Ode to Zia

I went to the record store today for the first time since college, maybe even since high school. I’ve been to other record stores since then—not often, but it’s happened—but I haven’t been to my record store.

Zia Records was a regular Friday night stop when I was in high school, where hours were passed and hours of income were quickly spent. It’s where I bought a used Dead Milkmen album for under $5 purely for the song “Bitchin’ Camaro,” which led to my appreciation for 80s punk. It’s where I lost my friends (or did they lose me?) as I walked slowly, slowly down the aisles, my eyes scanning every last CD for the gem I was sure was hidden in Zia’s racks. It’s where I felt surrounded by long-lost friends and friends yet to be made in tracks familiar and unknown.

In recent years, the few albums I’ve purchased have come directly from the artists, either by pre-order or from the merch table at the occasional concert I attend. Today, I went for the new Foo Fighters album, wanting my support of mega rock stars to also support a local business. While Zia’s still in the same location and still cluttered with music and merch, it’s changed a bit. Vinyls are on the west wall now, not the east, and DVDs and games support what I assume are lagging music sales. To get to the staff picks rack, you have to pass an aisle crammed with Breaking Bad and Marvel memorabilia. They always had merch, but back when I was a regular at Zia’s, before Napster and iTunes and mp3s, music was what paid the bills. I guess that’s changed, too.

Record StoreI finally found my Foo Fighters album in the new releases section along the back wall. The endcaps facing the new releases taunted me with “2 for $5” and “$0.99 CDs” signs. I paused for a few minutes, doing a quick scan for the gems I knew were still there. For once, forgetting my glasses did me a service: it was frustrating being unable to see well, and that frustration nudged me to move on after little more than a quick glance. The sleepy toddler on my hip, my injured knee, and the whispering voice of budgeting finally had my brain on board and moved me towards the register. I slowed down for a few quick scans in the soundtrack section, but I found myself at the end of the aisle and in front of a register all too soon.

How I miss the days of music shopping after football games, with financial limits being whatever I earned and time limits being curfew, not naptime or joint pain.

By the time I got home, my munchkin was asleep. Wanting to put off the moment I’d have to pull him from his carseat, I pulled my purchase out of my purse. I sat in the driver’s seat, lovingly gazing at the album cover. I soon found seven 8’s hidden in the album art, an homage to this being the Foo Fighters’ eighth album. I slid the plastic wrap around with my thumb, wanting to peek behind the price sticker for the final 8 but not wanting to forever end the pristine nature of my new album.

Maybe it was nostalgia for physical copies of music. Maybe it was wanting to savor the album slowly, discovering each piece of it a little at a time. Maybe it was wanting to pretend that the music was all that mattered, like when I was a volunteer street rep for record labels and had a plan to move to New York and become a record executive and spend my entire life surrounded by music. Maybe it was simply letting myself get carried away by a small pleasure. Whatever it is, I liked it. And I’ll be back for more.

Thanks, Zia. I missed you.


All This Needs Is That Dial-Up Sound

Searching for what kind of foods to be eating and stumbled upon this…


Seriously? Angelfire still exists AND it’s home to the top search result? Obviously, I clicked through. I was not disappointed.

To see it in all its textured glory, click here.

God, I miss (low) quality site design.

As Seen In

Other places where I’ve contributed or been quoted. Some appear under my maiden name Sonia Singh; more recent publications have my married name Sonia Charry.

Regular Contributor:

Big Dog Blog – All about life with big dogs. Based at my website PawPosse.com, which specializes in cool stuff for big dogs.

DogChowFamilies – Partnership with Purina Dog Chow. Articles include Can Dogs Get The Blues?

Guest Author:

3 Steps To Win The War On Dog Hair – I’ve got years of experience with this, folks. How to reduce shedding from the inside out. AZCentral Neighborhoods; May 24, 2013.

Game Day Foods To Share With Your Dog – Super Bowl parties are about two things: the game and the food. Try these 5 game-day goodies you can share with your dog. AZCentral Neighborhoods; January 29, 2013.

Dog-Friendly Northern Arizona – Want to explore Arizona’s high country with your dog? Here are amazing places to visit that welcome dogs. Dog Wonderful; November 23, 2012.

