Sunday, February 19, 2006

Ipod, youpod, we all pod for Ipod

My ipod has revolutionized my life.

Bold statement, I know. And not a very original one either—I’m sure the Apple marketing department is all over it. In fact, I’ve seen that commercial—the one that promises that the ipod will revolutionize your life. But as corny and as hokey (as corkey?) as the statement is, it’s so fucking true.

I was never a Walk-man boy. I’m sure I had one—I’m sure I had several—but the Walk-man always seemed clunky and awkward (clawkward?) to me. You know, I’d inevitably break that clip that you used to attach the Walk-man to your jeans, and I never wanted to lug around a bunch of tape cassettes (or cds, when I upgraded to the Disc-man) for variety, so I would use my Walk-man (or Disc-man) a couple of times and then I’d break the clip and throw it underneath my bed (because I never actually throw anything away).

But my ipod…well, first of all, it has 3,154 songs in it (8.3 days of consecutive listening!) and it has room for 5,000 songs (!), and it’s compact (it fits in my pocket—no clip!), and all of that, etc., etc., blah blah blah.

But that’s not why it’s so great. That’s not why I like it. That’s not why it has revolutionized my life. (Wouldn’t it be cool if ipod had employees whose job it was to sit at their computers all day and google the phrase “the ipod has revolutionized my life,” and every time they found someone who made that claim, they sent them another ipod?) (That would be cool.)

Anyway, the reason that my ipod has revolutionized my life is because it has, like, literally changed the way I look at the world.

When you listen to music on the stereo, or on your cd player, or whatever—you can have a groovy time, sure. But when I listen to music through those little white ipod earpieces that I shove into my ears…it’s like the music is inside me. (I can’t believe I just typed that sentence—I am so corkey.) (But, dude—it’s true: the music is inside me.)

I bet there are, like, scientific studies that prove that, if you shove those little white ipod earpieces into your ears just right, they’ll deliver the music into your brain—into, like, some specific cerebral cortex—and then the music will get pumped directly into your soul, or something. (Now that I started being corkey, I can’t stop.)

Anyway, the music is inside me, right? So then I walk around with my ipod blaring music into my soul and it starts to feel like it’s my own personal soundtrack. Like I’m in a movie. And this is where I get into the “how” part of the ipod revolutionizing my life. Living your life like it’s a movie…that’s a good way to live. Because in a good movie, there isn’t a single moment that’s not important—there isn’t a single moment that isn’t necessary to telling the story. Each moment is full. And life is like that too—or, it should be like that. But it isn’t like that because we spend so much time forgetting about how full life is. Like, we drive around in our cars and we get annoyed by the traffic and we worry about the bills and we fret about that important meeting we have at work tomorrow, but we forget to just breathe and enjoy simple things. At least, I do.

But I put my ipod on, and Bjork starts whispering “It’s Oh So Quiet” into my ears, and the music swells, and then suddenly the clouds in the sky, like, pop, and I look at them like I'm a little kid and I want to point and yell “cloud!” Or, like, I’ll be walking down the street and suddenly “Audrey’s theme” from Twin Peaks will start to ooze its way into me, and I’ll start feeling really sinister and sexy. Or I’ll be on the freeway, stuck in traffic, annoyed, and then all of the Muppets from The Great Muppet Caper will start manically singing “Happiness Hotel” and how could I possibly be annoyed by anything in the world after rocking out to “Happiness Hotel”?

Or, like, for instance, right now, if I didn’t have those little white ipod earpieces jammed into my ears, it would feel like I was just writing a blog entry. But since I do have the little white ipod earpieces jammed into my ear—since Joe Esposito is singing “You’re the Best” (the theme song to the original Karate Kid movie) directly to me—it feels like I’m writing a manifesto for, like, my life. Like, this is something that I’ll write up feverishly and then I’ll distribute it to everyone in the office—in my case, the coffeeshop—and people will read it, aghast, shocked that someone actually had the balls to say it—“live your life like it’s a movie”—oh my god, they’ll be so in awe of the brilliance of that concept and they’ll all read it and whisper to each other about it and then when I come into the office the next morning—in my case, the coffeeshop—they’ll all stand up and clap for me—well, some of them won’t stand, some of them won’t clap, some of them will think I’m just a corkey asshole—and, well, of course I’ll get fired for letting my beliefs be known--but, still, in the end I’ll get the girl, or the guy, as the case may be. And my life will be especially exciting and hip because the movie that is my life not only has Cameron Crowe's music supervisor, but it also has the music supervisor for Grey's Anatomy. So, you know, the music on my soundtrack is hecka good.

