Side projects can make your life perfect!

As my happiness project rolls towards the end of the year I have been spending time reflecting upon the sublime moments that this venture has delivered to my life in 2013.  There have been countless moments and happenings that have blown me away.  I suspect if i began to roll them out here you could end up reading more of a novel than a blog, perhaps even the equivalent to War & Peace!  So, I am going to share a part of a passion or hobby or crazy interest, whichever you prefer to call it, either way it has given me copious cup fulls of happiness in my life.

Music my friends.  And no, before you conjure a vision of me fronting a band, I am not talented enough to sing or play a myriad of instruments. What I do have would be an impressive collection of records, compact discs and even cassette tapes that i began building in 1992.  Upon reflection it seems a million light years away now since I began buying music.  Well, I’ve made a mistake here already.

In 1987 I was given my first ever 7″ single, “Live It Up” by Australian band, Mental As Anything.  I remember getting hold of Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust” around the same period though The Mental’s impressive single, complete with a cool video clip is what entered my life and began my collecting.  It would be another 5 years mind before collecting music became a regular part if my life.  Once I began it became very hard to slow down and as the years rolled by I lost many hours of my life in record stores around the world searching for the next rare gem to add to the collection.  As recently as May this year I was in an amazing record store in Brussels, Belgium upon which i discovered some brilliant bootlegs by The Beatles, Bowie, U2, Travis, Morrissey, Blur and Pulp…..all 5 Euro’s each thank you very much!

Well, back to the original point of this blog now.

The two dark shelving cabinets on the right may be my handy work

The two dark shelving cabinets on the right may be my handy work

Part of my happiness project was to arrange, organize and catalog my entire music and film collection.  It was always going to be a massive task to undertake.  And this is where one of my theories on the happiness project kicked in quick smart.  To complete a project you need to plan and take it one step at a time.  The first of these steps was to unpack everything from boxes and create a touch of organised chaos in the process.  For months there were CD’s and DVD’s all over the flat.  Then around June something kicked in and new homes began to emerge for my collection.

I already owned a couple of shelving units from Ikea which would house books, records and DVD’s. What was needed more than anything would entail a deliciously fun project.  It was time to get crafty and make some cabinets to welcome my CD collection, or part thereof.

You have to store you vinyl somewhere

You have to store you vinyl somewhere

First up was a visit to Bunnings where I would grab some treated pine timber, varnish and nails. Next came the exciting part.  Building shit!  Rather exciting if I do say so myself.  When you create something of your own volition there are great rewards to enjoy and embrace.  Over a couple of weeks I managed to put together to rather large shelving cabinets to give my CD collection a place to call home.  Whilst not yet finished (I need to put a backing board on both of them) it was so very exciting to see my CD collection taking pride and place in their new home.

The next step will be to set them all up in alphabetical order and, once done, I can begin cataloging the entire lot, which may take a good deal of time chipping away, bit by bit.  As you do.  In doing so I am going explain here why the process may take time.  You just don’t store your music in a set A-Z style.  Firstly one needs to separate certain bands and artists for their own place on the shelving.  I own over 400 David Bowie CD’s, more than 50 by Morrissey and The Smiths, around 100 by Suede and so on.  Then you need to separate particular genres.  For example the goth, punk and indie CD’s can’t just be thrown in with The Spice Girls and Barry Manilow can they now?  OK, I own two albums from The Spice Girls.  Don’t be a hater now.  They do actually have some boss tunes.  Yes, they really do.  Just listen to “Stop” from their second LP and tell me you don’t tap your feet to the tune????

Moving on……

The last, and definitely most tedious task to complete this music transformation is going to take perhaps hundreds of hours.  Yep, sitting down at my laptop and, one by one, typing up new catalogs on excel spreadsheets.  The last time i did this was around 3 years ago and I was never really happy with the finished project.  The one great advantage of this process will be the enjoyment gained from listening to albums I’ve not heard in years whilst typing away.

I love music from all walks of life.  Sometimes I just don’t understand why people listen solely to one genre or just the latest top 40.  In fact I would find that incredibly tedious and well, it would send me around the twist.  But that will be for another day……another blog.

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