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Showing posts from May, 2009

Musical Discovery

One of my coworkers decided a few days ago that she was sick of the music on her iPod. (She used the word "hate", but I don't think it was entirely accurate.) So she proposed an iPod swap. I went for it, and we've spent a few hours on each of the last few days listening to each others' collections.

This is a wonderful exercise, which I highly recommend to anyone who is in a position to do it.

My greatest joy of the exercise, so far, has been the discovery of a singer/songwriter named Joanna Newsom. I am absolutely hooked, and intend to buy her albums when funds become available. She has this magnificently unconventional singing voice which she uses to great effect with a unique delivery. Plus, the woman is a rhyme machine!

My favorite lyric goes like this:

I killed my dinner with karate -
kick 'em in the face, taste the body;

This artist is definitely my musical discovery of the year, and I can make no stronger suggestion to you, reader, than this: Listen to Joanna…

02009 New Year's Resolutions #21 and #22: Optimism and Gratitude

I recently found out that I am scheduled to be part of a big round of layoffs from my full-time job. My scheduled date of termination is July 3.

This is the sort of news that could be fairly devastating. (In this case, it is not.)

I am being uncharacteristically optimistic. In fact, I have generally been keeping on the optimistic end of the scale for the last few months.

This is a strange sensation.

I, as you may or may not already know, am a world-class pessimist (despite my "be positive" blood type). This is not a point of pride. It is simply a statement of truth. My longstanding habit has been to always believe that things will go badly. To some degree, this acts as a bit of a built-in cushion. Rarely do things go as badly as I anticipate, and I'm therefore generally pleased with outcomes. However, when outcomes do turn out to be awful, at least they don't come as a shock.

When I was in college, I took an Abnormal Psychology course. My professor was Martin E. P. Seligm…