You Get High All The Time And You Don’t Even Realize It

You don’t need pot to enjoy music, as some people I know believe. Your brain chemicals make sure of that.

Music and the brain
Country singer Willie Nelson smoking weed (photo via

Right now, I want you to listen to one of your favorite songs.

Go ahead. Pull up Spotify, YouTube, or whatever app you use and listen to, say, 30 seconds of a song.

I’ll wait…

If you need help choosing a song, I’d listen to Coldplay’s “Fix You.”

Okay, now that you’re done listening, I have one thing to say:

You just got dopamine’d. 

While listening to that song, your brain just released chemicals — good ones like dopamine and oxytocin — which made you feel something. Something good.

The New York Times says “the idea that reward is partly related to anticipation (or the prediction of a desired outcome)” is an established fact in neuroscience.

Basically, when you listen to a song, your brain is constantly (and automatically) trying to figure out what’s coming next. And your brain rewards itself when it gets it right, and also when it’s wrong.

Anticipation in music is the key. It gives you a high. A different high than pot does, but still a high.

So the next time you’re at a concert or listening to music in the car, remember what your brain is doing.

It’s working hard to get you high.

On Accessible Seating, Is Lincoln Financial Field Breaking The Law?

First, let me just say: I’m not a lawyer.

But to me, the laws on ticket sales for ADA (“accessible” or “handicap”) seating read straight-forward.

“Venues are required to sell tickets for accessible seats in the same manner and under the same conditions as all other ticket sales. Tickets for accessible seats must be sold…during the same stages of sales (pre-sales…) as non-accessible seats.” –

Here’s what happened.

My wife was in charge of reserving pre-sale Coldplay tickets for a group of us, including my brother Ian, who uses a wheelchair. The concert is at Lincoln Financial Field (LFF) and tickets are also available through Ticketmaster.

She found that ADA seating was not available during pre-sale. Both Ticketmaster and LFF told her this. Legally, Ticketmaster may be off the hook because the law says “venues,” not “third parties.” So LFF is the one in trouble.


Screenshot 2016-01-30 10.44.01
Accessible seating not listed on map. Button at top right is for ADA seating requests, which prompts an automated email.

Let’s talk about Ticketmaster first. Even if they’re not legally responsible for selling pre-sale ADA seats, it’s unethical and discriminatory not to.


Screenshot 2016-01-30 11.21.36
Email from TM to my wife

My wife posted on Ticketmaster’s Facebook page, tweeted at them, and got no response. At the same time, she was making phone calls.

Hours later, she got the tickets through LFF, which probably makes them legally protected too.


FB user’s name and locations hidden for privacy

Screen shot 2016-01-29 at 1.38.49 PM

The problem is that it’s a hassle for folks who need ADA seating to get their tickets, and it’s not just at LFF. This is a common occurrence (see the Facebook comments above).

To me, it feels like Ticketmaster and LFF are saying, “You’re in a wheelchair? Oh, you have to wait in line behind all of the able-bodied people.”

To me, they’re ableists (for another example, see here).

Why can’t people who need accessible seating buy tickets when everybody else does instead of waiting an extra week?

Do those people have fewer rights?

Music In My Ears: Coldplay, James Vincent McMorrow, Daudi Matsiko

Here it is again, folks. Music I’ve been listening to and feel the need to share with whoever reads this blog.

Enjoy! Or don’t.

Coldplay – A Head Full Of Dreams (album)

Daudi Matsiko – Sandwiches

James Vincent McMorrow – We Don’t Eat

Music In My Ears: Coldplay, Holly Arrowsmith, And More…

Welcome to another installment of Music In My Ears.

This is when I feed you ear cake (hey, that phrase is going to catch on).

Listen below, taste, and digest. (Tip: listen in order for the full effect).

Caleb Groh – Let It Groh

(warning: other songs on the album NSFW)

Holly Arrowsmith – For The Weary Traveller

Coldplay – Adventure Of A Lifetime

Mason Jennings – Keepin It Real