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Wednesday, January 13

Brain Dump

It's a cold January morning. Some people would describe my journey into the office as a nightmare. I'm not inclined to do so. It had its ups and its downs, but it was survivable, though long.

Before I go into the tale of my voyage into the pit of misery that is Bracknell, let me first share an album recommendation. I'm currently playing this:

Muse: The Resistance

It is an album that must not be taken too seriously. Sorry Muse people, I think you've attempted to write some sort of Rock Opera with a serious purpose, but I can't say I've managed to tune into the lyrics at all. What I have managed to do is recognise a sort of modern day prog-rock pomp and ceremony with echoes of Queen, the Doctor Who theme, Rick Wakeman and Madness, not forgetting the Chopin inserted into one of the pieces. It goes over the top often and yet still has occasional moments of subtelty and beauty. Music is the sort of thing which should possess all of this.

I'm presently reading a book on music.

This Is Your Brain On Music

The book is presently telling me a lot of stuff I should already know, but it's good to re-visit some of the simple concepts with a fresh explanation. It's interesting to read a description of syncopation, laid out almost mathematically, but yet with a passion for how it sounds. The author is both a scientist and ex music-producer. Who better to describe the intricacies of music but someone with both the artistic appreciation and analytic ability?

Back to the road
But, back onto the pleasant subject of journeying into work. It took me just under 3 hours to get through the snow this morning. I can't say that I let it bother me. I'm aware that I'm losing a certain proportion of my life to driving at the moment, but that seems to be just the way it is. If I were gigging, I'd be driving an extra journey in the middle of the day anyway, and would have resigned myself to a late night drive home.

Don't get me wrong; I haven't given up gigging. I'm just having a semi-scheduled break from it. I'll be back in the thick of it from the end of the month. For now, it's probably best that I don't have the added stress of trying to get to a gig in time after the day-job work, as well as the stress of trying to get in, and the general botheration of being in the office in the interim.

So, how do you get a three hour journey into the office? Well, you could blame the fact that I stopped off at Membury services for a nice coffee. From now, the word coffee shall always be prefixed with the adjective nice, and the CO of coffee shall be emphasised a bit more than it should be. That's how much I appreciate a nice CO-ffee. Anyway, though the trip to Membury was a delay, it was hardly the majority of the elapsed time between bidding the kittens farewell and arriving at the front door of the office building. Don't blame Membury. Thanks for the Membury, that's what I say. In fact, I remember a conversation with an ex-colleague who was Indian and whose accent turned the "mory" of "memory" into a "mmmbbbbbrry"... so I'll always remember-member-member memory as Membury.

If it wasn't the coffee purchasing, then what else could possibly delay one so on a snowy Wednesday morning? Ah, the answer's in the question isn't it? Wednesdays! Bloody Wednesdays. The false friend of a day. You wake up Wednesday morning and it promises to be the middle of the working week. Then you get a gruelling day at work, and it's still Wednesday, still the middle of the week and you've nothing to show for it. Of course not. That's Thursday! The real reason I was delayed was the snow.

Sat-navs are useful, but sometimes they don't know about things like snow and suggest routes which take you to an impassable hill. It only takes one tosser in a rear-wheel drive car to make a hill into a traffic jam. As a result, after driving about 30 minutes, I ended up backtracking almost all of the way and starting again with a different route. The rest of the time was lost in either traffic or the slipstream of an over cautious driver.

Can you have a slipstream at 20 miles per hour? I think not.

So, I made it in. I had a few more bits of creative routing to do before I got through Bracknell, but my prize was to arrive. In Bracknell. Perhaps in a past life I murdered someone, if that's the prize I get. Of course not. There are no such things as past lives.

A final though before I leave this ramble. I'm not a cynical person. I find myself acting cynically from time to time, but I don't see it as a good or reasonable thing to be doing. I am relatively patient and have methods for keeping a smile on my face, even when the car journeys are long, and the world has gone silly (37 years of "I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue" on mp3 is probably a part of how to stay suitably counter-insane in a car - that's insane in the opposite way to how you'd expect).

However, some things are simply impossible for me to trust or believe in. These things may be accepted wisdoms or society's habits. I don't believe in "the norm" (except that fat guy from Cheers). I shall term myself as a skeptic. This should be interpreted as someone who pursues fact and analysis over plain belief.

I recommend everyone question "accepted wisdom" and try to learn as much as possible. That's not cynical at all.


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