All About the View

The Ferris Wheel has always been my favorite ride, as it takes you high up in the air and brings you back down again, but it is not jerky like a roller coaster.  I like being near the clouds when I am at the top, as it makes me feel like I can touch the sky or fly like the birds.  When my carriage rotates back down to the bottom, I cannot wait to get back up on top again.  This one is probably more for kids, but when the fair comes to town, I never miss my chance to ride on the Ferris Wheel.  It’s beautiful in the daytime, but it becomes irresistible at night with its neon lights glowing.  I have been on The London Eye and The Orlando Eye, and I have also ridden the one on the Santa Monica pier, which is probably my favorite.  I learned about apparent weight in my Physics class and although I think of the Ferris Wheel as being a slow-moving object, I can detect that I feel “heavier” as I approach the bottom of the ride, because the normal force of my seat must increase, and the centripetal force is now pulling me up.  Acceleration which is the rate of change of the velocity has caused my apparent weight to change and this is the exact same thing that happens to astronauts when they are in orbit.  I know that I am not weightless, but I do enjoy the feeling of being lighter.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Photo Challenge #443 hosted by weejars aka Sarah.

Inhumane Treatment

We were locked inside of a cave without being convicted or sentenced for a crime.  We were accused of trespassing on private property, and we were illegally held without bail and without having a hearing to decide our fate.  It was an agonizing ordeal being accused of crimes and then incarcerated with no end in sight.  The owner of this property had the right to prevent other people from entering his property, but he did not have the right to incarcerate us.  We told him that we meant no harm and that we didn’t intend to trespass and that we just inadvertently ended up on his property.  We asked him to call the Sheriff, but he said that he had a better way to punish us, and he marched us to this cave pointing his shotgun at us the whole time.  He brought us food and water every day and we had a great view of the ocean, but there were rats in the cave, and it was very dark at night, which was unsettling.

Written for Stine Writing Simply 6 Minutes hosted by Christine Bialczak.

Things Only Got Worse

The somber mood in the studio was not surprising, given that the anchorman had just… announced that his wife was dying due to complications of COVID-19.  He said that this would be his last broadcast because his wife needed constant attention and his life had become dark and gloomy.  The disappointment on the faces of the people in the newsroom was clear and their silence was deafening in the immediate aftermath of this bombshell.  They all knew Ted’s wife Julie had tested positive and that she was in the hospital, but she was fine just two weeks ago.  The day after the company picknick, Julie came down with a fever, she had a dry cough and some mild breathing issues, so she used her government issued COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Self-Test at Home Kit which showed that she contracted the Coronavirus.

Julie had all her shots and her boosters, so she thought she would be well protected, but that doesn’t mean that these shots are perfect, so deaths among vaccinated people will still occur.  Julie just turned 60 and because she had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) an underlying health condition attributed to her cigarette smoking habit that she had for 30 years; she was at high risk of getting very sick from COVID-19.  Her symptoms rapidly got worse and soon she was suffering from a sore throat, she was coughing up mucus, and after she had diarrhea, nausea, body aches and joint pain, Ted had her checked into the hospital.  A week into this, her breathing became difficult which the doctors called dyspnoea, but most people say shortness of breath.  Things only got worse from here, as sepsis set in, triggering a chain reaction which the doctors said could lead to a complete failure of her respiratory system.

The doctors placed Julie on a respirator and her fever and coughing started to improve, but then she experienced a widespread inflammation in her lungs and the doctors had her transferred to the intensive care unit (ICU).  All of Ted’s hopes were dashed at this point and the doctors warned him that he should prepare for the worst.  They were right as she was hit with acute kidney failure, and she was unable to filter waste products from her blood.  Ted was 5 years older than Julie and he had thoughts about retiring anyway, but the network didn’t want to lose him.  Before Julie was put on the respirator, she gave Ted a list of songs that she wanted to be played at her wake.  Ted kept on telling her that this was unnecessary as he was sure that she was going to recover, but she insisted, and this was her last wish.  Ted knew that music gives comfort, inspires, and uplifts the family and friends celebrating the life of their loved one, so he assembled the playlist.  Ted really loved that James Taylor & Carly Simon song anyway.

Written for Fandango’s Story Starter #75.

A Whole Lot of Chocolate

1.Do you have a favorite outfit you like to wear?
I basically wear the same thing every day.  It is warm in Florida, so I wear shorts and I have several pairs that are all very similar.  Almost all my shirts are the same style being 3 button tee shirts with a pocket.  My underwear is all the same style, but different colors.

2. What is the worst thing you were forced to wear as a child (school uniforms aside)?
I was diagnosed as being bow-legged as a child and I had to wear metal braces on my legs at night to straighten them out.  My dad said that when I was walking it looked like I just got off of a horse and there was a big enough gap between my legs to roll a barrel through them.  I hated having to wear them and I cried every night when my parents strapped them on to my legs.  They made me take this awful tasting medicine before I went to bed, which really sucked.

