Friday, December 21, 2007


Friday, 21 December

* Too Much Excitement.

Very few people in my building came to work today, and things have been quiet--with notable exceptions. During the lunch hour, a group of brass players gathered outside the building next door for their annual holiday serenade and commenced to play their way through just about every carol in the repertory. The weird thing was that it seemed they had never heard the music before. The lead trumpet player was particularly prone to clams, and accidentals in the music usually went unobserved (even when the verse was repeated). Still, in an oddly festive sort of way, it was "real" music and almost better than having, say, the Canadian Brass playing a live Christmas concert outside your office window. I look forward to this performance every year.

My listening experience was rudely interrupted, however. Yesterday was the annual test of the building's fire alarm system. We were advised to turn off our computers (because of the switch to emergency power--you never know what might happen) but got to stay in our offices to endure the fire alarm and "this is only a test" PA announcements for a few minutes. So when the alarm went off today, the first thought was "oh, they forgot to do something yesterday." A head check out my door, though, revealed that others were being good citizens and leaving the building. I grabbed all my worldly goods (it might be hours before we get back in) and joined the group in front of our building. Turned out that somebody overcooked something in the microwave. No fire in the building, but so much smoke still in the air that I think I might have to leave early. :) We tried not to laugh when six firefighters in full gear showed up for a microwave meltdown; some of them were pretty serious but the last ones to leave were laughing with us. The offending pile of melted plastic and food has been ceremoniously placed atop the pedestal that used to house a bust of the building's namesake. No one has come forward as the offending chef.

I'm hoping my holiday baking at home tonight is not nearly as exciting.

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