Thursday’s Theme Music

It’s Thanksgiving in the United States today, a holiday imbued with myths and traditions, and many memories for someone like me.

I have some wonderful Thanksgiving memories. Mom worked hard to make holidays a success — except Mother’s Day (yeah, d’uh, she took the day off, didn’t she?) — and Thanksgiving was always terrific at her house. Later, in the military, my wife took on the same role. Overseas, she coordinated and orchestrated Thanksgiving dinner among several families, and we always invited the single people to come over so they felt less alone.

I benefited from that, too. My Uncle and his family had me over for Thanksgiving when I was in basic training, saving me from a chowhall dinner. I had a great time with them. There were other Thanksgivings with co-workers’ families a few times when I was stationed overseas on temporary unaccompanied duty, like the time with Tony’s family in the Philippines. There were also a couple chowhall Thanksgivings, though.

All that brought the Alan Parsons Project song, “Time” (1981). It came out the year that we reported for duty in Germany. We lived off based that first year, and it was one of the times when it was just my wife and I. It was still memorable.

Why “Time”? Because of the lines, “But time keeps flowing like a river, to the sea.”

Yep, although it does make me think, there’s a sea of time out there, somewhere.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

I was just up (peeing, actually), when the lines from “While You See A Chance” (Steve Winwood, 1981) came to me.

When some sad old dream reminds you

how the endless road unwinds you

while you see a chance, you take it

find romance, fake it

because it’s all on you

I always enjoy that section in particular. It’s an uplifting song to me, one of several favorites that Steve Winwood put out as a solo artist. Looking for confirmation a bit ago, I verified that he didn’t write the lyrics alone, that it was co-written by Will Jennings. I thought that I’d read that but couldn’t recall the details. Thanks to Wikipedia for the reminder.

The title, too, always strikes me; not, ‘when you see a chance’ but ‘while you see a chance’. Act while you see it, not when you see it. Like that subtle difference.

Saturday’s Theme Music

I was watching a couple. Twenty-ish white people, they seemed to be going through emotional turmoil. Separated by six feet, they entered the noisy coffee shop. She, a blond, was in the lead with her arms crossed over her belly, casting stoic eyes over the coffee shop population and then the menus on the wall. Taller and darker, he came in behind her with awkward shuffling, moved closer to her, leaned in and spoke. Without answering, she turned, stepped around him, and left. He stood for a moment, staring at nothing as though thinking, and then turned and pursued her.

I watched them through the large front window. They’d come in a new-generation red Camaro convertible. I noticed it as it pulled up, as sunlight flashed off its polish. She didn’t walk toward it, but drifted toward the crosswalk to go across the highway with the same stiff body as before. He watched her, then put his head down and stood for several seconds. As she reached halfway across the road, he went after her, but with a slow pace. Then he looked back at their car, paused in the crosswalk, and continued on after the girl.

I lost sight of them. The red Camaro was still there when my wife and I left. Soft Cell’s 1981 medley of “Tainted Love” and “Where Did Our Love Go” streamed into my thoughts.


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.

Saturday’s Theme Music

Today’s song came by way of a cat. He went out through the pet door from the MBR, crossed the patio, came in through the living room side door, and then walked around behind me, greeting me as I came down the hall from the MBR.

Whipping my head back, I asked, “How did you get here so fast?”

He flicked his tail once and sat.

I nodded. “Everything you do is magic.” I knew, of course, that it wasn’t magic, but quantum walking. Cats are adept at walking through universes from one to another, turning up at odd times and places.

That simple phrase, though, invited the stream to begin “Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic” (The Police, 1981).

I need to watch what I say.

Sunday’s Theme Music

“Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around” is all over my private music streams today. It kicked into the stream yesterday. I don’t know why. Maybe I caught a piece of it airing out of a passing car.

The song, performed and released by Stevie Nicks, is one of my favorite Nicks songs. Tom Petty sings on it, and the Heartbreakers played the song. It wasn’t surprising to discover that Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers and Tom Petty were the song’s co-writers. It has their flavor all through it. I like the song for its anguished sense of what’s been going on, and the decision that a line’s been drawn, and this needs to end now.

Baby, you come knocking on my front door
Same old line you used to use before
And I said yeah, well, what am I supposed to do?
I didn’t know what I was getting into

So you’ve had a little trouble in town
Now you’re keeping some demons down

Read more: Stevie Nicks – Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around Lyrics | MetroLyrics

You know that’s how it often goes. Love is difficult to find. We don’t like letting go, or giving up. Makes us feel like unwanted losers, doesn’t it? Yeah, and momentum and familiarity are easy to form and hard to break.


Sunday’s Theme Music

38 Special began as a standard southern rock band. Their sound became more mainstream rock than the likes of Marshall Tucker, the Allman Brothbers, CDB, by their third album. I liked the transition. This song, “Hold On Loosely” (1981), epitomized the new sound. I offer it today because it’s stuck in my ear. While it’s a good song, it’s been looping in my stream for the last twelve hours. I need to get it out of there before I start screaming.

Saturday’s Theme Music

Today’s little ditty was released by a small, unknown band came out in 1981. It had some small chart success in America and maybe a few other places in the world. You may have heard it because presidential candidates like using it, as do professional sports teams and television networks. I think it might have been in an obscure television show called The Sopranos. For reasons that defy easy tracking and explaining, my mind used it as my wake-up music.

Here’s Journey with “Don’t Stop Believin'”. If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.


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