by Jill Greenwood
I’ll apologize first . . . there ought to be new photos here, but there aren’t. These are from two, three summers ago, when I first figured out what the aperture setting on my D40 was and well before I realized that a lighter hand on the processing would be much better than clicking on every button in Lightroom. So, keep that in mind. Also, yesterday was the last day of school for me, so I might have been a little tipsy during the hours of 12:30 to 5:00 PM.
I’ve long been a fan of liner notes, those tidbits of information inside the album cover or on the sleeves. For you whippersnappers out there, you can find these on inserts of CDs. I love how the artists thank those around them. How they provide the lyrics. How they offer glimpses of the thoughts that went into their songs. How they gave their friends cameras to film the recording. Or how they handed over control to an outside party and turned their album into something unrecognizable to their fans. Liner notes make the album (or CD) like a little time capsule and brought the whole listening experience full circle for me.
But when MP3s and iTunes made their debut, the liner notes got lost in the shuffle. All of a sudden, I could purchase a song for 99¢ and be on my merry way and not have to suffer through the crappy “filler” tunes that artists would slap on their discs. It was like my very own Now Music only with the shit I liked. And because the liner notes were long gone, I came up with my own solution: playlist titles.
I would agonize over the titles of my playlists. I’m talking ten, fifteen minutes worth of bullshit sitting at a computer wondering if “Don’t It Make My Big Balls Blue?” would better represent my mood over “So I Think I Fucked Up the Computer” . . . I chose the second one. The first one would take a lot of explaining to my husband. I took pride in my playlist titles. And hell if I know who I was trying to impress since not a single person knew what they were called unless they were in my iTunes account.
But five months ago, when we bought our new computer, I decided that we didn’t need to bring it in and migrate over all of our information. Screw the geniuses! I can do this shit myself! Funny thing is, I could transfer all the information over, just not my carefully curated playlists. Oh, crap . . . genius, right? I can’t seem to sync my iPod with the new computer because doing so would wipe out all my playlists. And so, this summer, I am setting my anal-retentive and slightly OCD ass with the task of rebuilding playlists for no reason other than the fact that I can’t let them go.
Insanity, thy name is Jill.
Here are some of the playlist titles . . . plus the rationale behind them, kinda like my very own liner notes:
“Bring On the Ark” . . . it rained for what seemed like 40 days and 40 nights . . . probably more like three days
“Conjunctionitis” . . . I was teaching subordinating conjunctions and their purposes for the first time, and clearly it was getting to me
“Death of Chubby” . . . I was watching My Name Is Earl, and Chubby died in that episode
“Dreading the Day” . . . the Girls were graduating from high school. Most of the songs on this list are a mix of melancholy and songs that evoke memories of my kids. I’m 99% sure that Rusted Root’s “Send Me On My Way” is on there since it was their class song
“Haven’t Made One in a While” . . . long time between playlists? Make a playlist!
“I Have to Work Tomorrow” . . . apparently I had to work the next day and thought I needed to commemorate it with some tunes
“MLK in the Rain” . . . day off from school and it was raining (duh)
“Monday Night Shootout” . . . the Girls and I were eating dinner at Boston Market and I told them to ask me whatever questions they had about sex. And they did. And they were 13. And we made a lot of people very, very uncomfortable at dinner. “Lips Like Sugar” and “No One Knows” are the first two songs on this list
“NCBW Sucks Ass” . . . book project at school got you down? Make a fucking playlist to make it all better, my love. Truly, this book projected sucked the fucking life out of me
“Olive Goes Bye-Bye” . . . I was taking Olive to Philly . . . but she’s back so maybe I ought to delete that playlist or retitle it
“Revising Sucks” . . . revising papers for the kiddos on the computer. And listening to music works wonders when I have revisions to do
“Rockin’ Around Conferences” . . . I procrastinate. A lot. Especially when it comes to getting work going.
“Summer . . . Soon” . . . this is the newest playlist on my phone, full of dance tunes
“This Is Going to Suck” . . . apparently something was going to suck, but I don’t know what it was
“Why Am I Not Grading?” . . . self-explanatory
Who knows if I’ll take the time to reassemble all my playlists before I sync this iPod with the computer. I’d like to think that I’ll take the time to do it, but I might get two playlists in and realize that it’s a real pain in my ass to even attempt it. But I know for damn sure that I’ll create a playlist for it. So make me feel a little better and let me know that I’m not alone in this compulsion to categorize my moods and moments in time with a playlist . . . got any good titles for me?