Wednesday’s Theme Music

The hump day cometh and the hump day goeth. Daybreak began at 5:34 AM in Ashland, Oregon. Most of the flowers have lived their life of color in my neighborhood, fading to leafy remains. Thanks to cooler temps — highs have dropped from the standard 90 – 100 degrees F days to low 60s — and a splatter of rain, lush greens dominate. Nightbreak (hey, we have daybreak) will come at 8:46 PM. We’re fast approaching that longest day, meaning the longest period of sunshine, in the north. In the southern hemisphere, they’re hurrying toward their shortest day of the year. Then, the northern hemisphere minutes of daylight will start declining while they start adding up to longer days south of the equator. It’s the great circle of seasons, the revolution around the sun.

Out walking yesterday, I encountered a handsome silver tabby. Meowing with urgency, they ran to me. A collared adult, a heart-shaped metal tag informed me the friendly feline was named Rajah. Rajah was very healthy and enjoyed my fingerwork. But a truck backing up sent Rajah racing back up the lawn he came down. I wrote Rajah’s phone number on my hand (always carry a pen — it’s my talisman), then wondered, what’s the name of this street, with an eye toward looking up lost cat reports on our local neighborhood posts. As I went through that process, U2 fired up “Where the Streets Have No Name”, a U2 fave of mine from 1987.

I wasn’t planning on using it for today’s theme music, but the theme of being in a nameless place in a dream where I was searching for a street sign came up in a dream. As I thought about that dream, “Where the Streets Have No Name” was revived in the mental stream.

So here we are. This is the official video of the song, with U2 playing on top of a building. Think the Beatles did that once. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Dream music, once again. That is, music that cropped up after some dreams. Particulars of this is that I had one of my standard recurring dreams about flying. Essentially, I’m flying on a commercial airliner. All is going well. I land and need to make my way through the airport but become confused about where I’m at and where I’m going. Then I work it out, etc.

Today’s flying song is by Pink Floyd. It comes out of the period we’ve labeled “1987”. Such labels help historic references and memories like what songs were playing the year that various things happened, and drifting through sketchy recollections of events. What prompted the skate down memory lane? That’s one for the neurons to answer, and they’re remaining incommunicado on the matter. Although the song, “Learning to Fly”, is about learning to fly, it’s also a metaphor for acquiring new experiences and skills. In that regard, it’s a decent song for the next-to-last day of 2020. 2020, by most accounts, was a trying year in which we had to learn a chunk of new processes, like how to wear a mask, properly wash your hands, and stay six feet away from other humans in social settings. With 2021 coming upon us and a change of administrations in the U.S., what new skills and knowledge will be required?

Here’s le music. (Or is it la music?) Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get vaccinated.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

I had “Some Enchanted Evening” stuck in my head last night. The song is from the musical, South Pacific. I know all of South Pacific; Mom had the soundtrack — on 33 RPM vinyl — and played it often.

The words were a little different for me last night. Instead of singing “stranger”, I was singing, “Kitty”, as in cat, because I was singing to a cat. Youngblood (aka Meep, official floof de plume, Papi, but aka the ginger boy) was sitting in a chair across the room watching me. I sang to him. He didn’t look impressed. His expression said, “I see no food…”

To get that melody out of mind, I began entertaining other songs. I’d seen Bruce Springsteen on SNL last weekend, so I started shuffling Springsteen tunes. “Brilliant Disguise” (1987) caught and stayed.

Here we go. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get a vaccine. That is all.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Sorry, but I have an ear floof pestering me this morning. It’s on a loop singing U2’s “The Sweetest Thing” (1998) or 1987 – it was a B side originally, and was then released again). Of course, it’s the same verse (with backup vocals and strings) caught in the mental music stream.

Blue-eyed boy meets a brown-eyed girl
Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing
You can sew it up but you still see the tear
Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing
Baby’s got blue skies up ahead
And in this I’m a rain cloud
You know we got a stormy kind of love
Oh oh oh, the sweetest thing
Yeah

So, I foist it upon thee to silence the singing floof in me.

Abject apologies. I’ve used this song before as the theme choice, just over thirteen months ago. It was dream fallout then. I had a multiple, vivid dreams last night, but have no reason to ascribe it to the dreams this year.

Anyway, here we go.

U2 – Sweetest Thing – YouTube

Thursday’s Theme Music

Once again, a cat is inspiring the theme music choice.

Today’s song arrived with a cat’s request in false dawn’s weak light, “Hey, feed me.”

“Eat kibble.” He’d awakened me, so naturally, my bladder said, “Well, as long as you’re awake, you might as well get up and pee.”

I eyed the kibble bowl as I wobbled past. “There’s kibble.”

Sitting down outside the bathroom, he waited. When I came out, he gave me a look with hungry eyes. “Please, sir, I am oh so hungry.”

I sighed. “Come on, youngblood,” a nickname for Papi, my young ginger.

Oh, the joy he displayed. Tail shot up as he dashed past, purrs and mews filling the space.

So here it is, “Hungry Eyes” by Eric Carmen, 1987. I’m probably as familiar with it as much from the movie, “Dirty Dancing”, as the radio. Starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey in the prominent roles, “Dirty Dancing” was a large hit. We ended up with the album of songs from it, so I heard it a lot.

Sunday’s Theme Music

Sorry, but it’s sort of a quasi-politically inspired song again. (Wow, such a wishy-washy caveat and apology.) There’s also a writing angle.

