Thursday, December 28, 2006

Music, then and now

My friend Hillary is always up on geeky tech news. Living in San Francisco, working as a web designer, and simply being a lovable geek, she has her finger on the pulse. I should have known that I would hear some highly interesting news about one of my favorite web spots, Pandora, from her. With sparkling commentary to boot.

I used to have a fantasy of working at Pandora, which I interpreted as listening to music all day, and marking down elements that distinguish it from other songs. I can recall bits of music over spans of years, a trivial skill that I thought would come in handy at a place like Pandora. Give me a word, and I'll come up with a lyric. Give me a song, and I'll come up with a few that match.

As a kid I thought I could make a living out of creating mix tapes (yes, cassettes) for people. They would give me a topic (think birthday, or love songs... and remember - I was only 11 or so when this brain child appeared) and I would create a tape that would fit the bill. I'd stand out - well, I told myself I would stand out - not only due to the expanse and diversity of my totally awesome cassette collection, but also because of my ability (and obsessive desire) to keep track of the time left on each side of the tape. On a 90 minute tape, I would know how to fill in 8:38 left with a few songs, leaving the minimal possible blank space at the end. I always had a few aces up my sleeve, such as the 42 second "Bright Side of the Sun" by Men Without Hats. How could I go wrong?

In college I signed on to be a DJ for our local radio station. I got to play all kinds of excellent music for myself and the two or three people that likely tuned in. I have some old tapes of that experiment, which I'd made for my mom and she kept along with everything else she keeps. I have them still, and put them on once in a while. They have songs I can not find anywhere any more, and I sound like a child. Not really a way to impress the girls, but I enjoy them.

How I ended up in healthcare is baffling to me at times.

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