Wednesday’s Theme Music

Back in 1992, when this song came out, I’d listen to it on the car radio while commuting and think, WTF are they singing?

My commute was short in those days. Assigned to Onizuka Air Station in Sunnyvale, CA, I lived in NAS Moffett base housing in Mountain View. Using the base roads and back gates, it was about a five or six minute drive to work. I didn’t get to hear much of the song.

The net was growing then, but had a long way to go. It was years before I was able to find the lyrics for “Ignoreland” by R.E.M. and verify that it was a political scree, mostly against Republicans, but also against the press for regurgitating whatever was fed to them.

The lines which brought the song to mind this morning were:

I know that this is vitriol
No solution, spleen-venting
But I feel better having screamed
Don’t you?

h/t to Genius.com

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Lot of mornings in the last four years have featured spleen-venting mental rants for me — or rants to my wife, who ranted back at me. Yeah, yeah, yeah. As an antidote, I always look for humorous, non-political stuff or take refuge in sports, or warm animal stories. Anyway, it seems like a song that’s a political scree about ignoring what’s really going on and just voting for a party seems apt as a theme song.

Why’d the song come up today? Trump fatigue. He rants on without evidence about the same crap, apparently doing his own spleen-venting. He never seems to feel better for venting, carrying a bitter, hostile expression on his face and vowing to never change his mind.

What a way to go through life, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Wear a mask, stay positive, and test negative, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Monday’s Theme Music

I awoke in the early hours with a cat tapping at the pet door and a dream lingering in my head. After peeing (my bladder said, “Well, since you’re awake,”) and drinking some water (because I’d just peed, obviously, right?), I returned to bed (after letting the cat back in because it was cold outside). In the moments before falling asleep, I thought about the dream I’d left. In that time, too, my brain started singing, “When you close your eyes and go to sleep, everything about you is a mystery.”

It took a few moments of sleep-fogged thinking to identify it as The Romantics song, “Talking in your Sleep”. I thought it was released sometime in the early 1980s, which led me on a mental chase of other facts from that era to pin it down. (Like, where was I living when I heard that song? Okinawa?)

I looked it up this morning because I needed to know (1983). So, that’s the music for today.

Stay positive, test negative, and wear a mask. Cheers

The Romantics – Talking in Your Sleep – YouTube

Saturday’s Theme Music

The holiday season is striking the U.S. once again. Technically, we’re celebrating several religious holidays, with secular, commercial spins. Christmas is the biggie, as wish lists and black Friday sales begin in October and run through New Year’s Day. Buy, buy, buy, you know. I have friends and family who had their Christmas decorations up in November this year. SMH, you know?

I always become introspective in holiday periods. This morning’s introspection after Thanksgiving brought up the 2019 Maroon 5 song, “Memories”. My stream was hooked on this verse:

There’s a time that I remember, when I did not know no pain
When I believed in forever, and everything would stay the same
Now my heart feel like December when somebody say your name
‘Cause I can’t reach out to call you, but I know I will one day, yeah

Everybody hurts sometimes
Everybody hurts someday, ayy-ayy
But everything gon’ be alright
Go and raise a glass and say, ayy

h/t to Lyricsvyrics.com

Stay positive, test negative, and wear a mask. Cheers

Just Sayin’

I think some people miss the point behind cutting the cable.

Cutting the cable has been around for a while. It’s an expression used when you decide to terminate cable service. That would’ve once been unthinkable. When I was a child — yeah, here we go.

I’m a boomer, in my sixties. I’ve seen the rise of the microwave and electronics. Cable television came to my neighborhood while I was in high school. Before cable, we were dependent on ABC, NBC, CBS, and PBS. One of those networks had two channels in our area.

Reruns were the norm. “Bonanza”, “Gunsmoke”, “Gilligan’s Island”, and “Perry Mason” came on throughout the day, along with every version of a Lucille Ball’s offerings, game shows like “Jeopardy” and “Password”, and talks shows like “The Merv Griffin Show”. As this was a rural, churchy area, so we also had a lot of gospel music sang off-key with with a twang, and plenty of Bible thumping.

Cable, then, expanded our ability to watch different reruns on other channels. We had, I think, thirty-two channels and we paid about twenty dollars a month. None were ‘premium’ channels; HBO, Showtime, and offerings like that were just being thought of and begun in those days. It didn’t come to my area until I’d left the area in 1974.

Still, cable offered us more. That was the point. Then, the point became, cable is offering the same thing over and over, or offering us things that doesn’t interest us. Upon returning to the United States after some overseas assignment, my wife and I subscribed to cable television. It was pretty good for a while. A&E was delivering fresh BBC television shows like “Ballykissangel” and “Doctor Who”. TBS provided reruns. “Original” programming was still a number of years away, along with reality shows.

Off we went to somewhere else outside the U.S. This time, upon returning, we signed up for cable, with some premium offerings.

It was no longer a sweet deal. The price had jumped to over fifty dollars a month. Pausing to put that into perspective, my income was about twenty-five thousand. Our new sports car cost fifteen thousand. Our phone bill (cell phones weren’t on the scene yet) was about twenty-five dollars a month. So fifty a month was a chunk.

