Sunday’s Theme Music

Attacking issues head-on has always been my preferred style. It doesn’t make me popular with many but to avoid doing things because you don’t want to upset others doesn’t often work. Likewise, fearing of the outcome isn’t a good reason for not doing the right thing. Defining ‘the right thing’ can be quarrelsome. Recent example: Trump supporters are screaming ‘stop the steal’. They think they’re doing the right thing because they’re feeding on false information. Their dear leader, aided and abetted by Fox News, OANN, Newsmax, and spineless Republican politicians at multiple levels, keeps barking about illegal votes and election fraud. Matters have been addressed in court; the evidence has never been found nor presented. That doesn’t stop the mad dog and his followers.

With all of this in my head this AM, my brain tied it up with the Incubus song, “Drive”, the 2000 song all about resisting fear and standing up.

[Verse 1]
Sometimes I feel the fear of uncertainty stinging clear
And I, I can’t help but ask myself
How much I let the fear take the wheel and steer

[Pre-Chorus 1]
It’s driven me before
And it seems to have a vague, haunting mass appeal
But lately I’m
Beginning to find that I should be the one behind the wheel

[Chorus]
Whatever tomorrow brings I’ll be there
With open arms and open eyes, yeah
Whatever tomorrow brings I’ll be there
I’ll be there

h/t to Genius.com

*PAUSE*. I know that there are some out there that’ll respond, well, isn’t that a reason not to wear a mask, lockdown, and practice social distancing? I reply, “No. That’s not the same at all.”

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get vaccinated. Also, keep up with the facts. Don’t allow yourself to wallow in lies and fear. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

I was vacuuming yesterday and writing in my head when a song, “You Got Your Troubles”, plugged into the ol’ mental stream. Although I knew the lyrics and melody, looking up the year and artist was required. I guess it was the 1960s but that’s a broad range. Wikipedia informed me that the performing artists were The Fortunes, and it was a hit in 1965, when I was nine. The Fortunes had two other hits that I recognized, so I’m pretty embarrassed that I didn’t know who they are.

“You Got Your Troubles” is a song despairing a romantic breakup. Those words, though, you got your troubles, I’ve got mine, slip nicely into the 2020/2021 maelstrom. ‘Bout the only folks who don’t seem to have troubles are the super wealthy, who are becoming superwealthier as others cope with their troubles. My troubles, of course, aren’t deep. I’m more like a cat who’s dissatisfied with the treat offered to them, or a writer disappointed in how a story is going. Nothing deep or serious, other than irritation that we have an outgoing POTUS living in an alternate reality attempting to drag more in with him. There are trombies who eagerly swim along with him, exclaiming, “Yes, let’s go to the alternate reality and everything will be happy! Give me more Kool Aid.”

Stay positive (as I do, ha, ha), test negative, wear a mask, and vaccinate. Here’s the music.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

I’ve hit that COVID-19 wall. Again.

No, don’t have COVID-19, haven’t tested positive, etc. Just slammed into the wall. Built of stout same ol’, same ol’, reinforced with tedium, overlaid with boredom and frustration, the wall is a staunch mutha. “I want,” my mind screams like a hungry wailing infant. I want something different today. I want a road trip. I want a beach! I want a coffee shop, solitude, and privacy. I want something different that’s something old, something borrowed, something new.

Sounds like I’m getting married.

“Shake It Up” by The Cars plugged into the scene. Released in 1981, it’s a poppy techno-rock hybrid. I need the sentiment today. Shake it up. Change some damn thing. Break the tedium structure.

I want to tell you, stay positive, but hitting this wall today, I don’t feel positive myself, so it’d be hypocritical of me, right? But I’ll encourage you anyway (and meself), stay positive. Test negative. Don’t do anything crazy because you want to shake it up. Wear a mask.

Cheers

Another COVID Dream

COVID-19 and wearing a mask featured in this dream. There was also a meatloaf cap, fruit for cars, and I was back in the military again.