3. Do you have a sweet tooth, and if so, are you a chewer, cruncher, or sucker?
I enjoy sweet snacks and I am allowed 2 snacks every day.  I usually have a Danish after my breakfast and before my lunch.  At night if my blood sugar is low, I could treat myself to pie or ice cream, but most of the time, I usually have a frozen yogurt pop.  I chew, crunch and suck, depending on what I am consuming.

4. Do you think you could eat your weight in chocolate?
That would be a whole lot of chocolate.

Written for Di’s Share Your World.

Channel Markers

I just purchased a Cuddy Cabins Boat, which is a compact sportsboat with a forward cabin that allows me the option to spend the night on my boat if I park it in a secluded cove or at a campground or marina.  I can tow it with my truck and it’s comforting to know there’s a toilet on board.  I took my wife out on it the other day for a cruise beneath the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA and it was a delightful trip for us.  As we made our way under the bridge, all we heard were the sounds of the wind blowing and the water splashing against our boat.  The water under the bridge was turbulent, but I consider myself to be an experienced boater, so I was not worried.  This was a special trip and we each left a little bit of our heart in San Francisco.  My wife noticed some harbor seals relaxing in the sun, and there were a bunch of western gulls all around us.  We are both birdwatchers and we spotted an osprey sitting on a post that was sticking up out of the water.  My wife asked me, “What are those wooden poles that are sticking up out of the water?”

I told her that they are called channel markers and that they are used to help boats travel safely on waterways so that they do not end up in low water and run ashore and they also allow you to avoid sand bars and other hazards.  Treated wood pilings are used throughout most marinas, because the wood is known for its incredible strength and durability.  They could be placed in the water to protect an oyster farm, or they might be used to break up incoming waves by removing their power and protecting the beach from costal erosion.  They can act as a seawall protecting the shore line from big powerful waves to create more stable beaches.  These pilings essentially chop the larger longer waves into smaller ones taking the sting out of them before they crash into the shoreline.  I think that they add a certain charisma and charm to the waterfront and when the tide goes out, and when sand levels are low, these posts can sometimes be seen on some of the beaches.

Written for Sadje at Keep It Alive What Do You See #163 where the image credit comes from Mohamed Almari @ Pexels.

Illicit Drugs Evolving

Sometimes it can be difficult to keep track of just what kind of substance a new drug is and how it may affect the body.  I am glad that I became an adult, and all this craziness is long behind me as the new killer drug on the streets seems to be snorting bath salts, which has made some of its users carve themselves up with kitchen knives or go into comas and die.  It might be wrapped in paper and swallowed which is referred to as ‘bombed’, and it is also produced as capsules and pills that can be smoked.  In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the use of synthetic drugs known on the streets as “bath salts,” “herbal incense” or “potpourri.”  Bath salts are a street drug that has seen a spike in popularity, and they can cause serious damage to an individual’s body.  It was being sold lawfully as potpourri in head shops under innocent sounding names like “Ivory Wave” before heightened regulations.  These are not the products your grandmother might use for a relaxing bath or to add the smell of lavender to her living room; these products are chemically produced to mimic the effects of illegal drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine, ecstasy and marijuana.  As a central nervous system stimulant, bath salts affect your blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing.

Alarmingly, as these synthetic drugs grow in popularity, the number of injuries and deaths caused by them continues to rise.  Some young people believe that they are getting high the legal and safe way because the products come in artistic packaging and can be purchased in neighborhood corner stores and gas stations.  Bath salts resemble legitimate household bath salt products, but they are a powder sprayed with chemicals that stimulate the central nervous system.  These psychoactive chemicals, mephedrone and methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MDPV), produce effects that are like, but more potent than, cocaine or LSD when injected, smoked or snorted.

Synthetic cathinones, which are more commonly known as bath salts, are human-made stimulants chemically related to cathinone, a substance found in the khat plant that can cause feelings of euphoria and empathy as well as increasing alertness and talkativeness.  Khat is a shrub grown in East Africa and southern Arabia, where some people chew its leaves for their mild stimulant effects and some people call it Monkey Dust.  Human-made versions of cathinone can be much stronger than the natural product and, in some cases, very dangerous.  Bath salts are a type of recreational stimulant whose effects can begin within minutes of consumption.  The effects can cause temporary and prolonged amphetamine psychosis.  Stimulants create energizing effects but in large amounts can cause fatal overdoses.  Stimulants are a popular recreational drug, especially among young adults and college students.  Some stimulants like Adderall which is used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, along with Ritalin, and Vyvanse which treat ADHD symptoms such as poor focus, reduced impulse control, and hyperactivity are used as cognitive enhancers.