Back to cable. Premium movies had already been seen, so I was paying for movie reruns, and they showed them over and over and over. The cable company boasted that we had one hundred channels. Our point was, there was nothing on that we wanted to watch.

That trend worsened, in my mind. We went to a hundred and forty plus channels, two hundred channels, dozens of premium offerings. Prices climbed, but nothing was on. By the time I cut the cable, we’d curtailed the premium offerings. No reason to subscribe because they offered so little. By then, we could rent videos, and then discs at Blockbusters and other places. Eventually, Netflix evolved.

We cut the cable ten years ago. I went with Roku and subscribed to Netflix. I remain a Netflix subscriber. I also subscribe to Hulu basic and Amazon Prime. Others come and go, usually for a month at a time. I’m not the demographic target, though; I have no interest in watching television on my phone.

I monitor streaming offerings, and frequently try them out on a trial basis. They’ve become bloated and useless. Let’s talk SlingTV as an example. They’re offering over a hundred channels for just $65 a month. But looking at them, I know that I’ll end up watching very little of that.

The same happens with countless offerings. They think signing on to more channels is a big deal. It’s not; it goes back to the same problem that plagued us when we had four channels: nothing was on that we wanted to watch.

Original programming helps the situation these days. So does stealing ideas from other countries or importing television series and movies from other countries. As we discovered with A&E, and then BBC America, the rest of the world has fantastic stuff. In example, one show that’s currently doing well in the U.S. in “The Masked Singer”. Just as “Survivor” was an import, so is “The Masked Singer”; it came from Korea.

In the end, this is another rant, innit? Just an aging American musing about the ways that the world does and doesn’t change.

At least with remotes, it’s easier to change the channel. You know what we had to do when I was in high school?

Monday’s Theme Music

“Faithfully” (1983) by Journey is floating on the mental music stream this morning.

They say that the road ain’t no place to start a family
Right down the line it’s been you and me
And lovin’ a music man ain’t always what it’s supposed to be
Oh, girl, you stand by me
I’m forever yours, faithfully

h/t to Genius.com

We were out on the road early this morning, hitting a local grocery store during the special ‘vulnerable’ hours, before the invulnerable and riffraff arrive with their dirty mitts. A gray morning, the song just came to me as we drove along the quiet streets.

A good power ballad, it’s been a pleasant traveling companion for many trips. I enjoy the video, and the differences in clothing, modern technology, and traveling visible from now. Look at the phones and televisions, the shoes and jeans. Beyond that, there’s the band’s hard work, sweat, and passion.

Hope you enjoy it. Cheers

Journey – Faithfully (Official Video) – YouTube

Saturday’s Theme Music

Well, this one is a baffler.

I’d fed the cats, done some dreamflecting, emptied the dishwasher (and put the stuff away), and was making breakfast (and writing in my head) when some neurons took a sidebar to discuss today’s theme music. Without any apparent deliberation, they decided it’d be “American Woman”.

Why? “That’s why,” they answered. My neurons can be so immature.

So now, “American Woman” is rumbling through my head. Which version? Oh, several. Lenny Kravitz led off, but the neurons switched back to the original version by The Guess Who (1970), followed by the Butthole Surfers’ cover (which is always interesting). In the end, the original led the way.

Here we go. I selected several of the versions as theme music at least once before, so this is a redux, but the neurons have spoken. Here we go.

