“Makin’ Whoopee”

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A little Duke Ellington number came up on the computer this afternoon, and it reminded me of this song for some reason.  There’s no other reason for this post.  I just felt like hearing this fun little song performed by two very, very underrated artists.

Fact is, my brain’s kind of deserted me the last few days.  I feel a bit stuck.  I don’t mind a good rut; I live my life based on routine.  But although my activities and actions are pretty proscribed, my mind is usually going a million different directions at light speed  (trust me, it’s not nearly as fun as it sounds).  I have noticed that my thoughts do tend to run in cycles, with certain ideas dominating at various times.  I have a set of worries and fears that plague me pretty much all the time.  There’s a few story and poem ideas that bounce around in the foreground sometimes.  There’s a set of regrets and what if’s that like to sucker punch me  on occasion.  The daily to do list is always there, waiting to be checked off.  And the daydreams are always ready to move up when there’s nothing else to think about.  The only things that really change are the specifics.

When I get something in my mind, I tend to hang onto it like a dog, shaking it like a rat between my teeth until its little neck snaps.  (I saw our dog–a dalmatian–do that once; it was kind of horrifying.)  I turn ideas over under sideways down in my head, twisting them until they’re recognizable by no one but me.  The current bit of weirdness running through my mind is the idea of paranormal investigations.  I even went so far as to google “paranormal studies” and “parapsychology” today.  During my first great ghost story phase as a kid, I really thought that might be a cool career to get into.  I still think it sounds pretty cool, but I’m not really considering it; it’s just another bee in bonnet.  I have to ride it out until this particular thought flies away.

The inability to settle on one cool idea or line of study has perhaps hindered my life–although it has made me pretty good at Jeopardy! and Trivial Pursuit.  I know a lot of stuff because I’m constantly picking up strange little thoughts and thinking about them until all the thinking has been thunk.  I like to learn things.  Just about anything, it turns out.  It’s led me down some interesting musical paths, too.  Watch the video again just in case you didn’t notice.

Repost: “Frosty the Snowman”

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We haven’t made Christmas cookies yet.  (Which reminds me to call and ask if it’s happening this year.)  But everything else in this repost is true.

So Christmas has officially arrived for me: today was Christmas cookie day.  We get together with my aunt and make sugar cookies from my Grandma’s recipe, cut into various holiday related shapes and decorated with sugar, sprinkles, and icing.  (This year, I found a cookie cutter shaped like the leg lamp from A Christmas Story, so we had to try that one; it came out okay, although the cookies were a little puffy this year, so it looked like the lamp was retaining water.)  I’ve taken part in this tradition since I was a tiny person, although my brother has long since quit.  My sister-in-law joined my aunt, niece and nephew, and me this year.  There was much baking and many bad jokes, along with a little wine.  A good time was had by all.

I’m not generally a big fan of Christmas music; I tend to be very selective.  But the songs I like, I really like.  I mean, I tend to get weepy listening to them.  “Frosty the Snowman” is one of those tunes for me.  Now I grew up listening to the Jimmy Durante version of the song from the Rankin-Bass cartoon, and that’s generally the version that gets me a little choked up.  (I keep seeing poor little Karen crying over the puddle that used to be Frosty, and the joy when Santa used his magic to bring Frosty back.  Yeah, I am a total marshmallow.)  “But he waved good-bye, saying ‘Don’t you cry.  I’ll be back again someday.'”

This version is almost as awesome as Jimmy Durante’s.  Leon Redbone and Dr. John are two of the most distinctive voices in popular music.  They were both more popular in the 70s, although neither one was exactly mainstream.  They were niche artists, playing well to a certain kind of audience.  My family has always fit nicely into that niche, so I’ve always known who they both were.  I actually bought Redbone’s Christmas Island just for this song, although I don’t know if it’s still available.

I won’t be inundating y’all with Christmas music between now and the big day, but I’ll probably do a few more songs that I think are pretty special.  And considering the news lately, we could all do with a little Christmas cheer.

“Frosty the Snowman”

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So Christmas has officially arrived for me: today was Christmas cookie day.  We get together with my aunt and make sugar cookies from my Grandma’s recipe, cut into various holiday related shapes and decorated with sugar, sprinkles, and icing.  (This year, I found a cookie cutter shaped like the leg lamp from A Christmas Story, so we had to try that one; it came out okay, although the cookies were a little puffy this year, so it looked like the lamp was retaining water.)  I’ve taken part in this tradition since I was a tiny person, although my brother has long since quit.  My sister-in-law joined my aunt, niece and nephew, and me this year.  There was much baking and many bad jokes, along with a little wine.  A good time was had by all.

I’m not generally a big fan of Christmas music; I tend to be very selective.  But the songs I like, I really like.  I mean, I tend to get weepy listening to them.  “Frosty the Snowman” is one of those tunes for me.  Now I grew up listening to the Jimmy Durante version of the song from the Rankin-Bass cartoon, and that’s generally the version that gets me a little choked up.  (I keep seeing poor little Karen crying over the puddle that used to be Frosty, and the joy when Santa used his magic to bring Frosty back.  Yeah, I am a total marshmallow.)  “But he waved good-bye, saying ‘Don’t you cry.  I’ll be back again someday.'”

This version is almost as awesome as Jimmy Durante’s.  Leon Redbone and Dr. John are two of the most distinctive voices in popular music.  They were both more popular in the 70s, although neither one was exactly mainstream.  They were niche artists, playing well to a certain kind of audience.  My family has always fit nicely into that niche, so I’ve always known who they both were.  I actually bought Redbone’s Christmas Island just for this song, although I don’t know if it’s still available.

I won’t be inundating y’all with Christmas music between now and the big day, but I’ll probably do a few more songs that I think are pretty special.  And considering the news lately, we could all do with a little Christmas cheer.