This matter of listening to all my old cassette tapes has been…
enlightening? I don’t know. It’s interesting how many answering machine
messages and corporate vcoiemails I saved, as if I thought I would need
them 20 or 25 years later. Most people I know now, since the voicemail
era has prevailed for so long, are gone from this sort of realm.
Voicemails, for me at least, disappear. Cassette recorded messages do
Here is a tape of myself talking as I returned to New York from Atlanta. I
drove a U-Haul. For some reason my mother thought this was some sort of
humiliation for me, as if only low lifes rent U-Hauls. God my voice sounds
strange. Nasally and tight. Right or wrong I think of my voice, and have
always thought of my voice, as deep and kind of mellow. The only trace of
that sound I’ve heard from these older tapes was from the WOBC broadcasts
A string of answering machine messages that completely escaped me came
when my mother broke her leg. That was a horrible episode. I went to
Tampa for a couple of weeks to take care of her. I did not fully
appreciate what a sweet arrangement that ended up being. I was paid in
full by Time Inc., for which I did no real work while I was in Tampa. And
my mother even paid me back for the plane fare. She had a decent amount
of money back then.
I forgot how often Phil used to call me.
These tapes are in no meaningful sequence, so I’m hearing a tape from the
U-Haul now but the next tape or even the other side of this tape could be
from years later or years earlier. I thought I made extensive tapes on the
drive from Atlanta. I found one tape from when I actually left Atlanta but
it seems I made fewer recordings from the road than I thought. I remember
recording a Baptist preacher I heard on the radio somewhere in North or
South Carolina. I contacted that preacher weeks later, requesting tapes
of his sermons. He obliged. At least one of those tapes is in this
Yesterday was another epic stroll, from here to Adorama on 18th Street.
That proved to be a waste of time. The dude at the counter just was having
none of my nonsense. I needed a small wind guard for a lapel mic. He only
searched one way, which was to look for a wind guard specifically designed
for the exact microphone I had. No such specific wind guard exists. From
that conclusion he would not even lift a finger — and that was
literally all he had to do — to search the Adorama database for general
So I left empty handed knowing full well that the wind guard I wanted was
there. Boo hoo. It is comical how much trouble I’ve had finding suitable
wind guards for these mics.
At home now, considering the big site merger of .MOBI, /yo, and
flaneur.nyc, which has been stillborn for months. I also wanted to
integrate some of the older stuff that no one ever read and that I
forgot I ever wrote.
I recorded almost 2 hours of myself talking on Saturday, en route to and
from the GWB and Inwood. I only went up to 216th Street out of a feeling
of obligation. I have no fond memories of that apartment, the building, or
the area. Even as I stood outside all I could think was that I did not
even care to see this place. The place on Cabrini had a little more appeal
to me on account of the fun memories I had sticking my head out the window
and interacting with people stuck in traffic down below. And it’s also
quite possible my roommate from back then still lives there. Oh jeez, I
just realized I still remember his phone number. What a strange thing to
keep in the brain. I just looked it up, and THERE HE IS. Haha. I
remember calling that number a lot and using it as my own for a short
while. The answering machine was constantly clogged with angry calls
from student loan debt collectors. They were calling for that roommate,
I cancelled Fios television yesterday. With a few exceptions, such as
college and the periods of transience I don’t think I have been without
cable TV since 1993. Actually I don’t remember now if I had a TV in
Atlanta but I don’t think I did. So there was that 6 month period of
TVlessness. Cancelling was surprisingly painless once I found the right
number to call. I thought they would go the retention route, but it’s not
like I was cancelling altogether. Now I have only Internet. I even
cancelled that stupid additional phone line that I did not want. For some
reason I did not think they would let me cancel that.
Cancelling TV makes it feel like I am moving. I am not moving.
October 11, 1997. Here I am announcing that it is ten ’til three in the
afternoon and I am LEAVING Atlanta. I don’t think I ever listened to this.
Man, leaving Atlanta for New York was probably the most excited I’ve been
about anything ever.
Looking for Interstate 85. I remember going into a 7-Eleven or some place
like that and meeting someone who had lived in New York. I told him that
was where I was headed. He told me where he had lived but it was lost on
me. He kept saying “You can have a good life there,” and seemed to regret
having moved away. I kept thinking of that comment, asking myself “Am I
going to have a good life in New York? Is that why I am moving back
Here I am talking about what a shitty job that was in Atlanta. Hah. OK,
I’m not listening to any more of this, just going to digitize away and do
something else. This is the 90th tape I’ve digitized. Quite surprising
that among all those tapes only one is unplayable. I always thought of
cassettes as being flimsy as hell.