Download this: Wintery Mix

I awoke today to the threat (promise?) of a wintery mix which is not, unfortunately, a kicky compilation of seasonal dance hits. Rather, it referred to the snow/sleet/rain that was drifting down, sideways, when I got up. But now it's stopped coming down, whatever it was, leaving behind only a nominal non-dangerous dusting on the ground and a dull, oppressive grey sky. I keep forgetting that this is the time when things slow down. February, in all its dullness, seems to go on forever. Much like this cold, which Chris and I and the rest of the world seem to be pushing back and forth. It seems I don't quite know if I'll wake up clear-headed and with energy to accomplish much or stupped up and snupply and feeling as though I've valium-laced gelatin coursing through my veins.

Today falls in the latter category. So while I should be working on the many projects in my lap right now, I'm wedged into a corner of our giant, comfy couch, covered in the soft fuzzy blankie my sweet nieces gave me for my birthday. I'm trying to be remotely productive, on a level that my stuffy head can handle. So I'm trying to clear up space on my laptop hard drive.

I'm also in the process of converting a bunch of our CDs to digital files. Now that Chris has an iPod with a 30 gig hard drive, we're trying to pare down our CD collection by getting rid of those that only hold a handful of songs we like. It's slow-going and, although I'm fairly tech-savvy, I'm still dazzled by the idea that this lovely little piece of metal that fits in my hand can hold up to 7,500 songs.

While I've claimed in previous posts to be a consumer through-and-through -- and I am, just ask the folks at Target -- I do have a conflicted conscience when it comes to acquiring stuff. I mean, I love to spend unnecessary money on bath salts and fun shampoos, but I worry about the sheer volume of stuff we owned. Not things that we will use, but things that are just taking up space in our lives.

I felt a ping of that when I bought Chris the iPod, feeling as though I was selling out in a way, to the constant iPod advertising and the marketing message that nothing else will do. The thing is, I did extensive research before buying the iPod, even hopefully looking into other brands, but the evidence seems to suggest -- at least at this point in time -- that nothing else will do. I just couldn't get the same heritage of quality and functionality from any other brand.

And now I think the thing is genius. It's not my first MP3 player -- I have a small one that's more convenient for the gym, where it doesn't matter if it only holds a couple hours of tunes. (Sorry, just had to pause and laugh at the idea that I would EVER be in the gym for anything close to a couple of hours.) But this little machine, the video iPod -- which has much, much more storage than the Nano and Shuffle music models -- is essentially a portable hard drive.

What I'm getting at, clearly very slowly, is that by acquiring this one thing, we're going to be able to get rid of a whole bunch of CDs that are just taking up space in our house. So this acquisition sort of karmically evens out, at least in my little mind.

Which is, I think, kinda cool.