I’m not one of those people who knows a ton about all different kinds of music. All the music I own doesn’t even fill up my 30 gig iPod (pathetic, I know!). I listen to NPR (that’s National Public Radio for the acronym challenged since I hate bloggers who assume everyone who is reading knows exactly what their acronyms mean…) NPR is talk radio without left or right leaning spin – you know, the news as it used to be where they could only tell you the facts and let you make your own decision about how you felt about it? Oh wait… I digress! We were talking music not politics or the media. My point being that when I’m in the car, which is the only time I listen to the radio, it isn’t music I’m listening to. I’m not one of those people who knows every band on the planet and where each is from and where they got their musical inspiration. Although I know some people who are like that and they intimidate the hell out of me. Hell, I usually can’t even name the band let alone the album the song was originally released on.
Even so, I have what I like to consider an eclectic mix of music. I’m a child of the 80’s and 90’s and lots of my music hails from these time periods – from Madonna to hair bands and rock ballads. But I also have things that I grew up listening to – I love CCR (Creedence Clearwater Revival) thanks to my Daddy (and if truth be told the Beach Boys, too although I don’t actually have any of their stuff on my iPod) and the Carpenters thank to my Mom. I am musical myself – played piano growing up which enabled me to take up the guitar as a teen which led to a stint in a garage band in my early 20’s – so I also love classical music. LOVE LOVE LOVE it. So, yeah, I listen to everything – well, except country because that is not music in my book and I never understood the genre. I even – reluctantly – like some of the music I’m hearing because of Big Sister like Selena Gomez and Miranda Cosgrove. Don’t judge. I like some old-school rap thanks to my younger brothers, well, mostly just Eminem which makes no sense really. My most embarrassing resident on the iPod is Barry Manilow but god I love singing along to him. If asked to pick my favorite I tend to like heavy and loud the best – Metallica, Kiss, Disturbed, Marilyn Manson. But I also love Sarah McLachlan and Matchbox Twenty and Avril Levine. I can’t get enough of bad-girl P!nk and anyone else who can belt out a great set of lyrics to heavy riffs. I never got into show tunes – unless you count the Grease Soundtrack which is on there, too. And the list goes on and on. Every song representing a time in my life or a feeling it evokes when I hear it.
So, what’s the point, you ask?
Yesterday I had the most amazing thing happen.
Work has become a cesspool of idiocy where I’m surrounded by slackers who don’t do much to actually earn the paycheck they collect every other week. I might have mentioned this before. Instead of work happening all around me, talking and gossiping and visiting is happening. ALL. DAY. It’s one of the reasons why I prefer to work with men but, alas, the team is primarily women. It’s gotten bad lately mostly I think due to a lack of leadership from the puffed up smidgen of blow fish shit we call a supervisor. If it isn’t the unchecked womenfolk and their quilting bee bullshit, it’s the guy on the next row over hacking up a lung and farting – not that I’m innocent of public farting occasionally myself but usually it isn’t of the trumpeting variety – or the other guy who cackles like a woman when he gets nervous. Which seems to be all the time. The only way I’ve found to stave off the urge to step outside my cubicle and shout “SHUT THE FUCK UP” at the top of my lungs is to escape to the heaven of my iPod and Skull Candy ear buds. Luckily I can still concentrate on the technical details of my job with metal blaring in my ears.
So what made yesterday so different than the countless days before it? I’ll tell you.
I had been listening to my latest audiobook on my run (which is heaven, by the way) and didn’t have the time necessary to figure out what music I was in the mood for before my top blew so I fumbled for the “shuffle songs” selection and left it up to chance. What ensued was the most magical twenty five minutes. Every song the iPod selected for me fit my mood like a glove. I found myself so distracted by the music that instead of allowing me to focus on my work it had me sitting and dancing in my chair hoping I could contain my urge to sing along out loud. The genre’s were different – Duran Duran, Violent Femmes, P!nk, KISS, 30 Seconds to Mars – but they were all songs that I loved, hadn’t listened to in ages and which , yesterday, were the exact mix of music I needed to soothe my soul.
I don’t know what it is about music that can transport me to a time or a feeling so completely but damn I’m glad it works that way for me. And although I know my beautiful (yet old school) iPod is merely an inanimate object I love that it knows – at least some of the time – exactly what I need even when I don’t know it myself. IPod, I love you! And thank you for keeping me out of the HR office this week even though I just realized it’s only Tuesday…