Listen up: Who Are You?

In previous posts I’ve suggested that you are who you are because of cultural influences. Moreover, entertainment evidenced by what you read and watch. This notion came to me whilst watching You’ve Got Mail – a 1998 movie inspired by the onset of the Internet.

Here, I add the music you listen to. Added to that which you read and watch. As I’m wont to do I’ll use myself as an example. To do this I’ve gone over my Spotify playlists since its inception beginning in 2012. Before Spotify, I had transitioned from radio to iTunes for my listening pleasure. Because that allowed me to control what I listened to sans commercial interruption (mostly). In addition, the algorithm would make suggestions and recommendations of new music I might like. What an improvement from the previous system.

Without further prelude, lets get into it.

My Playlists: 2012 – 2023.

First, my methodology. There are 34 named playlists (1,765 songs) listed below. Each list, or “mix-tape” has a random number of tunes on it. I’ve ordered the lists from least to most songs. That tells us something. Furthermore, the name of the playlist gives us more information. Interestingly, we now don’t even need to know the names of the songs to make inferences as to who I am!

  1. Attachment, 11 songs.

    This playlist is songs mentioned in the novel.
    My novel inspired playlist (2006)
  2. Movies 2022, 14 songs.
  3. The Ocean, 14 songs.
  4. The Rainfall Cafe, 16 songs.
  5. Baseball, 16 songs.
  6. Peace Party, 17 songs.
  7. I see only what I want to see, 18 songs.
  8. Christmas, 19 songs.
  9. Dark Cafe Days, 23 songs.

    Somewhere in New Mexico (c. 2002)
  10. Infinite Jest, 24 songs.
  11. Dad’s favorites, 24 songs.

    Dad & son at their favorite cafe
  12. 80’s favorites, 26 songs.
  13. Sara, 29 songs. (from a friend)
  14. Last Chance Cafe (2023), 29 songs.
  15. 70’s playlist, 31 songs.
  16. Songs of 2019, 35 songs.
  17. Overcast (2014), 39 songs.
  18. The cassette tapes, 39 songs.
  19. Favorite Rock Songs, 42 songs
  20. Summer of Jest, 43 songs (Book Group)
  21. Time Fades Away, 43 songs. (Neil Young)
  22. TV shows songs’, 46 songs.
  23. Road Trip 2016, 53 songs.
  24. Best of Road Trips, 54 songs.
  25. Gala Days (2021), 63 songs.
  26. The Naked Cafe (2022), 63 songs.
  27. Drinking Songs, 66 songs.

    drinking in the World Cafe
  28. Road Trip (2013), 78 songs.
  29. Road Trip (2017), 79 songs.
  30. The Blue River Cafe (2023), 85 songs.
  31. The Magpie Cafe (2020), 116 songs.
  32. Road Trip (2015), 119 songs.
  33. Road Trip (2014), 135 songs.
  34. The World Cafe (2013) 257 songs.


is best using the Psycho-dynamic approach. In other words, Freudian inspired. Because we want to make the unconscious conscious.

Most of my music appreciation began way before I’d even heard of psychology – much less be a student and practitioner of.

Let’s get into it. Shall we?

Who Am I?

Based upon my playlists we can infer many things. I like:

  1. Reading/books
  2. Writing
  3. Road trips
  4. Drinking
  5. Cafés
  6. Nature/the Ocean
  7. Baseball
  8. Movies
  9. the 70’s & 80’s
  10. Dad

We can start there–with Dad. He liked music. “Dad’s Favorites” is one of mine. (However, I couldn’t pick one that would be my “Go-To” list.) Most all of my preferences begin in my formative years. When I lived with Dad. And Mom, of course. But her influence was more genetic than behavioral.

Dad would read to me at bed time. That’s my first memory. Me sitting on his lap and he reading in his deep voice. Stories of Greek Mythology. (Very early, Freudian stuff was implanted/imprinted in my brain.) Baseball followed, then movies and music. Road tripping, eating and drinking were next. Good times.  No doubt.

Road trips, cars & trucks.

Let’s look at that now. In the summer of 1959, when I was nine, we took a road trip across Western Europe. What fun! Dad was a blast. A MAN (a father) in charge having the time of his life. Ask my brother. Boy do we have stories. Of castles and ghosts. Farmers and chickens. Pubs and drinking. Cafés, and of course, pretty women and beautiful country. And the ocean. Yes!

  1. 1952 red & black Pontiac 4-door sedan. (1959 – all over Europe.)
  2. 1961 Cadillac DeVille. (1967 – Colorado to SoCal & back.)
  3. 1946 Willy’s Jeep. (1968 – Colorado to Lawrence, Kansas & back.)
  4. 1969 convertible Pontiac Firebird. (1970 – SoCal to Colorado.)
  5. 1954 Dodge panel truck. (1971 – Colorado to New Hampshire & back.)
  6. 1971 Dodge 300 van. (1972 – Colorado to Vancouver, BC, to Maine, to Texas, & back.)
  7. 1974 Dodge W100 Power Wagon. (1976 – Colorado to Portland, Oregon.)
  8. 1976 Dodge Van. (1987 – Colorado to SoCal & back.)
  9. 1995 Toyota Celica GT. (All of the above mentioned road trips. The Batmobile!)
    The Batmobile at Zion National Park

    Tape deck in the 95 Celica


Yes. Your music, movies, books, your stuff, can tell you who you are. If, you take it into therapy and take a good, deep dive into it. Think about it. Write about it. Talk about it with someone who cares. Or pay them to listen.




4 thoughts on “Listen up: Who Are You?

  1. Oh my, my. Maybe I have to make another playlist – ‘The Sad Cafe’?
    Well, Jack Johnson doesn’t think so. Because he thinks/sings that “maybe” always means “no”.
    what do you think?

  2. I forgot several road trips that need mention. Why? is a shrink question. So here they are:
    7.5 1976 Buick convertible (1976 – SoCal to NoCal & back.) The car was my father’s, and he let me and my soon-to-be 2nd wife take it up to Los Gatos to visit her sister.
    7.9 1980 Dodge Omni (1980 – Colorado to NoCal & back.) I’d just bought the car for my soon-to-be 3rd wife; and the trip was with my soon-to-be new family.
    Road trips are a great way to get know someone. Then again … they can be TOO much fun and mask mismatches. It’s the “misattribution of arousal” effect. Wherein you mistake the attraction you feel to the situation/event as being to the person/people you’re with. It’s not uncommon.
    10. The Batmobile again. (2016 – Colorado to Las Vegas). This was a fictional RT I take with Donald Trump. It’s detailed in my must read book ELECTION 2016. As I said – take a road trip with someone and find out who they really are. 😉
    There were in the course of my adult life many more road trips than listed here. Obviously, it’s a thing I really enjoyed. As I said, it likely was a positive childhood experience that really imprinted on me. The opposite of adverse, or traumatic, childhood experiences.
    “Everybody’s syaing that music is love.” David Crosby

  3. Even the plain NUMBER of playlists I’ve put together over the years has much to say. Could not begin to categorize, much less count them. Strike up the band!

  4. Indeed! This list is just from the Spotify era (>2012). However, some of the songs go way back, especially on Dad’s favorites.
    Also, many more road trips not listed.
    Could do a playlist for every year since 1956. Maybe limit to 15-20 songs?
    So fun!

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