I really should be packing…..

…..but obviously, I’m not!

Well, I have been – off and on at any rate.  In the process of packing, I have discovered that my initial “oh, I’ll just grab my things – no big deal” was way, WAY, off.  You don’t realize what you accumulate over the course of nearly 5 years of living in a space.  I have a lot of stuff, and a lot of things that I held on to but can’t for the life of me think of why.  Posters, stuffed animals, globes with the former USSR – those are all things that go with me, but other things – shared books, chairs, electronics….that is where I get confused and more sad.  Still, there is a light at the end of this tunnel and I will get there eventually on my hot pink scooter that my mom is trying really hard to be okay with (thank you Mom!).

Potent Pink – I dig it!

On this break, and to keep myself occupied (occupied = not sad/depression sleep), I wanted to talk about mix tapes (mix CD’s – whatever you want to call them).  During my teenage years, I became pretty prolific at making mix tapes for the car and outdoor music enjoyment.  A system was developed to where there would be no gaps between songs so as many sweet tracks that could be put on each side were.  Using the Gilliam Stereo System which included a wired up tape and 5 (yes, 5) CD player combo wired to a turntable and once functional 8-track player, I mixed tapes for good times and bad.  I made mixes for people I cared for – even for a crush or two, though I don’t think I actually gave them the mix tapes.  Go ahead, say it, I know it’s true: “chicken!”

It was an art for me.  Which songs to put first?  What does that say to the listener?  Should the next track be slow or fast?  What should the title of this mix be?!  Looking back, I already had the tendencies of an artist, it isn’t a wonder I ended up an art teacher.  I do believe art can be found where you want it to be.  Please don’t misunderstand, that doesn’t mean all things are art – like Obi Wan says (I’ll paraphrase) – it just depends on your point of view.  Mix tapes are the lost art of a generation.  Kinda like passing notes in class – it is of a bygone age.  Maybe I’m just being nostalgic.  I made my last mix tape (CD) for Doug.  He liked the songs, but felt it was kinda strange getting a set of songs, many with male singers, from me.  I can see his point, but at the same time, I was just trying to share my thoughts through music that I loved and made me think of him.  Just like he did when he made me a mix in return (which I loved!).

What brings this train of thought up?  Before I move I have to mail two packages to some wonderful people: the Diamond family and Johnsey.  The Diamond package is a good to go, but Johnsey’s is taking a little more time.  Johnsey lives in Australia but recently visited family and friends the States (particularly the great commonwealth of Kentucky!).  I am fortunate to count myself amongst his friends and was happy to see him after many years of not.  One of the topics of conversation with everyone at his welcome home party was “what have you been listening to.”  So, for Johnsey’s parcel, I have included several items – a robot drawing, a memento of UK’s 8th NCAA championship, and now I’m working on mix CDs.  What to put on each disc, what songs to include, will this song give the wrong message – all things I’m thinking about when I should be worried as to how I’m going to get all my shit home.

inspired by and for

It’s a welcomed distraction – and one I have not indulged in for years.  So, I guess I’ll get back to my mix CD and you out there may consider bringing the mix CD back as well.  Send someone a playlist you made just for him or her.  Pass a note!  Do something tangible and real and thoughtful.  We need more mix CDs out there in the world and what they represent: sharing, hope, wishes, dreams, loss, and, most important, love.  That might just be me though.

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