Wednesday, October 30, 2013

7 Things I Never Expected


There are no rules to life, but there are some reasonable expectations. One should be well fed, stylishly clothed, accompanied by a loving companion, begat heirs, provide for a comfortable and safe shelter, be involved in the community and personal beliefs, and return philanthropy.

These expectations are taught in the family, church, and schools and are represented in our government. Some of us followed the path and some didn’t.

Who knew?

1. Never expected to graduate.
School was not my best subject. So when the test came around I didn’t know the answers and would fail. I didn’t know how to study and really had no interest in working in school.
Somehow through all that, I got a piece of paper that indicated “I passed”. Who knew?

2. Never expected to work for so long.
Work, like school, was not my main desire. A job was just a place to stay between classes with a trickle of cash for my trouble. Then I applied to a company that was in the middle of a strike and got hired on the spot. The pay was OK and got better, the requirements were not difficult and the hours were good so I stayed. And I stayed. And I stayed. Who knew?

3. Never expected to get married.
I didn’t have a girlfriend. I never had a steady. I didn’t go to the prom.
I liked girls. I liked them a lot, but could never commit to romantic involvement.
But somehow I got married. Twice. Who knew?

4. Never expected to have any money.
Financial responsibility was never taught or learned. I always seemed to have enough money until I started working. Then I never had enough money. Credit cards and loans were constantly juggled to go from paycheck to paycheck.
And now there is money in the bank. Who knew?

5. Never expected to hold a dead body.
In elementary school I went to my first funeral. I understood what death was, but until you hold a body that you know is dead or dying, you don’t have that personal interaction with the end.
And there is a smell of death. Who knew?

6. Never expected to live this long.
Having fringed on a few fairly dangerous situations and flooded the body in abuses, I never expected to live beyond 30.
Never went to war or accompanied a serious auto accident, but had some close calls with operations and possible bad choice decisions.
Yet I came out on the other side and am still kicking. Who knew?

7. Never expected anyone to read this.
Who knew?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

6 of my favorite Monsters



Being a guy who grew up in the 50’s watching black and white movies every Saturday and Sunday, I loved the movie monsters. After awhile the old favorites were showing up on late night television and I watched them again and again. My favorites were:
 
1.   Boris Karloff
Mr. Karloff was the classic Frankenstein to me. He didn’t have to speak any lines. He just moans and groan and walk around stiffly. He played lots of other roles and later in life had his own television series. He looked like he would have been a great grandpa.
 
2.   Bela Lugosi
Mr. Lugosi was Dracula. His slow flowing movements and scary accent made him perfect for the role. He played lots of other monsters, but to me he was Dracula.
 
3.   Lon Chaney
Mr. Chaney invented the scary film monster. He was a makeup artist extraordinaire and in silence brought to life creatures that only appeared in our imagination. Lon Chaney gets an extra point because his son followed in his footsteps. He was the best Wolf Man ever. He also was a pretty good bartender.
 
4.   Vincent Price
Mr. Price could have been just another Sauvé actor, but he had a flare for the macabre. Again it was the voice and the laugh and that look in his eyes that had seen something dark. He even became friends with Michael Jackson. I told you he was scary.
 
5.   Peter Cushing
Mr. Cushing’s angular face caught the shadows and brought out the fear without a word. He never received the fame of the others, but was one who kept the genre going until others caught the bug. Plus he got a pretty good spot in Star Wars. 
 
6.   Peter Lorre
Mr. Lorre was more like a sidekick to the others than a starring role. With his soft-spoken mousey voice and buggy eyes, he could make any scene draped in foreboding terror. 

These were the first make believe monsters in my life. From there I lost interest and grew tired of scary when it turned gory. Many others have gone on with special effects and buckets of blood, but these guys could scare the bejesus out of you with just a look.

Monday, October 28, 2013

5 Things You Should Have Done But Didn’t



With the continuing subject of numbers, I had a request for this one, so here goes….

