The 'Pod and I
So naturally I was given an iPod Mini for a solstice gift by My Dear Friends Lisa and her husband Lee. (Lee being Lee Arenberg, actor extraordinaire, whom we will be seeing again this summer as pirate Pintel in "Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest". To refresh your memory, he's the " 'Ello, poppet!" one...don't forget to see it when it opens in July! Go Opening Weekend to pump up the figures! Go twice! And go buy the DVD of his fantastically funny series "Action!", where he plays the meanest---and best-endowed---man in Hollywood.)
Anyway. I was grateful and thrilled, though a bit daunted at first...ooooh, technology!...but I summoned up all the techno brain cells I possess---not exactly a flotilla, though I can and did wire up my stereo system, and not one of the easy comes-in-a-package newfangled ones either but one that I personally assembled piece by piece from fancy separate components, big old KLH studio-style wood-cased speakers and JVC amp and preamp and decks and Dual turntable, what a Twenty-first Century Technofox! ([tm] my dear friend Mary)---and commanded them into action, to master this tiny new device. It's not that I really hate all new techstuff, it's just that my classical-humanist-trained brain doesn't work like that: techspeak makes me feel stupid, and I have issues with the English and punctuation in the operating manuals, and then I get panicky and scared.
But this time I got hooked.
I have possibly spent almost as much money on downloading from iTunes as the mini cost to begin with. I have it about three-quarters full now, mostly from CDs I own or borrowed, and I am beginning to have lustful thoughts about the 30-gig one with 7,500 or 15,000-tune and TV-show ("Lost" on the road! "TAR" while I travel! "House" away from home!) capacity.
I have downloaded songs I haven't heard since I was a sulking child in my parents' car on Sunday afternoon going to Grandma and Grandpa's for dinner ("Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing," the Ames Brothers; "Round and Round," Perry Como). Songs I go-go danced to in Triple Cities roadhouses ("Lady Godiva," Peter and Gordon; "Valleri", the Monkees). Songs I broke up with old boyfriends to ("Don't Talk to Strangers," the Beau Brummels). Songs I fell in love with new boyfriends to (I think we all know what some of THOSE were...and who the boyfriend was). (Most girls just have "our song" with their guys; MY guy actually wrote and sang them.)
So, TONS of Doors, Cream, Jefferson Airplane, CSN/CSNY, Byrds, Beatles, Creedence, Janis (with Big Brother, not so much on her own), Buffalo Springfield, Quicksilver Messenger Service. Equal tons of Renaissance brass and dance music and morris/folkdance music (give it up for "Sellenger's Round"!). John Lennon and John Tavener. The Everly Brothers and The Brothers Four. Kinks, Keith and Kansas. Loreena McKennitt and Lisa Gerrard. Tom Petty and Tommy Roe. Grateful Dead and Dead Can Dance. Steppenwolf and Steeleye Span (MDFs...My Dear Friends...whom I first met in, omigod, 1972). It's amazing.
The iPod is just so darn...convenient. For the gym, airplanes, bus rides through upstate New York, under the hairdryer at home and at the hairdresser. I don't use it walking down the street, because in Manhattan it's always wise to be well aware of one's surroundings (the blaring horn and squealing brakes as the taxi/bus/bicycling Chinese food delivery person bears lethally down on one's blithely jaywalking self). Also there have been a bunch of grab-and-run iPod thefts on the street and in the subway where I almost never venture. (Oh right, the Ventures! "Wipe-out" and "Pipeline" and "Apache" and "Walk Don't Run"! Groovy!).
But the most unexpected use I have found is to let it sing me to sleep. Nothing too wild, obviously. Even Bach is sometimes too rambunctious. But it's surprisingly pleasant to be listening to something nice, head on the pillow, and just let it carry me away to dreamland, hopefully not before I slip into unconscious-ness and it stays on until the battery runs down.
Oh, and now I've started buying things FOR the iPod. A lovely cream-colored leather case with a long cord that I can knot to the handles of the recumbent bike at the gym. A gold metallic case for dressy occasions. Its next present will be one of those cool alarm-clock dock thingies...but perhaps I'll save up for the Big 'Pod first. The 30-gig one. With the 15,000, or 8 gazillion, songs.
I don't really KNOW 15,000 songs, much less LIKE that many. But I'm willing to give it a shot.