Arrived at a new assignment, I was learning where to go. A new joint base (name unknown), the buildings, walks, and streets were all newly constructed and of the highest order, a very impressive place.

I was attached to the command staff, so my office was in the headquarters building. Leaving there, some kind of plan to paint a sign with black paint was in my head. I don’t know what the sign was supposed to say, but I had black paint on a brush. It kept dripping, marking the unblemished new walk, mortifying me. Staying in a wheeled office chair to go paint the sign exacerbated the mess. As I was outside, I don’t know why I was in that chair. That realization came to me in the dream, and I abandoned the chair and paint.

Next, I needed to find my way to my new quarters. I had a rough idea of where to go. First, though, I ended up in the lobby of the visiting officers’ quarters. Recognizing my mistake, I made to leave. At that point, I realized, I don’t have a mask on. I hadn’t been distancing. Oh, no. Others were sometimes masked but most were staying six feet apart.

I was still in the lobby and made my way to leave. At that point, a young couple, both officers, were trying to leave through the door. Their hands were full, so I held the door open. But I couldn’t keep six feet away and help them. Aha, there was a doorstop. I put it in place. Problem solved, I left.

I was now along a food court where military people in uniform were eating. Along one side was also a small commissary. I saw an advertisement for meat loaf. Then, I saw sliced meat loaf being worn on a cap. As I expressed astonishment, a young woman near me explained that it was a promotional gimmick. I then saw that it was being worn on a friend of mine, Randy. Randy had passed away several years before, so what was he doing here?

I wanted to catch up with Randy but he disappeared in the crowd. With a dream shift, I was in my car. This happened to be an orange 1974 Porsche 914 that I used to own. I was happy to have the car again. Before driving away to the quarters, I decided that I would put fruit on the ground for other cars. Leaving the car, I spaced a peach and an apple at a distance about five feet apart. I figured that spacing would let the car pick it up more easily. Even as I was thinking this in the dream, I was thinking, WTF are you talking about, in the dream. How would a car pick up fruit? Why would it want to? But I persisted in this plan, rationalizing that there were be opening under the car, and I was putting them at just the right space for the opening.

In my car, driving toward my quarters now, the dream ended.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Today’s choice is a 1969 love song by The Beatles. “Don’t Let Me Down” was written by John Lennon for Yoko Ono. It wasn’t a great hit for them on its release but has since acquired greater admiration and respect. It came to mind last night as the last song played on a documentary watched on Hulu, The Beatles: Eight Days a Week – The Touring Years.

The song’s refrain fits these times. “Don’t let me down,” is sung as a strident request throughout the song. Seems right for now, as we depend upon one another to survive a pandemic. Do the right thing; don’t let me down. Likewise, here in the U.S., as elected Federal officials meet to confirm the 2020 presidential election results, we ask them to do the right thing. Abiede by the Constitution; don’t let me down.

Last, it’s a request to the new year, 2021. Hey, we’ve been through a lot in 2020. Rough year, you know? We’d like something more positive, please. Don’t let me down.

Stay positive, test negative. Wear a mask and get vaccinated. Don’t let us down.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Yes, this song was featured as theme music back in 2016. Four years later, it seems more appropriate.

“Riders on the Storm” by the Doors was released in 1971. I was ninth grade. The baseline, lyrics, and keyboard mesmerized me. I later ended up taking a philosophy in pop culture class in Japan where this song and its line, “Into this word we’re thrown,” was discussed. Ah, good times.

Seems like we’re riding a storm of uncertainty now as much as ever. The song came to me in the middle of the night, when I surfaced out of a dream. While I was reflecting on the dream, the song just rose up as a soft, subtle background. Later, we were out shopping just after sunrise. The song came to me again as I stepped out of the store into the silent parking lot and faced the sun illuminated the valley, mountains, and valley to the north. After I was home, I listened to it.

