Drowning in a sea of blandness

I think one of the reasons I hate D.C. sooooo much is because I'm often bored at work.

I drive to work, spend hours looking into a computer monitor while doing very little actual work, and then drive home. It might be easier to get through the day if I had someone to talk to around here. I'm easily the youngest employee in my department, with most everyone else being white middle-class suburbanite fathers putting kids through school. (It's not the most diverse company, which may explain why it's in McLean.)

That makes it a little hard to keep any kind of conversation going with anyone without having it devolve into sheer, unfiltered boredom. I don't have a mortgage or kids, and I don't find work interesting or challenging; they never watch TV or movies, follow current events, or do anything interesting whatsoever. That leaves very little common ground for things to talk about, and I wind up eating a lot of lunches alone.

Which leads me to today's fun office anecdote. I've been a fan of electronic/techno music for years; after finishing college my friend John and I always made it a point to hit the biggest raves that came to Atlanta. There was usually a good one every six months or so; we would head downtown, dance around from 10 to 3:30, then head home and try to recover our hearing over the course of the next day.

Yes, I was and am still too old to be going to these things; no, I never got into the rave drugs you hear about in the news. I just enjoy the music and the people-watching. The best part is, everyone was so friendly; if you're dancing around and bump into someone or accidentally step on their feet, you've made a new friend. I've never seen a fight break out at any of the rave-type events I've been to.

A few weeks ago I visited an old roommate in Miami, partially so John and I could attend the Ultra Music Festival at Bayfront Park. It's a gigantic concert featuring electronic/techno music; 10 stages spread out over a big park, with some great food vendors in the middle (mmm... Cuban sandwiches and gyros...). Think of it as Music Midtown with DJs.

The park was absolutely packed, filled with people much more physically fit than I am. All the biggest names in DJing were there. We had a great time, and I especially liked it because I never have the opportunity to go to rave-type concerts in Washington. (The big-name DJs do sometimes show up at D.C. clubs, which presumably I'm not self-absorbed enough to get into; and besides, being alone in sketchy D.C. at 3 a.m. after the Metro has stopped running isn't that appealing.)

So anyway, this one guy in my office asks about my trip to Miami. I mention the Winter Music Conference, with which the Ultra festival is attached, and how all the big-name DJs perform there. He sounds interested, and asks if the morning crew from Mix 107.3 was there.

Hrrmm... right. I try not to be to patronizing, and explain that they probably weren't there, seeing as how it's more of an electronica/techno music thing. He proceeds to pull up the Mix 107.3 website to show me exactly how awesome the Jack Diamond morning-zoo-crew really is. Aaaand, the conversation kind of grinds to a halt right there, since I don't care to experience the wacky-yet-assuredly-whitebread antics of Mix 107.3, and he has no idea what I'm talking about with this concert-thing anyway. And so, I wander off to have lunch by myself again, and stew in my own boredom.

And now you know... the rest... of the story. Paul Harvey... good day!

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