Monday’s Theme Music

“Pour some coffee for me.” You need to imagine this being sung by Def Leppard to the tune of “Pour Some Sugar On Me”.

Bright sunshine has filled this Monday morning, April 12, 2021. Outside temperature is stirring past 42 degrees F. Promise for greater sunshine and warmth are in the air. Sunshine stole o’er this southern Oregon valley at 6:35 AM Pacific time. We wave good-bye to it at 7:49 PM, same time zone.

I’m thinking “Thorn In My Pride” by The Black Crowes (1992) for today’s music. At daybreak, while feeding the cats (thus curtailing their growing demands), the song’s opening lyrics came over me. I like the song’s bluesy sense, with its flashes of acoustics, organ, piano, and electric lead guitar. Add some Gospel elements. It’s a throwback sound to the late sixties/early seventies for me, like a lot of the group’s music.

Wake me when the day breaks
Show me how the sun shines

h/t to AZLyrics.com

I think the floofs were waking me at daybreak so I could see the sun shine. (Or so they claim. I really think it was just about food.) “No need,” I told them. “I’ll catch up with it later, while you’re napping.” They were eating, though, and my retort travelled wholly over their little bowed heads. Then I returned to bed for just a little longer.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get the vax, and have some coffee. Or tea. I hear tea works well, too. “Pour some tea for me.” Sounds like it works. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Hey, today is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious Sunday. It is also April 11, 2021. The sun came creeping into the windows in Ashland about 6:37 AM this morning and is expected to creep away at 7:48 PM.

With regards to the temperature, the sky cleared last night, which meant it grew cold. Temperatures clipped the lower thirties. Robust sunshine has already pushed us up to 45 F. We expect to bounce off the high sixties before the temperatures sink again. The cats are loving it. Each has gone out and found sunshine, sitting there like worshippers with their face to the sun. You can almost hear them purring, “Ahhhhh.”

Got my COVID-19 vaccination yesterday. Did the ‘one-shot’ J&J option, because that’s what was available. No ill-effects were felt yesterday. Feel fantastic today.

Song-wise, we’re looking at “Gonna Fly Now” by DeEtta West and Nelson Pigford from 1977. My wife drove this choice. “This site says that the number one song on your twenty-first birthday will tell you how your 2021 will go.” “Gonna Fly Now”, from the film, Rocky (1976). Here are the lyrics:

Trying hard now
It’s so hard now
Trying hard now

Getting strong now
Won’t be long now
Getting strong now

Gonna fly now
Flying high now
Gonna fly, fly, fly

h/t to Genius.com

I recall visiting Mom and my little sisters (just entering their teens) while on leave from the military in 1977. (I’d been in the Philippines on duty on an unaccompanied tour but returned home when my little brother was killed in a car crash.) The littlest sister (now a mother of two teenage boys herself) told me that this was her favorite song. Anyway, it’s become hooked in my head today. I must put it on the net to set it free from my mind (or free my mind from it…).

The wife’s song was “Shadow Dancing” by Andy Gibbs. She’s a year younger than me.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get a vax. Hope you fly. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

Hey, it’s Righty Friday, April 9, 2021. Daybreak came at 6:40 AM as Ashland rotated around to Sol’s embrace once again. Night is expected after the rotation turns us away from Sol at 7:45 PM. Between those hours, we expect the sun to take our temperatures into the upper sixties under azure skies. We’ve made it to 43 F so far.

I’ve been living with Righty Friday for several years. A right hander, I’ve always enjoyed reverse days when I attempt to use my left hand as my dominate. Part of that is flipping the order of donning my pants. I put my pants on my left leg first by habit. The difficulty I had putting it on my right leg first amazed me. By then I was in my late fifties. My recurring practices had shaped my muscles, bones, and coordination. Thereafter, I designated each Friday as a Righty Friday, when I would put my underwear and pants on my right leg first. Although it’s called Righty Friday, I alternate left and right throughout the week. So, Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday, I put my pants on in the correct order, left leg first. It’s reversed on the remaining days.

Today’s music is by Chaka Khan. Prince wrote and recorded “I Feel for You”, but I’m intimate with the Melle Mel and Stevie Wonder infused version. Released in 1984, it reached number one on several U.S. charts, and made the top ten on music charts around the world. We were well familiar with the music video. I was stationed on Okinawa, Japan. We had limited music videos, and this one was played ALL THE TIME. Melle Mel’s rapping always amazed me and my friends. We’d try to keep up with him. Impossible. The effort reduced us to blithering, laughing idiots.

It’s a memory, prompted as I think about visiting with friends as we cautiously begin re-opening in southern Oregon. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers

A Rainy Dream

I was with some others. They remained misty and uncertain, voices on the periphery of my awareness.

