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Sumday, Grandaddy

V2, October 26, 2003

Track Listing: 1. Now It’s On, 2. I’m on Standby, 3. The Go in the Go-For-It, 4. The Group Who Couldn’t Say, 5. Lost on Yer Merry Way, 6. El Caminos in the West, 7. Yeah Is What We Had, 8. Saddest Vacant Lot in All the World, 9. Stray Dog and the Chocolate Shake, 10. O.K. with My Decay, 11. The Warming Sun, 12. The Final Push to the Sum

When I finally decided that I was in the market for a cell phone, admittedly years behind the curve, I knew I had to supplement my desire with some sort of justification. Cellular curiosity wasn’t enough.

But just like that, an imaginary scenario is born. Car trouble. What if my car dies in the middle of nowhere and?

When desire turns to need (or alleged need), it’s much easier to pounce, added expenses be damned. Forget that the middle of nowhere in my what if typically translates into having no cell phone service anyway. But such details were irrelevant in this brave new world of hypotheticals.

“Most everything i see
Becomes a blur to me
And i’m wasted because
The fast pace is too much”

-fromThe Final Push to the Sum

What about an iPhone? Hmmm. Didn’t see that coming. My eyes dart around in something akin to a caffeine-induced frenzy. I try to slow the momentum by throwing a dash of old school logic into the mix. Did I really need the internet in the palm of my hand? Stop thinking so much. Do it!

But how often am I not near a computer (that, in turn, has internet access)? And for travel, I already have a laptop. Didn’t I use a similar justification with that purchase?

In the end, I pick a relatively modest LG phone. Granted, it is not as sleek as Apple’s offering, but it will get the job done and at a fraction of the cost (per se). I will never be without instant access to MLB scores again. And the car trouble thing.

Then it happens. I had been sailing along just fine, phone in pocket, reveling in my newfound confidence. And why not? I had phone bulge. Is that a phone in your pocket or are you just happy to get roadside assistance in Boise, Idaho? But then it happens. Out of nowhere, my iPod dies. (I didn’t even know it was sick.) My own unhappy face is mirrored by an electronic icon that is now frowning back at me. That can’t be good. I troubleshoot up the butt, but to no avail. The thing (no longer named iPod) required a trip to some certified service center. This is certainly an unexpected fork in the road. One step forward (cell phone), two steps back (death of an iPod). I am forced to come to the grim realization that I am now officially without music and that is all there is to it. No more portable jukebox in outer space.

“New faces … strange places
Most everything I see
Becomes a blur to me
And I’m wasted because
The Fast Pace is too much
Here at the final push to the sum
If my old life is done
Then, what have i become?
What have i become?”

-fromThe Final Push to the Sum

A friend comes over to help me cope. We promptly stick in a Blu-ray. 2001: A Space Odyssey. The Kubrick universe is vivid on my 50 inch Sony LCD, but apparently not clear enough for Jack. (You can’t please all of the people all of the time.) He won’t shut up. He’s got an agenda, the same one he tried pushing earlier over the phone (which is, by the way, a 5.8GHz digital expandable cordless, with answering system and 2 extra handsets). He’s trying to get me to throw down 300 bucks to scalp a single ticket for next weekend’s Bears game versus the Lions. He was online and found aisle seats (a man after my own heart). He obviously isn’t seeing what is right in front of him: the discovery of fire in 1080p! Why should I fork over that kind of change when I’m already in the front row? No aisle seat needed here.

“Bust the lock off the front door
Once you’re outside you won’t want to hide anymore”

-fromNow It’s On

The resolution (revolution) is extraordinary. I assure Jack that I’ll be more than okay right where I’m at. I’ll be better than okay. He shrugs. Suit yourself. Defeated at last, he finally shuts up about the Bears. Just in time. The last hour of the Odyssey is always so intense. I love the ending. No silly Shyamalan twist. The beginning is the end is the end. We were not dead all along (just dying).

“In truth I say I’m OK
With my decay
I have no choice
I have no voice
I have no say
On my decay
I have no choice
So I’ll rejoice”

-fromO.K. with My Decay

As I’m pondering my own mortality, the meteor hits. How to come to terms with the death of my iPod. It’s funny it didn’t come sooner. So obvious. I’ll buy Apple TV. That was easy. Exhale. I’ll buy Apple Freakin’ TV!

Fade into a dream sequence showing the wireless sync of my iTunes library with a hard drive that is attached to the TV. Downloading movies, TV shows, and even an entire library of photos. I’m flying over the Grand Canyon and can see the Acropolis. I transition between Phoenix and Athens and Chicago in a click. It’s a whole new world, Jack.

“Here comes the chaos
Perfectly on time again
Is it ever gonna end?
I feel so far away from home
Always so far away”

-fromEl Caminos in the West

Jack warns me that he’s heard Apple TV’s video quality is sort of lacking. Reviews haven’t been all that great. I have to admit that I’m not really listening though. I’m already adrift in the future.

“Trouble with people like me
Tie ‘em down and then they vanish instantly
Let this one fly”

-fromLost On Yer Merry Way