Tuesday’s Theme Music

Greetings, earthlings. Take me to your coffee.

Today is Tuesday, March 2, 2021. Sunrise/sunset (which comes with its own song, if you think of it the right way) was/is at 6:45 AM and 6:02 PM here in southern Oregon. The current temperature is 35 degrees F. It’s already gone up five degrees in the hour and a half that I’ve been up. Surprised that it was that cold, TBH. Was forty-seven when I went to bed one-ish AM. But the big blinding eye in the sky is expected to take us to 65 today. Won’t knock that.

Weather and walking brings today’s song. While out yesterday, I contemplated the clouds and wondered if they were colluding to become something more than sun blockers. After that, my mind drifted to other things. I realized that I was humming a song. Dragging the melody out of the memory well put words to it.

But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all
*

Yeah, “Both Sides Now” by Joni Mitchell. I wasn’t channeling the Joni Mitchell version, though, but the Judy Collins cover from 1968. Some mellow, folksy music, which goes well with my morning caffeine brew.

Stay pos., test neg., wear a mask, and get the vax. See you on the other side, whatever that is.

*h/t to JoniMitchell.com

Monday’s Theme Music

Greetings fellow humans and all the rest of you. Today is Monday, March 1, 2021. Flip those calendar pages, if you still use them. I still do. Sunrise in Ashland today was at 6:46 AM and sunset is coming at 6:01 PM. It’s warming up outside with a current temperature of 48 degrees F on the way to an expected high in the upper fifties.

Music today is provided by Aerosmith. “The Other Side” was included in the album Pump in 1990. I was singing it yesterday first as part of my walking exercise, you know, just let me go to the other side of this steep hill, then I’ll go down. Next, it gained metaphorical properties as pandemic limitations struck. “Just let me get to the other side of this pandemic and back to a more normal life and also the beach.” Then the phrase, ‘the other side’, rose again as I thought about the novel in progress and the other one being revised. This was more aligned with the sentiment, just let me get through to the other side of this effort, when the initial draft of the one is finished and the editing and revising of the other is completed (at least for this go-around).

So it’s a threefer meaning kind of song on this late winter day. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers.

The Goal

I’m swearing about modern technology again. It’s all so easy, so taken for granted, they have groomed me to complain.

Today’s target is my Fitbit. It needs recharged, again. Every few days, this takes place. I wear the thing almost 24/7, removing it only to save it from the showers. The rest of time finds it hugging my right wrist, monitoring my activity. Sure, it sends me an email when it needs recharged. That email arrives at 1:30 to 2:00 AM. I supposed, if I’m more rigorously disciplined and attentive, I can train myself to check it each night when I’ve reached my goal and see how much remains on the charge. Yeah, I could, but I’m lazy.

“It wouldn’t need to be recharged so much if you didn’t keep using it,” my wife observes.

A growl is given back. This is not time for humor. Charging the fitbit means removing it from my wrist and waiting while it charges. While it charges, I’m not collecting steps. My goal each day is twelve miles. It’s a new goal every morning, achieved every night. No, I haven’t walked it, didn’t run it, swim it, bike it; it’s an accumulation of twelve miles of activities, twelve miles achieved each day, something tangible.

Writing is different. I use word counts as mileposts but they don’t matter. I may have added words but the novel isn’t finished. I’m not certain how close to being done it is. I have guesses which makes sense, but I know, even when it’s ‘done’, it isn’t done. It needs revised and edited. Even then, it’s not done. It’s not published, not finalized in some concrete form. Until it reaches that final moment, it remains a work in progress. It’s like going from Earth to Mars; it’s gonna take a while.

So, I pursue my twelve miles every day, a goal established each morning, something achieved each night, something to make me feel good, damn it.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Hello. Welcome to this edition of Wednesday, brought to you by 2021. “2021. The year that has to get better.” Today is the twenty-fourth of February, meaning that February is fast running out of time. Today’s sunrise came at 6:54 AM in Ashland. We expect sunrise about eleven hours and four minutes later, at 5:55 PM. A sun bomb has gone off but the air is chilly at 40 degrees F. We expect another late charge into the low to mid fifties by late afternoon. The mountains blocks so much sun as it steals over the sky, robbing us of warmth and plunging us into early twilight. Across the valley is the land of sun, where it’s bright all day long, you know?

