This Is Me--2019 A to Z Theme

The Challenge of 2019 was the 10th! Since this was kind of a milestone year for A to Z my theme was a retrospective of sorts, looking at my 10 years as a blogger as well as ruminations about my life as it is and as I hope it yet can be. I've got places to be and people to see along the way. Hope you'll join me for this part of my journey...

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog.

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Friday, April 5, 2019

Eclecticist ( #AtoZChallenge )




Eccentric might be how some people think of me, which is okay considering that there probably aren't that many people who actually think about me...


#AtoZChallenge 2019 Tenth Anniversary blogging from A to Z challenge letter














 
Basement stairs in the Jackson house (photo by Arlee Bird)

The Eclecticist


         During my high school years and for several years after graduation, one of my main retreats was the basement of my parents' house. I had my stereo set up down there and places to sit and hang out. There was a fireplace to warm the place in the winter cold and it was cooler during most summer days.   It was a comfortable place to be.  That's why during my college years a lot of friends start coming there to hang out.  It was like a club.  Bring your own stuff, enjoy the company of like minded people, and save money.

        Aside from having the company for myself, I especially enjoyed acting as the DJ for these evenings.  I would spin the discs on my modest stereo with the intent of entertaining guests as well as providing mental stimulation  My friends would have not been surprised to hear the Beatles, the Band, or Neil Young with a bit of Bach, Bebop, or Bedouin music all mixed up throughout the evening.  I liked to play with the atmosphere of the gathering through the music and provide surprises of new and unique sounds whenever I could.  After all, I'm an eclecticist.

         For as long as I can remember, I've had a roving curiosity about what things are and do, how they work, and what's on the other side of the mountain.  I liked reading because I could learn about new ideas.  My favorite books were reference books like encyclopedias.  Talk about eclecticism.  One can pick up any encyclopedia volume and read about many many topics.  It's a fun tool for gathering data for trivia contests if you can remember it.

         My taste in music is very wide ranging which comes in part from my musician background.  Then there is the show biz background that tends to create an ear for what might sound good for performances.  One look at my parents' record collection and you likely would have first been struck by the eclectic nature of the music.  Then, if you thought about it a bit, you might realize that most of the music was that which would be good to use as juggling music--since my parents were jugglers--but this would have applied if they had been dancers, acrobats, or had a magic act. 

         Music sets the scene for performance.  There is a soundtrack of my life.  Even if those around me cannot hear my soundtrack, there is still music in my head--songs that sing me through my days. The music is eclectic, but there is much that interests me.  Eclecticism is the essence of my nature.

          An Eclecticist--This Is Me!

    Do you tend to only accept a limited number of musical styles or would you prefer to mix things up musically?   Does eclectic thinking tend to distract you from accomplishing as much as you want to?   Do you consider yourself to be an interesting person or more of an interested person or a bit of both?













                                                                                                                                                                 

41 comments:

  1. Eclecticist is a super word. I'm certainly interested in too many things for one lifetime.

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    1. Nilanjana, I've never used the word before in this form. Never enough time for everything.

      Lee

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  2. My musical tastes have run the gamut, from BMJ Pop (aka the stuff you hear on those stations that feature Mungo Jerry et al) to 60's folk to rock and everything in between. About the only thig I will not listen to is the garbage that passes for pop.

    At this point in my life, I consider myself to be an interesting person.

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    1. GB, I probably actually like some of the "garbage" to which you refer depending on what that music would be.

      I think most everyone can be interesting if we really look deep enough. A self-awareness might be one of the factors in making you a story teller.

      Lee

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  3. I listen to many varieties of rock and metal and fortunately prog rock is eclectic all by itself.
    So you were one of those guys living in your parents' basement...?

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    1. Alex, prog rock is pretty great most of the time. It would be interesting to know which if any will be remembered 100 years from now.

      Actually I did live in my parents' basement for a very short period years later, but that's a different story.

      Lee

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  4. Our habits indicate we'd get along well together... I have an encyclopedia on my dinner table to read when I eat.

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    1. CW, yeah I think we'd clique over many points. My encyclopedia sets are close to the dinner table, but the reading I keep there are newspapers that are several years old. I'm still catching up with old news.

      Lee

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  5. I agree with Alex's response here prog rock in that it is eclectic all by itself, so maybe that's why I stay with the oldies, but I jump from 70's to 90's. Oh heck I jump all over the place! Have a great weekend!

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  6. I definitely consider my musical taste eclectic. But then, I live with a sound engineer and we have a studio in the house. Eclectism is almost a requirement for living here.

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    1. OA, it would be so cool to have that studio access!

      Lee

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  7. I dont listen to a lot of music at present, but I still have too many guitars and drums. (well my wife says I have too many guitars and drums)

    Rob Z Tobor

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    1. Rob, I wouldn't mind having some drums, but I'm sure my wife is okay with that. I don't listen to much music during the day at home. If I'm driving I might.

      Lee

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  8. Because I'm a visual/hands-on learner, I shrink from ever having to consult reference books. Nevertheless, I'd say I'm more eclectic than not. I never know what song will pop in my head! Just last week I was pulling into Wal-Mart and began singing, "Blueberry Hill." I can't recall having heard that since I was made to take piano lessons while in grade school. Didn't like it then and can't say I liked it suddenly playing in my head all these years later. HA!

