Friday’s Wandering Thought

He eavesdrops on others. He always does, the rogue. This time, he’s listening to three attractive women as they meet and discuss their lives. Their shifting topics could have been lifted from his own existence. He has to restrain himself from chiming in when they try to remember the name of a television show or when they struggle over recalling the name of Amor Towles’s latest novel or Jerry Seinfeld’s writing partner. He’d love to plunge into their brief discussion about The Mists of Avalon as one tries to tell the others about the novel.

But he doesn’t know them, and they don’t know him. They might think it’s rude.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Today’s wind music is a head-banging offering of fast guitar riffs, thrumming bass, and shrieking Deep Purple concert vocals. Christmas trees were on the curbs to be picked up. Not any more. Wind rolls them into the street like holiday tumbleweeds. A few trees have been downed, and branches have surrendered.

It’s warm, though, for January 4, 2023, 40 degrees with a forecasted high of 13 degrees C. Sunshine and clouds have been doing moves since the sun’s 7:40 valley appearance. (“It’s a valley sun, a valley sun, oh my my, fer sure fer sure, it’s a valley sun and there ain’t no cure.”) The planet’s rotation will spirit the sun’s presence from us at 4:52 PM. Rain is on the way, the radar says.

I was musing about time and changes and the shifts I’ve seen in my lifetime. Some of them were the changes witnessed in other individuals, or the organic growth of new norms and mores that accompanied technology’s growth. A few thoughts went along fault lines of how I see myself as changed, and what I can’t see about myself that’s changed.

After staying quiet over this for a while, The Neurons began the 2006 song by Staind, “Everything Changes”, in the morning mental music stream. The song came out a year after our move from the SF bay area to Ashland, a huge shift of demographics and density. It was also ten years after my military retirement, and the year that IBM bought ISS. All of those were large changes for me. 2006 was a year of huge changes and recognition and adjustments to previous changes. So this song kindled thoughts about what was once the way and the plans which had been made, and how all of it tilted and rolled. That’s life for some of us. Others plot it out and follow their life like sheet music.

Stay positive, test negative. Adjust and change as needed to thrive. Speaking of thriving, I’d do much better with coffee in me. Here’s Staind. Cheers

Monday’s Theme Music

Monday began with a crash. The cats rushed in. One tentatively walked forward, eyeing the wreck. The others sat down and looked at me. “You’re in trouble,” he said.

I knew he was right. I’d begun unloading the clean dishes from the dishwasher. A small ceramic bowl was on the counter. I picked the white thing up, thinking, where can I put this so it’s out of the way? As I turned, it yelled, “For love,” and threw itself from my hand. It crashed to the floor and splintered into forty pieces or more, like a huge white KFC offering. The bowl’s last words were, “Tis my heart,” then it was no more.

I cleaned up the mess with care. It had landed on a kitchen throw rug. I took that off and shook it out, and then vacuumed the crime scene. The cats monitored everything to ensure I did it right.

My wife came into the kitchen as I finished. “What happened?” I explained it all. I knew it would affect her. Yeah, it did. The white bowl sits in the middle of a bamboo serving tray. We’ve had it since I took my first lesson in being married. I’m still learning. We paid about $20 for it at a store like K-Mart, but you know how it is with these things that you buy when you’re poor and first starting out. They’re cheap and priceless.

Or maybe you don’t know because you were never poor or never started out, or you lack sentimental bones and think, it’s just a bowl, get over it. Oh, you heathen.

Anyway, I can still see the bowl leaving my left hand. I still wonder how it happened. I still see my wife’s look when I explained, and I still hear the noise it made when it kissed the floor.

Depressing way to begin a day but not as bad as some things which could’ve happened, I tell myself. That’s true. Just read the news.

The Neurons began my day with two songs in succession in the morning mental music stream (trademark pending). First was “Abacab”, a 1981 song by Genesis. I believe that’s in mind because of yesterday’s theme song, “Turn It On Again”. That lasted until I looked out the window and checked the billowing trees and crashing rain. Then The Neurons dropped “Manic Monday”, written by Prince, performed by the Bangles, released in 1986. But then, watching rain and wind and a single scrub jay out the window, Les Neurons pulled up another 1986 song, a reflective tune by The Steve Miller Band called “I Want to Make the World Turn Around”. It starts with a sax, which surprised me when I learned it was a Steve Miller offering. Wasn’t startled to learn later that was Kenny G. playing sax. Had that feel.

Today is December 26, 2022. Hope you and yours can seize the day. Sun rose here at 7:38 and will set at 4:45. The high will be 56 F and there’s a wind warning out. Right now, it’s 51 F. A Christmas cactus sits in sunshine in the living winter, offering some joy in its red blossoms. Other than, it’s just another Monday.

Time for coffee. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Warmish and foggy, kind of cool, too. It’s Christmas day in southern Oregon.

Dawn dashed in under the fog’s cover at 7:38 in the morning. I fed the cats and we prepared food to take to our friend’s house for Christmas brunch. Sipping coffee, I looked out the kitchen window. The fog was hurrying away. Sunshine struck the valley’s southern edge, lighting the trees and the blue sky.

I thought about all the matters which have gone well for me and pushed that aside. Homelessness plagues our small town. All those people were out there, looking for places to get warm, to be safe, to rest their bones and minds. I helped a few this week but it never feels like enough. Never. It’s a pattern encountered across the nation, one of the most powerful societies the world has ever seen.

