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‘Til death (or short circuit) do us part

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Tracy Spicer, LV Life Editor

Tracy Spicer, LV Life Editor

I must confess that I have been partaking in a sordid, tumultuous affair for the past year and a half. It’s followed that typical pattern–love at first sight, followed by months of high peaks and low valleys. I probably should just walk away from all trouble it has caused me, but I cannot resist. It’s a love I will always have–a love for my iPod.

Though I’m not the most electronic-savvy person of my generation, I was completely captivated by the iPod since I first saw it when I was Christmas shopping about four years ago. The thought of storing the mounds and mounds of CDs I accumulated over the years into a shiny white 2.5-inch by 4-inch electronic device seemed too good to be true.

Fast forward a couple years – I was about to study abroad in Athens, Greece. Reflecting on my previous travels where I lugged around my CDs, I decided it was a better time than any to purchase one.

In the beginning, it was great. I spent about 10 days glued to my seat uploading every album I owned from “Rubber Soul” to “OK Computer.” My entire life – or at least my whole CD collection – was right at my fingertips, just a couple clickwheel rotations away. Roaming the narrow streets of the Plaka. Riding the busy Greek metro. Sitting in Syntagma Square. My iPod headphones were plugged into my ears every step of my journey.

One October afternoon, I was walking home from school listening to a medley of Placido Domingo, Jay-Z and Bright Eyes still completely infatuated with my travel companion. And just as Conor Oberst began belting his angst-driven lyrics that crescendo toward the end of “Nothing Gets Crossed Out,” the unthinkable happened: silence.

I peered down at my iPod screen to find… well… nothing. I furiously began pressing buttons in any attempt to revive it. Nothing.

I sprinted to the Apple Store in Athens, where two bespectacled techies informed me that it was in fact “dead” and nothing could be done until I got back to the United States in late-December. Panicked, I did what anyone would do – or what any insane, music-obsessed individual would do. I went to a nearby record store and spent 350 Euros on albums I already owned at home and a portable CD player. But it wasn’t the same.

Needless to say, I traded my defunct iPod for a trusty new one almost the second I returned home. After waiting about 45 minutes in the hectic last-minute Christmas shopping abyss at the Apple Store in Pasadena, I finally was able to explain my iPod tragedy to an expert.

“It happens,” the saleswoman said as she casually shrugged her shoulders.

Though I felt a tad bit dramatic, I did walk away with a new, functioning iPod. And if I only knew how true the salesgirl’s apathetic words were to become six months later. That’s right, after experiencing another bout of sheer iPod bliss, my replacement stopped working – same symptoms and all.

I am well aware that many people in my scenario would just opt for another MP3 player or a CD Walkman after two strikes. However I have remained faithful, currently on iPod No. 3. But each time I use it, I cringe and cross my fingers hoping to avoid a disastrous three-peat.

So I guess that’s what you call true love – or rather an unhealthy obsession with an electronic music gadget. Take your pick.

Tracy Spicer, a senior journalism major, is LV Life editor of the Campus Times. She can be reached by e-mail at tspicer@ulv.edu.

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