Friday’s Theme Music

Today is Friday, August 27, 2021. Had some issues figuring out the day yesterday. Thought it was Wednesday. Had a Wednesday vibe. My wife’s comments abetted the Wednesday vibe. But it cleared up. I’m flying right now. Because, you know, it’s important what day of the week it is…isn’t it? Well, that’s how I was raised. Chores, school, vacations, holidays, work, it’s all built on the calendar.

Sunrise was at 6:31 AM. Sunset will come at 7:53 PM. Temperatures will range into the low 80s F today. They claim that our air quality is good today – first time it’s hit that mark in weeks – but the looks and smell don’t align with a good reading. I kept the kitties in and the doors and windows closed.

I’ve been thinking about the 1900s today. Started with wars. Progressed to a pandemic. Then the dust bowl struck. Obliterated millions of acres and displaced families. Thinking of all of that due to comparisons with now. The 2000s. Started with war. Then COVID-19 struck. Half of the western U.S. is suffering drought and fire. (Might be a little hyperbole there.) Thousands are being displaced.

Also been thinking about the Rolling Stones. Of course. Watts, their drummer, passed away. Long life. I think he would say he had a good one. Better than many, for sure. His passing has prompted me to listen to Stones music. A universe of Stone songs are out there. I’ve used many favorites as theme music already. What to do? How ’bout “Living in A Ghost Town” from last year. Fits the general mood. Smoke casts a ghostly pall over my world. COVID-19 lockdowns and smoke slash unhealthy air forces cancellations. Businesses are closed or hours are reduced. Activity slumbers. Why not, right?

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, get the vax, celebrate life, remember that it’s Friday. Time for coffee. Enjoy the music. Cheers

Saturday’s Theme Music

Congratulations! You have made it to today, which is Saturday, April 17, 2021. I salute you.

Sol’s day began when he came creeping around the window at 6:27 AM in Ashland. He’ll be stealing away at 7:54 in the evening. That’ll give us a long period of sunlight. I will say, though, I was up on floof business at 4:15 and was surprised by the amount of light already in evidence. Yesterday was a wonderful day. The sunshine bookjacked my plans. I ended up in the backyard reading, enjoying the 73 degrees air. It’s already 60.

We’re starting a three-day green smoothie fast today. My wife is a big fan of this process. She makes green smoothies for us every day. The shopping expedition on Thursday was for firstly and mostly procuring more stuffs for the green smoothies. Power greens, pears, and a wide variety of frozen fruits were acquired. We already had a bunch of the stuff; just needed more. Fingers crossed that we make it all the way. Should add that I allow myself an exception. Yes, one cuppa coffee, black, no sugar, per day.

Today’s music is just stuck in my head. Been going since my eyes first groaned open to see what was going on with the three floofketeers. There were mutterings among them along the lines of, “He’s looking at me,” “He’s standing too close to me,” “Stop looking at me,” “I was here first.” They are fur children.

So, the song. “Save Your Tears” by The Weeknd was released in 2020. I sometimes think the title should be “Sve Yr Trs”. Guess the trs could be misconstrued as ‘trees’. That would be a good song: “Save Your Trees”. “Save your trees for another day.”

Sorry. Haven’t had any coffee. Or food. Smoothie is being prepared. I began making them. My wife came in and pushed me aside. No, I didn’t take it personally. Not at all. I didn’t stamp away muttering, “Fine. You make them.”

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

Going-out Day

Going-out day was coming up. Just twelve days until they would toddle out to re-discover the world.

He thought, what should I do about my beard? He played with it during the thirteen months, twice shaving it off to begin again. No matter. It wasn’t the beard that dissatisfied him but the foundation underneath it. The sagging on display. As for his hair…oh.

She brought out her clothes. Examination of style and fit was conducted. Her shoes followed. She thought about what to do with her hair. A lot could happen to hair in thirteen months.

They made tentative plans. Cautious. Visits to new old places were broached. Small dreams of where they could go and what to do were nurtured. They would still wear masks. Of course. Wash hands. Avoid contact. Socialize outside.

