Really getting out the vote in a really diverse Alameda County

I Voted, originally uploaded by kendrak.

Alameda County is really big. It’s also really diverse with over 40% of the households speaking a language other than English at home. This makes bilingual election material vital to keep democracy open and fair within the county. In 2010 the Asian Law Caucus observed the election and noted problems throughout the Bay Area, including Alameda County. To their credit, Alameda took these issues seriously and made some big changes for this election – they gave more resources to language assistance and made sure all polling locations had signage, sample ballots, and ballots in the five official languages: English, Spanish, Mandarin, Vietnamese, and Tagalog. All ballots were bilingual with English. The main message of the poll worker classes I attended was to be sure we provided at all precincts, to alternate English/Spanish and English/Chinese ballots, and tried to place bilingual poll workers at locations. It was a little confusing for some, particularly people over 60, but I really liked the inclusive spirit. I thought it was great that they also provided the ‘I Voted” stickers in all the languages – a simple reflection of our multicultural county.

Going into Tuesday morning I was excited about the election. Not because I cared about the races (though I love every opportunity I have to not vote for Feinstein), but because I love this exercise of democracy. I’m not religious, but elections are a type of holy day for me. They are fundamental to living in a democracy. This was also a special election day for me because it was my first as a precinct coordinator. Instead of managing one polling location, I roamed around three making sure things were done correctly, smoothly, and everybody could do their jobs effectively. I was moved from my home precinct in North Berkeley to three on the Berkeley/Oakland border in the toney Hills. Instead of the milieu of students, aged Berkeley Hippies clinging on, and young professional families, I got to see the old and the wealthy. It was a little unnerving in some ways. I’m so used to my Berkeley bubble that I never give the hills much thought, and after yesterday I’ll try to go back to that,

It’s not to say that people who live in the Berkeley and Oakland Hills are bad, but there really is a different mentality. They’re in their own bubble, and listening to some of the comments about the bilingual ballots and the signage made me happy to not be in it.

“Why does it even matter? Nobody here speaks… what’s that language? Tag-a-long? Where is that from?” Yeah… a poll worker said that to me. They had been to the same classes (where the languages were explained), and this person is ostensibly educated and of the world (they talked about a week just spent in New York, and other trips abroad), but they jokingly dismissed Filipinos in our county. This person also assumed Vietnamese people just spoke French. It gave me a headache.
I reminded all the poll workers that regulations required that all signs were posted, and we had the ballots on hand just in case. One one precinct took these changes in stride (we have changes every election), the other two seemed to find these changes to be a burden and it definitely rubbed me the wrong way. The obliviousness that perhaps other parts of the county, like Downtown Oakland, Fruitvale, parts of Fremont and Hayward could really benefit from these changes smacked of entitlement. I’ll admit to joking that I would never move south of Lake Merritt, but I know it exists and that there are lots of people there who have the right to vote. The jokes illustrating ignorance and indifference to the immigrant minority populations in the Bay Area registered a mix of entitlement and classism. When one voter talked about giving the “Tới Đầ Bỏ Phiếu” sticker to their “Vietnamese house girl”. Nice gesture.

I think there is room for refinement with the ballots themselves, but posting signage and sample ballots is a pretty small burden. I hope by November everybody is on board with it, and if they can’t cope with that, perhaps it’s time for a new generation of poll workers? It’s not just a fun day out where we see our neighbors, it’s really a day where we serve our community so they can vote. The whole community, not just those who live in our zipcode or socioeconomic strata.


Owl 143/365, originally uploaded by kendrak.

Tomorrow is May 23rd. This date is significant because it’s Erika’s birthday. Were she alive today, I would wish her a capy birthday. Sadly, she passed away April 2009.

Today is May 22nd – George Best‘s birthday. He was a genius on the pitch. He passed away November 2005.

I’ve always been good with dates and I don’t know why. Sometime’s it really seems like a waste of grey matter – like remembering Will Clark‘s birthday, the end of Napoleon’s reign, Charlamagne’s death, 30 June 1966, the release date of Automatic for the People.

Personal dates make sense – my parents anniversary, an aunt’s birthday – both are within days of my own birthday. The day I first talked to Joe at Gilman. The last Hi-Fives show. The day of the Potatomen at Gilman I walked to from campus and the chilly, long stumble back to my boarding house. OK, that doesn’t make sense.

