Yellow Green Red

For the longest time, I’ve casually skimmed the music reviews over at yellowgreenred.com. Never really fully taking them in, not really trying to find out about new bands, just attempting to keep the lowest level of connection possible to my past life of musical involvement. The reviews were always well-written and thoughtful, but there’s something about the investment of time in learning about new bands that I just no longer felt capable of taking on. Call it getting older, call it being burned out on a past life so consumed by music, but I just wasn’t feeling it. Yellow Green Red was good enough for me to subscribe to via RSS, but not enough to dig deeper into the actual artists it covered.

That attitude kinda sucks, though. Over the weekend, I decided I wanted to learn more, to instead take the time to learn and grow and find out about what’s going on in the world, so I put together this Spotify playlist of all the artists whose albums reviewed in May 2019 were available on the service. And, let me just say – it’s great! That playlist is over 9 hours long, and each month, I’ll be able to make another one, and hopefully find out about some great new bands that aren’t getting played on wherever the heck it is I discover music these days (since I clearly haven’t been out there trying to find out about it until now). I’m sufficiently motivated that I may go into the YGR back-catalog of reviews and cobble together some additional playlists, just to have some options to put on when I’m out and about.

Hello, whirled.

As I type this, the inaugural entry into a domain that I registered over a year ago, it’s 45º and raining. These dreary days always seem ideal for getting shit done, because who wants to go outside at a time like this? Unfortunately, our building HVAC forces warm or cold air depending on the time of year, and with the switchover occurring just this past week, it means that the indoor temperature is not much better than the outdoors. At least it’s dry.

The good thing is that the uncomfortable weather is giving me an opportunity to reflect, something I haven’t taken a lot of time to do lately. A little over two months ago, I deleted my Twitter account and went into isolation of sorts. During that time, I worked on personal goals, with the main focus of getting myself out of my comfort zone. I submitted presentations to out-of-town conferences. I started learning iOS programming so I can stop relying on the familiarity of PHP. I scheduled long-overdue appointments for my physical health and well-being. I went on the longest bike ride in my life (a paltry 42 miles round-trip, but an achievement nonetheless). I finally did something with this domain, even if a vanilla installation of WordPress wasn’t exactly what I had in mind for it.

And, actually, let me talk about that for a second. In my 20s, I journaled all the time. It was all embarrassing, and those entries are long gone now, but it gave me an outlet to pause on and reflect upon the various ongoings of my life at the time. Ultimately, my intent for this site was to recapture some of that feeling, because I think it’s incredibly important to stop and take account of what’s happening with one’s self. At some point in my life, I lost track of that, and I want to get back to that point of reflection once more. Whether the delivery system is some great custom app I created or some off-the-shelf solution that someone else built is kind of beside the point. I need a box with which to put in words, so I can get them out of my own head and hopefully create some connections with people I care about in this world.

To some degree, I think that’s why I’m back on Twitter, too. My absence granted me a mental break away from it all, and it gave me a better appreciation about the importance of choosing whether to fill in that box and hit send. But what it took away from me was that connection from the people I care about the most, whose stories and accomplishments and struggles I couldn’t be present for because I needed to take care of myself. I learned a lot from the experience, and I expect that the way I’ll interact with the site will change a lot as a result. But I’ll be there, and that’s better than being completely on one’s own.

In the meantime, I’m also going to give this place a shot and see where it goes, too.