Inhuman Swill : Weather
            

Packing Kevin's painting
"What the hell are you doing?" the old man yelled into my window. "You can't park here! What's wrong with you?"

I had just backed very carefully into a space barely wide enough for the car. My friend Kevin was riding shotgun, my dog Ella in a nest in the back seat. Funny, I thought as the man angrily waved me back into the alley, we only missed our target by about twelve feet.

That was exactly one year ago this evening—Wednesday, June 26, 2013. It was the tail end of a 24-hour odyssey that already felt like a dream.

In reality, though, the odyssey went back much farther. For months, Laura and I had been planning a move from Chicago back to New York City. The company she worked for had offered her a job in its New York office, and in fact she was already spending much of her time there, transitioning into her new role. It fell to me to make all the arrangements for moving, to get everything packed, and to find us a new place to live.

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It seems absurd for me to say that I wish we were in New York City right now, with Hurricane Sandy bearing down, but we are definitely thinking of all our many friends there and all over the East Coast and hoping everyone stays dry and safe.

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Why you shouldn't park in a big puddle during winter, zoomed
Late last week, I was going to write that the back yard is a winter palimpsest, with footprints and pawprints overwritten by successive layers of snow. I was going to write that frolicking in that world was like playing a god striding over plains and rugged mountain ranges alike, where deep alpine tarns lurk to entrap the boots that originally forged them. I was going to write of the delicate Mercator projections etched in the newly fallen powder by the rolling basketball the dog pushes with her faces through the runneled lugeways of the landscape, with spalding imprinted perfectly in reverse.

I was going to write all those things, but then it poured rain over the weekend and warmed up to around 50 before plunging back to single-digit temperatures. The rain caused flooding, and the subsequent temperatures froze everything afterward into the kind of rolling, glassy surface you might expect to find after a nuclear blast site has cooled. Walking is treacherous. And the car at the curb in front of our house demonstrates the danger of parking in a giant standing pool when it's still winter. That car's not moving any time soon.

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Don't drown!

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I am a huge fan of the warnings and advisories from the National Weather Service. It's something about the matter-of-fact cataloging of the various ways weather phenomena can take life. These reports are marvels of terse concision, and I recommend them to anyone who delights in language.

This, for example, from today's flood warning for Northern Illinois:

MOST FLOOD DEATHS OCCUR IN AUTOMOBILES. NEVER DRIVE YOUR VEHICLE INTO AREAS WHERE THE WATER COVERS THE ROADWAY. FLOOD WATERS ARE USUALLY DEEPER THAN THEY APPEAR. JUST ONE FOOT OF FLOWING WATER IS POWERFUL ENOUGH TO SWEEP VEHICLES OFF THE ROAD. WHEN ENCOUNTERING FLOODED ROADS MAKE THE SMART CHOICE...TURN AROUND...DONT DROWN.
Masterful. If you don't hear the music, there's nothing I can do for you.
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Cold!

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It is currently -4° F out, or -22° F with the ol' wind chill factor factored in.

For you children of the Metric System, that's -20° C and -30° C, respectively.

What I wouldn't give for it to be a nice, comfy 18° again. Fahrenheit or Celsius, I don't care.

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A quick glance at the New York Times site makes us happy we're not in Gotham today. We hope all our New York friends are staying dry and cool and above ground and above water, and—possible tornado in Bay Ridge???—not blowing away!

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Il a neigé

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Holy shit, it was snowing when I got out of the subway!

Of course, by the time I got to the office I could see blue sky and the snow had almost petered out.

And now the sun is shining through my office window.

All in ten minutes.

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Mamma mia, thatsa lotsa snow!

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TODAY'S WEATHER

CLOUDY
SHOWERS
SYLVESTER STALLONE

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Tomorrow's weather

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As reported yesterday evening by the A&E Biography sign:

MOSTLY CLOUDY
WINDY & COLD
CHANCE OF FLURRIES
SAM WALTON
I've been looking today, and I have to admit I haven't seen him yet. But I think that's because he keeps to the 'burbs.
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The Accidental Terrorist 30th Anniversary Sale

Signed editions
that even a
missionary
could afford.

Order yours now!

William Shunn

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