Monday, January 23, 2012

The Henderson Chronicles, Part 1: I Need a New MP3 Player

It's a huge honking sign when two days in Henderson makes me not hate the Santa Clarita Valley anymore. I still don't like it, but I can tolerate it now and ignore all that has frustrated me for eight years because I know I'll be home soon enough. I can ignore the shallowness now, the logos of Walmart, Target, McDonald's, and other big businesses seeming to be the be-all, end-all in this valley, whereas those same logos are just part of Henderson, not dominant.

I can't simply write a day 1-day 2 recap of all that my family and I did in Henderson. This isn't a day at Six Flags Magic Mountain. This was an introduction to a life with roots I can finally have. Spending more hours in the Galleria at Sunset mall than we did on a visit in 2010, we walked through all of the mall, and I looked up at the ceiling with decorations near that are lit up at night and I truly believed that I dreamed about this mall, or a mall just like this one. On the way into Henderson, I felt like I could drive those roads. Most importantly, I want to be part of this. I want to work here, play here, explore here. I want to know everything that Henderson is and was in its history, the same as I do with Las Vegas.

Therefore, instead of a typical recap, I'm going to stretch this to many entries over this week or more than that. I'm not quite sure yet. But I'm going to start with a problem that I thought was going to be a solution.

The Monday before we left (the 16th), I deleted all the music from my mp3 player, an import from Hong Kong which boasts four gigabytes of space, which seemed to be the biggest at the time. Or the cheapest compared to what the American market was charging. Mom bought it for me and I was enthusiastic about fitting well over 100 songs on this thing.

The constant, annoying pinprick problem about this mp3 player is that it doesn't play all the music I put onto it. Some of the songs just don't show up, despite me syncing the music from the computer onto this player. Looking at the files inside the mp3 player on the computer, I see that those particular files that don't show up are in the player. So what's going on?

I still haven't figured it out. I thought this latest thorough cleansing would help. And it nearly did. One Elton John song, "Club at the End of the Street," never showed up before, and there it was now. Depeche Mode's "Strangelove" was finally there too. But now, the entire soundtrack to the 1999 Broadway production of Putting It Together had disappeared. And I had left enough room in the hope that all the songs I had downloaded to my mp3 player would show up, 1.5 gigabytes worth.

There's an old radio program, CBS Radio Workshop, that had an episode called Subways are for Sleeping, based on the Harper's magazine article by Edmund G. Love, which Love turned into a book that I proudly own. I had the episode on my mp3 player last year before deleting and starting over, and I thought I'd have it again this time. It didn't show up.

I liked that my mp3 player seemed more organized. Songs didn't look like such a jumble as I scrolled through them. The Christopher Cross and Sting albums I have were finally together. It was finally easy to get from Annie Lennox to Donna Lewis without having a long distance to travel between them. But still, half of what I had put on my mp3 player was nowhere on there.

It didn't affect my vacation in Henderson. I listened to it on the way from Santa Clarita to the road we use to bypass the Las Vegas Strip and go on to Henderson, taking a break when we stopped at the Grewal Travel Center in Baker. But that was about it. I was mostly reluctant to use it while we were driving throughout parts of Henderson because I don't get radio stations on it and it's rare that we hear radio stations of Las Vegas in the actual area, or near it in this case. But why bother also with an mp3 player that's apparently not working much for me anymore? I've had it for a few years, so it's probably time to replace it anyway.

It's impossible to top listening to the live version of Depeche Mode's "Strangelove" while driving through darkened areas of Southern California that have bright lights in the distance on the left. Really dark. Like you'd think you were looking at a fairyland at rest.

I don't know if I'll get a new mp3 player by the time we go to Henderson again, but I've got to see what may work and what's reasonable because I want to have all my songs available whenever I want, not just half of them. Or maybe it's better to wait until we're residents of Henderson to start looking. Contribute to the local economy rather than giving money to this valley. I think I can wait longer since I only use my mp3 player on long days of errands here, and the errands haven't been that long lately. Plus, things are relatively cheaper in Southern Nevada and that's worth the wait.

(I promise the entries will get better, certainly more interesting. Four days with no writing beyond what I jotted down in my composition book left me rusty, and this was the best way to start to shake out some of the rust. Something basic before I get to details important to me.)

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