Wednesday’s Theme Music

I often wish that I was more ignorant of the world, that I lacked the capacity to see the big picture, understand the science, recall history, and remember the lies.

Not a genius nor overly bright or educated, I recall matters and critically examine almost everything that crosses my mind and my eyes. Doesn’t help that I’m married to a similar person; we feed off one another. Nor does it help that throughout my military and civilian positions and work, others saw these traits in me and honed them. I become overly critical and analytical; any skill that becomes too dominant can be a liability.

I’d like to live in a ‘just-pretend’ world where things are better, which is probably why I write. I’m attracted to writing detective stories where the main character is deeply flawed and struggles with seeing the good in others over his insights into the wrongs that they do, no matter how small the wrongs. Always on the top of that list is his own wrongs.

Likewise, dystopian fiction, where governments, corporations, religions, and individuals have misled others so they can advance themselves or keep themselves in power, always attracts me. It’s a dark world for my characters.

No surprise, then, my thoughts on the novel coronavirus pandemic of 2020 is that civilizations are poor learning organizations, not infrequently out of step with one another. It’s a messy dance floor where different music is heard by almost everyone. It’s the nature of trying to meld political weld out of individual agendas. We advance by degrees. I always think we could advance more quickly. Yet, too, disagreement and debate are required and healthy for relationships, including governments, societies, and civilizations. It’s when facts become distorted that it gets unhealthy.

Into this mess of morning thinking, prompted by a restless night of writing in my head and chasing dreams, is Jackson Brown’s first hit, “Doctor, My Eyes”, from 1972. His lyrics about seeing too much, looking too long, and how it has influenced his life view, has always been a favorite.

It’s worthy theme music for a rona Wednesday.

Beginning Puzzle #9

There was box on the front porch mat. 

I’d been in the office for a while. To get to the front porch, the office must be passed. The office has a large window which faces the street, driveway, and walk, so that I can watch for zombies and aliens. The phantom deliverer was either invisible or a ninja.

Ninja Delivery – “When you don’t want people to see it coming.”

I informed my wife of the find. She was as surprised as me. “I didn’t hear a truck or anything.”

Anything, I guess, were footfalls. I was nodding, but thinking, at what point had I been dashing around the house naked? I used to do it often, less so after the Okinawa Incident.

We were stationed at Kadena Air Base on Okinawa (or in Okinawa Prefecture), Japan. As we were lowly enlisted people, we were residing off-base. There wasn’t enough housing for everyone on base. We enjoyed our little apartment. Two of them could fit into our great room, the cathedral-ceiling living-dining-kitchen combo in our current house. The whole place was like an Easy Bake kitchen blown up by about four times.

Living there was fun. The place was full of couples like us. Typhoon parties were lively, although the walls were thin. The newlyweds’ loud and energetic coupling brought everyone in the neighborhood over to ensure no one was being killed. Space between apartment buildings and houses were tight. I chose that day after showering to turn on music and dance around naked, entertaining my wife and the cats.

I was also entertaining three third-grade girls on the porch next door, just five feet away from the bedroom where I gyrated…until I saw them. High on music, by the time I’d noticed them, they were sneaking away. I’m sure I shocked them for life.

Since the Okinawa Incident, I’ve been more careful about dancing around the house naked. My wife still calls if she’s coming home and bringing someone along, though. It’s safer for everyone.

I’d not danced around that day, but I had stripped naked for a shower and then remembered that I’d wanted to check on something in the office. What the hell, what are the chances of someone being outside and looking in just as naked me sauntered by?

Yet, my mind summoned an image of the UPS guy hurrying to the door, preparing to ring the bell, package in hand, and seeing me through one of the windows on either side of the door. As he’s ready to ring the bell, my nude man-feast passes by the window. Averting his eyes with a hard gulp, he mutters, “I’ll just leave this here,” and flees, head down, like someone’s shooting at him.

Anyway, I learned from checking tracking numbers on the Internet machine that these are the puzzles we’d ordered from Zulily. After letting the package sit outside for a few hours to lose some of its COVID-19 strength, I brought it in and put it in the sanitizing zone. When another day had passed, we deemed it safe to risk opening the package.

Oh, new puzzles. I was sure that they probably had all the pieces. One — fifteen hundred pieces (yeah, we’re getting bold) — featured a red Corvette. The year isn’t given, but I guess it’s a 1960. I had a neighbor who had one, and once rode in the trunk, so I was pretty sure about it. You don’t forget something like that.

“That’s a lot of red,” my wife said. I know she’s thinking of past puzzles that featured long stretches of blue sky, blue oceans, or green lawns.

We turned to the other one. It’s a lovely reproduction of a David Bradley painting with vivid colors and many details. I opened the box. The colors look true. Among the pieces were eyes, heads, and faces. That appealed to us; it’s easier to find faces and put them on heads than test red piece after red piece.

We began today, because it’s Sunday. An old wise woman once told us that it’s best to start new projects on a Sunday.