Synthetic cathinones are part of a group of drugs that concern public health officials called new psychoactive substances (NPS).  NPS are unregulated psychoactive mind-altering substances with no legitimate medical use and are made to copy the effects of controlled substances.  They are introduced and reintroduced into the market in quick succession to dodge or hinder law enforcement efforts to address their manufacture and sale.  When you become addicted to bath salts, your brain relies on your substance of choice to produce neurotransmitters.  Your brain also associates bath salts with pleasure, changing your pleasure and reward system.  When you use bath salts, your brain releases too many neurotransmitters.  When you don’t use them, you experience a significant depletion of pleasurable neurotransmitters.  The depletion causes cravings to use more, which encourages addictive behaviors.  Bath salts drug effects can lead to physical addiction, meaning that you will experience severe withdrawal symptoms when you stop using this substance.  It is important to get help from a synthetic drug addiction rehab program if you begin using bath salts to get high.

Written for Fandango’s Flash Fiction Challenge #196.

Styling

I used to buy nice clothes because I wanted to be in style, but I don’t think that I was ever vain about my looks.  Several times I spent $500 on sunglasses because I thought they made me look cool, but these expensive sunglasses all broke or got lost and I realized that I didn’t need to spend that much money on them.  This world would be a sad place if people didn’t want to look attractive, but as I got older, I traded in fashion for comfort.  Proper grooming should be a requirement, but the way you dress should be your own business as everyone should be allowed to do their own thing.  Some people think they look good because they have piercings or tattoos, but I have never been attracted to any of these superficial things.  I go for the natural look, but a smile always works better if you have all your teeth, and you brush them.  When I get out of the shower and put on fresh clothes, it boosts my confidence and makes me ready for anything that comes at me.  I have never owned a BMW, or a Cadillac and I don’t need to drive around in a status symbol just to show off.  Everyone has some vanity in their bones and we all like attention up to a certain point, but I would rather be respected than admired.

Written for Sadje’s Sunday Poser #109, where she states, “Looking good; Is it vanity or a requirement?  Do you make an endeavor to look presentable or are not interested in making the effort at all?  Are appearances important to you or not at all?”

Desperation Takes Hold

‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ is a song by English rock band Joy Division, released in June 1980 as a non-album single.  NME New Musical Express a British music, film, gaming, and culture website and brand placed this song at #19 in its list of the 50 Greatest Indie Anthems Ever, and it is also listed as #5 in the “All Time Indie Top 50” by 23 Indie Street an online station.  It reached #1 on the UK Indie Chart, went to #13 on the UK Singles (OCC The Official UK Charts Company Limited) and it got to #42 on the US Billboard Disco Top 100.  This song is full of desperation and resentment, sadness and loss and it became a tribute to a dying relationship, where a haunted singer and a legendary band, express the bewildered feeling that something as good as love just can’t function anymore.  Joy Division singer Ian Curtis took his own life on May 18, 1980, and the song was released as a single the month after.  Ian Curtis married his girlfriend Deborah Woodruff in the summer of 1975, and the couple had a baby named Natalie in April 1979.

In 1976, Bernard Sumner and Peter Hook formed the band Joy Division in Salford, United Kingdom and after recording their self-released 1978 debut EP, they were signed to Tony Wilson’s independent label Factory Records.  The group consisted of vocalist Ian Curtis, guitarist/keyboardist Bernard Sumner, bassist Peter Hook and drummer Stephen Morris.  Joy Division had a few promising years and they completed two albums.  In 1978, a year before the band released its first album, Ian Curtis began suffering epileptic seizures.  He was officially diagnosed with epilepsy in January 1979, when his seizures grew more severe.  A critical buzz developed around Joy Division, but they were still an underground band, so they had to pack in as many gigs as possible until the album was released and playing four gigs in three days wasn’t an uncommon week.  The overwhelming pressure and stress of holding down a day job, not getting enough sleep, overdosing on his own medication, trying to grow his career as a singer, along with his marital problems and struggles with epilepsy became too much for Ian Curtis.  It was not easy having to juggle a wife and a mistress while dealing with an illness and a band that was relying on him.  Curtis banned his wife from coming to any the band’s gigs and he hung himself using a clothesline in the kitchen.

In October 1979, Curtis met Annik Honoré a Belgian journalist and music promoter and the two began a relationship, which caused further distress between Curtis and Deborah Woodruff, even though Annik said that their relationship was platonic.  In his suicide note to Deborah, he told her that he loved her.  It was nearing dawn when he wrote that he could hear birds singing.  The words “Love Will Tear Us Apart” were engraved as an epitaph on his headstone.  The other three members of the group Peter Hook, Stephen Morris, and Bernard Sumner decided to carry on and they became known as New Order, and they became one of the most successful bands in Britain.  Songfacts® stated that this was written as a cynical response to ‘Love Will Keep Us Together’ by The Captain & Tennille.

