Tempting Tuesday’s Theme Music

Misty and 25 degrees F. Graylight bangs in through the windows. Gray stillness enthralls the landscape.

The cold outside works with the moment to tempt my spirit to cozy up under my duvet and covers and just hang tight in that warm cocoon for just a little longer, perhaps until March. The mists rule beyond a few hundred feet, depriving me of any mountain views. As far as I know, the lip of the world’s end is just over on the next street.

This is Tuesday, December 13, 2022. Not much of a holiday vibe rings the air. Sure, there’s Christmas music on store speakers. Holiday music thrills the coffee house ambiance off and on through the hours. Stores have some holiday items on display but overall, it feels like the holiday launch was premature and already peaked. Now we’re just waiting for the finale and the curtain fall so we can applaud and go on to the next big thing. Perhaps this is only my sentiments. Not many people seem jolly. Anxious is more how I’d color them. Anxious and tired.

It’s going to be 46 F as a high today. Of course, these are the same weather geniuses telling me that it’s sunny out there. Maybe it’s same zip code, different worlds. Sunrise entered at 7:31 but it was already light throughout the house by then. It seems like daylight is already showing up earlier in the morning. The sun show will end shortly before dark.

Freedom is on my mind this morning. I often feel constrained. Most of this is my own doing as I set up schedules to write, eat, exercise, and relax. Cats (2) and wife (1) add to this constraint, by their needs and wants. So does house and car mischief and the business of residing in the U.S. So I chaff. Even so, I know others have it much, much worse. It’s a fascinating thing, a web of emotions, logic, and expectations. Not complaining, I protest, just stating it as I see it.

The Neurons noted my subject on their radar. Their response was adding “Freedom! ’90” by George Michaels to the morning mental music stream. The song is about freedom and reflects his feeling that he’d lost freedom because of his stardom. Cry me a sea, right? But many celebrities end up on Michaels’ path, lamenting what success has done to their privacy. It’s a tricky labyrinth to follow, but that’s seen in most endeavors attempted where success is found. Success pulls admiration and brings more pressure to succeed and be. It ends up like golden handcuffs.

Now, I knew this song when it came out in 1990. Heard it on the radio all the time. Knew of Michaels and his success. But I’d never seen the video associated with the song. Seeing it today, I read more about Michaels’ reflections and frustration with success and freedom.

I know, waa-ville. Okay, I accept that. Stay positive and test negative. I’m up for a cup of coffee now. The cats are with me. Not that they’ll be having coffee — I shudder to think of them hopped up on caffeine — I mean, woof — but they’ll accompany me as I leave the office, make the brew, etc.

Here’s the tune. Hope your Tuesday works out well. Cheers

Tuesday’s Theme Music

It’s a gorgeous day in Gotham City.

Wait, I’m not in Gotham City.

No, I’m in Ashland. It’s August 16, 2022, right? A Tuesday.

It’s a gorgeous day here, if blue skies and sunshine spell gorgeous to you. Sunbeams broke up night’s hold at 6:19 this morning. 8:10 PM will find the night returning as the world’s spin does its thang. It’s a comforting 64 F now but highs will take us to 93 F.

The Neurons implanted Joni Mitchell in the morning mental music stream. She’s singing her 1974 song, “Help Me”. This is cause of freedom. I said to my wife, “Well, we have the freedom to do what we want.” I was talking about a road trip we’re undertaking. The Neurons gloamed onto ‘freedom’ and started singing variations of the chorus, “But not like we love our freedom.”

Yeah, we’re on a road trip. Let me coffee up and get out there. You be safe, test negative and think positive. See you on the coast.


Good Time Dreams

My nocturnal dream stream continued at a frantic pace. Two stood out for various causes.

The first found me vacationing with friends. We were middle-aged and having a ball, even though a tsunami was apparently threatening us. We were down on the beach but we just went up into the mountains and set up a separate camp. Music was being played, food and drink was consumed, and we laughed, having a good time. I returned to our beach camp with several others. Camp sites were set up shoulder to ass. Young women in a nearby site were complaining about the lack of room and nothing to do. Seeing us having fun and enjoying ourselves, they came over and asked, “What’s our secret?”