Damn, I just realize that she said Monday.

Or was it Friday?

Oh, well, what do days of the week matter during this period, when most of us are inside, hunkering down against zombies or alien invaders?

We have begun the puzzle.


Wednesday’s Theme Music

I was ’bout to go outside (and let a cat out) (it’s Boo’s morning habit to go out, do his business in a corner of the yard (the far left side behind the bushes, thank you), and then groom in sunshine) (unless it’s raining or snowing, of course) to gauge the weather (it looks pleasant and warm) when I stopped. Hand on door handle, I watched through the glass at a profusion of birds. The many birds me from opening the door and disrupting the little sparrows’ and jays entertainment.

Boo really wanted out, chittering and chattering at the birds (they were a joyfully noisy congregation). I wondered what’d brought them here.

The juxtaposition of birds and weather reminded me of an instrumental song, “Birdland” by Weather Underground (1977). I used to listen to this in the Philippines while burning candles, reading books, and sipping wine, a pleasure combo.

After the birds abruptly departed, I let the house panther (and jigsaw puzzle expert) out to do his thang, and then came in and re-acquainted myself with “Birdland”. That song always prompts a grin. Hope you hear it and grin, too.

Or at least, smile.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Just out of speaking with friends, reading the news, remembering the past, and pondering the future…

Into the stream came a song from The Falcon and the Snowman based on the book with the same title, with more words in it. A friend received it in a slush pile, read it through the evening one Friday, looked up the author and discovered they were in the same area code. The book excited him. A phone call was made against all standard protocols. Arrangements were made to connect the following Monday to talk about going forward.

Alas, by then, the author had contacted an agent, and everything changed. The book went to another publishing house, to my buddy’s dismay.

Meanwhile, the song — also with the same name — by Pat Metheny with David Bowie on vocas, reflects the disbelief and denial that I feel while reading the news. It isn’t particular to this era. I always think we should learn and move forward, but my idea of moving forward doesn’t align with what others think and want. To me, it’s like they’re moving backward and repeating history as they insist that we’re going forward.

Anyone, this 1985 ditty expresses my point of view. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Today’s song popped out of nowhere into my stream, nowhere being an easy reference to the interior realms of the space where my little gray brain cells huddle for warmth. But overhearing the women across the coffee shop talking (powerful stage voices), the song is appropriate.

“Changes” by David Bowie (1972) was already nestled in my cerebellum when I sat down but I wasn’t sure if it was today’s music. Then I heard the women talking.

First, they mentioned streaming services. They were comparing Netflix and Amazon Prime (or Prime Video), and how they share and release shows and movies on their sights. Talking about Amazon Prime prompted one to mention the free two-day shipping on many items, and the associated guarantees. A joke about getting stuff faster so you would order more faster emerged. Memories about ordering stuff in the old days and getting it six to eight weeks followed. It usually came by mail, too. UPS and Fed Ex trucks weren’t rushing around every where in those days.

Then they talked about catalogs. Spiegel’s. Sears. Montgomery Wards. Ah, yes, they’d ordered from all of them, and had fond memories of ordering from the Spiegel’s calendar. (I’ve ordered from them all, too, especially when I lived outside of the U.S. in the 1970s.) The women then recollected tales of the outhouse where the Sears catalog sometimes ended up, as those thin pages worked well to clean up after your business.

Last, they recalled S&H Green Stamps and using a sponge to paste pages at a time.

Yep, “Changes” is appropriate for today, from the weather and the seasons, to the music and the times, and how long it takes for your order to arrive.

I decided to use this Youtube offering of “Changes” because of Bowie’s photo. Look at the lad. Ah, changes.

Just A Dream Snippet

Just a dream snippet remains from last night’s viewing. It felt like the dreams were on, but like the television running in the background while I was doing something else. Not much seemed noticed.

The one time that I remembering seeing the Dream Vee, I had butter on my arm. It was a twenty-year-old version of me. I laughed about that and was talking with someone else, showing them where I had butter on my forearm.

I know my dream age, because my image was lifted off a photograph that I saw not too long ago. My hair was dark and thick, but cut military short, and my mustache was dark and heavy. My wife and I had gone to a shopping mall. At her encouragement, I bought a pale yellow, short-sleeved shirt, the top that you pull over, with a three-button Henley packet. It became a favorite shirt for a few years.

While I was laughing about the butter and attempting in dream-muddled-confusion to understand how I’d come to have this thick, long streak of butter on my right forearm,  I realized how yellow it was. At that point, I heard, spread yellow light over your body.

That’s all that’s remembered.


Gadfloof (floofinition) – a housepet who provokes others into action by criticism.

In use: “A true gadfloof, Raven beckoned Suzo forth with mews and glances until Suzo followed her. When they stopped, Raven sat down in front of the litter box. She looked at Suzo and then dolefully looked at the box. Suzo looked at Raven. Raven looked at the box again and Suzo realized it needed to be cleaned.”

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