Wednesday’s Theme Music

A friend related her tale of venturing out to a store. Her recounting triggered jungle songs. So here we are – “Welcome to the Jungle” (GNR, 1987), “Jungle Boogie” (Kool and the Gang, 1973, here on “Soul Train”), and “Run Through the Jungle” (CCR, 1970). I think each song speaks for its niche with its musical style, but each convey the jungle with slight variations. Behind them all, though, is the sense that the civilized human scene is a jungle of wild menace. Kind of like that out there, although I haven’t heard stories of violence. I guess it’s not as much of a jungle as it was on, say, black Friday.

Here they are, in chronological order.

Any jungle songs on your mind?

Starts

We weren’t able to get out to buy starts. There was a run just when shelter in place was announced; the initial supply was gone, and there weren’t any more to be had. But…looking around the house, seeds purchased years ago were found. Would they be any good? We didn’t know.

My wife decided to try them. We didn’t have starter soil or the proper pots. She made do. Arugula was planted (in the pot on the left) and butterleaf lettuce was put in the big pot on the other end. The middle pots were planted with basil. They were place in a dining room window where sun is plentiful from dawn to dusk.

We’re pleased with the progress so far. With the weather warming (into the seventies tomorrow), she plans to put some arugula out tomorrow. Meanwhile, we have other carrot, onion, and radish seeds.

 

Monday’s Theme Music

Gosh, for some reason, while reading blog posts, coronavirus news, and red state/blue state slants, a Pink Floyd song called “Us and Them” (1974) popped into my mental music.

Us (Us, us, us, us, us) and them (Them, them, them, them)
And after all we’re only ordinary men
Me (Me, me, me, me, me) and you (You, you, you, you, you)

God only knows it’s not what we would choose to do

h/t to Genius.com

It’s all about war and its senselessness, apt to me. It seems like it went urban/rural divide > culture divide > culture wars > political contests > red state/blue state > coronavirus front. What was it that Governor Kay Ivey (Alabama – R) said a few weeks ago? ““Y’all, we are not Louisiana, we are not New York State, we are not California. Right now is not the time to order people to shelter in place.”

Goodness knows what California and New York had to do with facts and information. At the time of Ivey’s speech, Alabama led California in per capita cases of coronavirus.

But anyway, the song… It starts out mellow but then cranks up the crescendo in time for you to hear, “Forward he cried, from the rear, and the front ranks died.”

And I won’t even go into expanding on that line.

Backslide

They finally made it over the hump. Stay at home policies were being relaxed. Businesses were re-opening. “We’re striving to return to normalcy,” the governor, the mayor, and anyone else who was anyone said. Some were talking about parades and national holidays, “To stimulate the economy.”

“I’m looking forward to normal,” he told his wife.

“I want to go dancing,” she said.

Both wondered, is it safe? The government said it was. Maybe they’d wait, maybe…

Reading the news…Jesus…”It’s like the same thing everything day.” The weather made him feel foul. He felt cold. The sun felt weak. The day seemed shorter. What the fuck, he wondered, than attributed it to his dark moods. It’d pass in a few days.

The next day brought the awful news. He checked the numbers and saw an increase to cases. He groaned. “No. Christ, I hope it’s just a blip.”

His wife, reading something on her Mac, said nothing.

Sullenness settled on him. God, he was so looking forward to normal, to getting out of the house, to walking down the street, and then, on the whim of a smell – a burger, fried onions, whatever – to walk into a restaurant, any restaurant, damn it, and order whatever meal he wanted, and have someone bring it to him, and pay them money without worrying about their breathing and their distance and their health. Plus, yeah, he loved his wife, but five weeks of isolation with just her had seared his sanity.

The news continued. He’d heard it all before. “What the hell.” If his mind wasn’t going, then the news was exactly what they’d heard before, word for friggin’ word. “You hearing this?” he asked his wife.

Without looking up from her laptop, she said, “Hm mmm.”

Which, what did that mean? “What’s for dinner?” he asked, and then joked, “Want to go out?”

“I was thinking that we’d have pizza and a salad.”

“We just had that.”

His wife looked blank. “When?”

“Last night, remember? We joked about it being our victory pizza? I opened a bottle of wine?”

Her eyes widened as he spoke, and then she rolled them in that irritating, contemptuous, dismissive way. “Is this another one of your jokes?”

“You seriously don’t remember?”

“We didn’t have pizza last night.”

“Then what did we have?”

“We had black beans salad.”

“No, we didn’t, no, we didn’t. That was the day before.”

He stood. “I’ll prove it.” He stormed to the freezer. The pizza would be gone. There’d be no pizza in there because it was the last one they had on hand. They’d joked about that, too.

But there was the pizza, a Newman’s own.

“No fucking way,” he said, throwing the pizza back into the chest freezer. No fucking way.  As a second verification, he went by the wine storage and confirmed, there was no open bottle. Like, it had not been opened. He checked the recycle bin for a bottle, just in case — he didn’t remember finishing the bottle but maybe she’d had some — but there wasn’t an empty wine bottle in the bin. Passing, he saw the cake.

He’d eaten the last piece as dessert, after the pizza. Victory pizza, victory wine, victory cake. Moving slowly, he slipped back down the hall. It hit him as he returned to the office and sat down at his computer. They were going backward in time. If he was right…he couldn’t be right.

But if he was right, they were going to relive it all again, in reverse.

“Did you find the pizza?” she asked, a smug tone to her voice.

Or, he corrected, he was going to relive it all again in reverse. She seemed completely oblivious.

“I was right, wasn’t I?” she said.

He covered his face with his palm. With a swallowed sigh, he wondered, how far back could he go?

Somber Experiences

Some do not want to practice social distancing. Tales from Oregon and Alaska.

