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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Don't Worry! I'm Taking Notes.

I cleaned a house not long ago with Mary, a delightful woman who makes me laugh until I fall off furniture. Generally speaking, I’m against falling off furniture; but if it’s because of uncontrollable laughter, what can you do but go limp and succumb to gravity?

Frankly, we think we’re hilarious.

We scrubbed this house silly: baseboards, the doors, the floors, and the piece de resistance, windows covered with Venetian blinds. Nasty things, Venetian blinds. Normally, I wouldn’t recommend washing the truly dirty ones when you can replace them cheaply, but on the one hand, it’s a waste of money to replace what’s not broken, on the other hand, they were actually quite nice wooden blinds, and on yet another, perhaps abnormal hand, we were paid to do it.

And somewhere in all of this, between the parquet floors and the enormous picture windows, Mary makes the claim that she can identify, by taste, the blue M&Ms.

She can identify the blue M&Ms by taste.

Why I oughta…

I’ve been trying to work that little revelation of hers into a post ever since.

I collect these little remarks. I have wrinkled, stained piles of these little tidbits: the comments I’ve had directed at me, made myself, overheard, written into and onto books, receipts, take-out menus. Every day, I am confronted with situations, features, sentences that make me pull out the book I keep in my purse and scribble furiously, often with a smile on my face. What can I do but write these things down? Surely the day will come when something like “I Don’t Shiv A Git: I’m Not Really Swearing, Mom” becomes the topic of a thought-provoking post.

I received an e-mail the other day asking me how many posts I had written. After I told him that I was coming up on my 1200th, he then wondered if I wasn’t about to run out of ideas.

Now why would I run out of things to say?

The truth is that there are ideas everywhere. They’re not my ideas – they simply present themselves, rarely politely, rarely one at a time – and if you don’t write them down immediately, they’re gone.

Only to be replaced by other ideas.

Which reminds me: my parents seem to be stocking up on water chestnuts. What do they know that I don't?

Oh, and I need to buy some M&Ms. I think Mary’s bluffing.

31 comments:

Susan in the Boonies said...

You have one too many hands, but I bet that makes you a HECK of a cleaner! No wonder that's what you and Mary do for sport. (And profit!)

I am so buying a notebook to carry around with me! Now you've given away your secret!!!!

Pearl said...

Susan, I'm serious about that notebook and hope you are, too! I can't tell you how many times I've pulled that darn thing out of my purse, and scribbled into it, laughing. Oh, don't let me fool you: I crack myself up. :-)

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Getting close to 1000 posts myself and I have been thinking that perhaps I am running dry. Then I have a day when I post umpteen times. The next day I wish I had saved some of them. I use my now famous index cards and I keep a steno pad on the desk for ideas that come to me while I am blogging about an idea that came to me earlier. WHO is delivering these ideas? Someone stop them NOW. Or at least teach them to type.

Simply Suthern said...

If you dont write it down it never happened is the rule in research.

SO I can claim I aint guilty.

Pearl said...

Delores, the deliverers of inspiration are multitude -- and inconsiderate. :-) Keep typing!

Simply, works for writing, too! And you? Not guilty? Show of hands here: who thinks Simply Suthern is probably guilty of something?

Doubting Thomas said...

Suthern is DEFINITELY guilty! It's like passing gas - he who smelt it, dealt it. Maybe I'm thinking of something else...

I don't know what the deal is with M&M's... as a kid my sister was convinced the green ones had a different flavor. I thought she ate too many paint chips from the windowsill. Maybe not?

Eva Gallant said...

That notebook is an excellent idea!

Macy said...

Tsk Anyone can taste blue M&M's.. can Mary catch them in her mouth? Not dissing Mary or anything, but that's the real trick..

Pearl said...

Thomas, well you got a smile out of me there!!

Eva, I've carried one for three years now, am on my fourth one. They make such pretty ones, too. I like the ones that have a velcro closure or an elastic around them. My current one is actually really cool. Found it at Savers (a Goodwill kind of place). It has a red leather binding, much nicer than the ones that preceded it!

Macy, Mary has many hidden talents. Next time I see her I'm showing up with M&Ms. I'll toss them at her and we'll see what she does. :-)

Lucy Ladham-Dyment said...

