Music Choice

I’ve been contemplating for weeks choices on music preferences and when we actually become conscious of them.  For the past few years, I had been listening to mostly country music, which was a bit of a change from my alternative rock days and my pop princess days before that.  Letely, however, I have been listening more and more to the “Adult Contemporary” stations, which is, I suppose, a combination of bubblegum pop and alternative rock with perhaps a little bit a dancey rap thrown in.  I started wondering why these changes occur?  Is it because of who we hang out with at the time?  Or what we do?  Or is it really just an evolution of who we are?  All of these things boiled down to one thing:  What made me consciously change my music preferences?

When I was a kid, I mostly listened to Oldies.  I listened to the likes of Elvis and the Beach Boys and other pop-rock icons from the 50s and 60s.  I remember going for an MRI when I was 8 and the technician asked what radio station I would like on the headphones, I said U92 (the oldies station at the time) and they were kind of surprised.  This was the only music I really knew, it was what my parents listened to and what we sang in the chorus performance at school.

Then came the 1997 Nickelodeon Big Help A Thon.  Even as a kid, I was a hippie, so of course loved the Big Help concept.  This specific performance, however, introduced me to what are still my two favorite bands today: Sister Hazel and Barenaked Ladies.  And I remember when they were first announced to take the stage I thought they were both girl bands!  So began my everlasting love of 90s pop rock.  (Shortly after this I got my first CD: No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom).

In 1998, all my girl friends were obsessed with the Backstreet Boys and NSync.  Having always considered myself a “rocker”, I refused to buy into it.  That is, until I saw NSync performing at EPCOT for the Very Merry Christmas Parade.  It was a small gathering of around 60 people around a small stage that we happened to be there on a field trip during.  And I was hooked.   A few months later I saw the Backstreet Boys at what was my first real concert ever, and the next year some friends and I even made a video to try and meet NSync on MTV’s Fanatic.  I was, I will admit, a teeny bopper.

Throughout most of high school I secretly stayed a teeny bopper listening to boy and girl pop bands as they faded into history while all of my friends were “discovering” bands like the Smashing Pumpkins and Radiohead.

Then I went to a small preppy college in Georgia.  Here, my pop princess side was squashed and I was forced to listen to the likes of Dave Matthews Band (which I still never really got into) and was introduced to country (a love which lay mostly dormant until about 10 years later when I started line dancing).

So while every chapter in my life I am changing and expanding my musical tastes, I will probably always come back to those bands I saw while I was still so young and impressionable.  Maybe it’s because they take us back to a less complicated time in our lives.  Maybe it’s because they really do write great timeless music.  Maybe it’s because some bands know how to evolve with us.  Whatever it is, I bet everyone, regardless of how many different genres of music they listen to, has that one moment in their life when they legitimately became aware of music as more than just a noise in the background.  I’d love to hear your moments!

 

“I Pledge Allegiance…”

I recently thought of a little anecdote from my childhood that made me think about myself today.  I’m not sure why I thought of this instance recently, perhaps it is because I suddenly seem to have quite a few friends in the military (as a matter of fact, I’m leaving soon to go see one on home for leave!) or perhaps it is because of a heated discussion about equal rights that I just saw on Facebook, or perhaps it’s because it’s almost the Fourth of July.  Either way, I realized something interesting.  When I was little (three or four, I suppose) I got kicked out of preschool.  Yes, sweet little me, teacher’s pet, got told not to come back.  Why you ask?  It is because I refused to say the Pledge of Allegiance.  I refused, because they would not give me a logical explanation as to why I should.  Even toddler me had authority issues.

Adult me still has those issues as well.  People have told me if you want to travel and get paid for school, join the military.  The only problem is that I would not survive one week in the military.  Physical requirements aside (need I list my many disqualifying ailments?), my lack of ability to follow senseless orders would become a problem.  It’s not necessarily that I lack respect for authority, it’s just that I believe authority should be earned.  The people who do the best at their assigned tasks should be the ones who are promoted, not because of who they know, but because they are good enough at doing something to direct others in how to do it.  I take issues as well with people trying to boss me around when I’ve been doing my job longer than they have.  If I trained you in your job, who are you to turn around and tell me how to do said job?  Most importantly, I take issue with things that are illogical.  Damn intelligence won’t let me blindly follow people.  “Because I said so” is not an acceptable answer in my book.