It’s an evocative tune. Hope you enjoy it. Remember, stay positive, test negative, and wear your mask. Cheers

The Waiting

December is upon us as I wait

for spring to begin (it might come late).

Winter is nigh, as I dig in,

waiting for summer to come and begin.

The year is closing as I start this day,

hoping for change, trying to make a play.

December is upon us, and I never knew

the full strength of the sun

in July and June.

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

A Long Dream

A long dream, but not much happening.

I dream of food often, as often as cars, perhaps. Food was heavily featured in this one.

I was outside on grass but under an enormous pavilion. A celebration was planned. I showed up early to help with setup. It unfolded with lazy grace. First, a group of us put out tables and chairs. People arrived with food. Some are friends, but many are strangers. I tell them where to put their food. It’s a wonderful, relaxed scene.

At last, everyone is there and we’re starting. People wander around tables of food, checking the offerings and asking where they can find specifiic food. There’s a barbecue grill setup. Others are trying to light it but can’t. I show them how to do it. A little later, another friend is trying to light the grill. He’s doing it wrong. I’m about to explain how to light it when he figures it out and lights it. I find a plate of food and a place to sit.

Strange to have such a long, relaxed dream, like a day out of life, where we’re all just having a good time, being together. Perhaps it’s a manifestation by my subconscious of being out and socializing during this pandemic era. Or, maybe my mind is having a small celebration in honor of Joe Biden’s victory, and the changes that means.

Wednesday’s Whickering

  1. Writing was so intense today. Been seeing this rainstorm for this shithole where my characters arrived. It’s a bleak, rocky place, no green, no insects or birds. There are dogs and people (and rats). I wrote the scene today, shivering behind my laptop as I imagined the cold, hard rain slamming my people. Had to pause and pace, and get more coffee to warm myself several times.
  2. Love that intensity when it happens, but it’s also a distraction. Too much writing energy builds up. Fingers and mind can’t keep up with the story-telling stream gushing out. My abs get knotted and my arms tremble. Nobody ever mentioned this at the writing conferences.
  3. Wife made this wonderful pumpkin doughnut muffins yesterday. Rolled in sugar and cinnamon, they’re like doughnut holes. Man, those things are mega excellent. Each time I go for coffee, I want to eat another.
  4. When I pause in my writing, I spy on my neighbors. They’re up to something next door. Don’t know what. He’s like that, though, quiet, rarely seen for several months, then, boom, the sudden center of crazy, with cars and peeps arriving, and things being carried back and forth, and slamming and thumping noises. He’s a nice guy but when I hear this things, my mind paints him as someone nefarious doing some devious misdeeds. Being a nice guy is always a good cover for being an evil genius.
  5. The cats and I took well to the hour fall back. I much prefer it to the spring-ahead hour change. Really rather do without either, though.
  6. Watching The Queen’s Gambit on Netflix. Really well done. The young lead actor, Anya Taylor Joy does an excellent job, but all are well-cast, and the production values are super. I’d not been aware of the novel. It came out in 1983, I read. After seeing the television show, I want to find the book and read it. It’s at my library, so I put it on my shelf. Didn’t want a hold. I’m already way behind my reading.
  7. Being behind on my reading is a constant thing. Reading stirs my writing. I enter this cycle of reading two paragraphs, write two sentences. Writing progress is made because this is in addition to my devoted writing period. Reading gets serious hampered. I’m eventually forced to focus on the reading and push to finish the book, which is a damn strange way to entertain myself, innit?
  8. I cut my hair yesterday. It’s the second pandemic cut that I’ve given myself. I think it looks good. Of course, I can’t see the back. I did what I could through feel. My wife is reluctant to cut it. I don’t know why. I have guesses but I’ll keep those shelved.
  9. Okay, got more coffee. (The pumpkin doughnut muffins were avoided.) Time to resume writing like crazy, at least one more time.

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