Wednesday, March 08, 2006

I Bet You Think This Blog is About You. Don't You? Don't You?

I'm scared of my iPod.

Right now its lying in bed beside me, curled up in its little complimentary leatherette case. I imagine it is hoping I'll take it out for a spin, but instead, I've been online, ordering a lime green iSkin for it and an adaptor so I can charge it when I'm in Ireland. (Did I tell you I'm going to Ireland? I'm going to Ireland.) See, I KNOW how to order things online. I KNOW how to dress something up. I even KNOW how to plug things in. But I'm not all together sure how to use the thing yet. Last night I couldn't figure out how to turn it off. I have no idea what the 'hold' button is for, but get the impression that it is important. Today's concern is that I don't know how to organize the music the IT guy at school downloaded (uploaded?) for me. I'm afraid I'll do it wrong. I'm afraid some really cool guy--probably a 17 year old in a letter jacket--will see my iPod and sneer because I have Sinead Lohan's music under "Sinead Lohan" instead of under "Irish Pop" or "Road Trip" or whatever other playlist would be appropriate. (Never mind that he'd already be sneering because I have a Sinead of any sort in there.)

There are two critics who live in my brain: one is a 40something writer--Gore Vidal in younger days, perhaps, John Iriving in his wrestling duds--and the other is the abovementioned 17 year old boy. The boy's name is something like "Kip" or "Chet" and he makes fun of me for a variety of reasons including my inability to realize that I'm a square, my ineptness on the stairmaster at the gym I visit once a month when I'm not too tired, the way I shush him and his buddies when they talk during a lecture, the width of my ass, and so on. Gore Vidal/John Updike has a much narrower genre of items he can sneer at, but for Kip, it's all fair game.

I hate Kip.

Aside from my iPod ineptness, I'm a little uptight about three "assembalges" (read: junk in a black shadow box) I entered in the women's art show where I teach. I like them. They please me. Yet I don't so much like that other people are looking at them (or not looking at them). A co-worker friend reported that another co-worker I don't know very well is concerned about me because there are babies in all three of the pieces. She's afraid my being of a certain age and childless is a problem for me. She wonders why I don't invest in some invitro and have a baby on my own because everybody knows babies don't need daddies. The childless Mary Cassatt spends her entire artistic career painting children she doesn't have and is considered genius (for a woman), but I throw some 99 cent plastic babies in a Martha Stewart party favor tin and I need either psychoanalysis or a turkey baster. See, that kind of thing makes me feel a little too vulnerable. It's just a matter of time before Kip walks through the hall and jostles one of the boxes off the wall with his big football player shoulder...a matter of time before Gore Vidal/John Iriving saunters through and says dismissively, "Crafty."

I hate Gore/John too while we're at it.

So anyhow, I'm thinking that once I master the fine art of iPod-ing that I'll compile a playlist of songs for my inner critics. For Kip, possibly the soundtrack to "Everybody's All American" with movie stills of a bloated Dennis Quaid at his 20 year reunion flashing on my little video screen. For Gore/John, a host of feminist rants starting with "You're So Vain" and ending with something dismissive and Shirley Manson inspired.

Tonight, I will let the iPod sleep in bed with me. All the manuals say not to do this, that the iPod will cease to recognize me as master if I let it think it is on the same level as me. But I plan to run an iPod-centered household and don't want it to grow up with a complex, thinking it is subordinate to me.

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