Moving Hell

Phil Ford

I’m in moving hell right now — boxing everything up, getting ready to finish the sale on our house in Austin and close on our house in Bloomington, dealing with last-minute emergencies of the sort that always seem to crop up before you leave a place forever. Everyone hates moving, but what is it, exacty, that makes it so hellish? There are a thousand reasons, but the one that’s been needling me as I box everything up is this: when you move, you are confronted by all your failed purchases. That copy of William Gaddis’s A Frolic of His Own I never read; that Prince New Power Generation CD* that I thought was awesome in 1993 but which now sounds unbearably dorky; the Minidisc player I thought was the Next Thing in portable music players — *sigh*.

I got “tagged” by an ethnomusicologist the other day. Sydney wanted to see if we at Dial M are as friendly as we make ourselves out to be.** Her challenge was this:

The rules: Each person tagged gives 7 random facts about themselves. Those who are tagged need to write on their own blog those 7 facts as well as the rules of the game. You need to tag seven other people and list their names on your blog. Then you leave those you plan on tagging a note in their comments so they know that they have been tagged and to read your blog.

So, seven “random” facts about myself. I have no idea how to do this. It’s not like I can roll dice or consult the I Ching or whatever and dredge up something truly at random. Any fact I come up with will doubtless end up a sordid fumbling self-conscious attempt on my part to appear cute and quirky. I did consult my electronic version of Brian Eno’s “Oblique Strategies,”*** which randomly asks, “do the words need changing?” Looking back over this post, I’d say they probably do, but the hell with it. I have boxes to pack.

But at least I can tell you this: I think William Gaddis is unreadable, or at least not worth the trouble; I’ve really never liked Prince all that much, though I’ve tried;**** and I’ve bought a lot of electronic devices in hopes that they would change my life, and have almost always been disappointed. I haven’t made it up to seven random things, but if you go through the Dial M archives I’m sure you can find lots more.

*  20pxprince_symbolsvg

** No.

*** A random fact about myself: I have “Oblique Strategies” loaded as a Mac dashboard widget.

****This is really funny.

About Phil Ford

Chairman of the Committee for the Memorial to the Victims of Modernism
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4 Responses to Moving Hell

  1. Anna says:

    Good luck with the move!

  2. Lane Savant says:

    Keep the Gaddis. When things calm down and you have some time, try it again. I found it hilarious.

  3. Eric says:

    I have taught at least 20 sections of a course called “Popular Music in American Society” over the past six years, and thus, I feel I am fairly well-informed on popular music. I, too, have never been overwhelmed by Prince. Now XTC, that’s the shit! Maybe I’m just a Rock-head.

  4. ben wolfson says:

    The Recognitions is worth the trouble.

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