....and all that.
As you've already all noticed, based on the static design of our blog and the glacial speed with which we update our blogroll, I am probably the least technologically competent of the people you would ever run into. It's not that I hate technology, exactly, it's just that I am always wary of it, and skeptical that I am smart enough to actually master it, without it mastering me first.
So imagine the look on PapaC's face when I told him that the one thing that I really would like to have was an MP3 player (that is what they're called, isn't it?). We went and looked at I-pods, but they were more money than I wanted to spend on what is basically a toy.
I got a Samsung player for a reasonable amount of money, and spent several hours uploading some of my favorite CDs to the device. Now I can listen to my music while the boys are watching sports without having Zteen come in and say, "Mom, could you please turn that thing down!" (Shades of role reversal!)
But the whole thing has led to a couple of weird happenings. Number one, I forget that not everyone else is hearing what I'm hearing, so when I decide to sing along, the guys at my house start laughing. OK, so I'm no singer. But to have someone who is no singer sing pitifully in the style of Frank Sinatra is unbearably hilarious to the audience hearing only me. Well, so I'll have to make sure no one is here with me before I sing LOUD!
The second thing is that the player can either play your uploads (and downloads, I know, I know) in standard album by album format (well, that terminology certainly dates me, doesn't it?) or can play them in a "shuffle all" format. In effect it just plays everything it has in its little memory in random order. It is this very ability that has caused me to wonder about myself. When the songs go from Lyle Lovett's Stand by Your Man, to an Allison Krause bluegrass instrumental, to Jimmy Buffet's Pencil Thin Mustache, to Frank Sinatra's Strangers in the Night to Janis Joplin's Me and Bobby McGee, well, what exactly does that say about the person who created that list? Off kilter, I'd say.
That said, though, listening to Me and Bobby McGee reminded me of a funny thing. It was THE popular song when I was in junior high (don't start counting to figure out how old I am--I am 49!). Every single day after P.E. class, when we were in the locker room getting dressed to go back to class, there was a whole gaggle of us who sang that song, singing into our Secret roll-on deodarant bottles as if they were mikes. Dancing around like little maniacs, belting out "Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose" as though we white-bread, middle class, goody-two-shoes barely teenagers were one step away from following Janis down the road of hippiedom and despair. Oh, but we were serious, and looking back, so pretentious. Looking back, I love that young girl, but what a goof!