Friday, April 8, 2011

Eclectic Tastes

Since we moved into our temporarily communal office space we've learned to make our own privacy. This involves a determination to pretend we're not listening to other people's conversations, even when those conversations are only a few feet from our ears.

It's kind of like camping, when I manage to convince myself that fellow campers walking by our pop-up trailer while I change clothes are inexplicably and temporarily blind: I know I'm lying to myself, but the truth would keep me from ever camping again.

In much the same way, the four of us now sharing a single room feign deafness as our colleagues meet with clients or chat with co-workers who stop by. The alternative is to throw in the towel and never get anything done at all.

Indispensable to this self-deception are a good set of earphones and some tunes. I've discovered I can keep my eyes on my editing as long as my ears belong to Pandora.

You've listened to this wonderful new invention, right? Pandora is a free internet service that lets the listener "build" a radio station based on personal tastes. I like a cappella jazz, Texas swing, old Spanish romantic music, and light indie music so my Quick Mix station draws on artists similar to Manhattan Transfer, Hot Club of Cowtown, Mocedades, and Jason Mraz, with Sweet Honey in the Rock thrown in for some variety.

The last six tunes I heard this morning are:
1. Propuesta, by Robert Carlos
2. Wordplay, by Jason Mraz
3. Doodlin', by Manhattan Transfer
4. Rivers of Babylon, by Jeff and Sheri Easter
5. Brown-Eyed Girl, by Van Morrison
6. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter, by Fats Waller.

That playlist shows signs of serious musical attention deficit disorder, but I've been amazingly productive in spite of a full house in our little space.

Selective deafness for the win.


  1. Sara, I too love a capella jazz and our favorite group is "The Real Group" If you get a chance listen to them and let me know what you think!!

  2. I used this technique for years in my rural mail delivery job (it takes more concentration than you would think). Now that I'm retired, I hook a little mp3 player to my pocket and listen to a book or music to help stay focused on tasks around the house and garden.