Sunday, August 5, 2012

Kaela Radio


So, it's been a long time since I've blogged.

I'm sorry. My only excuse for this is because I tend to blog more when I'm using my laptop regularly, and since it's summer and I work a ton I really don't use my laptop that often. It's feeling neglected and I'm sorry. But, once school starts, that will probably change, and then I can have another excuse to procrastinate my homework.

I've also just had nothing to blog about! I've got a couple ideas, but they are still in the works. But today, I was sitting outside in my awesome chair hammock, which I am going to miss very much when I leave for college (don't even get me started on what I am going to miss when I go to college), when the idea just CAME to me!! And I figured, since I haven't blogged in a while, and I used to do weekly spiritual thoughts on my blog, which I no longer do but should really start up again, this can be my attempt to get back into blogging about both regular things and spiritual things.

Did that make any sense?

I'm back!

Okay, this thought I had requires some back story. I work at Seven Peaks. I love my job. I work in the only two departments who are allowed to listen to music, and I work roughly 40 hours a week, so I've got a lot of time to listen to music.

I won't really get into what we listen to in HR. Part of it is just that I'm SUPER picky when it comes to what sounds I allow to grace my that's why I tend to complain a lot about what we listen to in there. Some times I'm more justified than others. (If you've talked to me in the past month, you know exactly what I'm talking about.)

But, I also work in Cash Control! I love Cash Control! We listen to 1D radio, Justin Bieber radio, and NSYNC radio, just to name a few. I love Pandora. A lot.

Through listening to Pandora so much, I've discovered just how awesome it is. It's not just about making a station. If you like a song, they'll play it more times than you'll ever want to hear it. If you dislike a song, it won't play on that station again. You can add songs or artists to a playlist to add some variety. For the person who is too lazy to find songs she likes and put them onto her phone/iPod, Pandora is perfect.

On days when I'm in the mood for some B.O.B, I turn on B.O.B radio.

On days when I'm in the mood for Jason Mraz, I turn on Jason Mraz radio.

On days when I'm in the mood for top 40 songs, I turn on Top Hits radio.

But what about the days when I'm in the mood for everything? What if I want a Pandora station to play me everything I, Kaela Carter, enjoy listening to? And only stuff I enjoy listening to? What if I want a balanced mix of all of the music I like? A station that will play Usher one minute, and Coldplay the next?

Thus, Kaela Radio was born.

Kaela Radio has been my summer project. A challenge, if you will. The ultimate challenge to create the Pandora radio station that will be perfect for me.

I started out with creating Justin Bieber radio. Then I added all of my favorite artists to it, and a couple of my favorite songs, and now it's mostly been about liking or disliking songs. Right now, Kaela Radio is still in the works. But my goal is to have it perfected by the end of the summer. Seeing as how I rarely get to listen to Kaela Radio, that probably won't happen.

At this point, I'm sure anyone still reading this is wondering something like "So...I thought there was a spiritual point to this? Thou blaspheming troll!"

(I use the word troll a lot, because I think it's funny. But usually people give me weird looks whenever I say it.)

There is a spiritual point to this. Right now, not only am I trying to perfect Kaela Radio, I'm also trying to perfect Kaela...Kaela! Me! Now that I'm moving out in just 17 short days, starting BYU, and beginning my adult life, I've realized I have a lot of decisions to make. Who I am is the biggest one. In psych we talked about the Identity/Role Confusion stage of life a lot. (Erikson. I remember that because I'm awesome.) It's not that I'm confused about who I am, so much as I can see in my mind's eye who I want to become, but I know I'm not quite there yet. In fact I'm not even close. Just as I have a vision of what I want Kaela Radio to look like when it's perfected, I have a vision of who I want to be.

So, as I sat outside in my chair hammock, I realized the connection between my goal to gain this identity, and perfect Kaela Radio. So now I'm going to try to explain that.

When I created Kaela Radio, I combined all of my favorite artists and songs, but that didn't automatically make it the perfect station, because Pandora can't read my mind, so they don't know exactly what I want. Just like in real life, I don't know exactly what I want!

Just like I have to build my Pandora station slowly, by liking or disliking each song, and by adding artists when I find someone who I like, or by taking away artists when it's playing too much rap, I have to build my own character bit by bit. If there is a characteristic I want to add, such as someone who has a firm testimony, reads her scriptures every day, never gossips, etc., then I have to start practicing those things so I can make them habits. With each decision I make, it's like liking or disliking a song. If I'm disliking and liking all of the right songs, then Kaela Radio becomes more balanced and closer to what I want it to be. If I like too much of something, then it'll only play that, and that's when I get into the problem of it playing tons of weird hipster music that I don't even like. If I dislike too many songs, it will stop letting me skip them and sometimes it even gets angry and completely stops working. So if I'm making too many wrong decisions, then I start going down a path that is actually really hard to come back from. And, unlike Pandora, in life you can't just go into "settings" and un-like a bunch of songs so that you are automatically back on the right path. And, of course, unlike Pandora, life isn't as simple as adding an artist or disliking a song. If I want a certain characteristic, I can't just "add" it and it's automatically there. I have to work for it, constantly, until it becomes a habit.

The truth is, I will never "perfect" Kaela radio. Why? Because my music taste is constantly changing! There may come a day where I don't like B.O.B anymore (that day will never actually come though), and I'll have to fix my radio station again. Just like in life, every experience I have is going to change me. And, of course, I'll never reach perfection in this life. That's just kind of a given.

Well, this wasn't as spiritual as I thought it was going to be. I'm sorry the return to my blog was more philosophical than funny, but I'm working on it.

Have a great day!