Saturday’s Theme Music

Into Saturday’s bloom of light we go! Despite the bloom, the 38 degrees F has the cats saying, give me a little warmth, sugar.

Today is November 12, 2022. We were out shopping yesterday. High inflation didn’t seem to keep anyone home on this holiday. Stores and restaurants were as filled as unopened cans of beer. Masks were worn by relatively few. We felt special having them on. We’re due for our next boosters next Friday. Looking forward to the happening.

Meanwhile, though we’re speeding toward Thanksgiving in the U.S., stores looked like Christmas exploded all over them. Other pieces of the holiday season such as Kwanza and Hanukkah were missing. As the wife noted, “Looks like they’re betting big on Christmas spending this year.”

Despite forecasts to the contrary, the sun got comfortable behind a fortress of clouds and let rain soak us. Good to have rain but snow on the mountains are what we need. Today again looks mostly sunny. 47 is the expected high, in Fahrenheit. The sun conducted its dawn blooming at 6:57 AM. The sun will close up shop and take away its light and heat bonanza at 4:52 PM, when the Earth spins our area away, crying as it does, “Away! Away with thee.”

Although sleep delivered a plethora of dreams, several of which involved bars, computers, and beer, I have a song called “I Wish You Love” inhabiting the morning mental music stream. Its presence flabbergasts me and The Neurons, technically referred to as satanistic boogerheads, are being surly and silent about it. I don’t know which version is in my head. I mean, yeah, it’s the English language version, but which performer? I know it’s female and a rendition as old as me. This is one of those songs that often turned up on Mom’s turntable during the winter season. Yes, we’re not in the winter season yet, and no snowflakes are falling. So, why dear Neurons, why?

Someday, perhaps technology will emerge with the means to tell us what our neurons are thinking.

Stay positive and test negative. I’m going for a coffee topoff, as there are mini cranberry cherry scones in the kitchen whispering invitations to eat them up. Here’s the music. Hope you know the song. If you don’t, let me introduce you. I ended up with the Judy Garland version, as I think it’s closest to the one in my head.

Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music

The sun kicked the door in on Monday, July 4, 2022, and announced it was going back to bed.

It’s a cool day in the valley. Showers are anticipated, the third day in a row in July, a treat for us. It’s but 18C outside now but we’re expecting a high of 76 F, no lie; on the nation’s celebration of 1776 and the signing of the Declaration of Independence, it’ll be 76. Must be an omen of some kind in there. I’ll look for it after I’ve had my coffee.

Sunrise was at 5:39 AM. The traveling sun show will cease it Monday ops today at (drumroll), yes, 8:50 PM. Again.

Today’s music was brought to us by the wonderful Minnie Riperton. She had a stunning voice but died of cancer when she was 31. Maya Rudolph is her daughter, an actor and comedian who I richly enjoy, so Minnie gave us her singing and her daughter. Her best-known song by the masses is probably “Lovin’ You” from 1975, a song created to distract her daughter when the girl was little and being cranky. I heard it on the radio yesterday and had to pause to listen, one more time. Thank you, technology. Thank you, Minnie.

Stay positive, test negative, and whatever needs done to survive, endure, and thrive. Coffee is one of those things that help me survive, endure, and thrive. At least that caffeine kick and seductive flavor urges me to believe and try, try again.

There go the jets on their flyover. The parade downtown has commenced. Obviously, I’m not there this year. Obviously.

Now where’s that coffee? Here’s the music. Cheers

Wait — another flyover. Right over our house. They must have smelled my coffee.

Saturday’s Theme Music

Saturday has sauntered in like he owns the day. It’s July 2, 2022, part of the four day holiday weekend to celebrate Independence Day, aka July 4th or the 4th of July. All those phrases are employed to recognize the nation’s birthday. Of course, many are disappointed by the years SCOTUS rulings and attempts by GOP legislators and supporters to undermine our principles and drag us backwards. Scoffing at the holiday has grown stronger, especially after Hutchinson’s testimony at the Jan. 6 hearings in the past week. “How long can this nation remain united?” many ask. Others point to the long arc of history and change and remind people that it takes time and perseverance. History will judge it all.

It’s only 18 C right now, but it’s very pleasant. With thunderstorms and showers creeping through the area, projections for today’s high are mild, 78 F. Sunrise cameth (is too a word) at 5:39 AM while sunset cometh at 8:51 PM. Again. That sunset time has been unchanged for a week.

There won’t be fireworks in our town, BTW. Though we had more rain this year, overall, the land and vegetation was deemed too dry and too great a danger.

“Black Velvet” by Alannah Myles from 1989 was deposited in the morning mental music stream. My wife and I were watching television and saw a cute child give a sweet smile. After we talked about it, The Neurons were hooked on the words, “and that little boy’s smile.” I argued with The Neurons, pointing out that it was a little girl I saw. The Neurons don’t care ’bout no stinkin’ logic. They just turned up the volume and kept the song going.

