Play that funky music...

I love music.


If I didn't have a public speaking phobia, I would probably have become a DJ instead of a museum curator. Truth.

In all seriousness, I LOVE music. I mean, all kinds of music. Everything from classical to metal and anything in between.


I made mixed tapes in undergrad. I still have them. They are freaking awesome (at least I think so, and I bet my sorority sisters do to). In fact, when our DJ bailed on us for one of our dances, we moved the stereo system from our sorority house across the street to the hall and I set up shop. The system had a dual cassette deck and CD player. I plugged in my portable CD player into the auxiliary jack, and I was ready to party! It was perfect. I had broken my leg playing softball, and was in a cast for 6 weeks. I couldn't dance, but I could DJ! I had a blast, and it was a successful sorority dance.


Now, I know there are services out there that make a playlist for you based on the category or group you like. I don't subscribe to those. I have an iTunes account, and through Amazon Prime I have access to their music service. I pull up different playlists while I'm making dinner. It varies. Sometimes it's new music, but most of the time I'm reliving my youth. Playlists like, "Rediscover the 80s: New Wave", "Mellow 70s Gold", and "Classic Rock Hits". I also use them to introduce my boys to different kinds of music and artists. We had a Billy Joel night the other day, because we drove by the area where he filmed the music video to "River of Dreams". B has been jamming to C & C Music Factory's, "Everybody Dance Now". And we all love the "Guardians of the Galaxy" soundtracks (both 1 and 2). B and I are now onto the Hamilton Broadway Musical Soundtrack. I catch him listening to it while doing his math homework.

The St. Ignace Car Show Weekend

The first mix tape I ever made was for my parents. They asked me to make tapes of 1950s and 1960s music to bring with them to the St. Ignace Car Show. This year would have been the 45th annual. They were going when it was the 5th annual--and it probably wasn't even "annual" yet. Anyway, they had all these old vinyl records and wanted me to put together into tapes they could play on the trip up with their corvette club; as well as play while they sat by their cars. I made 4 - 90 minute tapes. I didn't just record all the albums. With their help, they selected certain songs they wanted, but let me put it all together. I even sneaked in songs they hadn't selected. I had the best time figuring out the list of songs and the flow.


I love choosing what song to play next. The playlists from Amazon are good, but I really enjoy planning the next song. What will work with the song currently playing. When is a good time to slow it down. Change genres altogether. Speed it back up.


In college, I enjoyed watching people dance. There was no greater feeling when the room was packed, spilling out into the hallway, and sometimes even the front yard, dancing to my mix tape. It gave me secret pleasure to watch one of the fraternity brothers swap out my tape for one of theirs, and see everyone leave the dance floor.


After college, the opportunities to make tapes diminished. I made some mixed CDs for some youth group trips for our church. A nice mix of current hits, and some Christian Rock. I had to make extras for our pastor, so he could listen to them while he worked out.


It wasn't until I started this crazy triathlon journey that my mix tape mojo came back.


Officially, you cannot play music while you are competing in triathlon. Seriously, it is against the rules. But, you can listen to music during a running race. So, during my couch to 5k program, I started making mixes in iTunes, using my old CDs to start, then I'd add to them with some digital purchases. Music with good beats, and good lyrics. Inspirational. I found my old youth group mixes, and digitized them. They were great to listen to while running.


Then I really got wild, I started making mixes for races, or training for races, or just for that season of training. My two best friends were training for a 10k, so I made a mix for them too. I'd burn CDs, and mail them to Michigan.


I typically make 4 - 6 mixes a year, and depending on the length of the race would give me an idea of how long to make the mix. As usual, an eclectic mix of new and old, but I tried to throw in some "inspirational" stuff too. I mean who doesn't want to hear "Whatever it Takes," by Imagine Dragons or "All Star" by Smash Mouth while running wind sprints. It definitely helps!


Lately, I've been listening to the Broadway musical Hamilton while I run. Who knew that history was inspiring--oh wait, I did!


"I'm just like my country, I'm young, scrappy and hungry, and I'm not throwing away my shot," sings Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton. Just brilliant when pushing myself up the hills.


Now that my funk is over (thanks again Tour de France), I'm back to working out. And that means time for a new mix. I think while the boys are "at school" virtually today, its time to break out the computer, and see what works. I think it'll be called, "Fall Covid Mix 2020".


Let me know if you have suggestions for songs! Comment or email me!


In the meantime, grab some music and jam.



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