Saturday’s Theme Music

You ever been asked, “You have too much time on your hands?”

When I worked, the answer was sometimes, “Yep.” Work was so segregated and encapsulated into specific roles and tasks that if I did mine fast, which I frequently did, I’d end up waiting for others with nothing to do. Exasperating. I often spent that time by reading company or government periodicals. Whether that was the military or corporate side, that helped me broaden my outlook, which was always a benefit.

Since I quit working to write full time, I never feel like I have too much time on my hands. My response is more likely to be an incredulous spewing of coffee, beer, or wine, followed by, “Are you kidding me?”

Someone asked yesterday. I didn’t spew – that was just in there for comic effect – but I did laugh and reply, “No.” Thinking about his question later brought up the 1981 Styx song, “Too Much Time on My Hands”. It’d been released just before my wife and I arrived for a four-year military assignment at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. We quite enjoyed that assignment. Thanks to the interesting culture, wonderful friends, educational opportunities, and the ocean, we never felt like we had too much time on our hands.


Friday’s Theme Music

Today’s was a direct and simple connection between walking, thinking, and my theme music.

Thinking about time, I was walking through some low humidity, ninety degree sunshine. Across the valley was clear from my vantage. It was its typical summer brown, the green baked away, a striking but depressing tableau under a crystal blue sky. With that vision of heat and dryness dancing with memories of wildfires from the last five years, I hoped for rain.

The opening words that Sting sings from “Desert Rose”, a duet with Cheb Mami (2000), rose in voice in my mind.

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand


Thursday’s Theme Music

Remember the peace dividend?

Maybe, right. Hard to say. Depends on your age, education, and memory, and what I mean by the peace dividend. Well, I mean the supposed reduction in defense spending that would be seen after the collapse and break up of the U.S.S.R. With that major nuclear threat winding down, the thought was that less money should be spent military spending, allowing more money to be spent on social programs, while taxes were reduced. Thatcher and Bush 41 were said to be behind this progressive idea. They said they were being pragmatic.

Didn’t last long, and the dividend didn’t go far. The U.S continues to increase spending and go to war more and more frequently to address problems.

Conversations with friends last night reminded me of the U.S.S.R.’s fall and the subsequent peace dividend. Back in the early 1990s, in the post-Soviet world, it seems like we were on the cusp of making some significant advances. Some will disagree, but I thought increasing the social net, helping others, recognizing and confirming people’s rights regardless of their sexual preference, gender, skin color, or religion were all strides forward to a better world. Environmental consciousness was increasing. It seemed like America was were trying harder as a nation. Now, to me, it feels like we’re sliding back into the 1930s. Sigh.

I posted about this song, Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (1991) in 2017 but without the political realities behind its inspiration. Forgive me for sharing it again, but it seemed right.

A woman on the radio talked about revolution
When it’s already passed her by
Bob Dylan didn’t have this to sing about you
You know it feels good to be alive

I was alive and I waited, waited
I was alive and I waited for this
Right here, right now
There is no other place I want to be
Right here, right now
Watching the world wake up from history

I saw the decade in, when it seemed
The world could change at the blink of an eye
And if anything
Then there’s your sign… Of the times

I was alive and I waited, waited
I was alive and I waited for this
Right here, right now

I was alive and I waited, waited
I was alive and I waited for this
Right here, right now
There is no other place I want to be
Right here, right now
Watching the world wake up from history

Right here, right now
There is no other place I want to be
Right here, right now
Watching the world wake up from history

Right here, right now
There is no other place I want to be
Right here, right now
Watching the world wake up… 

h/t to Lyrics



Wednesday’s Theme Music

Today’s song entered my stream for unknown reasons and has remained on an endless. (I suspect the word ‘high’ may be the key that let the song in.) Anyway, I need to share it with you to dislodge it. Nothing personal.