We said that there wasn’t one, it was just an attitude, that we’d moved on to another space and had just come down to get some things. Many of our friends came into the adjacent camp while this was going on. One of them was hamming up and started entertaining people with a delightful Elvis Presley impression, where he had EP doing a strip tease while singing. My friend was uninhibited about what he showed and did. I thought, man, I wish I could be like him.

A later dream found me in a friend’s house. Calling it a house might be an understatement, but I was only ever in one room. What a room, though, spacious and light, with high ceilings, and walls that were windows that she raised, making them disappear. The whole thing was impressive but I found myself worrying about damaging things, which put the brakes on my entertainment.

Some sort of song and dance thing was going on nearby. A group of us, eight women and two men, decided to check it out. We walked down there and were watching from a distance. The show was still being organized and set up. One act called for audience participation. I was interested but then learned, you had to strip off all your clothes and join them nude.

That put a damper on it for me. The other male friend said that he was going to do it. I watched him as he went up while my friends talked about it. One of them encouraged me to go, but I said, “No thanks.” She pointed out that the other guy in our group had gone. I then saw him sneaking away, fully clothed, and said, “No, he chickened out.”

I then thought about it and said, “Screw it. Here I go.”

I stripped off my clothes, growing aware, of course, of others giving me space and watching. Naked, I walked up to the center ground — there wasn’t a stage — and presented myself. I was the only guy. The organizer was a male. He looked up and said, “Yes.” I answered, “I took off my clothes. I’m here to participate.”

He seemed a little taken back. as I looked around, I saw that others weren’t naked. The organizer said, “Here, put this on.” It was a long tee, which was what others wore. I put it on. It came down to my ass, leaving my pecker to swing in the wind.

The entertainment began. I didn’t grasp what we were doing and what my specific role was, but I winged it. I had fun, and a sense of freedom and exhilaration overtook me. I saw people watching me, especially women, and they seemed to be commenting on this middle-aged semi-naked men, but I thought, what the hell do I care? That’s their problem.

Dream end.

The Refugee Dream

Dreamland has been a busy place for me, but life has been busy, keeping my deeper ruminations about my dreams to minimal levels. Last night’s dream about being a refugee had a sharper feel to it, though.

I was a prisoner along with many others and had been for some time. The dream really began at the end of that incarceration, when we finally found a way past the gates and walls keeping us in captivity. After we came out, blinking because we were seeing the sun for the first time in weeks, we were told by someone anonymous that we were free, and that ‘our side’ had won.

We’d been falsely imprisoned, though, and wanted justice for that. The people who were responsible were eight men. We wanted them found and brought to trial. I was given the task of drawing wanted posters for them.

I protested, I don’t even know how they look. Well, it needed to be done, and I needed to do it, because I was the one who could, I was told.

I found paper, charcoal, and pencils, and began doing sketches, working off other people’s descriptions of the eight. Someone told me about an office where a cache of information was. Going there and rooting around, I found that someone else had already created rudimentary sketches of the eight. I began improving these, shaping and sharpening features, adding details. It all came sharper into mind as I worked.

The people in charge came by to see how I was progressing and were impressed by my work. Looking out, we then saw a bearded man walking past who resembled the number one wanted person on my poster. As word spread that it was him, I held up my poster and looked at him in profile, amazed at how well I’d captured his image.

Dream end

Are You Outraged?

Someone else wrote a blog titled, “Are You Outraged?” And I thought, am I outraged?

Let’s see. I was born in 1956, eleven years after WW II, but while the conflict in Korea was happening, and as the U.S. was getting drawn into Vietnam.

The Cold War was going strong. The U.S. and U.S.S.R. were ready to launch nukes and drop nukes at the slightest provocation.

1960 began strong, with John F. Kennedy getting elected. He promised to put a man on the moon. Meanwhile, protests and riots began. The 1960s were full of blood and smoke. Kennedy was assassinated; so was his brother. And Martin Luther King, Jr. Many blacks were lynched and murdered. Battles were fought over segregation, “Separate but equal”, and desegregation.