And, of course, none of that made much sense, and I should probably scrap this blog entry, but I can’t because I’ve been listening to Joe Esposito tell me:

"Try to be best,
‘cuz you’re only a man,
and a man’s got to learn to take it.

"Try to believe—
though the going gets rough—
that you gotta hang tough to make it.

"History repeats itself—try and you succeed.
Never doubt that you’re the one and you can have your dreams.

"You’re the best around, nothing’s ever gonna keep you down.
You’re the best around, nothing’s ever gonna keep you down.

The way he sings it—to me, he’s seriously singing directly to me!—I totally believe him. I totally won’t let anything get me down. When the going gets rough, I’m absolutely gonna hang tough to make it. And the thing is, I’m a naturally optimistic person, but now that I have my ipod and I have a soundtrack and my life feels like a movie, well, I understand even more clearly that some moments in life are just establishing shots, and I realize that some moments in life are just planting other moments to pay off later, but each moment is important, and rich, and full of possibility.

That's why I love my ipod. Fuckin’ corkey, right?


Ralph Colby said...

Exactly. We will have to explore the VO (voice over) that I have when things are going right. I've had it for YEARS...since I was 9 at least.
And music. Although without an iPod. My BRAND NEW CAR!! Has a six CD changer. I can't CAN'T play Holst's The Planets Jupiter Track in my car until I have racked up 1000 miles cause I can't drive FAST until then. With that track spinning I have a tendency to drive FAST to the beat and swell of Holst's soundtrack. In fact listening to that one track...My all-time favorite piece of's as if I am flying.
The full title "Jupiter-The Bringer of Jollity" Historical note: A poem was written to the music and the first verse was sung/read at Princess Diana's Wedding:

And there's another Country
I've heard of long ago,
Most Dear to them that Love her,
most Great to them that Know.

Yes, Erik, If we would just think of life as a movie, directed by a great director (Yourself) where, as we all know, Every shot, every moment means something. Don't waste your moments.

Bloggingly Yours,

aims said...

i sing that song to erik at least once a week. and, i love that your muppets are on there. i listen to "it's not easy being green" and "the rainbow connection" all the time. because they are the f'ing soundtrack to my life. along with eleni mandell and my other 2000 ipod songs. segue: i'm going to see her again next sunday at tangier. can you come to that one? you'll love her. lovelovelove. xoxo poop

Erik said...

Dad, I don't know that song at all. (Or maybe I do, but I don't know the name--I bet I'll recognize it when I hear it.) I'm going to download it so that I can fly down the road with it playing. Or, you need to work on racking up those 1000 miles so that we can listen to it in your new car! (I need to see your new car!)

Bloggingly yours,

Bonnie said...

Bookmarking this post for a tangent post at my blog someday soon.

(Got my first iPod on the 8th.)

Definitely agree.

And yes, you're corkey. In all the right ways. ;)

Erik said...

You're totally corkey in all the right ways too, you know.

Anonymous said...

um, it's totally illegal to drive with headphones in your ears. i hope you some kind of car kit going there. but that ruins the whole thing about the ear buds getting the music directly into your brain.

i'm just sayin'.

Erik said...

Are you SURE it's totally illegal?

Anonymous said...

i think you have to have one ear uncovered so half of you can be immersed in your movie soundtrack and the other half of you can hear the ambulance coming down the road.
google it.

Erik said...

I'm off to lunch, but I will google it when I get back, and then I'll get back to you with an answer!

Erik said...

Lindsay, I did my googling and here's what I've come up with; some quotes (from various websites/messageboards that I don't feel like going to the trouble of linking to or attributing, but which you can easily find by googling any portion of the following quotes).

One dude reports:

"I was out riding during the xmas break during some mild weather and was stopped by my friendly local city police. I had an earbud in my right ear and nothing in my left, on a quite city side street. I am not sure about the highway traffic act ( Ontario, Canada ) in my region but this cop assured me that I was breaking the law and told me he would let me off with a warning since I looked like I knew what I was doing - spinning on a high end road bike ! I am not sure if he stopped me to get a look at the bike or what !! I tried to check on the web to see if I could find any information in my area but was unsuccessfull. Have any of you had a similar experience and if so how was it handled ? Cheers, Alex."

