The Beard Dream

From last night’s plethora of dreams, one remained nailed in consciousness throughout the day. It was all about dealing with a beard. Yes, facial hair.

I was a young guy. Looked much different than my RW appearances. Was taller. Stockier, with a barrel chest. Much less hair and swarthier skin. Things were going on around me but I was in front of a sink of water and a mirror, with a single light over it. It was almost like a stage. People going around me would ask a question. I’d usually say, “Just a minute. Let me finish my beard.”

I was trying to find a beard that I liked. First, I shaved it all down really short. Very dark beard. We’re talking black ink. I examined myself and was dissatisfied. I shaved different swaths through the beard, trimming it back so it covered less of my face. Then, thinking I’d gone too far, I said, “No, I want more beard.” I dipped my hands in the sink of water. Raised the water to my face and spread it. Instant beard. Although I’d done it, I was surprised, saying to myself, “Oh, if that’s all it takes.”

Then I found that I could also erase the beard by just using the water. So I quit shaving or trimming it and instead dipped my fingers in the water and added or reduced the beard as desired until I found the look I liked. After a minute of appraisal in the mirror, turning my head back and forth, I announced, “Good,” and turned off the light.

Friday’s Theme Music

Good morning, fellow pumpkin spice heads. C’est moi, coming at you undead from Ashland, Oregon, in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Today is Friday, October 15, 2021. Please set that to memory; you may be called upon to tell another later. Of course, being of retired military mind, the fifteenth was the middle-of-the-month payday during my working military life, when we, the enlisted, could rush out and buy groceries, gas up the car, and pay bills.

Sunrise was another glorious, steady rise of golden light, like a veil being pulled off night, that came at 7:23 AM. Temperature was a fur-chilling 40 F at that point. I know because the ginger boi, aka Meep, aka Papi, came in and told me, “Chilly out. Feel my fur.” Which I did, telling him, “Oh, your fur is cold.” He replied, “Meep, purr.” I assume that meant, I know. Sunset will come at, oh, 6:29 PM, according to the old farmer’s google. Temperatures will rise to the mid-fifties again, before falling into the high thirties after we’ve rotated away from the sun’s assistance. Such small windows of comfort, innit?

Today’s offering in my morning mental music stream comes from the Moody Blues and 1971. Yes, there is a line of lyrics involved. At some point yesterday, while in the snug discussing something, another something — a noise — from where? — who knows? — popped into our awareness. A what’s that, I don’t know, convo followed as we half-heartedly pursued the answer to this sound mystery. I mentioned at one point, “Listen. It sounds like it’s slowly turning.” After I’d walked away from that major, earth-shaking interruption to our routine, when I was in the kitchen, the song’s line, “Listen to the tide slowly turning,” whispered in my ears. The song then came on in full.

Of course, the progressive fusion of classical, folk, and rock that is “The Story in Your Eyes” aligns with my optimism. I often believe the tide is slowly turning. We’re slowly becoming less warlike. We’d probably make better progress in that were it not for the global defense industry and the need to make profits but killing others in the name of peace and security. Likewise, I’m always sure that the tide of justice, freedom, and equality is slowly turning, too. Someday, we’ll also unite to address climate change, right? Probably not until most of the lower ranks of people are standing up to their armpits in water, but I’m hopeful it’ll come before then.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, get the vax, sing a song, dance a little, laugh a lot, and have some fun. Here’s the music. Enjoy the photos of the band in their youth. My hot, black coffee is also here. Must drink it before it grows too cold. Cheers

The Weird Restroom Dream

Well, here we go.

My wife and I got into a car. This was a used car that she’d bought. Champagne gold color. Small four-door. Japanese manufacturer. She wanted me to drive it. I started it. The engine idled rough. I revved the engine mildly to keep it running. Looked for a choke. Figured out that the air vent in the middle also served as the engine choke. Pulled that out to adjust the idle. Then tried explaining that to her. She wouldn’t pay attention. Didn’t matter; we’d driven across a large parking lot to our destination.

My wife went off to do things. I circulated, looking for something to do. I encountered a group of women. I was young; they were the same age. One of them was immensely attractive to me. Slender. Pale white. Short bobbed dark brown hair. Mild makeup — red lipstick, a little rouge and eye shadow. She wore a black and white top and black pants. I could tell by her smile and look that my interest was reciprocated.

It was a busy place. Like a huge nightclub. We were all drinking. I was getting drunk. I kept circulating, wondering where my wife was, drinking, talking to other men — strangers — and looking for the woman with the dark hair. I’d see her and she’d see me. We’d try to meet to talk. But we never did.

