Monday, September 27, 2010

Overcoming Writer's Block

It’s not writer’s block, but a lack of inspiration that has kept me from blogging. After several weeks of vacation, I just got out of the habit of writing and it’s hard to re-establish the routine. I finally resorted to reading the notes I’d made while killing time in the airport. Like a car that has been parked for too long, it will take me a while to run smoothly.

Remember that movie Total Recall ... the scene at the airport? I’m living that scene this morning. The problem with traveling in August is that everyone else is too. The airport is filled with novice travelers. I knew it was going to be a long day when the security line stretched to the entrance door. …and that’s at our small regional airport.

The guy in front of me in line was about 6’2’’. He was dressed in a goth-like style, all black with lots of zippers. His balloon pants were stuffed into pewter colored knee length platform boots. Even the boots had zippers, five horizontal rows. He obviously hadn’t thought through the “take off your shoes security rule.” His receding hairline was somewhat camouflaged by the spiky haircut and red, pink, brown and beige colors. His outfit was completed by a hot pink carry-on suitcase he had obviously borrowed from a teen-age girl. The whole line had to wait while he unlaced his boots. You’d think with all those zippers he could have quickly unzipped and we’d all be on our way.

Why don’t people think through the security procedure in advance? I always wear slip-on shoes so I can quickly get them on and off . Men seem to be the worst offenders. There’s always some idiot who has set off the metal detector. He stands patting his pockets and pulling out change, and keys, and nail clippers, and pulling off his belt and then he sets off the alarm once again and he remembers his watch, and jewelry, and…. For God’s sake, take all the crap off before you go through the detector!

I used to enjoy traveling. I still like to go places; I just don’t particularly enjoy getting there. Sometimes you get lucky and aren’t seated next to the poster child for “Mentally Unstable Monthly.” I’m not usually lucky. There’s always someone with a contagious disease hacking and coughing right behind my seat.

I am surprised at what some people will wear on an airplane. When did wife beater undershirts become appropriate travel attire? I saw way too much underarm hair as a dapper traveler put his bag in the overhead compartment and I was grateful when he sat on the other side of the aisle from me. I travel in coach and the seats are close together. I think we should respect our fellow travelers enough to cover up when we have to sit so close together.

I appreciate my fellow travelers who bathe before flying and who brush their teeth. I could do without the women who bathe in perfume, especially the ones who take out a travel size bottle and give themselves a fresh dose just before landing.

Just about every time I fly I am routed through Salt Lake City. Last time I was there it was raining and all the ground crews were wearing bright yellow rain slickers. I couldn’t help but think of yellow Easter peeps…a whole tarmac of bright yellow peeps scurrying about moving luggage and refueling jets.

How did I get started on this topic? Oh yeah, writer’s block…it looks like I could go on and on about what’s wrong with travel these days. Maybe I should just stop now before I talk myself out of taking that next trip to visit the grandchildren.


  1. Well, I'm glad you are shaking off the writer's block, since this is so good, so interesting, and so well written! It is true that traveling these days is not much fun. It used to be, but that was then, this is now. I agree with all your gripes, except last time I traveled it was ME who couldn't get through the detector, I didn't know a fingernail clipper would set it off!

  2. I hear you on the writer's block. There are weeks where I feel so uninspired ... then I get my mojo working and I'm bursting with things to say. It does come and go!

    And I just think a goth with a receding hairline is not such a good look! HA!

  3. Hey, you're on a roll, don't stop now...

  4. Welcome back to writing. You make everything interesting. Loved the crack you made at breaking your writer's block!

  5. True observations about flying. There is always a hacker and the more they cough, the more obsessed I become with the germs. I travel with my own lightweight scarf now. It serves as a light blanket but also as a shield for my nose and mouth. Very Type A of me, but I don't mess around with germs.

    Glad you're back.

  6. Love your "voice" here. It's so authentic and engaging. Keep going my friend :)

  7. A very entertaining unblocking to read.

  8. Great to read your rant - congrats on moving beyond your writer's block.

  9. Easter peeps! Hah! Perfect.
    I'm a trifle blocked m'sel', these days. I should just *start* and see where it takes me...

  10. I have to do 11 hour trips from Cape Town to London, so I'm always glad if I have young people sitting next to me (I always like an aisle seat). They never go to the bathroom!


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