Guests arrive across the street at a neighbor’s house. The neighbors came out and greeted their visitors. Hugs were exchanged.

While delivering food to shut-ins, a volunteer was accosted by one shut-in who refused to recognize the six foot distance and had to be admonished several times. According to the volunteer, he seemed to be taking malicious glee approaching her.

Friends were out walking. They encountered a forty-ish woman with a teenage female. They refused to move. Both parties stopped. My friend explained, “We’re practicing social distancing.” The other woman threw her hands up. “That’s such bullshit.”

Another friend, out shopping, encountered a person in an aisle. She stopped at one end, waiting for him to finish. He noticed her. “Oh, what?” He smirked. “You waiting for me to leave?”

“Yes.”

The man proceeded to dawdle, clearly to irritate my friend. Shrugging it off, she went to another section of the store.

He followed her. More, he began trying to sneak up on her. Not wanting to give him satisfaction, she ignored him as she could and moved away. But after twenty minutes of this, she finally snapped at him in a loud voice. Her expletive loaded tirade brought store personnel to the scene. One had observed what’d been going on (so why didn’t she step in, everyone asks) and vouched for my friend and her experience. The man was ordered out of the store.

Let’s be careful out there. Some folks are stupid – and we know how dangerous stupid can be – and some are just dicks.

That is all.

Florida

They always warned you,

the day will come,

that the way you govern

by giving others crumbs

would someday bite you in the ass.

You dismissed that with a laugh.

 

But now that day has come to pass

that the government you wanted and thought was right

isn’t up to this situation, is too fragile, too light.

So I wonder what lessons you might’ve learned

as people sicken, fall ill, and die,

and the economy burns.

 

 

 

Mask Up

Sharing a story. Yeah, anecdotal, about a bus driver, a coughing passenger, and a COVID-19 death. The bus driver is the death in this tale. He was fifty years old.

Wear masks, people. Wear masks. They can save you. I was out yesterday, had to make a supply run. While I was masked and gloved and practiced social distancing. We’d ordered online, and the purchases were delivered to the car’s trunk. While sitting there, I watched the scene. First, I was dismayed by how many were out, looking as if it’s business as usual. Social distancing? What’s that? Counted twenty-seven people as I sat there, awaiting my delivery. Counted five with masks. One with gloves and masks.

When a twentyish employee brought the order out, she wasn’t wearing a mask or gloves. Her arms were bare. I cringed with speculation about her condition.

Oregon — my state (yes, I bought it a number of years ago, so it’s my state — still have the warranty) has over eight hundred cases. Jackson County, where my experience took place, has almost thirty.

First case in Oregon was announced Feb. 29. My wife and I took measures after the possibility of the first case emerged in our area, March 14. Since then, more evidence of the value of masks has emerged as data has rolled in, showing how poorly people are responding to social distancing. My county got a C. I could see why when I was on my supply run yesterday.

Lot of folks were out. Not as heavy as a normal day, no. But less people would’ve been out if Oregon U. were playing a football game.

Yes, I know, some are essential. Thank you to all of them. To the rest, think about why you’re out. Sometimes, we have a need. But if you’re out, take precautions, for your sake, my sake, all of our sake.

The groceries are in the car’s trunk (boot, if you need a translation). There’s nothing perishable. They’ll stay in the trunk for three days. After that, I’ll fetch and clean them, and clean the car. We bought them for the long term, deciding to stock up now rather than waiting for when there are more cases in our area.

Changed clothes in the garage when I returned home, too. Yeah, given all the vectors possible for transmitting something to us (my wife and me), we’ll probably contract it, if we haven’t already. We’re trying to buy time for the world to come up with the resources and vaccines to combat this thing. We’re also trying to keep from spreading the thing.

Hope you’re all doing well at there. Take care. Wear masks. That is all.

Oh, the Hangover

Bit groggy this morning. The muses paid me a no-notice last night. Yeah, bit of a work out.

I’d been workin’ on something yesterday. Testing the waters, feeling the characters, hunting the story. Nothing really working, though. Interruptions, life, etc. Miss the old routine, and not very good at pivoting, it appears. Yeah, working on it, working on it.

Went to close up the doc last night, elevenish. Sat down to read what I’d written. The muses clambered in in their size fifteens, giving directions. This happened. Here’s the concepts. Story arcs. Main character. Yeah, this is good, this is fun, work with this.

Next thing I know, the numbers have moved into the next day. Twelve forty-seven has arrived. I’m cold, my ass is asleep from sitting in a chair, and my body wants to join my ass in sleep.

Good night of writing like crazy, even it it was without a walk and coffee, even if it left me feelin’ groggy this morning cuz I ended up not getting enough sleep. ‘Cause, yeah, it was twelve forty-seven, but, you know, I had to take my time saying good night to the muses.

Hope they come back today. Feel ready for more writing like crazy. Cheers

Friday’s Theme Music

Hey, come on in. Grab a drink. The party is just gettin’ started.

Yeah, I know the reality. This is make believe. We’re pretending all the restrictions have been lifted. A vaccine has been found. Testing is readily available. We rallied and rescued ourselves (with help from the world). And we helped others survive.

Now we’re entering recovery mode. A new prez is in the White House. Toilet paper is available. Gas is cheap, and restaurants and bars are open for business. We’re doing a little freedom party. We’re steppin’ out. So grab a drink (or pretend to drink one). It’s a virtual bar full of virtually everything, and it’s party PM.

In honor of all that, the song that came on for the start of this party is an old fan fave (yeah, I’m the fan). It always gets me movin’, putting a grin in my mood and jacking my spirits up.

Here’s “Gimme Some Lovin'” by The Spencer Davis Group from 1966. I’m so glad you made it.

Now, for the helluvait, another party fave: Prince, “1999” (1982). Cheers

 

 

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