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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?

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  1. June 6, 2012

    I am a terrifically sweary person and my husband is not. He is a very techno-savvy person and I am not. He makes playlists for me and seeks to embarrass me with obscene names which only make me guffaw. The latest are “Butterquim” and “Twat Off Jam Cock”. Make of that what you will :0)

    • June 6, 2012

      Snippety – your husband really should think of loaning himself out to help new bands choose their names! I think he has a rare, undeveloped talent! LOL

      • Jill #
        June 6, 2012

        HA! One of the books series that I read has a band with ever changing names. And some of these would be perfect for it.

    • Jill #
      June 6, 2012

      Your husband sounds like a man after my own heart. I might have to borrow that first one for my own playlist . . . brilliant, that hubby of yours!

      • June 7, 2012

        To be fair, although he is indeed awesome, I think he nicked that first one from a Harry Enfield sketch about sweets that included “Tuppenny Butterquims” – an even better band name methinks 🙂

  2. June 6, 2012

    Any chance you want to share your summer dance playlist?! Joelynne Johnson can attest to my musically uncool self or else I’d share our newest downloads with you (Beibster anyone?!;)). I love your playlists:). I got a new computer in march and sadly do not even have ONE playlist. So sad.

    • Jill #
      June 6, 2012

      Here’s the summer play list . . . and understand that I’m an English teacher and not putting all the song titles in quotations will drive me batty, but I’m also lazy. And laziness wins out in the summer.

      Starships by Nicki Minaj
      Shake It Out by FLorence + The Machine
      Boyfriend by Justin Bieber (yup . . . I love this song! And I fought against the Bieb for so long, too)
      I Could Lose Ya by Stereophonics
      Don’t Leave Me (Ne me quitte pas) by Regina Spekto
      Dancing On My Own by Robyn (love, love, love this one)
      Jingalin by Ludacris (I can’t explain this)
      Too Close by Alex Clare
      Ready to Start by Arcade Fire
      Titanium (feat. Sia) by David Guetta and Sia (that should just be Sia, BTW)
      Good Feeling by Flo Rida
      So Good by B.o.B.
      Part of Me by Katy Perry
      Shadow Days by John Mayer
      Wobble by V.I.C. (cannot explain why I love this song)
      Man On Fire by Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros
      Call Me Maybe by Carly Rae Jepsen (again, can’t explain why I love this)
      I Won’t Give Up by Jason Mraz (if this isn’t a bajillion “first dances” this wedding season, I’d be shocked)
      The Fighter (feat. Ryan Tedder) by Gym Class Heroes (highly underrated)

      • June 7, 2012

        Dancing On My Own is one that my four year old boy and I love to death ! Have you seen Robyn on Ceasar by I Blame Coco ? That’s a great song too 🙂

  3. June 6, 2012

    This is Going to Suck might be my fav.
    Plus I love “Boyfriend”. I can even gloss over the Buzz Lightyear lyric.

    • Jill #
      June 7, 2012

      True . . . I feel kinda dirty every time that specific lyric comes on. And I really wish I could figure out what was going to suck so bad that I needed to make a playlist for it. Probably something like a doctor’s appointment.

  4. June 7, 2012

    what I love about this is that you mention how when we name these playlists, no one gets to see them but us, but here in this blog, you’ve given a voice to your awesome playlist titles! glad you had the opportunity to share with people who get it and get music like you do!

    • Jill #
      June 7, 2012

      I know, right?! Dave comments sometimes that he doesn’t understand the titles, and that’s perfectly fine with me.

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