Oct 5, 2005

I'm a gadget dork. I obsessively read the gadget blogs, decode the press releases, troll the boards trying to figure out whether some rumor or another is real or just some 14-year-old's pipe dream. I frantically search out projected release dates in an attempt to time my purchases, so that I don't buy the Somewhat Cool Thing when the Completely Fucking Badass Thing is going to be released the following week.

In other words, I'm a freakish early adopter nutball. However, after many misspent years, I'm starting to manage to tame my inner dumbass somewhat.

One thing that gives me a bit of hope is that I've finally realized that if I blow a wad of money on something that I don't end up really using, I'll be really annoyed. Annoyed because I've wasted money, annoyed because now I have to figure out how to dispose of said thing, annoyed because an undeserving corporation has profited at my expense, and annoyed because the potential that I saw in said thing just wasn't there.

So it gives me a little frisson of joy when I find myself actually using and enjoying whatever It is that I've gone and blown a pile of money on. When I started using my new EDGE phone and $25 data plan to get precise bus arrival times, that was pretty satisfying. When I took my DS on the plane and played Advance Wars to such distraction that I didn't get pissed off for the entire flight, that was great. There was a tangible improvement in my life, something I could point to and say "This was more important than having my kids go to college."

Anyway, I just had another one of these moments. I went to a old college friend's wedding this weekend. Towards the later and drunker end of the reception, the DJ played "Total Eclipse of the Heart," and four of the ladies there (including my lovely and charming fiancee) sang it to the bride with great fervor. There was much deadpan seriousness and much ludicrous interpretive dance involved, and I stood on the edge of the dance floor completely enraptured by the purity of it all. Other friends of ours were outside smoking, and were missing the spectacle; I couldn't bear to leave and go get them, and miss even one moment of the cheesefest that was unfolding before my astonished eyes.

So, in a flash of marginal brilliance, I whipped out my camera phone and recorded a couple of minutes of video. The video and audio quality is profoundly crappy, but as it turns out, it doesn't matter one bit. What it lacks in fidelity it makes up for in awesomity. Yes, that is now a word.

All of the key players are recognizable, blocky and artifacted though they may be. The distorted, buzzy audio only provides testament to the unbelievable volume of sound generated by these four dedicated ladies. And when they drop to their knees, arms reaching out imploringly at the doubled-over bride, you will believe — yes, you will believe — that forever's gonna start tonight.

That forever, that started that night, will now be recursively immortalized forever in scratchy, gargly digital splendor. Decades from now, I will be able to show it to my college-aged children and say, "THAT was the night that forever started." And they will turn to me and politely say, "If you'd invested that money instead of blowing it on some shitty turn-of-the-millenium phone, we might be getting drunk in a dorm right now instead of in your basement."

To sum up: cameraphones are useful.


If you liked this, you're welcome to read more of my blatherings.