I Ramble Like I've Rambled Before
Published Saturday October 21st, 2006

How do I start this entry, the 581st entry to this weblog? I don’t know. How about the way I just did? I am unsure. If only knowing was as easy as not knowing. This is and was how I shall and did start this entry.

I’m in a rather anti-social mood this Saturday. In the distance I can hear my sister Daniela having what seems a rather upbeat conversation on her mobile phone. Brian Tusi mentioned yesterday how he doesn’t know what to do, or rather, know how to get in contact with one of his friends when their phone is turned off. I can only but agree with this observation. For me, the order of methods to get in touch with someone usually goes: call, text-message, check to see if they’re on AIM, and then repeat these steps with another person whom the person I’m trying to contact might be with. E-Mail rarely if ever comes into play. I’d probably try Facebook or Myspace before sending any of my friends email. I don’t even know the email addresses of most of my friends.

Clips of Chris, Matt, and myself in Chris' garage on Thursday.
Last Thursday, after a rather motivation-decreasing day at school, Matt and I headed over to Chris’ house and made beautiful music in his garage. We made a song: Chris Thielen, Matt Vargeson & Marco Luethy - Working Man's Frown (MP3, 4.5 MB, 4:48) and there’s also some “footage” of us sucking in the videos on the left. But whether or not the song is good, it was still a good time. I wish I could actually play an instrument. Matt was on drums, I was on keys, and Chris on guitar.

I had a conversation on Tuesday of the past week about music. We all have access (more or less) to the same music, the same genres of music, same artists. We all listen to the same things (more or less), but what music we listen to, the permutation of genres and artists we enjoy, are unique to each of us. Even though we all listen to the same things, our tastes in music are still unique. Presumably, if something is unique to each of us, it should also say a lot about us individually.

On Friday at work, a co-worker of mine, Michael, mentioned how our personal collections of music are also rather private. A factor of embarrassment accompanies our music collections. I do agree that this is true, and I find this kind of sad. If you went through my CD collection you’d eventually come across the first Britney Spears album, or a Ricky Martin album, and I admit that at their times years ago, I enjoyed those albums. Music has a dimension of time and place in our lives. Different music can perhaps describe different moments in our lives. This is certainly true for that Britney Spears CD which you’d find hidden away amongst my CD’s. It filled a niche in my childhood and in some minor way made me who I am today.

What’s so bad about those embarrassing albums we’ve all listened to? Yes, they probably sucked, and yes they were probably at the very top of the Pop charts (blatant bias, anyone?), but we still listened to them, and if we listened to them, we probably liked their songs. Perhaps associated embarrassment we might have over some of our music is why parts of our music collection are more private and personal than others. I know, that was a rather simple and obvious statement, but maybe not as obvious as it seems.

I’ve found that I rather dislike being queried what type of music I enjoy. I often say that I like almost any type of music—which is true, and it’s also completely untrue. I think we all have a tendency towards one or a few genres over others. Genres we’re likely to revisit again and again through a relative period of time. As time passes these genres may evolve into new genres, and/or our tendencies towards a genre may evolve towards another genre, an evolution of our musical preferences. It’s easy to draw a clear time-line through our collections of music and note both changes in our preferences, and changes in the genres of our preference.

Take a moment to think about what you’ve listened to. What you enjoyed 5 years ago, and what you enjoy now. For myself, I note that I often take tangent interests. Random artists or random genres completely or largely unrelated to my genres of tendency, but I always return to the genres I have a tendency towards. However, these tendencies evolve as the genre itself evolves. Change is undoubtedly good. I enjoy experiencing new and varied types of music and often seek out new artists to add to my fold.

Just like music, I also enjoy meeting new and being around people unknown to me. There’s always a very orchestrated “dance” I share with people when I first meet them. The same dance I’ve done for years and years. I was born in Switzerland. I’ve moved back and forth between here and there. I speak Swiss German. I go back every summer. I’d prefer it there than here, or somewhere else… and so forth. I don’t mind having this conversation, and I find it rather amusing.

Yesterday I did the dance two times during separate times of the day. The first time in two parts at lunch then later at work, and the second time with Brian and some of his friends who had invited me to join them for dinner. I joined Brian and his friends Leigh Ann, Allana, and Jason straight after work for dinner at JJ Brewsky’s. This was my second meal of the day at a restaurant. At lunch co-workers Mark and Brian and myself joined up with former co-worker Jon at BJ’s in Westlake. I ask but one question: Why must restaurant serving sizes be so huge? My stomach can’t possibly fit all the contents of my plate. I always feel guilty leaving behind so much wasted food.

It’s always interesting to partake in various groups of people. I always enjoy it. One comment that stood out as I was sampling Jason’s beer Friday evening at dinner went something along the lines of, “Watch out, or they might card you.” This comment brought to my attention how paranoia and fear really is a relative thing based against experience. I’ve never been carded when I’ve drunken or finished off someone’s drink before, and even if I was carded by a waitress as I was drinking something, I’d hardly be worried much. I don’t know. I guess I’m making an observation on how our environments really do shape us and who we are in some ways more than others. I recall a time when I would have made the same comment myself. It’s kind of amusing to see that change in myself. I like the change. I hate being in fear of the law, being in fear of “the man.” I suppose that’s just my rebellious youth trying to say hello.

It was good being amongst some different people for a change. I grow too easily bored. I seek what I once sought, and once sought what I now seek. Again. Being impossibly cryptic is very practical. Sarcasm is productive.

For a change, I'm rather satisfied with this entry.
Posted by Brian @ 02:18, October 22, 2006
I think your satisfaction comes from what you were able to get out onto the (virtual) paper. Usually, our blog entries (yours, mine, Jason's, etc.) are sorts of status updates - I did this, I did that, I had fun. The end. They're fun to read, and easy to write. Here, however, you actually said something more insightful than a chronological timeline of events. Bravo. Restaurant serving sizes are probably because of stupid consumers. To a restaurant, food is cheap - it's bought in massive, larger-than-Costco quantities, so a change in portion size rarely affects the price. The service and atmosphere, OTOH, are fixed costs which must be covered. So, for example, JJ's could serve me a $11 steak sandwich and mashed potatoes, which is really a meal big enough for two, or a $10 half sandwich. As a consumer, the $11 one seems like a better value, so they do it to keep you coming back. I'm sure you knew all of this already, but it makes me feel smarter to ramble on your blog about silly things like this. My solution to your problem? If I'm going home afterwards, I'll sometimes eat only half and bring the other half home to reheat. Yum.

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