I've contributed to perhaps the best humor compilation I've ever read. Available now on Amazon!

My second chapbook, "The Second Book of Pearl: The Cats" is now available as either a paper chapbook or as a downloadable item. See below for the Pay Pal link or click on its cover just to the right of the newest blog post to download to your Kindle, iPad, or Nook. Just $3.99 for inspired tales of gin, gambling addiction and inter-feline betrayal.

My first chapbook, I Was Raised to be A Lert is in its third printing and is available both via the PayPal link below and on smashwords! Order one? Download one? It's all for you, baby!

Friday, September 16, 2011

We Don’t Always Have to Hold Our Heads Up

Headaches. Headaches and looming crabbiness have been my bywords this and last week.

If we can be candid here – and I think we agreed to such an exchange a long time ago – I’ve had better weeks. My head hurts, the cat is using my car again, and the temperature in Minneapolis has dropped a full 50 degrees since Monday, and will, in the coming months, easily drop another 50.

We’ll discuss the foolishness of this life-long Minnesotan’s amazement at the temperature changes at another time, but on that subject I’ll leave you with this thought: Socks.

I wore socks yesterday morning for the first time in over four months, and you know what? I can recommend them. I think I’ll wear them for the next, oh, eight months or so.

Have you tried this new thing? These “socks”?

Sigh.

But what now, huh? A new-found love of socks can only get you so far. With Minnesota entering its Mother-Nature-Is-Trying-to-Kill-You phase, now, more than ever, we need a look into the future.

This weekend, for example, and its long-awaited Brew Review at the Schmidt’s Brewery: will there be foot races afterwards, like last year?  Shall I embrace full-on drunkenness or sip with discernment?

Will I need a hat? 

Let us consult the iPod, shall we? Because as is well known around these parts (especially the parts that exist in my head), my iPod, set on “shuffle” and played during Friday’s morning commute, foretells the future.

Play along!

Soul Sacrifice by Santana
Strange Times by The Black Keys
Shake It Out by Manchester Orchestra
Jump Into the Fire by Harry Nilsson
Cold Beverage by G. Love & Special Sauce
Space Truckin’ by Deep Purple

Hmm. Yes. I see. We’ll avoid the “soul sacrifice” – aside from that lovely drum solo – and proceed directly to the cold beverage.

To paraphrase the Right Groovy Telly Savalas (in his role as Ramses II): So the iPod has played it, so it shall be done.


On a more introspective note, I’ve spent some time this week looking down.  Perhaps it's the waning light of fall, but the urge to crawl into my head and stay there (perhaps there are more socks in there?) has come upon me.  It's a winter-approacheth kind of thing.  We locate our sweaters and boots, stock up on root vegetables, resurrect the projects we set aside in anticipation of the glorious, heady days of summer.

It’s another world, looking down.  A world of discarded snacks; of lost hair ties and ravaged candy wrappers; a house-cleaner’s nightmare of discarded cigarette butts and bus transfers.

I pick these things up, you know, throw them away.
Absolutely free of charge.

I was doing that this morning, absent-mindedly tidying up my part of the city, when there, on the ground, right where the bus will open its doors when it arrives, right where I will be standing when it pulls up, I see a cigarette.

A whole, clean cigarette.

And one penny. Heads up.

They are side by side, as if placed there purposefully. 

I look around.  Perhaps I look too deeply sometimes - I once saw implied threats in the tiny mouse head deposited on my front steps by a feline admirer - but I saw in those two things a sort of hope. There are those for whom a found cigarette is comfort, for whom a found, heads-up penny brings luck.

I step back.  I look up.

The bus comes, and I step over the cigarette and the penny, hoping that the person who needs them, finds them.

The doors open.  “Beautiful day,” the bus driver says.

I smile.  He may be on to something.


Happy weekend, everyone.  Don't forget that you can always come back tomorrow.

40 comments:

Leenie said...

Aaaack! Sock weather. What sad times are these when passing ruffians can say, "socks" at will to old ladies. And Jackets! NOOoooo. I saw a dirty sock in the gutter today. I think it had escaped the laundry and was trying to find a new mate. Good luck with Jumping into the Fire. Maybe there's a cure for headaches there. Maybe a Cold Beverage. Congrats for stepping over that coffin nail. Good weekend to ya.

Joyful Things said...