All of that being said, I still do not say the Pledge of Allegiance, to this day.  Now before you start accusing me of being unpatriotic, or treacherous, or a terrorist- hear my logic against saying it.  At the same age when they teach you the Pledge, they also teach you things like not to lie.  I would be lying if I said I could always and forever provide my unwavering loyalty to a country I can’t necessarily predict the future of.  Think of all the little German children in the 1920s and 1930s pledging allegiance to their country- then being asked as adults to systematically murder millions of people.  What if I pledge allegiance now, and 20 years down the road some crazy president comes in and tells us we need to finish off all the Native Americans?  Would you hold true to your “pledge”?  Or would you turn your back on it, and fight against your country or simply flee to another one?  Either you hold true to your pledge and break your own morals, or you break your pledge to keep to your morals- which would then make the entire point of saying said pledge moot anyways.

At the end of the day, saying of few words makes you neither patriotic nor unpatriotic, it’s what’s in your heart that matters.  I still don’t see what the point of reciting it is.  Perhaps we need to spend those extra two minutes teaching kids math and reading so we do not breed a nation of imbeciles.  If someone can tell me a logical reason for how saying the Pledge of Allegiance makes you more productive/intelligent/etc.  then I will be willing to re-examine my opinion.  Until such a time, however, I choose to stick to my morals.  And I will love my country as long as it does not conflict with said morals.  And more importantly, I love all of you who continue to fight for our country so that I may continue to stick to my own morals and not those of some creepy guy thousands of miles away.

What’s in an IQ?

Somehow I got to chatting with a friend about IQ scores.  I don’t generally share mine with people because I learned at an early age that it’s generally the smart kid’s that get picked on.  I learned at a later age that sometimes people are intimidated by my intelligence… especially boys.  I personally don’t care what other people’s are.  I think everyone I know is smart in one way or another, if you weren’t I probably wouldn’t talk to you as I have no patience for truly stupid people.

It can be fun to try and guess people’s though.  You’d be surprised.  Some of the smartest people you would never think are so smart.  (Apparently this is often the case with me.  I have a theory that the higher one’s IQ, the ditsier one tends to be… I may as well go blonde!)  In any case, if you ever wanted to know what IQs mean, I found a nice little website here.  Let’s just say mine is in the “genius or near genius” range….

In any case, I was tested when I was five or six, and I feel like since I finished school I have gotten dumber.  Perhaps my knowledge base has merely shifted.  I may not remember all the mathematical equations or grammatical structures I once knew, but I have since learned how to change my oil, put up a wall, make a drink, etc.  Well I learned how to do a lot of these things in theory, some of them the actual performing part is still a little tricky.  Drinking all those drinks I make probably doesn’t help.

Quarter-Life Crisis

I feel like, after the accumulation of everything that has (and has not) happened this year, I have reached a quarter-life crisis.  This is different from a mid-life crisis in that I don’t have a need to buy a motorcycle or date a man half my age or get my year’s salary in plastic surgery.  But it is very similar in that I feel the strong need for change, big change, and soon.

Unfortunately, like everything about me, my desire is at opposite ends of the spectrum in this too.  On the one hand, I hear the quintessential “clock ticking” giving me the strong urge to mate and have a family.  Which I would absolutely love and is my ultimate goal in life.  But like everything I consider doing in life, I’m gravely afraid of screwing it up.  The other part of me wants to pick up and move across the country or get a job on a cruise ship and travel around the world.  The only problem with either of those plans is the house I bought in hopes of moving towards the first goal.

With conflicting goals I basically have to decide now which goal I would like to pursue for my life. That’s a tough decision to make at my age! And, unlike Miley Cyrus, I fear I cannot have the best of both worlds.  It can be so hard to figure out what I want- and it never seems to be the thing I want a few weeks later! All I can know for sure is what I don’t want. And what I don’t want is to be stuck in my crappy, dead-end job, making not even enough money to pay for the house I’m depressed to sit alone in and therefore try to avoid.

In school they give you guidance counselors to help tell you what classes you should take. Why can’t there be life counselors to help you make grown up choices? Why can’t there be someone telling you what job to get. Or where to live. Or, most helpful, who to date? Heck I’d take guidance on just one of those and be doing a heck of a lot better than where I’m at right now!

I don’t know where I’ll end up next year, but I feel like it will not be where I am now. I hope it is not. I’m not sure I could stand it if it were. All it takes is one big change, and I buy at least a few months before I get sick of that.  I’m trying. I’m exploring my options and weighing out their merits.  But like always, I’m too scared to jump. Too scared to make that change myself. I’m to the point where I need something that will force me to choose. Something that will leave me no other choice than the right one.  Some cataclysmic event to finally change my stagnant life and get it moving again.

So I sit and wait. And pray for a clear sign. At the end of the day, life is all about choices. And I’m terrified of making the wrong ones.

Blog Stats

  • 3,286 hits