shuffling papers and stuffing envelopes

Stacks and stacks and stacks...
Today was great, for only one reason – I was ultimate-productive. Not only did I have a great day at work, getting nearly all my pre-Taiwan tasks taken care of; but I also got a bunch of personal pre-Taiwan stuff done. I got a haircut, mowed the lawn, rigged up some drip lines to our new potted plants so they won’t die while we’re gone, laundered massive amounts of clothing, refilled prescriptions, and uploaded a bunch of new MP3s to my phone for the flight. It was awesome. The rad thing is, it’s only 10pm right now and I’m done. If I had to, I could pack up right now and be ready to fly tomorrow morning. But I gots one more day y’allz… one more day.

Today at work I was busy preparing for my impending trip. This meant taking care of any outstanding expense reports and whatnot I’d have to file before leaving. In doing so, I found myself shuffling through a large pile of papers, sorting them, paper-clipping them, and putting them in envelopes. It was fairly quiet around as I was doing this, so the sound of paper on paper was loud enough that I took notice of it. In the silence, as I lined up edges and slid on paper clips, the sound was somehow very attractive. In the background, a printer clicked and hummed to life. As the grains on my stack of papers slid against each other audibly, I was struck by the thought of how “business” it all sounded. The smooth dry papers in my hand and the sound, I suddenly felt very “incorporated” and insignificant… some small person in a huge living beast of a company shuffling papers and stuffing envelopes. I don’t get to do much “old skool” office-type work at my job. 99% of my time is spent in front of a computer, or on conference-call meetings (while in front of a computer). Just sitting at a quiet desk working with actual paper and envelopes and paper clips is not the norm – it’s usually much less tactile. I imagined it as a neat throwback moment to the offices of yore, where people actually used paper and other such physical items.

I recently downloaded a rip of a BBC radio show on which the Arcade Fire were the featured guests. The emcee talked to them a bit about their album, and then they launched into a few songs. What makes this rip so awesome is both the quality of the recording and the quality of the performance. The Fire are on point, they sound outstanding… no, better than outstanding. Just hearing them do a scant two songs serves to remind me how utterly effing incredible that album is. There are good albums, there are albums that may even be the best album out of a one-year period, there are even albums which some regard as the “top” of a decade, and then there are transcendent albums – albums which, upon years of reflection, are just head and shoulders above the rest. U2’s Joshua Tree, Nirvana’s Nevermind, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper, Radiohead’s OK Computer, etc. I have no doubt whatsoever that Funeral will become one of these albums – it’s just that damn good.

Looks like Taiwan’s gonna be kinda wet. I think I’m going to bed. Goodnight.

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