Well, I did it.  I got a fish.  His name is Tammy, because he’s brightly-colored and showy like a drag queen.  Also, I have zero faith in my ability to keep a fish alive, and I have no problem recycling the name Tammy.  Like The Smoochies in college (some of whom only lasted a day or two), all of my fish shall be named Tammy.  It’s going okay so far; the stress of having to buy all his junk and maybe remember to feed him every so often has killed my desire to adopt a dog, and that’s pretty much what I needed him for at this point in my life.  There’s logic in there somewhere.

I also broke down and bought an iPod.  It’s one of the older-generation shuffles (aka the cheapest thing out there), but this is pretty huge for me.  I used it for the first time during my walk to work on Thursday (and one of the first songs to play was “Smooth Criminal.”  And I skipped it.  There’s absolutely no significance to that, but you can bet I’ll remember it forever: my last pure MJ experience (if there is such a thing) and I skipped it.  Hmm).  I’ve never felt so hip in my life.

This hipness lasted exactly two days, at which time I bought a record player at a garage sale. I also got six records, five of which are musical soundtracks.  The other is Elton John’s greatest hits.  I’m now a gay man in the seventies, or possibly my mom.  (Neither is surprising.)  I shouldn’t have to tell you that none of this was planned.  The only major purchase I’ve ever made with any amount of planning was probably Tammy; everything else — record players, iPods, seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, every form of processed sugar product I call “groceries” — just sort of find its way into my shopping cart/life.  I do think it’s significant that I got the iPod and the record player in the same week, though: I was veering too close to being technologically savvy, and I can’t have that.  Maybe I’ve seen too many robot apocalypse movies, but I generally resist technology and change.  Instead of an iPod and a GPS, my car has a radio and a map from 1992.  Instead of a Blu-Ray and digital TV, I have a VCR and a loaner TV set that gets no channels.  I’m willing to accept things up to a point — a point that the rest of the world passed around 1999, probably.  I’m like new-wave Amish, or your grandmother. (Neither is surprising.)

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