I wish I was better, like an elephant, but I’m not exact. For some reason though, numbers stick. (Chris Imlay’s birthday is this week, too!) It’s sort of haunting and comforting, but really depends upon the date.

On Coffee – Or why it’s more than just a simple cup.

This weekend I was invited to think back to my high school stint as barista in one of my favorite coffee shops – Boulevard Coffee. My best friend in Kindergarten was Amber, and her parents owned the coffee shop. Cliff roasted the beans, Karen ran the shop. It was always a fun treat to go in there and help my mom pick up beans. The smells, the feel, it all seemed special.

I started drinking coffee pretty young. I remember the joy of cafe au lait, mostly milk, as my first introduction to coffee. When I was an adolescent I was allowed to drink it black, which is how I take it now. This is no doubt in part to the fact that my mom drinks it black. My dad used to use “canned cow”, or evaporated milk. That can would sit in the fridge with a weird skin on the lip. He takes milk and cream now, but that just made me more resolute for black coffee.

When I finally needed to get a job in high school working for Boulevard just made sense. They needed people, I needed a job, and it was bikeable from school and home. Working there made sense. I liked my coworkers and I loved the work. Learning about coffee from people who really cared about the beans, the roasting, the grind, the brewing was trasnformative. All of my obsessions and rituals about coffee were codified then. My parents enjoyed that I came home smelling like beans, but the discount was also good. I loved that I got to try new roasts beyond the French Roast and Seattle Starlight my parents would always buy. Tanzanian Peaberry, Aged Sumatra, Celebes… all good in their own way. Drinking different coffees and really studying them helped me appreciate the variances in roasting, the acidity of the beans. To this day, I still hold Boulevard’s beans up as a standard in good roasting. Not burnt like Peets, not overly light like Blue Bottle. There’s an actual difference between a dark roast and a light roast.

Then there was the world of espresso drinks. I was a pretty good barista and could pull really nice shots with rich crema. I could get microfoam with no trouble. (Man, I wish soy milk was better at foaming…) It was here I learned to appreciate a proper cappuccino or macchiato. People would come in, asking for one of the bastardized espresso drinks from Starbucks and we’d shrug and tell them the fanciest they’d get from us was an iced mocha. There was no blender, no ice cream, no caramel syrup.

I recognize this sounds all very parochial. I admit that I have fairly traditional views about coffee. I don’t drink fancy beer or wine, I drink good coffee. This summer we ditched the Mr. Coffee for a Chemex. Expobar espresso machine. and a Mazzer mini. Life’s too short for bad coffee. (Yes, that is the most bourgeois thing I have ever said.) Though I will do stupid things for free coffee…

So tomorrow morning when when brew up a pot of “So Good” from Philz, it is in some ways a continuation of what I learned at Boulevard, and what I saw my parents do when I was a child. It’s more than caffeine and bitterness. (Hmm… that should be my new motto.) This corner of coffee culture is very similar to collecting vinyl… which probably speaks to another character flaw of mine, but we’ll tackle that later.

Lookout Records may be dead, but I have 11 copies of Lumberjack Days. Thanks for the memories.

Friday started off a little weird. Thursday night after band practice I came home looking for a song my band in high school covered, “Ace King Queen Jack” by Herman’s Hermits. (Listen to it, it’s really good and a bit weird.) Friday morning I listened to it, and then Back From the Grave, and then settled into the complete Hi-Fives discography. I don’t go all out like that very often, but it was a great way to end the week. Just as I was finishing up Get Down!, I saw Ted Leo’s announcement that Lookout is dead popping up all over Facebook. While I had heard they were liquidating stock a few months back, and they have been effectively dead for years, it’s still a bit sad to a label that had such an influence on my upbringing really fold.

There was an interesting mix of memories on Larry’s Facebook wall. Today Grant Lawrence (of my second favourite Lookout band, The Smugglers) blogged his memories of Lookout. One thing that I find sort of remarkable is how so many people my age have similar stories of being affected by Lookout, and now it’s really just a memory. It sort of makes me feel a bit old.

