Sunday’s Theme Music

Sunday, June 13, 2021. The sun shouldered in at 5:34 AM with small shafts of light and a few shards of warmth. Bird talk sputtered and fizzled. Cats stalked their kibble and complained.

Showers are expected today. I took one early. Shaved. Washed hair. Temperature is currently 75 F. We expect 81 today. Sunset will come as the world turns at 8:48 PM. Shopping, eating, reading, writing, cutting grass, and very important, drinking coffee will take place between now and then.

My mind is playing Dire Straits and “Sultans of Swing” from 1978 for me this morning. No clear reason is recognized why that song is playing. I was out of the service when this song was released. After moving back to where I’d graduated high school, I bought a restaurant and was going to college. A few months later, crippled by the local economy and dwindling personal finances, I was back in the service and heading west to San Antonio, Texas, on a new assignment. The break in service was a year to the day. I learned a lot in that time. Once back in the military, I ended up staying for sixteen years, completing a twenty-year career. Traveled a lot, mostly the United States, Asia, and Europe, a little northern Africa and the Middle East. Meet some terrific people.

Stay positive, test negative. Come on, get the vax. Let’s get on with it. Here’s the music. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

“Wednesday, Wednesday. Can’t stand that day.”

Yes, happy humpday, April 14, 2021. I have nothing against Wednesdays, myself. I enjoy Wednesdays. It’s a nice midpoint. I guess I’m a ‘week is half-done’ sort of person.

The sun snuck up on us at 6:32 AM and will shy back behind the planet at 7:51 PM. The weather is strolling away from winter, gaining more spring confidence everyday. Green thickens in the trees around us and adorns the rolling hills. Although it’s now 49 degrees F, we expect the thermometers to see 73 before beginning its evening descent.

I found myself singing a 1982 song. I dreamed of a Porsche 911 SC, which was produced between 1978 and 1983 (yeah, I looked it up to confirm what I recalled). Thinking of the car and the years the model was produced led me through the memory vaults. I recalled that I lived in Texas in 1978, having been assigned there in the military after I returned from the Philippines, then got out, moved to West Virginia, went back into the military a year later, was assigned again to Texas in 1979, and then ended up on Okinawa by 1981. The song that came to mind then was “Rock the Casbah” by The Clash.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get the vax, and enjoy the music! Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! Welcome to Wednesday, March 17, 2021, where we’re donning green clothing, eating green food, and drinking green beer somewhere. I am wearing a green shirt, a conscious decision to celebrate. ‘Bout all I’ll do in honor of the holiday.

The sun showed itself at 7:20 AM this morning and is expected to disappear for the night at 7:20 PM. Brighter, sunnier, and calmer today, we’ve already crept into the low forties, and we’re expected to hit the mid sixties. This kid will be going for an afternoon walk.

Thinking of Saint Patrick’s Day, I thought I’d go with an Irish rock band. Many of them have plumbed commercial and critical success and achieved international fame and fortune. But when I started thinking of this, I recalled Horslips singing “Trouble With A Capital T”. I know this song and band because when I was stationed in Japan in the early eighties, a co-worker was heavy into them and would sing this song to himself. Hearing him sing it, I asked what it was. I ended up in his dorm room having a beer listening to the Horslips, who he knew through an Irish cousin. He’d gone to stay with them in Ireland one year before joining the military and had seen the band live. After some struggle with memory about the band’s name and the song and some net searching, I found this video.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Here is Horslips with “Trouble With A Capital T”.

Back with Jeff Dream

Jeff and I were together. We ran together back on Okinawa. Had a good time. Haven’t seen him since then, so that’s thirty-seven years ago.

In this dream, Jeff and I were civilians but tasked with working on what seemed to be military plans. We were each given fat folders of information. A global map dominated a wall. A few older men sat along the edges of the room. I was ready to get to work, eager for the task, but others reminded us that it’s classified and we need to be aware of our environment. Yes, the room was open on one end and other people, who might not have the clearance, were walking and milling. Most were female.

We were told there were a few training meetings about protecting information and ethics that we needed to immediately attend. Carrying our enormous folders, we headed for the meeting rooms with others. Getting there required climbing a wall. That seemed to be optional but I decided I was going to do it. A woman noticed me going up and asked, “Who’s that going up? Why, that’s Michael. Good for you. I didn’t think you had it in you.”

Shaped like the letter U, covered in red, yellow, or green rubber, the holds were loose. Many fell out when you grabbed them. I had one arm pinning my folder to my body. With the other arm and hand, I pulled myself, support myself and then find holds for my feet. When I reached the top, I threw the folder up, then used both arms to leverage myself up the final few four to five feet. The top was flat. Getting down required me to jump down three large steps. Picking up my folder, I descended and hurried on.

