Archive for category Weather
But this isn’t one of those. I mean, it is. A post, that is. But interesting? Well, in the immortal (nearly immortal? somebody check into that for me) words of Bob Barker, “Survey says?! Oh, I’m so sorry, you’re answer is just not on the board.”
Well, that might be more of a paraphrase.
Anyway, unfortunately, I can’t give you the post you deserve today because I have other pressing tasks to accomplish with the word-making skills. I’ve got a brand spanking new query letter to polish until it gleams light the sun I saw shining earlier today (pictured above). And if that isn’t enough, before I get any sleep tonight I have to produce a (blessedly) short synopsis for my new novel, Longshots. Yes, the one currently being considered in The Contest. Which, not coincidentally, ends tomorrow.
It’s possible these two things are related. I’ll never tell. (Pssst…here’s my entry).
At any rate, the query letter isn’t too scary, although I’ll probably end up rewriting it 3 or 4 times between now and then end of the month. The synopsis, on the other hand, is nothing to be sneezed at. The dreaded Novel Synopsis has been known to even bring the most seasoned of A-list authors to their knees, all weepy and beaten.
Now, I see you there, looking all smug and thinking, “Oh, sure, a synopsis. Whatever, loser. I wrote, like, three of those back in grade school for Mrs. Droopynecklace. And I got at least a ‘C’ on all of them. We called them ‘book reports, remember, Whiny McWhinerson?”
Yeah, look: writing a novel synopsis is not exactly that same thing as slapping together that report on “Flowers for Algernon” in 4th grade. For one thing, your novel synopsis has to sell your story to someone thinking about representing or publishing it. And let me tell you, the report you wrote when you were 10 years old couldn’t convince Inuit Native Americans to buy space heaters. For another thing, a ‘C’? Really? Below average? Go look at the nearest book store or open up the Books heading on Amazon.com and start browsing. Last time I checked, there were roughly eleventy quatrillion galactic crap-tons of books available for purchase in the world. If you want yours to be one of those, you’re damn sure going to do better than writing a C-average synopsis.
In fact, if there was any way you could make your synopsis, like, readable crack or something, that’d probably be a good start.
So, as you can see, producing a quality synopsis is tricky. Like, giving birth an entire living room of fully-assembled IKEA furniture by putting it together via the birth canal without using your hands, tricky.
Which is why I need to get started on that, and stop rambling here about this.
Instead of an interesting post, though, I did think to take a picture of the first sunlight since spring theoretically arrived last week requiring me to don my sunglasses. Yes, that’s the same picture above. Isn’t it pretty? I hope the suns sticks around for a while this time.
Now, if I can just write a synopsis that pretty, everyone will be happy.
This is pretty unusual for a Monday, but I’ve got a bunch of things occupying my grey matter at the moment, meaning I’m limited on the creative juice needed to put into writing a Snazzy Blog Post ™. Admittedly, it doesn’t help that my brain normally operates about as well as that 1958 For-dge-olet jalopy your grandfather refused to give up on when you were a kid. Never-you-mind about the thick black smoke it belched out worse than Uncle Hal after two helpings of sauerkraut, and if those damn hoodlums in the neighborhood were too dumb to know the difference between a backfire and gunfire, well, that was their problem. He’d decided when that car had seen better days, thank-you-very-much, and everyone else just could keep their damned opinions to themselves.
Anyway, the point is that even when my thinker is firing on all cylinders, it’s not firing on all cylinders, if you know what I mean. And now it’s preoccupied to boot, which never helps.
I did briefly consider posting a haiku or a limerick today, but nothing interesting came to mind as far as topics go.
Once again, the dark time is upon us. The Super Bowl is over, and just like every year, the cold, sober, grey light of a February dawn brings the realization that I’m screwed.
Football is over. Baseball has yet to start.
Basketball has little meaning until there’s a tournament involved, and I’ve got no sport or team to cheer for at the moment.
My household To-Do list has been growing, unchecked, since September, and now pretty much resembles that alien plant from Little Shop of Horrors. In fact, every time I walk past it, mocking me from that magnet on the fridge, I hear a voice in my head cry out, “Feed me, Seymour.”
Groundhog day; Spring nears
Winter growls again, bears teeth
Oh no, not done yet
Have a great weekend, no matter what the Groundhog and Mother Nature give you!
*Well, also because last night Mother Nature saw fit to drop as much as an inch (AN INCH!) of snow on us here in Cincinnati after raining all day. Needless to say, cars were spinning around like Tom the Cat on a frozen kitchen floor, expressways were closed, dogs and cats were living together…Mass Hysteria!
Sometimes it’s more apparent than others that I was never a Boy Scout. No, not even a Cub.
Yesterday was one of those days.
Rather foolishly, I made a public commitment to slip those fancy running shoes of mine back on and get back out on the pavement. 10k races, let alone half marathons, don’t train for themselves, you know.
Of course, just to mock me, the average temperature in Cincinnati dropped to something like minus 600 Kelvin the second that post was published. Polar bears where knocking on doors looking for a place to hangout for the night. Snowmen were putting on coats. In fact, it was so cold that my dog, after giving the evening signal that she needed to go out, arrived at the threshold of the garage, stopped short, and gave me a look that said, “Are you serious? Screw that, I’ll pee on the floor inside first thank you very much.”
She was disappointed to learn I was not so much down with Operation Carpet Piddle.
My point is there was no way I was going to attempt my first run in a month and a half in single digit weather. Sure, I could have tried it Wednesday morning, but let’s be honest, I’d have had to dress up like Ralphie’s kid brother from A Christmas Story. You try running a couple of miles when you can’t put your arms down and let me know how it works out.
