrics and stories unleashed from the music.

This collection was a tangible artifact, one whose ownership was eventually passed on to me.

My CD collection was born in 1989, my freshman year in High School, after I bought Animals by Pink Floyd from the Warehouse in Corte Madera. From that day on I dragged some form of my music collection from house to house to car. Some CD cases were cracked and covered in ash and stale beer, but god damn if that Check Your Head CD, or Appetite for Destruction one didn’t make it to university in San Diego and then back to Novato.

This collection was a tangible artifact, one whose ownership eventually evaporated into a few cassettes as I moved to Mozambique.

My digital collection began in 2005 when I got a new iPod for my birthday. Since that day, I have accumulated a 10,000+ song collection that fits just under 80gbs and has lived on the same device for almost ten years. I have taken that collection from Malaysia, to Qatar, to Indonesia and Singapore. From NWA to PJ Harvey, it has been curated and loved for a decade.

Two days ago it evaporated into the world of infinite streaming. Those 10,000 songs have little value in a world where I have access to an inexhaustible world of music.

So why am I an idiot? Here are a few reasons:

We have never had a stereo to anchor our household. My kids only really listened to music in the car. Luckily, they have developed a love of music that I am comfortable with, but the house has been devoid of music for the most part. My music had been restricted to headphones, my laptop, and sometimes through the TV on Apple TV.

Two weeks ago, we finally bought a Mega Boom speaker, and while this is not a real stereo, it has liberated music from my laptop and given it to the kids and the rest of the house. Now, we can be in the kitchen, taking a shower or just dancing in the living room listening to music.

In addition to the speaker, the Spotify universe made an 80’s dance party possible this morning.

I still feel a bit nostalgic about the feeling of a tangible music collection, but for now I am in awe of the infinite world of streaming music.


The sun was setting. I had just woken up a from a nap. I was groggy and tired from a late night and allergies. I knew I had to run. Lat week, Kaia and I had talked about running together, so I asked her if she wanted to come with me. At first she said no, and I was really disappointed, but a few minutes later she came back in the room and agreed to come.

We strapped on our shoes and headed out.

We talked about running and persistence and goals and pace and enjoying the outdoors and the beauty of a sunset and watching people and being inspired by them and how nice it is for fathers and daughters to spend time together and how people change and how maybe we can make this running a thing we do together for years. We broke a sweat. We agreed to do it again next Saturday.

It was wonderful.

Lessons Learned:

  • Doesn’t matter where the music lives or how it’s played, but a house should be filled with it. 
  • Our habits change and that’s okay. Go with the flow and be aware of your needs. 
  • Spending time alone talking to your kids and not always parenting them is a great way to show them love. 

  1. What’s your music set up? What’s your favorite places to listen to tunes in your house? 
  2. When’s the last time you made a major shift in your life? A time when you changed a routine or a habit. 
  3. What cool things do you do with your kids away from shared family time? 

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