Tuesday’s Theme Music

I found myself remembering some Bob Dylan lines this morning.

Half-wracked prejudice leaped forth
“Rip down all hate,” I screamed
Lies that life is black and white
Spoke from my skull, I dreamed
Romantic facts of musketeers
Foundationed deep, somehow

[Refrain]
Ah, but I was so much older then
I’m younger than that now

h/t to Genius.com

This song, “My Back Pages”, is by Bob Dylan. I was more familiar with the Byrds’ version which came out in 1967. It struck me as I was moving toward my teens and getting my footing in the music that moved me. I’ve always thought it was about learning and changing, which fit my evolving philosophy.

So I sought the song today, thinking it fit these times, and found this version. Featuring Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Eric Clapton, Roger McGuinn, Neil Young, George Harrison, people I think are pretty good musicians, it’s the 1992 Bob Dylan tribute concert from 1992.

A Moment of Reflection

Trump and his Pentagon are shutting down the independent military newspaper, The Stars and Stripes. One hundred sixty years old, working on a fifteen million dollar budget, it’s a bitter end to a venerable institution.

I was in the U.S. Air Force for over twenty years. Overseas, we looked to the Stars and Stripes for laughs, information, distractions, sports scores, and a touch of home. You could usually walk into an office and find a copy of the latest daily sitting on a table or desk, pick it up, and check it out. Sometimes the Jumble word puzzles were done, or the NYTimes crossword puzzle was half-finished, or the Sudoku was begun. In Europe, it was the source for finding out what events were planned, such as festivals and volksmarches. Everywhere, it told us what was happening at other theater bases, and when college registration and terms were beginning. It also carried the AFRTS television and radio schedules and highlights, and the show times for the movie theaters.

This all helped keep us connected and grounded. That was (pause to absorb shock) over thirty years ago for me. (Another pause to absorb shock.) Satellite entertainment was just becoming available, and we were watching tape-delay productions of ‘live’ shows. The Internet and web were just beginning to stretch and flex. Phones were still tethered to walls and desks by long cords.

So, yeah, as Zimmerman sang, the times they are a-changing. I usually look forward to change, hoping that we’re advancing our technology in ways to improve our lives and conditions, or defeat diseases and advance cures. I’m in favor of change that levels the field and delivers justice, equality, freedom, and opportunity for all. Perhaps the time has come for the Stars and Stripes to cease, because its purpose has been overtaken by advances. In memory, though, I’ll recall it fondly, and think of its passing with a sigh.

But then, that’s what happens with so much of our things, isn’t it? We outgrow them, and they fade away.

Another Self-Flagellating Dream

No whips of any kind were in this dream, except the brutal emotional ones most of us employ on ourselves. This was a classic mélange of frustration and anxiety.

It began as a military dream. Whether this is true, I remembering being partially awake and telling myself, “Not another military dream.”

Then I wasn’t in a military dream. I was instead outside, with others. We were all all students and were scheduled to give an all-important final presentation. We’d already done one. Using feedback, we were supposed to go back and improve it.

But here I was, not at all fucking ready. It was time to go and I wasn’t dressed. I hadn’t changed my presentation, either.

I told myself, I can do this! Others began leaving for class. One reminded me that I needed to be there on time. The doors would close and lock at eight. If I wasn’t there, I would be failed.

Sure, I wasn’t worried.

Knowing that I needed to change clothes and my presentation, I went in the opposite direction of everyone else. What was I going to wear? How was I going to change the presentation.

I didn’t have answers. Time was running out. I decided, I’d wear what I had on – a red sweater with black pants – even though I’d worn those yesterday. And, by not changing clothes, I could make changes to the presentation.

Time was running out, and I’d wasted so much of it. I rushed toward class.

A bell was ringing.

I wasn’t going to make it.

I partially awoke. Thinking of the dream, I decided, I can change the outcome. Go back, dream again, and change the outcome.

I’m usually not bad at doing this. Today was a failure.

I went back. Time was running out. I would take a short-cut to get to the room. Rushing down a long flight of stairs, I came to another hallway.

It ended.

It was the wrong hallway. I couldn’t reach my class room from there.

A student and a security guard were sitting there, talking about another, but the details reflected my own situation. The student asked, “What if they’re late?”

The guard replied, “It doesn’t matter. I close the doors and lock them.”

“But what if they’re really trying?”

“Doesn’t matter. The doors are locked, and they fail.”

I started back up the hall to head for my class room. I found myself there.

The door wasn’t locked. I opened it and entered.