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    1. Myra, I also get some of those weird songs in my head coming to me now and then. Lately, I've been hearing a lot of my own songs in my head along with songs from The Greatest Showman.

      Lee

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  9. Love it! Life is too short to lock yourself into one type of music, one type of story, or one type of friend.

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    1. Glenda, I delight in discovery of new experiences. Whether food, music, or what have you, I like being surprised in a good way.

      Lee

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  10. I also have eclectic tastes in music! I credit the hand-me-down 45s from my parents - classical, Top 40 from the 1950s and 1960s, stuff that probably featured on Dr. Demento, soundtracks from favorite movies, theirs and mine (I can name the theme from "Exodus" in 2 notes, and I've never even SEEN that movie) - and my own love of The Irish Rovers, The Flying Lizards, Michel Polnareff... I have two playlists NAMED "Eclectic" on Spotify (one suitable for general audiences, the other...not so much).

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    1. Holly, so funny--last year I watched Exodus on TCM because I'd never seen it but heard the theme so often.

      Lee

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  11. Excellent word as one to describe yourself Arlee... I reckon I have eclectic tastes in most things, reading, food, music, travel and so on - though clearly favour some things over others ..

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    1. Susan S, I think most of us are at least somewhat eclectic though some get stuck in a bit of a rut and are unwilling to try new experiences.

      Lee

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  12. So many of us grew up with basements. Mine was an damp 1920 basement with large hairy spiders and a resident ghost. No kidding. I never saw the ghost, but my family claims one existed. (I was more afraid of the spiders!) Eclectic, yes. I listen to all kinds of music lately. I tell my 'google mini' to play relaxing music and I might get a mix of Simon and Garfunkel, the Beatles, and the Eagles. Today I listened to some millennial music I didn't recognize but liked. Nice to see you are still leading the a-z pack. It's your legacy now. I passed it up again, but do miss it. Maybe next year.

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    1. Sharon, at least you can enjoy the A to Z posts that are out there and encourage the participants. We'll look for you next year to put up your own A to Z posts.

      Lee

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  13. Yep, me too. I can go from Dean Martin one minute to ACDC the next. Throw in a little country once in a while, some Backstreet Boys. That's why I just put my iTunes on shuffle most of the time so I never know what's coming up.

    Janet’s Smiles

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    1. Janet, that's pretty much how I roll musically. I listen to a lot of classical in my mix as well.

      Lee

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  14. I'm an interested person with eclectic interests, so yes, scattered thinking, mixed-up music, and books on a wide-range of topics, both fiction and non-fiction. I like it that way!

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    1. Watched High Noon last night just to hear the soundtrack again!

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    2. Patricia, I can tend to get bored if I stay with one thing too long, but at times I'll go on a binge of sameness. I think we can call this eclecticism part of our life education.

      Lee

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  15. I've long strongly preferred classic rock and pop of the classic Top 40 era (about 1955–72), but I also adore the music of my childhood decade, the Eighties. Other strong interests are classical music and Medieval music.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, classical is overall the best in my view, but there is some pretty great music from every era.

      Lee

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  16. Eclectic is the best way to be!

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    1. Cherdo, that's the way I think! You can almost always find something in almost every situation that is at least somewhat interesting. I'm never really bored--not for long at least.

      Lee

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  17. I like listening to a variety of music. There's only a few genres I don't care much for, but even then, there will be songs that are exceptions. My hubby is like that, too. It's not weird for us to go from Swedish Death Metal to classical violin.

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    1. Patricia, sometimes I'll go on some listening binge of the same artist or similar music, but mostly like you I can go from one extreme to another.

      Lee

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  18. I love to be different and many people, from long time friends to people who met me briefly state that I am someone to be remembered! Hahahaaa...I always take that as a compliment. I love almost all forms of music even though classical is my favourite. I love good old rock and roll, musicals, jazzy styles( but not all as smooth jazz is not my fav), the blues, folk, some disco..ok most disco the 80’s music and even some music from the 90’s to today.

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    1. Birgit, "mood music" for me means something different that the usual accepted definition. For me I like to listen what I'm in the mood for although sometimes I'll hear a song that puts me in a mood to hear more of the same. Nice to be remembered.

      Lee

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  19. When you said that about the basement hangout, I immediately thought of "That 70s Show"! We didn't have basements in Florida, but I always loved the idea. After following you so long, I knew you were eclectic!

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    1. Lisa, our house in TN which we moved to when I was in high school was the first house that I ever lived in with a basement. Although the fact that it was finished out to serve as a family room made it seem not so much like basements we often think of. It was a great hangout for many years up to when our Mom died and we sold the house. I wish we could have afforded to keep it. I'd probably consider moving there now if it were still ours.

      Lee

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  20. Growing up, I was primarily into Rock. Yet, my parents had a much wider range and I was exposed to a number of styles through them. Next came TV, old movies, Movie Musicals,and the ever present Transistor Radio.

    I grew into a much more eclectic listener, decade by decade. The only thing I can't sit through is Opera. I've tried, many times. I'm not Diva enough, I guess.

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    1. Stuart, I'm not a huge opera fan either, but I have attended a couple of live performances which I did enjoy and there are some operas I do enjoy listening to. I've also watched some on TV which I liked quite a lot. Still, the operatic style can be sometimes a bit grating to me.

      Lee

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Lee