It was a weekend that will live in infamy as far as the iPodyssey is concerned. Saturday morning I awoke around 10am to shower and head into the city for a family brunch and the Chanukah (or Hannukah) gift exchange. I handled my hygiene business and by 10:50 am I was ready to head towards Manhattan. As I went to disconnect my iPod from my powerbook the “improperly disconnected” message came up, despite the fact that I had not yet disconnected said electronic device from other electronic device. It was at this point that I reconnected the iPod only to have a weird CD-ish icon that more or less meant that my iPod had to get reacquainted with my computer. I did not have the time for this as this process can sometimes take up to an hour. At this point I chose to disconnect it again in the hopes that it would shut off and I could turn it on and be on my way. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy. I ran out the door with gifts in hand. Before walking out the two doors to my building I pulled out my iPod and scanned to the menu where I could find the song “For Nancy” (Pete Yorn) where I left off to begin Saturday’s leg of the iPodyssey. However, when I got to the songs section, there was not one song listed. I had managed in one fell swoop to erase the entire contents of my iPod.
Needless to say, I was completely crushed. This one goal which I had been working so hard at the past few weeks had come to an abrupt halt. I wondered if it had all been for naught. Could I go on? Would I have to find another project to occupy my time? Would I be able to recover all of the music I had lost and forge ahead despite this major speed bump in the road to “Zurich is Stained”? I pondered this question throughout my day. My iPod had been acting funny for quite some time. Should I just bite the bullet and purchase another iPod and start the journey over on a newer machine with greater song capacity? Was this one totally cooked? My brain was bombarded with questions that had no immediate answer. I was facing defeat at the hands of my own impatience and it did not feel good.
The afternoon had been clouded and my mood would not improve for a few hours. I rode the train towards the West 4th Station and read my friend Andrew‘s book on the way. When I arrived in the West Village I headed immediately to Li-Lac chocolates several avenues West so I could purchase some chocolates as a supplement to my mother’s Chanukah/Birthday present. When I arrived there at 11:45am the store was not yet open and one person was waiting to get in. I dutifully formed a line behind her and one by one quite the queue was being formed. The man behind me was growing quite disgruntled despite the fact that the sign on the door clearly stated that the store opened at Noon. He kept grumbling and saying, “they know we’re all out here they could just open up.” I just kept thinking, “now why would they want to do that, so they can deal with the unreasonable douchebags that customers can be for 15 more minutes than they actually have to?” I’m in their corner on this one. Noon rolled around as I knew it eventually would barring a nuclear attack and moments later I had a box of chocolates in my hand. It was back to the subway for me as I hauled my holiday gifts down to the Lower East Side to meet my family over by my brother’s apartment. The original plan had been to go to Katz’s deli but since it was a zoo we settled on brunch at the Pink Pony.
This was an okay meal as far as eating with my family goes. I get really bent out of shape with most family get togethers because the only topics that are discusssed are the status of furniture in our East Hampton abode and my brother’s burgeoning career and travels. There is rarely any semblance of interesting conversation. When I am finally acknowledged it’s along the lines of “here’s what I think you should do with your life now that you’re not going to have a job” or a condescending comment made by my mother in which she says , “is this going to go on your blog” (not that I think she means to be condescending but it certainly comes across that way), as if the word wasn’t annoying enough she stretches it out in such an irritating way that it becomes even more condescending and irritating than it already was. The irritation is compounded by the fact that I’m almost sure she has never read it or at least not in a long stretch, not that I wish she would read it regularly. She might know too much about my life then and I’d be forced to go into rehab for dependency on alcohol. There was shining conversational light though when we were discussing authors as Irwin was discussing poets and how he doesn’t like to read and I had mentioned that I had just finished reading “Deadeye Dick” by Vonnegut. There was talk of poetry and fiction and I was actually interested. It was nice to talk about something that could be discussed on an intellectual level without me being made to feel like the failure of the family who has no idea what he is doing.
After brunch we all went up to my brother’s apartment for the present exchange. My mom got me a bevy of gifts including 2 items she saw on QVC which she commenced to demonstrate their usage in infomercial fashion as though it were a tryout to be the new QVC host. At that moment I told my stepfather that he needs to disconnect the cable. However, she did get me a couple of shirts and some pajamas that will fit nicely into the rotation. My brother got me 5 wax packs of old baseball and football cards from the 1980’s and some shirts as well and my stepdad got me a gift certificate to the Gap to buy more shirts. I’m not trying to sound ungrateful, I appreciate all of the gifts I was given but it led me to believe that I am impossible to shop for and I hate telling people what I want for my birthday or a holiday gift. It seems too much like cheating. Plus, I think it’s selfish to tell people to buy you certain things. I suppose I just wish more personal thought had gone into some of the gifts. One note about the baseball card wax packs though. I have this odd feeling that someone is remanufacturing old baseball card wax packs and inserting people who never even existed into the card sets. As I looked through my new old 1986Topps cards with players such as “Harry Spilman” and “Dan Spillner” I was almost positive that their existence was a complete hoax and that those guys were just joke additions to give the card set a nice round number. I had certainly never heard of them.
After all, if Dan Spillner had 4 wins and 41 strikeouts for the White Sox in 1985 and no one remembers seeing it, did it actually happen?
