Come what may.
This just in: The Earth’s tilt (or spin axis, if you will) is still 23.5 degrees. Ooooh, yikes. That’s a mite chilly, mate. 23 freaking degrees?!? Are we talking fahrenheit or celsius? Either way, that’s colder than [insert your own obscene colloquialism here] in a pickle jar!
That’s pretty damn cold.
Weather segments on the local news have always been a bit extreme, full of histrionics and hyperbole. ZOMG, tomorrow there’s going to be wet, sun, fog, humidity, wind, mist, hail, and, worst of all, clouds. No shit? Really? Ya think?
Tell you what? If you can successfully predict before it happens when lizards will fall out of the sky, wake me up. Okay? Until then? Shut your fucking omen hole.
Earlier this year we moved to the Big City. For us that is Weird, USA. Rip City. Stumptown. The rest of you might know it as Portland, Oregon. It’s the place that once sold t-shirts that read, “I survived 300 days of Oregon sun.” If that isn’t enough of a clue, let me break the news: It rains a skosh here.
To be honest, rain is one of the things I was looking forward to the most about living in P-Town. Winter has always been my favorite time of year. I like it dark. I like it ominously cloudy. I like it rainy and wet. I like a bit more variety than blaringly blue skies with sun on full throttle day after interminable day.
The one thing I did not expect, however, was the local news channels and how they covered the weather. Each time a little fluffy rain cloud floated in it was like: HOLY SHIT! THERE IS GOING TO BE SOME FUCKING RAIN!
You’d think they’d have gotten a little more used to it by now.
When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn’t imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.
Source: Groundhog Day
Their coverage is not quite as elegant and civilized as all that. Not. Quite.
I admit it. I was quite taken aback by the level of the flip out over the rain around here. Worse, the length of the weather segments on the local news is excruciating. The level of detail. The minutia! Argh!! I’m not an undergrad seeking a Ph.D. in meteorology. (If there even is such a thing.) Just give me a quick overview. I don’t exactly need the equivalent of the Encyclopedia Britannica of Weather just to sit on my ass in a building all day and walk to and from my car twice. My lifestyle isn’t exactly like climbing Mount Everest.
To sum up about Portland, Oregon: Yes, it rains a lot. Surprisingly, it flips everyone out.
Then there’s winter and the cold.
Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cooooold out there today.
There was a bit of a cold snap. Cue the people freaking out.
If only there was some way they could have seen this coming. If only there had been some clue? It’s like, once it was warm and sunny but now it’s not. Oh my god. Oh my god. Whatever shall we do?
Snap out of it, dipshits. It’s call winter. W-i-n-t-e-r. Look it up. It’s a real thing. Trust me on this.
It turns out that the Earth isn’t straight up and down. This gets complicated because Earth is in space and in space no one can hear you scream. Suffice it to say that the whole damn planet is crooked. You don’t need to be concerned with the complicated science. What you do need to know that because the Earth is titled 23.5 degrees, that means sometimes, as we orbit the sun, the tilted-away part gets cold and the tilted-in part gets warm. Half way around the sun these two parts are switched and the weather gets reversed.
We call these weather patterns seasons. No, not like salt and pepper, you dolt. Geez.
Forget all that. I give up. Basically what I’m saying is this: Winter is a predictable phenomenon. We, like the Stark family of Winterfell, know that… it… is… coming. They even put the word “winter” in the name of their land, so we know that they know what they are talking about.
Yesterday a cold front moved in. What do you think happened? Right. People went ape shit. Social media literally exploded. There were lots of comments along the lines of “it’s so cold.” I hate to be the one to tell you but you’re not using Twitter the right way.
The Facebook exploded with literally everyone posting pictures of their local bank’s moving message boards showing the temperature. Lots of 19’s and 20’s. And lots of comments like, “Look at that. It’s 19 degrees. I have the proof. I put it on Instagram.”
No shit, Sherlock. It turns out we live on the same planet as you. We were already aware. It’s almost like we didn’t need you to tell us it’s cold out.
“Holy fuck,” I imagine they replied. “Did you see this? Here’s 42 pictures of my frozen windshield. Someone’s going to be late to work. Oh. My. God.”
And to think, all those years, I was doing it wrong. I’d walk out to the car and see the windshield frozen harder than a glacier in Sarah Palin’s hometown. Did I grab my camera? Did I piss myself? Did I run around screaming until I ran into a pole and knocked myself out cold? Did I tweet? Did I instagram with a sepia filter?
I usually did something like this: Get ready for work just a few minutes early to allow a bit of extra time. I’d put on my little glovies that I cleverly set aside the night before. I grabbed my ice scraper, a handy device made for such occasions. I’d start my car and turn on the heater and the defrost. And then, while the car was warming up, came the dreamworld of magic. I scraped that frozen ice shit off my windows. Then came a couple of squirts of coconut-flavored sugar water and voila! A tasty tropical snow cone for breakfast.
I guess there are two ways to overreact to any situation. My way and the fucked up way.
Calm down, people. It’s only the weather. Remember, we’ve seen this before. It’s called weather.
Come what may!
Look at this instagram! While I was writing this post it looked like this outside. Look at me! I’m making angels in the snow!
This just in!!!
And they’ll react the exact same way next winter. You’d think as humans, ’cause we’ve been around for a while now, would have made the connection of shorter days, less sun to winter. And be prepared. It happens every 12 months or so. Is it like a pregnant woman who goes into labor and produces a beautiful new baby goes on to do it again two years later even though she knows it’s going to hurt but she can’t remember the pain of the pain? I mean, that you can understand. If every woman remembered, really remembered, the pain of childbirth, there’d be no one on the planet to shovel snow.
So you’d think with our need to survive, we’d adapt to the environment of where we live so we’re not always coming off as surprised. I’m sure someone’s done a study on this but no one’s read it because everyone’s complaining about the weather.
I’m hoping you guys don’t have to go full-on Donner Party.
Yes, it makes me long for the winters I used to live in Minnesota, the land of no complaining about the weather. Because it’s damn cold there in the winter and people just deal with it. Weather whiners irritate me thoroughly. And twitter and Facebook are the perfect places for them – places where most of the stuff posted is utterly banal. And why has reporting weather become such a lengthy segment on TV news? WHY?