Everyone looked at me. The teachers (two) looked at me. A classmate said, “You’re in the same clothes. You didn’t change.”

The dream ended.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

It’s a September in Oregon, the first day of September.

Many have made comments on the net that time is dragging. That’s not the case for me. The hours and days have skittered through on spider legs, and you know fast spiders can go, especially if they sense your fear, or you’re trying to get them.

Anyone songs about September bubbled through my morning stream (sounds like I’m pissing them out). Changing the calendar in my office, though, I saw that one, and U2’s song from 1992, “One” vaulted into mind.

Is it getting better?
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blame

h/t to Metrolyrics.com

Yes, with how 2020 has been going, I think “One” works. Cheers

Saturday’s Theme Music

“You’ve yet to have your finest hour.”

I was rallying myself to get out of bed when the quote was remembered.

It’s a good quote Churchill, the second World War. (Has war stopped since then?) Queen put it into their 1984 song, “Radio Ga Ga”. After I applied it to myself (and wondering if it’s true), I applied it to humanity.

We — humanity — have been changing the world and our societies. Now the world is biting back, or so it feels. It feels like that because it’s us, and our moment. Review some history, and you’ll see that nature bites back pretty damn regularly.

So here we go with the theme music. Enjoy yourself, if you can, wherever you are, and wear your mask, please.

Mixed Dreams

Weighing dreams on the scales. There was another flying dream, brief but intense. I wore goggles in this one. The wind tore at my face. An insect flew into my mouth.

My sputtering and spitting marked the end to the flying portion. In a dream picosecond, I’m in the military somewhere, temporary duty somewhere, finishing up. A woman, a major is present. She came in for the same conference. I talk to her about sharing a ride to the airport. Plans and agreements are made.

Time skips ahead. It’s later than I thought. I need to rush. I haven’t packed! I need to check out, too. The airport is ninety miles away. No, it’s ninety minutes away.

I need to hurry.

I’m racing, explaining to the front desk, I order a ride and tell them where to meet me. Hurrying to the room, I shower and change clothes. Shoes! Where are they? Oh, I’ve packed them. Where’s my thing, where‘s my toilet kit?

Anxiety ratchets up.

I see a car, a silvery blue sedan, like a Buick. A woman is driving. My ride, I think. I wave at her. She parks and leaves her car. I shout over, “I need more time, I’m almost ready.”

She walks over and starts following me. I’m talking to her, babbling. We’re at once outside and in the room. I finally find my toilet kit — I’ve already packed it. Damn it, where’s my head?

And the woman says, “I’m not your ride. I’m your replacement. How was your visit?”

In morning’s warm light, it all makes sense. The military was a comfortable space. Not very challenging, and straightforward. Structured, with few surprises, and a lot of positive feedback.

Now I’m out on my own, flying on my writing words but so damned dismayed. Is it smart enough, original enough, good enough?

Where is my toilet kit?

I know. Standard writer qualms. Standard human qualms.

Standard life qualms.

See ya.

Thursday’s Theme Music

I’m a terrible fortune teller. See too many possibilities. They’re all happening, none of it is happening, and all the varieties between them are happening. Such is life when the film between realities tear and shrink.

Well, that’s how it feels, sometimes.

Here in the U.S., we’re approaching an election. “It’s yuuuge,” some might claim. The possibilities, fears, and anxieties proliferating cause rolling responses: “Oh. my,” “Oh. no,” “What the fuck,” and “Here we go.”

Third Eye Blind presented us with the perfect song for now. They did it back in 1997. “How’s It Going to Be” has a softly tinged nostalgia, illuminating the questions we all experience. “How’s It Going to Be after x,” becomes an urgent plea before falling to soft, wondering surrender.

Perfect for this special year of pandemic, climate change, shifting alliances, and elections we have numbered, 2020.

Another Changing Dream

Found myself wealthy with dreams last night. This was my favorite.

I’d left the military and I’d change clothes, twice. We were in a busy olace, an amalgam of city, countryside, stores, restaurants, and airport. It changed with where I ooked. That seemed right.

Now I was running late. Friends (K and W) and wife (B) accompanied me, and waited. I told them, “I need to take care of some of my change. There’s so much, I want to deal with some now.”

They mildly complained but I laughed them off and went to my car. Hard-edged and shiny, it was bright lime green wedge, exotic, expensive, and new. Yet my things were in it.