I had to pee. All that drinking. I queued up with other guys to use a restroom. But it was strange. From where I was, I could see toilets not being used. I crashed the line and moved inside.

Weird, weird, weird. No toilets. Iron pedestals on legs, all painted black. I said, “I just need a urinal.” There were no urinals. No sinks. No toilets. No stalls. No piss pots or buckets. But I was certain that I’d seen toilets. Nevermind; I needed to pee.

Woman thronged the sides, watching men pee. Men were embarrassed. I decided that I didn’t care; I needed to pee. I stepped up to one of the funky pedestals. Peed beneath it. My urine was bright yellow and a strong flow. A woman circled around to peek at my junk as I peed. Another woman scolded her for being so bold; the other replied, “I don’t care, I want to see if there’s anything beneath the surface.”

I finished peeing, left, found a place to wash my hands. Then I sat and passed out. Recovering, I decided, I need to leave.

I circled around to where I’d left my brief case with my laptop and other items. The laptop and briefcase were both black. I repacked everything. I discovered I’d been walking around in black socks. I was wearing all black clothes; jeans and a shirt. I had two pairs of shoes. Both were black. Two shoes were shiny dress shoes; the others were flat black activity shoes. I decided I wanted to wear the activity shoes. I sat to put on the shoes. Talked to other men as they went by. They were telling me that they needed to leave. I was agreeing with them, telling them that I was doing the same.

I stood and looked down. Although I planned to wear the activity shoes, I was wearing the shiny dress shoes. Damn it! I sat down, untied and removed the shoes, and went to put on the others. Other people passed. One was the woman with the dark air. We chatted for a minute. I told her that I was leaving. She was disappointed. Wanted me to stay. Sorry, but I needed to go.

I stood. Looked down. I had the wrong shoes on again. Madness! I kicked those shoes off without untying them. Put them in my bag so I wouldn’t put them on again. Sat down to put on the activity shoes. Found I was putting on the dress shoes again. But stopped myself. Put on the right shoes. Joked with myself that putting on shoes shouldn’t be so hard. Packed up the dress shoes. Left.

Dream end.

Another Lost Dream

Here I go again. I’m in a military service but it’s again not the USAF in which I served twenty years. Some other dream-imagined service. I was enlisted as in my USAF but very senior. Wherever I went, my rank brought me respect, honor, and VIP treatment. I was a happy camper.

I’d been away. Now I was returning to my base. My base was a huge indoor structure. Civilians lived there as well as military. The structure also housed schools, a mall, shopping, and a train system with several stations.

Arriving back, I’m informed that they changed my rooms. Sorry, but they moved everything for me. My new room number was 316. Oh, no problem, thanks, I’ll go there. I went to where I had been housed, expecting my new room to be part of that area. Wrong; that room wasn’t there. After some fiddling and walking about, I was able to contact the housing officer. Oh, sorry for the mix-up, I’m told, that’s 316 but it’s in another area. Someone is sent to lead me over there.

This is a dream, so this young kid is immediately there. White, lanky, short blonde hair, doesn’t look like he’s ever shaved. He’s in awe of my rank, which actually makes it hard to deal with him. I joke with him to put him at ease as we walk around. We arrive at the correct area. I go to room 316. My stuff isn’t there. Two other, lower-ranked people are there. My assigned handler is appalled; the two in ‘my’ room are alarmed. I want to know where my stuff is. I’m angry at this point. I’ve been traveling; I’ve been moved without prior notice; my stuff is gone; no one seems to know where it is.

I’m given the names of the people who moved me so I can get answers. They’re students in college. Zip, in dream-fashion, I’m in the school part of the structure. Children of all ages are running around from class to class, level to level — there a number of stairs and levels, all under a huge glass dome where sunshine streams in. We walk around, looking for the college section, following signs and directions from people stopping to help us. I learn the three who moved me on are another moving job. My handler and I jump on the train. We’re transported to the mall section. It teems with shoppers. There’s a growers’ market underway as well. All this complicates my search efforts.

At last they’re found. They insist they put my stuff in room 316 in the cited area. My anger grows: I was there and my stuff wasn’t there. The five of us now — three movers, my handler, and me — all round a corner; we’re right back in the housing area where I’m supposed to reside. The two people in room 316 are confronted. Oh, they moved my stuff. Someone gave them permission because I wasn’t there so they thought it would be okay, and this room is much nicer than their assigned room.

The handler takes over as I steam. Arrangements are made to get them out of my room and get my stuff back into it.

