It being tournament time, pretty much everyone is trying to get in on the action. I'm particularly amused by the Weather Channel's "search for the all-time favorite weather song" bracket, although the exclusion of Randy Newman's "I Think It's Going To Rain Today" is somewhat troubling. What's your all-time favorite weather song? Tell etc. in the etc.!
It is rainy and dull out there this morning and not a little bit raw, although it will get warmer. It's Monday, the start of a new week, at the time of the year when we're all doing our best to convince ourselves that things will get better. They won't, but it probably doesn't hurt to pretend that they will. In the meantime, enjoy these curious cows and the puppy that entrances them, because, really, if we can't spend a minute or two appreciating the wonders of nature what hope do we have of even making it to Tuesday?
"International attempts at climate regulation have failed on a number of levels. With CO2 emissions rising much more than predicted between 2009 and 2010, the goal of capping global warming at a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius now seems elusive. But political interest in changing course has waned," reports Der Spiegel, ending with a rather grim quote from Jochem Marotzke, head of the German Climate Consortium: "The laws of nature will continue to function without remorse no matter what mankind does or allows." This is so very true that it seems unnecessary to even worry about anymore.
It is cold and grey and dull out there and the rain soaks you through and leaves you uncomfortable once you finally get indoors. You feel the weight of it all settling into your shoulders, burrowing under you skin, filling you with a sadness so severe it makes Duane Reade at dusk seem like a surprise party where all the people you love have gathered to tell you how much you mean to them. I could try to cheer you up by telling you that the rest of the week won't be too bad, but I think we all know that that's not going to keep you from [...]
If all goes according to plan, tomorrow will be the day that the weather finally catches up with the calendar. That weird sense of unease that we've all felt while waiting for the season to assert itself will finally be lifted, and we will be thrown headfirst into autumn. Finally, the feeling of promise we always have at this time of year—now we're going to get serious, this is when it's really going to happen for us—will settle in alongside the lower temperatures, the smell of smoke, playoff baseball and warm alcoholic drinks with breakfast. The feeling will last until, oh, the end of October, when the Christmas [...]
Confession: Some mornings when I am laying in bed and trying to soothe myself back to sleep in an attempt to forestall the inevitable horror that the day will bring once the cruel tyranny of the alarm clock forces me to admit defeat, I treat myself to a fantasy where everything ends. Now this is not some kind of apocalyptic vision; the cleansing fire promised by the Lord never appears. Instead, it is a simple but total cessation. Think about it: You stop being. The place you live in stops being. The people around you stop being. It all stops being. Your entire history disappears. The things you've done—the [...]
You will be alone. There are reasons for that, but they don't make much of a difference anymore. Your flaws, your indecisiveness, the sad upbringing you never quite got over: none of that matters now. You are alone and the flood is coming. You should make sure you're dressed comfortably; you don't want to be wearing any constricting clothes. Climb to the highest point you have access to, which is probably your building's roof. Stand up straight, facing away from the oncoming surge. Take a deep breath. Consider the totality of your life. Forgive everyone you feel hard done by. Forgive yourself for everything you've done wrong. Remind [...]
You may be tempted, particularly with the lovely spell of weather we'll have over the next few days, to believe that everything is going to work out. That, not only have you gotten away with it, you've deserved to get away with it. I understand. Warm temperatures, the coming of spring, the slight hope that maybe the economy is turning around, the idea that after a certain point things can't get any worse and thus must get better: these are all reasons for optimism. Do not be fooled. No one ever gets away with it, we deserve nothing, the weather will grow cold again, whatever recovery we have will [...]
Tomorrow will be the darkest day of the year, but that is just a planetary distinction, as "it's the shortest amount of time between sunrise and sunset. This is caused by the Earth's relation to the sun, as well as the angle of the Earth's tilt." Really, the darkest day of the year is the day you wake up in the morning and realize that life's crushing meaninglessness has so insinuated itself into your very being that even the awareness of the mundane brutalities which characterize the empty actions that occur continuously as you're putting one foot in front of the other is no longer enough to register [...]
