Some Precious “Home Alone” Time Today (Nov. 14, 2020)! Disinfectant…And Depeche Mode – What a Winning Combo…

I’m making sure to date this post because…I HAD SOME TIME ALONE IN THE HOUSE TODAY!

In short order? I did some house cleaning – and caught up with listening to a Depeche Mode album released in 1997!

It’s a rare thing indeed! My husband has a work-from-home job, so he’s pretty much home all day on weekdays – and I spend every evening with him – unless he’s on “shore leave” and at Brad’s for a camp fire. Him being home all of the time isn’t a bad thing – he’s not an ogre, I enjoy his company (most of the time, LOL) – it’s just that sometimes I can best accomplish my “housewifery” tasks when I’m alone – and uninterrupted. That’s when I get into the “zone.”

Today, the kitchen was my “zone.” Pretty sad, right? I squandered my precious time alone in the house – to do housework (are you jealous of my super exciting life yet). Sure, I “could” have just sat on my ass and watched some show that I like and he hates – but instead, I did housework. And inhaled disinfectant and vinegar fumes (more about that in a bit). Peg Bundy would “tsk, tsk” at me for that transgression!

The only things on my list I don’t do is parent (I don’t have kids) – and iron! I’ve gotten to be a much better cook this year because of being home more (though I was never terrible), I’ll sew if I need to (I sewed a Cthulhu patch on a hat this summer and I can mend things by hand), I’ll vacuum. But NO ironing! I’ll do anything for love – but I won’t do that. There’s a reason they have shirt service at dry cleaning joints – and there’s a reason they make “wrinkle free” clothing!

I got a chance to use “real” disinfectant today.After months of cleaning products having virtually disappeared from stores, I found a spray bottle at Aldi a couple of weeks ago. It MUST be real disinfectant because it smells like…chemicals (ooh yum)! That must mean it’s killing bad stuff, right? C’mon, COVID! Give me your best shot! Just kidding, I am not going to taunt this virus. My kitchen counters and faucet handle got a good cleaning with the stuff (please don’t do a “white glove” test). I even did a vinegar flush of the coffee pot for the first time since I’ve owned the thing (2014).

While all of this “stinky” stuff was going on, I took advantage of the “alone time” to put on some of my “jams.” I don’t have a real stereo with speakers at the moment – except in my basement – and car – so my laptop speakers had to suffice today. I was able to listen to the 1997 Depeche Mode album “Ultra” in its entirety for the first time in years. This was the first studio album the band released after the departure of longtime band member Alan Wilder. If you’re into following music/musicians at all, it’s definitely worthwhile to pay attention to albums released during bands’ times of “transition” (both before and after). The Fleetwood Mac album “Rumours” was recorded while several members of the band were in the midst of breaking up…with each other, so that album is a case in point here.

Two recent albums to pay attention to in Depeche Mode’s case are “Songs of Faith and Devotion” (1994) and “Ultra.” Singer David Gahan’s well publicized struggles with drug addiction (and even a suicide attempt) were at the forefront at the times of these albums’ release, in addition to other inner conflicts leading up to Wilder’s departure, so the songs will reflect that, too. Behold some lyrics from “Barrel of a Gun” (Ultra):

An unbearable pain
A beating in my brain
That leaves the mark of Cain
Right here inside

What am I supposed to do
When everything that I’ve done
Is leading me to conclude
I’m not the one?

Whatever I’ve done
I’ve been staring down the barrel of a gun

Martin Gore, “Barrel of a Gun”

Another song in particular from “Ultra” has been really enthralling me as of late. It’s called “Freestate.” It’s not a song the band has EVER played live, it wasn’t released as a single… Chances are, unless you’re more than a casual Depeche Mode fan, you’re not even going to KNOW about this song. I just like…the sound of it! The twangy/bluesy guitar stylings are very reminiscent of a nouveau western and as always, the lyrics don’t disappoint – and also could very well reflect some of the band’s turmoil at the time:

Step out of your cage and onto the stage

It’s time to start playing your part

Freedom awaits

Open the gates

Open your mind

Freedom’s a state

Martin Gore, “Freestate”

Couldn’t we all be motivated by lyrics such as these? “Step out of your cage, and onto the stage?” Especially when we’re psyching ourselves up to go to work? Or get ourselves out of a depressive funk? Or get onto an actual stage because you’re in a rock band? These lyrics could apply to a lot of life situations!

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