Steve Jobs resigns as Apple CEO

This day was inevitable, even if he hadn’t been sick for years with pancreatic cancer, liver issues and god knows what else.

It’s inevitable that a man as brilliant (and anal) as Steve Jobs has left a succession plan and I can’t imagine that the last several years weren’t dotted with hush-hush meetings where “what if” chats eventually gave way to “it will” discussions, but I’m still a little nervous. I’m worried that the underlying oomph of what makes Apple products more than just metal and pixels and wires will slowly disappear from an empire, leaving the world with just another mediocre computer company.

From the early days when the Apple IIe was the first computer many ever got their hands on and the shitty, beige days of the mid-90s when nobody liked them to the more recent years when they flourished beyond all of the haters’ expectations, Apple computers—Apple products—have been part of my life. Playing Oregon Trail, learning how to type, slaving over high school and college papers, chatrooms explored, games played, thousands of pictures edited, poems written, blogs kept, emails sent, jobs worked—My entire digital life has been lived on an Apple computer.

To those who have never owned a Mac or used an Apple product, this all probably sounds dramatic and romantic. But to those who have, you know what I mean. They’re more expensive, but they’re worth it. When you buy a Mac, it’s not just a metal box that you peck around on. It’s a quality of life improvement. It’s an experience. It’s worth it.

I have never owned a computer made by another company and I do not intend to ever do so.

So I hope I’m over-thinking. Over-reacting. And I hope Steve Jobs finds peace and comfort despite whatever spurred this decision that was announced today.

Tear down what is old when it’s not pretty anymore

Destruction of any sort, whether it’s planned or not, always leaves me feeling a bit unsettled. So when I went to the doctor the other day and saw that the building(s) that housed Middle Tennessee Medical Center from 1927 until October 2010 is being demolished, I was jarred.

I worked in this hospital from Sept. 2003 until Dec. 2005, both on the clinical side (pharmacy tech) and the administrative side (marketing coordinator). I have a lot of great memories of this place—it was a really good job and the people were awesome. Very community-oriented, warm and friendly. I learned so much from both of my jobs there, and I know that if it weren’t for all that I got to do in my marketing gig there I wouldn’t have moved on to the other great jobs I’ve held (and continue to hold) since then.

This picture is showing the part of the hospital just to the left of the ER entrance. I believe the second floor that you see there is part of 2C. I could see a sign hanging in the hallway but because my eyesight sucks couldn’t tell what it said. I believe it said 2C, but I’m not sure. After so many years of cobbled-on additions to make room for more and more patients, it was certain that a new building was needed. This one was kind of a Franken-hospital, and even after spending years running through the halls and back-ways to deliver meds or give tours to visitors, I’d still get lost any time I had to go back.

But this place had character, especially the original wing. When I worked in marketing my office was in that original wing, in a revamped patient room. It was a little creepy knowing that people had undoubtedly died in my office at one time or another, but the room was HUGE and I had a giant closet. It was superb. The largest office I probably will ever have.

It’s sad to see it being dismantled like this. Not even dismantled—destroyed. Looking bombed-out. For some reason I thought the original building was on the historic register and didn’t think the city (or the hospital itself) could tear it down, but I guess not. A friend of mine says that they’re going to build a park here, so at least they’re not putting in another shitty apartment complex.

I wonder what will happen to this area now that the hospital is gone, though. Most of the doctors’ offices and other medical establishments are all moving over to Medical Center Parkway where the new hospital is. I wonder if there will be incentive to keep this part of town clean and vibrant?

Kids in gyms: A new trend?

Ian and I have been going to Gold’s Gym for about a month, and in that time I’ve noticed something disturbing: People are bringing their kids to work out with them. I’m not talking high school kids, I mean I have seen parents—men and women—setting elementary and middle school-aged kids up in the Circuit Training area and on the bikes and treadmills to work out alongside them.

