Browsed by
Category: Friday Musings

Friday Musings: High Fidelity

Friday Musings: High Fidelity

When I was a teenager I had lots of albums that I listened to endlessly on the stereo that I had in my room. I considered myself to be quite the audiophile back then and was always looking for ways to improve how my records sounded. Since I am a self-professed gadget girl, I’d buy a new stylus for the turntable or better speakers and I’d swear that the difference was amazing. My friends would go along and tell me “yes, yes it sounds so good,” but I know deep down they thought I was wacky. It never mattered to me though. I was on a quest for perfect sound and I was determined to find it. As technology evolved, I was always the first to give something new a try. I quickly learned that the perfection I sought was not to be found in cassette tapes that seemed to always end up unravelling and disappearing into the player. Remember that weird noise they would make when that happened? And 8-tracks were definitely not the answer. Whose idea were they anyway?? I was in my twenties when the Holy Grail of music finally came along for me in the form of CDs. My turntable collected dust and my albums migrated first to the basement and then to the Good Will store. Who wanted to hear that crackling sound that albums made when you could have the blissful nothingness in between songs on a CD?

You can imagine my surprise when my kids all bought turntables a few years back and began asking for vinyl for birthday and Christmas presents. Were they serious? Yes, indeed they were. I had since moved on from CDs to streaming services and I was spending more and more time making playlists and less and less time listening to complete albums. To quote my youngest son, I was becoming a bit of a Philistine. Being the true music lover that I am, I did not take that accusation lightly. I recently considered buying my own turntable, but I dismissed the idea as being unnecessary, and before long I had returned to the convenience of iTunes and Spotify. I would have remained there had it not been for my middle son suggesting to his younger brother that they buy me a turntable as a Christmas gift. Last Friday was the perfect day for a number of reasons, but listening to my albums (all four of them) like I was 15 again was close to the top of the list. I realized that a whole new world was about to open up for me.

I’m sure it doesn’t surprise you that I soon began drawing a parallel between life and listening to my new turntable. It’s really not very hard to see the connection, right? In many ways, our lives have become so much like the ultimate streaming service. Technology allows everything to be accessible through just a few clicks on our phone or keyboard. We can shop, communicate, read the news, plan our day, watch a movie, take a virtual tour, or find the love of our lives. It comes at us, it happens to us, it often requires almost nothing from us, and it grants us the ability to switch back and forth between activities with relative ease. I see the benefits, don’t get me wrong. After all, I did almost every bit of my holiday shopping online and felt positively joyful this season. There is, however, an element to our modern lives that takes us in the direction of mindlessness, despite the fact that we are admonished daily by multiple sources to live mindfully. It can be so difficult to focus when we’re surrounded by so many distractions, but if pressed, we’d probably admit that we won’t be giving them up anytime soon.

Rather than move in the direction of what we’re willing to eliminate, it might make more sense if we think in terms of what we can add. We can cook, slowly and with intention and love. We can make cocktails that are perfectly measured and made with ingredients that demand our attention because they are so good. We can make coffee using the pour over method that requires us to patiently wait for the coffee grounds to “bloom.” My middle son made me a cup just last night with his new Christmas present and it was indeed amazing. And we can listen to vinyl records on a turntable that provides the fullest expression of what the artist intended us to hear, that resonates with a sound that is warm and full, and that doesn’t allow us to switch tracks with a keyboard click or phone tap. Suddenly we’re listening to albums again rather than songs. Finally, the act of placing that record on the turntable requires a certain amount of patience, thought, and care, three things that we all need to weave back into the fabric of our everyday lives. Vinyl provides us the opportunity to experience high fidelity, or the most accurate and honest representation of what’s true in music except for live performance. It just may give us a glimpse of living life that way too, and wouldn’t that be oh so wonderful?

For today’s cocktail, I decided on a riff on a simple lemon drop that substituted tequila for the traditional vodka, pink lemons instead of regular, and added a dash of Suze and DRAM Palo Santo bitters for their ability to be eye-opening. The end result was a cocktail with lots of nuance despite its simplicity. I’m going to drink it while I listen to Billie Holiday… Cheers everyone. Happy Friday!

High Fidelity

2 oz Casamigos Blanco tequila
2 dashes Suze
3/4 oz pink lemon juice
3/4 oz simple syrup
2 dashes DRAM Palo Santo bitters

Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker with ice and shake until very cold. Double strain into a cocktail glass of your choice and garnish with hibiscus salt. Watch it turn from black to pink as you sip your drink. Enjoy!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Friday Musings: Release and Engage

Friday Musings: Release and Engage

If you read my post this past Tuesday about The Wise Woman’s Stone, you know that I talked about a certain pair of Frye boots that I bought just recently. I am wearing them as I sit here writing this Friday Musing. I have been trying to practice the idea of non-attachment, especially towards them, and I think I am making some progress. I love them still, and I do feel happy when I’m wearing them, but I know that they are a material object and therefore they cannot be

Read More Read More

Print Friendly, PDF & Email



Friday Musings: With Deeper Thanks (Part 2)

Friday Musings: With Deeper Thanks (Part 2)

I’ve often considered gratitude to be a unique emotion. I thought it was because it was something that we could both perceive and express in the sense that we can feel thankful and we can say thank you. I wrote a post about that very idea, in fact, about 18 months ago and I reprised it back at the beginning of May. But gratitude is not the only emotion that can be both felt and expressed. Pain is that way; after all, we can feel hurt and we can hurt others. And love is certainly that way, so gratitude’s sense of uniqueness for me cannot really be found in the give and take aspect of it. I know that I think about gratitude a lot these days because I have been blessed with so much that is good, especially in the last year, and because I have learned that approaching each day from the perspective of being thankful can truly be life-changing. But what is it that makes me want to know so much more? I decided to do some research and I discovered that gratitude is what experts call a social emotion in that it forces us out of our own heads, even if just momentarily. It almost always involves another human being who has done something wonderful for us. We feel a wave of thankfulness wash over us that can be big enough to almost knock us off our feet. Sometimes we see the wave coming. It’s our birthday and we are enveloped in celebration and we are grateful. Other times it may be something unexpected that happens, like a random act of kindness extended by a stranger, or a sweet gesture from someone who loves us enough to know it was just what we needed. Even when we are thankful for something that is non-human like a house, or a job, or a situation, we express our thanks to some agent of giving outside of ourselves, like fate or God or the universe.

Read More Read More

Print Friendly, PDF & Email



Friday Musings: All Things Scientific

Friday Musings: All Things Scientific

Many of you who read me regularly know that I was lucky enough to have had my parents until they were in their eighties and since they lived only three doors away from me, I saw them on almost a daily basis. It was so wonderful to have had their help as I was raising my kids, not just in practical ways like babysitting or an extra set of hands, but for their experience, guidance, and wisdom when it came to all matters of life. My father had such funny maxims that he would

Read More Read More

Print Friendly, PDF & Email



Friday Musings: Make a List, Check It Twice

Friday Musings: Make a List, Check It Twice

Don’t let the name of this drink fool you. Unlike many retailers across the U.S, I am not moving directly from carving jack-o-lanterns into trimming the tree. Today’s inventory effort is centered around something entirely different. This week on the blog we’ve examined a creepy poem and interpreted an unsettling song, all in celebration of a holiday whose theme happens to include the spooky, the scary, and the downright frightful. It occurred to me that it might be interesting to

Read More Read More

Print Friendly, PDF & Email