When routine bites hard and ambitions are low
And resentment rides high but emotions won’t grow
And we’re changing our ways, taking different roads

Then love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart again

Why is the bedroom so cold? You’ve turned away on your side
Is my timing that flawed? Our respect runs so dry
Yet there’s still this appeal that we’ve kept through our lives

But love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart again

Do you cry out in your sleep, all my failings exposed?
There’s a taste in my mouth as desperation takes hold
Just that something so good, just can’t function no more

But love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart again

Then love, love will tear us apart again
Love, love will tear us apart again

Written for Song Lyric Sunday where the theme this week is Indie music.

Independent Music

‘Indie’ does not refer to a style of music as it was originally developed from the shortened form of ‘independent’ which was used to describe bands who were independent of any major commercial record label.  These bands were signed to small start-up labels or who for one reason or another they chose to publish their own music without using a label at all.  The process of making Indie music may include an autonomous, do-it-yourself approach to recording and publishing and it would be music released that is not directly financially dependent on any of the four major labels (WMG, Sony BMG, EMI and Universal).  Indie music is usually guitar driven underpinned by swirling, melodic, rhythmic electric guitar, and power-pop verse-chorus-verse structures.  Indie music is said to have begun with Buzzcocks, and this musical genre descriptor emerged from post-punk, new wave and alternative music released on late-1970s.  Indie is a confusing term, as it isn’t a genre of music although indie rock, indie folk and indie pop are all genres.  There are many artists that represent the indie scene, but they are all different.  It is thought that since indie artists don’t have ties to large, commercial labels, this allows them to create more interesting work.

Last week we had Hitsville where the theme was to find Motown songs.  This week the theme is to find Indie Rock or Indie Pop songs.  Take some time to read the posts of other bloggers who respond to this music challenge, and even better, read as many of them as you can as you will probably find many enjoyable songs and it is quite possibly that you will learn a thing or two.  Share your music with others and post a video, try do some research and let everyone know something about the song that you post.  Tell everyone why you like the song, whether it was a hit, or what you think the song is about.  Show the lyrics, let’s all listen to our favorite songs and explore some new music.  Try to find a song that fits the theme, then write your post and create a pingback, or you can just place your link in the comments section.

Suggestions
• Try to use the prompt words or at least conform to a general theme, as you see it.  If the song you select does not meet the criteria, then please explain why you chose this song.
• It would be good if you could post the lyrics to the song of your choice, as this is helpful for the people that want to follow along with the music.
• Please try to include the songwriter(s) – it’s a good idea to give credit where credit is due. It would also be a good idea to give credit to the singer and the band associated with your song.
• Your post can be as long or as short as you want it to be, but please try not to include too many videos as that just makes it take longer to look at all of the other posts.
• Link to the YouTube video, or you can pull it into your post, so others can listen to the song.
• Ping back to this post or place your link in the comments section below.
• Read at least one other person’s blog, so we can all share new and fantastic music and create amazing new blogging friends in the process.
• Feel free to suggest future prompts.
• Have fun and enjoy the music.

This week I will be writing about the Joy Division song ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’, and next week, I will be writing about the song ‘Girlfriend’ by Avril Lavigne.  The upcoming prompts will be:
December 11, 2022 – Power Pop songs
December 18, 2022 – Mersey Beat, or Mersey Sound or a band from Surrey or Liverpool will also work
December 25, 2022 – Punk songs
January 1, 2023 – Garage Rock

Music Issues

1.Who recorded Mouldy Old Dough?
Wet, Wet, Wet recorded this on their debut album Excess Moisture.

2. What color icing was on the cake in MacArthur Park?
I don’t think that I can take it, because it took so long to bake it and I’ll never have that recipe again.

3. Who sang they were made out of Gingerbread?
My kindergarten teacher.

4. Who sang Tutti Frutti?
The 1910 Fruitgum Company.

5. Who recorded Green Onions?
The Scallions.

6. Who had a boy lollipop?
This is right on the tip of my tongue, but I just can’t recall it.

7. What is a Tangerine Dream?
This is a cannabis sativa strain with a high THC concentration.

8. Sugar Sugar or Honey Honey?
Honey won’t raise your blood sugar levels as quickly sugar will.

9. Who sang Sugar Pie Honey Bunch?
It was the same guy who sang about unicorns pooping out rainbows.

10. Do you need Hot Butter for Popcorn?
Yes, because that makes it a-maize-ing.

Written for Di’s Fibbing Friday.