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 iPod — Do You?

by Rose Madeline Mula

As if my wrinkles werent enough of a clue as to my age, I now have something new that reveals my advanced years an iPod, a gift from my grandniece Shelley and family.

Its appearance isnt the problem. In fact, its very cool looking bright pink and just a little more than one square inch in size and could probably fool anyone into thinking Im hip and with it. However, the selection of music Ive downloaded onto it is a dead giveaway that Ive been without it for decades.

For one thing, theres not a single rap rant in the bunch. And not even one song with garbled, obscene lyrics. I can actually understand every beautiful word sung by all the vocalists I have downloaded. Furthermore, my songs of choice have lovely melodies instead of the noise that passes for music nowadays.

Most of my selections are so ancient that Im sure they would be more comfortable being played on a wind-up His Masters Voice Victrola than on my 21st century iPod; but my Victrola broke when I was a teenager, which is just as well. No way could I have clipped it to my belt to provide music wherever I go.

My iPod downloads are eclectic, ranging from Strauss waltzes to country laments; from Mozart, Chopin, and Beethoven to Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass; from Al Jolson, Perry Como, Tony Bennett, Jimmy Buffet, and the Ink Spots to Mario Lanza, Andrea Bocelli, and The Three Tenors; from ragtime piano to Italian love songs; from Broadway show tunes (no, not Rent or The Whos Tommy, but My Fair Lady, South Pacific, Oklahoma, Guys & Dolls ) to Elvis Presleys surprisingly beautiful gospel songs surprising to me because I wasnt aware, way back when, that the legend whose swiveling hips propelled generations of females (and many males, I suspect) into sexual frenzies had such a devout side.

And thats just for starters. My tiny pink marvel can hold hundreds of songs, so Ill be able to add many more oldies but goodies. Figuring out how to do that has been a real challenge. If its true that exercising your brain cells can stave off Alzheimers, my grandnieces gift has made me immune. So thanks for the memory, Shelley literally.

But my iPod isnt the only thing thats keeping my cranial neurons firing. Equally challenging are all those other gizmos that are supposed to simplify our lives but in reality complicate them. However, they also enhance them.

As I recall, it started with my first electric typewriter. After years of pounding the keys, it took me a few frustrating weeks to get used to their responding to a feather touch; but before long, my speed catapulted from 60 words per minute to 100. I was flabbergasted. It could never get better than this, I was sure. I was wrong.

Word processing on my first computer (which used floppy discs that actually were floppy), blew that electric typewriter out of the water. I threw away my erasers, ribbons, lift-off correction tape, and White-Out. I could now make changes on the machine before printing anything! And each disc had the capacity to store about 2,000 words of data. Amazing! Not.

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Editor's Note: Rose Mula's most recent book, The Beautiful People and Other Aggravations, is now available at your favorite bookstore, through Amazon.com and other online bookstores, and through Pelican Publishing (800-843-1724), as is her previous book, If These Are Laugh Lines, I'm Having Way Too Much Fun.

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