Two weeks ago, my job got a whole lot more palatable. No, I didn’t get a promotion or an exciting new project.

I got headphones.

See, I sit in the IT department. Our company has grown a lot in the past few years and desperately needs to expand our building. But until the market and economy improve, we’re all stuffed in corners and cubicles and cubbyholes.

Anyway. My friendly IT neighbors tend to frown on any noise I make, from blowing my nose 20 times a day (What can I say? It’s always allergy season for me!) to discussing communication strategy and project details with my manager at my desk. So to keep the peace, I don’t dare leave my cell phone volume on or listen to music during the day.

And sometimes? A little music could go a long way toward brightening my day and improving my attitude.

Enter the headphones. And even more brilliant, Pandora. If you haven’t tried Pandora, check it out today. Based on loads of research and something called the music genome project, the site creates radio stations based on your preferences. You enter an artist or song you like, and bam! You’ve got your own personalized radio station.

Listening to Pandora, I find myself grinning at songs I haven’t heard in years – or sometimes, ever – and wondering, “Wow, how did Pandora know I like that song?”

I love Pandora. I love my headphones. I love finding new songs and jamming to old favorites. I love being able to e-mail Chelley during the day and say, “I’m listening to rap right now. Does that make you laugh?” or “Is it weird that I’m listening to angry chick songs?”

The variety on Pandora blows me away – if only my iTunes selection was so diverse! I’ve got big band to hair bands, bluegrass to angry chicks, 90s soft rock to contemporary Christian, R&B to old country. Journey, Barenaked Ladies, Plain White Ts, Wilson Phillips, Firehouse, Francesca Battistelli, Sugarland. You want it, they got it.

Now I just have to make sure not to grin too widely or actually sing along to the tunes in my ear. Wouldn’t want to get the IT folks all riled up.

What makes your weekday go by faster? What music makes you grin? (Please, tell me it’s Wilson Phillips. No? Air Supply? Okay, maybe that’s just me…)

For more Things I Love Thursday, visit Diaper Diaries.

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