The original title of this post was "The zen of pandora.com," but I was struck by the fact that I have no freaking clue what "zen" really means. "Zen" is such a fad word and has been for about twenty years. There are like thirteen thousand books with "Zen and the Art of..." in the title; a few good, some terrible. So instead of wasting my time trying to fit "zen" into my general mood, I strove for emotional accuracy. "Equanimity" is an unjustly little-used word, and I believe the word should receive some publicity, as little as it would get here. Thus the title.
I've known of pandora.com, one of many internet radio programs, for several months, but didn't bother with it because I was so smitten with my iPod. I signed in a few days ago and haven't stopped playing with it since.
Pandora differs from your basic internet radio in that you "create" your own stations by choosing a favorite performer or tune, and the program plays it and similar performers. It's pretty neat, and I created a few more stations for me and the wife.
The first "station" I created was centered around Neil Young. Voila, there's Neil. And some Beatles. And some Byrds, CSNY, et al. I then added Joni Mitchell and Steely Dan to the station, with decidedly mixed results: I got a Tom Waits tune (yeah!) followed by the Doobie Brothers (augh! No!) then some Ani DiFranco (sure!) then Norah Jones (bleah!) I picked some songs, rejected others, added a couple more performers, and now I have quite a cool "radio station" made for me by me. My wife is in the next room watching a "Bridezillas" marathon, and yet I'm feeling mellower than I have in days.
So as I groove quietly to Steely Dan's "Josie" and I type this little blog entry in the office while Jack grooves in Snoozeville on the recliner behind me, I feel decidedly equaniminous, unless that's not a word, in which case I guess I feel zen.