Cold Cold Cold

Sunday, July 22, 2012

As a big fan of the late, lamented, My Name Is Earl, I am a believer in karma.

For those of you unfamiliar with the show, Earl was a thirty-something petty thief. After winning $100,000 in the lottery, he is promptly hit by a car while celebrating. In the hospital he becomes a firm believer in karma the way most of us do: he hears about it while watching Carson Daly in a morphine-induced stupor. 

To turn his life around, he puts together a list of every bad thing he has ever done and every person he has hurt and vows to make amends. Each episode dealt with his attempt to cross another item off his list.

My list, thankfully, isn't as long as Earl's. But I do have one, as karma occasionally reminds me.

Like today.

I went for a walk and, as I often do, stopped off at Starbucks to do some writing and down an iced coffee before heading home.

It was a spectacular summer day here today - mid 70s, sunny, and no humidity. I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts as I usually do, and was perfectly comfortable as I made my usual rounds.

When I reached the Starbucks I usually frequent, the air conditioning was on, but it wasn't excessive, as it sometimes can be. I didn't think much of it as I settled down to put a significant dent into my backlog of prospective blog posts.

Well, *that* didn't last long.

Within about 20 minutes, I was shivering. And I mean shivering. Not chill-down-the-spine shivering; I mean covered-in-goosebumps, my-hands-are-like-ice shivering.

Granted, I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts - but so was everyone else. And they all looked perfectly comfortable. Only I felt as if I'd inadvertently wandered into a Jack London short story.

Then I remembered karma.

I used to tease my mother relentlessly over her penchant for complaining about the cold over the years.

I should explain that my mother has a somewhat different concept of what constitutes "cold" than you and I. Many was the sultry summer evening when she would be huddled on the couch, wrapped in an afghan, repeating her favorite saying: 

"Oh, it's like a winter's night!"

Meanwhile, the rest of us watched in wonder as the glass in the windows began to melt spontaneously.

I remember that we - OK, I - would have a wonderful time amusing ourselves at her expense.

Well, apparently karma remembers too. 

Because now I, too, find myself feeling like a perfectly gorgeous afternoon is parka-worthy. And not for the first time, either.

I know it's mostly a result of the hormones; several friends have told me this was one of the first things they noticed when they began transitioning. And I'm not all that big, which likely exacerbates matters.

Anyway, I wound up leaving much sooner than I had planned - and in such a hurry that I inadvertently left my phone behind. Luckily one of the baristas found it, so disaster was averted. (Although she did inadvertently take it home with her - just karma letting me know who's in charge.)

So, when I update my own karma list, I need to add a note that I need to carry a sweater at all times for the foreseeable future. After all, winter is only 153 days away!

And I suspect that, in whatever purgatory Earl finds himself these days (mid-afternoon on basic cable - the worst kind), he is chuckling knowingly, and not without sympathy, all the while thinking to himself:



One surefire way to appease karma is to invoke the great Lowell George and the mighty, mighty Little Feat. And there is never a bad time to watch Lowell work his magic with that slide:

And of course I would be remiss not to include this one:

Damn, Lou Gramm has a great set of pipes, doesn't he?

And this one:

And last but not least, a gorgeous, haunting piece from Daniel Lanois' debut album, Acadie:


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