Monday’s Theme Music

I like watching people, seeing where their eyes move, their non-verbal language, and how they interact with the world. The phone people — PP, or P2, the ones with attention glued to their phones as they walk along — demonstrate little expression or body language. It’s not a surprise; they’re usually totally invested in that little electronic device. They’re interacting with it. It changes when they’re on video, or actually speaking someone, and — of course! — when a selfie is being orchestrated.

As an aside rant, the P2 annoy me when they’re absorbed by their phone and walking. They expect everyone to move aside and look out for them. Sometimes, I’m an asshole, and I don’t move.

Today’s song was inspired by a woman walking toward me. She was quite the haughty person, swapping all with her eyes but avoiding eye contact with anyone. I do understand it more, now, why many women avoid contact that could be misconstrued with others. Many have horror stories about how their friendliness was misconstrued, leading to ugly encounters with men who thought the women were flirting with them.

This woman’s dark eyes struck a chord with lyrics from a past song, “Here comes the woman with the look in her eye.” Before she’d come within six feet, Michael Hutchence and INXS were streaming “Devil Inside” through me. Although this song came out in 1988, when I was stationed in Germany, I’d heard INXS in the early eighties while on assignment at Kadena AB on Okinawa. That’s because I knew some Australian special forces members there. They knew of INXS’ music and introduced them to me. So INXS is forever associated with Okinawa in my mind.

Sad day when I heard that Hutchence had killed himself, thirty-seven years old. He was younger than me by four years, and it seemed astonishing that such a talented, young, and successful person could kill themselves.

I’ve learned a lot since then.

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Sunday’s Theme Music

Warren Zevon was always up and down to me. Sometimes, I greatly enjoyed and admired his work, but other times, I was left scratching my head. Most acts do that for me, but it seemed like it was more frequently a response to Zevon’s solo stuff. (It’s probably just me, innit?) “Werewolves of London” (1978) stands out as a strong exception. I love its funkiness, especially that simple, melodic piano, and ended up singing it to my cats last night (although my version was, of course, “Werecats of Ashland”, as they’re cats, and I live in Ashland, Oregon).

They were dubious.

Saturday’s Theme Music

I’m sorta maudlin in my reflections today, and the stream reflects that. As friends and stars pass with greater frequency, I found “Shooting Star” by Bad Company (1975) streaming in me. So many folks and fur friends seem like shooting stars, blazing a fast trail through the night, gone before you can fully appreciate what you see. But sometimes that trail lights up the sky and leaves an impression that keeps you looking and longing for more.

Johnny told his mama, hey, ‘Mama, I’m goin’ away. I’m gonna hit the big
time, gonna be a big star someday’, Yeah.
Mama came to the door with a teardrop in her eye.
Johnny said, ‘Don’t cry, mama, smile and wave good-bye’.

Don’t you know, yeah yeah, Don’t you know that you are a shooting star,
Don’t you know, don’t you know. Don’t you know that you are
a shooting star, And all the world will love you just as long,
As long as you are.

Johnny made a record, Went straight up to number one,
Suddenly everyone loved to hear him sing the song.
Watching the world go by, surprising it goes so fast.
Johnny looked around him and said, ‘Well, I made the big time at last’.

Don’t you know, don’t you know, Don’t you know that you are
a shooting star,
Don’t you know, oh, yeah, Don’t you know that you are
a shooting star, yeah,
And all the world will love you just as long,
As long as you are, a shooting star.

Don’t you know that you are a shooting star, Don’t you know, yeah,
Don’t you know that you are a shooting star, now,
And all the world will love you just as long, As long you are you.

Johnny died one night, died in his bed, Bottle of whiskey,
sleeping tablets by his head. Johnny’s life passed him by like a
warm summer day, If you listen to the wind you can still hear him play.

h/t AZLyrics.com

 

Friday’s Theme Music

Planning a trip home, to see Mom in PA. I guess as part of that, Harry Chapin’s 1974 song, “Cat’s in the Cradle” started playing. Perhaps it’s because I’m not planning to see Dad, and I feel guilty. Mom and Dad each have birthdays in October’s last week. Mom lives in PA, Dad lives in TX, and I live in Oregon. Arranging to see them is a challenge with flight schedules.

The song came out the week that I entered the Air Force, as my Dad had done decades before. During basic, we heard little music and saw little of the outside world until basic was finished. Naturally, hearing this song after my basic was completed struck me as completely, and sadly, true.

Anyone, “Cat’s in the Cradle” is in my stream, so I’m presenting it to you.

Tuesday’s Theme Music

It was inevitable, I guess, that the deaths of Eddie Money and Ric Ocasek that their music would jump into my mental stream of sound. Today found Eddie Money’s “Shakin'” (1982) in the stream.

My wife’s movement invited “Shakin'” in. She loves music and dancing, and happened to start dancing, moving around and snapping her fingers last night, with an expression lit with happiness.

 

Monday’s Theme Music

Rain arrived yesterday afternoon, bringing its evocative smells and sounds. Late in the evening, I slipped out onto the covered back patio with a pair of my feline companions to enjoy the sounds. Steady but soft, the rain imbued the night with tranquility.

Out of my thoughts and into my stream came an old Eddie Rabbit song, “I Love A Rainy Night” (1980). I came to know the song through my wife. We were living in Texas then, assigned to Randolph AFB outside of Universal City, not far from San Antonio. She enjoyed the song and frequently played it on our stereo cassette player. Hearing the song takes me right back to that year and place.

Sunday’s Theme Music

I did a great deal of solitary walking on the beach last week, a wonderful incubator for re-balancing references and energies, and re-calibrating my compass. Many walking songs streamed along in the background of my thinking. I’d heard this song, “Walking in Memphis” (Marc Cohn and the Blind Boys of Alabama, 1991) earlier in the week. The song melded effortlessly into my stream. One specific verse remained with me.

Walking in Memphis
I was walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale
Walking in Memphis
But do I really feel the way I feel?

h/t to AZLyrics.com

The lines’ duality strike me, especially the last, “But do I really feel the way I feel?” Not infrequently, I root through what I’m feeling to discover that what I thought I was feeling wasn’t it at all, and the source for my feelings isn’t always as apparent as the first thing – or the latest matter – or the dominant issue – stalking me. Sometimes, digging and reflection is required to discover what I really feel, and why.

 

Saturday’s Theme Music

I was watching a couple. Twenty-ish white people, they seemed to be going through emotional turmoil. Separated by six feet, they entered the noisy coffee shop. She, a blond, was in the lead with her arms crossed over her belly, casting stoic eyes over the coffee shop population and then the menus on the wall. Taller and darker, he came in behind her with awkward shuffling, moved closer to her, leaned in and spoke. Without answering, she turned, stepped around him, and left. He stood for a moment, staring at nothing as though thinking, and then turned and pursued her.

I watched them through the large front window. They’d come in a new-generation red Camaro convertible. I noticed it as it pulled up, as sunlight flashed off its polish. She didn’t walk toward it, but drifted toward the crosswalk to go across the highway with the same stiff body as before. He watched her, then put his head down and stood for several seconds. As she reached halfway across the road, he went after her, but with a slow pace. Then he looked back at their car, paused in the crosswalk, and continued on after the girl.

I lost sight of them. The red Camaro was still there when my wife and I left. Soft Cell’s 1981 medley of “Tainted Love” and “Where Did Our Love Go” streamed into my thoughts.

 

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