Thursday, July 7th

How the iPod Has Liberated My Musical Taste

Music: iTunes

In addition to all the packing and painting I am doing before we move, I have been taking control of my music collection. A few months ago, I got an iPod from work as a prize for selling lots of food to my customers. At the time, the music on my computer was a mess, as I hadn't really considered it the main way I listened to music. With the discovery that you can plug the iPod into the tape adaptor in the car, this little miracle device began to take on a great deal of importance in my life.

Previously, I had plugged the tape adaptor into a CD player, which at first was a great leap forward because I no longer had to listen to my small supply of tapes or the radio. While most of my music was on CD at this point, I still had to listen to one at a time, and change it if I wanted to listen to something else. Now with this discovery, I can listen to anything while taking the bus, walking, or driving.

In addition to discovering this secret of the iPod, my computer has become my default entertainment center as I have no other home entertainment gadgets to speak of. But why do I need several different gadgets? TV doesn't care what I want to watch when I am sitting in front of it. Why do I need TV when I can watch whatever Doctor Who episode whenever I want on my computer?

In the same way I no longer need TV, I have liberated myself from the confines of the music industry's delivery devices. I have gone through my CD collection and put my favorite songs from each CD on the iPod. Now when I want to listen to, say, "Livin' In The Fast Lane" by Urban Dance Squad, I can just listen to it. I can even throw out the CD I burned it off of that I paid full price for when it came out because all the other songs (well, OK, I burned "Deeper Shade Of Soul" too) suck. I paid $15 for two songs I liked. I could sell it to a used CD place, but for a clunker like this, I might get $1-2, a loss of $13.

How many CDs have I bought over the years? Hundreds. Of these hundred, how many are worth what I paid for them, ie every track is good? Less than twenty, and I am being generous. While putting my CD collection on the iPod, nearly every CD had only 1- 5 good songs on it, and a precious few got fully burned. It is so infuriating that for so many years, in order to listen to music I wanted to listen to, I had to pay for filler material that I did not need nor want, and in many cases was such a detriment to my listening experience that I would stop listening to the CD (tape, record, etc) altogether and buy another one, in some desperate hope that the next one would be a more fufilling listening experience.

So now the record companies are suing people who are trying to obtain their music in way that deny them "their cut" of the profits. Well, where is my rebate for all the CDs I bought that I hated but were stuck with because, much like a car, a CD loses most of its value once it leaves the record store? I will keep the CDs as backup files, but I no longer feel like supporting an industry that is concentrating on punishing their customers instead of trying to discover and support (and exploit) new artists. I have all this music I paid for, and now I can listen to it on my terms. Thanks, iPod!

santo26 on 07.07.05 @ 02:04 PM PST [link] [No Comments]

Monday, July 4th

No More Excuses

Music: Blackstone Valley Sinners
Mood: sober, optimistic
It has been over a week since my last day working for Landmark Theatres. I gave my notice to my boss while he was yelling at me and the next day he came to the theatre bearing my termination papers and a check for my vacation time and four weeks of salary- two I had earned, two I would have earned. My boss thought it was better to just pay me off than have me work there for the two weeks, which at the time, upset me for some reason, but fuckin' a- two free weeks of paid vacation!

Since I have been on "vacation," I have been trying to decompress as well as starting to pack up for the move to Arcata. For my birthday, Laura got me "Self Matters" by Dr. Phil. I have been reading it and starting to deal with my issues. I have also been visiting all the doctors I can before my health insurance runs out. I found out that my cholesterol is so high I now have to use Lipitor, and while getting fillings and a teeth cleaning at the dentist, I found out I have gum disease, which also contributes to heart disease.

I actually don't have much of an excuse for this stuff. I have known since I was a kid that I have high cholesterol and that it runs in my family, but I have avoided dealing with it just like I have avoided dealing with my mental issues. I have made a decision to start doing to find out what I want out of life, and to take control over it rather than chalking everything up to random chance.

I need to be healthy if I am going to continue and enjoy me life. I have stopped drinking like the perscription bottle suggests while taking this drug, and combined with the no smoking, the past four days are the longest I have been stone cold sober in many years. Being sober with no job to worry about for the rest of the month, I have nothing but time on my hands to dig in and start getting better. I have spent so long imbibing various substances in order to dull the pain when in fact the only real way to truly heal myself is to confront these issues head on.

Just over a week ago, I was a grey tie- wearing blob, eating, drinking, and smoking to dull the pain, and wondering why the pain wouldn't just go away. This month could be one of the most important ones of my life, as long as I keep positive and focus on the goal of becoming who I want to be.

Part of what I want to be involves writing, and I have done nothing but make excuses for why I haven't written more. Stay tuned to this space to see if I am serious.

santo26 on 07.04.05 @ 04:05 PM PST [link] [No Comments]

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