1.        One thing I should have done, but didn’t was to learn how to count in metric.
Once there was going to be a global measurement system and everyone was going metric. The problem was our country didn’t adjust to the mood change so I didn’t pay any attention to arithmetic. If I had been paying attention I could have learned how to manipulate numbers into formulas that would turn into instructions to computers. I may have even learned another language and been a translator.

2.        Another thing I should have done, but didn’t was to give her a baby.
Now guys, listen to me. These ladies out there have an internal need to become a mother. We don’t understand it but it is in their DNA. We like the process but sometimes are not prepared for the outcome. My only excuse was that my father showed little affection to me or at least that I noticed and I accepted it due to his age when I was born. Not a good excuse but it is the best I have.

3.        A third thing I should have done, but didn’t was to move out of town.
All my friends slowly moved out of town, but I didn’t. I stayed in the neighborhood, worked within walking distance and felt comfortable in the familiar. Meeting someone who lives somewhere else is a draw and finding employment in a different location can move you, but I found neither. Would life have been different in a different town or village? I’ll never know because I decided to stay home.

4.        This thing I should have done, but didn’t was to kill her boyfriend.
There was a time when this could have happened and it would have ended the speculation that this person was still around. Even though he was a mystery to me, the stories were bad enough to give me the justification to eliminate without remorse. Luckily for him and probably me, I never came face-to-face and will never know if he was real or just make-believe. If you read this and are still around, let it be noted, I can still do this.

5.        The fifth thing I should have done, but didn’t was to tell her that I loved her.
Not saying I didn’t use those words. Everyone uses those words. We say them in cards and with flowers and special gifts and those mousey looks, but we never say the words. Say the words like we mean it. Sincere compliments to the partner you are with. A word can be that is a definition to a relationship. Perhaps a fear of being rejected or some sort of insecurity made the verb an abstract in my vocabulary.  

OK, this is what I’ve got. What about you? You may need more numbers or a different subject. It is just a thought process.

I’ve got to go inside because the sirens are crying and the baseball is on and I can’t stay awake for the 9th inning of these hippies swinging a bat.  Then again I might not have to.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

10 Places You Need To Go




Just because I’ve promised this, I will continue.
Here are 10 Places You Need To Go

1.   Go To The Hospital
It is an amazing place. Full of people rushing around with tubes and pokey things and straps and machines that beep and blurt, this place is like a city that smells like alcohol. No not that kind of alcohol, rubbing alcohol. You should be born here, but sometimes you don’t make it. If you are sick, this is the place to go because all the people rushing around are suppose to know how to fix you. Note: Beware: If you are not sick, this place should be avoided because this is where all the sick people are.

2.   Go To School
I think there is a rule that you are supposed to go. As a kid, everyone else is going, so just go to school. You get to sit down all day and listen to folks spout wisdom and facts and pertinent information you need to know to get along in the world. Besides that, if you want to get a job other than scraping snow off the street or cleaning out sewers, you need a piece of paper that said you understand enough stuff to be able to communicate with the rest of society.

3.    Go To The Prom
I can only relate stories I’ve heard because I never went to the prom, but it is a rite of passage moment. You get to dress up and apply your social skills with the parents joy. You get to hang out with all your friends on a tacky dance floor under the watchful eyes of chaperones. Nothing is better than sweating in rented clothing while dancing to poorly played music by a local band who is not getting paid enough. The punch and cookies are spiked and at the end of the evening, hotel rooms are reserved. How did I miss that one?

4.   Go To The Library
These are amazing places that are the same, no matter where you go. Libraries are large, quiet buildings that are filled with stacks and stacks of books. Fiction, non-fiction, history, art, and literature of all kinds are available to anyone who knows how to read. The best part is it is free. If you spend some time in one of these places, you might even learn something.

5.   Go To A Church
I’m not going to persuade on any type of personal beliefs, but this is another building everyone should at least attend. You can dress up, sing, listen to inspirational talks, read good books, and socialize with others. There are lots of different persuasions but most seem to have similar teachings. Unfortunately, no one has pasted the test.

