The first step in overcoming a problem is admitting to having it. Yes, I have a problem — and this time it is not Sarah Palin.
I often get carried away by something — be it Jazz, literature, politics, foreign cultures, or lower and questionable art forms. I read a little about a subject and then I get caught up in researching it to death. The next thing I know I have spent a lot of money in books or music, or I ended up wasting hours of time reading wikipedia, online newspaper articles, books, or listening to podcasts
For example, today I felt like a wikipedia junky going from Tetuan to Haketia to Ladino to Voseo where I learned a little piece a trivia about the Spanish language that may some day come in useful in one of those icebreaker “hey, did you know that . . .” moments. Actually, I will share it with you,
In time, vos lost currency in Spain but survived in Argentina, Paraguay, Uruguay,Guatemala, Nicaragua, and many other countries and regions in Latin America, while Vuestra merced evolved into usted (vuestra merced > usarced > usted, in fact, “usted” is still abbreviated as either Vd or Ud). Note that the term vosotros is a combined form of vos otros (meaning literally “you others”), while the term nosotros comes from nos otros (“we others”); otros was added to avoid confusion (in a manner similar to the formation of y’all in the English of the southern United States).
Anyways, back to my problem.
But worst of all is when I get lost in a television series.. Normally I don’t watch television. As a matter of fact, since I got back to Spain from vacation, I have only turned on my TV set once. That doesn’t mean though that I am not secretly watching a show or two on streaming. And this is particularly the lowest of the low, but I must admit that I did have a minor addiction — that commenced last week and ended on Monday — to Gossip Girl. I saw all twenty episodes; we’re talking some late evenings here — you have to be very dedicated. I could rationalize the intellectual decay (the show has great images of New York and Brooklyn), but I won’t (at this time). I guess that when I start something I can’t stop. I must see it to fruition, no matter how shallow it may be (and actually, Gossip Girl isn’t that bad, certainly not worse than say Entourage).
The most recent example of my problem, though, is Sonny Rollins. Two weeks ago, I listened to the NPR Jazz Profiles podcast dedicated to the Village Vanguard. The jazz club was the site of two of my favorite recordings, one by John Coltrane and the other by Bill Evans. Besides those two live albums, the podcast also played a selection from a live show by Sonny Rollins that I had heard of but not heard. Immediately, I opened my Mozilla browser and read the Allmusic review. I needed that album, and I could get it on iTunes. It was just a click and a few minutes of downloading away from being mine. Mine mine mine. Nevertheless, I elected to show some restraint. I already picked up enough new music this summer to last me six months, so hearing the voices of my parents from my childhood, I couldn’t see a why I needed this one if I had other toys to play with.
Then out of the blue today, something reminded me of Sonny Rollins, and next thing I knew I was reading up on his recordings from the 50s and 60s. And guess what? Not only did I convince myself that it was a good idea to buy myself A Night at the Village Vanguard (I could listen to it tomorrow at the gym), I also concluded that it would be very appropriate to add East Broadway Run Down to my iTunes as well.
Problem solved. At least until the next episode of Gossip Girl “XOXO” or Jazz Profiles podcast.
Sarah Palin shouldn’t just censor your local, small town libraries. She should totally block the Internet.