Tuesday, May 26, 2009

In a big country.

I decided to make today count. I woke up, jogged, listened to a few albums, and applied for an office job at the cancer center at the UW hospital. Having made (albeit arguably minor) progress in my job hunt, I decided to go to Best Buy to use a $10 gift certificate that expires this friday.

My bus ride was pretty awesome, as bus rides tend to be--the driver was this old, washed up rocker who was wearing a cap and gloves without fingers, awesome. A pregnant teenager sat next to me. She and her friends spent the trip harassing these 30something men that were trying to talk about politics. It was interesting to listen to, anyhow.

When we got to the mall, I departed to find Best Buy. I had decided not to look anything up--bus routes, store locations--but just look for things I wanted to find. It took a while, but I found the Best Buy. I was elated when I finally came upon it, reaffirming why I didn't look it up beforehand. As I entered my conquest, I quickly came upon the Best Buy Megastore Vinyl Collection. It was pretty weird to look through the stacks for a few reasons-

-The shelves are clearly not built to house records. They were physically awkward to peruse.

-There were a large amount of 'why is this on vinyl' recent releases (see: katy perry). Clearly major labels trying to cash in on The Vinyl Revival.

-Most concerningly, some of it was, relatively, pretty cheap. There was a lot of cd-priced vinyl-- records that state street stores have to sell for 15 and 16 dollars being sold for 12 and 13 dollars. The price difference isn't huge, but sort of alarming in the 'looming death of real record stores' sort of way. Now that I know I can buy 180 gram radiohead reissues for 8 dollars less at Best Buy, will I ever consider buying them for more at B-Side?

After going through their small, but still substantial collection of records, I went through the cd aisles. I ended up choosing Menomena's Friend or Foe because I'm seeing them this weekend and, as of now, only know a few songs. 11.99-10 = 2 bucks. Not Too Shabby. I celebrated with Qdoba.

After Qdoba I travelled to Half Price Books. I love looking through their huge amount of 1-3 dollar used cds and albums. If you enjoy record shopping and haven't been there, I highly recommend it. Highly. After more than an hour (these times have all been confirmed by receipts by the way) of looking around at a fraction of their inventory, I purchased Big Country's eponymous album (LP, $4) and De La Soul's 3 Feet High And Rising (CD, $2). For those that don't know (i'm pretty sure everyone who will ever read this knows), 'In a Big Country' is and will forever by my favorite 80s song. I have never heard anything else by them so I am eager to get familiar with this record. Bag in tow, I headed for the road.

Without getting into too much detail, because nothing really happened, I had a really great time walking from the bookstore to my apartment. The walk was long (8mi+) and I don't think I'll repeat it any time soon, but I saw so many interesting things. Madison is an incredible, huge city. I walked past construction of new things, young people, old people, ancient trees and buildings. I took a bus because I didn't recognize its number to see where it went. It took me by the MATC campus near the airport--I got off there and walked through some neighborhoods back to East Wash. I found a tunnel that went under the street. I took it and crossed back above it to return to my path. I walked on a narrow pedestrian bridge. I talked to various people on all points of the creep spectrum. At many points I thought I must be lost, even though I knew I was walking along Washington, because the scenery looked so unfamiliar. I thought about all sort of things and sang all sorts of songs. It really was a wonderful time. I love walking.

When I arrived home, I put the needle down on Big Country and collapsed into bed. We all live in a big country. I encourage you to explore yours.


  1. This is a good story. I had never heard of In A Big Country before reading this, but it's pretty catchy. And I agree, Madison is a pretty big and cool place to be. I love just biking around and finding a place that I haven't been to before.

  2. Friend and Foe is phenomenal.