Here’s an example of the way my mind works: A sign on the MAX train informed me, or so I briefly thought, that “Twins are equipped with 2-way radios.”

Well, no, they’re not. But trains are. Until my brain does a parity check on textual input, I often receive first impressions that are wildly off kilter. The amusing instances tend to get shared with whomever is handy. And by “amusing” I usually mean “naughty.” So it’s best not to inquire as to with what else I may have thought twins are equipped.

But anyway.

I’m scarfing down some comfort food, a steak burrito from Chipotle, after a long day at the office. And that’s all I can say about that. So let’s talk about the commute. On the way to work I listened to most of Garbage’s “Version 2.0,” while the soundtrack for the homeward trek consisted of most of Depeche Mode’s “Playing The Angel.” (Most of, I say, because I didn’t start listening soon enough to actually finish either album before disembarking the train.) Both of these albums aren’t quite as good as I’d hoped, though Garbage comes out well ahead on stars.

Stars, you ask? My new toy, the Insignia Pilot, comes with a handy “rating wheel” with which I can assign those ubiquitous one-to-five-stars ratings to the currently playing track. (This is all Apple’s fault. Damn you, iTunes! Now Winamp has ’em, as does Amarok, as does Foobar2000, and so on, and so on. Then again, I’m making use of them to a limited extent, so I suppose all is forgiven.) As I listen, and if I have the player in my hand, I can simply jog the wheel one way or the other as my impression of the song changes. My rating system goes something like this:

  1. Please don’t play this song ever again. I hate mopping up the blood coming out of my ears.
  2. This is not a song I would go out of my way to listen to. I might even go out of my way to avoid doing so.
  3. Not great, not bad, this song is probably best used as background music.
  4. Oooh, I like this song! I’ll probably load it into a playlist at home when I’m enjoying a “tuning out” session.
  5. This song rocks my socks, and I don’t care what anybody else thinks of it. My love is pure and knows no bounds.

“Playing The Angel” sports a distressing number of one-star tracks. I didn’t realize it was quite that bad when I ran my original “background music” tests last year. Much of the album’s middle portion consists of what I can best describe as stoner-goth make-out music. Ugh. Apparently I need to get Dave Gahan’s “Hourglass” loaded onto the Pilot for comparison. I like the first three tracks well enough but I haven’t given the new album a full, in-depth session.

It’s already after 8pm, which only surprises me until I remember that I didn’t get home until almost 7:30. I think now’s a good time to save and publish this rambling bit of lunacy so I can watch some nice, wholesome Japanese cartoons