6.   Go To A Game
This is another experience everyone should participate in. No matter what the sport or arena, there is a certain social bonding that takes place at a game. Even if you don’t follow the team or the scoring or enjoy the food or the hoochie-coochie girls jumping around, being in the environment is a good sociological study of our civilization. You could stay at home and watch it on television, but you won’t get the lines at the restrooms and the spilled beer or the drunken fights or the cold air or…. Maybe this is not such a good idea. Note: Golf is not included in this category.

7.   Go To Work
It seems you must do some sort of skilled labor to acquire monetary funds to provide for our daily needs. Whether in an enclosed office space with control environment or outside battling the elements, a person is required to do a certain amount of task to gain employment. There is also the social interaction and camaraderie. And romance? Well most people find their special “other” at work. That alone is a reason to go to work.

8.   Go To Bed
No, this is not one of “those” recommendations, but we do sleep a good portion of our lifetime. We buy clothing just for this purpose, and accessories in colors and patterns and cuddly pets and even build special rooms for this activity. This room is one of the most personal private spaces in the house. Secrets are shared in this room. Plus it is a lot of fun.

9.   Go To The Bathroom
As I said yesterday, there are things you should not do when you got to this “other” special room, but you need to go when you need to go. Just remember what an amazing room it is. More secrets go on in the bathroom because YOU are the only person in there. Appreciate the solitude and take full advantage of it.

10. Go Home
Home is the most special place. Whether you live in a car or a trailer or a brick structure, at the end of the day you want to go home. Even when you leave your parents’ home and find a new spot for yourself, there is always the yearning to go back home. No matter how far you travel or where you stay, there is no place like home.
 
Send in your request and this will continue. If not, I’ll find some other nonsense to enjoy.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

“What are the 5 things you should not do in the bathroom?”


Pretty fall day today in the ole burg. Crunching leaves and raining wooden marbles with that cool breeze on the face bring in the season. The grocery store was packed and everyone was running around with panic on his or her faces. Don’t know what was such a big hurry? Don’t know what the big interest was in ketchup either? The sunshine felt good once out of the food zoo.
It was a usual Saturday plan for the day. Morning ride, put on the sweats, turn on the tube, find some good music, open a cold one and watch college football. And as usual, there was a thought this morning that had to be focused upon.
Starting a new blog and trying to get additional readers, I decided to try something new. One blog has not had much attention, so I will copy the first chapter and put it on the new blog with a link to follow the story on the old blog. Another old story I will do the same to with an additional offer to send the entire book in PDF. This is Marketing 101.
After that is done I’m going to try something new. Polls, investigative reporting, political spins or just trends; news sites are posting the top popular subjects. “What are the 5 things you should never say to your wife?” “What are the 10 goofiest jobs in the world?” “Where are the 7 best food trucks in Mali?” “21 things really, really rich people eat for breakfast?” and so on.
Having done some of this surveying in college I know how hard it is to gather the information to make comparison analysis to formulate a conclusion to the questions. Most questionnaires, as I recall, had a few questions that must be answered to complete the summary. Then there were more personal questions on preferences that delved into the human psyche.
All I found was that most people don’t want to be bothered by someone asking them questions. After a day of getting doors slammed in our faces, my classmate and I sat in his car and just filled in the boxes.
“Do you like soft or strong toilet paper?” “What is your favorite fragrance?” “How many times a day do you use toilet paper?” “Do you like colored toilet paper?” “Do you use toilet paper to blow your nose?” “Do you stock up on a ton of rolls of toilet paper as if a hurricane was coming and the store would be closed, but you didn’t think that the water might also be turned off so you clog up the pipes and now you are…?”
Then there are the ones that ask, “Would you vote for a guy who loves sci-fi adventures and dresses like a alien on weekends?” “Did you know your wife had to go to a free clinic in college?” “Would you answer the call of a stalker?” “Have you ever been a stalker?” and of course never, never answer those questions about your private life like “How do you rate your love life? 1. It’s OK,  2. Could be better,  3. What is a love life?,  4. Satisfactory,  5. Not bad,  6. Cuddly,  7. Orgasmic, or  8. Do you mean with my lover or my husband?
I’m getting on the bandwagon and the next couple of blogs will figure into this trend. You can help by suggesting topics and my crack research team will do in-depth studies to bring you the answers to the most puzzling questions on earth. By reading this stuff you will be the talk around the water fountain, be able to amaze your friends and family and become the most desirable conversationalist at any party.
Let’s begin with…..
“What are the 5 things you should not do in the bathroom?”
1.       Leave the door open
No matter why you are using the bathroom, always close the door. It is the most private space in the house and no one wants to think about why you are in there. Besides it traps in all the sounds and smells until it is open again. Note: You may want to bring an air freshener with you or you may not be invited back.