So, obviously, this dude got busted. And obviously he means "quiet" city street, not "quite" city street. But we still don't know if earphones (or earbuds, as he calls them, which reminds me of the movie Air Bud) are really illegal while driving?

Well, here's a very simple warning on another random website:

"Hearing what's going on around you is just as important as seeing. In most states, it's illegal to wear headphones while driving."

Okay, fine, but "in most states" doesn't really answer our question. We want to know if it's illegal in California. Well, according to another dude:

"Earplugs used to be offically illegal in California too, until a few months ago, but I've never heard of anyone being cited for them, even when they've been clearly seen removing them to receive some other kind of ticket. The law said that custom molded earplugs were okay, but implied that the foam ones were not. Thanks to one of our state senators, this has been changed.
I consider it to be worth the risk to wear them, even where they're illegal."

Hm, this dude sounds kinda shady, so I don't know if I should believe him or not.

In fact, according to the DMV's (current) website:

"Wearing headphones or earplugs [while driving] is illegal in California and most states."

There you go.

Bonnie said...

I used to teach traffic school for the Improv, and I can assure you that your conclusive Googling is correct (as is your cool friend who warned you, to begin with). Driving with earphones in is illegal per the 1999 California State Vehicle Code and its subsequent amendments.

And, like driving without a seatbelt, it's not as likely to be THE THING that gets you pulled over as it is to be the thing that GETS YOU AN ADDITIONAL TICKET when you're pulled over for cited for some other infraction of the code.

Many-a-folk I taught in traffic school were there because of the number of points their ticket had added up to, due to add-ons like headphones, seatbelt, something hanging from the rearview mirror (Yes! Also totally illegal), etc.

Be safe, iPoder!

Erik said...

I want to hear more about how you taught traffic school at the Improv.

Bonnie said...

When I meet you IRL, I am going to give you a copy of my book. In it, there is a chapter called "Getting Around" (since that's like seriously vital to being an auditioning actor in Los Angeles and all that). In the first edition, it was only a "contributed by" section, by a casting director and an actor--brilliant collaboration with very good travel tips.

Well, in the new edition, I added my "Tips from Traffic School" section. It's demented and sad (but social) and a little funny too.

The best part of teaching traffic school for the Improv was (well, besides the money) getting really good at doing eight hours of vehicle-code-related stand-up comedy. That, and you could be like totally drunk on the job and no one cared.


Or AM I? ;)

Anonymous said...

Once I had to drive from Flagstaff to Phoenix. My car has a tape player and speakers that produce more static than music. Before I left, a friend of mine had burnt two CDs for me (because she's nice). Then she realized that I couldn't listen to them. Then she kindly offered to add them to my iPOD, since I don't know how to do any of that black magic. Then she gave me a whole bunch of shit about how my itunes or something is set up, because it used to be my boyfriend's and apparently he needed to release my music library or something like that. So what I didn't realize until I was somewhere in between Flagstaff and Phoenix (which is not a very exciting place to be, if you've never tried it) that my dear friend had erased my entire music library and all that was left on my iPOD was the songs from her two CDs (which were fabulous). That's not the worst part. The worst part is that somehow she also added these voicemail messages that are years old and I thought I deleted from my ex-boyfriend who would call me and leave this messages along with an email that said things like "hey, I'm leaving you a SEXY message, blah blah blah" and it was really disturbing. And I think you can chalk this up to a case of why it is illegal to drive with ear plugs because I damn near drove off the road. I tried to call you and tell you about this but you didn't pick up the phone.

Erik said...

Who is this Flagstaff girl?


Just kidding. Obviously.

This is a HARROWING anecdote! How frustrating to lose all of your music and then how scary to suddenly hear old voice mail messages from an ex on your ipod!

Yes, another reason listening to ipods while driving should be illegal.

P.S. You make Flagstaff sound like a really fun place to visit.

Anonymous said...

Flagstaff is the best place ever. You're a total loser for not going there as one of you're new things. Also, as a new thing you could read Joan Didion's "A Year of Magical Thinking" because it's great and heart breaking and will shatter any ideas of self-pity that you ever, ever have.

Anonymous said...

Oh, ALSO, the other thing about iPODS is that they make people materialize who you don't want to see. Like my ex-boyfriend, who I had to listen to old voicemail messages from, who I saw the VERY NEXT DAY in L.A.