Dream end.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Fanfare: today is Thursday, September 23, 2021. Why the fanfare? Why not? This day and date is rarely afforded fanfare. Might be birthdays for some, wedding anniversary, etc. But for most, it’s just another day sneaking by, bold as daylight, little counted. Not the end of a quarter. Nor the start of a season. Just a part of the year going on. I think it deserves a little fanfare, a little recognition for being another average, ordinary day in existence.

Sunrise on this ordinary day of ordinary grace came at 6:59 AM. Sunset will be at 7:07 PM. Almost to that moment of balance between night and day. Temperatures were unexpectedly cooler yesterday. High of just 80 F. Felt weirdly warm in the house. Today’s weather is delivered more of the same.

Went and had beers with friends last night. Outside at a local brewery. Well situated away from others. Six of us. We’ve done this off and on through the last three months, smoke allowing. All of us are vaccinated. One’s wife has already received a booster. Works with the homeless. The servers are all masked.

We were there to enjoy the fresh air and some local brews. Three days in a row without smoke, everyone told one another, friend to friend, server to patrons, patrons to server. Isn’t it great? God, how it must suck to live in a devastated area. To have lost your home. Maybe animals. Possessions. We count ourselves fortunate but already begin looking toward next year. For the record, I drank Caldera Brewing Amber Ale. I don’t hesitate to recommend that tasty beverage.

I mentioned to the others that it’s been a long time since I rock and rolled. Was joshing, you know? No one recognized the line. Or said anything about it, at least. Not even a blink. But of course, it’s out of Led Zeppelin’s 1972 song, “Rock and Roll”. A fast-paced ditty that I thoroughly enjoy. Natch, overhearing me think of it, the mental switches turned it on in the morning mental music stream. Good song to have there. I will share it with you and thank the Gods of Rock for delivering it to us.

Although I enjoy the original studio song, I went with this recording of a live performance. I wanted to pause, consider the group and stage setting. Such simplicity. So small. Intimate. No monster screen televisions giving close ups to people five hundred feet away. No smoke. Lasers. Just the performers, stage, and crowd. Simpler time, then, yet, so much more complicated and different than the ten years before it. So it goes in the mirrors of life.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. Here’s the tune. Rock on, brothers and sisters. Rock on.

Monday’s Theme Music

“Just another manic Monday.” Yes, welcome to Monday, September 13, 2021. I generally wasn’t fond of Mondays in my school days. Monday. Yech. Up early. Off to await the school bus. Then in the building. Didn’t mind school and did well but disliked that routine. Never was routine oriented in those days. Writing changed that for me. A routine was essential. Of course, I centered it around coffee.

We didn’t drink coffee as children when I went to school. Rarely drank sodas, pop, sugary carbonated beverages, whatever you wanted to call them. Our drink was chocolate, as in hot chocolate or chocolate milk. I’ve noticed that every coffee shop close to a school has a regular glut of children in there getting a morning beverage. Chai tea seemed like the fave was the longest. Of course, in my day, we didn’t know about chai tea, or cafe mochas or lattes. There weren’t usually coffee shops. They were rare and small. A place to get a blue plate special. Change, right?

Sunrise today was a proper one. Boosted by a clear sky and just the right angle, full sunshine beamed into the valley at 6:49 AM. We had a clearish day yesterday with good- to moderate- rated air. Green and yellow. Nothing over 90 on the AQI. Today’s AQI is 39. Sweet. Sunset will come to our valley at 7:24 PM tonight.

As for songs, a 1966 cover of an older song is in the mental musical stream. “See You in September” was covered by the Happenings and became a pop hit. Hearing it provides an interesting look back at how pop music sounded then, and how it was evolving. You had the surf sound going on, the Brit invasion, but also songs like this along with others by the Four Seasons, and Motown soul. Rock and roll was growing, and so was folk music. Rock and pop has always been eclectic. One of the reasons I love it. A song for any mood, a sound for any time. I admit that I lean toward blues-based guitar and piano sounds with subtle soul nuances. Sounds like I’m describing a wine, doesn’t it?

Here’s the music. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax. If we do these things, then maybe we will see one another in September, out in public, without a mask, enjoying fresh autumn air. Cheers

The Beard Dream

The weirdest damn dream. Well, dreams tend to be. At least in my world.

I was looking into a mirror. There was my gorgeous younger self (hah!) looking back. Mustache and goatee in place. Dark brown, almost black, because I was young.

My beard grew. Came in nicely along my jaw line. I admired it in the mirror. I liked that mirror. Then it crept up my cheeks and down my neck, growing fuller but remaining dark. Still liked it. But was chuckling. I could never grew a beard that full. Always rued that shortcoming.

The beard’s downward creep stopped at the bottom of my neck. Its upward growth continued. My mouth was bearded over. Then my nostrils. It covered my cheeks up to my eyes.

