Showing posts with label siriusxm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label siriusxm. Show all posts

Friday, June 5, 2020

One Week


It was approximately a year ago when I began marking "lasts"..."this is the last time I'll..."

My job has distinct seasons. Summer is more laid back and allows one time to think and create. It was approximately a year ago that I formed my events committee. My goal was to form a cohesive unit out of a gaggle of hermits who kept their faces glued to their screens 99.9% of the day. Together my work group devised activities that made people laugh and actually converse with one another. Also, food helped. Maybe the biggest mark I made on my department was the formation of the Star Catchers (not my name ~ it was a group vote).

As winter approaches, the department becomes busier and scurrier. There is much to be accomplished before the year ends, and long hours ensue. Many days I alighted at my office before sunup and left for home in the dark. This was not my favorite time of year. So, one of my countdowns was "one more year of reinsurance".

I naively thought I could count down other day-to-day activities, but that was before Corona showed up and made us all flee to the confines of our homes to work remotely. I'd envisioned a going-away party, during which I would tell everyone how much I treasured them and would miss them. Ehh. I guess I can email a few people next week.

Today as I was working, it suddenly hit me how much I know about what I do. I'm not normally a claim examiner ~ training is my responsibility ~ but in these times, I do whatever needs to be done. So as I was processing claims, I was transported back to the many weeks I sat next to a new employee in the training room and guided them through the intricacies of their brand-new job. I found today that I'm pretty good at it. Some like to know how to follow each step; the good ones also can intuit when to question something. It's not an easy skill to instill. Maybe it only comes with years and years of experience. In a week I can discard all of that, I guess. 

I feel inexplicably sad, but I must remind myself of the alternative. How many more years could I carry on with this? Every single thing has to end.

Tomorrow I shall go into the office for the first time since March 16. I will clean out my desk and dump my belongings into a cardboard box. The office is deserted, so I'll be able to say goodbye to my cubicle unimpeded. Tomorrow I will cry a tear.

Things I did this week:

  • I don't even know how Monday zoomed to Friday. This was the fastest week in history. 

Things I learned this week:

  • The Ace In The Hole SiriusXM channel is no more. It was delicious while it lasted.

So I did little and learned even less. That's how it goes when things are winding down. 

Friday, May 15, 2020

Telework - Week 9 - Sliding Into Home

My Lone Beautiful Tree

Spring is here.It had taunted us briefly with temperatures in the sixties, but then the chill returned and brought a smattering of snow with it. This time it's not a trick. Spring is hard-fought in Minnesota, like most everything. We're used to being deceived and we try to accept it, much like our quarantine. I don't wear a mask when I'm taking my lone walk to the mailbox, but I don't glad-hand people, either. I want them to keep away from me, much like in my pre-COVID life (unless they're walking a dog). My neighborhood is rather transient -- people come and people go -- I don't know any of my neighbors except for a nodding acquaintance with the lady next door. I'm not being rude by passing them by. I like solitude. I like smelling the apple blossoms and comparing my front-yard tree's magnificence to the other spindly trees on the block as I shuffle home, bills and circulars in hand.

Mostly I don't go out. I don't like serpentining around the casual walker, wary they might breathe on me. I traveled to my local convenience store on Tuesday morning, the first time I've been anywhere in more than a week. I got to say, "hi" to folks I know and then I went home. Five-second personal interaction.

My seventeen-year-old cat spends most of his day under the bed and I work eight hours a day, so I see my husband at breakfast time and during our nightly news-watching hour.

When I was younger, I was perfectly content with my own company. As the years ticked by, I found that people can be fun. I miss shooting the breeze with my work friends. Email is not the same. Texts are three-word missives.I'm afraid that as this isolation goes on I'll revert back to isolation, which is mentally unhealthy.

I've finally concluded, after two months of irrational fear, that staying away from people is stupid. Sure, I'm soon-to-be sixty-five years old and catching Coronavirus could be a death sentence -- or not. But this scene has become ridiculous. I'll take care of me; let other people live their lives. This is going to be a perpetual earthquake. Nobody, or mostly nobody, wants to conjure the devastation that will result from lock-down. I guess I'm lucky that my biggest concern is the apple blossoms.

Things I've done this week:

  • I submitted my retirement date to HR. It was harder than I expected -- it's so final. But I'm feeling pretty good about it, once I finally pulled the trigger.
  • I tweeted too much, but really, some people are so imbecilic.

Things I've learned this week:

  • Humans are pliable. I can't even fathom returning to the office at this point. Home is my workplace now. I could probably be held hostage for eighteen months and I'd eventually be okay with it. 
  • There's truly no one better than George Strait. I do wish SiriusXM would do a deeper dive into his album tracks, however. I miss my computer and all my favorite music

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Musical Snobbery

There's lots of music I don't like -- there's more I do like. It's not that I'm superior to Steven Tyler or Crosby, Stills or Nash. Their music simply doesn't resound brightly with me. Musical taste is impossible to define. 

Being a thirteen-year-old who liked country music taught me about snobbery. "Country music? Like Johnny Cash?" kids would snicker. Those same kids are now sixty-five years old and cherishing their newly minted thirty-dollar vinyl copy of "Live At San Quentin".(I never was a Cash fan, by the way.) I didn't dare point out that Mama Tried was a far superior track to Snoopy Versus The Red Baron. Mostly no one outside my family and my best friend even knew that I listened to country.

My theory is those who sniff at any kind of music truly don't like music; they're just haughty prigs. I had my phases, too, but my prejudices were generally aimed at artists who tried to change country into something it wasn't. For a time I hated John Denver and Kenny Rogers. In the late sixties I detested Glen Campbell. Happily, I now like both Denver and Rogers; and I cherish Glen.

My favorite (really, my only) country music site sometimes reflexively denigrates artists of the past, while enshrining obscure musicians few have even heard of.There is a certain songwriter who recently passed away who is being (implausibly) touted on the site as a candidate for the Country Music Hall of Fame. While I knew the man's name, I had to Google his songs, and I am here to report that I've never heard of any of them. And I've been enveloped in music for a good sixty years.But he's cool.

This blog is non-judgmental. Music is music, and if you like a track, cool. Joy is what music is supposed to bring to our lives. It should be apolitical; it can be nonsensical.Sometimes it just has a good beat and you find yourself dancing in your chair when you hear it.

Music can be dissected, but boy, that takes the fun out of it. Listening to SiriusXM on my weekend nights, I hear recordings I used to dismiss, but suddenly I'm hearing them with fresh ears. And I don't solely listen to country music. It depends upon my mood. My bookmarked channels range from the 50's to the 80's to Yacht Rock, with a smattering of seventies and eighties country and, of course, Willie's Roadhouse. (Why is there no nineties country channel, Sirius? Hit me up -- I can help you out.)

People can revel in their hipness. I'm just going to derive joy in whatever music hits me.

In the mid-seventies, I was caught in a chasm between country and rock, and I mostly leaned toward rock. AM radio was still the king of the car, and certain tracks were predominant. I remember my brother driving me somewhere and hearing "Heard It In A Love Song' and thinking for the longest time that the title was "Pretty Little Love Song". Not that I necessarily liked the song, but it was played incessantly. That reminded me of this one, that I summarily dismissed, but I really kinda like it now:

Enjoy your weekend. Avoid people. Snack a lot and good luck finding something decent to watch on Netflix. Better yet, crank up some tunes. I won't tell anyone.