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Living in Chicago, by way of Dayton, OH and Havertown, PA. Contact me at atozpod@gmail.com.



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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Monday July 31st

Day 39, Session 15:
Location: Going home.
First song: Annie Waits by Ben Folds
Last full song: Answering Bell by Ryan Adams
Progress: 207-217 of 3937
Total Songs Heard: 220

The best part about Annie Waits is, as the first track on Ben Folds first post-Ben Folds Five solo release, it immediately put the rest any fear that Ben Folds would be less enjoyable without the Five.

Between Ben and Ryan came Cat. Specifically, Cat Stevens back when he was still Cat Stevens, before he went crazy, er um, converted to islam, and changed his name. Although I suppose being a dude named Cat would be enough to drive me to changing my name too.

Another Saturday Night was the Cat Stevens song in question. I remember hearing that song for the first time around the age of 10. For some reason I was absolutely convinced that the song would be theme for my life.

Another Saturday night and I ain't got nobody
I got some money cause I just got paid.
Oh how I wish I had someone to talk to,
I'm in an awful way

Of course it didn't quite turn out that way. Turns out I've very rarely had money on Saturday nights.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Wednesday July 26th

Day 34, Session 14:
Location: Pretty sure this was a going home set... but I didn't write it down.
First song: Ancient Chinese Secret Blues by Clem Snide
Last full song: Anna Begins by Counting Crows
Progress: 194-205 of 3937
Total Songs Heard: 209

Tune 200 was Angel by Sarah McLachlan. I don't feel nearly the same sense of shame in Sarah McLachlan that I did with Jewel.

199 was And So It Goes, my favorite song from the Billy Joel cd Storm Front. That whole cd (which I owned on tape at the time) is associated with a very specific 2 week period in 8th grade.

The weather had just turned for the better and all the good parts of spring had come. I had just finished what I believed at the time to be my final appearence on stage "starring" in the 8th grade play. I wasn't really the star, but had the largest part they would allow to the kids that didn't sing real well. From that play I had unexpectedly acquired myself a "girlfriend." I had no idea what I was doing with a girlfriend... all I knew was that we had danced together at the last cast party and in 8th grade, that's all it took for you to become an item.

And every time I've held a rose, it seems I only felt the thorns.
And so it goes and so it goes.... and so will you soon I suppose.

For some reason this development confused the heck out of me; so I did what any confused 8th grader would do in that situation: I took my new Billy Joel cd, put it in my walkman and took several 2-3 hour bike rides. This would have been fine if it weren't for the fact that my family had a pretty standard dinner time, and these bike rides took me right through it. This left my parents none too pleased. The parents displeasure ended with me grounded for two weeks (after the 2nd missed dinner in a row.) The two weeks of grounding marked the end of my "relationship" with the girl. The end of the relationship left me... relieved.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Tuesday July 18th - Heading Home

Day 26, Session 13:
Location: On the Brown Line, heading home
First song: American Tune by Simon & Garfunkel
Last full song: Anatevka by The Original Broadway Cast of Fiddler on the Roof
Progress: 177-193 of 3937
Total Songs Heard: 197

Kind of a cheating day where I skipped the last 8 tracks before Anatevka. There was a good reason though, they were all titles starting with the word "Anakin" from the Star Wars Episode 1 soundtrack. Why do I have the Star Wars Episode 1 soundtrack? You never know when that sort of things gonna come in handy! At least that's my theory.

Heard Ana Ng today from the They Might Be Giants cd Lincoln. That happens to be the very first cd I ever bought. Picked it up at a used music store one of my first weekends at college. It was that day that I first discovered what I has suspected all along... downtown Dayton had absolutely nothing to offer on the weekends (at least nothing on a Saturday afternoon to someone under 21.) On that same walk downtown (carrying Lincoln the whole way) we managed to get ourselves locked in a stairwell in the second tallest building in Dayton. I think it was 14 stories high.

The building I work in now has 22 stories. I also own a lot more cds.

Everything is bigger in Chicago!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Tuesday July 18th - Morning

Day 26, Session 12:
Location: Going to work in the morning after a solid 13 day delay in moving through the alphabet
First song: Aluminum by Barenaked Ladies
Last full song: American Made by Hulk Hogan and the Wrestling Boot Band
Progress: 167-176 of 3937

Why did I wait 13 days between listening sessions, did some horrible accident befall my ears?

No accidents thankfully. One of the main exercises for this whole project is to prove to myself that I can write all the way through it. So, things got busy/I got lazy and I've fallen seriously behind on my entries. I'm forcing myself to slow down moving forward through the music. If I get much further behind, then I won't remember what it was I was listening to and how am I supposed to reflect on things I can't really remember (cause they happened more than 3 days ago and my short term memory is shot.)

If you're particularly observant you'll notice that the progress count has gone backwards as has the total number of songs. As this goes on I'm constantly adding and deleting files from the iPod (mostly do to the disposible nature of podcasts.) It occurs to me now that I should probably keep a running count of how many tracks I've actually listened to. I'll be right back. While I'm gone try to wrap your mind around the thought of a singing Hulk Hogan...

Total Songs Heard To Date: 180!

Hooray, another stat! I love stats.

The song Aluminum contains the line "Aluminum to me, aluminium to some..." The summer after 7th grade I went for my only experience at summer camp up in the Poconos. One of my cabin's counselors was a guy from New Zealand (I think his name was Darren) who insisted that the material soda cans are made out of was pronounced "ah-lou-min-ee-um." At the time I thought that meant everyone from New Zealand was nuts.

Flash ahead slightly to an 8th grade science quiz on the periodic table. Just before class my friends and I were reviewing the periodic table that was hanging in the classroom. On the chart, aluminum was spelled aluminium, thus showing me that perhaps Kiwis weren't so crazy after all. So, since that was what we had just looked at moments before taking the quiz, my friends and I all spelled it aluminium on the quiz. Mr. Decampli (who was not well liked) marked it wrong on all of our quizzes. When we pointed out that the periodic chart in HIS CLASSROOM showed it spelled as aluminium, he accused us all of cheating by looking at the chart during the test. I remember being very angry about the injustice of it all at the time.

Looking back on it years later... I'm still very angry! IT WAS HANGING IN HIS CLASSROOM! IF IT WAS WRONG WHY WAS HE DISPLAYING IT!!!!!