After the present exchange we headed over to Teany for some Tea (shocking) and some dessert. Then my mom dropped me off at the Broadway Lafayette stop and I took the train back to Brooklyn. Actually before I go any further, I may have been a little too harsh on my family in this blog so far but at this point in my existence our relationship is not necessarily as healthy as it could be and a great deal of that is probably my fault. I certainly love my family but I am continually frustrated by our interactions and being that writing in this blog is a form of therapy for me and a necessary part of my existence at the moment I find it necessary to include my feelings on the familial matters that were the fabric of the past several paragraphs.
Don’t think me a heartless greedy bastard, though I can certainly be that at times.
Moving right along to Saturday afternoon into evening. I arrived home at 4 something and immediately began to work towards restoring the contents of my iPod in the hopes that my musical journey could continue. By 7pm I was back to having 4500 plus songs, although the previous count had been slightly over 4600. There are a few albums I have to snag but I will continue on tomorrow.
Saturday evening was a little tricky as my roommate Marty had planned a holiday party for our apartment. However, before Marty announced his wishes to have a holiday party Maureen, Laura, and Stephen had already invited me to their annual party the same night. It was a week after I was invited to their party that my roommate decided he wanted to have a party. So, I was between a rock and a hard place, but not too hard. I decided that I would not not invite any of my friends to my apartment party as I would not be staying and resolved that I would stay at our party until 11pm and then head over to Maureen’s only a few blocks away. Just before getting ready for my apartment party I got a call from Kishore asking if I was going to our friend Nina and Dmitry’s party. Seeing as I was completely unaware of their party I was slightly offended. When a group of your best friends are all going to a party that your other friends are having and you haven’t so much as received an invitation it can be a tad bit insulting, though I’m sure the lack of inviation was an accident. In any case, I had other plans for the evening but it would’ve been nice to know about as I certainly might have made an effort to go and hang out with people that I enjoy greatly. Perhaps I’m being hyper-sensitive today. Tis the season.
People began to show up at our place prior to 8pm. Adam A came over and made a big crockpot full of Hot Alcoholic Apple Cider. Mack and Del started cooking a good mix of hors d’ouvres. I think the highlight of their contribution was the fried polenta with cheese. Slowly but surely the apartment was filling up with holiday well wishers. Some familiar faces, some not so much. I’m not in one of my listing moods but there were loads of great people hanging out and people were mingling and conversing over delightful finger foods. It was all very Martha Stewart-ish and adult-y. I was having a very pleasant time but when 11pm rolled around I had to make a break for it.
I recieved a hearty welcome when I arrived at Maureen, Laura, and Stephen’s party. There was quite the crowd and I had to work my way through quite a bit of folks to say hello to the familiars. Laura R immediately showed me her Christ Sugar cookies that she baked especially for me, since when she made them two years ago I remarked how bizarre and sadistic it was that there were crucifix sugar cookies. I made the rounds after that talking to Conrad, Brian D, Laura B, Pete, Mike, Maureen, Andrew, Dan, and Brandon. At one point I went upstairs to Mike’s room and noticed that there was no bed. He cleared out his room so that it could be the music room, complete with keyboard, mini-drumset, and microphone. People were jamming on the guitar and drums. Some new what they were doing, some didn’t. At one point on that trip upstairs I got some keyboard time but headed back downstairs for more conversation.
Later in the night I would find myself up there for more keyboard and even some singing as I made up some song about the guy who came up with the idea of song. His name was Gary. He was a friend of Jesus and i think they had some sort of falling out. More people ended up following Jesus than Gary or something to that effect. At that point some girl got all whiny and demanded I sing a song about Brandon who was a perfectly fun and interesting person who was not demanding I sing a song about him but she wanted me to either get off the mic or sing about brandon or sing a song she knew. I was not her monkey.
At this point I went downstairs but the party was filing out for the most part. Eventually we all wound up back upstairs for another, much smaller and more intimate jam session. We sang some “Lean on Me” as well as Pulp’s “Common People” in formation usually reserved for Dionne Warwick’s “That’s What Friends are For”. Laura R plugged in her iPod and we attempted to jam and sing along to every single song that came on. The climax came with all of the lights out and Whitesnake’s “Here I Go Again” blasting throughout the house and I imagined the entired neighborhood. It was 4:30am when the party was abruptly ended when the keyboard did a face plant onto the floor. By 4:45 I was back in my humble abode, poised to make contact with my tender mattress and go beddybye.
I woke up at 10:30am Sunday to make football picks and then went back to sleep until 1pm. From that point on it was 6 straight hours of football which ended with an unfortunate loss for my favorite New York Football Giants. Ugh, all of these Sundays being lazy will be all for naught if they don’t make the playoffs. I really need to reconsider my dependency on athletic events which I do not participate in. The rest of the night was spent indoors. Actually my entire Sunday I did not leave the apartment, though I did do sit ups at one point to substitute for my lack of physical activity. I suppose that’s it for my weekend recap.
One last note…the iPodyssey will continue as planned tomorrow as I forge ahead through the fog of uncertainty. I know I’m a few songs short and I know I’m cheating a bit. After all, did Lindbergh stop on a wave for some tea in the middle of his Transatlantic flight? Om any case, I’m going to try to make this as authentic as possible, at work I’m going to have to drag the Kasey Chambers album “Carnival” onto my iPod and maybe tomorrow I might borrow Ryan Adams “Jacksonville City Nights’ and I’ll almost be back to full strength at that point. Until then, a good night to all and to all a good night. Is that how that goes?