Sunday, August 28, 2016

Three Beautiful Things 08/27/16: Smooth Jazz Flashbacks, Beer Bliss, Reading *Ice and Bone*

1. It was 1976-78. I was trying to figure out whether to go to seminary or graduate school.  I was newly married. I worked as a Chaplain's Assistant at Whitworth and wrote and led the weekly Compline service. I loved being newly married. I started my long life of teaching English Composition, also at Whitworth. Smooth jazz provided a soundtrack for this happy time in my life -- Joe Sample, the Crusaders, Wayne Shorter, Michael Franks, George Benson, Joe Farrell, Chuck Mangione, Bob James, etc.  -- this was definitely the "Feels So Good" period of my music listening, brought back to me the other day as I listened again to Steely Dan's Aja and the smooth jazz session players filling out Fagen and Becker's studio band. Today, I took a trip back to this smooth music for the first time in many, many years and I felt young again, my mind filled with fantasies I had back then of what I really thought married life could be like, too naive to know that Michael Franks was writing dream songs and Chuck Mangione was delivering his listeners temporary escapes, not stories of how day to day life with a spouse really is.  Yeah, music that once made me feel so light and airy tonight left me feeling foolish and a little sad, but it was fun tapping into that old idealism and naivete again.  It was dreamy.

2.  I'm trying to get back into the rhythms of life I'm familiar with here in Maryland and helped my cause my taking a trip to Costco. I make leisurely trips to Costco, enjoying the many varieties of people who live around here.  After I dropped of my purchases at the Diazes, for the first time in many weeks, I dropped into a tap room -- I went to Quench -- and enjoyed a sampler of some version of Firestone Walker's Luponic Distortion, a pint of Oliver Brewing's anniversary Imperial IPA called The Floor is Snakes and a sample of another Imperial IPA, Troeg's Nimble Giant.  I had sorely missed drinking draft craft beer.  This session made me happy.

3. While at Quench and on into the night, I fired up my Kindle app and continued to read about the viciousness of an Anchorage serial killer Josh Wade and law enforcement's attempts to track him down and to try to successfully convict him of his murders.  The book is a true crime procedural, Ice and Bone. I picked it from our Kindle Unlimited subscription knowing nothing about it and I think I should make blind book picks more often. The book is very disturbing.  It explores the difficulty of police detective work, especially when the police have to rely on the help of witnesses and associates who are themselves criminals. It also focuses on the cold violence visited upon victims and the havoc wrecked upon the families and friends of the victims of crimes.

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