Posts Tagged ‘Boardwalk Empire’

We must be measuring time in dog years.

I say that because it struck me that that we’re not even halfway through this memorable year. So much has happened– is happening– that it sure feels like a lot more, maybe even the 3 1/2 years that it would be if we were dogs.

I checked this morning and was sadly disappointed to find that I wasn’t a dog.

Oh, to be a baying beagle or a happy, goofy Golden Retriever right now.

So many moving parts right now and there seems to be no rhythm or reason to most of them.

But maybe it’s just me. I am trying to finish the final pieces for my July West End show so I am kind of scattered anyway. Plus, I am hobbling around in a walking boot that I am wearing for a chronic ankle problem and  I scare the hell out of myself when I look in the mirror anymore. I decided to not cut my hair or shave when this whole thing took hold and now I find myself staring down the Unabomber’s weird older brother whenever I go into the bathroom here in the studio.

And while the work is a healing balm there are limits. For instance, yesterday was a good day of painting. The work was sharp and had a feeling of rightness off the brush. But at the end of the day yesterday, even after this positive day of painting, something felt wrong. My nerves were on edge and tense. Things just felt broken.

I looked around for what might be bothering me. Oh, the news feeds were not helping, of course. And while working, I had been rewatching the series Boardwalk Empire. If you don’t know the series, it takes place in Prohibition era Atlantic City and focuses on the power brokers, bootleggers and criminals of that place and era. It reminds you that the good old days weren’t all that good.

I had immensely enjoyed the series when it first aired. It has a great cast with wonderful performances, great production values and top notch writing with compelling storylines. But yesterday,I determined that this might well be a contributing factor to my tension. For as much as I liked the show and its qualities, nothing about it made me feel good about anything. It raised no feelings of hope and I needed that yesterday. In fact, it depressed me that a hundred years later, we’re still battling the same kind of insidious greed and corruption from power hungry money grubbers.

So, today it’s just music in the studio. Maybe something uplifting and positive.

Here’s a favorite of mine, from the wide and deep Bob Dylan songbook. It’s Everything is Broken.


Actually, it’s more uplifting than you might think. Just knowing that things are broken means that there might be a way to somehow fix them.

So let’s use this as the baseline for today. Everything gets better from this point on. I am going to play two versions here. One is from the late great Bluesman R.L. Burnside and the other from Jazz/Rock keyboardist Ben Sidran, who always puts an interesting spin on the work of others.

I used the image of the burning locomotive because I saw it in a meme yesterday that said: Here Comes July!

Well, bring it on, July. I am ready for you and determined to have a good day today, damn it all. Hope you do the same.


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Triple SpiralThe rational part of my brain always wants to shrug off coincidence as mere matters of probability but I still am excited in a way when I experience it, even when the coincidences are seemingly  mundane, not appearing as some sort of cosmic omen or example of the universe’s synchronicity.

Take this past weekend.  I had one of those weird moments when I was singing a song to myself and just a short time later it pops up on the car radio.  Now, that doesn’t seem like too much of a coincidence.  I mean, I’m sure most of us have had this experience, especially when a song is popular and regularly played on our favorite station.  I know this used to happen to me all the time as a kid, when I would be humming a song and would flip on the radio and there it was, almost synchronized in its timing.  But this recent time was with a song from 1967 that was not a classic song but a novelty hit, Judy in Disguise (With Glasses),   from what was considered a bubblegum band of the time, John Fred and the Playboys.

I shrugged it off with a smile.  It is an infectious song, after all.  Besides, who wants to think that their destiny is somehow entwined with this song?

Then on Sunday evening, we were watching the Martin Scorsese produced Boardwalk Empire on HBO.    A few days before this, I had written a post for this blog that was titled Acres of Diamonds, about the famed inspirational speech from Temple University founder Russell Conwell.  The episode this night was also titled Acres of Diamonds and briefly played  a recording of the speech performed by Conwell.

This coincidence gave me more of a pause than Judy in Disguise.  It just struck me as odd that I had chosen to write about this story on just the weekend that it was also referenced on the TV show.  It was a somewhat famous speech in its time but is pretty obscure today.

Coincidence or omen , a symbol of deeper meaning?  Some view coincidence as evidence of a universal consciousness or of God’s directing hand at work.  I don’t know that we can ever know with any certainty of such things.   I know that I would like to believe that these pop culture coincidences somehow demonstrate that I am closer to the center of the labyrinth that is life, but, as I said, the rational part of me tells me to take it easy– if it’s a symbol, it will reveal itself in due time.  If not, it’s just a fun coincidence.

What do you think this is trying to tell me?  Maybe the message was a warning about buying those pants. Message received…

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