Love Is a Mix Tape

Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Today I've come up against my second blogging challenge, and this one isn't frivolous and self-inflicted like the last one. Today begins a busy period with work, the only busy period of the year. From now until February my schedule is going to look something like this:

8-3 - Read

3-4 - Write and post blog

4-10 - Work

Some days, like today, I'll read half the book, work for awhile, and then finish the book. It's going to vary from day to day, but that's the basic outline. If I do this on weekends as well I think I can make it all work. And, lucky for me, some of the work I have to do is easy and mindless enough that I can do it while parked in front of the television, so my reality t.v. schedule is not going to suffer. I'm sure you're all relieved to hear that (why don't computers have a sarcasm font, it would come in so handy right now). If you're wondering when I'm going to find time to have a life, join the club, I'm wondering the same thing. I guess having a life will have to be put on hold until February when I go back to my regular part-time work schedule. I hope no one becomes offended if I start answering the phone with, "Can't talk. Reading. "

Before I get to today's book, I'm going to indulge my sister (or, as she like to think of herself, Vice President of the blog) and take her suggestion to put up an end of the week tally of how much I have read (she's also requested that I put it up in bold for added drama) :


PAGES - 1,901

I actually remember where I bought this book, which is a rare thing for a compulsive book buyer like me. I was on vacation, trying to figure out how I could fit the 14 books I already bought into my suitcase without it exceeding the airport weight limit, when I spotted this book across the aisle in a crowded bookstore. I decided that I had to buy it based on the cover. I'm oddly intrigued by the tapes that really look more like pieces of bread - and I liked the title, and it seemed like a happy, fun book. And then, this morning, I sat down to read the back cover (whoops, I guess I got so caught up in the book buying frenzy that I neglected to do that in the store). Here's what the back cover has to say about the book:

"Mix tapes: We all have our favorites. Stick one into a deck, press play, and you're instantly transported to another time in your life. For Rob Sheffield, that time was one of miraculous love and unbearable grief. A time that spanned seven years, it started when he met the girl of his dreams, and ended when he watched her die in his arms."

Unbearable grief? Dies in his arms? That'll teach me to buy a book without reading the back cover first. Lesson learned. I debated back and forth as to whether I should post that description or not. I started to think it might be violating my "Don't give away vital parts of the plot" rule, but then I thought, "Who would buy a book without reading the description, other than me of course." So I consulted with the V.P. of the blog, and we decided that buying a book without reading the description is not normal behavior, so it was safe to put it on here. I'm sorry in advance if I may have given any of you too much credit on this issue.

I don't have a lot to say about this book, because I'm still feeling depressed from reading the end of it. I think I may need to watch a few episodes of Golden Girls to shake off the bad mood. Just so you'll feel like you're right here with me, as I write the rest of this blog entry I'm now humming the Golden Girls theme song. I've got it stuck in my head and I can't get it out, so I'm just gonna go with it. And because I don't want to be humming alone: Thank you for being a friend. Travel down the road and back again. Are you feeling the music dear readers? I hope so.

The parts of the book that weren't really sad were pretty good. Although, I felt a little out of the loop because the author was writing about a lot of late 80's rock music, and I spent the 80's surrounded by Vh1 kind of music (back when Vh1 actually played music videos), otherwise known as minivan-driving-mom music - and I never made mixed tapes, only mixed videos. I'm remembering back to when my mother kept a tape of videos she had recorded off of Vh1 that she watched while she dusted and vacuumed (before she made the job charts and made us dust and vacuum). I can't hear the song Eternal Flame without picturing my mom in her gray sweatpants, with her shirt tucked into them (I talked her out of that fashion faux pas as soon as I hit the teenage years), and her 80's perm - and unfortunately dear readers, she would sing along. While this was going on I would be sitting on the couch, wishing she wasn't singing, and thinking about how dramatic the video was. I desperately wanted to sit on the beach, wearing a floral dress, with the waves crashing in the background while I sat there looking deep and broken hearted. Then of course there was Wind Beneath My Wings. My mother loved that song, and I loved how melodramatic it was. I spent hours over at a friends house trying to make up stories that I thought would be more depressing than the video, and then acting them out. Most of the scenariors involved a plane crash resulting in a dead husband, and me throwing myself on his coffin at the fake funeral while I cried and yelled out, "I can't live without him." I was a tad bit on the dramatic side as a child, and I believe the V.P. of the blog can attest to that.

I'm starting to feel a bit guilty that I'm writing a light hearted blog entry after reading about someone's death. It makes me feel like I'm laughing at a funeral - something I'm almost embarrassed to admit I did once. In my defense, my aunt said something really funny. I can assure you dear readers, I was not the one cracking the jokes.