Now, I’m all for teaching kids good health habits, but does an eight-year-old boy need to be lifting weights? Does a pre-teen girl need to run on a treadmill? None of the kids I have seen at the gym have looked obese, either, so I can’t imagine they’re there following a physician’s order.

I don’t have kids, so I am the last person that should be giving parenting advice—and I’m not. But when I was in elementary and middle school, I had gym class. I ran around outside at recess. My mom wanted me to be healthy, and I remember her doing some Denise Austin workout tapes in the basement, but had she been a member of a gym I can’t imagine her dragging me with her.

Maybe it’s my own issues I have with body image and how the narratives differ per gender (“men go to the gym to get beefy, women go to get un-fat”), but it just seems a little squicky to see young kids hanging around a place that, while helping people get healthy, is still promoting unhealthy stereotypes for the people within its walls.

I don’t know, I guess I just feel like these kids are going to feel pressure eventually to be thin or to be built eventually. Can’t they just enjoy the years in which they’re not supposed to care how their bodies stack up to society’s fucked up expectations?

Internet killed the video star

The other day Ian and I got a text from a friend letting us know that Video Culture, a local independent video store, was closing this weekend. Now, the fact that a video store—especially a locally owned, non-chain one—was closing wasn’t a surprise. But for anyone who went to MTSU, at least in the mid- to late-90s and early 2000s, Video Culture was an integral part of the college experience.

The store they were closing down this weekend is the newer location, over off E. Main Street at Rutherford, but when I was at MTSU they were over by the Package Shop (later renamed the University Package Shop) on Tennessee Blvd. (now called Middle Tennessee Blvd—Jesus Christ, Murfreesboro, does anything stay the same?). When I lived on campus my freshman year of college, my roommate and I would walk over and rent movies, and when we moved to Nottingham Apartments our freshman year, we were there a lot (as well as the Package Shop, whenever we had someone with an ID to get us a handle or two of shitty booze).

When I was in grad school, I had to rent Koyaanisqatsi, Powaqqatsi and Naqoyqatsi and Video Culture was the only place locally that had multiple copies of all three. Like an asshole, I waited until the last minute each time I needed to rent each movie to complete my assignments. This was before Netflix, and Blockbuster and Hollywood Video sure as hell weren’t carrying anything that independent or interesting. Video Culture saved my ass each time.

They were the go-to place for cult classics, anime, funky stickers and movie posters. Oh, and porn. If you were of age, you could quietly turn the handle of the backroom door and find yourself in a small, non-ventilated room filled to the brim with skin flicks. (Or so I’ve heard, ahem.) When they were over on Tennessee Blvd, a women owned a store upstairs that she called a “gift thrift store,” but that I pretty clearly remember as a head shop. (A guy we talked to this weekend claims she didn’t sell pipes, though, so maybe she had all of the other accoutrements of a head shop except for the pipes, who knows).

A few years ago they moved out to the most recent location, the location that Ian and I visited on Saturday after drinking our lunch at Old Chicago, the location that’s taking the store to its grave. All of their inventory was severely discounted, including naughty titles that I could not stop laughing at. I mean, Womb Raider? The Witches of Breastwick? How do you get the job making up porn titles? Wait, I don’t want to know.

We picked over the shop’s remains, not really finding anything interesting until I noticed a pile of huge movie posters laying on the ground. We were about to leave when I off-handedly asked the guy at the counter if he had any X-Files posters. Remarkably, he remembered seeing one the day before and invited me to look through the pile. Ian and I rummaged for about five minutes when I noticed something that looked familiar.

It was the poster for The X-Files: I Want to Believe.

Holy shit. I had found it.

The poster was $1 or free with any movie purchase, and since we didn’t have any cash on us we gave the shop another run-through and came up with The Crying Game and all three Shafts. For $16. Definitely an awesome score, although I’m way more excited about finding the X-Files movie poster than the DVDs.

And despite not having set foot in Video Culture even once in the past five years, I’m pretty sad to see them go. It’s definitely the end of an era. “Progress,” the guy at the counter said.

I wonder what will come next. Can anything out there kill the internet?