"Along with the now-familiar candles, downed trees across the driveway and the thawing hamburger meat taken from the freezer and tossed in the trash, the region’s latest freak storm, which left three million people without electricity, has left something else in its wake: increasing unease about just what is going on and what it means for the vast majority outside the relative stability of an underground urban power grid. No one can know for sure if this is just the eternally unpredictable chaos of weather on earth or it is something more ominous; call it the new abnormal. But in recent years, suburban and rural residents have found themselves facing [...]
Here’s this morning’s weather map, straight from the Weather Channel website. What do we see? Well, it's going to be a purple line in California, typical for this time of year. Mountain West will see a lot of Hs—how nice for them! And the lumpy, blue-and-red line down the East Coast will stay for the remainder of the week into the weekend. Wait, what? Okay, so maybe when you look at a weather map you have a vague sense of what's being indicated. Like, "hmm, those green clouds look ominous." But how did they get there? And what's going on with those other lines, letters and bumps?
Fine, WHATEVER. Just rain already! And I mean a real rain this time. Sheesh. [Photo via]
You know that vague, persistent fear that it's all gone wrong, that we've pretty much dug a hole so big that even if we had the ability to get ourselves out of it—itself a doubtful proposition—our petty grievances and broken institutions would prevent us from acting in such a way to do so? That terrible feeling of resignation that we've used up all our luck, even the dumb kind that has bailed us out so many times before, and now we're really going to have to pay—physically, emotionally, spiritually—for all of the bad faith and reckless exuberance that we always assumed came without consequences? The sense that everything is [...]
Enjoy "evacuating." (To… where?) This handy NYC PDF tells you if you're perhaps in the flooding zone of death on Sunday night. (Unsurprising most likely to be victims: Williamsburg, East Village, JFK.) FUN STORY: New York City and Long Island are basically decades overdue for a devastating hurricane. And, as usual, probably nothing will happen. But perhaps this is finally the year that Fire Island bites it!
If the weather were an actor we would all be talking about its phenomenal range. There's a chance of snow tomorrow, and then it will be back up near 50 on Friday. Next week will probably bring temperatures in the 70s and ice storms. It's crazy, I tells ya.
You know, the first ten years of my life were a non-stop barrage of the word "potential," and look at the sorry way I turned out. I wouldn't worry too much about the snow just yet. We're just gonna get stuck with rain and cold and darkness and the inexorable sense that life has been a series of missed opportunities and bad decisions and even though you know who you are it's too late to do anything about it and soon—but not soon enough—you'll be dead. I mean, there WILL be snow eventually. I think this winter's actually going to be kind of brutal. It's just not going [...]
You're born into this world alone And that's the way you leave it It's nothing really to bemoan You'd waste your time to grieve it
You spend your life careening through The happy and the sad Until you finally know what's true: There's much less good than bad
You make your way through gloom and pain You try your best and fail You languish through the fog and rain You sputter and you flail
Are you currently a frazzled mess of listlessness and torpor, dragging yourself through the streets with a thin film of perspiration on your upper lip and an increasingly painful chafing on your undercarriage? Have you found yourself more prone to irritation lately, finding annoyance in the most minor of incidents which would normally go unnoticed? Do you have a small ache in the back of your throat that you know is almost certainly an incipient cold brought about by moving back and forth between air conditioned rooms and offices and the fetid pool of viscous and ceaseless humidity that insinuates itself between whatever piece of clothing you've draped around [...]
I know, I know, we're all upset that Hurricane Irene failed to shear the city in half and bring the death and destruction so widely predicted. You could see it on the faces of the young people out to brunch at whatever neighborhood restaurants were open yesterday—they were denied their Blackout moment. Most of us didn't even lose power! Is it even a storm if you sleep through it? They've even got the subways mostly running again, so you probably have to go to work. And, sure, there's some bad flooding and stuff in the suburbs, but, really, when all you've got to complain about is how badly the [...]