Since moving to a city where public transportation is the norm, I have a different attitude about commuting. It used to be my time to sit in my car and drive too fast into the sunrise, loudly singing along to whatever I was digging at the time. It was 30 minutes where I could act straight-up ridiculous and play whatever the hell I wanted -- embarrassing, hip, or something in-between -- before I got to work and had to "pay attention" and "think" and "talk to people."

Commuting on trains and buses demands an entirely different mindset and musical selection. I may be smashed into a little corner, or have a butt or giant backpack in my face, and I can't sing along without incurring passenger wrath, but these compromises are worth it to live in an awesome city and not have to fight traffic. Music is still an integral part of my morning journey to the office and my transition from "Asleep Susannah" to "Susannah That Gets Shit Done," but using public transit forces me to wake up and move into other peoples' spaces much earlier than I'm used to doing. I find that this kind of commute demands a specific blend of songs to get me going -- a mix of tracks both fast and slow, some that ease me into the day, some that get me alert and ready to fight for that one remaining seat.