Saturday’s Theme Music

You ever been asked, “You have too much time on your hands?”

When I worked, the answer was sometimes, “Yep.” Work was so segregated and encapsulated into specific roles and tasks that if I did mine fast, which I frequently did, I’d end up waiting for others with nothing to do. Exasperating. I often spent that time by reading company or government periodicals. Whether that was the military or corporate side, that helped me broaden my outlook, which was always a benefit.

Since I quit working to write full time, I never feel like I have too much time on my hands. My response is more likely to be an incredulous spewing of coffee, beer, or wine, followed by, “Are you kidding me?”

Someone asked yesterday. I didn’t spew – that was just in there for comic effect – but I did laugh and reply, “No.” Thinking about his question later brought up the 1981 Styx song, “Too Much Time on My Hands”. It’d been released just before my wife and I arrived for a four-year military assignment at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan. We quite enjoyed that assignment. Thanks to the interesting culture, wonderful friends, educational opportunities, and the ocean, we never felt like we had too much time on our hands.

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Friday’s Theme Music

Today’s was a direct and simple connection between walking, thinking, and my theme music.

Thinking about time, I was walking through some low humidity, ninety degree sunshine. Across the valley was clear from my vantage. It was its typical summer brown, the green baked away, a striking but depressing tableau under a crystal blue sky. With that vision of heat and dryness dancing with memories of wildfires from the last five years, I hoped for rain.

The opening words that Sting sings from “Desert Rose”, a duet with Cheb Mami (2000), rose in voice in my mind.

I dream of rain
I dream of gardens in the desert sand
I wake in vain
I dream of love as time runs through my hand

h/t AZLyrics.com

Thursday’s Theme Music

Remember the peace dividend?

Maybe, right. Hard to say. Depends on your age, education, and memory, and what I mean by the peace dividend. Well, I mean the supposed reduction in defense spending that would be seen after the collapse and break up of the U.S.S.R. With that major nuclear threat winding down, the thought was that less money should be spent military spending, allowing more money to be spent on social programs, while taxes were reduced. Thatcher and Bush 41 were said to be behind this progressive idea. They said they were being pragmatic.

Didn’t last long, and the dividend didn’t go far. The U.S continues to increase spending and go to war more and more frequently to address problems.

Conversations with friends last night reminded me of the U.S.S.R.’s fall and the subsequent peace dividend. Back in the early 1990s, in the post-Soviet world, it seems like we were on the cusp of making some significant advances. Some will disagree, but I thought increasing the social net, helping others, recognizing and confirming people’s rights regardless of their sexual preference, gender, skin color, or religion were all strides forward to a better world. Environmental consciousness was increasing. It seemed like America was were trying harder as a nation. Now, to me, it feels like we’re sliding back into the 1930s. Sigh.

I posted about this song, Jesus Jones, “Right Here, Right Now” (1991) in 2017 but without the political realities behind its inspiration. Forgive me for sharing it again, but it seemed right.

A woman on the radio talked about revolution
When it’s already passed her by
Bob Dylan didn’t have this to sing about you
You know it feels good to be alive

I was alive and I waited, waited
I was alive and I waited for this
Right here, right now
There is no other place I want to be
Right here, right now
Watching the world wake up from history

I saw the decade in, when it seemed
The world could change at the blink of an eye
And if anything
Then there’s your sign… Of the times

I was alive and I waited, waited
I was alive and I waited for this
Right here, right now

I was alive and I waited, waited
I was alive and I waited for this
Right here, right now
There is no other place I want to be
Right here, right now
Watching the world wake up from history

Right here, right now
There is no other place I want to be
Right here, right now
Watching the world wake up from history

Right here, right now
There is no other place I want to be
Right here, right now
Watching the world wake up… 

h/t to Lyrics Freak.com

 

 

Tuesday’s Theme Music

My head seems to be residing in the 1990s frequently this month. Another nineties staple, Alice in Chains’ song, “Man in the Box” (1991), has appeared in my mental stream.

It happened when I was walking yesterday afternoon. I suspect that it’s the recurrent thoughts/sensations that I often feel trapped in a box coupled with the opening strides of music that prompted the song to enter my stream. I was walking, and the music’s beat and my rhythm matched.

I always considered AIC underrated. After I bought their unplugged album, I told my buddy, “This is a really good album. You should give it a listen.”