Looming crabbiness and the onset of winter - I hear ya, sister! I used to live in Winnipeg - just a bit north of you. My kids are kind of hiding from me this AM - I think I need your bus driver........

Pearl said...

Leenie, I sometimes think you may be Mary, masquerading as "Leenie". "What sad times are these when passing ruffians can say, "socks" at will to old ladies." :-) Lovely reference, my friend!

Joyful, a smile goes a long way. So does a bucket of water. :-) Want me to come over and get your kids moving?!

Audubon Ron said...

It's a sign. The sign means after the winter solstice of debauchery and Saturnalia, it will be the year of 2012. It's a Mayan thing. So yeah, full-on drunkenness.

debauchery: sex like you mean it, not like, okay, I'm here, now what?

Pearl said...

Audubon, MAN! I'm going to have to check my calendar more closely!!

powdergirl said...

Hate headaches, love socks. have you tried the golf socks with tightly ribbed bands that snug up around your instep? Heavenly!

We're having some Indian Summer days here, its beautiful. As soon as my flooring guy leaves I'm going to the beach for a late summers fling with Sloth.

I hope your headache goes away, ugh.

Joshua said...

I woke up with a migraine this morning. I wish I could blame a gin-swilling cat, but it's the weather front moving in. Or all the painting I've done the last two nights. Great songs, but I think my head needs something a little softer today.

Symdaddy said...

Socks? Yes, I remember them from, ooooh, lemme think ... this morning! Yeah, that's right!

I seem to recall watching them march towards the door as I chased after them with a lockable, armoured laundry basket.

I had a clothes peg on my nose, for obvious reason.

mybabyjohn/Delores said...

Went looking for my thick fluffy "IN THE HOUSE" socks yesterday for the first time since May. Rats. I am wearing shoes again. My feet don't know what to make of it. They are not happy. I am not happy. What say we all head to Florida for a few months?
Nice of the universe to leave a little gift for someone where it would be easily found. Years back I had a habit of leaving little stacks of ten pennies here and there in odd spots. On the edge of planters down town, the rail in the bus stop. It amused me to think of who might find them and take them.
Hope the "season of the headache" passes quickly for you. So hard to ignore a pain in the brain.

jabblog said...

The coin and the cigarette (sounds like the title of a novel) were placed there to TEST you, to test your resolve, your sense of justice, honour and honesty. Had you but glanced over your shoulder you would have seen a man in a shabby coat and a hat pulled over one eye, taking notes on his Blackberry.

willfulresemblance said...

It is a beautiful day! a little cold but my new Spanish made guitar arrived today and life is beautiful!

Dawn @Lighten Up! said...

No no no...there will be no "sipping with discernment." Ye shall embrace full-on drunkeness. Yes, ye shall. And I think just seeing the penny shall bring ye good luck. Oh yes, it shall.

jenny_o said...

I hope your headaches cease and desist soon. Good on ya for cleaning up. I'm always too late to do anything but run. Do you wear plastic gloves to do your extra-curricular civic job, or bathe in hand sanitizer after?

ellen abbott said...

I'm barefoot still and will be for some time to come.

George said...

You did mean Yul Brynner right? Ramses would look silly with a lollipop. I always hear Bullwinkle say the poem "See a penny pick it up and all the day you'll have good luck" when I see a penny on the ground. I then pick up the penny, still waiting for the luck.

Glen said...

The fact that women wear shoes without socks has always troubled me.
funny things, women.

Jinksy said...

There are pennies and pennies, of course! Good luck with the socks...♥

Belle said...

I can now open my bedroom window and have coolness invade the room instead of a wall of heat. I like that, but I know it means rain, sleet and snow are lurking around waiting to ruin my life.

the walking man said...

I too got socks, multiple times but I gave back at least as many as I got. I just want to know when I need to start wearing underwear again. There are some parts of the body that just should never be frozen especially if the pipes are leaking.

Seriously it takes a depth of understanding to see signs like a full unburnt cigarette and a heads up penny, appreciate them and then know they are meant for another.

Douglas said...

I wear socks only when wearing shoes.

And, as George said, I believe it was the other shaved head actor... Yul Brynner... who portrayed Rameses II But I can understand the confusion... all those bald guys look alike. And just a bit like Mr. Clean.

Ponita in Real Life said...

I've had to don socks as well. They feel foreign. I am not keen on wearing socks, but not wanting my toes to turn purple from the cold is a good enough reason to suck it up and pull them on. Of course, I put shoes on over the socks... to keep them clean, you know.

