Monday’s Theme Music

Thickening fog is graying out this Monday morning in southern Oregon.

Hi. Today is February 22, 2021. The temperature is 39 degrees F. Sunrise and sunset are 6:57 AM, 5:52 PM, presenting us almost eleven hours of daylight.

My mind has been busy with dreams, reading, writing, and thinking. Among the thoughts. They mentioned on the radio that, oh, surprise, people are creatures of habit. Surveys show that eighty percent of Americans have daily routines that they follow. They eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, go to the same places to shop, watch the same shows, etc.

Well, hello, yes. Much of this is driven by routines but by prices, selections, availability, health, and convenience. My breakfast, for example, is usually oatmeal. How it’s flavored varies. I add different fruits and nuts to it, or raisins, or peanut butter, or sometimes all of it. Yogurt with granola stands as an infrequent breakfast alternative. Once in a while, probably once a month, I’ll buy a breakfast burrito from a store. Once in a while, maybe every other month, I’ll have a doughnut or pastry for breakfast.

These things, though are driven by nutrition, taste, cost, availability, and convenience. I used to make and eat other things for breakfast. Metabolism changes, life style changes, and weight gain all started nixing how often I do that, along with convenience and laziness. Making a more elaborate breakfast (besides being pricier) is time consuming, and there’s cleaning up afterward.

Boy, I sound defensive, don’t I? But they’re right: we shop at the same seven places for our groceries when we go out. Those seven: Shop N’ Kart, Trader Joe’s, Costco, The Food Co-op, Market of Choice, Bi-Mart and Albertson’s. They’re all within a twenty-minute drive. They have decent prices. The food quality is good. We’re checked out places, but these are the ones we trust.

Enough whining. On to the music. Today’s theme song is “Sowing the Seeds of Love” by Tears for Fear, 1989. Don’t ask me why; it came into my head this morning, and I had no reason to not select it.

Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get vaccinated. We’re still a few weeks from being eligible for the vaccination, ourselves. Here’s the tune. Enjoy.

Thursday’s Theme Music

After masking up, we went grocery shopping this morning. I sort of felt like a ninja, what with being masked and out in the dark. Ninja shopper! (Critics are calling it a most-see comedy!) Sunrise was at 7:43 AM; we were back in the house at eight. After returning, “Miss You” by the Rolling Stones (1978) crawled into my mental stream. I suspect that as I put groceries away and contemplated the day’s activities, some underlying sentiments about routines and the way things were before the pandemic landed were circulating in my head. Thoughts like, be a nice morning to go to a coffee shop, have a cuppa, do some writing, you know?

(Ah, let’s indulge for a moment, remembering how it was or imaging how it’ll be, walking down the hill (for the coffee shop is on a hill, 4th Street) through morning air that chills my skin with wintry graces, keeping me huddling in my clothes. Silence is keeping us hostage, although a truck’s far away exhaust tries to break the scene. Tissue-thin sunshine keeps it from being night but this light has faint presence and lacks many therms. I open the door.

(A bell jingles in response to the door’s movement. Faces come my way for a moment, assessing my presence. Warmth smooths over my face. Classic rock bounces off hard surfaces. Espresso machines hiss and gurgle, as patrons laugh, chuckle, and speak. Workers call to each other about croissants (yes, they’re done, maybe burnt on the edges and caramelizing from the clues snaking up my nostrils). Sniffing against a delicate dribble of escaping snot, I eye the place for a free work space, darting away to stake my claim. After parking my laptop bag on my territory, I join the line, watching, waiting, smelling, listening, calculating time and costs, gazing at the glass counters and the pastry temptations within, considering options about what to eat and drink.)

But we are where we are, enduring, surviving, hoping to see a light at the tunnel’s end, fingers crossed that it’s not some new disaster coming toward us. Stay pos, test neg, wear a mask, and enjoy the music. Cheers

Tuesday’s Theme Music

I was spying on neighbors this morning, verifying that they followed their regular routines. All seemed alive (although some moved like zombies) and in good health (but such appearances may be deceptive, no?). Each followed their recurring and regular, sharply predictable, Tuesday morning routines.

