Philosophy, Psychology, Nerdisms, Writing from the Trenches

Posts tagged “the 90s

They’re so round and…shiny.

While cleaning out my closet, I found something.

Round, shiny objects with holes in the center. I’m not exactly sure what their purpose is. They are called, “Compact discs”.

That’s right. I discovered my high school collection of CD’s. It’s possible that I bought one or two in college, but I doubt it.

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I’ve been known to rock out to some old school Britney Spears. And, N*Sync circa ’99? Forget about it. Everyone thought the world was about to end, but we were more concerned with Bye, Bye, Bye.

I remember the Christmas when I got my first discman. It was a life-changing experience. I listened to music almost constantly (still do). It wasn’t long until I wore out that first one and had to upgrade to a Sony Sport Discman, the one with the big lock on the front. The one that the tank could drive over…

Now my hard won albums will be making their way to Half-Price Books, to fulfill someone else’s collection. Here’s a look at the big ‘uns.

1. The Bubble Gum

All the essentials. Genie in a Bottle, …Baby, One More Time, Say My Name. Do you remember Destiny’s Child? You know, back before Beyonce put a ring on it?

I don’t know if I would say I wore these albums out, but they definitely found their way to my ears on more than one occasion.

I even had the N*Sync Christmas album. That’s made you popular in college. Well, if you hung out with the right people.

2. The Rebellion

I had my Korn period. My Nirvana phase. My *cough* Limp Bizkit phase. Hey, I was young. And, I was at that impressionable age when all that stuff gets pushed into your head.

Anyone up for a Nookie lyric rap battle? It’s in there. Right behind Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It.

3. The Essentials

So, maybe I made a few questionable choices, but you can’t call me completely tasteless. My mother grew up on the Rolling Stones and Motown, which means I did, too. As a result, I’m a diehard Jagger fan and the Beatles can kiss…nah, the Beatles are all right.

Forty Licks, Janis Joplin, Jackson 5. They all stack up.

4. The Soundtracks

Oh my God, I did not realize how much of a soundtrack junky I was until I stared into the box. Harry Potter, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Titanic, Moulin Rouge, Sound of Music, Singing in the Rain. I started to dip into musicals there, didn’t I?

I’ve transferred all this stuff to my computer and forgotten about it. It’s time to share my music collection. The gems (Dresden Dolls) and the not-so-awesome (N*Sync/Britney combo that came with a Happy Meal).

I like to think my taste in music has evolved since then but turn on Livin’ La Vida Loca or Mambo no. 5, and I’ll be on my feet in no time.

Do you have any guilty music pleasures?


Culture of Collection – A tale of Christmas Present(s)

Don’t even try to pretend you don’t watch Hoarders. Your lip peels back in disgust at the sight of a house in such a state of disarray, it’s nearly physically painful. You placate yourself every minute or so, telling yourself, ‘I will never be like that’, but we might all be heading that way.

I live in a Culture of Collection. I have stacks of books collected around my house. As my shelves empty of books while my collection goes digital, I find other things to take their place. DVD’s, action figures, toys, *cough* an Iron Man helmet *cough*. My justification is and has always been: They look cool.

I read a post on the 90s today and suddenly, my hoarding fears rushed to the surface. I still have a crap load of Beanie Babies. Why? Dear, God, why? I didn’t even play with them when I had them. Here’s how it worked.

  1. Buy Beanie Baby
  2. Read poem
  3. Click on tag preserver
  4. Store

My cat got more use out of my Beanie Babies than I did. She killed them every night and left their rotting carcasses on the stairs for us to discover in the morning.

Keep in mind, this was so long ago, that cat is no longer alive.

Why do I still have them?

I’m on the path to hoarding. I can’t get rid of them. Every time I think of doing something with them, I remember how much I wanted them, how hard I tried to find them, and what a point of pride it was when I finally got Digger the Crab.

There was this notion that one day they would be worth something more (did that day ever come?), but now, they’re just a cute mass of nostalgia piled in a closet.

I’m not a sentimental person and, at some point, I will either decide to get rid of them or they will be in the way of something new. While I might have a tendency to collect things, I also have an OCD impulse that requires a certain balance of minimalism. Even I can have too many nerdy t-shirts (still haven’t reached the threshold on that one).

On some level, I have sympathy for hoarders. Objects are like pensieves; they contain memories, they seem to hold on to meaning. In reality, we’re the ones who have to remember the culture that we loved. We’re the ones who have to hold on to the memories. No object can arouse a full-fledged memory like a person can.

In the mean time, does anybody know what to do with a crap-ton of Beanie Babies?