2.       Fart in the shower
Speaking of smells, this is just common sense. When you climb into a shower and pull the curtain or close the door you are trapped into a container where the only opening is down the drain.
If you’ve eaten something that may disagree with you, take a bath instead. You’ll just make bubbles.

3.       Use someone else’s toothbrush
Once you are in another’s bathroom it is almost impossible not to look in the medicine cabinet. That is where all the family goodies are stored. Pills and potions and creams and items used for whatever purposes are stored for easy access. The same is true for the cups and toothbrushes kept in easy reach for each member of the family. Don’t use one of the toothbrushes to scrap that spinach from between your teeth or that dog poor from your shoes. Note: Also don’t use the last of the toilet paper. Use the guest towel and refold it. You are not being invited back anyway.

4.       Sing in the shower
Remember the bathroom is the loudest room in the house. All that tile and porcelain and glass will amplify whatever sound is made in the bathroom (another reason to close the door). Your singing ability may no be the same as Beyounce or Justin Bieber, so those auditions to “American Idol” you wish to share with the world, don’t really want to be heard by the rest of the household. Just hum along with the purpose you are in there for and wait for the hairbrush in front of a mirror in your bedroom to scare the cat.

5.       Leave the toilet seat up
This is a tough one. Every house has its own proper position of the toilet seat and the lid. Some are colorful and decorated and want to be shown off. Some need to be closed to hide that the bowl has not been cleaned since last years Super Bowl. If you are married, you will never get it right. Just say, “Yes mama” and follow her orders. They will change tomorrow.

So wasn’t that fun. Send in your request and then I won’t have to come up with some more silliness. If you can’t think of anything to suggest, check here tomorrow and see what I come up with.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