By last night, though, the mercury had risen into the balmy low twenties. It was like a regular heat wave, comparatively, so I figured why not give it a shot? I dressed myself in what I hoped were my warmest athletic pants, put on a couple of shirts, a hooded sweatshirt, and a pair of gloves, and heading out into the only-somewhat-less-bitter cold.
What we learned from this experience is that yes, I can, somehow magically, still run (that is, “jog”, which is jogging only in the most academic sense of the word; picture Winnie the Pooh lumbering through your neighborhood in running shoes) two miles, even with a several-week break between attempts.
That’s something to be considered a minor miracle, right there. I mean it.
The more important thing I learned, however, was that, never having been a Boy Scout, sometimes I attempt things for which I am most decidedly not prepared. In this case, specifically, I Don’t Have Proper Cold Weather Running Gear.
Admittedly, I don’t need the Full Monty of Winter Operations Garments. There’s no reason to look like US Special Forces in arctic camo. At minimum, though, I do need:
- A facial covering. Sure, I’m hesitant about making my way through the ‘hood in a balaclava or basic ski mask for fear Granny McMuuMuu will be dialing 911 to report “a hoodlum planning to take all my precious kitties, or worse” the second I pause in front of her house to catch my breath. But, dammit, that stuff in your nose that likes to run? Yeah, it likes to freeze, too. Real fast. And after it’s frozen, that shnoz of yours is about as useful for exchanging air as wet concrete. And air is kind of important for running.
- Tights. Yes, I said it. I’m a grown man and I want a pair of tights. That’s not to say I expect to be dancing in Swan Lake soon. I’ll pass on the tutu. But something insulated and skin-tight would be pretty nice as opposed to the athletic pants I wore yesterday that, much to surprise, are actually designed to let air pass through them. I might as well have been in shorts. Brrrr.
- Insulated socks. Those fancy running shoes I mentioned above? They’re pretty much like having crepe paper stapled to rubber soles attached to your feet. And when it’s freakin’ 88 degrees outside, that’s fantastic; they weigh hardly anything and you can feel a cool breeze in them every time you open your refrigerator. But this is winter. By time I finished running last night, my toes looked like I’d been trying to use them to fish that last decent beer out of that ice-filled garbage can at your cousin Max’s college graduation party.
So, I admit it. I wasn’t prepared to attempt a run in 20+ degree temperatures in the middle of January. My lack of Boy Scout training last night was on epic display. But you know, even though it wasn’t optimal, I did get that first run back out of the way, even in the face of a bounty of excuses.
Maybe being ill-prepared isn’t always the worst thing in the world. After all, it is better than being apathetic. Nobody ever accomplished anything nursing their indifference from the couch. At least I jogged 2 miles.
Still, I really do need some tights.
But you probably won’t want to see them.
Red sky at night, Sailor’s delight
Red sky at morn, Sailors be warned.
I’m not sure why the old adage has always stuck with me. I’m about as much sailor as Popeye* is a software engineer. But for whatever reason, every time the sky gets a reddish tint on my way from work, the saying immediately comes to mind.
Considering that’s the sky that greeted me when I pulled into the driveway tonight, then, I imagine you can see why that would be rattling around in my head this evening. But you know what? That’s just fine. You might even say I actually do have a little sense of that delight with me this evening.
Indeed, I’m in a fine mood. I had a pretty good day today, internet. How was yours?
*You whippersnappers probably won’t remember, but Popeye was a cartoon sailor lo, the many years ago. Back when people ate spinach out of cans.
This morning, boys and girls, your friendly, neighborhood Puddin woke up and was thrilled to find that the Mayans, despite all the doubts and rhetoric, nailed it.
What? Oh, no, clearly all that “end of the world” business was 100% pure, unadulterated bunk from the word “Go!”. Or whatever the word “Go” is in ancient Mayan.
Come to think of it, what language did the ancient Mayans speak, anyway?
Oh well, that’s not important right now.
What is important is that although it appears there isn’t going to be so much of the earthquakes, volcanoes, tsunami, and fire and brimstone falling from the sky in a shower of hot debris, those wacky Mayans still hit pretty close to the mark. In my eyes, at least. You just have to overlook the disappointing lack of an army of 150 foot-tall stone statues come to life with burning red eyes serving as vessels for ancient gods bent on destroying the wicked civilizations of mankind.
Okay, so, yeah, in that sense this business has been a little bit of a let down. Fine.
But! But! When I woke up this morning and look outside – using the mysterious, traditional method of actually “going to a window” – I was met with something that made my head overflow with the shiny happies of a thousand My Little Ponies mixed with a sky full of Double Rainbows and a million firefly pixies. Or something.
What I mean to say is, sometime in the course of the night, while I was all sleepitimes and irritating the Puddinette with the Snores of Doom, Old Man Winter arrived. No, wait, he didn’t just arrive, he materialized in a swoosh of special effects and swirly capes, and kicked that awful cold rain straight back to, well, let’s say wherever they’re keeping the Ancient Gods of Vengeance with the smoky eyeballs.
It’s four days to Christmas, mofos, and outside, I found this:
Today is the winter solstice, there’s a dusting of snow on the ground, and All is Right With the World.
So, no, the Earth didn’t fly apart in a spectacle that would make George Lucas jealous, but it’s apparently a New Day this morning, a sort of turning-of-the-page. Which, to my understanding, is kind of what this whole Mayan calendar rollover thing was supposed to indicate in the first place.
In other words, get out there and revel in the dusting of holiday-approved weather, and make use of the new start. Because whether or not the Mayan calendar business was actually, you know, a thing, every new morning is a chance to make yourself new again.
And that always better with snow.