She marked her calendar. Hairdresser. Dentist, hard times in cautious ink on the calendar, the first mark on its fresh pages. He planned a day in his mind. Beer with friends. He’d not seen them in thirteen months, except one of them. Two who were there before would not be there.

A lot of life happened in thirteen months. It was a heavy weight.

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

Somewhere in the Future

Somewhere in the future

I sit and read

various books written by me

I lounge on beaches

soak in the sun

drink wine and read

till night’s begun

I visit friends and families

hug them all hello

ask them how their day went

tell them how it goes

I visit restaurants and shop in stores

I run around the great outdoors

and if I want, I have a sit

whenever I want, until I quit

those days are possible

I know they’re coming

somewhere in the future

So the Thoughts

So the thoughts go, ah, another cousin has died. He was seventy-three. Positive for COVID-19, kidney failure was his cause of death.

The thoughts continue, when did I see him last? What happened to him in the interim?

The thoughts drift…did he marry and have children? Who are they and where do they live?

The thoughts roll on to other uncles and aunts and their children, and their children’s children.

Two other cousins passed away in 2020. Hadn’t seen one in two decades. Almost six had passed since I’d seen the other. They and I were small children. Also passing was an aunt, not seen since I was two or three.

In a modern age of connection and travel, it’s startling to recognize how many of my family members I know about, and how little I know about them.

Two related stories are there to be told. One is of a cousin fourteen years younger. He was friends with my sister via FB. (My sister has a different father than me and last name and she’s since married a few times.) He reached out to her: “Hey, how come my mom’s maiden name and your brother’s last name are the same?” He was too young to remember me, and didn’t know about our connection.

Another friend request came in last year. Mom’s older brother had a son who know lives north of me by a few hours. Can we be friends? A few years older, he and I have a lot in common. On one FB exchange today, we discovered that we attended the same Joe Cocker concern a few years ago. From our description of where we were sitting, we were within yards of one another.

It’s a large world and a small world, a world tangled with connections and distance. I began trying to untangle some of it today.

Friday’s Theme Music

Todays sunrise in Ashland, OR, was 7:40 AM. Sunset is 5:04 PM. A light gray overcast sky keeps the sunshine at bay. The temperature is 42 degrees F but a high of 56 is projected, along with light rain.

Today’s theme music is “Animal I Have Become” by Three Days Grace, 2006. I chose the music on behalf of the United States and the nation that it’s become. Torn by division, rhetoric and activity turns more violent and urgent. As blacks have been killed by police, people took to the streets to protest the deaths. Many of them were senseless, but officers were exonerated. Several particularly infuriating people, like Breonna Taylor, unarmed, in bed, innocent of everything but being black, killed by police in their zest to ‘serve and protect’. There was also George Floyd, killed by an officer who was busy serving and protecting, by kneeling on his neck until he died while his fellow officers, serving and protecting, looked on. This was apparently for a report of a crime of passing a counterfeit twenty dollar bill. Numbingly, those are just two examples that fueled the anger and protests that swept the nation on behalf of justice in 2020.

Meanwhile, on the right, they got busy protesting those protests, screaming in response, “Blue Lives Matter”. That blue lives really didn’t matter to them became apparent (as if we weren’t sure) as Trump supporters, who are quite right wing, conservative, and white supremacists, battled with the police in support of a coup attempt, beating many police officers, killing one. On the right, they believe that the 2020 election was stolen by ‘the left’. They think that there was all sorts of fraud, uncounted ballots, and thrice counted ballots that helped propel Biden to his landslide (in Trump’s words, as Biden won the EC by the same number as Trump did in 2016). Trump himself, and GOP cohorts, continue feeding this lie. They insist that evidence exists.

This evidence has never been shown.

On the right, they claim the evidence will be shown, and we’ll all change our tune. What’s keeping them from showing this evidence anywhere is the response given by the rest of us.

One note that has everyone (outside of the people who believe that the 2020 election as stolen) shaking their heads, is why would this all-powerful election-stealing apparatus only steal the presidential election? Why would they not steal the Senate and House? Why wouldn’t they also steal the state elections? They use the same ballots. Apparently, though, while the right believes this election-stealing apparatus is all-powerful, it’s not powerful enough to steal those elections. Yeah, SMFH.

