Monday’s Theme Music

Monday has landed. You need to be careful when Monday lands that it doesn’t do serious damage to you. Some people really enjoy Mondays landing. They’re depressingly cheerful, shouting things like, “Woo hoo, it’s Monday,” causing the rest of us to raise our eyebrows so high that they get lost in our hair.

It’s August 27, 2022, which, for some, is the deadline. It’s also birthdays and anniversaries, so salutations to you if it is. Hope it’s memorable and the start of a long line of fantastic years.

I’m in Eugene, Oregon, now, a stop off on our way home. It’s 61 F here, 16 C on the coast, and 64 F in Ashland. Respective highs are 85, 68, and 88 F. Sunrise for this local was a classic, with sunshine piercing the eastern sky with a sharp golden lance at 6:323 this morning. Sunset will be at 8:07. I plan to be home then, where the sunset will be 8:01.

I have a 1957 song by Buddy Holley and the Crickets stuck in the morning mental music stream. My fault, totally my fault. After we checked into the room and settled for the evening, we cruised TV offerings where we found BBC America showing Stand By Me. The 1986 movie is about boys in a 1959 small town, their conflicts with themselves and others, and the quest to find a dead body. It features a terrific cast and music of the era. Well, The Neurons heard, ” Everyday, it’s a-gettin’ closer, goin’ faster than a roller coaster,” and they latched onto that like a cat taking over a chair.

Stay pos, test, neg, and so on. Yes, I’ve had coffee and breakfast. Coffee was very good. The breakfast went down well, breaking back tears of joy from being out in the field and enjoying some fine reconstituted eggs. Here’s the music. Cheers

Sunday’s Theme Music

Well, we come down the hill and turned into a glade, and there it was, majestic as ever: Sunday, August 21, 2022. So I, for one, can say, it does exist. I’ve seen it once and I’ll probably never see it again.

It’s a beautiful day on the beach. Though clouds blanket the sun, its presence is here. The ocean is a sleepy murmur. No fog or marine layer. 64 F. Today will be a little warmer, 70 F.

Sunrise trickle across the eastern skies at 6:26 AM and the sun’s luminescence will leave us with sunset at 8:12 PM.

A dream last night featured Tom Petty saying, “Let’s do the crocodile song, the rock song.” He said this three times, not in a row, but at three different times. I knew he referred to Elton John’s hit. Whenever he said that and his band played, I would go off and tell myself, “I need to be more like Tom Petty, and take more risks, put myself out there.” The dream also featured two-day POTUS Ronald Reagan and four-time NASCAR champ Jeff Gordon. It was an interesting dream.

But when thinking about the dream, “Crocodile Rock” and Tom Petty, The Neurons responded with Tom Petty and “Running Down A Dream”, a hit song from the 1989 album, Full Moon Fever. I was in Germany at Rhein Main Air Base when it was released, returning to America in 1991. The Neurons know I like this song. Who am I to argue with them? Yes, the song has been featured here before, but we’ll survive that.

Yes, I’ve had coffee, so I’m mellow, as are The Neurons. As I say, the ocean is a sweet companion today, in a mellow mood, and it’s infectious. Stay positive, test negative, and so on. Enjoy your Sunday, yeah?


1988 Dream

I kept encountering an error message. Sometimes it was written on a printout: [Error 1988: Michael does not exist]. I saw it in emails and text messages. Sometimes it was also spoken in the same voice my Roomba makes an announcement: “Error 1988: Michael does not exist.” As this happened, I was hurrying down hallways, looking over my shoulder, and pushing on doors, trying to find one that opens, hunting for an exit.

But, in one sense, it was understandable. On vacation, a person who needs isolation and solitude, who enjoys writing as their escape and therapy, who is forced to spend almost eighty percent of their time with other people, will end up dreaming about escape.


The question is, why those numbers?

Friday’s Theme Music

We’ve come to Friday. Full stop. What else needs said? Everyone has a Friday sense, a feel for what Friday means for them. We do that with every day, though, depending on schedules and activities, wants and needs, desires and confusion, determination and goals.

Rain is falling on this Oregon coast August 19th. The sun’s reappearance was dampened by clouds but still took place at 6:23 this morning. Turning away from Sol — which often invokes Pink Floyd and someone singing, “On the turning away” — takes place at 8:19 this evening. By that time, we’ll expect to be at 67 F, a small jump from our current 16 C. They say it feels like 60. Whatever, it’s loaded with soft salty fishy oceany fragrances sprinkled with dirt, sand, and asphalt, along with plant smells. Know that melange? It’s a relaxing scent to inhale, one that unfolds the soul and pours out cares, at least for a little while. It also invokes memories for me, of where I’ve been, my present intersection of time, space, and being, and the final leg, who I am. Cue The Who, “Who Are You”.

Falling rain means Elvis Presley for The Neurons, today, though. They could have gone with Blind Melon and “No Rain”, I suppose, but no, they have “Kentucky Rain” (1970) circumambulating my morning mental music stream. Why? Silly one, The Neurons don’t explain their processes and decisions. Perhaps that’s only me. Your Neurons might be much nicer. Well, my neurons are nice, just as wild and free as a clowder of kitties chasing dandelion seeds on the wind.