I was laughing. Looks like I need to trim my beard around my nose and mouth, I told myself. No one could see either of them.

Dream end.

As a bonus, another short dream followed. Short as a webisode of a net series, if you catch my meaning.

I was in a fighting style clothing such as what the Saxons wore around 1,000 A.D. (or common era), if my television history is correct. Standing out there by myself, with water, like canals, on either side, others approached me. Asked if I would take over. Don’t know what it was I was taking over. I guess I knew in my dream.

Anyway, I declined. They walked away. I basically stayed where I was. Twice more, they approached and I declined. The fourth time, I accepted. I said, okay, I’ll do it. I’ll lead.

Dream end.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

On the Oregon coast for today, Tuesday, August 17, 2021. Sunrise was at 6:20 AM. Sunset is at 8:09 PM.

Cool, here. Rained this morning. Ahhh. Rain and coffee. Is there a song for that? We expect a high of 64 degrees F. Brilliant, walking along in the cool, fresh air, going to a coffee shop in the early hours while the sun is still clearing its eyes behind a bank of clouds. Going into a funky coffee shop. Fantastic art by local artists on the walls. Fresh coffee. Fresh pastries. Fortunate to enjoy such things.

Back home, the woman staying in our house and taking care of the three amigos told us the smoke blew away after we left town. Yes, we’re taking it personally. The heat dome wandered on. Temperatures dropped by twenty degrees. Yes, we’re taking it personally.

Talking with friends about their lives, medicines, treatments, and ailments. Friend visited Pompei back in the mid seventies. I’m listening to the Bangles’ cover of “Hazy Shade of Winter” in my head. You know, “Time, time, time, see what you’ve done to me. While I looked around for my possibilities. I was so hard to please. Look around. Leaves are brown. And the sky is a hazy shade of winter.” It’s another terrific Simon & Garfunkel composition. Paul and Art released the original in 1966. The Bangles did their bang up in 1987. Here I am, thirty plus years later, listening via technology’s assistance. Do you have a preference between these two versions, or another?

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get the vax. Here’s the music. Cheers

It’s the Sun, Stupid

Okay, boys and girls. Gather ’round. Time for another rant.

An older friend related a story. He was assembled with his fishing club to hear a futurist speak. The first subject was global warming and climate change. The futurist announced, “It’s the sun, stupid.” That was the whole of the discussion about global warming and climate change.

Yes, it’s the sun, stupid. Has nothing to do with atmosphere. Nor methane gases being released. Conveyor belt effects on ocean currents. Nothing to do with anything humans are doing.

No, it’s the sun, stupid. Why is the planet warming? It’s the sun, stupid. The sun warms the planet. Well, should other aspects of that be addressed? Like, why exactly is the sun warming the planet so much? Why are ocean currents destabilizing? Is there any relationship with the jet stream changing, and all the extreme weather events, the growing, deepening droughts, the record, soaring, high temperatures? Or what of the wildfires and bushfires, like the ones that devastated Australia, the western U.S., and now parts of Europe? No? This is all just the sun?

These issues weren’t raised. While not a close friend, I’m aware of his political views. He pooh-poohs Black Lives Matter. Dismisses other social justice and equality issues. Laments the changes we’re seeing in our society. Wants to return to ‘the old values’. He’s older than me. Entrenched in his beliefs. Fortified by Fox News and other conservatives. I know these things from previous encounters. I know that he doesn’t think much of climate change or global warming. It’s the sun.

Stupid.

End of rant.

Directions

Toilet’s clogged

And your mind is bummed

The cat’s been sick

And you’re feeling a little strung

Out

This is the way

Of life today

If it’s not one thing

It’s another damn thing

Taking you

Down

You try to cope

With a little caffeine

Maybe some wine

To help you make

The scene

But the way you see it

Everything is really fucked

Up

So you vow for change

And make it work

Then you clash

With some guy who’s an asshole jerk

And you decide the best you can do is stay

In

It’s like water

Going down the drain

All this stuff

You’re starting to feel

Insane

But what else are you going to

Do?

But that was then

And this is now

So you tell yourself

With another vow

I’m gonna make it like

Mary Tyler

Moore

And you start again

Like it’s fresh and new

As the little drops

Of morning dew

And you hope that someone

Doesn’t try to screw

You

It’s just a week

Another month

Another year

Of stumbling on

But one of these days

It’s gonna be

Different

You know that in your heart

Of hearts

Or maybe that’s gas

And you just need to fart

Who knows what the hell is really going

On

So you work and play

And live another day

Trying to change

But it’s the same old way

Even though you say

Again and again

Enough

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