Rush is the music provider today. “Limelight” from 1981 skipped into the mental music stream as I walked yesterday. Its rhyming lyrics, with their sharp enunciation, are memorable.

Living on a lighted stage
Approaches the unreal
For those who think and feel
In touch with some reality
Beyond the gilded cage

Cast in this unlikely role
Ill-equipped to act
With insufficient tact
One must put up barriers
To keep oneself intact

Living in the limelight
The universal dream
For those who wish to seem
Those who wish to be
Must put aside the alienation
Get on with the fascination
The real relation
The underlying theme

h/t to Metrolyrics.com

And so the song goes, a good walking song, solid beat except where it slows for the solo, but that’s how prog-rock often goes, innit? Stay positive, folks, and test negative. Persevere, carry on, wear a mask, and get vaccinated. If that all fails, have a drink. Think I’ll go get a coffee, black, thank you, and unsweetened, like my soul.

You know?

Saturday’s Theme Music

7 AM, straight up. That’s what time sunrise was today in southern Oregon. Sweet to rise to daylight. Can’t say sunlight. Clouds continue bullying us with their dour expression. We did have a late afternoon sunshine visitor yesterday. Some blue sky accompanied her but she shied out before we were too comfortable with her presence.

Sunset today will be at 5:50 PM. I’m pleased for the later afternoon hour. Gives me time to do a walk without taking a flashlight and worrying about a bear or cougar coming up to make conversation.

Hello, and welcome. Today is Saturday, February 20, 2021. Outside’s temperature is 36 degrees F. The high isn’t straying far away from that mark, peaking at 48 as rain clouds keep the sun from getting carried away with warmth.

The Wayback Machine was active this AM. First, I heard singing: “Pick a little, talk a little, pick a little, talk a little, cheep, cheep, cheep, talk a lot, pick a little more.”

Don’t know why that tune from The Music Man made itself known but it didn’t last long. Songs about Saturday — probably the top three Saturday songs I usually associate with Saturday, “Saturday Night’s Alright (For Fighting)” (Elton John),  “Saturday In the Park” (Chicago), and “Saturday Night” by the Bay City Rollers”, take a turn in the mental music stream. Then, though, dealing with the cats, an old Jim Hendrix favorite from 1968 pressed in.

The cats were just busy with whatever I was being busy with, underfoot, underhand, etc. So “Crosstown Traffic” kicked in.

You jump in front of my car when you,
you know all the time that
Ninety miles an hour, girl, is the speed I drive
You tell me it’s alright, you don’t mind a little pain
You say you just want me to take you for a ride

You’re just like crosstown traffic
So hard to get through to you
Crosstown traffic
I don’t need to run over you
Crosstown traffic
All you do is slow me down
And I’m tryin’ to get on the other side of town

h/t to Songfacts.com

Of course, I was singing the cat variation. This is where cat is subbed for girl. Room is subbed for town. Walk is subbed for ride and drive…

Stay positive, test neggy, wear a mask, and get vaccinated. Cheers


			

Friday’s Theme Music

Friday! Today is February 19, 2021. Just nine days remain before we put 2021’s second month into the books. Today’s sunrise was at 7:02 AM while sunset will be at 5:48 PM here in southern Oregon. Temperature is 41, which isn’t bad, if you have some sunshine, which we don’t. We do have more rain.

I used to love Fridays, right? Back in the days when you could go places and do things, PC (Pre Coronavirus). Now it’s reduced to another mark on the calendar.

Today’s music came from yesterday’s post-writing walk, trying to put the moments into a box. The song is “I Need to Know” by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers from 1978. I was walking along, wrestling with the next chapter, wondering WTF the muses were. Probably snowed in elsewhere, I told myself, and then imagined them quarantining somewhere. I was basically thinking, “I need to know,” which is, um, what Petty sings.

I was also thinking about a story read yesterday regarding scientists communicating with lucid dreamers. I dream a lot so this fascinated me. While the findings’ basics impressed me, I really wanted to communicate with my muses. They come and go like college students at a party some days, sneaking off in search of other adventures, drinking too much and passing out. Like, hey dudes, where are you?

They returned after a while. I asked, “Where have you been?”

Shrugs. “Places.”

“Doing what?”

“Things.”

