21.12.2020 | Not Much, Really

This was a weird day. I was in a good mood when I got up, dawdled the morning away, which made me felt guilty and that of course changed my mood and made me feel a bit bad about some of the choices I made. The afternoon – spent at my mum’s for a bit – and the evening where kind of okay though. I’ll probably go to bed early-ish as well and that’s

Recap on the projects:

#01: Not as present and focused as I wanted to be at least not for the first part of the day. I managed to stay off social media for a long while in the 2nd half of the day, so that’s a success. Maybe I should have put “self care” in the sub line for this project 😉 I lay down for a nap around 5.30, because I felt worn out all of a sudden. That seemed to have helped a bit. I then spent about an hour this evening colouring, while listening to a podcast which helped as well, I think.

Colouring

#02: Didn’t pick up the guitar today. Will be among the first things to do tomorrow morning.

#03: Am listening to the end of Springsteen’s “Darkness on the Edge of Town” at the moment.

#04: Two more episodes down on “The West Wing Weekly” podcast and might start the next one tonight as well. It’s fun to revisit the old episodes.

I won’t start working on the LEGO project till next week.

Random stats for today:
Sleep: About 8 hours, plus the nap this evening, though I should count that to tonight’s sleep, I guess. Listened to: See #03. Watched: The West Wing 4.03 and half of 4.04, which I also might finish tonight. Read: Finished “Meet Cute Club”, but was a bit underwhelmed. Not much else.

20.12.2020 | “Springsteen came clear in my headphones…”

Lyrics: “Redemption”, Frank Turner 2011

Let’s get back into the swing of this. Blog more often or more consistently is one of my (many) projects for Lockdown Christmas 2020. Most of my posts might be just reports of the state of these projects.

#01 Be more present and focused: That’s sort of an umbrella project for either chores I postponed and really need and want to get done before the year is over. But more than that it’s for trying to set aside time each day to work on being more present and focused. These days I dawdle away so much time and spend too much time ruminating about what was in the past or could be in the future. Having the TV on, running endless episodes of the West Wing (at the moment) is one of my pitfalls. I watched 5 episodes today. Half the time I was also doing other stuff, but still… I really need to cut back on that.

#02 Guitar lessons: Yep, I feel like I’m starting all over again. Because I felt so tired and drained – emotionally as well as physically – most of the nights when I got home, I only picked up the guitar a couple of times these past few weeks. I’m still stuck on Lesson 1 and the D and A chord. It’s a bit embarrassing, but what the heck. It is what it is. I really need to let myself of the hook more often. Global Pandemic and getting through the day without a meltdown about the things we miss out on and about the sad numbers of death and cases, is an achievement, right?

#03 Bruce Springsteen Deep Dive: So many people cite Springsteen as influence, inspiration, favourite songwriter and all and I know his hits of course. But haven’t really listened to an album or lesser known songs. Some time ago I found a “Beginner’s Guide to Bruce Springsteen” and I thought that’s as good as guide as any. Yes, I could listen to all chronologically, but I’m afraid I might hit a rut with that approach.

#04 The West Wing Weekly Deep Dive: I had The West Wing on as background distraction or even sole entertainment these past few weeks. I just can’t get interested in or hooked by anything new. Comfort TV and all that, possibly. I finally also started listening to the wonderful “The West Wing Weekly” podcast, with Co-Host Joshua Malina, who starred on the show S4 – S7. It’s a lot of fun to listen to and even though there is the gap between S3 I’m watching at the moment and early S1, where I’m at with the podcast, I’ll plan to have those guys talk to me a lot these next few weeks, while I’m hopefully a bit productive around the house. My flat is a mess!

#05 LEGO Tower Bridge: This will be a project for week 2, I think, because I need to clear out and sort the junk on my kitchen table first. This is a big set, so I can’t do it on the coffee table in the living room. But I’m excited for that. After Christmas.

But… like all these projects: work in progress and I’m determined to not beat myself up over setbacks. Little Changes and all that. Some will hopefully stick.

(Random) Stats for today:
Sleep: 20 glorious hours over the last two nights. Talk about exhaustion.
Projects: Did 20 minutes of guitar practice. Listened to: “Born in the USA” and 2/3 of “Darkness on the Edge of Town”. Also a bit of West Wing Weekly 1.06 and will continue with that later in bed, I think. Watched: The West Wing 3.19 – 4.02. Some Eddie Izzard on Youtube. Read: A few pages of “Meet Cute Club”, and a few pages in various of the self-help books on my to-read-pile at the moment.

Frank Turner’s Lyrical History of Mankind – 1st Addendum

So, that nerd-y history / lyrics project of mine -“A Brief History of Mankind As Told By Frank Turner (Through His Lyrics)” – was well received in the fan community, which made me quite happy. It’s so good to know I’m not the only one who gets a kick out of discovering these smart little references all over his lyrics. 

