I have a new obsession. I am the proud new owner of an iPod, and it has taken over my daily life. (I know, I’m a little late getting on board with this, but, hey, better late than never.) It’s not the iPod, or the iPod Mini even, but the itsy-bitsy, totally affordable iPod Shuffle. (Girlie here is on a budget, don’t you know.) Suddenly, my CD collection is exciting again. My 1995-98 swing music phase? Go, daddy-O! And those old, dusty piles of indie rock from my seven-year stint as the host of KTCL’s Adventure University are like rediscovered gold mines. (Cheers to my buddy Alf for keeping the love alive on that front.) Early Flaming Lips! My first Spoon record! Old Japan Not For Sale J-pop compilations! Disorganized, thrown in boxes and stuffed into bookshelves, they are but a pale shadow of their former lives. (These number in the many-hundreds now, but they once numbered in the several-thousands, all alphabetized. I kid you not.) That’s not to mention the other stacks of 90s alt-rock and punk, a few 80s new wave classics, and the small batch of classic rock, jazz, and folk CDs traded up from old tapes and (gasp!) vinyl records. It’s disgusting that I’ve ignored all of my old friends for so long, but it’s fun to rediscover them. (And it’s surely good for my allergies to dust the poor things. Yikes.)

And the best part? My friends will reap the benefits of my new Obsessive Compulsive Music Disorder. As I ignore housework, phone calls, and my desperately bored dog Riley to load up my new iTunes music library, I’ve been crunching out mix tapes like crazy. Well, mix CDs to be exact (but that sounds funny, doesn’t it?). I sent three CDs to my good friend in Japan today. (She’s been whining about the lack of good ol’ American stuff up there in frigid Hokkaido, so she’ll be thrilled, I hope.) I am a bit worried, though. Not about the pile of dishes, or the poor-neglected-me Riley looks, but about the store. I have so far only been grabbing music from my own collection. There is a an entire universe of audio possibilities to download into my (very organized, I’ll have you know) playlists. This could be dangerous. But I love that it only takes approximately two minutes to switch out a day’s worth of music to my teensy little lipstick-sized iPod. It even fits into my going-out purses, or my tight-jeans pocket. OK. Fine. For Pete’s sake, I guess I’d better walk the poor dog. Just…let me grab my iPod first.