Today marks the first day that I walked to work listening to music. For Christmas, the Housemate got me a 6th generation iPod nano, a tiny little square with a color Multi-Touch screen (I assume this means...you can touch it more than once?). I actually had no idea they made iPods like it until I opened it. It's beautiful. It is my first mp3 player--my first music-playing device (other than a computer) since the Discman I got in--what--1998? Somehow I never got into the culture of always having portable music on hand. I guess I figured I had music in my head.
But now I have an iPod, and while I was happy to use it to block out ambient sounds on the airplane, I was hesitant to listen to it while walking to work. I always liked listening to the sounds of the world: the birds, the cars, the people talking, leaves rustling in the wind. When you have earbuds in, you don't know what you're missing. You might not hear your sister calling your name behind you, and as a result, end up locked in a room with her when you're about to turn into a werewolf and are sure to eat her! Or maybe a hot guy/girl will hear the song you're listening to, compliment you on your taste in music, thus causing you to fall madly in love with him/her only to have him/her reject you, sending you into months of utter misery and depression. See? I know how dangerous listening to music while you walk around can be.*
Luckily my journey today seems to have been uneventful--no werewolves or broken hearts. A few thoughts that occurred to me while walking and listening:
- I need to change my playlists. I have on my iPod songs that I like, but I need lists for certain moods, and certain purposes. Walking to work requires something upbeat to get me pumped, or at least something optimistic. I don't need an Evanescence song to make me despair about life on my way to work, or I'll never make it.
- I was standing at an intersection, cars going in four directions, people crossing every which way, as "Same Direction" by Hoobastank played. We're all going in the same direction... Mildly amusing.
- I really hope people walking around me can't hear that the Spice Girls just came on. What? Seriously, I do not remember putting that on my playlist. I swear!
- I'd forgotten how much I love Ewan McGregor. Elephant Love Song Medley is the best. Though I can totally sing as well as Nicole Kidman.
The verdict: I liked walking to work with my iPod. The Housemate said he was a little worried about getting it for me (he was so cute: "I hope you like it..."), because he knew it wasn't something I'd get for myself. But that can be one of the great things about gifts, getting something you didn't realize you wanted. Walking with the iPod felt a bit like having a personal soundtrack, though they need to make it automatically change to suit the situation. It was like being in a movie. Another thought:
- I need to download "Suddenly I See" so I can be Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. Any other good walking to work songs?
Still, I feel a little wary about joining this culture of youth disconnected from the immediate world around them. But I guess that's just an old-fashioned stereotype. I'd better be careful, though; next thing you know, I'll be texting everywhere I go.
* P.S. What do people think of the new American version of Being Human? No spoilers--I still haven't seen the second part of the pilot. And I understand I have to check out the original British version.
Also, (500) Days of Summer was such a great movie. Highly, highly recommended.
P.P.S. The picture is from the Apple site. Mine is blue.