Friday’s Free-Ranging

  1. Some people still believe COVID-19 is a hoax. Even as they’re hospitalized and intubated, they can’t believe they have COVID-19, according to nurses in several states, because COVID-19 is a hoax. Surreal.
  2. But it’s getting real. For many people, it doesn’t become real until a family member, close friend, or celebrity has it. Well, read the news. Another Pentagon official is positive, and another U.S. senator. Actor Ben Platt was positive. Do a net search and you’ll discover more. NFL teams are experiencing it at an increasing tempo. The Vegas Raiders have at least eight defensive starters on the COVID-19 list. The Steelers have several, while several others passed the protocol and can practice and play again. The Denver Broncos announced, no more fans in the stands after this Sunday. The NFL said that all teams must use intense COVID-19 protocols. That includes masks, distancing, limiting occupancy, and using Zoom for meetings.
  3. The fatality rate and positivity rates are both climbing. A NYTimes article points out that there’s not a single U.S. state or territory where COVID-19 is declining. We now experience over two hundred thousand new case a day, and it’s increasing fast. More governors are ordering mandatory masks, shutting down activities, and limiting gatherings. Except, in South Dakota, of course, home of Sturgis. Although they’re facing the nation’s highest positivity rate and fatality rate, and has become one of the nation’s most intense COVID-19 hotspots, the governor still dismisses taking any actions.
  4. And superspreader events still take place across the nation. As a for instance tale, there was a wedding in Ohio on October 31st. Of eighty-three guests, half are now positive for COVID-19, including the bride and groom. Three of their grandparents tested positive, with two grandparents ending up in the ER. Yeah, I understand that you want a special day for your wedding. It’s a celebration, but c’mon, man, have some sense. They did try, providing masks and hand sanitizer liquid, but as the bride was walking down the aisle, she realized nobody was wearing a mask.
  5. Meanwhile, out in hard-hit El Paso, they’re trying to find workers for the many temporary morgues that they’ve set up. They were using convicts for the job.
  6. Writing continues to entertain and satisfy me, so hurrah for me, right? Yeah, that’s my little ray of sunshine.
  7. Some days, I just cannot write fast enough. A scene takes maybe a minute to enter my head and bloom. Dialogue, setting, action, characters, it’s all there. It takes twenty to thirty minutes to type up such scenes, trying to get all the moments right.
  8. Getting the moments right means finding the words. I often just hammer it out, then return, correcting pacing and tenses, adding and refining details, and aligning the arc. That’s about the only way to put it.
  9. Thanksgiving in the United States is coming upon us, and we’re preparing. It’ll be the two of us at home, a huge break from the last several years. Good friends have been including us in their celebration. It’s always a good time. There will be a Zoom Thanksgiving cocktail party this year. It’s better than nothing, right?
  10. For food, we’re doing an early Sunday morning Trader Joe’s raid. Many options were investigated before deciding on this path. TJ’s ‘vulnerable shoppers’ time begins at 8 AM. We plan to be there by 8:15 with our list in hand.
  11. Contemplating our plans fires Thanksgiving memories. I was in Basic Training in 1974. Fortunately, my Uncle and his family lived nearby. I was authorized to go spend Thanksgiving with them, and watched the Dallas Cowboys and Detroit Lions play. For Wright-Patt in Ohio, in ’75, we drove home and visited with family. When I was serving unaccompanied in the Philippines in 1976, my co-workers invited me to their house, and I had a great time. Paying it back, my wife and I often included single or unaccompanied personnel in our T-day celebrations.
  12. Memories stack up by bases and countries: Onizuka in California, Kadena on Okinawa, Rhein-Main in Germany, Osan in Korea, Randolph in Texas. When we were stationed at Shaw AFB in South Carolina in 1985, we headed north three hundred miles to my wife’s family in WV. A few hundred more miles, and we were at my mother’s place in Pittsburgh, PA. When I retired and we lived in Half Moon Bay, we joined in large Friendsgiving celebrations, just as we’ve mostly done here in Ashland.
  13. All of these places and years are memorable, though; all of them. They were different places, different people, and different experiences, but all enriched my existence.
  14. Need more coffee, as it’s time to write like crazy, at least one more time. Have four scenes circling in my head. Time for them to land on a page. Have a better one, and please wear a mask.

Friday’s Theme Music

I’d read a weather advisory last night about stagnant air. Got up this morning and looked; yep, there it was.

Which led to Slade’s 1984 song, “Run Runaway”, to crash my stream.

Hold on!
I like black and white
(Dreaming of black and white)
You like black and white
Run run away

See chameleon
(Lying there in the sun)
All things to everyone
Run run away

h/t to Genius.com

World seems almost black and white out there with this dense fog smothering it all. No chameleons lying in the sun, because there’s no sunshine. Just the bleah.

So, this rocking, simplistic song with this driving beat seems a fine song for a COVID-19 Friday. Run runaway.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Once again, a cat is inspiring the theme music choice.

Today’s song arrived with a cat’s request in false dawn’s weak light, “Hey, feed me.”

“Eat kibble.” He’d awakened me, so naturally, my bladder said, “Well, as long as you’re awake, you might as well get up and pee.”

I eyed the kibble bowl as I wobbled past. “There’s kibble.”

Sitting down outside the bathroom, he waited. When I came out, he gave me a look with hungry eyes. “Please, sir, I am oh so hungry.”

I sighed. “Come on, youngblood,” a nickname for Papi, my young ginger.

Oh, the joy he displayed. Tail shot up as he dashed past, purrs and mews filling the space.

So here it is, “Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen, 1987. I’m probably as familiar with it as much from the movie, “Dirty Dancing”, as the radio. Starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the prominent roles, “Dirty Dancing” was a large hit. We ended up with the album of songs from it, so I heard it a lot.

Sunday’s Theme Music

It’s raining this weekend. I like a nice, solid rain, which is what we’ve received. Brew some coffee and chill with relaxing rain sounds. I shouldn’t be surprised that a song about rain entered the mental stream yesterday. That it was Bob Dylan and “Rainy Day Women #12 & 35″ surprised me.

I was finishing up shaving and such when I thought out of nowhere, what’s Bob Dylan’s real name? I came up with Zimmerman but took a few more seconds to remember Robert. And then the song began.

I used this song as theme music back in October, 2017. Its mocking, rambunctious nature always entertains me. The song came out in 1966. I was ten, so the song passed under my radar. But when I became aware of it a few years later, I thought, yeah, this is about getting high. After doing a paper for a pop culture class years later, I appreciated the play on words, how people are throwing stones at others for imagined slights.

Pretty appropriate for these years, in which stones are slung for every damn thing, right? Have a good one. Wear your mask. Enjoy life.

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