Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The iTunes Syndrome

So I decided to take a self-shot every day for the duration of my chemotherapy and recovery (by which I mean the time it takes for the most visible side effects—puffiness from the steroids, baldness from the drugs, etc.—to fade away). My plan is to then turn them into one of those high-speed animations that love to go viral.

Anyway, I took my first selfie on Monday, and I couldn’t figure out how to move it from my phone’s camera roll into the album I created. It’s probably easy to do, but I was getting a little pressed for time; I had to be at my first chemo session in half an hour. One solution that I turned up on Google was to move it by using iTunes.

I read this, sighed, reluctantly opened up iTunes on my laptop, and was not at all surprised by what I saw next.

“A new version of iTunes is available. Would you like to download it now?”

Well, shit. There went the next twenty minutes.

“Now, Rocco,” one might have said (if one had been in my house and creepily peering over my shoulder), “Just decline and do it later.” Yes, that would be the way to go, assuming that the person sitting at the computer is not obsessive-compulsive about these kinds of things. Which he (I) is (am).

This particular situation—what I’ve come to call the “iTunes Syndrome”—is something with which I’m well-acquainted. Sometimes I just want to hear a specific song that’s been in my head; sometimes I just want to sync something up on my phone; and sometimes I just want to check out one of my playlists. But instead of the quick trip to iTunes I envisioned, I’m suddenly involved in watching a progress bar fill at near-glacial pace.

The “syndrome” is essentially this: my day grinds to a halt because of the well-intentioned programmers at iTunes. And by “well-intentioned programmers,” what I mean is “soulless asshats.”

And to make matters worse, after each and every one of these installs, I have yet to see any discernable difference for the better in how iTunes runs.

So where am I going with all of this?

Naturally, to cancer.

Here’s a fun fact: we all have cancer cells in our bodies. If we’re lucky, our cancer cells are lazy stoners who lie on the couch all day with a big bowl of Cheetos on their laps. If we’re unlucky, our cancer cells are industrious iTunes programmers who work nonstop (until the chemo or radiation hits) to create disruptive changes that no one but them sees any value in.

I don’t know; maybe I’m overthinking all of this. I do have cancer on the brain. Which is better than cancer of the brain—and I hesitate to even write those words lest my little iTunes programmers get going on yet another project.


  1. Now I can't stop calling people "soulless asshats"...! HA!

  2. You're an amazing fighter & teacher. Keep up the good work, so many are in your corner! With the amount of goodwill sent your way it can't help but get better.