A Day of Shopping



Today I decided to check off another item that was on my to-do list. It has been on my to-do list for some time but I’ve decided to take the plunge and do it. That is to go shopping.
Not just shopping, but shopping for clothing and maybe a blender. What the heck would bring this on? Well, I’ve got a beat up old sweatshirt and another one with a pocket that needs repair and the sweat pants have a hole in the pocket, so what the fud, I’m going shopping.
It seems I’ve been doing a lot of shopping this month. I’ve even taken some adventures I didn’t take in the summer months, but the weather is getting colder and I must fulfill my necessary clothing needs.
A different route just for the adventure and a walk up to the store that was about to get a bunch of money from me, I locked up my bike, took off my gloves and helmet and prepared for the excursion into another world. By the stream of people who was filing in before me, this store was going to make a lot of money anyway.
I brushed back my hair and dusted off my sweatshirt thinking I was presentable and pulled out the plastic red cart to start shopping. I immediately noticed standing in front of me a person in dark clothing and a badge. I don’t mind store security, actually I rather enjoy seeing it with all the crazies going on out there, so I continued on.
I started in the pharmacy area looking for wipes for glasses. The Kroger used to have them but now they just look around in wonder like it was a spaceship or a hard algebra question. So back and forth I wandered the aisles looking for eye products thinking the wipes would be there. Tampons, makeup, toothpaste presented me with their multiple labels, but there were no wipes to clean eyeglasses. Maybe I would have to go to an optic shop?
So I turned the corner and there was mister guard again. He was just walking around and smiling but he had a steady beam on me. I kept moving on avoiding all the ladies who filled the store and patiently followed my adventure.
After several passes, I found the product I intended to place in the cart. Even with some struggle because the lid was faulty and I replaced it several times I found one package I could accept. Again, the guard was just over my shoulder.
Moving on to the kitchen I looked at the blenders. I had researched them online but now the packages didn’t match my expectations. I moved on.
I was here for clothing so kitchenware and toys and magazines were not on my list, but I stop to look at each one. My buddy with a badge kept following me.
I got into the electronic area thinking this guy would make his move by now. There was nothing in my pushcart except wipes for glasses. I looked at headphones and iPods and even attracted a red shirt to ask a question about a product that was not under lock down. I weaved back and forth since I don’t shop much enjoying the adventure and noticed my blue suited partner was following.
So I moved into the “men’s” clothing that was what I came here for. I checked out some sweatshirts and pant and seem to find my size and the variety I had hoped to fill my closet, and then I saw two men walk by. They were elderly, not old, but responsible looking. We made eye contact as I continued to weave my way thought the Chinese clothing. Trying to avoid the ladies who were shopping and their sons who were helping, I took long detours around them. This store even has hats. That gave me a chuckle.
More shirts and sweats and more avoiding the grannies, I continued my search. Then I saw the same two old guys walking pass. Man, was this obvious or what?  I kept picking up merchandise and the two kept walking by. Well, they need something to do.
Just to keep things active, I went back to the kitchen area. I figured by now I was on the hot line of possible problems in the store. They may be closing in at any time.
Back at the blenders I stood and studied what was available. There was big expensive stuff and little fragile stuff. Nothing that I had seen on the Internet I looked at the boxes. In my male confused mind I didn’t see anything about crushing ice. This is why I would purchase a machine that just chops up stuff I could do with a knife. So I decided in my male simple mind to go for one that looks like it will do what I’m looking for but probably don’t need and placed it into the cart.
I was done.
Wheeling past the ladies, there is nothing but ladies in Target this time of day; I found a line that didn’t seem too long. I gently placed the items onto the conveyer belt and waited my turn. I knew by this time I was being observed.
The associate, for I don’t know what the cashier position in Target is called, swapped my items and put them in plastic bags. She seemed unaware that I was being followed. Then again, maybe she knew all along.
I commented about it becoming cold and she started in on banter about her heat prices. I moved on. All the plastic bags were full and I touched the right numbers on the electronic pad to release me from this plastic world.
Putting the cart back in the rack and pulling all the items out, I walked through the scanners without an incident and packed the bike. After a struggle to get up the hill I took my time to return home.
Placing the booty on the deck, I returned to the street, to get my medicine and some fries. Don’t know why I got fries but they were on my mind.
That is just the way the thing happens.

Cold Turkey



Yesterday, I took my computer in for an adjustment. When I came home, I went to my usual chair, turned on the television, opened a beer and then looked at an empty desk. The computer I normally searched the web, typed my blogs, read my e-mails was gone.
Now I had another computer inside but there is no television hooked up there. I could change my routine and go inside and surf the web or stay outside and enjoy the sunshine and watch the yard. So I went cold turkey.
It is amazing the habits we get into. I fuss at people who are constantly looking at their phones, but here I was disconnected. There wasn’t anything I was really missing yet it was a difference in the daily routine. To make matters worse, I had this idea. What will I do?
I reached across the empty space and opened a notebook. Picked up a pen and started to scratch words on paper. Yes, handwriting. It still exist. At first the letters were slow to sketch out and tight together, and then it started loosen up. Much different than banging away on the keyboard I could see the letters changing from static print to cursive. As the ideas came faster so did the writing.
Cold turkey really wasn’t that bad. I had done this before when the electricity had gone out during a hurricane. Actually several days with no electricity didn’t bother me. I could get out, sit on the porch and play my guitar, write on a pad of paper and go to sleep earlier. It is sort of like what our forefathers did.
Well I got the call the same day and decided not to wait to get my computer back. A short trip, a plug in and everything was back to normal. Even thought the new computer works great and has all the same links and connections and apps, it sits in the box. Sometimes it feels better to just be the same.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Who Are Those Guys?


