“Life is beautiful and living is pain.”
-Hunter S. Thompson-
or Knowing When to Stop
It’s hovering around 100 degrees out here in the Midwest, and I’m drinking my second cup of coffee while tapping away at a couple thoughts. It was my Pops who told me hot coffee on a hot day helps regulate the body temperature. I never asked where he picked up that bit of wisdom. Did he learn it growing up in Harlan County, while serving in the Army, or maybe while working as a chemical operator? With his passing the origin of that piece of advice is lost much like the origin of his advice about knowing when to stop.
Pops warned me that there wouldn’t always be clearly posted stop signs throughout life. Sometimes I would have to use my best judgement, to realize that many individuals and institutions do not have my best interests in mind. He told me knowing when to stop, when not to follow, or when to go my own way wouldn’t be an easy skill to master but was one worth learning. Pops’ advice wasn’t unique. Most of us have been taught something similar at some time. But many of us (myself included) need to develop this skill now more than ever. I mentioned a couple weeks ago that warning signs abound and we often ignore them for one reason or another. Maybe we’ve become a little too complacent. Maybe we need to work a little harder at keeping an eye and ear out for those not so clearly posted stop signs.
It’s a warning sign when Phillip K. Dick stories start readng as realistic fiction.
Eilen Jewell’s Queen of the Minor Key
In an age of streaming it’s all too easy to skip from song to song, album to album, and artist to artist. How many of us curate stacks of digital playlists for various moods and occasions that we hardly listen to (makes me wonder how many mix tapes I made way back when)? I do listen to albums from first song to last when I’m in a certain mood or situation and yesterday was one such situation. I drove several hundred miles over several hours by myself (my cat, Dr. Loomis, was with me but he wasn’t in a talkative mood). Instead of skipping from song to album to artist I opted to give some albums a full listen. One of those albums was Queen of the Minor Key.
I’ve listened to this album as a whole several times and the individual songs many more times, but driving along I57 with nothing but Illinois farmland to keep me company (Dr. Loomis was sleeping) allowed for a new listening experience. Jewell’s album is a fast paced ride through a well written collection of relationship songs that vary in story and nuance. Whether you want to listen to song about young lust, a relationship gone wrong, longing for a lost love, or lasting love Queen of the Minor Key has a song for you, and a few others too. Jewell’s ability to convey a love story in around the four minute mark with a bluesy/country sound makes for a fun listening experience. The stand outs for me are “I Remember You,” “Warning Signs,” “Bang Bang Bang,” and “Home to Me.” Of course they are all good and if you are in the mood to listen to and album first to last then cue up Queen of the Minor Key.
Queen of the Minor Key (2011) by Eilen Jewell.
I've gambled pay. Lost my Job. She's trying the Preacher hearted despair. I Ain't about tired "we" eyes.
Trigger warnings, caution labels, and red flags–we spend more time looking out for the bad than searching for the good.