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It’s 9/9/2009.

On this day, believe it or not, I’ve been married 9 years!

9 years on 9/9/09! I’m not into numerology, but I’m sure that means something important.

Tracey got out of the house early (7:30) to wait in line for a horse at Adopt-a-Horse. Today’s the day when ladies line up early (some even camp out overnight) to sign up to adopt a horse at the Anne Springs Greenway. First come, first serve…apparently, the “good” horses and time slots go fast. Today was cloudy and raining, a terrible day to wait outside in the rain…but apparently there was a full crowd of anxious women jostling for their spot in line. In my quest to be the perfect husband, I drove Devin in to day care; stopped by Starbucks to pick up a half-calf latte; delayed my 1 hour commute to Columbia; and drove to the Greenway…where I walked through the muddy, gravel road in the rain to deliver Tracey a second cup of coffee. It is our anniversary, after all. I didn’t say a word, just tapped her on the shoulder and handed her the coffee, and gave her a kiss before leaving. The horse ladies were quite impressed with me. I think the entire shed of women swooned in a collective “awww”. As I left, Tracey told them not to be impressed…it was our anniversary and I don’t normally act that way.

Number 9…Number 9…Number 9…

I went out at lunch today to pick up a couple of the REMASTERED Beatles CDs that were released today. (In case you aren’t in the know, today is the day they are re-releasing the entire Beatles catalog after having re-mastered every disc…they wanted to release the 15 re-mastered discs on 9/9/09.)

The Best Buy Beatles section was decimated…a couple of highly focused music addicts were jostling for position on the “B” aisle, looking through what was left. I positioned myself strategically to see if I could pick up The White Album and Revolver. NONE of the 15-disc serial box sets were left…and several of the albums had already sold out. I couldn’t find the re-mastered Revolver, except for the version with a t-shirt that cost $10 more…so I bought Sgt. Pepper’s. I know I should feel sick to my stomach that I’m buying the same music in yet ANOTHER format…and I should be upset with the box store twats that they don’t have enough items in stock for the rush…but I don’t. I really don’t…I’m just excited to get my hands on some “new” Beatles recordings. I can’t wait to hear what they’ve done. The sticker on the jewel box says that there’s a multi-media documentary on each disc. I usually hate those things, but I’m anxious to see if they have some “making of the recording” documentary stuff that I haven’t seen.

The Best Buy manager said that 40 people were lined up this morning, waiting the doors to open. He had already called the other Best Buy stores and they had the same problems. He seemed apologetic and friendly. I was very appreciative and felt an urge to befriend him…kinda like a girl I knew who wrote the postman a thank-you letter for delivering her college acceptance letter. Hmmm…I wonder what band will be #1 on the charts next week!!!

On the way back to work, I called my friend (and music historian) Bill. I haven’t talked to him in FAR too long, but we didn’t really catch up…we just talked about the CDs. He was just returning from the UPS store…the new CD player he bought just for this re-release was broken and he had to ship it back. We made tentative plans for a Beatles “listening session”…which means, drinking beer and listening to rock and roll…really loud. I can’t wait.

It’s late in the afternoon now and I’m finally listening to the re-mastered version of the Beatles Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on my headphones. The sound is amazing–even on these ratty old headphones. I can’t wait to listen to the full disc on large speakers turned up loud.

The first thing I noticed was the clarity and spacial presence of the crowd noise that opens the disc as the “band” tunes up. Then, as the music kicks in, each instrument seems more defined and clearer. The guitars sound like they are in the room with me. The vocal layers are more distinguishable. The bass is perfect, but very thin on the computer headphones…having been in a couple of mastering sessions, I know that’s because of my headphones…it doesn’t sound bad…just like the low end is waiting on me to put the disc on a home stereo and blast it through the speakers. I found myself sitting on the edge of my seat, hoping John, Paul, George, and Ringo wouldn’t mess up. I’m hearing details that weren’t prominent in the old version…each subtle hand movement and breath is clear, and I got nervous that I would hear little flaws that may mess up this beautiful recording. To my amazement, even in the tiniest details, there is music. Glorious musicianship and clarity…even in how each glissando in the last note of background vocal phrases fades out…how each instrument is perfectly tuned to the voices. I find the vocals and the bass particularly amazing.

I’m humbled.

9/9/09.

What a beautiful, intimidating day!

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