As I read more and more about people cleaning out their parent’s houses, I wonder what do you do with all the pictures. One of the things that all families collect are photos.
Now as I recall, a camera was fairly rare when I was growing up. Even more so for my parents but somehow they had a vast amount of these old black and white photos. Later in life, the color camera came into existence. Then video made the scene. Today every phone is a totally equipped movie studio.
Checking the social media sites everyone wants to take a photo or movie or everything from the mundane to the news worthy. Along with all the security cameras, there is no privacy anymore. And if you don’t like the look in the photo, it is easy to change.
Back in the day, photo albums were places to store all these pictures of family and friends. After taking the roll of film to be developed, the explanation and description for the photo was written on the back of the paper and it was slipped into a plastic pocket. These albums were brought out at every family reunion to laughter and tears.
Then a generation later, the description of the photo faded as much as the image. The names were unfamiliar yet the photos were moved to frames and placed on walls, mantles and tables as some rite of history. Displayed like museum pieces, groups and faces were plastered around the house.
Having thrown away most of my photos or given away family heirlooms or scanned in DVDs full of unknown memories, I wonder what am I going to do with all these picture frames? Have you noticed when you go to the store to buy a picture frame there is already a face in there? Usually some model or unknown movie star is staring out with a big broad smile making the frame appealing.
I think I will just cut out some pictures from some fashion magazines, put them in the frames and cover the walls with my “new” family. I could have been the cutest baby ever or had a beautiful sister that I never had. My parents could have been rich and famous and my grandparents leaders of the community. Shoot I could have war hero uncles and movie star cousins. Even photos of real celebrities put in a frame with a messy signature and pretend it was given to me as a token of appreciation. It would make your life much more interesting.
It works. I have a small frame of two girls on one of my living room tables. When guest ask me about them, I say, “They are my sisters.” On closer inspection, I get a good laugh and a bit of wonder.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Transparency



A typical fall Sunday morning. Sunshine is highlighting a big blue cloudless sky. A cool breeze and refreshing ride after a conversation with a neighbor who thought I was tagging his fence before he turns on his noise machine. Not hungry so I will wait for the afternoon pizza.
I’ve got a couple of thoughts for today.  I will leave one here and put two more on the new “Read Wave” website. Trying to increase readership or at least get some new comments.
Well after two weeks of watching the circus called government go around and around, there is a word that keeps popping up. Transparency. With all the financial wrangling and new health program struggling, the president keeps saying he wants all these processes to be “transparent”. Even the newest voter knows that behind closed doors, our loyal and faithful representatives converse, plan, figure and refigure then check with lobbyist and other financiers for direction. And when elections come around, the poor selection of anyone who wants to join in the party is disparaging.
But the word “transparency” is interesting when put in other situations. Where you “transparent” when you applied for a job? Of course not. You couldn’t tell your future employer about that stack of speeding tickets or your grades were not the best. And when you parents asked you why you were so late coming home, were you “transparent” enough to say you were out being a hooligan and drinking with your parent’s friend’s children?
My real thought about the word “transparency” is about relationships. We tend to kid ourselves when we meet someone we would like to know, that we are honest with them. We tell and listen to tales that could be fact or fiction. If the chemistry works out, the relationship may grow…but under what umbrella?
No matter what contracts we sign or vows me make, we are restless animals always looking. There may be no harm in the long distant email or the smiley face ending or the phone message saved for only you to know. Maybe there is nothing wrong with a late night candlelight dinner or a walk on the beach or even a forbidden kiss that will never come back home? And knowing full well that your partner may be experiencing the same temptations does bring the barriers down.
Are we as transparent as we appear to be? I know from my experiences I tried to be transparent, but it actually scared off the one I was trying to impress. Little-by-little I learned to be more translucent and hide some of the things that did neither one of us good to know.
Today I think I have nothing to hide. Yet I find myself being more opaque than perhaps I would like. Then again, it is probably better that way?