That picture above was taken in 1997 outside of the Great American Music Hall. I hitched a ride down to see The Hi-Fives play with the Mr T Experience. It was my 6th Hi-Fives show, first out of Sacramento. When I saw John Denery walking in I asked for a picture and made up some line about making a website for them. I didn’t even know HTML at the time, but it didn’t stop me. I learned HTML and made the site. Who knew years later I would be making websites for a living? I didn’t, but it’s just one of those things I can credit Lookout for. All these years later I look back on high school with a fondness, mostly for feeling like I was a part of something. Seeing the Hi-Fives, the Smugglers, MTX, the Queers, the Groovie Ghoulies, was a social. I made a lot of friends at those shows, hanging out on the Com Center (remember when it was orange?), and trolling the internet. For the rest of those kids, I will put on More Bounce to the Ounce for you.

And at this moment, sitting on my couch in Berkeley, I think back to what it was like in my parents’ computer room in Carmichael, listening to the Ne’er Do Wells/Judy and the Loadies split on the computer because that was the only CD player we had in the house. At that point Gilman was a mythical place that I always wanted to go to, and this past Friday night I was there hanging out with my husband I met there years later. This is the same man who made an mp3 of the Hi-Fives’ b-side “Baby Let’s Grow Old” for me when I was living in Germany and missing that record. (I’m relatively easy to please.) I was wearing my much loved Little Type t-shirt (that Larry gave me off his own back!), which somebody recognized and we reminisced over Erika and her mail order legacy, and how’s she’s still missed by many.

I also look over to my record shelf and see my Smugglers Dance Contest Trophy, one of my possessions I’m most proud of. I used to practice in my room, waiting for the opportunity to shake it with the Smugglers. It happened in 1999 at Gilman. I don’t remember much other than being insanely giddy, having a great time, and buying all the merch I could. I think I also met one of my oldest friends that night.

And then there’s been that whole surreal thing of being in the Potatomen. Although I have to admit, there’s also something unreal about Larry’s new comp The Think That Ate Larry Livermore, due out on Adeline Records this year. The esteemed Patrick Hynes (artistic genius, guitar guru, and solid holding mid-fielder), was drawing the cover while we were in New York for the Potatomen. He said I was going to be on the cover, and I am. It’s really is some adolescent dream come true. I hate admitting that, but there you go.

So while they haven’t released anything since 2005, and I can’t recall the last release I purchased (maybe Ted Leo?), it is a bit sad Lookout is well and truly dead. I’ll put on Can of Pork and make dinner now.

Larry, thanks for getting things started. It’s weird to admit, but you’ve made my life much richer. Lots of people can probably say the same thing. I would give you a bro-shoulder-punch if I could. Patrick, same goes for you, or maybe just a sage nod. (John, Chris, Grant, you as well.)

Just another girl with a ukulele

Though I’m probably too old to say I’m a girl. Anyhow! Dr J’s brother, IvyMike, gave me this ukulele for Christmas. I never played one before. You know what? They aren’t guitars. They’re smaller and tuned weird. Despite the cognitive disconnect, I sort of wrote a song and made this video for my friend Jambina. THAT IS MY STORY.

Nostalgia, the underground, and rock and roll

The Mighty Ceasars, originally uploaded by EPS_Twain.

Today my dad sent me a link from Little Stevie’s Underground Garage entitled “A Crisis of Craft” from last year. In the post Steven Van Zandt rails against the music industry and the apparent death of DIY. It’s quite long and doesn’t really have a succinct point. Here’s one paragraph:

Well when the major record companies abandon development yes, DIY is born. Do it yourself. And the auteur theory works well with DIY anyway so why not? Ok there’s one reason why not. Everybody isn’t a star. Isn’t a songwriter. Isn’t a singer. Isn’t a performer. Isn’t a record producer. But who’s there to tell them? To help? To suggest a different direction? To teach?

My response to my dad was snarky: “Interesting… I will blog more coherent thoughts but I think he comes off a bit as an old dude romanticizing a noble past, which he sort of opted out of by being part of the Springsteen machine. He has valid points, but it really seems like sour grapes and ignoring the real underground.”

Dad, here’s the more.

First of all, I have a real hard time taking anybody who played with Bruce Springsteen, makes money spinning for Sirius/XM seriously when he talks about DIY. It’s clear his definition of DIY and my own do not match. I don’t know if it’s generational or what. Van Zandt’s assessment of “the industry” and DIY really reminds me of the classic Jim Derogatis interview with Stephan Jenkins, where Jenkins proclaims “[Third Eye Blind] has been , if not the most D.I.Y next to Fugazi, then NO.2 or 3.” (That makes me roll with laughter. Actually the whole interview does.)

