Monday: A Few Things

Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes, given here, or on FB, or in private messages. Although I’m not a celebrating type, your thoughts and comments are meaningful to me.

  1. Wore one of my favorite shirts yesterday. I bought it the year we moved to Ashland from Half Moon Bay, 2005. Shortly after moving up here in June, we went back down to the SF Bay area to address some issues, do some shopping, and visit with friends. We stopped in at an odd sale, where a convenience store on Middlefield had been converted to a sale of overstocked items. That’s where I found this shirt. It was bought on a hot day in July, 2005. As one of my favorites, I’ve been photographed in it at work and parties. I’m wearing it in this photo in 2010 with my little sister and her youngest daughter. I’m the one with the facial hair. I know, you can barely see the shirt.
  2. It’s always odd to me that Lee Greenwood lets Donald Trump use Greenwood’s song, “God Bless the U.S.A.”, at his events. The song has lines that refers to being free and the men who died for that right . Trump has denigrated many military members, past and present, in his speeches and remarks. He holds the statues of the Confederate States of America, which was a nation formed from states who broke away from the United States. After they broke away, they attacked the U.S.A., starting a war in which they killed many Americans. If that doesn’t say enemy and traitor, what does? Beyond that, the C.S.A was fighting a war to keep people enslaved. All of that is the antithesis of what Greenwood’s song is purported to be about. Yeah, makes me wonder. Yeah, me makes me sad and cynical, too.
  3. Ashland, the little town that I’ve staked out as home, cancelled July 4th fireworks and celebrations cause, COVID, masking, and social distancing. A few fireworks went off but I’m pleased that the town mostly observed it, making it the quietest July 4th in my memory. Meanwhile, we visited with friends in their gazebo, six feet apart and masked, except to eat cupcakes (still six feet apart or more) and consume root beer floats. We noted, though, two of the masks being used by others had valves. I thought they — the health experts — do not recommend masks with vales. One of the participants wore their mask above their mouth and another wore their mask below their nose. I didn’t call them out, the be respectful, but I stayed back, and we were outside. Made me sigh, though; why wear the mask if you’re not going to do it right?
  4. I’d welcomed July as a positive move, posting to friends, hey, don’t fear July just because the year has been a bit sucky so far this year. This might be the month it all begins turning around. Well, it was like 2020 said, hold my beer, as the next day, I read an article about the Chinese being worried about bubonic plague cases. A resurgence of the black death is all that we need, given how many in the U.S. dismiss the threat of COVID-19 as just another flu, a hoax or conspiracy, refusing to take precautions against the novel coronavirus. God knows what they’ll do if the black plague begins spreading.
  5. We watched Avengers: Endgame last night. Yeah, all three hours of it. Looonnnggg film. One, good thing we watched it at home, where we could pause it and take bio breaks, and where we could also google info. We were constantly wondering, “Okay, who is that character?” They brought them all back, and we’re not deeply invested in the MCU. After all the hype and reviews, I expected something better. Yes, I know, my cynicism (or my age) is showing. Some of the acting appearances were fun and surprising, but I liked Avengers: Infinity War, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Black Panther much better. To each, right?

Got my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more day.

Saturday’s Theme Music

Today’s song comes fresh out of the dream stream. I awoke singing the song Danny Elfman wrote that he can’t stand, “Weird Science” (Oingo Boingo, 1985). I’ve never seen the movie by the same name. Began watching to see if friends who loved it were right, but didn’t find it that weird, that funny, or that interesting, and too predictable.

As for the dreams…well, that’d be another post.


Cinafloof (Not to be confused with cinnafloof. (floofinition) –   1.  Film about animals.

In use: “Famous cinafloof include 101 Dalmations, Free Willy, Benji, Seabiscuit, and Cats, but hundreds of cinafloof exists.”

2. Animals who enjoy watching films.

In use: “The beagle lived for lying on its belly in front of the television watching movies. The cinafloof was a big fan of adventure movies.”

Tuesday’s Theme Music

After reading about South Dakota’s disparaging remarks about herd mentality and the subsequent spike in COVID-19 cases in that states, I thought of the phrase, against all odds.

Against all odds, Alabama held back until it was conclusively demonstrated that despite not being like California, Alabama was going to experience the coronavirus. Checking the news today, I see two thought-provoking headlines to use to compare and contrast:

Alabama Tourism Among States Least Affected By Coronavirus

Mobile sees surge, added the most coronavirus cases in Alabama last week

The first article tells that Alabama’s tourism industry has been one of the least hard-hit in the nation. In the second article, ADPH reports that Mobile surged from 158 cases last week to 468 this week.

Anyway, I can hammer the point that social distancing works, but against all odds, churches, some Republican governors, and Liberty University disbelieve the facts and refuse to take the recommended actions.

And anyway, now that I’ve made this a stupidly long post for a theme music entry, today’s theme music is Phil Collins with “Against All Odds (Take A Look at Me Now)”, a 1984 song written for the movies, “Against All Odds”. Kind of a slow song, bit of sappy movie montage behind it, and it doesn’t even mention odds (what are the odds of that?). Not much of a theme song. Don’t Rachel Ward and Jeff Bridges look pretty, though?

Oh, well.