With Trump impeached again, Trump unwilling to concede, little change to police policies and practices, and FBI reports that the right have violent plans to change the results of the 2020 election, “Animal I Have Become”, a song about a man struggling with drug addiction, seems right.

On a WordPress note, they appeared to have fixed some issues, in my experience. The site published properly yesterday. Of course, today when I went to post, I couldn’t bring up a page. Took three tries, and the whole ‘post/block’ sidebar had vanished and needed to be called up.

Stay positive, test negative, moderate your drinking, and wear pants (and a mask) when appropriate. Cheers

Stuck In Arsehold

I was stuck in Arsehold for the last two weeks. You may have experienced the same.

I’ve been writing a novel while locked away. That’s not so different from my normal life, where I’m always working on a novel. Many people think I’m working on one novel forever and a day, but I’ve finished many. I shrug them off; I enjoy novel writing.

I think under ordinary circumstances, this would have been finished a few months ago. These aren’t normal times, at least for me. I’m assuming a lot with those words. It’s sadly probably normal for quite a few people to stay locked up in one place, with limited contact for other people. I think of prisons. Nursing homes. Hospitals. Yeah, getting downright depressing, isn’t it?

Some say that such solitude is a gift. I’m not one. While I’m a solitary person, I like outside stimulation. (Sounds a bit naughty, doesn’t it?) Like to walk to clear my mind, shift into writing mode, and slip into the noisy solitude of a good cuppa coffee in a coffee shop, hunch over my laptop, and tap away.

All that normal-for-me isn’t available now. Coronavirus lockdown, you know. Although I have coffee and space, I also have wife and cats. They struggle with my writing boundaries. My wife tries respecting them, but news of the world sets her off. I also don’t try enforcing my isolation with her, as she’s in the same situation as me. She’s much more verbal, however, and craves other contact. While she’s dancing and exercising Monday through Friday via Zoom, and meets with her book club once a month with Zoom, and Zooms into a coffee klatch almost every week, she likes expressing her opinions and insights vigorously and out loud. There’s usually a lot of swearing involved, too. She’s quite passionate about social justice, equality, human rights, and women’s rights. She also hates Trump and has little respect for most other Republicans. So I try to indulge, but then I suffer. Either way, one of us must suffer in our situation. We get over it, but it’s not ideal.

The cats, however, don’t give a damn that I’m writing, reading, playing a game, sleeping, eating, showering, or sitting on the toilet. Three cats share ownership over me. They have their own secret agendas, which surprisingly, often involves me. Part of that is which cat owns the most of me, and whether that’s acceptable to the other cats.

Between wife, news of the world, the coming and going of the muses, and the cats, novel writing progress has been uneven.

But I persevere. Sometimes, the worse interruption is by me to myself. Self-doubt. Imposter syndrome. General malaise. It struck hardest in Arsehold.

Arsehold is a place in my novel, wholly made up. I came up with the name months ago, a whim that made me laugh. I stuck with it, creating the setting around the name, devising the history of how it came to be. Yet, my characters struggled to get through Arsehold. I naturally responded, per my proclivities, to overanalyze what was going on and why, attempting to seek the root of my issues. I thought it might be the general tone. Perhaps some of the introduced characters weren’t clear enough. Maybe, maybe my characters shouldn’t be in Arsehold. And what happens after Arsehold?

Writing helps me think by creating a funnel through which I must focus. With all this mental flaying, I did a lot of writing about the novel in progress, addressing the concept, characters, story, plot, locations and settings, etc. Eventually, I took all the assembled material of the novel in progress, one hundred twenty-five thousand words, and began reading, editing, and revising, putting the story into the order that I think it’ll be in published form.

That helped. By the time I’d reached Arsehold (almost sounds like a song lyric — I can hear CCR doing stuck in Arsehold instead of Lodi), I’d discovered that the errors that I thought I was seeing weren’t there. It always scares me to think or say, hey, this is pretty damn good, about what I’m writing, but that’s what I concluded. Of course, it’s my work; if I didn’t think it was good, maybe I should be working on something else, right?