I have a feeling the heavy woolen ones will be a part of the daily wardrobe in the not too distant future.

We share these weather woes, Pearl. Especially when the temp hits -40, cuz we both know that's the same no matter what side of the border you live on.

Julianna said...

Night before last we used the air conditioning.

This morning, I was in my fuzzy hospital socks and full bath robe over my jammies.

Fall's a comin'

fishducky said...

I live in beautiful southern California & can't understand why some cities are where they are. I heard a comedian explain it this way once: Some of our forefathers found themselves on the east coast. One said "Let's see. In summer the temp goes up to 120 & it's humid. In winter it drops to -50 & there are blizzards. Let's build a city HERE!" It's the only explanation that makes sense to me.

Jon said...

I would never trust a fortuitous cigarette like that.

Years ago in a city a long way from here a rather silly young man whom I knew slightly hit upon the idea of soaking pristine cigarettes in a solution of PCP, drying them out and leaving them on bars where drunks might find them and, having found them, smoke them.

The effects, though fascinating, were horrible.

Beware. That's all I'm saying.

Paula said...

I love the cold weather for about oh...1 month and then I am oh so ready for flip flop season agin.

Joanne said...

Wow, you're tougher than I am. I went for the wool socks a week ago.

Pat said...

Socks are great. In the winter I wear them day and night(not usually the same pair) and my feet stay soft and smooth. In the summer no socks and lashings of foot cream are required.
Glad you're feeling cheery again because in my book Pearl you are a Diamond.

R. Jacob said...

Questions abound. Do cats smoke regular or menthol? Use cigarette holders and talk like Bette Davis about you having a bumpy ride? In Florida we are socks optional, used for work only! Are you this wonderful, talented, and beautiful in person? And does this mean I have to visit Minnesota?

Camille said...

Oh my God - I wore socks today for the first time too. We're like, almost twins here.

I chalk up your inability to correctly ID Yul Brynner as a further indication of migraine suffering and therefore, am cutting you a considerable amount of slack. It's the right thing to do.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend Pearl - give Schmidt's my best.

Ann Imig said...

I turned on the heat today Pearl. I caved. Not only did I "go put on a sweater" but a down vest and legwarmers. But 62 degrees inside is just too cold.

And I was folding laundry with beach towels and swimsuits in it.

Blissed-Out Grandma said...

That's such a classic Pearl kindness, leaving the cigarette and the penny and hoping the right person finds them.

Caleb said...

I'm in St. Louis now (part of my creeping-towards-the-warmth life approach) and it dropped from 100 on Monday to mid 50s today.

You can't just go doing that, weather. As a girl friend (note the space there) once told me, "You gotta warm a girl up before you do something drastic like that!"

Daisy said...

We spent the day digging up carrots and planting garlic. Definite signs, along with a good book, that summer is past and it's time to nest.

Diane said...

Ummm . . . I like socks! And isn't it interesting that a Cold Beverage can get you Space Truckin'? I don't know about you, but my mid-afternoon cold glass of ginger ale never did that for me! I must be doing something wrong . . .

Susan in the Boonies said...

I was worried - for a moment - but JUST for a moment - that you were going to pick that cigarette up.

And re-start.

Thank God you didn't.

Personally, I hope someone nice finds the penny, and the cigarette gets stepped on. As much as it might make somebody momentarily happy, it wouldn't really do them any good.

But I appreciate, as ever, and always, your altruism. :-D

Joanna Jenkins said...

I yiyi, sock season already. That's so not fair. I truly do not know how you survive Minnesota winters. You're far tougher than I am.
xo jj

Tempo said...

Yeah, I tried that socks thing, but the neighbors kept complaining when I went out to check the mail, it occurs to me now that perhaps pants would look good with socks...
Just as winter arrives there, Summer arrives here, this week has seen the first few hot days and I was forced to dig out my shorts for the first time since March... they dont look good on my now Lilly white legs, but that will change!

Laoch of Chicago said...

One dreads the coming of the fall!

My Beautiful World said...

Happy to meet a new friend enjoying your blog for the first time. I have just taken my socks off for the first time in 5 months as we have spring over here in Australia!! But I still love my socks
hope to see you come over and say hello and join my sisterhood...and please wear your socks.

Always Wendy

Eva Gallant said...

I'm sitting here barefoot, thinking sock weather has come to Maine, too!