The rooms were already almost full. I wasn’t certain which one to go to. A woman told me where to go. I saw Jeff by the front so I went to that room. Only two seats remained at the front. I took one of them by the podium. Jeff then gave a short talk. When it finished, we were given a beer break. I went over with others and asked someone at the front of the line to bring me a beer. They did that. I drank some of it before I was told it was time to go to the next meeting. Still carrying my folder, I headed for the assigned room. When I reached it, I was told, no, go work on your new assignment. Another man then showed me where to go. I entered a room where Jeff was waiting. We sat down and began to work.

Deer Grove Fields Dream

I’d arrived at a convention. Hugely crowded. I realized two events were being held simultaneously; one was some sort of military retirement celebration. The other was a writing conference. I was there for the latter.

I arrived alone but soon saw other writers who I knew. We milled and spoke together, trying to grasp where we’re supposed to go. I joked to others about the confluence, as I found the situation mildly humorous. We drifted apart, trying to find where to go. I wanted a place to sit down, wait for the crowd to thin out, and then find where I was to go. I was working on the impression that the military event had ended, and then the writing thing would begin.

I encountered a military person whom I knew slightly. I asked what was going on. He told me that the Chief had retired. Making small talk, I asked, “Oh, where was he stationed last?” “Deer Grove Fields,” the other replied, and departed. I’d never heard of that place and wondered if I’d heard right.

I saw another writing friend. She was wearing a blue skirt and a blue top. She mentioned that she’d met the Chief, describing him as a fascinating person. He’d been stationed at Deer Grove Fields. As we nodded and talked, I realized that she was clearing tables. Apparently she was working there.

Tables were all filled but it was a communal system with strangers sharing tables. Finding a place, I sat. Another writing friend, Jill, a small, older woman with short hair, was at the table. I knew that she’d just won an award for a story she’d written. After congratulating her, I asked what she was working on as I set up my laptop. She told me, “Nothing,” and then said, “Deer Grove Fields.” I realized that’s what the others had said but didn’t understand why she said it now. I assumed she was trying to remember something and when it came to her, she’d said it aloud. Then she said, “That’s where the Chief was assigned.”

The dream ended.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

Sunrise was at 7:15 AM on this mildly winter Tuesday. Sunset will come at 5:36 PM in Ashland, Oregon. The temperature has already climbed to 37 degrees F and a high of 55 is anticipated.

Today is February 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases continue to drop in our county. Yesterday, we had only eight. Deaths are scaling back, too, with no new ones reported yesterday. Jackson Country remains in the extreme category, though. People walking along the streets often don’t have masks outside of downtown. Everyone in a store is masked. I haven’t been to a restaurant or other business, so I can’t address them. Vaccinations for those eighty and over begin this week.

I was thinking of 1991 this morning, collateral product to dream reflecting. February of that year, I arrived in my new duty station at Onizuka Air Station in Sunnyvale. I didn’t know that it would be my last duty assignment, that I would decide to retire after a few years. I’d been part of a spy unit in Germany in my previous tour; when the Berlin Wall came down, the mission went away, and the unit was decommissioned. I volunteered to go to the Gulf for that buildup but was denied. I instead rotated back to the states.

Hitting the Bay Area and the United States were new experiences, again. I don’t recall specific music when I arrived in the Bay Area. I remember that it was pouring rain, an end to a drought. Onizuka was a few acres dominated by the Blue Cube in the middle of sprawling aerospace company facilities. I’d gone from working with C-130s to working with satellites. In Onizuka, there was no flight line, a first for my military career; all the platforms I worked with were thousands of miles away in space. There would be no more daily roar of aircraft taking off.

Anyway, I looked up some songs from 1991 as I thought about it. “Wicked Game” by Chris Isaak jumped out at me. No special reason; it’s just a reflective song for a reflective moment.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, get vaccinated, and look forward. Other times are coming. The one constant is change.

A Snowy Military Dream

My first thought was, no, not another dream of being back in the military.

Didn’t start out like that. First, I was simply running along a dirt road. Ahead was my cousin. He’s taller than me but the same age. Seeing him, I pumped up my speed until I caught him. When I did, I realized that I was wearing shorts and a shirt but I was carrying my pants, and I was bare foot. That made me laugh. I told my cousin, “I think I need to put my pants on.” I stopped and put them on.

Then, there I was in my old camouflage battle dress uniform, heading to work. Another new assignment awaited me in the dream. I looked forward to it and was encountering people along the way, happy to see me there and wishing me luck. It was snowing, and the snow began piling up fast, encouraging me to tell others, “The snow is coming down fast. I better go now.”

