THE LAST FIVE ...

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Friday, Jan. 28, 2005 - 11:23 a.m.

Woah-a-o listen to the music

Wow. I've been tagged.

1. What is the total amount of music files on your computer?

Currently, my iTunes at work holds 5353 songs (23.36 GB), but that's a fluid number. I try to listen a bit each day and weed out some of the tracks that I really don't want on there. When I discovered the program on the computer, I immediately brought in my entire collection of Springsteen, Cowboy Junkies, Barenaked Ladies and Lyle Lovett -- for starters -- and filled in various other holes as the months went by. But when the computer startedslowing down and freezing, I decidedit was time to try to clear some space. I made a note on my desktop that, as of Dec. 31, 2003, I had 5336 files. Clearly, I'm going in the wrong direction here.

2. The last CD you bought is:

Patti Scalfia's 23rd Street Lullaby because it was like eight bucks on BMG. (Yes, I actually still have an account. I quit it when I went to college, but then they begged me back with a sweet deal, and now I never get anything without some sort of discount attached. Like buy one, get two free; unlimited 60 percent off; etc. I wouldn't do it if I didn't have that.) Anyway, Patti's got some good tunes on there, though half of them would be better off with a different lead singer.

3. What is the song you last listened to before this message?

Well, there are three conditional answers. The actual last song I heard was the theme to Happy Days, which was played on ESPN Radio's "Mike & Mike In The Morning," which I had on the TV at home. The last non-television-theme song was the track played over the closing scenes of Wednesday night's The West Wing, but as I mentioned in the previous post, I can't figure out what song that is or who sings it. The last thing I heard on iTunes yesterday (which would be like citing the last song I heard on the radio, if I listened to the radio with any regularity anymore) was "Where Will I Be" off of Emmylou Harris' 1995 effort, Wrecking Ball.

4. Write down five songs you often listen to or that mean a lot to you.

This is an extremely fluctuating list. It's like when they say a single is getting "heavy rotation" or whatever it is they say when a single is hot. But that can change in a week. As can my list. I could do five lists of five songs, each list with its own category. So I'll go with five songs that, no matter where I am, immediately transport me somewhere else, put me in a different frame of mind. I can remember smells, sounds, feelings, the warmth of the sun (even on a cold day), where that applies. In no particular order, they are: "Babylon" by David Gray, "Backstreets" by Bruce Springsteen, "#41" by Dave Matthews Band, "My Little Corner of the World" by Yo La Tengo and "Another Mystery" by Dar Williams.

I will add one other song. Heather mentioned "The Gambler," citing it as the first song to which she knew all the words. Mine was "I Know What I Know" off Paul Simon's Graceland because I picked it. I remember wanting to know all the words to a song, and because my parents had the tape and the liner notes included all the lyrics to the songs, I chose that album. Why I chose that song, I'm not sure. Maybe because it wasn't "Call Me Al" or the title track, and I thought it would be cooler if I knew every word to one of the more obscure songs. There was also a time in high school when my friend Walker and I walked to my house from our friend Dave's, a journey of maybe a mile-and-a-half or two miles. It was a pleasant spring day. To pass the time (and to see if we could do it), we sang "American Pie" in its entirety. I don't think I could get through that one without prompting now. I blame Madonna.

5. Who are you gonna pass this stick to (three persons and why)?
I don't think I have three people left to pass it to. Everyone I know in person has answered it, and beyond that the only other diarist with whom I've conversed, either via e-mail or repeated guestbook
signings, is Jen at Sideways Rain. So it's yours if you want it.

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