Here’s the music. Stay positive and test negative. I must go on a coffee quest. (Yes, now The Neurons have folded “The Impossible Dream” into the morning mental music mix.)


Thursday’s Theme Music

Lotsa wet out from ocean fog. Drips from everything and sprawls over cars and houses. Thursday morning on the coast. It’s started out much like Wednesday morning on the coast. I’m beginning to have suspicions about Friday morning on the coast, although rain is in the Friday forecast.

For now, it’s quiet and chill, 62 F, sunshine smothered in fog. The sun has been ‘up’ since 6:22 AM but it’s a dim bulb in the eastern fog swirl. A high of 68 F will be probed. We’ll going out on a short boat trip to explore the local marine life and history’s highlights. Should be fun. Sunset will be about 8:19 this evening.

Should note that it’s August 18, 2022, for the record. The record is important, isn’t it? ‘Tis why we’re always tracking and chasing these things. “For the record, what day was it?” “I believe it was August 18, 2022, yer honor.”

The line “walking in the sand” is walking through my morning mental music stream. Yes, thank you, neurons. Not very original of you but I have walked a few miles in the sand in the last few days. Nye Beach has a beautiful flat beach, not very busy on the sand, with gorgeous ocean views, well worth walking as the waves roll in do their splashing, and hurry back out as the gulls meditate and wonder.

Back to the music. I have the Shangri-Las version of “Remember (Walking in the Sand)” dueling the Aerosmith’s rendition, which is an interesting mental flavor to have before coffee. 1964 was the year of the Shangri-Las’s version while Tyler and the boys had a hit in 1979. One is pop and more melodic and the other is rock. I’ll let you guess which.

Here’s Amy Winehouse with the song. Yeah, I thought I’d throw a curve in. Stay positive and test negative, right? Deep breath because we’re still going through this. Meanwhile, I gotta find some coffee. Then I’m gonna go walkin’ in the sand. Hope I remember. Enjoy your day.


Wednesday’s Theme Music

We’re on the coast. Fog defined our Wednesday sunrise at *drumroll* at 6:21 AM. The fog burned off about nine-ish, leaving us awash in sunshine.

This August 17, 2022, finds us at 62 F with a high of 71 F in the cards. We’re three short blocks from the beach, with view of the surf from our upper-level windows. Not a bad deal. No writing to be done…for the moment. I am to socialize and be a tourist. I don’t wear those hats well, but I’ll try. Sunset will be at 8:19 PM.

Seagulls sing wherever we go. You’d think The Neurons would pick up on that and sing some music by A Flock of Seagulls, which I think is actually called a flotilla. I think there are other expressions. Guess I should google it…someday… I’ll put it on my TBG list.

Instead, The Neurons have noticed my anti-social tendences, my desire to hasten away somewhere to write. They’ve installed a Helen Reddy song, “Leave Me Along” (1973). You know, it’s a song about a woman telling others, “Leave me alone, won’t you leave me?”

Yeah, not nice of me, is it? It’s against our social conventions for how we define ‘normal’.

Here’s the music. I’ve had my coffee, thanks, a lovely Americano at Ultralife Cafe. Off to sight-see. Stay positive, test negative, and try to socialize. Would it really hurt you? Oh, the things we don’t know.


My Five Vacay Faves

We returned from vacation last week, which was a road trip lasting about a week on the Oregon coast and up in northwest Oregon. The best parts, of course, were being away, being with friends and family, and then, yes, coming home. Coming home and finding the floofs in good shape and the house standing and damage free is satisfying.

Past those obvious points, I had specifics that I enjoyed. This is not the definitive order or rankings. They’re just the matters I most enjoyed.

  1. Being in the Cape Perpetua area. We’re guilty of multiple visits to this area since moving to Oregon fifteen years ago. This time, we treated friends to our favorite spots. Rich with volcanic leftovers and WPA efforts, exploring it is fun and educational. Specific favorites include Thor’s Well the Spouting Horn. Hearing – and feeling – the waves thundering in and firing spray several stories into the air is mesmerizing, almost therapeutic. Also of interest is the old rock hut. My wife often misremembers and informs people that it was built by Boy Scouts. She doesn’t believe me when I say, no, it was a WPA project. But, yes, it was. She was embarrassed when the guide at the information center corrected her. Its location high above the coast provide amazing views.
  2. Powell’s Books. We checked out the Powell’s Books, whatever its official name is, in Beaverton. It’s clean, large, well-organized, and it’s full of books! Books, new and old. Non-fiction and novels, coloring books and chapter books, and things related to books, writing, and reading. I walked around reading covers and blurbs, and employee recommendations. My wife summed it up as a tonic that inspires more reading. It also inspires more writing for me.
  3. Green Salmon Coffee Shop. Again, not certain if it’s the right name, but if you find the Green Salmon place in Yachats, you’re probably there. The coffee was good but not brilliant. Their vegan, gluten-free blueberry lemon scone was a huge piece of tastebud pleasuring OMG experience. So perfect in so many elements. Take it from this scone fan, it’s one to try.
  4. Oswego Grill. Back in Beaverton for my wife’s birthday, we went to the Oswego Grill in Beaverton where excellent lunches capped off with a sensation dessert was enjoyed. Lowly doughnut holes were the foundation. Baked on site after ordered, the holes are rolled in cinnamon and sugar. Five of them are brought hot and fresh on a plate, along with a bowl of warm caramel sauce. Chomp. Chomp, chomp.
  5. The Pacific Ocean. Like the night sky, the ocean always demands questions about existence and our niche rises when I contemplate it. Looking out to a far horizon invites a symphony of reflections about what’s beyond that earth curve and the people there, along with humanity’s history of exploration, and then, just the awesome presence that the ocean brings.