Not my particular type of music, in general, there’s nothing wrong with this song. By Tal Bachman, “She’s So High (Above Me)” (and why do I think the record company wanted the ‘Above Me’ added to shift thinking away from drugs?) came out in 1999. I don’t have any Tal Bachman music in the house and known nothing about him except that he’s Randy Bachman’s son.

Anyway, enjoy.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

My head seems to be residing in the 1990s frequently this month. Another nineties staple, Alice in Chains’ song, “Man in the Box” (1991), has appeared in my mental stream.

It happened when I was walking yesterday afternoon. I suspect that it’s the recurrent thoughts/sensations that I often feel trapped in a box coupled with the opening strides of music that prompted the song to enter my stream. I was walking, and the music’s beat and my rhythm matched.

I always considered AIC underrated. After I bought their unplugged album, I told my buddy, “This is a really good album. You should give it a listen.”

He replied, “Dude, it’s Alice in Chains. I mean, no disrespect, but how good could it be?”


Killing in the Name

Here’s an explosion from the past. One thousand musicians assembled and played Rage Against the Machine’s song, “Killing in the Name” (1992) in Frankfurt. Pretty damn good time for such a song. Repeat after me, “Now do as they told ya. Now do as they told ya.”

Hah. Now the outre:

“Fuck you, I won’t do what you tell me.”




Rage against what’s going on and how the world is twisting. Stop the killing in the name. Insert whatever conclusion you want for the name – hate, nationalism, religion, money… There’s quite a list of absurd reasons for why people kill for you to select from.


Monday’s Theme Music

Out of nothing except I enjoy this song and it was streaming in my head this morning, today’s music is “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt (1996). Maybe this song is in my head because of the period. 1996 wasn’t a great year at first but by the end of the year, it started a satisfying five year run in my personal life. I made my first serious attempts at writing short stories then, and sold a few. Perhaps if I’d not done that, though, I’d not now be addicted to writing novels.

Writing novels is fun if challenging, rewarding, frustrating, and exasperating. Wait; don’t speak. I know just what you’re saying.

Sunday’s Theme Music

Today’s music came from thinking about the struggles with writing April Showers 1921. During a conference call with the muses, they advised me to trust them and go with instinct. “Everything zen,” I replied.

That introduced the old Bush song, “Everything Zen”. Released almost a quarter century again, it came out the same year that I retired from the military. I enjoyed this song, but the entire album, Sixteen Stone. “Everything Zen” joined my daily commute tape, used in emergencies when I couldn’t find anything on Bay area stations, while the album was put into the CD player’s preferred section.

Thinking over those words, it’s remarkable how technology has changed. Sixteen Stone was on CD. Two CD players served me then and now. One is part of the Bose Command Center, and holds six at a time. The other player is a Sony two hundred disc player, which can be organized as eight sections of twenty-five CDs. I rarely use it now, as music is so readily available via digital sources.

While I know the words to “Everything Zen” and like their play, I wasn’t aware of their references to other songs until recently. Now that it’s all been pointed out, I was dismayed that I didn’t recognize any of that. Songfact explains it well.

Have a great life, whichever day or night it is for you, wherever you reside on this spectrum of existence. Cheers


Saturday’s Theme Music

I was being prepped for surgery yesterday (routine and elective, no worries) when I began streaming the 1976 Pablo Cruise song, “Love Will Find A Way”. My specific verse was, “Oh, but it’s all right, once you get past the pain.” See, I was giving myself a little pep talk – “It’ll be fine, once you get past the pain. Yes, you know you’re right, Michael.” The Pablo Cruise song helped distract me.

The surgery didn’t come off. My BP was running 230/131. Too high, they said. It was checked several more times and never dropped.

My wife and I were surprised and baffled. As she put it, “He’s very active, walking almost ten miles a day, and never seems to have a problem.” Off I went to another doctor to address that issue. Heart, lungs, carotids, etc., all sound good, no dizziness, etc. A medicine was prescribed to lower it. We’ll go with the flow and see where it goes.

Meanwhile, a little mellow music.

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