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Disgusted with my former self

I'm not really sure when I start saving tapes of my friends' voices. Perhaps it was sometime around 1989, when Formaldehyde* left a really funny answering machine message for my roommate's sister and I taped a copy of it (explicit details can be found here). Maybe it was after my Grandfather died, when I got a bunch of the old tapes he'd left lying around, including several of him saying things like "testing 1-2-3." I know I was doing it by the time I lived in Chicago, because I'm very grateful that I still have a tape of Dead Bob's voice. At any rate, for a number of years now, I've saved tapes of my friends' voices, and, specifically, I've kept copies of my answering machine tapes.

I've mentioned in a few other posts that I've been busy making tapes (especially now that my pool is closed and I have nothing to do). The process of rooting around looking for this obscure song or that obscure sound bite has unearthed a number of old, unlabeled tapes. I set them aside, and figured if I found myself with some time to kill, I would sit here at my computer and type out lists of what was contained on said tapes.

So I sat down this morning with a tape that had no label on the A-Side, and whose B-Side label read, cryptically, "Answering Machine, Pgh, PA." I started listening to the first side and quickly realized that these were answering machine messages from the last months that I was in Chicago.

Now, some of you knew me then, but most of you either hadn't met me yet, or had (luckily for you) lost contact with me. For those not "in the know," 1995 and 1996 were "The heroin years." Contained on this tape are:

1. About a zillion messages from my across-the-street neighbor Mike, also a junkie, saying things like "Will you be home by 5:30? Can you pick me up something tonight? I'll give you an extra $5 ..."

2. Pissed off messages from misc. long-suffering friends saying things like "I've been waiting for you for half an hour ... are you coming? Because I don't have a ride home otherwise ..." Ditto for people I worked with.

3. Very scared-sounding messages from the long-distance friends who didn't write me off altogether (including one from bishopjoey)

4. Messages from my Dad saying things like "You're gonna beat this, Champ!"


5. Messages from my Mother with that sound in her voice that makes me think she's about to vomit or faint, or maybe both

There are also one or two times where I accidentally recorded myself having phone conversations. I sound like death. I sound half asleep and completely freaked out, all at the same time. It's an awful thing to listen to.

* thanks, anarqueso


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Dec. 23rd, 2003 08:09 am (UTC)
I'm always totally freaked out by the sound of my voice on tape. I sound like a 5 year old! I always wonder how anyone can take me seriously with a voice like that!
Hope, if I remember correctly where you on the Performing Arts Committee board when I was PAC manager in the Fall '88? I often wonder who was on board with us when we voted on all those films and did that calendar for that year. I wonder if the trend continued after I graduated...
Dec. 23rd, 2003 09:01 am (UTC)
Yes, well, the sound of my own voice was the least of my worries.

As for PAC, I kinda doubt it, as Fall of 1988 was my first quarter. It probably took me til Spring of 1989 to even figure out what PAC was ...
Dec. 23rd, 2003 07:18 pm (UTC)
Suewan - Are you talking about PAC (Performing Arts Committee) the committee that rubber stamped proposals from faculty members in theater, dance, music to bring performers to their classes and do campus events, or AMPAC (Antioch Motion Picture Activities Committee) the committee that picked all the films for Kelly Hall? I suspect from your description you meant AMPAC.

AMPAC was still active for years into the 90's but lost some of its luster when we installed a video projector in Kelly Hall so instead of showing real 'films' we could just throw a rented video tape in. Not sure what's happening these days. I'm pretty sure they don't do the big calendars anymore, I miss those. I bet i have a Fall '88 one in my Antioch Trunk somewhere.

Dec. 23rd, 2003 08:53 pm (UTC)
OK, I've just got to say ...

I write this huge thread about being a junkie and the majority of responses are about AMPAC???
Dec. 24th, 2003 03:02 am (UTC)
I think AMPAC must have happened after I left Antioch, because up until then, I had to organise all the films for Kelly Hall and the PAC stuff. What, they replaced the film projector? HOW Horrible is that? Wait a minute, I remember, PAC and AMPAC were both my co-op job titles at the time! Geez, that was so long ago now!
Dec. 23rd, 2003 10:51 am (UTC)
Oh yeah...
I remember the conversations we had at the time. You scared the bejesus out of me and Zoe and we had no idea what to do. On the other hand, worrying about you was much more interesting than worrying about the elephants in our own living room. While not so large as yours, they were pretty big. (And, of course, eventually stomped us.)
Dec. 23rd, 2003 10:02 pm (UTC)
Saving answering machine messages...
My mother saved some messages that her good friend/boyfriend Jack left on our machine, and it's good that she did... he passed away about 6 months after they started dating (a few years ago), although they had been good friends for 10 years or so.

I recall sitting with her in the living room within the last couple months, reminiscing about Jack, and she was feeling rather lonely... But we listened to a couple ridiculous messages he left... he was such a crazy, charming man. Her personal favorite went something like: "Hellooo... WAKE UP!! I have eggs, I'm coming over, and you're gonna cook for me! WAKE UP!! *click*" The text doesn't do it justice. We were laughing our asses off for minutes... it was just what she needed!

My mother is so happy she has that tape. She also accidentally taped a telemarketer fucking up their little shpiel (sp?) and cursing, then hanging up. *lol* It was great.

Save away, girlfriend. ;)
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )

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