So, anyway, it’s stuck in the mental music stream and must be shared to be dislodged. Them’s the rules. Not a problem, though. I enjoy Myles’ dusky style – it’s a vocalizing that I find attractive in many singers – and the song’s moodiness.

Here’s the song. Tell you what, you listen to it, cogitate on it, let me know what you think, and I’ll go get a cup of coffee. You stay positive and test negative, right? Right.

Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Welcome to Sunday, September 5, 2021. It’s September’s first Sunday, which means tomorrow is September’s first Monday, and that rhymes with Labor Day weekend in America. Yes, it’s the day when summer is considered done. The season is yet to change for a few weeks. That doesn’t matter. Summer is done. Vacations are wound down. Children return to class. Grills are fired up for one last hurrah.

Back east, my family has the grand cookout planned. Sister #3 is coordinating the effort. She is the hostess. Sixteen are attending. Mom is taking dessert: an apple pie, chocolate peanut butter bars, and tuxedo cake. She made the bars, purchased the rest. Yes, it’s overkill. Food overkill is the family tradition on these holidays. My brother-in-law will be at the grill. He’s a master. Wish I cold be there but it’s several thousand miles east of here. Takes a day of flying or several days of driving. Where’s a bullet train when you need it?

They’re two degrees south of us at home in Penn Hills, PA. About 1500 feet lower in elevation. Makes a difference with sunrise and sunrise. Temperatures. Sunrise locally was 6:41 AM. Sunset will be 7:38. Yep, less than twelve hours of sunshine today mitigating the smoke today. Our high will be in the mid-eighties. Mom says it’ll probably be in the seventies at their place. So, cooler there, with a lower AQI. Ours is 237 now. Purple. Very unhealthy to breathe. Penn Hills has an AQI of 16.

My dreams have summoned The Police and their frenetic ballad from 1983, Synchronicity I, to the morning mental music stream (McubedS, patent pending). My dreams didn’t come out wholly baked today. Only mutterings and glimpses in the fog remain. The strongest sensation was of dancing. I was going to a dance or dancing somewhere. Yes, something about a dance but what? No other elements would return.

The thinking sequence stirred me to recall “Synchronicity I” lines: A sleep trance, a dream dance, a shared romance, synhronicity. That became the day’s theme music for me.

Stay positive. Test negative. Wear a mask as needed. Get the vax if you haven’t already. Try to remain somewhat sane. I think it’s a spectrum myself. Fluctuating by the hour. Sanity, that is. Here’s the music. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Sunset, sunrise. Sunset, sunrise. Heat down, heat up. Heat down…

Same ol’, same ol’. A routine enjoyed as a child. Now, admiring the wilting, crackling brown leaves and bushes and dried out grasses, I’m less enamored of the beautiful rain-free broiler days.

Hello! Welcome to Independence Day in the U.S., the 4th of July, aka July 4, 2021. Many will celebrate the holiday with swimming and boating, grilling out, and music. Others will be working to help the rest of us celebrate independence.

We will be without fireworks this year. No parades, either. The flyover, symbolic of, um, something, would be taking place in five minutes. We’d be at Pam’s house. One of the few brick houses on Siskiyou. Built over seventy years ago, the house is a treasured mix of modern thinking, modern when it was built, modernized at different remodeling eras.

Carrying our food in — my wife usually made her Mexican quiche, which is very popular — we’ll put it on the big wooden dining table with the other food offerings and eye the assortment. Fruit salads often dominate. Someone, though, will bring a cobbler. Others will ferry in pies. Additional quiches will compete with my wife’s dish. Variations on potatoes always draws a crowd. Cookies will be in the mix, and cinnamon rolls. Baklava. Coffee, lemonade, water, and tea is available. Greetings will be given to people we rarely see, updates provided on health and life events since the last encounter. Then seats will be sought on the road so we can see the parade.

Not this year, as it wasn’t last year. But, like last year, our friends came through and carried on with some small measure of routine. Root beer floats and fireworks are part of our tradition, thanks to these friends who know how to socialize and somehow like us. Well, they like my wife and permit her to bring me along. She does, because I drive her. No fireworks, but the root beer floats were a joy to the palate, and the conversation in the small group was relaxed and entertaining. Made for a memorable fourth by what was there and what was missing.

All this holiday thinking brought out CCR and Bruce Springsteen. I went with Bruce for today and “Born in the USA” from thirty-seven years ago. Stay positive, test negative, wear masks if/when/where they help, and get the vax. Here’s the tune. Happy holiday. There go the jets. Not.

Día Del Floof

Día Del Floof (floofinition) – Often called Floof Day by some, “Day of the Floof” is an annual floofiday to remember and celebrate animals who previously graced people’s lives. It was created in homage to the many great animals who served humans or were their friends.

