grocery store has a bottle return area that I frequent.
donít frequent it as in a few times a week or something crazy.
Instead, when I have bottles to return, this is normally where
Iím headed. The machines seem to run a bit more quickly, are kept
somewhat cleaner, and there is seldom anyone else waiting around
to use them.
it isnít perfect.
are a few vending machines. You know the types. Gumball for a
dime. Plastic egg with an eraser, sticker, or football helmet
for a quarter. Anything to get some spare change out of the hands
of a child. And, there is a claw machine.
some amazing reason, this claw machine has the most amazingly
annoying theme music playing. Hard to explain, but if you drove
an ice cream truck through the side of a circus tent into a calliope,
recorded the resulting collision of sound and somehow set it in
a loopÖ yeah. Clowns in a zoo playing with a bagpipe and keyboard,
that would be close.
some reason though, I can usually ignore the music when Iím returning
bottles. I donít know why, I just can. Itís not that the music
isnít playing. Believe me, it is. I simply manage to focus in
on the task at hand, get moving along with the project of placing
the bottles and cans into the appropriate machine, and the music
is background noise that isnít registering.
every other time I walk into this store, I hear the music.
you ever wondered why the volume in your house fluctuates during
donít have neighbors living right on top of us. Street can have
traffic, but certainly isnít busy. Itís a nice, pleasant, quiet
neighborhood. I tend to think that means the sounds in the house
should be the sounds in the house.
television thoughÖ the right volume at 8am is too soft at 5pm
and far too loud at 4am. Nothing is truly different. Just seems
too high at one moment, too low at another, and just right at
we first arrived in this house years ago, there were all sorts
of noises that I heard then but donít hear now. I wasnít used
to the way the wind echoed into the chimney or floors creaked.
The furnace kicking on was a new sound. That type of stuff.
canít work without some noise playing. The radio or a bit of music
is good. Often, Iíll flip on a television. Thing is, Iím not really
paying attention to it, but it usually needs to be something familiar.
If I donít know it, I start listening and get distracted. (Often
because I want to change it.) Strange thing thoughÖ I donít know
where the middle ground of comfort and distraction exists.
mowing the lawn, I often bring an old iPod with me. The thing
is, I never find myself paying too much attention to what Iím
mowing, so I kind of catch the flow of the music. But, Iím usually
paying too much attention to what Iím mowing to actually know
what song is playing. The music is there, but itís not. I miss
it when itís not playing, but donít fully notice it when it is.
just kicked on. Temperatures have been fighting to escape single-digits
as I write this, and will be battling to get into the teens all
weekend. But as many homeowners will likely agree, there are certain
sounds you hear once in a while, but mostly only notice when you
donít hear them.
like the differing volumes on the television throughout the day,
I donít know if Iíll ever make sense out of when I do hear something,
donít hear something, or truly end up paying attention to the