DIY happens independent of the major labels. In fact, I would posit that when you hook up with a major label machine you can’t really cal yourself DIY. You’re art is even more of a product than before, and it’s really all about money. Reading Van Zandt’s blog, it’s apparent that he has a very romanticized view the the good old days. You know, when he was young and the music he liked was cool. We all suffer from it. Hell, why do you think I keep talking about the Hi-Fives? You know what though? They were way more DIY than anything he on Little Stevie’s show and probably more garage. Ever since the White Stripes, people think anything simple is garage but totally missing the point, and ignoring the long history, of DIY garage music.

Which brings me to the picture – Thee Mighty Ceasars (see them live!). They are one of the more popular Billy Childish bands, coming after The Milkshakes, but before Thee Headcoats. Right now he’s in The Spartan Dreggs, and I think they’re really good. Basically, he’s prolific and he’s become well known doing his thing without the aid of a major label. He is definitely one of my favourite musicians and if he puts a record out there’s a 90% chance I’ll buy it and an 80% chance I’ll like it.

Recently John, from the Hi-Fives, pointed to this interview Childish did with VICE a few years back when he was in The Buff Medways. It’s 26 minutes long, but definitely worth checking out. Childish covers everything from the Beatles to the Nazis, but talks about DIY and amateurism. Childish says at one point, “Professional footballers ruin football. Professional musicians ruin music.” I sort of agree with him. Looking back, some of my favourite songs come from people just making music because they want to, they like to, and it’s not really about the money. True, we need money to survive and to make more records, but it’s nothing like the fat you see at major labels.

Van Zandt’s post my dad sent sort of touches upon this, about the craft of rock and roll, but he fails because he tries to intellectualize it and ignores on of the cornerstones of rock – does it have a good beat and can you dance to it? His frame of reference is coloured by his past of sleeping with majors and growing up in a time when you busted your ass to get noticed by an A&R man from one of the major labels. I know people still have that mindset, but it’s not the same. I grew up obsessing over small indie labels, really indie labels, like Lookout (RIP), and local bands, that I couldn’t really see making it beyond out small world. That’s fine. The world doesn’t need another Green Day and it sure as hell doesn’t need another 200 bands trying to be the next Green Day. Actually, more fitting with this post, the world doesn’t need another White Stripes, or a bunch of imitators trying to be the next indie darlings and butchering Sonics’ songs.

Today, you bands need to give it a go. Write songs. Perform. Record your demos. Let people download them, and be prepared to self release. That’s DIY and that’s how you get label support. People are doing it all the time.

There are lots of people “dedicated to the craft” right now, they are just off Van Zandt’s radar. He needs to get more underground.

Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, taste is irrelevant.

It’s a well known fact that I own a lot of records, and that when I say records I mean vinyl. Not CDs, not mp3s, but good old records. Some of my records are really good, like Tiger Trap, The Milkshakes, and of course my whole Hi-Fives collection, but I also have some crap. I love the crap, but I don’t expect others to. I’m talking about Heino (who’s birthday is this week!), Heintje, and Heinz.

This week I bought the 7″ of Ohio Express’ “Yummy Yummy Yummy” for a $1. It was a deal (and featured in one of my favourite Monty Python skits, seen above). Listening to it at volumes loud enough to annoy the neighbours is a joy. Well, I was hanging out with some soccer mates after our game on Saturday and one of them was talking about what he was listening to expecting me to scoff at his selection. I’m sorry, but the Pogues are respectable. Ohio Express is only respectable in certain, smaller circles.

Then today some people on the internet were talking about what albums mean Christmas to them. Of course, most of this group had parents that were square and white, so it was a lot of Johnny Mathis, Bing Crosby, Burl Ives, and the like. I’ve never really been a fan of Christmas music, so I couldn’t be in the fight. Other than to be a brat and point out how dull it all was. So bland, like the Beach Boys. (For the record, I was raised on The Kinks’ “Father Christmas“, Live Aid, David Bowie and Bing Crosby doing “Drummer Boy“, and Spike Jones’ “Barnyard Christmas“. That probably explains a lot.) (For the record, my new favourite Christmas song is “I Wanna Kiss You This Christmas” by Dave ‘n’ Megan on It’s A Team Mint Xmas vol. 1.)