“I’ve been expecting you. I’ve been waiting for you?”

“So?” Shrug. “Your prob.”

It all ground to a halt as the muses smirked at me. I think they were stoned, high, or drunk. I’ll give them some coffee. Chocolate works great for luring muses out, too, but I don’t have any. Best that I can offer them is a Lara Bar.

Got the coffee. Time to go try writing like crazy. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get vaccinated. Cheers

Thursday Thoughts

  1. My cousin, Glenn Seidel, passed away, ending his cancer fight. A genuine nice, caring person, his death is one that makes you question life’s mechanics. I wish he’d never suffered cancer; he’d watched his mother and younger sister fall to cancer. It’s good that he’s no longer suffering, though. Watching the suffering, unable to do more than mouth platitudes, is the struggle for me when a friend, relative, or pet is suffering and dying. No, it’s not about me; the survivors always mourn. It’s about what he — what they all — went through before reaching the point of death. Here’s to Glenn.
  2. Weather is on my mind. We’re contemplating a move east. Why? Summer weather here in southern Oregon has become a litany of summer suffering: wildfires, or smoke from wildfires suspend or kill activities and travel. Drought requires water restrictions, which is enforced via capitalism: if you have the money, you can buy the water. Depressing, right? But our winter is comfortable, remarkably snow free and freezing free. Moving east to Ohio or PA would mean plunging into that stuff.
  3. Watching Texas suffer from lack of planning for cold weather brings deep sighs of frustration. Save some pennies, increase profits, but when the shit hits, you’re wickedly unprepared. It’s sadly now the GOP way. Yet that ‘save some pennies, increase profits’ mantra holds fast against critical thinking. It’s always the poorest classes who suffer most, of course.
  4. Since I’m on politics, will the righteous right-wing notice that President Biden, a Democrat, immediately reached out to help states, whether they’re ‘red’ or ‘blue’? Doubtful that they’ll notice; doubtful that they’ll remember. Yes, experiencing a strong cynical streak today.
  5. We worry about the animals along with people, you know? We hope the animals are warm and safe, too. The logical response is, this is life; suffering is inculcated as part of the formula. Death is a natural ending. Still, I hope for the best. Guess I’m an unrepentant optimist.
  6. Writing (knock on wood) continues going well, which continues to scare me. There’s a burst of jubilation as a major chapter is completed. After a pause of reflection, anxiety strikes as I face the ever-present, ever-daunting question, what next? That question always pulls me back into the puzzle that’s called writing a novel.
  7. I’m watching more foreign television shows that are in their native languages. I run in place and watch television to wind down at the day’s conclusion. Usually do two to three miles between 10:30 PM and midnight. Bad dubbing draws cringes and winces, which are disruptions to the entertainment. Don’t need it. Instead, I watch television in German, Icelandic, Norwegian, French, etc., eyes glued to the captions. We like how characters appear in television from other countries. Characters in the U.S. TV land are typically pretty people with pleasant lives and mild challenges to their principles and decisions. Typically, matters are quickly resolved, with little complications. There are exceptions. The characters in stories in other nations are less pretty, less glamorous, and more natural. Yes, they’re more like me. Fortunately, watching foreign television seems to be a growing streaming trend. A great selection is available.
  8. One exception in U.S. television that I continue to admire is “The Wire”. Watching it for the second time, finishing season four, the levels of excellence in production values, acting, character development, plots, and story arcs all still impress me. It’s been several years since I first watched it, yet so many of the people and story-lines remain memorable. It’s a gritty show, but you end up rooting and crying for so many.
  9. Finished reading/read six books last week. I’m mastering the jogging-in-place-while-reading process. Five of the books were fiction, the other was non-fiction. Reading does enhance/intensify my writing process. Hungry for more books now. One is on hold at the library, so I need to head that way, but also research more to add to my list. I’m reading mostly crime and speculative fiction while I’m writing my science fiction/speculative fiction novel.
  10. With running in place augmenting my walking and other exercise, my 28-day average remains over 12, coming in at 12.41 for this cycle, with a best day of 14 on February 7.
  11. It’s raining outside. My cats are in and asleep. One sleeps on my feet as I type, keeping me warm with his weight. Another is in the foyer, curled up on the bench, a paw over his eyes. The third is stretched out on the guest bed like a ginger throw. Their presence and the knowledge that they’re safe and comfortable reassures me against awareness of the world’s pain.
  12. Now, time to go eat lunch. Then it’s back to writing like crazy, at least one more time. Stay safe, please. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Good morning. Today is Sunday, Febraruary 14, 2021. Sunrise was at 7:09 AM. Gray paint has been spilled across the sky. Rain pummels our area. It’s 35 degrees F outside. Snow showers are expected, still we’re better off than in many places, where the snow is mounting like debt. Sunrise will be at 5:42 PM.

