Category Archives: rules

THE RULES, Part 2 (of 37) Finding the Tunes

A friend of mine started reading my blog a few days ago and said, “Heavy stuff!” Hmm, this about a blog that has revealed that the creator makes bird noises? OK, something REALLY frivolous, then:
I arrange my CDs (and used to arrange my LPs, before they got moved around so often that they have no particular order) in this way:

  • Classical, by composer (and chronologically within the composer range)
  • Classical compilations, alphabetically by title
  • Pop, by artist (and chronologically within the artist range)
  • Pop compilation, by title

    Of course, these are RULES, so it’s never that simple.

  • Classical means that the composer is more prominent than the performer: Beethoven, Gershwin, Scott Joplin- all classical
  • Pop is defined as “everything else”. I know some folks put their music in categories: folk, jazz, heavy metal, whatever. My problem is that I don’t think the labels really MEAN anything. Recently, I was in a conversation about “punk”. Were the Ramones punk? Was the Clash, or were they too competent? I’ve read the definition of “emo”, e.g., and STILL don’t know what it is.
    Bruce Springsteen won a Grammy for contemporary folk. Am I to put that album in one category and, say, “Born in the U.S.A.” in another?
    A more striking example is k.d. lang, who started off as a country artist and became a chanteuse. It’s much easier just to look under “L”.

    Besides, an alphabetical list generates a more interesting shelf read: Bill Miller (Native American/popular), Glenn Miller (big band), Roger Miller (country), Steve Miller (rock). “Shelf read”: a librarian must have written that.

    In the pop compilation category, I violate my own rules (but they’re MY rules, so I can do that), in the placement of tribute albums, mostly because I’m having an increasingly difficult time REMEMBERING what they’re called. So I’ve moved:

  • Common Threads from C to E (for Eagles)
  • Complete Stax/Volt Singles from C to S
  • Come Together (both of them, one country, one Motown) from C to B (for Beatles)
  • Enconium to from E to L (for Led Zeppelin)
  • For the Love of Harry from F to N (for Nilsson)
  • Till the Night is Gone from T to P (for Doc Pomus)
  • “Tribute to…” albums from T to the respective artists (M for Curtis Mayfield, V for Stevie Ray Vaughn, e.g.)
  • All the albums starting with “Concert for” under the next significant word (Bangladesh, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)

    You may think this is anal. *I* think this may be anal. But I can FIND items in my collection, which is all a librarian can really want.

  • The RULES (Part 1 of 37)-The Name Game

    You’ve got a lot of rules for somebody from Binghamton.

    No, not THOSE Rules. MY rules. I don’t mean like “Follow the Golden Rule,” (which I try to do). It’s more like, “When I get a new album, I must play it at least three times before I file it away” or “When I play racquetball, and the score gets into a rut, I must find arcane ways to recite the score” or “Almost any song can be done in chicken, the more bombastic, the better. Ode to Joy and Smoke on the Water are good examples.”

    I knew I had rules, but until we got into naming Lydia, I don’t think that Carol was aware of my naming rules. *I* wasn’t aware of my naming rules. When you’ve never had a child, naming is more a conceptual thing, as it were.

    So the rules were:

  • No name in the top 10 in the Social Security list of most popular names for the most recent year available. There will be enough Emmas in her kindergarten class (but Emma IS a lovely name).
  • No naming after any family member, living or dead. I want her to have her own identity. And I didn’t want, “Oh, you named her after Aunt Hortense!” We’ll call her Little Horty!” No, you won’t.
  • No unisex names: Terry, Madison, e.g. This comes directly from the fact that my father AND my sister were both named Leslie. Confusion ensued, and often at my expense. Since my father had a child named Leslie, it was ASSUMED it was his ONLY son, i.e., me. “Hey, little Les,” one guy from church constantly called me. “That’s NOT my name,” I’d mutter under my breath (but never aloud, for that would have been considered rude.)
  • It had to have two or more syllables, to balance off the shortness of Green.
  • No names that easily went to the nickname. Elizabeth is in the top 10 anyway, and which variation (Liz, Lizzie, Beth, Betty, Betsy, or several others) would ensued? No thanks.
  • It should have a recognizable spelling. While a few people have spelled her name as Lidia, most have opted for the more traditional option.
  • No names beginning and ending with A. This is a practical consideration. I have a niece named Alexandria. Carol has nieces named Adrianna and Alexa. One of Carol’s best friends has a daughter named Ariana. And there are several others. Having but one child, I didn’t want to run through a litany before I found hers.

    So, Lydia it was, named in part after a woman in Acts who was rich even to put up the apostle Paul and this cohorts. It was only later that a friend pointed out that the church I attended as a child, Trinity A.M.E. Zion, was on the corner of Lydia and Oak, and that I walked down Lydia Street every day on my way to school. Obviously, I knew this to be factually true, but never crossed my consciousness.

    The only downside to her name has been those streams of choruses from Marx Brothers’ fans of “Lydia the Tattooed Lady”, a song that had TOTALLY slipped my mind.

    So, even with RULES, tattoos happen. But so do encyclo-pidias.