The only thing that kills me in these conversations is the value judgement. It’s human and we all do it, but some keep it under wraps. Why is it OK to proclaim others’ taste to be crap when we can’t proclaim your taste to me crap? Well, we can but then there’s probably going to be an argument as pointless as a trip to the argument clinic.

I think it boils down to people want validation. It’s another human trait. It’s why we like to be a part of something. You like a record that other people like, that reaffirms that you like something good. Even if it’s just a few people, there’s some validation. Some need this, some don’t. Negotiating that can be tricky. I’ve never really had many people who really liked the same things I did. Nobody else liked David Bowie in Kindergarten. It wasn’t until high school when I found people in the scene (Alex and Fran, I’m looking at you!), that I understood what it was like to have common interests musically.

I don’t expect people to like what I listen to or even want to listen to it. (It makes being a DJ weird.) I do welcome argument and discussion, but most people take it as an attack on their taste. It isn’t but I can see their point. People like what they like. Some people are always hunting for deeper and weirder, and some are just happy. The problem is when the content give vibes that they are more adventurous and then there’s the assumptions and we have a problem.

Also remember, I am a sarcastic ass.

Winner: Dealing with victory when the shoe’s on the other foot

Winner, originally uploaded by kendrak.

I play indoor soccer on Mondays. It’s a women’s team. It’s fun. Sometimes it’s frustrating as hell because we always seem to be short players, which means we’re often playing down a person. It’s annoying to be slaughtered on the field when you know there’s really nothing you can do. I will do my best to defend, block shots, make them pass or take long shots, but when we’re missing people and gassed it’s a losing battle.

Tonight we showed up and I knew we would just barely have 7 players (a full side). I saw the other team we were playing: they had at least 12 people ready to go, all in matching uniforms. Teams in matching uniforms tend to freak me out. It’s a whole level of organization that tends to reflect a seriousness that I’m not sure I’m ready for. All the teams I play on are just a color, we just have to make sure our shirts meet the criteria. People in matching uniforms, especially ones that are replica kit (down to the shorts!), they intimidate me. It works. I assume they are way better than me, which is a fair assumption since I’m not that good.

So we start off the game playing tactically sound, passing football. The other team was younger and faster, and they were just going to run us out. If we had subs no doubt we would have been a bit more aggressive, but knowing that we’d all be on the pitch for the full 50 minutes, we had to play smart. When we scored the first goal (off of an amazing header), I was chuffed. This wasn’t going to be a bloodbath!

I realized 5 minutes into the first half that we were actually controlling the game. We were passing pretty well, and making full use of the field. I was playing a stopper which allowed our other defender space to move up. It worked pretty well. Their forwards only scared us a few times, but because we were able to pick the ball off in the midfield. They compensated by lobbing long balls up, which I was able to pass back up. Reading Jonathan Wilson and Michael Cox is good for something after all!

The score at the end of the first half was 1-8. We were winning pretty comfortably. It was sort of shocking, but the team for all their off-pitch organization (matching kits and coaches!), were a mess on the field. It was like bunch ball for adults. They weren’t really marking our forwards, and they played very narrow. They had some good players, but they weren’t working together at all. That’s a problem with a lot of new teams, and for all we know this was the team’s first season in the league. My team, we’ve been around for a while (I joined 2 years ago). It takes time to achieve a balance and rhythm. You need to see how your style fits with the other people on your team. Where do they like to pass? Will they make a run? The finer points. That’s what we had going on. This other team? Not at all.

That’s when I realized the shoe was on the other foot. I’m so used to being much worse than my opponents, that it took me a while (and a score line of 3-12) to recognize that we were slaughtering them. It was a weird feeling. Despite their youth, energy, and waves of subs, we were killing them and controlling the pace of the game. Most of it was in their half. I wanted to pull my foot off the gas, but it was hard. “I’ll ease up a bit… but I still don’t want them to score.” As a defender, it’s all I can do really. But we started easing up. Hell, I went up and played forward! They didn’t score again, but neither did we. It was just a back and forth for the last 10 minutes. We were tired as hell, but they just couldn’t string it together to get a good attack.