I rushed through the snow but the going was increasingly difficult as the snow level climbed over my thighs, to my waist. Brilliant white, the snow was beautiful, though cold. Then I was in, at work, meeting my new team, eager to begin work. I was already seeing things that needed to be changed and started directing action, confident in what I was doing.

A Dream Snippet

I’ve been having many dreams each night. A short source yield three to six dreams a night, so I’m average. Maybe it seems like more because they’re vivid and intense, and I remember a lot of them — or so it seems. Remembering dreams always brings a challenge. Trying to remember them usually causes me to remember more of them, but then I get into this cycle of dreaming more, remembering more, dreaming more, until it seems like I’m taking a lot of conscious time thinking about the dreams. As with everything, a balance must be found and maintained.

I’m just going to highlight a series of scenes from one dream last night. Friends and I had gone to a club. I wasn’t in the military but many military peers were in the dream. They weren’t in the military any longer, either.

We were talking about DJs when we arrived. I’d heard one on the way while in my car, and thought he was great. I learned that he was going to be at the club. That excited me. I wanted to meet and speak with him, if I could. It was late in the afternoon/early in the evening. The club had only opened a short while before. Staff was still setting up. My friends and I were some of the first customers. As we walked about looking for a table, I heard the DJ’s voice. Saying, “Hey, that’s him,” I went to find him.

He and I almost ran into one another, earning me a resentful look from him. I apologized to him but he blew me off. Well, okay. Shrugging that away, I returned to my friends, who had now selected a table. A waitress came around with typewritten menus. Although there were many pages, there wasn’t much on them as offering, one or two items per page, and nothing that called to me. I thought I’d just order an appetizer and a beer.

Asking about what beer was available, I discovered that a young Penny Marshall was my server. My question about what beer was available seemed to upset her. As I preferred dark beers, I asked her what darks were available. Looking sour, she responded, “I’ll check.” Then she turned to take others’ orders.

She suddenly reverted her attention to me. “We have some new Sam Adams in.”

“Oh, okay, I’ll take a Sam Adams Octoberfest, if you have that.”

Penny looked upset again. Her companion — a young Cindy Williams — said to Penny soto voce, “It’s okay, it’s okay.” I was like, WTH? Why is Penny so upset? My friends and I joked about it after she left the table.

Some conversations took place about different topics. Then I was watching some people. Some were previous military I worked with. They were out now. Some were belligerent toward one another. Turning to comment to my friends, I discovered that I was alone at the table. There was silverware, and my beer, but there were gone.

Picking up the silverware and beer, I walked around. Finding that they moved to another table angered me. I tossed the silverware onto the table. It slide across and fell on the floor. That caught their attention. I then put my beer down and set six dollars on the table to pay for it. They were asking, “Something wrong?”

I replied, “Yeah, thanks for telling me you were moving. I appreciate it. I turned around and you were all gone. How did you expect that to make me feel?”

They were sort of chuckling and stammering apologies about pulling a bad prank, but I walked out, deciding that I didn’t need friends like them.

Outside, I entered my car. It was a cool, sunny evening, still early, Putting the top down, I took a drive, enjoying myself as the air flowed over me.

Another Validating Dream

Validating dreams are the best. I’ll provide a synopsis of this one without great detail.

A sharply clear dream, I was (again) a young fellow in the military, taking over a command post. Several people in the dream were people who worked for me. They had multiple problems. I found them immediately, and installed fixes. My spirit throughout this was optimistic and upbeat, a hundred on a hundred point scale. The dream’s only oddity was that the command post vehicle was a circa 1960 Volkswagen Beetle. Low, dark shale, it lacked bumpers but ran fine. One of my first observances was that the CP was lacking parking blocks. I acquired them. They were fixed in place on the ground but the VW was too low, and its chassis would drag over the blocks. Yeah, there wasn’t much connection with reality there. That’s where it all ended.

A Packed Dream

I sorted out all the elements as a catalyst to remembering this convoluted nocturnal offering.

  1. Racing cars from the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  2. The mother of a childhood friend in the late 1960s and early 1970s.
  3. The television show Glee.
  4. My sports car that I drove in the 1990s.
  5. Co-workers from the early 2000s.
  6. A book store and change.
  7. The Vietnam war and the Huey gunship.
  8. Walking and driving.
  9. An embarrassing bathroom incident featuring an elderly Robert Duvall doppelganger.
  10. Sending a coded message.