Friday, October 18, 2013

Music!




What a big subject. Like laughter the entire world has music. Music raises your spirits and makes you dance. Music calms the soul. Music is used in every ceremony and celebration. Music is the global art. Music can be performed in giant halls or stadiums, on a quiet mountainside or a busy transit tunnel. Music can be played by many or by a single person. Even different cultures can come together using music as a shared language.
There are thousands of variations of music. Everyone has their own particular taste in the sounds that they like. While the rhythms and beats may differ, anyone can learn to love music.
Music is taught in schools. Children can select a certain instrument and with proper training and practice learn to read and perform written notes, either with others or by themselves. Music has it’s own language and theory and can be studied for years to be mastered. Music can also be learned basically in a bedroom and played well enough to entertain the musician.
Music can be written for instruments only or with poetic lyrics. Music can tell a story or bring people together in a spiritual celebration. Music can be ear shattering loud or soft as a kittens’ purr. Music has lead armies into battle, brought a bride down the aisle, or lie a body into the ground.
When did you first listen to music?  Music is all around and playing all the time. Television, radio, churches, schools, and even factories have music playing. Categories are endless with pop, rock, soft, hard, spiritual, bluegrass, and folk, classical…. The list goes on and on.
My first recollection of music was the radio. Leftover big bands playing background music to live shows played through tinny sounding speaker. On black and white television, small groups of musicians were crammed into a tight spot but the recording was never good. Some shows featured music but it was usually outrageous hillbilly or pratfalls to keep the public attention.
Vinyl records could be purchased and spun at various speeds to reproduce everything from a single singer to a full-blown orchestra. There were even radios in cars that could be played through a 3” speaker as you traveled.
Live music could also be attended. The city had an orchestra that played the various familiar classics previously heard on television cartoon shows. The schools even had miniature symphonies but they had a problem staying in key. There were also halls that held dances with live bands keeping the feet moving. Little be known to me until later, there were clubs that allowed musicians and small group perform their own style of music for people who could afford the orchestra.
Personally, I absorbed music until I decided I want to join the band. Not like my friends in middle school who picked up a clarinet or violin, but I was captivated by the rhythm. Purchasing bongo drums I tried to recreate the calypso beat that was introduced to me by folk music. Not having a true drum kit, I turned to the guitar.
Folk music, to me, was a vanilla copy of the hillbilly tunes and sea shanties I had learned before. Most of my recollection was white college boys and girls wearing button down starched clothing playing to the same audience with mellow sing-a-longs. Yet, it was an introduction to other styles of music.
Realizing many of the songs were actually delta blues or Chicago blues or bluegrass turned country, the music was constantly evolving. The audience was also morphing into the social traumas of the day blending in different races and music types.
The music industry was invaded by European influence full of electricity. The music got louder and spread to influence clothing, hairstyles, politics, and most of all gobbled up by the media. A generation came together using music as its umbrella.
The society followed the changing trends in music through television, advertising, fashion, and even sexual freedom. Musical themes presented anger, frustration, warmth, togetherness, hope, love and even comedy with technical innovations allowing music to be carried in your pocket. For every genre there is a musical soundtrack.

Turning off all the electronics I walked outside and put out birdseed. Standing still I enjoyed a natural chorus that has never been written down but has been heard by our species throughout the eons.
This is my latest lady to attempt to enjoy what sound I can make and comfort in the ability to make my own music.