There are 3,444 songs on my iPod.
It's a somewhat random mix, comprised mostly of music I cared about between 10 and 25 years ago, but also a little newer stuff, and a handful of embarrassing songs from the 1970s whose sole merit for me is that they evoke memories of being a happy kid, in spite of their lameness.
With the exception of a very small number of singles (primarily key one-hit wonders from the '70s and a few present-day mashups), which make up maybe one percent of the songs, my iPod is just a hand-held library of the CD's I own. The upside is that the track shuffle mode I've had it on since loading the thing up four months ago for my car has yet to play a song twice. The downside is occasionally I have to fight (or forward) through a lousy B side from an album I might have bought 20 years ago for one or two other songs.
This weekend I ran into an unusually disappointing stretch of songs while driving around, not to and from the first two Youth League machine pitch games of Max's life (he's only been asking about when that day would come for six months), both of which were rained out, but instead running a bunch of mundane errands: first an obscure Big Star song I don't think I'd ever heard and don't care to hear again . . . then a Pete Yorn thing from seven or eight years ago off an album that held my interest for maybe three days . . . the one song off "Document" that I never cared for . . . Soul Asylum (what was I thinking?). And another half dozen disappointments, one after another.
But it didn't make me want to unplug the thing and toss it aside. The iPod concept's whole is not only substantially greater than the sum of its parts; in some ways the whole is as great as it is not only despite some of those parts but because of them. When a couple duds give way to "Nightswimming," or Mary J. doing "One" with U2, or George Harrison's "Something," their awesomeness is even awesome-r.
It may not surprise you that slogging through that dismal sequence helped me remember that as bad as those three games in Yankee Stadium were, it could be worse. It was just three of 162. It was a team not hitting, running into a team not missing, in mid-April, and it will get better. Texas was 5-7 last year, too, and ended up having a pretty nice season.
It's baseball. And I'm not about to unplug it.
I could have saved myself (and you) a lot of time by skipping all that nonsense you just read and simply tossing out a baseball analogy about Texas getting to Boston just before the running of yesterday's Marathon. But I didn't, because if I'm gonna push a forced cliché on you, I'm going all out. Just one more thing to fight through.
If the run of "Exit Music," "Drain You," and "Otherside" I caught coming home last night was any indication, I feel a turnaround coming. I could have lied and said Boston's "Don't Look Back" came on, fittingly, but (1) there's no Boston on my iPod and (2) this isn't sabermetrics.
I'm taking them as they come, accepting them for what they are, and hoping for seven strong from Colby Lewis tonight, or six total bases out of Chris Davis, or a four-game win streak, any of which right now would feel like landing on "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own" and "I'll Take the Rain" and "Pendulous Threads," back to back to back.
And if it doesn't work out that way, I'll survive, and patiently wait on a little rally.
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(c) Jamey Newberg