Houston, Texas and the unreasonably long playlist.

That’s where I am. But not really, because I got placed in the super-suburb of The Woodlands, located about 35 miles north of downtown. The office I’m working at is in Greenspoint, about halfway into town. My daily commute takes anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes one-way. This is quite a shock after living in downtown Columbia, MO last year, where my daily commute was a 4 minute walk. I miss that.

I’m not sure how well I’m adjusting to my summer job.  One advantage of living so far from work is I get to listen to music everyday during the drive. The same plus applies to sitting at a desk all day. Since I uploaded my entire mp3 collection to Google Play a few months ago (a process that took a few weeks on my painfully slow connection) I have access to everything that I’ve ever bothered to buy, download, rip, or allowed a friend to forcefully thrust into my hard drive. My summer goal is to listen to every track I have at least once.

Unfortunately, this is actually a completely unrealistic goal. I have over 9000 songs uploaded that would play for over 25 days straight. If I eat lunch in my office I will be at my desk for 10 hours a day. Adding up all the workdays I have left, I conceivably have 40 days*10 hours=400 hours of total listening time. That’s under 17 days total, and I’ve only made it to the letter C. Granted, Google Play took an unexplained detour to the letter S, but the goal isn’t to go alphabetically, it was just the obvious way.

Listening to my music alphabetically by song title has some quirks. The most ridiculous sequence I’ve experienced to far was Boom by Flight of The Conchords, followed by Boom!, the classic rap jam by Shaquille O’Neal, followed by Boombox, the Lonely Island/Julian Casablancas collaboration. More recently, I listened to very appropriate collection of tracks starting with “Summer” (12 tracks) and “Sun” (25 tracks). While listening to all my songs starting with the word Black I wondered if my collection of music was racist. I’m not sure what to make of the results [White (25 tracks) vs. Black (50 tracks).] Some of my friends might be aware that one of my recent favorite songs is That Old Black Hole by Dr. Dog. But did you know Ella Fitzgerald has a song called That Old Black Magic?

I’ve listened to almost all of my music at least once in the past, but I tend to gravitate toward a few albums and artists that I keep returning to. I think it’s a fruitful exercise forcing myself to listen to all these other tunes I’ve accumulated over the past 10 years. I have to exercise all of my will power to stop myself from skipping past some tracks, though. Commoners: Canada Goose, American Crow, Blue Jay, House Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Grackle, Song Sparrow, a 10 minutes track that’s supposed to train you to recognize the named bird calls, comes to mind.

In other music-related news, I caught the always great Bad Veins, Portugal, The Man, and Flaming Lips at a music festival in Houston a couple weekends ago. In just a few days I’m going with some other interns to see Coldplay. Well, they will be there to see Coldplay. I’ll mostly be there to see the opener Robyn, then marvel at all the pretty lights Coldplay brought.

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