In use: “Día Del Floof, observed on March 29th in many countries, usually includes a minute of silence to remember animals no longer alive followed by giving gifts and special treats and toys to animals. Some use the day to give generously to animal shelters and animal causes.”

Sunday Sprinkles

  1. Had an unsettling dream last night. Not a nightmare, but a dream that I didn’t understand. After writing about it, I decided not to share it.
  2. I watch the NFL. The refs fascinate me. Some of them seem like they’re so disappointed when they announce penalties. “False start, offense, number forty-three.” You can almost see him sigh. “Five year penalty,” is delivered with regret. “Remains first down.” I wonder what they’re like in their non-football lives.
  3. I said, “Don’t fear the android.” I was making a joke while re-watching Dark Matters on Netflix. My wife said, “Oh, that’d be a good book title.” It has me thinking.
  4. Several of my wife’s friends encountered her this past week. Always masked and distanced. They emailed her later. One said that she started crying in her car afterward because it’d been so long since she’d enjoyed a friendly, spontaneous conversation with someone outside their pod. Another said that she teared up after dropping off holiday goods on the porch (and picking some up from us, which were awaiting her on the porch). Human contact is so random and remote.
  5. My cancer-inflicted friend is out of the hospital and back home. Friends are calling him to wish him well. I want to do so but I’m terrible with small talk. Not good with the phone. Terrible with socializing in general. He stays in my thoughts but I should call. I’m probably overthinking it.
  6. Likewise, the cancer-affected friend across country is out of the hospital and at home, going through treatment there. We exchange messages but I sense his energy is low. He was always such an upbeat, energetic person. He’s my age, too, which amplifies the impact, right?
  7. It is interesting, maddening, and shocking to witness what friends are doing in other parts of the country. Social distancing and masking isn’t part of their routines. Some have even gone in for elective surgery. One is dating. We respond, WTF? And we worry about them, but they remain blissfully ignorant. Come on, vaccine.
  8. Meanwhile, two other relatives have been diagnosed with COVID-19. One was intubated on Friday. She’d gone in for elective surgery on a toe earlier in the month.
  9. My broken left arm continues its recovery process. It sort of becomes entangled and stiff at night as I bend it under my body. But reach, movement, flexibility, and strength are all improving. One frustrating thing: scratching. I still can’t bend my left hand to scratch my back and several other (ahem) places.
  10. My wife didn’t make us a soup last Sunday, the first time in weeks. Holiday baking occupied her — and the kitchen. I did my part; my role is decorating. I was disappointed with the gels and frosting. It blobbed and sputtered. They were okay, but not great. That’s about half of the batch. They’re PB Rice Krispies bars dipped in white chocolate or chocolate bark, more like a candy bar than a cookie. (That’s them in the photo.) She also made peppermint cookies and my favorite, cranberry cupcakes with drizzled frosting. Today’s soup in progress is a smoky lentil with garbanzo beans. Chilly day, in the forties, diluted sunshine. Looking forward to it with some hot buttered ciabatta bread.
  11. I thought writing was going well. Then I read a paragraph last night which had me wincing, groaning, and gagging. Press on, finish the draft, then come back, right? Yeah. Got my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time. Oh, yeah, and the soup is ready.

Thanksgiving’s Theme Music

Welcome to Thanksgiving in America. It’s not the shiny spectacle that we strive to create in the United States. In a lot of ways, today is like flipping back through history pages, and seeing an ugly time, and wondering, how did those people get through that?

Yes, Thanksgiving is a holiday, innit? My holiday vibe is a bit subdued today. I tried being upbeat, but, yes, I’m a little weary. A little pandemic’d out. A little elections exhausted, blended with hues of a little tarnished life syndrome. Gosh, this wasn’t how it was supposed to be, was it? No, not for this snowflake. As an average white American male, we’re not supposed to know shit like this. That’s for other people. Guess I have a tiny inkling about what those others endured.

Not really. No abusive parents. No food insecurities. No wondering if anyone, police or otherwise, are going to shoot me. No worrying about paying the rent or getting a job, or so much other shit that’s heaped on people through the sperm lottery. (Should the sperm lottery be called a spottery? It seems spotty, doesn’t it, hit and miss, about who has what.)

I don’t have COVID-19. I’m aging and male, so I cope with some enlarged prostate, some BHP. (I think that’s the proper letter combos.) I broke an arm in July, leaving me to rehab that arm, hand, wrist, and shoulder. (Yeah, it continues to improve…I think…) I have a lifelong pre-existing condition, hypertension, that I deal with. I’m a hopeful novelist, so I have all the angst, hope, and collective feelings associated with that.

Compiling the bottom line, I have a lot to be thankful for. Yet the blues have me today.