The final was 3-14. When the final buzzer went, I was happy to get a drink of water but a little bummed that the other team didn’t shake our hands. I understand the feeling, it sucks losing that much and you just want to get the hell out of there and lick your wounds, but I also think it’s important to go through the motion. Maybe it’s a romantic view of the beautiful game, but I really believe that you should be able to respect your opponent at the end of it all and walk away with no lingering ill will. There are some teams that I have played against that make it really hard. They have bad attitudes and bring out the worst in me, but I know it’s not the whole team and that I’m really not like that. We tried to talk to them, to wish them a good game, but I guess we were jerks for running the score up like that.

While I savored my burrito tonight with the enthusiasm of a wiped out winner, I still feel a little bummed. I have complained about teams that just run up the score and demoralize my side, and I just did it. I know it’s not all my fault, not wanting them to score since it’s all I can do, but we did it as a team. While my team hasn’t had such a cohesive display in a long time (that part was pretty awesome), I wish we knew how to pull back. Or maybe it’s good that we’re not so accustomed to this sort of thing, and that we have no idea of what to do?

I’m pretty sure tonight was a fluke

A view from the other side…

Last night we played a show at Maxwell’s in Hoboken. 15 years ago, I used to fantasize about going to some of the awesome pop-punk shows there. Life is pretty crazy like that. I still feel awkward as hell on stage, but people enjoyed themselves which is what really matters.

I just need to make time for music. I really enjoy it. (Thanks for the pic, LBZ!)

Violence inherent in the system? History repeating itself? #occupycal

IMAG0489, originally uploaded by urbangarden.

Right now I’m sitting in Brooklyn, at Larry’s kitchen table, trying to follow what’s been happening today at my Alma Mater and employer, UC Berkeley. Earlier, students tried to set up an encampment outside Sproul Hall, the main administration building. Riot police moved in to break up the tents:

Then there was this sickening scene of UCPD beating students who were just standing there with no provocation:

Both the Daily Cal and Cal TV have been doing a pretty good job covering the protests. #occupycal is also a trending topic on Twitter right now, and major media outlets are paying attention. On a night when Penn State students are demonstrating in support of Joe Paterno, who was fired for failing to do anything about his former defensive coordinator sexually abusing young boys. That’s some perspective.

Here’s some more. Students are being asked to pay more in tuition and fees again. I thought the fee hikes when I was in school (2000-2005) were excessive, but now it’s just ridiculous. Especially when you look at the compensation of the UC top brass. We have more and more executive administrators making very healthy paychecks, when students are being squeeze dry and services are disappearing because staff is being laid off or leaving for greener pastures. (Disclosure: I was laid off and then brought back on part time because of budget constraints. The library I work in went from being open M-F 9-5, to T-F 11-5 due to our decimated budget.) The campus is not a happy place right now. Everybody is uneasy, but that doesn’t excuse or explain the use of force by the police today.

I don’t want to act like there were halcyon days to return to, but I also hope that the campus community can repair these wounds. The administration will have to go a long ways to establish trust with students, faculty (one of whom was arrested today), and staff. We are a public university whose mission is to educate and generate new knowledge for society. Yes, we need to be able to afford it, but we also need to have compassion. Right now, I’m not feeling that.

Be safe tonight Berkeley. I’ll be glued to Twitter.

It’s a man’s world apparently…

Best Store Window Ever, originally uploaded by jnoriko.

So today I happen to be in Sacramento for work. Immediately I was stoked to go record shopping at one of my favourite record stores – Phono Select. After I got out of my meeting, I cruised over there to really dig in the crates. Normally when I go, I have Dr J or family members in tow. They get bored when I go through each section looking for stuff. Dr J is one of the nicest men ever, not only did he give me health insurance, but he’ll hold my records for me so it’s easier to browse. That’s love folks.

Anyhow, today I was in there and this couple walks in. They were a bit older than me, and the man was pretty dismissive of his female companion. Clearly she was bored within moments of walking in there and he was trying to get her out of his hair so he could browse in peace. Totally understandable. But then he had to take this totally dismissive, chauvinist tone about the whole thing. “Let me do boy stuff.”

If there was ever a time for the sound of a needle scratching off a piece of vinyl that was it. I couldn’t stop myself from looking up and giving them guy a death glare. Seriously. I might not be the cute yuppie girl he was with, but I’m totally a woman and I’m the vinyl collector geek in my relationship. I don’t even know how record buying is supposed to be gender based, other than perhaps selective affirmation bias and boys being encouraged to buy and spin vinyl. To each their own… but seriously… record collectors aren’t just dudes. Don’t act like I’m army candy.