Not a resolution, but…

I just signed up for guitar lessons! I’ve had a guitar for three years now. I play around with it, teach myself a few things, then put it away long enough to forget everything I just learned. Then start the cycle again. I wouldn’t let myself sign up for lessons, as I was just to darn busy already.
But the Masters is done. I have dropped a number of obligations in order to relax and enjoy myself for a while. And so starting January 17, and for the following eight Mondays, I’m in a beginner guitar class.
Next goal: become a singer/songwriter sensation. (Just kidding. I am a terrible singer – and that’s not just me being modest. Besides, I have enough to do.)


Eat Bicker Love – The Original Soundtrack

A couple weeks ago, a friend (who shall remain nameless) posted a somewhat embarrassed tweet regarding the purchase of the new Iron Maiden CD and the Eat Pray Love Soundtrack in one transaction. I was both amused by her tastes, and inspired. A soundtrack! My trip needed a soundtrack. Of course.

It is at times like these that I love software like iTunes. Yes, I often bitch about the authorization rules, and the odd way it sorts compilation CDs. But one thing I love about iTunes is that it keeps track of my listening habits for me, creating great playlists like “most recently played” or “25 Most Played.” This is where I started my planning.

My listening while in Tanzania was influenced by three major events or circumstances. First, the purchase of a new computer, only days before I left. I simply didn’t have time to load all my music onto it, so I grabbed the iTunes folder, quickly tried to sort my music from D’s (was mostly successful) and copied those files. I directly transferred a few CDs I had acquired in the weeks before I left. The rest was already on my iPod, so I didn’t worry about it.

The second influence was that my iPod broke before I ever made it to Africa. So half the music I was counting on was gone.

Third, I didn’t have a lot of time to sit and listen to music. Mostly, I turned it on while lying in bed, more as white noise than anything else. Something to listen to for about 20 minutes while I relaxed and fell asleep, and to have on quietly through the night to drown out the unfamiliar sounds, like the roosters, guinea fowl, and things that liked to climb on the roof. After being jolted awake on more than one occasion by “Ship to Shore” or “Warhol’s Portrait of Gretsky” I decided to make myself a playlist of “quiet music,” which became the most commonly played list on the computer.

So my soundtrack is far more mellow, and contains fewer of my standard favourites than you might expect – but the standard names are all there.  I have edited so that each artist appears only once, but made no other changes. Hope you enjoy it. You can download your own copy here, and support (mostly) Canadian music in the process.

Til I Gain Control Again Blue Rodeo
Goodnight Josephine The Tragically Hip
Devil’s Best Dress Corb Lund
No Fool for Trying Madison Violet
Ghost of the Eastern Seaboard The Stanfields
Solitary Life Melissa McClelland
At My Window Sad and Lonely Billy Bragg & Wilco
Asking for Flowers Kathleen Edwards
Why Me Kris Kristofferson
Sing Your Heart Out The Trews
The Bleeding Heart Show The New Pornographers
Face of the Earth Joel Plaskett Emergency
Africa Toto