Easy-to-Make Fall Treats For Your Dog – When cooking up a Thanksgiving feast, don’t forget your dog. Try these 3 dog-friendly versions of fall goodies. ILoveDogs; November 9, 2012.

Groupon Goes To The Dogs – Forget skydiving or dance lessons. The Arizona Humane Society has made it possible to adopt a homeless pet through the coupon site. Pet News And Views; October 11, 2012.

7 Tips For Better Pet Photos – Everybody’s had the experience of taking what should be the perfect pet photo but ends up with one fatal flaw… demon eyes, perhaps? 7 ways to get better shots of your pets. No Dog About It blog; September 4, 2012.

How To Make Sweet Potato Chews – Looking for a healthy alternative to store-bought dog treats? This simple recipe is a canine crowd-pleaser. Wayward Dogs blog; September 3, 2012.

5 Ways To Show Love To Your Vet Staff – If the staff at your pet’s veterinary hospital goes above and beyond, here are 5 ways to show them you appreciate it. Embrace Pet Insurance blog; August 26, 2012.

Our Dogs, Our Hearts: Sonia And Nala – There are dogs, and then there are “heart dogs.” Part of a series investigating what sets heart dogs apart from the rest of the pack. Jenna and Snickers; August 20, 2012.

5 Ways To Beat The Heat With Your Dog – How desert dwellers can survive the remaining weeks of the dog days of summer. Examiner.com; August 11, 2012.

How To Keep Dogs Safe From Summer Heat – How to recognize and prevent canine heat stroke, an illness that is often fatal and always preventable. VetLIVE; August 8, 2012.

How To Make Car Rides With Dogs A Breeze – Whether you’re going to the vet or on a family road trip, here are 4 ways to make it fun for you and your furry passengers. GoPetFriendly; July 17, 2012.

Fidose Funny Friday: Dog Spins Wheels – One of my most embarrassing moments with my dog. I assure you, this is exactly how it happened. Fidose of Reality; July 6, 2012.

8 Secrets To Eliminate Pulling On A Leash – Tired of your dog taking you for a walk? Here’s how I turned my pup from a wannabe-sled dog to a calm canine. PetsWeekly; June 2, 2012.

Caring For Your Senior Dog – Learn what makes a dog a senior and what adjustments to make to keep them healthy through their golden years. Grouchy Puppy; February 10, 2012.

Reversing Training Mishaps – Ever accidentally taught a kid a swear word? I did something sort of like that with my dog. My 2 big training mistakes and how I reversed them. Fang Shui Training; January 2, 2012.

Going Green To Keep Dogs Safe And Healthy – When your dog licks food off the floor, he’s also licking up any chemicals you use to clean it. Here are 8 pet-safe alternatives to traditional chemical cleaners. Fidose Of Reality; November 21, 2011.

Top 5 Ways To Improve Life For Your Senior Dog – You can’t treat them the same way you treat a puppy. TheDogDaily; November 7, 2011.

Protecting Your Dog During The Dog Days Of Summer – How to keep your dog cool and safe as the mercury rises. FIDO Friendly Blog; August 11, 2011.

6 Large Dog Breed Myths – Busted! – Why many things you’ve heard about big dogs simply aren’t true. FIDO Friendly Blog; March 4, 2011.

Why Don’t More People Adopt Rescue Dogs? – Myths abound on why shelter pets are second-rate. Here’s the truth on why rescued dogs make first-class pets. Bella’s House And Pet Sitting; July 18, 2010.

Quoted In:

Real Women Share: Pregnant And Dreaming Of Motherhood – AllParenting.com; May 24, 2013.

Going Green – Pet Age Magazine; April 17, 2013.

How To Write A Business Plan – Scott’s Marketplace; November 21, 2012.

The Things We Do For Love: “I Started A Business For My Big Dog” – Author Caroline Golon; September 6, 2012.

Summer Pet Safety – Author Selena Dehne, FabulousLiving; August 29, 2012.

Top 5 Ways To Improve Life For Your Senior Dog – Author Kim Boatman, TheDogDaily.

Fact Or Fiction? – Author Carol Bryant, FIDO Friendly Magazine; July 2011 issue.

Big Dogs And The People Who Love Them – Author Carol Bryant, FIDO Friendly Magazine; July 2011 issue.