We were to drive three identical Cadillac automobiles. Cream and brown two-toned sedans, I knew them as late 1940s cars, a model called ‘Sedan de Ville’. I was to be the driver of one of these three large cars.

Sheets of silvery rain were soaking the world outside the building where we talked, striking down visibility whenever I looked out a window. I knew we were in a city. We were addressing a large, electronic map. It showed the route to follow in thick dark green on a yellow background. Part of the discussion was about what to call our exits. Studying the map, I somehow came up with Jo Three, which struck me as funny. I explained why it should be called that and why it was funny but those details are lost to waking me.

Before leaving, white brunette women dressed in 1950s fashion presented each driver with two loaves of freshly baked warm bread. These loaves were set on the back shelf behind the rear seat, on on each side, in all three cars. I happily went about, checking the loaves, verifying what they were (rye, marble rye, whole wheat, etc.), and that each loaf was unique. Satisfied, I confirmed my loaves were where they should be, climbed behind the car’s massive steering wheel, and set off.

Rain still hammered the streets and sidewalks, denuding color so that everything resembled sepia photographs. With no wind, the rain fell straight down. Although it was day, street lights were on. The straight multi-lane roads were in good condition. Traffic was sparse. The place seemed familiar.

I saw a woman walking along a sidewalk under an umbrella. I knew her. I thought she was upset and decided that I needed to speak with her, and that I would offer her a ride. As I caught up with her, she was under an underpass at an intersection, waiting to cross the street. She crossed; I turned left, pulled alongside her, and wound the passenger window down. As she didn’t stop, the car continued parallel to her, propelled by the idling motor.

Leaning across the street, cold as mist came in the open window, I called, asking her if she wanted a ride, speaking loudly over the rain and the car’s engine. She declined, telling me that she enjoyed walking in the rain. I then apologized to her and told her that I understood why she was upset. She replied that she wasn’t upset, and that’s not why she wasn’t accepting a ride. She had been upset but now she just appreciated being alone, walking in the rain.

I accepted her answer and drove off. As I did, I looked back in the rearview mirror and watched her walking on the sidewalk in the pouring rain, getting smaller as the distance increased.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Good morning. It’s Wednesday, April 7, 2021. Already into the fourth month. Just eight months to go in 2021, if you’re doing time.

Haven’t had my coffee yet. Thoughts remain low and slow. Something about sunrise at 6:44 and sunset at 7:43. Be over thirteen hours of sunshine today. Temp is 52 F. We expect to kick into the seventies.

“Thank U” by Alanis Morissette outta 1998. I find it an introspective song, fitting today’s introspective moodiness. Edged with a tinture of restlessness, there’s a sense that I’d like to break out of my daily mold. First, though, I must have my daily coffee…

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

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Welcome back to another edition of Tuesday. Today is April 6, 2021. It’s coolish today, 42 degrees F, with mild threats of rain showers. Spring is enveloping our valley with blossoms, buds, and blooms. Tulips, daffodils, and star asters are abundant, setting senses aflame with their sweet fragrance and bold beauty. Ms Sun appeared at 6:45 AM in Ashland. She expects to spend the day with us before jetting out of sight at 7:42 PM. During that period, it’s anticipated that we’ll get warmer.

We’re scheduled for the J&J one-dose COVID-19 vaccination this weekend. Oregon had shifted eligibility. The lowered bar now includes us, folks in our lower sixties without children and minor health issues. Other states are including everyone over eighteen, so PROGRESS!

Dad remains in the hospital, experiencing edema. He and his wife were vaccinated against COVID-19 months ago. They’re not certain what’s causing the edema. He’s now been in there two weeks as they address built up fluid in his legs. Eighty-nine this year, he’s been medicating for COPD for years (after being a Lucky Strikes smoker (LSMFT), pipe smoker, and cigar smoker), along with minor kidney matters. He’s usually a good hospital patient, he tells me (and his wife agrees), but this visit has him on a low sodium diet. The limited food choice is making him cranky.

I woke up singing “In A Big Country” by Big Country this morning. Not infrequently, sunshine and sprawling green vistas summon this 1983 song to emerge from the deep memory well into consciousness.

Been writing like crazy every day. I’m closing on the end of the first draft of the novel-in-progress. I’m one who modifies and edits as I progress, tidying pacing and story, clarifying details, and sharpening focus as I go. I’ve also been reading a great deal, two to three books a week. Last week was Transcriptions (Kate Atkinson), Echo Burning (Lee Child), and Under a Midnight Sun (Keigo Higashino). This week, it’s The Night Watchman (Louise Erdrich), Circe (Madeline Miller), and The Sentinel (Lee Child with Andrew Child).