I thought about the misery of people in other states hanging on as snow and ice storms undercut their infrastructures and cut their power. I thought about the military forces battling for arcane logic in Ukraine and the people trying to help one another to stay alive there. Then I thought about all the wealth hung onto by our world’s most fortunate families, individuals, corporations, wondering if they’re the most deserving, and how the sperm lottery affects our existences. I’m flattened often by stories of the wealthy do the most that they can to stay wealthy and make more money. Work harder, others are told. It’s just that easy.

Just Christmas reflections, little different than my recurring daily thoughts. Not original, but worn and tired.

My music today has nothing to do with the holidays. The song came out of dreams and efforts, weariness but hope. Called, “Turn It On Again”, the song is by Genesis. Released in 1980, the song is about a man whose friends are the people on TV.

Have a merry one. Happy holidays to you, whatever your flavor of seasonal celebrating as the common era year slides to an end. Hope you’re warm and safe, with a belly full of food.


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

Friday’s Theme Music

My fellow Earthers. Today is the first day of the rest of your life. It’s also Friday, December 9, 2022.

I’ve been following a local online debate. A newly elected city councilor wants to change the time when the meeting begins, move it up an hour. He argues that will allow more people to attend. Well, let the debate begin.

  1. Moving the meeting an hour forward will allow more people to attend, those in favor say. Some moms have said, “Yes, I can attend at four, but I can’t attend at five.” The meeting goes for three hours.
  2. No, others say. “I’m still at work at four, or I’m driving home. I can attend at five but not at four.”

So each side uses the same argument. There were no complaints or calls for the meeting start time to change before the new councilor brought it up. Also, each side points out, the meetings are televised, streamed, and recorded. It feels like another variation of the daylight savings time argument, which can be reduced to, which is better for me? By extension, if it’s better for me, it’s better for all.

It’s foggy outside, Alexa tells me, and 34 F. She’s staked today’s high at 46 F. Says, expect rain. Except there’s no fog outside my windows. I can see distant mountains where snow is sprinkled across the green pine ridge. The winds are picking up. A drizzle has begun. The house floofs are not happy. They’re clambering for reparations because the sun isn’t giving them the shine they like. All reparations have been rejected — kibble, canned food, treats, and catnip. Attention is okay, they admit. They will take some scratching and stroking, but when I stop, they shout, more, more, more, like Billy Idol in fur, with less piercings.

As for the sun, it curved over the earth’s shape and into our valley at 7:28 this morning but remains sequestered behind sturdy clouds. Departure time for sunshine is 4:39 PM.

You can probably guess the song will be Billy Idol with “Rebel Yell” from 1983. Soon as that comparison went through my gray matter, The Neurons exclaimed, “Ooh, ‘Rebel Yell’, Billy Idol, yeah,” and began playing the song. Bourbon called Rebel Yell inspired the tune. I guess that’s a kind of scratching that satisfies some itches.

Speaking of scratches and itches, I’ll need some coffee. This is the first day of the rest of my life, you know. Stay positive and test negative. Here’s Billy with the music. I must admit that the video, with the musicians sneering, smirking, and posturing, gave me a laugh. Hope you enjoy it. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

The window of opportunity for Sunday 11/27/2022, has opened. By the numbers 7:15, 39 F, 49 F, 4:42. That would be AM sunrise, current temperature under an off-gray sky, today’s high, and to close the day, sunset this evening. Snow warnings are issued for later this week but we’re not expecting anything like what hit New York earlier this month. Old photographs of the digital type remind me that we’ve had snow in October and November before, always wet, heavy stuff that didn’t stick around for longer than a fruit fly’s life.

We’re celebrating another friend. We learned yesterday that she passed on Wednesday night. An artist with three sons, she was 96. I’ve only known her for sixteen years, since she was eighty, but she enthralled me with stories about growing up in Klamath, OR. Her late teens had her decide to move to San Francisco to study art. She went to school and lived the life, falling in love, marrying, moving to Sunnyvale, raising three sons while zipping around in a red Triumph sports car. There were trips to New York and Broadway plays, and then her husband’s death, and her return to Oregon. All that happened before she was fifty. I so loved talking to her and enjoyed her spirit. Her mind had slowly trickled away in its abilities, leaving her puzzled about people’s identities and what was going on, and disassembling her ability to paint and write, but she always shared a fantastic smile. Her youngest son has been taking care of her for the last ten years in her house on the hill. Art and laughter used to fill it. It had become more and more silent in the last two years.

The microwave has gone offline again. I did the usual tricks to restore but they resulted in a no-go. So, a deeper, more prolonged process of troubleshooting and repair. So, in case I thought I might have some free time, I don’t.

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday, oh boy. “Give me something to believe in.” read the label on the scratched light blue Volkswagen Beetle. The Neurons immediately kicked “Something to Believe In” by Poison from 1990. It’s a soft rock ballad about losses and inequities. As relevant today as it was back in 1990, noting the TV charlatans living in mansions, driving luxury cars and scamming money from people as the homeless crises rises. Bret Michaels wrote the song and was mourning the loss of friends as he wrote it and felt it when he sang it. You should check out the words.

Stay positive and test negative. Enjoy some fresh air, sunshine, and beauty where you find it. Coffee has been consumed, and more will be consumed. Here’s the music. Cheers

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