Not a fancy list, but if you get to these places – Cape Perpetua, Powell’s, Green Salmon, the Pacific – please check them out. Tell them Michael sent you. They’ll probably reply, “WTF are you talking about?”

Tuesday’s Theme Music

I got a feelin’.

Being on the Oregon coast is invigorating. Air temp hovers around 59 F as a sea breeze and marine layer dominate. The high temp will be about 65 degrees here, but the fresh air and ocean sounds of bursting waves intoxicates my spirit. Wish all could experience this. Wish I knew it more often.

5:41 AM and 9:02 PM are the relevant times for respective sunrise and sunset. It’s July 12, 2022. Tuesday.

Of course, a Black Eyed Peas song, “I Gotta Feeling”, is circulating the morning mental music stream. The Neurons brough it out as I stepped out onto the patio at 7:30, cuppa coffee in hand, gazed out at the ocean, listened, smelled, and reflected. Yes, this song has been used here before. It’s a worthwhile song. My opinion, of course. Your opinion might be different. It’s alright, right? I gotta feeling it is.

Stay positive, test negative, and so on. More coffee? Yes, please. Cheers

The Cycles of Mail

The cycles of life came in the mail. Credit card invitations when he was young. Cable and Internet deals in his middle age. House and window cleaning services as he aged, followed by landscaping and financial planning, then house-painting and payday loans.

As he reached his mid-fifties, AARP became friendly, as did companies like Prudential, offering planning assistance, worrying if he was saving enough for retirement. Cruise and vacation suggestions came every week. Everyone became concerned about his estate and his will. Hearing-aid flyers were frequently received. Then came funeral and cremation services, with coupons and discounts!

Reaching his mid-sixties brought flyers and letters for Medicare plans. Of course, every two years through it all were pieces from politicians, PACs, and political parties asking for a little money, pleading their cases, railing against one another, and demanding change.

Coming with weekly persistence regardless of the year or his age were advertisements from his local stores, catering to the holidays and time of year.

Fondly he remembered his past mail as he perused the latest offering from an assisted living residence and dropped it into the recycling bin, letting his imagination run wild about what his future mail would bring.

The Bike Dream

Young again, my wife and I were visiting a town. Resplendent with cobblestones and old stone buildings, but in a warm environment by a large body of water, it seemed like this we were somewhere in southern Europe by the Mediterranean. A fair or festival was getting underway. Entertainment and food booths had been set up. It was briskly busy, in a pleasant way, with people enjoying themselves and one another but not so many people that moving around was difficult.

I went into a business, to a counter to make reservations for three couples. Entering, I had to follow a path prescribed by a red velvet rope, as used in theaters, and go through several checkpoints. I was a little confused about what I was doing and why, calling out to clarify and confirm it with my wife. But, yes, I was reserving three hotel rooms for six people. While this was going on, people were asking me to watch out for something I was carrying on my back. I never saw this thing in the dream but knew it was a large piece of art. The man behind the counter warned me (but in a friendly way) to watch that I didn’t break anything as I moved around, as they had glasswork hanging from the ceiling. There was much joking about all of this.

Back outside, my wife mentioned that friends said they’d been successful just getting two and a half rooms. That made no sense to me, so I asked her to repeat it. We went through this three times. As this happened, we were holding hands and walking up a hill on a cobblestone street. A man with a red bike joined us. A stranger, he was somewhat famous, and very good looking, with fine, Latina features. His English was accented but he spoke it well. He was walking his bicycle up the hill as he spoke with us, but then got on it and rode straight up the hill. As the hill was steadily steeper, his riding was impressive, especially when he did a wheelie and went up half the hill on only his back wheel. As he reached the top, my wife and I turned around to walk back down. We were talking and sightseeing while all this was transpiring.

The guy with the bike dismounted from it as he reached us and started walking his bike again, but he didn’t speak with us. He veered off, staying in parallel, and then released his bike. To our amazement, the bike stayed upright and wheeled ahead, but stayed with the guy, like the bike was a well-trained pet. His bike was red before but now it was black, puzzling me. Had I seen it wrong before, or did he change bikes?

Then, though, the man started slowing down to look at things. As he did, the bike sped up. I pointed this out to my wife; the man was paying no attention to his bike. We watched in astonishment as it went straight down the hill, crossed the busy street, and then stopped and stood still and upright in the sunshine.

Dream end.

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