Puzzle #5 Is Finished

We finished puzzle number five, the Casablanca movie poster (and also known as Schrödinger’s puzzle) this evening. We’d started it back around Feb. 11. Fifteen hundred pieces, it took us some time, but we’re pleased.

We thought two pieces were missing, and it bugged us. We’d bought the puzzle at the Goodwill; plots about hunting down the previous owners festered in me. Once we finished, though, we got down on our hands and knees to confirm pieces weren’t on the floor. We have an oriental rug under the dining room table where we worked on the puzzle. This Ravensburger puzzle’s pieces have a blue backside. And, yeah, the pieces were there.

Casablanca is considered a classic American film. One of the stars is Humphrey Bogart. He happens to star in the movie that’s definitely in my top ten list, African Queen, with Katherine Hepburn. Directed by John Huston, it’s based on a terrific E.M. Forester novel of the same name. I always worry that they’re going to remake African Queen, because a remake (or a reboot) will soil my memory. That’s petty and selfish, of course, but it’s my nature.

On to puzzle number six. Don’t know if we’ll devote as much time to it. Longer days of sunshine are arriving. Travel plans are in the air. So is yard work, and hanging around outside, which isn’t as fun in the cold weather. We’re warm weather people at heart.

I’ll let you know when we begin.


“This Is Spinal Floof”

“This Is Spinal Floof” (floofinition) – Floofumentary about an English floof band and their misadventures during their latest U.S. tour.

In use: “Led by David St. Bernard and Nigel Floofnel, Spinal Floof was a flooftitious band whose minor 1960s pop hit, “Listen to What the Floof People Say” was part of the floof power movement.”

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Tell me, again, how does this mind thing work? How do memories, dreams, events, and thinking interplay to bring other things up? I don’t have a grasp. I know I’m young, just in my sixties, but I do want to know.

Take this morning. Up and busy with cat attentions (this is where the cats gather to ensure that I’m going to feed them, and the head floofherder guides me to the write location by tapping my legs with a helpful paw, or darting across my path when I turn the wrong way). Not thinking of much, to be honest. Hadn’t had coffee, was drinking hot water.

I guess, if anything, I was thinking, “Oh, sunlight! And it’s not even eight! Yea!” And I was thinking, “Spring ahead with the clock soon, yea.” (And then doing the comparisons; so if it’s seven now, this will be what it’s like at eight, right?”

Into all of this came a song. As the sound entered my stream, I thought, hey, I know that song. That’s “Tubular Bells”. Theme music for the The Exorcist.

Song and movie came out in 1973. The movie was Oscar nominated and much talked about. It terrified people, and they wanted to talk about it. They were talking about it in restaurants and parties, cars and houses, on the radio and television. It was non-stop Exorcist.

“Tubular Bells”, by Mike Oldfield, was everywhere, too. The real question is, why did it make the jump from early 1970s memories to active placement in the stream today.

Guess it’s a haunting melody (heh, heh).

Any of you out there in netland familiar with this movie and song?


Saturday’s Theme Music

I watched Once Upon A Time in Hollywood. Tarentino always makes it interesting and watching it for memories of that era was a delight for us Boomers.

Circling around an actor and his stunt double and friend (Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt) and Charlie Manson’s family, the movie offered some fond side trips down pop culture lane. Our American television diet was prominent, because this film’s story was about TV and movie stars.

But pop music was in there, too. And in the background of one scene was an old Vanilla Fudge favorite from 1967, “You Keep Me Hangin’ On”. Loved the song by the Supremes, but the VF’s more psychedelic version spoke to this eleven-year-old lad. My older sister had an older guy interested in her. To win her over, he tried winning me over by loaning me his Vanilla Fudge album, so I played it enough that the notes and I were familiars.

The movie entertained me with its what-if premise. I always enjoy what-if, but the attention to details really impressed. Even period piece can openers were used.

Our favorite character? Brandy.

A Dream of Dancing without Music

There’s so little of this dream, but the image weighs on me. 

I’m in a dark, small club, dancing in with a group of strangers. Strobe lights and spotlights sometimes illuminate the crowd. Although I’m tired and sweaty, I’m having fun.

Then, I’m surprised to realize that I can’t hear any music. Everyone is still dancing. I’m still dancing. “Does anyone hear any music?” I ask.

No one pays me any attention. I can hear everyone’s feet thumping and shuffling. Nobody is talking or laughing or anything. None make eye contact with me; many have their eyes closed or their heads bowed.

Turning, I look for a band or a DJ. Not seeing either, I hunt for music system speakers. What’s weird is how everyone seems to be moving to the same beat. Most have their arms over their head, giving me an impression that I’m in the middle of a sea of arms. They’re generally younger people, say, their early twenties to early thirties. Multiple races are present, though most are pale skinned in this light. I peer at them, hunting for clues of headphones or a Bluetooth. Seeing neither, I say, “Does anyone hear any music? I don’t hear any music.”

I’m beginning to suspect that it’s just me that doesn’t hear the music. It amuses and frightens me; I can’t hear music, but I’m still dancing.

I stop dancing, because, why should I keep dancing? I remember seeing a movie being filmed that was like this, with people dancing without music, with the music applied later. I wondered if that was what was happening. I looked for cameras or some clue but again, no clues emerged.

I feel the dance floor shaking. Looking down, I’m surprised. It looks like we’re dancing on a wooden deck. I wonder if we’re on a boat or ship.

The dream ends.


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