I will update the original post at some point, probably over Christmas and then also possible change the title to the one of this post here, because it’s a bit shorter and more on point. I was just glad I had an idea – even if a borrowed one – for the original post to start with. A few people in the Frank Turner Army Facebook Group, shared some more references with me. Some I had clearly not thought about and others I had just overlooked. Thanks to Zoë, Mark, Thomas, Eric.

Here is the first addendum. Again in chronological order.

80 – 100 AD

Around that time the Gospel of Luke was written / put together and Luke 4:23 says: 

“And he said unto them, Ye will surely say unto me this proverb, Physician, heal thyself: whatsoever we have heard done in Capernaum, do also here in thy country.”
[King James Bible

Hey physicians, heal thyself.
I’ll make my own way down to hell without your help.
(Demons, 2018)

Late 9th Century

England – well the West-Saxons and the Anglo-Saxons – was ruled by Alfred the Great, who did not just defended the country against the Vikings, but also codified a set of laws, the Doom Book, also known as the Laws of King Alfred [Wikipedia].

That Winchester’s should be the only law across the land,
The law of old King Alfred’s time, of free and honest men.
(Sons of Liberty, 2009)

12th century

“The Fisher King” is a part of the whole King Arthur / Holy Grail legend from the 12th century [Wikipedia]. 

And in Battersea power station, the Fisher King
Ponders on his ruin, among many other things.
(The Fisher King Blues, 2013)

14th Century

I mentioned this in the other post, but I admit it might have had the wrong focus. I mentioned Richard II crushed down the  1381 revolt, without saying too much about the revolt. The Peasant’s Revolt had a lot of causes, political and socioeconomical and was triggered by a new poll tax. It had a bit of an early success, but was crushed down in the end. Wat Tyler, one of the leaders was killed shortly after he met the king [Wikipedia].  

Wat Tyler led the people in 1381
To meet the king at Smithfield to issue this demand:
(Sons of Liberty, 2009)

18th Century

The age of revolutions…

In 1755 Benjamin Franklin, a scientist, writer, philosopher, politician, diplomat (once again, all those jobs!) included the following in a letter written on behalf of the Pennsylvania Assembly:

Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” [Source]

Because a man who’d trade his liberty for a safe and dreamless sleep
Doesn’t deserve the both of them, and neither shall he keep.
(Sons of Liberty, 2009)

10 years later, in 1765 a revolutionary organisation in the American Colonies, called the “Sons of Liberty” fought taxation by the British crown [Wikipedia].

Stand up, sons of liberty, and fight for what you own.
Stand up, sons of liberty, and fight, fight for your homes.
(Sons of Liberty, 2009)

While American colonies fought for indepence and the French people fought against oppression,  the Italian adventurer and authour Giacomo Casanova (1725 – 1798) travelled around Europe on a variety of missions. He’s mostly known now for the many compliacted affairs with women, but just from the bit on Wikipedia, I think he might have led a quite interesting life. I might add his autobiography to my long list of books to read. One day. Anyway, here’s a song title…

Casanova Lament, 2008

20th Century

I can’t believe I forgot to include all the references from “I Am Disappeared”. A bit embarrassing. Let’s round them up in chronological order.

Ernest Hemingway (1899 – 1961), of course, should be known by name anyway to most of us. Novelist, journalist, Nobel Prize laureate for Literature (1954) [Wikipedia].

Another Nobel Prize laureate for Literature in 2016 is, of course, Bob Dylan. I feel weird trying to give you some context for Bob Dylan. I admit I know songs of course and some of his life and the influence he so obviously has on folk music and culture and everything [Wikipedia].

Posters of Dylan and of Hemingway,
An antique compass for a sailor’s escape.
(I Am Disappeared, 2011)

There also of course is the Song to Bob.

Well hey hey Bob Dylan, I covered your song.
About a funny old world that is coming along.
(Song To Bob, 2011)

Chronologically and back to “I Am Disappeared” the next reference is Patrica Hearst, granddaughter of publishing magnate William Randoph Hearst, who was kidnapped aged 19, by left-wing organisation in 1974. She joined that revolutionary group and particapated in various criminal activities, out of Stockholm Syndrome possibly [Wikipedia].

Dreams of pirate ships and Patty Hearst
Breaking through a life over-rehearsed.
(I Am Disappeared, 2011)

The 1970s also bring us to… Bruce Springsteen. No context needed here, I think. I should admit that I still need to catch up with a lot of music he wrote. I know the hits of course, but really should spend more time getting to know his other stuff. I should make that my next lockdown project, maybe? There’s no link for further information on Bruce, I’d just feel silly. 

I was walking home to my house through the snow from the station,
When the Springsteen came clear in my headphones with a pertinent question:
Is love really real, and can any of us hope for redemption?
(Redemption, 2011)

One of my favourite ‘hidden’ references is the one below. I have no idea how I worked that out, because – as I said above I’m still a Springsteen illiterate. In 1982 he released an album: Nebraska.

Well I’ve been to Texas state, I didn’t think it was that fucking great,
And Nebraska is just a bunch of songs,
(Nashville Tennessee, 2008)

Let’s see how long it will take me to find enough references for addendum #2.

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