Her Ladyship

Notes from the gutter.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Nosiness pays off

I love my iPod, truly I do. I travel with it and its little charger all the time just so I don't ever have to be without music. (Although don't get me started on its so-called "shuffle" function. I have over 1200 songs and you have to play three in a row off of the same album? For shame!) But sometimes, it's good to unplug and listen to what's going on around you.

Hiking home after work last night, I was without my iPod. This was intentional: I've decided the iPod stays home on days that I don't start off my day with a trip to the gym. Yes, this is perhaps a bit anal, but at least it means one less decision I have to make in the morning. And given my half-ass approach to working out, I end up only getting to listen to my iPod maybe one or two times a week.

I was idly running over what I would have for dinner and calculating how quickly I could get everything ready when I overheard a guy behind me say something about "Monopoly." Turned out he and his buddy were exchanging strategies for how to kick ass and take names at Monopoly. I never really had any game plan while playing, other than to not end up bankrupt. Actually, having typed that, I realize that that kind of is my current financial strategy too.

So I listen in. Then they segue seamlessly to hip dive bars in the neighborhood...dive bars overseas....and international travel. It was just one of those rare conversations between two strangers that is interesting to listen to. Usually, they're talking about people/situations I don't know, or they're god-awful boring, or one of them has an annoying voice (I have a perfectly mellifluous voice, why do you ask?). Not these two guys. There definitely was an alpha who was doing most of the talking, with the beta responding and adding to his statements.

I spent a good ten minutes picking up my pace so that I could remain *just* in front of them. Because they couldn't see me, I was able to laugh/roll my eyes/etc with impunity at what they were saying. Finally, they stopped to look at the DVD rental box in Adams-Morgan, and I reluctantly left them behind. I did think about pretending to root around in my bag so that I could stall long enough to keep traipsing along with them, but I decided that would be somewhat stalker-ish. I continued on my way, surrounded by silence again.


  • At 4:12 PM, Anonymous Hot Pants Esq said…

    Last night as I waited for the metro I overheard a conversation between two guys on the bench behind me. They clearly had just come from what I imagine must have been their first theater class ever or first play practice of their freshman year at some DC college. One of them said, "Theater is a really good outlet. I mean, it's much better than drugs." The other guy responded "Yeah, music is good for that too. But then I guess everything is better than drugs." No hint of sarcasm or laughter. It was as if they were trying to have an intellectual discussion about the merits of theater - okay, that's fine. But then to use taking drugs as the only other alternative "outlet"? I just tried not to laugh out loud as I listened to them go on about the merits of the arts (as opposed to the merits of taking drugs).

    BTW: Bravo for turning off the i-pod on occasion. Part of the fun of living in DC is listening to the crazy people on the street, metro, etc.

  • At 8:09 PM, Blogger KOB said…

    Great post

  • At 9:35 AM, Blogger playfulinnc said…

    Good for you!!! I am Ipod-free for very similar reasons.

  • At 10:25 AM, Blogger Scully said…

    Great post.

    I have to admit, I'm plugged into my iPod 24/7. I walk to and from work with it on, I run errands with it on, I use it when I travel, I use it when I do laundry. I've been accused of being anti-social.

    I feel very lost without it and I do like the times I forget it at home or it needs charging.

    I'm taking it with me for the flight to Paris, but I'll be leaving it in the hotel safe every day as I'll be with my family and I want to enjoy the sights and sounds of Paris.

  • At 8:37 PM, Blogger aL said…

    The evils of technology is something of a strange vice, but much more healthy than a crack addiction. For instance, I am going on vacation to VA beach tomorrow and much to my better half's dismay, I will be packing my laptop.

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