Day Twenty-One: A Song You Listen to When You’re Happy

So you’re irritated. You’ve been waiting for your updates.  Well I’ve been looking for a place to live.  And we found one.  There have also been some developments in other areas that I don’t talk about for fear of jinxing them.  We’ll discuss that later if need be.  On wit da show.

Did I not already do this one?  There are some subtle shades of difference between the two requests.  Day Three asked for a song that makes me happy.  Presumably Day Twenty-One is asking for a song I would choose listen to voluntarily to continue my euphoric state once either of the songs from Day Three spontaneously caused me to burst into joy.  Which usually happens when I’m walking.

Thing is, I don’t drive.  Aside from a brief stint in the mid 90’s, I never have.  This is a matter of some contention with the Lady, who would prefer I have a license, and I feel more inclined to do it these days than in years previous, but in current financial situation, $125 to take the written is not a cost I really feel like doling out, when my Metropass already costs $121 a month.  Now, living in Windsor, this was unheard of.  And part of why I didn’t drive in Windsor started to become, ‘because everyone thinks I should.’

See, people in Windsor-Essex drive everywhere.  They drive so much they would enable me by giving me rides places, which I totally appreciated at the time because while I sort of despised the areas love affair with the auto, I didn’t like walking either. The youth centre I volunteered at?  20 minute walk from my house.  We would drive there.  My work was a 40 minute walk.  I’d get a ride.  When I was slumming as a gas jockey, it was a 10 minute walk, to the end of the street. My dad would give me a ride.  Once I started working in the city, my love affair with public transit began, even for something as broken as Windsor Transit. Not their fault, they do the best with what they have, but backing public transit is not a priority in what once was the auto capital of Canada.

When I got to Toronto, I couldn’t wait to ride the rocket.  Anyone who reads my Twitter feed will know I have my issues with the TTC as much as anyone else, but anyone who says it’s ‘the worst transit system in the country’ or any other such nonsense is talking straight jive and doesn’t know how good they have it. Plus,my attitude to walking has changed completely. I’ve said before how being out in the city, whether you’re driving for an hour or walking for two, seems more fulfilling because there’s more to see, more to encounter.  So I have no issue walking from Yonge/St. Clair to the Annex or Queen West, sometimes back, too.  It’s just awesome to be out in the streets.  And as you’ve no doubt noticed, I usually have a set of headphones wrapped around my skull.  And I like those songs that put a spring in my step. This is one.

I’ve gone on about Illmatic before, as have a billion other people, but it really is in the top 10 all time best hip-hop albums, on some days I might say number 2 [damn you, One Time 4 Ya Mind!].  This song usually battles for my favourite on the album.  A Pete Rock beat, a message of encouragement, a flow so fluid you can drink it…walk the block with a bop, indeed.

Honourable Mention: I also mentioned on Twitter recently I finally picked up Jay-Z’s debut album used for like, nine bucks [picking it over ‘Life After Death’ by Biggie, which I should really go back for].  I’d heard a few tracks here and there over the years but hadn’t heard the work as a whole, and yeah, it’s as awesome as all those old heads say it is.  The phrase I keep using is it’s like Nujabes produced a Jay-Z album, in the sense that even the marquee producers like Premier kept the grooves jazzy and piano driven, and this is the tops of that batch.  I actually think one of my earliest Tweets after getting to Toronto mentioned walking Bay Street with Jay-Z in my ears.  This was the song I was listening to.  And lord, don’t he just look so young?


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