As races fought for equality, so did women, but the Equal Rights Amendment stalled.

The arms race sucked up resources and attention. Korean and Vietnam were ‘ended’ as conflicts, but more conflicts sprang up. War has not ceased in my lifetime, despite the fall of the U.S.S.R. Instead, it’s intensified.

As has the battle for equal rights and the ideal that skin color, sexual orientation, religious preferences, and genders should not matter, that we, as a nation, are only as strong as the weakest among us, so we must protect them.

The battle for the environment has intensified, too, and with it, the understanding that this is one world, and once again, in order to survive, we must survive together, and protect our planet, or we may all suffer, and many of us will perish, bringing our civilization to our knees.

These seem like self-evident truths, but instead, another war has arisen, this one about what constitutes truths, facts, science, and evidence. The way that numbers and words are spun to create division and distraction spins my head.

Am I outraged? Fucking yes. After a lifetime of this, I thought we’d be further advanced. But as I watch the police brutality and government response to the murders and protests, echoes of history reverberate. I’m reminded of the tanks in Hungary in 1956 as the Soviet Union crushed an uprising.

I’m reminded of the Watts riots.

I’m reminded of Tienanmen Square in 1989.

I’m reminded of the Berlin Wall.

I’m reminded of Selma and Montgomery, Alabama, and Detroit, Michigan.

I’m reminded of the American Civil War.

I’m reminded of the rise of Solidarity in Poland.

I’m reminded of Ferguson.

I’m reminded of the Democratic National Convention in 1968.

I’m reminded of Kent State in 1970.

I’m reminded of countless sit-ins and marches against war and for peace, against injustice and for equality.

I’m reminded of so many events that I’ve seen and read of in the narrow focus of my short life, and I’m reminded of so many who live in fear and suffer at the hands of those who are supposed to serve and protect.

Am I outraged?

I watch the news, play the viral videos, and read the articles this week and wonder why so many fight against others’ equality. I wonder how so many can be so cruel to fellow humans. The outright cruelty and disregard demonstrated as police officers spray, beat, shoot, and mistreat their fellow citizens, their fellow humans, horrifies me.

Am I outraged?

I am sickened. I am saddened. I am furious.

Yes, I am outraged.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Birds were outside. (Yeah, where else would you expect them to be, amiright?)

I spied on them, flying around (and monitored the cats as they chittered and stared).

Out of that came memories of a Facebook post. Back in the last century, they were saying flying cars could be coming soon. Instead, we’re hoarding toilet paper and sneaking out of the house.

Out of that came a wish, time for me to fly. Songs hovered above the stream, ready to jump in. “Big Ol’ Jet Airliner”. “Learning to Fly”. “I’d Fly Away”. “Time for Me to Fly”.

But Lenny took it with his hit, “Fly Away” (1998).



Monday’s Theme Music

Time for a little Neil Young. Call out to him for being naturalized as a U.S. We used to live in the same neighborhood, broadly speaking, on the California coast. A friend was his primary supplier, so the story goes. A little club wasn’t far where he liked to play for small crowds with no announcement, so the story goes.

1989 saw him bring out “Rockin’ in the Free World”. The song provides so many mocking lines drawing attention to our cultural hypocrisy:

We got a thousand points of light
For the homeless man
We got a kinder, gentler,
Machine gun hand
We got department stores
and toilet paper
Got styrofoam boxes
for the ozone layer
Got a man of the people,
says keep hope alive
Got fuel to burn,
got roads to drive.

h/t to AZLyrics.com

Yeah, that’s rocking in the free world. That Trump used the song during his POTUS campaign without irony nauseates, but then the Trumplicans bastardize the meaning and intention of everything that they touch, subverting without sparing, heavy of hand and cruel of ideas.

I’m part of the hypocrisy in my comfy white land, something the feeds my perpetual self-damnation. Too weak to walk away from the cushiness, I’ll just do some marchin’, protesting, donating, and votin’, hoping to change things, even though that’s not been working for lo’, these many years since Bush I.

Guess I’ll just keep rockin’. Pour a little CBD into my coffee, please. My joints are hurtin’. “I try to forget it, any way I can.”




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