Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pandora and Yanni

I'm kind of embarrassed. Pandora thinks I like Yanni. I decided a long time ago, I do not like Yanni. His mustache is way too 1980's Magnum PI and he is way too New Age for me. So, when I enter modern piano composer Dustin O'Halloran and they play Yanni, I get confused.
It's a funny little test of prejudice for me. The Dustin station is a new one for me, and it's taking a lot of tweaking. I love piano, simple, graceful or melancholic and deep; solo piano is one of my great loves.
But I'm very particular about my music. I love a lot of styles and music is life to me. There is bad music though. Sometimes the line is real obvious. For instance, this Sunday at an event in the park. The garage band playing what I think had to have been their first public performance made me want to punch people in the face. It was so bad, I can only compare it to a billion times worse than your pet peeve. I had to leave. I was so depleted, I couldn't tune them out. From what I hear, the line was clear to many people. They were on the crap music side of the line.
The line is not so clear to me with this new Pandora station. I know what I really like, but other songs give me a not so sure feeling. That is, until I click over and see the face. The bush of black hair. The broom over the lip. I cannot enjoy Yanni. That's all there is to it. While I didn't hate the song, I had a sneaky suspicion it would be guilty by association, and sure enough, it was. Dislike. Please, do not play Yanni again. I don't care that your algorithm makes me want to hear Yanni. I don't.
Which makes me think of the bigger picture. How often does something sound okay, but there is a whiff of something we've decided we don't like, so we just decide not to like it? I've been trying to catch myself in that as I'm reading from a lot of different disciplines. It's challenging to receive things in their purest form and not through our filters, built up through years of experience.
I wish life was as easy as Pandora sometimes. You can just hit the dislike button, and it's on to the next song. In a way it is that easy. Just as one day, maybe Pandora will have the perfect Dustin station, maybe I will have a collection of thoughts and perspectives that resonate perfectly with me. For now, I read and listen and cull and collect. I need to wrap this post up and head over to Pandora now. I think a Nordstrom piano player got into my playlist.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Autumn tip toeing toward me

Without fail, Autumn makes her presence known in my life. While I'm still expecting blazing hot days, for it's always hot during the Handcar Regatta which is next week, I'm looking at the mess of pumpkins sprung from my volunteer patch and thinking of cozy nights with a book and a fire.
I've needed a day to myself for so long. A day where I wasn't cleaning my house for company, but for myself. A day to play sappy piano music on Pandora instead of my usual upbeat fare. And, after last night's humbling experience at yoga, I definitely needed a slow day. After lying in the fetal position in the class room for a good long time, someone came in and asked me if I was okay. My eyes welled up with tears, because I wasn't okay, but the fact that someone cared made me okay.
I love summer. I love to be hot and feel the sun seeping into my very core. I dream about that feeling during the dead of winter. I never want summer to end, but when Autumn comes, I can't help but embrace her with open arms.
I've already written an ode to Autumn last year. And as she approaches again this year, all the same feelings crop up. I've been struggling with some things in my life lately, and my lovely friends want to rescue me. I think in the end it will be Autumn who rescues me. She reminds me nothing is forever. She also reminds me you can't have everything all the time. No one wants a fire on a blazing hot day. At least, no one in their right mind. So, I enjoy the hot day on the river's edge soaking up the sun, and I enjoy the cool Autumn night curled up on the couch with a book listening to rain spatter on the windows. Both are good. One is no better than the other, but they cannot happen at the same time. And that's one of the many gifts Autumn brings to me. A knowing that all things happen in their time, and they are good. I need only be present.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Rant, if you will

I usually like to keep this blog light hearted, free from judgement and full of, well, grace.
This morning, I read something that I am struggling with.
Just a couple days ago, the retailer Target released a designer line that had so much on line traffic it temporarily crashed their system. Sounds like good news, right? Our economy needs recharging.
The designer clothes are lesser quality, so can be offered at lower prices. Great. People snatched up quantities at a time, and are now selling them on sites like eBay, for 3-4 times the original price.
It's appalling to me that we are such a greedy status conscious society that we want what we want regardless. The clothes are priced so low in the first place because often, they are manufactured with slave labor.
Why don't we cut out the middle man, and the slave labor, and take our money to local crafters. Instead of owning what everyone else owns, why not buy something straight from the crafter? I was just in a yarn shop yesterday and saw the most exquisite sweaters. Sure, they don't have status conscious labels, but they were beautiful, and likely made with love and not hate.
I know, there's all kinds of arguments for capitalism and blah blah blah. I'd just like to see people care more about their fellow man than a silly fashion statement that lasts for ten minutes. I should add here, I'm as guilty as the next guy...but I am trying.
I've never asked before, but I would really like your comments.