Young, energized, feeling liberated, I opened a panel up, revealing a long, light gray tray. Normally hidden from view, it went half the car’s length. Phones, electronic gear, clothing, paper money, and silver coins were in this tray. I couldn’t reach them because it’d all slid to the back, facts pointed out (with a laugh) by K, W, and B.

I replied, “Watch.” Jiggling the car caused the stuff to shift forward, letting me grab it. “There’s so much change,” I said, laughing. The others asked me what was funny but I didn’t explain. I put handfuls of change in my pocket to use, and then took some clothes to put on, and took a blender and a phone and put them into other parts of the car.

Traffic was heavy. We needed to go. After putting sunglasses on, we took off. The trip was short and fast. I swear that lime green car was flying.

After parking it and exiting, a dream about shopping began

An Old Post – Out with the Old

Visiting my Red Room archive, where I posted for a while, and read one of my final post. It’s from June, 2014, but it remains valid. As soon as the pandemic lockdown began, my wife began cleaning. The thinking remains the same…

Here’s the post.

My wife has been on a continuing project.  Starting in March, she selected a room and cleaned it.  Emptied the closets.  Drawers.  Each item and article was examined.  Subjected to investigation.  Do we need it, do we use it?  Bag after bag was filled.  Trips to the Salvation Army and Goodwill were executed. I helped a little but she made it a project, creating lists, planning and executing foot by foot.

We’re down to two spaces she wants to clean:  the garage and my office.

My office.  My sanctuary, my Fortress of Solitude plus one and two cats. See, although it’s my office, that’s just a title.  She has begun calling it the snug.  It’s the warmest room in the house in the winter.  Heat attracts her.  It also has the best wifi connectivity and excellent natural light.  She urged me to buy a larger television for my office, then a recliner….  Despite being an experienced husband, I fell for both. She makes the recliner her home for reading, surfing the net, watching television and talking on the telephone.

Most stuff in the office is mine.  Much is writing or work related.  Clearing her throat in early June, she cautiously suggested we clean the office and get rid of some ‘accumulated junk’.  “Junk!” my heart cried.  She was calling my heritage junk.  Oh, the wound.

“You said you wanted to clean the garage,” I countered.  I’d been waiting for this strike.  “You can start there.  After all, most of the boxes in there are full of things you’re storing.”  Aha, take that!  En guarde!

The negotiations entered a tricky phase.  “I will admit that most things we store in the garage are mine,” she said, tiptoeing through words and tone, “and we should go through those boxes but I’m not ready to do it yet.”

A chink in her logic.  Riposte.  “I understand what you mean,” I replied.  “I’m not ready to go through my office…yet.”

Negotiations were at an impasse.  Weeks passed.  She returned with a counter offer.  “How about we each take out five things from the office?”

“Okay,” I answered.  “And two from the garage.”

She grimaced.  “If we get rid of things, we make room for new things.”

“Assuming that we want new things.  What if I’m happy with the things I’ve already acquired?  Besides, if that’s the case, there’s more junk in the garage.  If we want to make room for more things, shouldn’t we then start with the garage, where more things currently reside?”

My wife launched a rant about the junk we’ve accumulated.  I let her rant until she’d spat it all out.  Silence fell.  She sank her shoulders.  “Okay.  How about five from the office and two from the garage?”

“Okay.”

That’s where it was left, five days ago.  I’m no fool.  She’s not forgotten.

Tick, tock.

 

The Einstein Dream

Dreamed last night the people were calling me Einstein. This was done to mock me. That pissed me off.

I’d arrived at a large building. Laid out with several floors and many rooms, clutter made moving difficult, and people milling about worsened it.

Walking about, the mess irritated me. Without talking to anyone, I began deciding where things should go and moved stuff around. Noticing, others began picking things up and asking me where to put it.

Soon, everyone was helping. I directed that others create lists of where things went, and put those on the walls. Then I had similar lists made up that told each room’s contents.

Momentum created, things were running themselves when two men approached. The taller of the two said to the other, “This is the Einstein that changed everything, so ask him if you have any questions.”

His snide tone stirred WTF in me. “I’m not Einstein, I’m not smart, I just organized things.”

But the guy kept talking, calling me Einstein.

Miffed, I ignored him and continued with what I was doing. My wife and her niece arrived. I decided to declare some space as ours, and eventually came up with a large suite of empty rooms. After hustling people out and closing the doors, the three of us walked around. As I did, I warmed to the realization that I had ended up with a huge and desirable space with lots of windows and incredible views. I pointed that out to the others.

Agreeing, they shared my excitement, which is where the dream ended.

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