This is Your Spotify Life, Part 1

It’s been three years, nine months and three laptops since I embraced Spotify’s “who cares about Pandora and a few iTunes exclusives?’ spirit on Sept. 27, 2011, two months into my junior year of college.

It was a Thursday night and pillows propped me up in bed as I entered a very different musical world via a Toshiba laptop that wouldn’t make it to grad school.

That night I  founded my “Starred” playlist with “Dreaming with a Broken Heart” by John Meyer.

It would now take you 45 hours and 59 minutes to listen to the 664 songs I’ve deemed significant – for whatever emotionally petty reasons – to my personal musical journey.

And for posterity, I never delete songs from the list. With the exception of possibly four or five questionable entries made in moments of weakness, my real time music tastes remain intact for anyone to look at.

Here are a few songs that stand out to me from my first seven months on Spotify – from September 2011 to April 2012 – and some stories to go along with them.

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You know you’re nearly broke when…

Thank you taxes.

Thank you secondary payments related to taxes.

Thank you 22-inch Vizio TV I owned for 5 years that unexpectedly broke that led me to buy a new 40-inch Hisense TV (If you’re ever going to upgrade….).

Thank you bills.

Thank you for putting me in the position of never being more excited than I am now on the eve of a check being direct deposited into my checking account.

You know your bank account has been hanging by a thread for a month (with some very appreciated help from your parents) when:

  1. You use Taco Bell as a bank to get quarters for laundry.
  2. You miraculously go two weeks without using a quarter of your gas tank.
  3. You can list the number of places you been in the last four weeks: Wal-Mart, Kroger, Sonic, the library, 7-11 and a visit downtown for your cousin’s birthday. That turned into a trip to the Water Gardens in Fort Worth and a weird sensation of vertigo.

    The Water Gardens in downtown Fort Worth.

    The Water Gardens in downtown Fort Worth.

  4. Sitting around doing nothing after a day of working (from home) becomes something you have to do and thus loses its appeal.
  5. Swimming in the apartment pool becomes an event.
  6. You take A LOT of walks in the subdivision behind you apartment, leading to your most steps taken in succession since freshman year of college.
  7. If you died, the stray cat that adopted you and your balcony would be the only living thing that would know for at least a week.
  8. Podcasting becomes your main source of socializing (give us a listen! Please?).
  9. You rediscover how much money you could have saved by getting all of your entertainment from the library. Seriously, Red Box and Netflix would go the way of Blockbuster if our society used libraries as they were intended. The 57 people ahead of me on the wait list for Will Smith’s “Focus” know what I’m talking about.
  10. You read more books (not complaining) than you have since your last bought with midterms. This leads to learning more about the American Revolution from one book than you did from your AP American History class in high school (You also start to question why we celebrate the Fourth of July and not the Third of September).
  11. You have trouble keeping track of which “Key & Peele” episodes you have and have not seen.
  12. Your habit of sleeping in until noon is now your most effective cost-cutting strategy.
  13. You sit in your living room writing a list about being broke.

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The cat with no name

cat

It happens like clockwork.

Within minutes of giving leave of the cat with no name, it returns.

It’s out there right now, laying underneath my red and tan beach chair as the apartment complex pool is filled with the shouts and laughter of kids on summer break with nowhere else to go.

It’s claimed the balcony as its own.

It started off innocently enough. With an open door as groceries were brought into the one-bedroom apartment.

It ventured in a few feet, investigating the dividing line between the carpet of the living room and the wood flooring of the kitchen. Its presence noticed, it darted back outside.

There was a collar, but no name.

Later, its curiosity got the best of it and it welcomed the offering of some Oscar Meyer bologna. Then again, again and again.

One morning brought my routine of opening the balcony door to let some cooler air in.

It also brought the cat. Ten feet couldn’t keep it away from more bologna.

I welcomed the company as I worked. Working from home can be a lonely experience, especially when it’s tax month.

Everytime I place the cat on my door, it returns. From doorway to balcony, in no time at all.

I’ve yet to see this incredible effort take place.

This is what happens you’re adopted by a cat with no name.

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A comedian asks for a volunteer….

NatashaWhen attending a comedy show, always be prepared for the headliner to have to use the restroom halfway through the set.

When this happens, they will ask for a volunteer from the audience to vamp for two minutes (“Does anybody have a talent?”)

Always raise your hand.

If someone asks for volunteers, just do it. Don’t think twice.

Raise. Your. Hand.

Especially if said comedian asking for a volunteer is Natasha Leggero.

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The circle is now complete: 10 years of Revenge of the Sith

star_wars_episode_three_ver2The year 2005: An elegant time in a more civilized movie age.

But that’s just my opinion.

It’s also my opinion that Star Wars: Episode III: Revenge of the Sith is among my top five films ever.

I’m not going to bore you with the details of why I love Episode III as much as I do or why your anger toward it is misguided and will lead you down a dark path full of hate and suffering.

I’m just here to reminisce about May 19, 2005.

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The night I met The Avengers

AvengersThe day of May 4, 2012 was hectic.

It was the due date of my Theory of Knowledge final paper, the last and probably most stressful assignment of my junior year of college at Arkansas State University.

As soon as that was done, I would commence packing up my dorm room and squeezing all my belongings into my 1996 Oldsmobile Bravada for the return trip to Northwest Arkansas a few days later.

May 4th also brought the beginning of a three-day trip with my dad and two high school friends, Mason and Brian, to Talladega, Alabama for a full weekend of NASCAR racing.

But those were the least of my worries for May 4th.

No, my biggest concern was a little, pretentious movie titled, Marvel’s The Avengers. Continue reading

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Ninety Minutes with my Cable Guy

Carter

Carter

My cable guy was a month late.

No, not to install my cable. He arrived safely within the two-hour window of 5 – 7 p.m., which I had scheduled three weeks ago.

My cable guy, Carter, was born a month late, 24 years ago.

I found this out about 20-25 minutes into his install of my cable, internet and a phone service I won’t pay for (“Do you know how many times I hear that a day?”).

But it could have been worse. Continue reading

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