Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Tune Wedgy

I suffered a tune wedgy the other day.

You know, when a song gets stuck in your head? Earworm? Repitunitis? Humsickness? Daniel Levitin, PhD, author of “This is Your Brain on Music,” says it happens to all of us, so don’t be making the crazy-lady finger swirl at me.

Usually I take a book on a little MP3 player and listen while I trudge through my walk. Makes me less likely to throw myself on the ground and demand rescue. But I’d finished one book, and the next one I’d ordered from the library (what a lovely system!) hadn’t arrived, so I borrowed my husband’s iPod. (Random thought: All this random capitalization in iPods and iTunes and such is really annoying.)

Anyway, one of the songs played was “A Bad Goodbye,” by Clint Black and Wynonna Judd. It’s a sad song with haunting words and melody, and I hit the replay button to listen twice. Bad idea. Two days later I’m still mentally harmonizing with Clint. (Who needs Wynonna? I can rock her part, no problem; “Goooodbye. Easier said than done. Gooooodbyyyye…”)

I shouldn’t complain. I’ve had some really bad songs stuck in my head: “Happy Together” by the Turtles, or Harpers Bizarre “Feeling Groovy,” or just annoying ones, like the Doofenschmirtz Evil Incorporated jingle from Phineas and Ferb, a cartoon my grandkids love. Oh, no, tune wedgy again: “Ba da da da da, feelin groovy…”

What about you? Any earworms you want to confess to? Meanwhile, I’m all “Life I love you, all is groovy…”

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Why I Couldn't Be Homeless or in Prison

As I was brushing my teeth I realized something. I couldn’t go to prison or be a homeless person. It just wouldn’t work—I have too many special needs.

I recently complained to the dentist (hey, he regularly hurts me, so he has to listen to my whining) that toothpaste burned my tongue long after I’d quit brushing, that I was like a small child crying, “Too spicy! Too spicy!” Were there any toothpastes that wouldn’t make my tongue feel as if I’d built a bonfire on it and roasted a couple hot dogs?

“You want a boring toothpaste,” he said.

“A boring toothpaste?”

“Yes. In the old days we had plain old boring Crest paste. Then manufacturers started adding a foaming ingredient. Look for SLS-free toothpaste.”

He was right—no mad-dog foaming. Kind of boring. And I had to add mouthwash (diluted, of course) to my routine because after brushing with my health-food-store toothpaste, my mouth feels like I’ve just brushed with Crisco.

I also need special body soap and laundry detergents that don’t make me itch. They used to make colored toilet paper and I had to ask a boss’ wife to switch to white or I would have to bring my own. Don’t ask why.

Even though I think of myself as low maintenance, I started adding up all the little specialty items I use, and I realized I’d have a terrible time in prison or homeless. You can’t be picky about what you get when you’re taking handouts. Is the homeless shelter going to buy my special shoe inserts that keep me from crying with each step? (Arthritis. I’m sure I’ve whined about it before.) Are prison guards going to care that my thin fingernails need a special nail hardener?

I was telling my daughter Amber about my worries, and added, “Toothpicks! I bet they wouldn’t even allow toothpicks in prison, and with all my dental work I have to pick food out of my back teeth all the time!”

For a moment she stared at me with that “I hope my sisters plan to take care of her when she’s old” expression. I see it far too often. Then she said, “I guess I have a similar problem. My legs are so sensitive I have to use a non-alcohol lotion, and can’t use it until the day after I shave.”

“Are you crazy?” I said. “What prison is going to give you a razor in the first place?”

Some people have no sense of reality.

How about you? Would you be a good prisoner or homeless person? How “special” are you?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Somewhere Else

I asked my husband a question the other day, and by his expression, realized I’d stumbled onto another of those “Uh-oh, maybe I’m not normal” moments. You know those moments, when you’re telling someone a hope or a thought, and they look at you like you’re babbling in Ancient Hebrew.

Or is it just me?

I was telling John about my wishes to live, umm, somewhere else for a time. I’d like to live in a big city for awhile, or in a small town, right downtown, long enough to get to know all the characters there. I’d like to live on a houseboat or on a lake—for awhile. I quit naming places (yes, there are more) and asked if he’d ever thought about doing something like that. And that’s when I got the deer-in-the-headlights look. Oh, he’d love to live on the ocean, to walk the beach every morning, but since he lives in reality, he is content to live where we live, and not entertain fantasies about unlikely occurrences.

And then there’s me.

Since I was in over my head, anyway, I also said I wish I had a friend in real estate who wouldn’t mind showing me properties once in a while. Not to buy, but to use as locations in novels. I saw an amazing Victorian-looking home and checked it out online, but want to see it in person. I’d want to buy it if I didn’t have to give up my neighbors, and, oh yeah, if our money wasn’t all earmarked for things like insurance and my teeth. (Another crown this morning. My dentist looooves me but doesn’t want to marry me because then he’d have to provide free dental work.) Then there’s this terrible house-like dump in the middle of an industrial zone—you just gotta see the inside of something that sad. And my brain was coming up with all sorts of characters who might end up in such a desperate place.

What about you? Do you have these odd wishes? What are yours? And if you have a real estate license and love little adventures, call me. I’ll buy your lunch.