i'm bummed because my pda freaked out and i had to hard reset it and my synching software is also tweaked so i'm not sure i can recover the stuff. and it's not all my calendar scheduling info i'm worried about, that's all in my head anyway.

it's my list of records to buy.

lovingly culled from reviews, college radio listening, and word-of-mouth. some of those records had been on the list for years, i just kept patiently looking in the used bins. waiting. or maybe i'd see them but it just wouldn't be the right day to buy them.

have you noticed that every record has its own time? sometimes you buy one and you know you're gonna love it but it's not the time yet. so you put it on the shelf for six months then something makes you think of it and so you play it and you're like OH MY GOD this is the most fucking amazing thing i've ever heard. and it's the same record it was six months ago but now the time is right.

or sometimes a record is everything to you, you eat it and breathe it for a month maybe, it soundtracks your life, you listen to it six times a day and you dream of it at night. but then something changes and maybe you break up with someone or maybe you get happier, or whatever it is. and you just stop listening to it 'cause it's not the right time anymore. maybe the seasons change, some music is only really capital-r Right in the winter, or in the summer. or for driving or for lying facedown on your living room floor. the good thing is, then later you get to rediscover it and there's nothing like rediscovering a record you haven't heard in years but know every single note of.

my list was alphabetically ordered because record shopping isn't just shopping, half the fun is the ritual of it. like smoking a cigarette, half the fun is going to the nearest stab&grab to buy the pack, smacking it against the heel of your hand, unwrapping the cellophane, taking the first one out, fiddling with lighter or matches. when i go to amoeba i have a pattern.

1. start with the recent used arrivals, looking through everything a-z (but not the comps, i'm not that into comps). going off the list is allowed, here.
2. go to the regular used section, again a-z, looking specifically for things from the list. also it's okay to look in subsections for bands i really love for things even if they aren't on the list.
3. the recommended and recently released endcaps.
4. in the very rare case where all of that has not yielded much...then if there's anything that really is calling out to me from the list, or if there's a new release i have to have, then i can think about buying one or two new records. i almost never make it to the new section just for browsing though.

okay now that i think of it, that does seem a bit regimented. but you have to understand that until very recently i went to the record store a lot. like, a lot a lot. and i can spend hours in there. a certain amount of discipline was required if i was to have money left over for luxuries like rent, and so the system was born. i've been doing it this way for a long time and it's not likely to change.

i only remember part of my list, but actually i have a feeling that as soon as i step inside amoeba again it will come back to me in its entirety, like muscle memory or some weird kind of state dependent learning. oh, i hope it does.