Still keeping up with my walking, too (knock on wood), achieving at least twelve miles per day, averaging 12.3 miles per day for the last six months. It’s a lot easier with the long days of sunshine and comfortable weather.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Got my coffee. Gonna go write like crazy, at least one more time.

Monday’s Theme Music

Salutations from the third rock from the sun. Today, we mark Monday, April 5, 2021 on the calendar. Here in Ashland, Sol presented at 6:47 AM and is expected to vacate the area at 7:41 PM. Temperatures are cooler today, just 47 degrees F right now, with supposed highs in the mid-sixties. Rain showers are likely.

Had half a cuppa coffee already. Taste buds are singing praises about the flavor and the caffeine is bubbling in my blood. Musically, me mind is mired in 1979 this AM, with Rainbow’s cover of “Since You’ve Been Gone” dominating the neurons. I think this has to do with a dream medley that I experienced that left me thinking about people I socialized with in different locations who I no longer see. Some have died, but with others, different paths were taken and gap emerged that keep us away from one another.

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

Sunday’s Theme Music

Hello, good morning, good afternoon, good day, and good night.

Today is Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021, the ninety-fourth day of the year. Sol stepped up at 6:49 AM in Ashland. We expect her to do a fade at 7:40 PM. The hours in between those times are expected to be brimming with sunshine that warms us to the seventy degree F mark. We’re at 54 now, but it doesn’t feel that warm as a cold mountain breeze with a wintry grudge scraps the edge off the sun’s heat.

Today’s music choice is an old Spinners song with Dionne Warwick. “Then Came You” was released in 1974 (hey, my high school senior year) and reached number one. Infused with a little disco vibe into its R&B structure, it stayed popular in dance clubs for several years. As to clues about why it’s in my head this morning…there are none. The little neurons responsible for orchestrating recollection of this tune are staying incognito.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers, all.

Floofsday’s Theme Music

Good Night. Today is Floofsday, March 32, 2021. Sunset is at 7:01 AM in Ashland and sunrise will be at 7:45 PM. This morning’s temperature is 75 degrees F but we expect to cool down some, reaching 51 by late tonight.

Yesterday’s walk was gloriously perfect. Sunshine burst through, heaving the heat into the high seventies while a mild breeze countered the worst effects. Trees and flowers are blooming, spreading colorful shapes, threading the air with sweet scents. Lot of walkers were out in the hilly streets where I was roaming. Most of us weren’t masked but shied away, keeping proper distance plus.

This situation kicked the 1985 Dire Straits song, “So Far Away”, into my conscious music stream. “So Far Away” was on Brothers in Arms, the album that included “Money for Nothing” and “Walk of Life”, two of my favorite Dire Straits tunes. Stationed at Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, I played that album a lot that year, driving my Mazda around the southeastern United States on temporary duty assignments in the Air Force or going north — a straight shot up I-77 — to visit family.

I thought the song works as a theme song for this day. Last April seems so far away. Although we’re marking progress toward the pandemic’s end, a return to normalcy also seems so far away.

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

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Another new day has arrive, just twenty-four hours after the last one. I think we’ll call this one…Merlin. If not Merlin, then Wednesday, March 31, 2021.

Sol came creeping over the Ashland hills and mountains at 6:55 AM and is now bathing us with warming sunlight. Watch for Sol to slip away around 7:35 PM. Temps yesterday didn’t get as rosy as promised as we struggled to break 55 degrees F. Claims are out that we’ll strike seventy plus today. We’ll see.

We’ve been watching and enjoying NG’s third season of Genius. This year is all about Aretha Franklin. After finishing the episode about the 1972 two-day recording sessions for her Gospel album, Amazing Grace, we again watched the 2018 documentary about making it, for comparison. Robert Altman was on hand filming it back in the day. Technical difficulties prevented it from being completed. When it was finished, Aretha Franklin would not allow it to be released. It stayed on the shelf until after she passed. Then Spike Lee took it up and brought it the public.

Comparisons between the fictionalized events and the real thing were illuminating. To us, the Genius series attempted to show a larger schism between Aretha and her father, Rev. Franklin, than what existed. Just seems that way but we could be wrong, given the small windows which we use to witness their relationship. It was a treat watching and hearing such a talented person sing. though. What a voice.

That delivers us to today’s theme music. While thinking about Aretha Franklin, I recalled one of her later hits. I realized that her 1985 song, “Who’s Zoomin’ Who” is perfect for this era of Zooming meetings, exercise classes, birthdays, weddings, and the many other gatherings we’ve been stopped from doing in person. I’m not the first to recognize that. The comment section is full of others calling this the Zooming anthem.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get the vax, and keep on Zoomin’. Cheers

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