Just wanted to say.... Synchroncity working here for me. I am making a piece of art and the paper I am using is M&M's..... now how is that for.... Love your post.

Jerry said...

Mary's M&M claim must be tested. We can't just accept this as fact! And to gather up ideas and thoughts floating around you, you gotta' pay attention. I'm working on that.

Antares Cryptos said...

Someone needs to write a post about extra hands and notebooks.

Sarah said...

I loved reading of your notebook and your blue m and m identifying friend. I can identify orange smarties in the same way but I don't think I am the only one. I write down interesting overheard things in my journal and on Twitter my name is Overheard1. I was on twitter before but could not remember why so I came off it. Then I went on it again and only post very occasionally and purely things I have overheard. I think I was trying to be all mysterious but at the moment am just absent!

Pat said...

You have to do the blindfold test. Make sure she can't peek and keep as scientific as possible. (Glasses help) Maybe have a couple of witnesses.
Be prepared to maybe lose a friend but at least we shall know the truth.

jenny_o said...

My best ideas flit by when I am driving, so I could really use one of those third hands you referenced in order to write the darn things in a notebook.

I am always glad to hear someone younger than I am recommend writing stuff down, because I keep thinking my memory loss is age-related. And maybe it is, but at least I don't feel so sure anymore :)

And, yeah, Simply is definitely guilty of something. Alliteration, for one.

Simply Suthern said...

Hey, Jenny_O

I DON'T LITTER.

ipenka said...

As a new blogger, I was already starting to struggle with material, this is great advice. Thanks!

Daisy said...

I write EVERYTHING down and then stand in the middle of the kitchen trying to remember where I put the darn book!

As for simply Suthern - I know guilt when I read it!

alwaysinthebackrow said...

How can it be that not one of the above commenters has referred to the most amazing part of this post. You clean houses?? Really? Do you hire yourselves out to anyone? Would you clean my house? I will pay. I will even throw in some M&Ms as a bonus. I only have a few windows with blinds.

Ami said...

1968. So far. I will never run out of things to say, although right now I do not have a voice to say them.

So keep talking. :) I have a feeling you won't run out either.

Audubon Ron said...

Obviously, your parents eat dim sum when you're not home.

Diane said...

Blue M&M's? Pfff. Now, the onion flavoured M&M's, I can identify . . . at thirty paces. Beat that!!! And please don't throw them at me . . .

Fragrant Liar said...

My notebook is full! And I still hardly ever use those notes. Sigh.

I am greatly impressed at your cleaning skills. And I must now try the blue M&Ms.

Vapid Vixen said...

I have one in my desk drawer at work that I've been using to write down all the completely asinine comments one particular coworker makes on a daily basis. You can bet a handful of blue M&M's those comments will be making their way into a post one of these days.

That Janie Girl said...

I can tell the blue ones by taste. I can. Really. And if I keep saying that, maybe it will be true.

Gigi said...

She can differentiate the blue ones by taste? Really? This theory MUST be tested, because seriously? Who savors M&M's? Usually they are scarfed down by the handful.

And Jenny_O? Yeah, my best ideas come when I am in the car, or the shower, or somewhere else where a paper and pen aren't handy. And since I don't get them down on paper immediately, then "poof" they are gone.

jenny_o said...

@ Simply - now you are guilty of deliberately misunderstanding :o)

@ Gigi - I keep thinking I should get one of those little recorder things, but I don't write it down because I'm driving at the time and ...

Bodacious Boomer said...

If you want a real cleaning challenge you can always come here. One husband and 6 dogs- you can even bring Mary. I'll have the M&M's waiting.

A Daft Scots Lass said...

thanx for commentng on my blog. Hope you stick around.

Dr. Kathy McCoy said...

You're an inspiration, Pearl! Coming on 1200 posts and still full of ideas!

darlin said...

LOL I love your use of humor, you sure know how to keep a blog fun and interesting! I love your idea, I'm a note taker but lately it's all serious university stuff. I think I'm going to take your advice and start to write down fun things and then go out in search of photos to go with them... in my spare 3 minutes I have per day! lol