He replied, “Dude, it’s Alice in Chains. I mean, no disrespect, but how good could it be?”

 

Monday’s Theme Music

Out of nothing except I enjoy this song and it was streaming in my head this morning, today’s music is “Don’t Speak” by No Doubt (1996). Maybe this song is in my head because of the period. 1996 wasn’t a great year at first but by the end of the year, it started a satisfying five year run in my personal life. I made my first serious attempts at writing short stories then, and sold a few. Perhaps if I’d not done that, though, I’d not now be addicted to writing novels.

Writing novels is fun if challenging, rewarding, frustrating, and exasperating. Wait; don’t speak. I know just what you’re saying.

Saturday’s Theme Music

I was being prepped for surgery yesterday (routine and elective, no worries) when I began streaming the 1976 Pablo Cruise song, “Love Will Find A Way”. My specific verse was, “Oh, but it’s all right, once you get past the pain.” See, I was giving myself a little pep talk – “It’ll be fine, once you get past the pain. Yes, you know you’re right, Michael.” The Pablo Cruise song helped distract me.

The surgery didn’t come off. My BP was running 230/131. Too high, they said. It was checked several more times and never dropped.

My wife and I were surprised and baffled. As she put it, “He’s very active, walking almost ten miles a day, and never seems to have a problem.” Off I went to another doctor to address that issue. Heart, lungs, carotids, etc., all sound good, no dizziness, etc. A medicine was prescribed to lower it. We’ll go with the flow and see where it goes.

Meanwhile, a little mellow music.

Friday’s Theme Music

This was an instant favorite when it came out in 1999. I wasn’t alone; it became a number one song and a radio regular. This is another one of those, crank it up, sing along, and move songs.

I’ve posted about it before. It was streaming in my mind for some reason this morning, so, why not post about it again? This is a recording of a live version. I enjoy the band’s energy, and Carlos’ expression.

Here’s Rob Thomas and Carlos Santana with “Smooth”. It’s a good song to start a cool summer day, which is what it’s like here, in southern Oregon this morning.

Thursday’s Theme Music

Walking après writing yesterday, I was thinking of words and their meanings. Words’ meanings, especially when used in expressions, often lose their original meaning or intentions. Sometimes they’re literal for some while they’re meaningless to others.

“Thoughts and prayers” jumped into that category. Politicians are often saying, like a jerk reflex, “Our thoughts and prayers are with” some victims of murder or disaster. It seems like an expression they can use without thinking or doing anything else. Meanwhile, thoughts and prayers are powerful to others.

“I love you” also jumped into my thinking. I was reminded of a sitcom called King of Queens. It was on for a while years ago. While it ended production, the show can probably be seen in syndication. I confess, I’m a sitcom addict. Most make me wince but I still watch them, hoping for one that’ll satisfy. Admittedly, I watch less of them now than a few years ago. They’re too insipid. While I’m fond of shows like The Kominsky Method and Grace and Frankie, I’m instead turning to darker comedy like Barry, The Boys, and Stranger Things. 

But there was one episode that came to mind from the King of Queens. The main characters were Doug and Carrie, a married couple. Carrie worked for a boss for a while whose name also was Doug. Once, when she was saying good-bye to him to end a phone conversation, she said, “Okay, Doug,” and then, saying Doug, automatically added, “I love you. Bye.”

 

“I love you,” became the pivot for my thoughts. That finally brought me to today’s music. “More than Words” by Extreme (1991). The song is a ballad about wanting more demonstration of a woman’s love than just the words, “I love you”. When I first heard the song on the radio, I wondered who was singing it, and was really surprised to learn it was Extreme. Later, I saw the video, and enjoyed how the bass and drum players are just sitting to one side, variously reading books, holding up lighters, etc., since the song doesn’t require anything on their part. That cracked me up.

So, here it is at last. Sorry for the long intro. Cheers

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Out walking after my writing session yesterday, I spotted a woman walking across the street. I don’t know why, but a Beatles song tripped into my stream.

The song, “Day Tripper”, was released in 1965. I was nine. It’s one of my favorite fab four songs. It’s the first of their songs that I attempted to play on a guitar. I was nine and not a focused person. When I couldn’t immediately play it like it was on the record, I quit.

I don’t know what the song is about, whether it’s drugs, traveling, or just relationships. Maybe it’s all of the above. I still enjoy it, all these years later.

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