Anyway, I think I might get through Arsehold this week (knock on wood, he said, tapping the side of his head). Got my coffee; time to write like crazy, at least one more time.

A Meeting of the Time Travelers’ Political Party

Sometime in the future.

“We’re still awaiting results. The past is changing, but the results are still coming in.”

“More importantly, we still exist.”

Murmurs of agreement went around the gathering; the general consensus before they’d begun this endeavor was the greatest proof that they’d succeeded in the past was that the party didn’t exist in the present.

A west coast reps was the Planning Committee Chair. Calling for order, she continued with her report. “We unleashed COVID-19 at the end of 2019. Sadly, but as predicted, this had the desired impact. Travel was reduced, leading to less armed conflicts as division between neo-fascists and the rest grew. Many refused to wear masks, as predicted.” She gave a nod toward another rep, who briefly beamed in acknowledgement. “The economy suffered as the working poor had their incomes cut by substantial amounts, leading to dissatisfaction that guaranteed Trump would lose the 2020 election. A vaccine was found, with limited impact, also as predicted. Likewise, Trump’s administration failed to plan ahead, as predicted.”

Rep. Bacon, Chair of Predictions, said, “They’re egregiously predictable, which makes for the situation of that time even more unfathomable. They’d consistently demonstrated no concern for human life or welfare, eschewing all principles in favor of increasing personal wealth among the wealthiest. It doesn’t make sense. It — “

“It is human nature,” said the Human Nature Chair. “Let’s not have another polemic.”

“Also predictable,” another rep called to a brief burst of chuckling.

The Planning Committee Chair resumed. “COVID-19 variants have been introduced as we speak. Given the failures to wear masks, plan for proper vaccination in advance, resistance to and distrust of vaccinations, and rallies and protests on behalf of the defeated president, a surge in cases and deaths will be seen in 2021.”

“But will that be enough?” another rep asked.

All eyes turned toward the Chair of Predictions. He pursed his lips. “We don’t know. It remains to be seen.” He put a hand up. “That’s not meant as a joke. If it doesn’t have the desired impact, well…we do have greater variants lined up.”

Thoughtful silence reigned for several seconds. “Is the asteroid still in play?” a rep asked.

The Chair of Predictions nodded. “Yes, but we’re holding onto it as our trump card.” He grimaced. “No joke intended, again.”

“So it won’t be deployed until…?”

“That’s right,” the Chair of Predictions said. “Twenty twenty-four.” He bleakly smiled. “If needed.”

Sunday’s Theme Music

Attacking issues head-on has always been my preferred style. It doesn’t make me popular with many but to avoid doing things because you don’t want to upset others doesn’t often work. Likewise, fearing of the outcome isn’t a good reason for not doing the right thing. Defining ‘the right thing’ can be quarrelsome. Recent example: Trump supporters are screaming ‘stop the steal’. They think they’re doing the right thing because they’re feeding on false information. Their dear leader, aided and abetted by Fox News, OANN, Newsmax, and spineless Republican politicians at multiple levels, keeps barking about illegal votes and election fraud. Matters have been addressed in court; the evidence has never been found nor presented. That doesn’t stop the mad dog and his followers.

With all of this in my head this AM, my brain tied it up with the Incubus song, “Drive”, the 2000 song all about resisting fear and standing up.

[Verse 1]
Sometimes I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear
And I, I can’t help but ask myself
How much I let the fear take the wheel and steer

[Pre-Chorus 1]
It’s driven me before
And it seems to have a vague, haunting mass appeal
But lately I’m
Beginning to find that I should be the one behind the wheel

[Chorus]
Whatever tomorrow brings I’ll be there
With open arms and open eyes, yeah
Whatever tomorrow brings I’ll be there
I’ll be there

h/t to Genius.com

*PAUSE*. I know that there are some out there that’ll respond, well, isn’t that a reason not to wear a mask, lockdown, and practice social distancing? I reply, “No. That’s not the same at all.”

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get vaccinated. Also, keep up with the facts. Don’t allow yourself to wallow in lies and fear. Cheers

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