Thinking about not just Trump but about life in general summoned John Mellencamp’s 1987 song, “Paper in Fire” to mind. I was thinking about aspirations and permanency and how often what people do amount to nothing or disappear like…well, like paper in fire.

And the days of vanity
Went on forever
And he saw his days burn up
Like paper in fire

Trump comes into this because of the vanity angle. He couldn’t govern and lead by getting legislation probably passed and put into place as law. Part of this was that he didn’t want to share glory. He wanted to be the one who was seen to originate the idea, to demonstrate his smarts. As he couldn’t, he instead used executive orders or chose not to enforce laws. Many of the executive orders meant almost nothing except to signal his desire, but others of them actively circumvented due process.

Much of what Trump seemed to be to appeal to his base. He loved their adoration. His actions and words were a reflection of that vanity.

Of course, Joe Biden intends to countermand Trump with more executive orders. This ends up in a cycle that creates a stronger executive branch to the detriment of the other branches, breaking the system of checks and balances. It becomes more dysfunctional and less stable and sustainable.

Of course, part of all this is the existential logjam that’s taking place in Congress. Democrats in the House pass bills, with partisan votes, but Republican McConnell in the Senate won’t bring them forward for action.

Beyond that, many of our individual dreams are like paper in fire. We diligently pursue them but they often come to little or no fruition, disappearing after we stop like paper in fire.

Sounds like it might be unhappy thinking. It’s not. We had our first snow dust this morning. Peering out at the cold scene with coffee in hand prompted reflection. Besides Trump and the US government, I also considered my characters and their motivations and dreams. They’re mostly in survivor or service roles even as unusual and unique issues impact them. In many ways, while they affect what happens in their world, their names will disappear like paper in fire.

So, there it is. Good rock tune with an Appalachian musical vibe. Hope you enjoy it and that you’re having a good one. Wear a mask, please. Cheers

Tuesday’s Theme Music

A dozen dreams and a dozen songs rock my mind’s caverns and cesspools this morning. Mostly old songs because I’m in the realm of being an old guy. Whether you’re old depends on not just your attitude but also your scale. When you’re twenty, fifty seems old. At sixty-four, I don’t feel/seem young to myself. I’m sure advertisers have a different opinion about it, as do people who are thirty years plus younger, right?

I’m reminded of my mother when I think of age. When she was in her late seventies, she and her fiancée (who was in his early eighties) often went out dancing. They especially loved the big band sound and swing dancing. But she complained about the old people. I told her that some might think of her as old. She replied, “I’m talking about the really old people, the ones who are almost one hundred.”

Thinking of old rock, and old Eric Clapton drifts into my mind on clouds of cigarette smoke. Eric Clapton is one of my rock heroes, you know. And, ‘lo, into my head from the crucible of thoughts emerged a little-known Clapton song, “Tearing Us Apart”. Done as a duet with Tina Turner in 1987, it didn’t receive much airtime, that I know. I came to know it because I’ve bought a lot of Clapton albums and watched him on DVDs. He’s played it a few times with Turner in concert. Today, though, I found a 1996 concert where Sheryl Crow is on vocals with Eric. I liked it and thought I’d share it with you.

Enjoy your day. Wear your mask.

Sunday’s Theme Music

I use the phrase “Check it out,” often. Used it all of my life. We used it in the military, along with variations like, “Check this out.”

‘Check it out’ always meant, “Hey, look at this,” or “Notice this,” because it’s something special. In our house most recently, it’s been, “Check it out,” regarding something stupid Trump said/did, but also wildlife wandering through the yard — bucks in the day, skunks at night. Check it out.

My friend, a retired doctor, has more varied wildlife at his place. Although just a mile away, it seems further. He sends video of wildlife caught via a trail cam. Check it out, says his email subject line, and it’s a video two cubs nursing on mama bear a yard away from the camera. Or it’s a big bear scratching his back on a pine, another bear taking shelter from a rainstorm. Once in a while, it’s a cougar or fox taking a stroll.

John Cougar, who became John Cougar Mellencamp, who became John Mellencamp (the name he was given at birth), made a song of it in 1987. I saw him perform it in a soccer stadium in Germany the next year, a good show.

So, check it out.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Took a walk into the steep hills of southern Ashland, where you lean forward like you’re walking into a hurricane gale to progress up the incline. Looking back over the browning valley, across to where vineyards sprawled under a blue sky and the Interstate snaked by with semis full of goods, the song, “Bullet the Blue Sky” by Oasis (1987) stole out of memory into consciousness.

And i can see the fighter planes
i can see the fighter planes
Across the mudhuts as the children sleep
Through the alleys of a quiet city street
up the staircase to the first floor
Turn the key and slowly unlock the door
A man breathes into a saxophone
Through the walls we hear the city groan
Outside is America
Outside is America

h/t to Metrolyrics.com

Not surprising. I’d be writing in my head as I walked, picking up where I’d stopped for the day, moving the chains to the next day. As my story companions travel, they stop and watch things and wonder.

Basically, as I was doing today, wondering about the past, the future, the present, politics, you know…the world.

Here’s the music.

Monday’s Theme Music

Using the post to rid myself of a song. Heart’s power ballad, “Alone” (1987) fired into the stream shortly after I rose for the day. Why? Don’t know. Although I had many and complicated dreams, this song wasn’t featured (no, that was Cyndi Lauper’s “All Through the Night”).

So, to dislodge “Alone”, I must foist it onto the blog and send it back into the ether from whence it came. Does sort of fit with things – you know, waiting, wondering, clock ticking – and questioning. Little bit of a stretch.

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