My routines are not predictable — in the mornings. Writing, I set my structure. As socializing and common activities like shopping or heading out for a cuppa are curtailed, my day is a freeflow form. What do I want to do, and when do I want to do it, along with what needs to be done regarding health, house, and history, right?

All that thinking about busy activities stirred thinking about insects, spiders, and ants. That invited the 1994 song, “Ants Marching”, by The Dave Matthews Band.

When all the little ants are marching
Red and black antennae waving
They all do it the same
They all do it the same way

h/t to Genius.com

What’s funny about human ant activity is how it may seem so same each day while inside, all manner of activity is happening.

Or maybe not. Maybe the thinking is like the activities, the same thing every day.

Time for my morning coffee, said the ant.

Saturday’s Theme Music

A 1980s power ballad burst into my head this morning. I was a little lethargic getting up. Not really looking forward to the day.

Seems like I’m in a rut. I don’t think I’m alone in that self-appraisal, not just in the U.S., but in many parts beyond our coastlines.

A large part of my malaise is the novel coronavirus who dances under several names, but most frequently appears as COVID-19. “Winter is coming,” George R.R. Martin has Ned Stark warning us. Up here in the northern climes, the daylight period is falling shorter. Night hangs on a little longer. With an overcast day like this one, there’s no daylight, just a pale grey nothingness to the sky.

I long for my old, comfortable routines. Man, am I a person of habit. I used to be flexible and adapt, but as I’ve aged, my processes have ossified. Change comes hard.

Different songs about change and attitude set the background to my dream reflections and morning routines, but then an absolutely obstinate cat – we call him Boo – crystallized the choice.

Here’s “Never Surrender” by Corey Hart (1985). For Boo.

Routines

The keys go in this drawer so that they could always be found

(alongside his Fitbit, wallet, and pens),

the shopping bags were stored in these cubbies so all knew where they were

(it was automatic to reach for them when walking out the door),

the sunglasses and reading glasses were set where they were always expected to be

(so that exasperating searches could be avoided),

and the refrigerator and pantry were kept ordered, to minimize searching,

processes meant to reduce the chances of forgetting and losing anything.

It mostly worked.

 

Thursday’s Theme Music

Feeling like a bit o’ rut had overtaken me, I sought changes after leaving my writing time. Writing time had been productive and left me with that sense of magic, that anything was possible. Now, walking again, I faced the boring and mundane, the same old shit – trees, house, and streets. My mind is screaming road trip. Get thee somewhere with a fresh view. Been a while, I thought with first world sniveling,¬†months¬†since I’ve gotten away to somewhere else, which is the primary problem with being in a rut.

Out of this, or into this, streamed Green Day’s 1994 offering, “Longview”. Why not? It’s a song all about being bored and doing the same thing hour and hour twenty-four seven.

Sit around and watch the tube but, nothing’s on
Change the channels for an hour or two
Twiddle my thumbs just for a bit
I’m sick of all the same old shit
In a house with unlocked doors
And I’m fucking lazy

Bite my lip and close my eyes
Take me away to paradise
I’m so damn bored I’m going BLIND!!!
And I smell like shit

Peel me off this velcro seat and get me moving
I sure as hell can’t do it by myself
I’m feeling like a DOG IN HEAT
Barred indoors from the summer street
I locked the door to MY OWN CELL
And I lost the key

h/t Lyrics.rockmagic.net

Monday’s Theme Music

You’d think that today’s song, with a cat in the title, was inspired by an interaction with a cat. Nope; didn’t happen that way.

“Honky Cat” by Elton John (1972) came to me because of the line, “Change is gonna do me good.” I was asked to help another. Helping them would force a change to my comfortable, protected routines. But I wanted to help, hence, I told myself, “Change is gonna do me good.”

Turned out, my help wasn’t needed, etc. By then, though, “Honky Cat” was roaring in the stream. Not that I mind that. Its jaunty sound fit my mood.

Now I’m gonna go look for gold in a silver mine, then drink a little whiskey from a bottle of wine. Always enjoyed those lines.

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