Wednesday’s Theme Music

I’m stuck in a sour war mood, which prompts recall of my military days.

This song, “Civil War” by Guns n’ Roses, came out two years before I retired from the U.S. Air Force. I retired because the military personnel powers-that-be wanted to move me to a new duty station. I was first offered a position with Air Force Space Command’s Inspector General team. A prestigious position, it would mean a lot of traveling, but it would take me to places that I’ve always wanted to see. Although I was keen, my wife was weary of me being away all the time.* So they instead wanted to send me to manage a missile site command post in the northern boonies. No, thanks.

It’s curious. We stood ready for war, but we didn’t want war, right? That’s what we told ourselves. But we spend all of our time and money preparing for war. That leaves us little prepared for anything else. This trend has gotten way out of hand since I retired in 1995. More and more resources are turned toward preparing for war and fighting war; less goes to social nets, education, infrastructure, etc. And we’re constantly being told that preparing to fight and going to war is what must be done to keep us safe, but as we do so, we’re fighting to save a collapsing nation.

Guns n’ Roses’ lyrics sums it up better than I do.

Look at your young men fighting
Look at your women crying
Look at your young men dying
The way they’ve always done before

Look at the hate we’re breeding
Look at the fear we’re feeding
Look at the lives we’re leading
The way we’ve always done before



* Ironic side note: I retired from the Air Force, and became a customer service/sales operations manager for a medical device startup. Two years later, the company offered me an associate marketing product manager position, and I ended up on the road visiting hospitals, doctors, and trade shows…





Thursday’s Theme Music

This one dipped into the stream out of nowhere, but reminded me of a friend. A sweet, petite person, I was surprised when I discovered her favorite music came from Danzig and Samhein. She wasn’t as fond of Black Sabbath because she didn’t think they were really head-banging, but she liked Def Leppard and Scorpion.

So, thinking of her, hope she’s having a good day after enduring trying years.

Here’s Danzig’s “Mother”.



Sunday’s Theme Music

Today’s theme music, “Runaway Train” by Soul Asylum (1993), came from writing thoughts about the current novel in progress, April Showers 1921. As the story fleshes out more, becoming more substantial, I entertain different scenarios about what could happen, reactions and twists, and what could be said. One idea was that a person was thought to have runaway.

The novel’s protagonists are all teenagers. As I thought about their situation, my stream took a turn toward runaway children and their existence. That brought out today’s song.  Images and details about runaways are often featured in their videos and during Soul Asylum’s performances of this song.

Sadly, not all children were actually runaways. The missing aren’t always hiding. Sometimes, they’ve been hidden.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Sometimes, a song like today fits because you’re feeling down, as I am today, full of self-pity, as I am today, because you’re sick, as I am today, so you have to put shit off and not do shit, as I am today, shit being an expression used in this case as a synonym for things or activities, which kind of infuriates you, as it infuriates me today, darkening your mood, as it darkens my mood today.

Here’s “Loser” by Beck from 1993. Sing along if you want. I’m not, but I can’t hear you, so it won’t bother me if you do.



Wednesday’s Theme Music

Today’s theme music is Live’s “Lightning Crashes” (1993).

I have several Live albums, but I find I must be in just the right mood to play them. It’s a very narrow space.

“Lightning Crashes”, though, came to me this week because one of my nieces gave birth to her third child. All this was shared on Facebook. Everyone is doting on the sweet newborn, including my mother, and there’s rich photographic evidence.  The newborn is Mom’s seventh great-grandchild. That juxtaposition of Mom holding this young new life invited “Lightning Crashes” into my stream and the circle of transference of life and existing. One dies, and one is born, and so it goes. There’s a lot of overlap as it happens.


Monday’s Theme Music

Streaming 1993 today. Lot of enjoyable music ply the stream. Plucking one at random, here is Melissa Ethridge with “I’m the Only One”. It’s always the challenge to insist and be the only one for another. They try your sanity. Thank god for coffee.

And wine.



Wednesday’s Theme Music

This song, “One Night Love Affair,” has been streaming off and on in my head throughout the last several days. Although it was released and became a hit in 1984 when I was stationed on Okinawa, I associate the song with Onizuka Air Station in Sunnyvale, California.

I was in charge of the base command post at Onizuka. We were living in base housing on Moffett NAS in Mountain View. Several of the people who worked for me were neighbors. We used to throw huge parties, playing music and volleyball, singing, dancing, grilling out and drinking for a day.

I made mixed tapes for these affairs. One of the tapes included several Bryan Adams songs, including “One Night Love Affair”. This song, in particular, would always start an argument. It followed a Boston song, “Foreplay/Long Time”. One guy loved Boston. He thought Boston and Van Halen were the greatest rock bands ever. He despised Bryan Adams. The other liked Boston and Van Halen. While he preferred Bush and STP, he staunchly defended Bryan Adams as a rocker. Once this discussion commenced, it would continue off and on until the party ended. Sometimes they’d be the last ones there, still talking about it.

The memories make me smile.

Saturday’s Theme Music

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ summary noted that the Doomsday Clock was set to two minutes to midnight last January, 2018. I was thinking about that today as I streamed Aerosmith’s “Livin’ on the Edge”. The song, about the world’s sorry state, was written and released in 1993, after the 1992 Rodney King Riots, sometimes also called the LA Riots.

A quarter of century later, and I think we’re closer to the edge now then we were in 1993. Unfortunately, nobody has a tracking mechanism like the Doomsday Clock to declare how close we are to the edge. Is it a foot? A mile? A million miles? I suppose the edge is different for each of us, and varies by attitude and world events. On some days, I feel like I can stand on my toes, lean forward and look at over the edge. On other days, it’s a distant horizon.


Saturday’s Theme Music

This was another song (aren’t many of them?) that prompted me to ask, “What are they singing?” This was P.I. (Pre-Internet), when the means of learning a song’s lyrics were more challenging today. (Cue old curmudgeon mode: “These kids today don’t know how good they have it,” except, of course, worries about getting shot in school, or being black and stopped by police.)

Sorry for the detour. When I heard Tool’s song, “Sober”, in 1992, I could clearly make out some lyrics. Others made little sense. Then, when I finally learned them all, I confirmed, the phrases and words aren’t necessarily the logical poetry of seeing a flower or a tree, or being a cloud. The person in the song was angry, frustrated, and confused, trying to understand themselves and why they do things, and sometimes asking for help to overcome their urges and needs. These are things many people face, but can’t fully articulate. This song, backed up by sharp, bitter guitar notes, expresses it better than most people can.

Powerful song. Not much for dancing, mind you.

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