It was a lot to take in. I dreamed this between 6 AM and 7:45, times that I was awoken to let Youngblood (Papi) out and in again. I was the same age, in my forties, throughout the dream.

Let’s begin the madness.

Started in traffic. I was in my black 1993 RX-7 R1. Highway was a undulating, rolling affair of six lanes filled with cars. It could have been El Camino Real along the Peninsula.

I saw bright cars up ahead. After some seconds of watching them accelerate and race through traffic, I decided that those were race cars. Downshifting, I accelerated to catch them, then I passed one; it was a 1966 Ford GT. Catching up with others, I saw a trio of Ford GT40s, then several Porsche 908s, a couple Ferraris, Porsche 917s in Gulf colors, and finally, Mark Donahue’s fabled Sunoco blue Porsche 917/30. Flabbergasted, I speculated, why are all these vintage race cars racing in traffic on a public road? Before I could fully catch them, a traffic light stopped me.

I was no longer in my car, but standing with a crowd of people, waiting for the light to change. It was a sunny day. When the light changed, we started walking forward. We were going up a large hill, paved, six lanes wide (three in each direction). A woman beside me said, “How do they expect us to walk up these hills when we’re not warned about them?” I thought that an odd complaint. Looking back, I realized I was having no problem with the hill, but everyone else was, and all were lagging far behind. Shrugging that off, I kept going.

Almost at the hill top, I turned into my destination, a shopping center. There was a book store that I wanted to visit. Entering, I hurried upstairs and then turned in what I remembered as the way. But it was changed; packed with books and bookshelves, tables and chairs, there were so many people and books that it was hard walking through. I gingerly managed to get through, then turned another corner, and found myself in a deadend.

I heard my name being called. As I wondered why anyone would be calling my name, I looked down and realized that my name was written on the tee shirt I wore. A young woman caught up with me. I recognized her as a co-worker from a company I worked at in the 2000s in Palo Alto.

She was asking me for information about a book. She knew some of the people I used to work with flew Huey Gunships in Vietnam. That baffled me; she didn’t work with any of those people. Also, those people were too young to have flown Hueys in Vietnam. A third man (black) came up, trying also to get through the book store. The three of us decided that there was only one door to take, so we would take it to reach the book store section that we wanted.

As we were about to leave, a black man hailed us. Identifying himself as the store manager, he told us that we couldn’t enter until people had left, because the store was too crowded. While we were talking to him, I looked out the window. Realizing where I was, I decided I would leave the store and approach the part I wanted from the outside. I took off to do so.

Now I was in a bathroom. I needed a bowel movement, so I copped a squat. People were watching me. One resembled an elderly Robert Duvall. Staring at me, he said, “Are you really going to do that here?” Thinking I was on a toilet, I replied, “Sure, why not?”

Then I realized that I was peeing on the floor. As I tried addressing that, I discovered that I was shitting in a urinal.

No, no, no! I was hugely embarrassed and recognized that I made an enormous mess. Well, hopping off the urinal, I found some paper towels and starting cleaning. Robert Duvall mocked me. “You’re going to clean this whole thing?” “Yes,” I answered.

My friends began helping me. As I cleaned piss off the upper walls, I realized that there was no way that I’d made all of this mess. Robert Duvall said the same. But I decided to keep cleaning until it was all clean, which I did with friends’ help. Robert Duvall grudgingly congratulated me on doing the right thing. I felt happy about that. Then my friends and I left.

I was out in a busy, busy place. I realized that a high-ranking military officer was coming here, but it wasn’t safe for him. I had a code that I could use to warn him off, but how would I get the code to him? It had to be surreptitious due to the situation.

I saw that some others were on a Zoom call. He was on that Zoom call, too, on the other end! I could write the code on a card or piece of paper and hold it up. As I worked, putting that all together, I did another assessment. Deciding that the threat had passed and the warning overcome by events, I left.

I was at my friend’s house in Penn Hills, PA. He wasn’t there, but his father was. He was coming down the steps as I was going up. I needed to wash my car. I crept into the house, a little concerned that I didn’t belong there, that I was invading someone’s private space. Upstairs, I found a bucket and soap and started filling the bucket with water at the sink. My friend’s mother (Lois) entered. The kitchen was messy, and another person was in there. I apologized for being there, stammering my way through that. She shrugged. “That’s okay. We’re making smoothies.” She held up two large glasses. Then she talked to the other person, asking him if they’d DVR’d Glee.

That threw me off. Lois had died in the eighties (cancer). Glee didn’t exist when she was alive. Neither did DVRs.

Leaving, I returned to my car (still my black RX-7), and then left to reach the bookstore.

Yeah, the end.

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