As it’s a holiday, I’m indulging myself with a blues favorite. Yes, it’s a repeat song, from a few years ago. Nothing like the blues to lift you, right?

Here’s Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble with “Cold Shot”. It’s a video of a live performing, as I wish he was, back when I was young.

Happy holidays. Yeah, and wear a mask, please. Time to go get some coffee cake and coffee. My wife made the coffee cake last night for today. Yeah, life’s not so bad here. Cheers

Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble – Cold Shot (Live From Austin, TX) – YouTube

Saturday: Four Things

There has to be four things today because it’s the Fourth of July, Independence Day in the U.S., right? 

  1. Best fourth of July celebration for me is the first one with my wife. She wasn’t my wife or girlfriend yet. I was fifteen and she was fourteen, and she was just a girl I’d just met a few days before. Yep, just a smart, long-haired girl who captured my attention from the first time I saw her. Fortunately, I had the same impact on her, she claims. Guess it was fate.
  2. I subscribe to the Hulu service with commercial breaks. I don’t like spending money on streaming services. They’re an indulgence, so I try to minimize the cost. I’m watching two shows on Hulu, “Cardinal” and “Justified” (again), so I don’t think it’s worth paying more for it. They’re like an awkward, gamboling puppy with their commercial breaks, erupting in odd points in a scene (butchering the tension or mood). They usually show two or three commercials, and they usually cut off , and then cutting off the last twelve seconds of the final commercial. If I was that advertiser, I’d be demanding better service. My cynical aspect (which occupies about ninety percent of my mind) suggest Hulu does their breaks deliberately to motivate me to pay a few more dollars a month to avoid commercial breaks.
  3. Watched Hamilton on Disney Plus last night. Had the captions on, and it’s a good thing. It’s a continuous flow of life, song, revelations, and relationships, and worth every damn piece of praise that I’ve read or heard. I recommend it to you so you can witness for yourself.
  4. Gonna be a mellow day in spirit. I’m going for a walk in a little while…after I write. A pair of jets did a flyby to mark the moment when the parade would’ve begun but there are no parades in town, although our friend and state rep did a singleton parade. Pam Marsh wears the Statue of Liberty outfit every year, has for years. The mask is new…so is the Black Lives Matter sign…and the coronavirus on a chain… We’ve watched the town parade from her front year for the past ten years. It’s a potluck where everyone attending brings a food or drink. We’ll miss the parade but Pam is carrying the torch for it (yeah, get it?). We’re fortunate to have such an intelligent, energetic, and concerned person as our friend and rep. Did I mention her sense of humor?Pam July 4

Yeah, got my coffee. Yes, it’s a holiday, and it’s time to write like crazy, at least one more time…

Wednesday: Four Things

  1. The weather continues to provide talking points. The temperature been as up and down as a roller coaster this year, and often plays the contrarian. Today’s high on July first, when we normally anticipate nineties and beyond, will be seventy-seven. Not that we’re complaining; just commenting. It’ll be a good day to paint some more walls once I’ve finished my writing.
  2. My annual urology follow up went well yesterday. Peed fine, no issues. All this was initiated by some trouble in peckerville traced to enlarge prostate in previous years. No follow up actions required. I’ve tried to become more mindful as I’ve matured. Now I’m being more mindful in my peeing. Of course, my mind must riff on the old Caddy Shack Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) meme: “Be the ball.” I’m trying to be the pee.
  3. I think one of the reasons for my success with peeing was decreasing my sodium levels. I was diagnosed with very high blood pressure (230/130) during my pecker issues. I’d noticed my sodium was a little high on my blood work (141 mmol/L), so I began checking out sodium levels of whatever I was eating. Definitely an OMG experience. Can’t believe the amount of sodium in processed foods, condiments, salad dressings, and the like. The sodium in canned soup was at surreal levels. So was anything with cheese and any sauces. After reading and verifying it on my blood test results, I recognized that I also needed to increase my potassium levels. Learning that magnesium can draw sodium out, I also increased my magnesium levels (hello, bananas!). The other thing that I’d learned affecting my enlarged prostate gland was chocolate. When I ate more than a little chocolate, my stream diminished. So, chocolate was severely curtailed. Another negative influencer is gluten. Controlling my gluten intake and monitoring it, I verified to my own mind that gluten causes me to bloat and swell. The final element was increasing my water to help flush sodium out. Amazing how it’s all interconnected. I appreciate having the net to help me learn, and sites like WebMD.
  4. Cautious Independence Day planning is afoot. Friends have a tradition of consuming root beer floats while watching the fireworks from their deck. They like us; we like root beer floats, so we’ve become part of their tradition. Looks like we’ll do it again this year, while social distancing, just three couples. There will be floats, but not fireworks.

Got my coffee. Ready to write, but the first requirement will be to update the bible for The Constant, which is the current novel-in-progress. Then I’ll write like crazy, at least one more time.

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