Thursday, June 21, 2007


I go to work with my iPod nowadays. It's a Nano, so it holds a little shy of 1000 songs.

I can't believe how hard it was to narrow the playlist down to just 941 songs. Nine hundred and forty-one. We're not talking about having to pick out my fifteen favorite songs. We're not even talking about having to pick my 15 favorite albums(which, now that I've typed that out loud, might be a more difficult task). Nope. I'm saying I had trouble filling out a list of the top 941 songs I have.

Tough decisions had to be made. Especially when it came down to which dated pop songs would make it onto my work mix. If I only liked them because I find them nostalgically hilarious, they're out. If some part of me deep down actually likes the song, they're in. So "Poison" by Bel Biv DeVoe is out(mostly a favorite dated pop song of mine for the line "never trust a big butt and a smile," which has to be one of the top 10 lines in song history), but "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls is in. Don't you dare judge me.

With the playlist set(until I break down and admit that I totally dig Lily Allen and must have some of her songs), I happily set things to shuffle and get cracking on my workday activity. About an hour before lunch every day, I face the same internal struggle.

There is one of my 941 favorite songs that I absolutely have to hear right now. I haven't heard it yet in this cycle of songs, so I know it's waiting to be played eventually. So I look up and see that there are 730 songs left. I face a dilemma. I could just find the song I want to hear, play it, and go about my business. That, however, would violate the sanctity of the shuffle.

The shuffle is important because I want to make it all the way through the playlist without skipping. I must make it through. I'm driven to make it through by the same kind of messed up OCD that makes it okay for me to live in a filthy house as long as my comic books are properly stored and catalogued.

Still, the need to hear The Mountain Goats' cover of "The Sign" consumes me. It's taken me so long to get this far into the shuffle due to my previous need to hear the alternate lyrics version of Guns n' Roses' "Don't Cry" wrecking things last go-around.

Eventually, instant gratification wins. For one shining moment, this song has risen above my other 940 favorite songs. Then comes the realization that I've broken the shuffle yet again.

WIth a sigh, I start over as the count reads "1 of 941" across the top thinking "This time I'm going to make it."

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