July 31, 2014

Killing me softly with a song

How many songs roll through your head in a week? And how do they get there? You know, the little ditty you just can't get rid of.

This morning while I was brushing my teeth I was singing Sesame Street in my mind. Why? I have no little ones here with me. I don't watch Sesame Street and can't recall hearing it lately.

Baker Street I could understand. I like Baker Street - kudos to Gerry Rafferty for writing it - and I was talking about it the other day. Having Baker Street run through my mind would make sense. But Sesame Street? No offense to BurpaErnie, as my son used to call them, but I don't particularly care for the tune. But there it was, "Can you tell me how to get, how to get, to Sesame Street."

It seems like it's almost always songs I don't like much. I once had Benny and the Jets stuck in my head for almost a month. Not one of Sir Elton's finest, in my opinion. My mother had told me that the best way to rid yourself of an unwanted melody is to sing the entire ditty out loud. So I spent about a week singing, "Hey kids, dum de dum de li di, dum di dum di dum dum, B-B-B-Benny and the Jets" every chance I could get. I must have sounded like a broken juke box. But since I didn't know the words, so I couldn't get rid of the song.

When I sit down at the computer to play solitaire, as we writers tend to do when we're supposed to be writing, I almost always chant the juvenile little ditty, "Yank my doodle, it's a dandy." Why? Why I ask myself.

As I am sure you've guessed by now, I am low on material for my blog. I am going on vacation this week and fully expect rest and relaxation to fill me with brilliant ideas to share when I get back. In the meantime, I Elmo seems to be singing the Hallelujah chorus. HELP!

July 8, 2014

Flying High

This weekend my sister and I will be taking off from BWI for our annual pilgrimage to St. Paul, Minnesota. And I will be doing this cold turkey! I’m out of Valium and I draw the line at getting ploxed at nine-thirty on a Friday morning.
Each July we volunteer for this trial by airline to visit our beloved nephew and his family. They live in Thailand for ten months of the year and come home to Minnesota to visit parents and other assorted relatives for a rather short summer vacation. And as they spend about twenty-four hours in each direction in travel time with three young girls, it's hardly fair for old Aunties to insist they make another trek to good old Washington, DC. So old Aunties just bite the bullet and get on a damned plane.
Flying has become quite the ordeal, hasn't it? After spending an afternoon making calls to all parties involved in this adventure to make sure that the principals were all available for that week-end – nobody wants to fly to St. Paul only to find that St. Paul relations are elsewhere – I searched out the best itinerary and bought tickets on-line and sent the information to my sister. She called immediately to say, “We’re flying out of BWI and back into Dulles? Is that right?” No, of course, it isn't right. It’s just what I booked. I then spent another hour getting the mix-up straight with Delta, who were very helpful, actually.
Next come the logistics of getting to and from the airport and the hours of thought I need to put into packing. Why I need to put hours of thought into this, I have no idea. I just do. It’s only four days and I end up wearing the same two tops the entire time. But one needs to be prepared. Perhaps one will be invited to a ball at the governor’s mansion. It could happen.
The airport experience is a trip in itself; the check-in, the security line, getting the right shoes back on my feet, a quick Bloody Mary because by this time I don’t care anymore if it’s early morning, two hours shoved into a sardine tin next to a man who grumbles in his sleep, and Voila! We’ve arrived. Piece of apple pie. Can’t wait until next year. I think I’ll walk.