Just a quick note - I think part of the reason I'm feeling much more laid back now, happier in general, is in part because this summer, I was earning half as much money as I'm accustomed to. There was now a logical reason not to buy things. When I did go out and buy something, it was a big treat. Aside from groceries and the occasional Belgian beer bottle, I only bought two books, three articles of clothing, and...no CDs at all.
It forced me to re-examine what was already available to me. Such as the library. At the very beginning of summer, I put in several requests for them to either buy or get things from Interlibrary Loan - Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking, Clotilde Dusoulier's Chocolate and Zucchini cookbook, and three CDs that my favorite artists just put out. I requested the new Smashing Pumpkins, the new Tori Amos, and the new White Stripes. These things did not come in all at once. (I should note that the library already carried Tori, Smashing Pumpkins, and White Stripes CDs, so if the library did buy these things on my account, at least I wouldn't be the only patron checking them out.)
After a few weeks, the Smashing Pumpkins' Zeitgeist arrived. The library actually purchased a copy of it! Well, it's not very good. It doesn't suck...it's not painful to listen to...but it's not really catchy.
A few weeks later, American Doll Posse arrived. It's also not that great. Not bad, just not worth the equivalent of a quarter to a third of my non-profit work day.
I finally heard "Icky Thump" on the radio, and felt I would simply burst if I did not go out and buy the new White Stripes CD RIGHT NOW. But how do I know that the rest of the CD doesn't suck? Thanks to this website a friend at work pointed me to, Pandora, I can listen to music legally and free and the CD-buying frenzy has calmed. (It's not like, any music you want on demand--you put in a song or an artist that you like and it makes a radio station for you, playing music that it thinks you would like based on what you've put in. You rate songs, too, and you can skip a certain amount per hour, so that your station is personalized more and more. A good way to hear music you wouldn't think of checking out, too.)
And just so I'd know that they hadn't forgotten me - they're just sloooooooowly filling my requests, which is fine--the Sparta Public Library <3 just informed me that