Things I Love Thursday, November 11th

Seven days and seven nights have past since the previous Things I Love Thursday post. So it’s time for yet another! This week, we talk about the return of the original Indie Rock Playlist, being friends with writers, putting the toilet seat down, and so much more. Take a look!

Ahoy there! According to the calendar, it’s November 11th, 2010, which just so happens to be a Thursday! And every Thursday is Things I Love Thursday! As always, this has been a week full of things I love. I’m changing the format around a little bit today, and only focusing on three things I love rather than my usual five. This is mostly because I have a lot to say about each of these three topics. And rather than leaving a ton of stuff unsaid, or writing an epically long post that would go well beyond the attention span of even my most loyal readers, I decided to change the format. So sit back and enjoy fewer topics and more detail in this weeks Things I Love Thursday.

The Indie Rock Playlist

I always wondered how people discover new music. Whenever you talk to any music lover, or even just music enthusiasts, they’re bound to name at least half a dozen bands that you’ve never heard of. And, chances are, unless you really respect their taste in music, you’ll never look up a single one of those bands. You’ll tuck the band name away, in the back of your head, and when the next person happens to mention that band, you’ll say, “Yes! I’ve heard of them! Never actually listened to any of their music, but I’ve heard they’re good!”

Indie Rock Playlist November 2010And then came The Indie Rock Playlist. I first downloaded an Indie Rock Playlist in the middle of 2008. A gentleman who goes by the online name of Criznittle was releasing a playlist of around 120 – 130 songs, every month, filled with the newest and best of the Indie Rock music scene. Criznittle started this project in 2006, but I never really had much interest in them. It may have been boredom that inspired that fateful download in the winter of 2008. It could have been the extremely high number of seeds on the torrent or the seemingly limitless number of comments praising these monthly playlists. Whatever the reasoning, I downloaded one, listened to it for a while, and was extremely impressed. I’m not saying I liked every song, but there was a ton of outstanding music there.

That’s when I developed a system and started utilizing The Indie Rock Playlist as my main way to discover good new music. I downloaded a few of these playlists, loaded them into iTunes, and started listening and rating a few of the songs. Then, I could take a song that I rated five stars, create a Genius Playlist through iTunes’ Genius feature, and discover other songs on these playlists that were similar. I’d rate these songs, and continue the process. It was wonderful.

That is, until Criznittle vanished with his Indie Rock Playlists. The music scene mourned the loss. A few people even stepped up to fill the void with their own Indie Rock Playlists, but they were never the same and never quite as good.

Flash forward to this week, when the mood to discover new music struck, and I randomly decided to search for Indie Rock Playlists to see what popped up. Lo and behold, Criznittle was back, releasing new playlists! I was a few months late to the reunion, but better late than never.

I can’t count the number of amazing new artists and band I’ve discovered through this one source. Songs and bands that have become anthems for certain periods of my life. In these playlists, I’ve found a way to stay in touch with the music scene in an era where both radio and television are failing miserably. I feel “in the loop” without even logging into a account. Discovering the return of Criznittle’s Indie Rock Playlist was definitely the highlight of the week.

Having Writer Friends

Once Upon A TimeI majored in Creative Writing for my undergrad studies. Throughout college, I took a number of writing classes. I played around with character, plot, and syntax. I wrote stories that were plot driven and I wrote stories that were character driven. I learned to appreciate poetry, even though I still hate it. I really enjoy the English language, especially in written form. I can’t help but pick it apart, finding both every flaw and every perfection. Post-movie discussions with me usually involve why the writer(s) decided to put plot elements in certain orders or why they decided to kill the hero rather than saving him and in what way that act was or was not justified by the rest of the plot.

That being said, I do not have a passion for writing. Sure, I can do it. And I can sometimes pump out something that at least somewhat satisfies my inner critic. But I’m not the type of person to get lost for an entire day spitting words onto paper. I’ve tried it. I lose focus, lose interest, and move on to other distractions. It’s rare that a completed piece will find it’s way anywhere except for some folder buried deep inside my computer.

But I do love and respect writing, and am therefore thankful that I have friends who write who I can vicariously live through. They finish their novel and start querying around for an agent and I imagine myself as just finishing a novel and trying to find a way to sell it. They’ll have an article published on a well known website and I’ll imagine myself writing an article for all to see. I try to imagine myself in a situation where writing was an actual bill-paying job. I imagine that this article, right here, is going to put money into my wallet (rather than take money out of it in the form of hosting fees and domain name registry).

Short Stories

Source Unknown, Please Help Identify

But when push comes to shove, and I finally do sit down at my computer in front of a blank page, or a previous written short story to edit, my eyes usually blur and cross. I’ll spend half an hour churning out drivel, almost random combinations of letters and words with no coherent message. I’ll cringe at every letter I type. And that’s when I’ll quit out of the word processing application and open some TV episode. Then I’ll sit back, with a glass of wine, and pretend that I know one of the writers of that show. And then I’ll vicariously live through that writer frien, and pretend it’s me.

Putting the Toilet Seat Down

Furthering my goal of sounding just like your mom, let’s take a moment to discuss putting down the toilet seat after you use the restroom. It’s another one of those little things that can enrich your life with very little effort. I’ve actually never understood why people don’t do this. And when I’m talking about “putting the toilet seat down,” I’m referring to both the seat AND the lid. Just put them down.

Toilet Seat DownYes, I know that you’ll be using the toilet again in the not so distant future, and putting the toilet seat down means you’ll have to lift it again. But seriously, it’s kind of disturbing to imagine that you want your toilet ready and waiting for you at all times of the day. There is toilet time, and there is THE REAL WORLD, and you should properly conclude one before beginning the other. Much like you would say, “excuse me,” before dipping out to use the restroom, you should put the toilet seat down when you’re done.

Sure, there are some exceptions to this rule. Like if you like to leave your toilet seat up before you go to bed so that you don’t piss all over yourself in the middle of the night. I suppose some people are really really deep sleepers. Reasons like that are valid, I suppose, as long as you put the toilet seat down in the morning. But for the majority of people, they don’t have valid reasons. Just poor excuses.

Toilet SeatIf you’re completely healthy and capable, there is NO REASON why you can’t put the toilet seat down when you’re done. It really is the little things like that that make you feel better about life. They make you feel more mature, more grown up, more in control. You’re making a conscious effort to be neat and clean, to properly finish things you start. Putting the toilet seat down is not a women’s movement. It’s just something you should be doing. Plus, it makes me happy!

The Rest

Listening to my music at work, Drinking Monday (even though most of you bastards don’t come out anymore!), iPod shuffles (the ones that actually have buttons), discussing the future of computing (like the death of the CD), wearing a beanie, teaching people, Extra Dessert Delights gum, THE OLD FARMER’S ALMANAC, my bluetooth apple keyboard, clean bills of health, waking up energized, occasionally indulging vices, trying to be a good guy, friends coming through in times of need, helping people, Sacred Gallery openings, sport coats, wearing the occasional tie, looking at ridiculous high fashion couture runway shows, white wine, Modern Family, rediscovering old and loved music, relating to people, breakfast.

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