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Moby Disc

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I live in a tiny house. It’s a modest, three-floor living space good enough for a small family. Picture a typical Filipino apartment with an attic and that’s about it. I am not complaining because I love our place. Yes, it is small but my wife and I were able to put our design licks in it.

We have a narrow hall leading to our bedroom to the right and to the open terrace if you go straight. We had the hall wall painted white to make it appear wider but leaving it bare would make it boring, right? Well, certainly we don’t want it to look like a usual Pinoy wall: “Footprints in the Sand” poster, school diplomas, framed pre-fast food diet family photos, and a wooden cutlery set made for a giant.

Enter my man-cave design sensibilities and basic Adobe Photoshop skills. Go to the Internet and search for royalty-free (read: do not mass produce) retro poster sites. Make a layout of a poster; A3 would be a good size. This size will spare you the trouble of custom-sizing the picture frame. Your favorite bookstore will surely have this frame size.

Frame and 3M Hook

After finishing my layouts, I went to the local print shop and had them digitally printed. I excitedly rushed home for my DIY project having bought the A3 frames earlier. In less than an hour, I’m done framing.

Now, to set the row of frames nicely, place two frames at both ends first using those nifty 3M re-attachable hooks. This step will allow you to approximate the distribution of the rest of the frames in between with equal gaps between each frame.

My initial hall wall posters roll call: 2-Tone Records “1980 Margate concert”, Depeche Mode’s “A Broken Frame”, Robert Zemeckis’ “Back to the Future”, Stanley Kubrick’s “Lolita”, Rob Reiner’s “The Sure Thing” and “Stand by Me”. These posters are easily replaceable should we grow tired of our hall display. To recover some money back, go to the thrift stores at Cubao X and Kamuning for a quick sale.

Your walls shouldn’t be boring and you don’t need to put a Warhol or Pollock to make them exciting. Be creative and let your imagination flow. Make your own set of retro posters and put them up.

“I’m a hoarder of music.”

Good thing Audio Accumulation Anonymous has yet to be formed. Otherwise, they’d send me an application form, no doubt.

I currently have around 3,000 compact discs and about a thousand vinyl records in my possession.

I would prefer to call myself a collector but I am guilty of stockpiling CDs and LPs every chance I get. Flea markets, yard sales, foreign trips, etc.– I’m always on the hunt.

So, yes to minimalist apologists, I’m guilty as charged.

REWIND

I buy everything from A-ha to Zappa, from Beethoven to Camper Van Beethoven. There’s always the itch to complete titles, rarities, out-takes, and concert versions. My first record purchase was at the age of ten, a 45 rpm of The Human League’s “Don’t You Want Me” and I haven’t stopped buying from that time on.

The first few records and cassettes were neatly stored beneath the shelf that housed my dad’s Sony Quadraphonic component system until the cabinet could no longer accommodate any additional records.

Advancements in music technology during the eighties and nineties had allowed me to buy a fresh stash of compact discs to fully duplicate what I already have in form of vinyl records.

PAUSE

Moving from my folk’s house where storage space wasn’t a problem to apartment units during my early 20s was quite challenging. I had to buy slim, tower-type CD holders to keep my CDs and plastic boxes to transport them every time I move. When I got married I made sure that my wife had the same taste in music as I do.

The selfish motive of mine was crystal clear– my collection should be part of the family. Sixteen years into our marriage, the collection increased to almost a roomful of treasure (my terminology) or junk (hers).

I need to seriously address this problem of mine.

RESUME

We had a new house built last year in a small village in the suburbs of Mandaluyong. A former housing complex for a company’s employees, the similarly sized lots measure a sprawling 64 square meters! Things aren’t looking too bright for my stash.

Inspired by designers making use of every inch of functional space, I devised a way to make use of the space underneath the stairs leading to the second floor of the house.

We utilized tubular metal bars as frames and finished with vinyl floor tiles as shelf toppings, I now have my own area to store my earthly possessions. There’s also a triangular hole at the side of the stairs where one can peek at the CD sleeve displayed on those corners.

PLAYBACK

“I am still a music hoarder…and lover!”

There’s a temporary truce between my wife and me regarding this matter. Well, it was a clever idea to put those shelves there. To sweeten the deal, I also placed her beloved vintage piano beside the collection and a corduroy green divan to rest on while we listen to music.

Love, peace, and understanding (originally by Nick Lowe, popularized by Elvis Costello) are very important to all couples. So let’s put the CD collection to rest.

Now, my vinyl collection is another issue.