Today, was an unexpected ice day, with freezing drizzle in the area pretty much all day. I was getting into my truck as we got the text that said no school, so I was almost out the door. This is not the first time I’ve been at school when that “no school” call, so I was happy NOT be on the road.

What to do today?? 🙂


I did what any red blooded American male would do when left to his own devices:

I played my music really loud!

My music tastes range from Yo-Yo Ma to A Tribe Called Quest to Metallica to Sheryl Crow to The Three Tenors to anything I’ve managed to download as music has become more readily available in the rural areas. Digital music was a true blessing to me, because going a “music store” and listening to different cds was only happening during trips to urban areas. Here in the sticks of Northeast Iowa, that just didn’t happen. Then, I discovered on iTunes and one of their first streaming sites. I was hooked! I could listen to almost any type of music, and it was free!

So, today, we went old school. I still have a collection of cds (my wife tells me to get rid of them, go digital she says), and I selected the most eclectic music I could. So, the selections were (no specific order):

  • A cd I burnt a while back, packed full of upbeat Hispanic music. Don’t ask me why, but I went through a stage where I LOVED this kind of music. It’s a salsa, techno, jazzy, fun music where I have zero idea what they are singing about, but it a blast to listen to!
  • Metallica: Hardwired to Self-Destruct….. This is their latest cd, and after a couple of lackluster attempt, this is a epic return to greatness. Some will say they sold out, but if you’ve ever seen them in concert (and I have), you know they will rock you with all they have. If I need hitting rock, this is what I turn to.
  • AC/DC: Rock or Bust  This will probably be AC/DC’s last studio album with the band falling victim to old age. They’ve been around almost as long as I have, and if this is to be their last studio album, it’s a great send off to to a great band.
  • Phish: Lawn Boy  This quirkiness of Phish what drew me in, the jam band sense of style is what kept me. With songs like “Bathtub Gin”, “Run Like an Antelope”, and “The Squirming Coli”, a classic Phish album.
  • NWA: Straight Outta Compton  Not for the faint of heart, this is the album that launched the careers of Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, Easy E, and put gangsta rap into the public eye, for better or worse.
  • Honorable mention included: Big Bad Voodo Daddy, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Squeeze, U2, Sheryl Crow, Hootie and the Blowfish, Pearl Jam, and Gaelic Storm. Sometimes, you have to make choices in life! 🙂

So, I did dishes, graded papers, made cookies, and just enjoyed my day off, listening to loud, obnoxious, sometime foul mouthed music that just reminded me how much I love music as a whole. No, probably not going to play some of this in class, but it’s the soundtrack of my life, going back to high school, college, and many years of being married. It’s what kept me going, lifted me up, made me laugh, and created so many good memories with my friends, my wife, and my daughters.

I hope you soundtracks that you can pull together to remember the great times in your life, or even to reflect on the “what ifs” that may be there. Music, love it or hate it, binds us together and creates this web of commonality between people who may have nothing else.

In the end, isn’t this what we want, a way to connect with others?

I know I do! 🙂

To the aging metal heads out there, the deep bass hip hoppers, the house music freaks, the wine sipping jazz lovers, and everyone else in between, I have one message for you all: