Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Are you as cool as you believe?

The Child Bride and MeI seem to have gone into power-saving mode over the last fortnight. When my computer is on power-saving mode that means it is on but doing fuck all, which is a pretty accurate description of me these days.

For the most part I find myself interested in two things: the child bride and my new iPod. Being interested in one's wife of almost eight years is all well and good, but Rachel goes to work during the day, which leaves me spending eight hours staring at a little shiny thing that has no moving parts.

The iPod is a gift from my parents, who were in town for the week before Easter. Having my parents visit was a bit like going on a game show, in the sense that I walked away from the experience with cash and prizes. Sadly a lifetime supply of Rice-A-Roni was not among the prizes.

The contestants on "The Price Is Right" (the U.S. version) are always sent home with a lifetime supply of Rice-A-Roni. How in the hell do they determine what a "lifetime supply" is? As someone who has, in fact, never consumed a single Rice-A-Roni product, I'd reckon two boxes would equal a lifetime supply for me. But presumably there are people who could eat a whole mess of Rice-A-Roni, people who could eat nothing but for the rest of their lives. One can only hope, for fairness' sake, that these are the people going on "The Price Is Right."

But as I say, I got an iPod; which means I can now get hearing damage and participate in iPod blog memes, like all the cool kids.

I realise a blog post about iPods is ridiculously outdated, but that's how I roll, bitches. The rest of you no doubt spotted this back when Des'ree was popular, but an interesting side-effect of the iPod's shuffle feature is that you find yourself listening to music you had no idea existed in your library.

Sheena Easton's "For Your Eyes Only;" how the hell did that get in there? And, of course, I will sit there and listen to it because I am too paranoid to pull my iPod from my pocket and skip ahead. I do that sneaky earbuds-up-through-the-shirt thing that you see everyone doing on the train (for those of you playing along back in the United States, a "train" is a big sort of box thing that people take to work. It's a bit like an airplane but it goes on the ground and is more environmentally sensible), as if that is going to somehow thwart chav thieves: "Oh, I say. That chap's earbuds are coming out of his shirt. One is left to conclude that his iPod is implanted in his chest. Let's not muck with him. Stealing his iPod would be messy and waste valuable energy, forcing us to spend another seven hours hanging out behind the Somerfield eating giant Cadbury eggs."

I have a lot of really bad music in my library. This is down to two main factors: 1) I refuse to accept reality; 2) I refuse to throw away music.

Many moons ago, when buffalo roamed the plain, before white man came to steal my land, I had a university radio show that no one listened to. But I had shagged the station manager, so she sent a tape of my show off to the Student Radio Association awards and I came runner-up in the best male presenter category. Since then I have had visions of grandeur that refuse to accept the reality that I am neither on radio nor making any attempt to be on radio. As a side effect, I find myself collecting various bits of comedy audio, like this. Would you put that on your iPod? Of course not. But I did. Because I see myself one day using a clip of it in my radio show that doesn't exist.

Then I make it worse by refusing to throw anything away. Shortly after high school, I sold my CD collection to maintain my girlfriend habit, and I have regretted the decision ever since. Because sometimes, damn it, I really want listen to Frente!'s "Labour of Love,"* but I have too much self-respect to buy the CD all over again. So, now I keep everything, because I have no idea when or if I will ever want to listen to "The Lions and the Cucumber" by the Vampire Sound Incorporation, but I don't want to be left wanting. The only thing worse than listening to Frente!'s "Labour of Love" is wanting to listen to Frente!'s "Labour of Love." For several days.

My parents bought me an 80GB iPod, which makes me the coolest of all the cool kids. Irish comic Dara O'Briain does a bit in which he claims that his 80GB iPod is taunting him by having so much memory, which I find myself suddenly able to relate to. The 80GB limit feels like a challenge, especially with the bulk of my CDs still sitting in boxes in Minnesota. A smart man would have converted all those CDs into mp3 files before leaving -- thus eliminating the need to transport physical items that cost hundreds of dollars to ship -- but I am not a smart man.

*Blimey, how minimalist is that video? I suspect it took only slightly longer than the song itself to shoot.


Afe said...

iPods are terribly outdated, the kids are just having hard drives implanted in their heads these days. What happened to the good old days?

Wierdo said...

Weakling. You have submited. I still have my 512mb mp3 player that I got for free from my bank for having a student account with them. It hasn't been updated in a year and currently I have no headphones. How I mock you with your 80GB

That's over twice as much memory as I have in my laptop. Unfair

Anonymous said...

I have a 6gb creative zen. But that's not the point of this comment.
I've got Frente's 'Labour of Love' on CD. Do you want a copy? Or the empeetree even?

Huw said...

I only have a single gb, and am far too lazy to update and swap things round often enough. Don't feel mocked by the abyss of your iPod's memory: rather, think of it as a still very distant ground as you free fall, whereas mine is constantly rushing towards me.

Neil Struthers said...

Oh man, yeah

I got an iPod there about a week ago.

I've turned into a sort of manic music-grubber, anything that passes as music at all goes on the 'pod. It's 2007 so CD's have been around long enough for us to have a few in the attic. Brilliant though. I'm listening to things I've had for years but never really paid much attention to. The earphones are never out of my ears.

I'm sure this honeymoon period will fade soon enough and I'll go back to listening to Pink Floyd's 'Pulse' concert on a loop.

Today has been Green Day Day at work. That is, a personal journey through every Green Day album, lasting more or less from morn' til night.

Lucky said...

"Having my parents visit was a bit like going on a game show, in the sense that I walked away from the experience with cash and prizes."

That is a brilliant line.

Chris Cope said...

Elisa, if you want to send me that file, you will have secured yourself a standing invitation to the Cope household (mind, you already had a standing invitation, I just hadn't mentioned it).

Sarah Stevenson said...

I just can't forgive Frente for their cover of New Order's Bizarre Love Triangle. [shudder]

I'm still using the iPod Shuffle I got for my birthday a year ago, and the sad thing is I'm still excited about it, even though Rob got a Nano a few months ago and it's really much cooler than mine.

And I had to comment that nobody in San Francisco actually seems to eat Rice-a-Roni. Go figure.