Today’s music is provided by Curtis Mayfield. “Move On Up” came out in 1971 but didn’t crack the charts in the US. That history surprised me. The song always moved and encouraged me. Seems to be true for others, as Joe Biden uses it, and it’s been employed in movies. I don’t hear it often on the radio, though.

Just move on up
Toward your destination
Though you may find, from time to time, complication

Bite your lip
And take a trip
Though there may be wet road ahead
And you cannot slip
Just move on up
For peace you’ll find
Into the steeple of beautiful people
Where there’s only one kind

So hush now, child
And don’t you cry

Your folks might understand you
By and by
Move on up
And keep on wishin’
Remember your dream is your only scheme
So keep on pushin’

So hush now, child
And don’t you cry

Your folks might understand you
By and by
Move on up
And keep on wishin’
Remember your dream is your only scheme
So keep on pushin’

h/t to Genius.com

A hopeful song is welcomed today, making it my choice for Sunday’s theme music.

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

Saturday’s Theme Music

Good morning! Today is Saturday, February 13, 2021. Sunrise was at 7:10 AM and sunset in Ashland, Oregon, is expected at 5:41 PM. Outside the windows, sun and rain compete for dominance. Clouds stack up and surround blue sky like disapproving parents. The current temperature is 42 degrees F.

Trump’s second impeachment trial dominates the U.S. headlines (witnesses are going to be called, you know), along with the weather. An enormous winter storm is moving across the nation, chasing the temperatures down the thermometer into that freezing range where few are comfortable. Snow and ice has caused power failures, traffic accidents, and deaths in multiple regions.

The Wayback Machine remains active in my brain. I was stuck with “Give My Regards to Broadway” in my head. It started yesterday afternoon while I was taking a long walk. I really don’t know why. Part of the process I suffered was that I couldn’t remember the name of the square mentioned in the song. I looked it up this morning, confirming that it’s Harold Square. When I sang that last night in search of the truth, it sounded wrong. So did every other name plugged in there.

Joining that song in the night’s middle was a song by the Turtles, “Happy Together” from 1967. I decided it’ll work for today’s theme music. Oddly, I had a cousin who couldn’t get his head around the phrase, “No matter how they tossed the dice, it had to be.” Although he was older by a month, I spent endless hours trying to explain what the phrase meant. Exasperating.

Stay warm, safe, and positive. Test negative. Wear a mask and get vaccinated. Sing along to the bouncy music. Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music

Good morning. Today is Monday, Feb. 8, 2021. Sunrise came at 7:16 AM. Sunset is expected at 5:34 PM. Outside, it’s 31 degrees F and foggy, but we’re expecting sunshine and a high of 50 degrees.

Today’s music came from a walk the other day. The song hung around me, intermittently spurting into the musical mental stream throughout the last few days. Released in 1967, “The Rain, the Park & Other Things” by the Cowsills reached number two on the charts in America. If you’re unfamiliar with the song, it begins with seeing a girl in a park.

I saw her sitting in the rain
Raindrops falling on her
She didn’t seem to care
She sat there and smiled at me

h/t to Genius.com

This is what happened to me that day: I saw a girl sitting in the park off Peachy Street in Ashland. Unlike the song’s subject, this girl had a leash with a dog, and she didn’t disappear. Nor did the sun come out. Maybe, if the sun had emerged, she would’ve disappeared. The rain was falling and I didn’t hang to learn. I have no idea if she could make me happy. Didn’t really think about it. I was preoccupied with a song going in my head and avoiding her to stay six feet away. There’s a virus out there, you know. Must be careful.

BTW, they called it psychedelic last century when a girl disappeared like that; now it would be called magical realism.

Stay positive. Test negative. Wear a mask. Get vaccinated. Enjoy the music. You have your orders. Now go.

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