As I mentioned a few months back, I’ve been spending a lot of my podcast listening time going through Friends at the Table, first their regular episodes and then their Patreon stuff. And now I’m done with those shows as well, or at least all of those shows that I’m interested in listening to.

Which meant that I hit the podcast version of Inbox Zero. So, of course, my initial reaction was that I should find another series to fill that gap. (Coupled with a thought that I should just start Friends at the Table over at the beginning! Which I decided against fairly quickly, though I can imagine doing that a few years from now.)


Thinking about it, though, I didn’t feel like I’ve been budgeting my listening time correctly. I listen to podcasts while walking or driving (and sometimes while relaxing at home and doing puzzles or what not); I listen to music some of the time while working.

But that music listening is basically a combination of Spotify’s algorithmic recommendations combined with full albums from artists that I’ve learned about through those recommendations; I’ve got a pretty big backlog of albums to listen to as a result, and I’m honestly not sure whether the backlog grows or shrinks during an average week. (It would help if I didn’t have so many meetings…)

And what this means is that I spend very little time listening to music that I’m already familiar with. And that’s not great? Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad I’m learning about new music, that’s important to me. But there’s a lot of other music out there that’s important to me too. And in particular it’s kind of depressing how rarely I listen to classical music these days; Spotify does occasionally toss that my way, but not very frequently.


So I should make time to listen to familiar music as well. I could switch some of the new music time over to familiar music, but given that I’ve just cleared up some significant free time on the podcast side of things, that feels like a more natural place to make time?

And it’s not like there were a bunch of podcasts that I was really wishing I could find time to listen to. I’ve been enjoying Rogue Runners enough that I think I’ll go and find the other podcast that those folks have done, but that’s not urgent; I’ll probably do that the next time Rogue Runners hits a season break.


So I’ve been spending more time listening to familiar music. Not a ton, I’m still listening to podcasts most of the time when I’m commuting or walking Widget, but some. And it definitely feels like the right choice: returning to old friends, spending more time listening to something that feels substantial in a way that many of the podcasts that I listen to don’t.

And what this is also making me realize is that I feel like I should be spending more time playing music. When I decided to take more time off, one thought I had was that I should spend some of that extra time playing music; ultimately, though, I decided that Nei Gong and Tai Chi were enough of a priority that I didn’t want to work in music time. And that was the right choice, and continues to be a fine choice. But I think soon I should work in more music playing time.

So: time to get the piano tuned. (Especially now that Omicron is dying down and we’ve made it past our major house projects.) And when Rocksmith+ gets released, I will be very happy to pick up my guitar and bass again.

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