Thursday, April 04, 2024

Severe Weather Season Is Here, But Here Doesn't Exist And I Remain Directionally Challenged

 It's Severe Weather Season here in Northeast Ohio (aka NEO). What? You didn't know that we had Severe Weather here? I'm going to give you a pass on that, especially if you watch the National News. According to national media outlets, weather doesn't really happen anywhere except New York and California. Oh, once in a while, Severe Weather occurs in The Panhandle and The Gulf Of Mexico, but neither of those places really interests Chief Meteorologists until there's a hurricane or a named tropical storm. At that point one of them has to Time It Out or Track It whether We The Viewers live anywhere near it or not. 

Most often, national weatherpersons stand right in front of Ohio and much of the Midwest as they gesticulate about Severe Weather in New York or California, making wide, sweeping motions about Storm Tracks and The Gulf Stream. Sometimes, Rick and I sigh loudly and say things like, "We don't live there!" and "What about the remaining two-thirds of the country?" More often, though, we talk about other stuff, like how weather forecasting has gotten worse the more technology they have, and how bad our basketball fantasy teams are this year, and how cute Theo is, and whether or not I got the mail. 

There's one habit that both national and local weather people have that really irritates me, and here it is:

News Anchor:  Chief Meterologist Rayne Shein is here to tell us about the Severe Weather alerts raising concerns in some major areas and to time it all out for us. Rayne?

Weather Person:  Thanks, Telly. We've got a major front setting up along the I95 corridor that will bring heavy downpours in several metro areas. Out west, look for damaging winds causing problems for those along the 101. 

Here at home, our meteorologists/weather forecasters say things like:  "This storm is setting up right along I271." Or, "Those of you living east of 77 should prep those snowblowers," or "The line of tornadic activity is mainly south of Route 80." 


First of all, I have no way of knowing--nor do I care--where the I95 corridor is, even though they talk about it constantly like I should. Please do not Feel The Need to inform me because--and I cannot stress this strongly enough--I DO NOT CARE. I feel like the only people who know Routes, Interstates, and Roads like this are people as old as my mother, who used to be able to tell you extemporaneously exactly how to get every single place in the country she has ever been, using all the exact route numbers and cardinal directions. It was uncanny. She still may be able to do it; I refuse to ask her. 

Secondly, I could not tell you immediately, unless I am in my house, which direction is north, south, east, or west. Okay, I could tell you if I was at the lakehouse. Or at my childhood home. Or in my car, which has a dashboard compass, but I would be cheating. If someone gives me directions and tells me to go east on such-and-such a road, I glaze over. Means nothing. Tell me left or right. What am I, an original Native American describing territory? A clipper ship captain using the North Star to chart his course? Speak in concrete terms to me that mean something tangible. You have a map right there; point to it. "If you live in the Avon-Avon Lake area, blah blah blah"; "counties below this imaginary line (or left or right of it), blah blah blah." I can even accept north, south, east, west if you refer to the map, but don't point to a plain old map and start rattling off a bunch of highways as if I'm a Greyhound bus driver. In New York or California. Because, honestly. People live elsewhere, too. That's just fact.

If you are having Severe Weather where you live, irrespective of which Interstate you are near, I hope you get through it with no damage and no floody basement, which I can now be assured of, thanks to a huge cash outlay and several days of people digging and working at my home. Let's not talk anymore about that. 

Instead, talk to me of Stupid Weather Irritations and BiCoastal Weather Biases in Comments. 


Thursday, March 14, 2024

Let's Ketchup--Er, Catch Up: The Flu, The Baby, The Experiment, The Siren Song Of Confectionery Snacks


Gosh, it's been a while, hasn't it? To quote one of my favourite lines from The Last of The Mohicans, "Things were done. Nobody was spared." Let's do an Olde Fashionde CatchUp wherein I foolishly use up a whole lot of topics, each of which could have been its own blog post.

(*)The Dreaded Illness--I'm just now feeling better more than a week after coming down with a vicious gastro bug. It left me feeling weak, sore, fatigued, and desperate. Rick got it immediately the day after I did and so did Sam, who lunches here daily. Whenever I get ill, I become irrationally angry. That does not help with Recovery. I also stay impatient to become well. Did I have my regular flu shot? But of course. Did everyone get well before I did? But of course. Did I miss some beautiful walking weather? Please. Upside:  I am about ten pounds lighter. 

(*) Theo!--Theo went on a business trip to Florida and stayed at a resort with his parents. Jordan's company paid for Jared and him to accompany her while she had to be there for meetings, etc. He was, in the words of his father, "a rockstar for the whole trip." Rick and I babysat for him while J&J went to Cleveland for a matinee performance of Funny Girl, and he was perfect:  all smiles, chuckles, and cuddles, and nary a fuss for Nana and Grandpa. He will be four months old in about a week. He is a cute little roundheaded boy and I wish I could show you one picture. Note:  I think I took my first airplane trip when I was about eighteen. Just saying.

 (*)History Bears Me Out--Every so often I just cannot take it anymore and I perform The Experiment, even though I know it's Not Good For Me. Even though I know that all it does is raise my cortisol levels and make me crazy.  I mentioned The Experiment before, in this blog post way back in 2006. It just goes to show you that I don't learn from my own suffering. Anyway, this is a photo of my latest Experiment:

That bag of jellybeans behind the candy jar is EMPTY. Rick filled his candy jar after I went to bed--desperately ill--and left that empty bag there. FOR OVER A WEEK. He looked at it every day FOR OVER A WEEK and did nothing. Meanwhile, I refused to throw it away because of The Experiment and my own Disappointment and Frustration. Which leads me to History, and this article from the Smithsonian Magazine, which is titled What Is the Dominant Emotion in 400 Years of Women's Diaries? I bet I don't have to tell you, do I, Women At Large? Hint:  It is Frustration.

(*) Warning! Do Not Ever Make This--Remember how I made Christmas Toffee with mini pretzels and said I was going to try it with potato chips? Well, I did. 

Do not do this. Do not use Wavy Lays to capture every bit of the buttery, brown sugary wonderfulness. And instead of putting the semisweet chips on top of the pan of hot toffee-covered potato chips, do not instead melt the chocolate and drizzle it on. And don't sprinkle a bit more flaky salt on top. Because, after the requisite cooling and breaking, you will sit with the entire bowl of these and eat them ashamedly and continuously. Black Box Warning:  They are the Siren Song Of Confectionery Snacks. 

There. I think you're all caught up. Let's chat in Comments. 

Sunday, February 25, 2024

The Skin I'm In

 This morning, after I washed my face in cold water and observed it closely in the mirror, I struggled to choose a moisturizer from among three jars on my dresser. Did my skin need moisture and brightening? Did my skin need moisture and sculpting and tightening? Did my skin need extra moisture and a boost of collagen repair? As I stood there deciding, I could feel my face draw and dehydrate. In truth, I needed all of them--immediately. 

What has become of me?

I am the girl who used to wash her face with whatever soap was available in the dish back on E. 38th Street:  Safeguard, Ivory, Caress, Irish Spring, or Dove. My skin was constantly oily. I used to use straight rubbing alcohol on a wad of toilet paper dabbed on my nose and forehead to rid myself of the shine and the greasy feeling. All of us had that skin, a gift from our Croatian father whose own swarthy complexion never got a wrinkle as he aged. I abused my skin for years, according to dermatologists, using harsh soaps and astringents, Laying Out for a tan and using baby oil. Even well into my thirties, forties, and fifties, I never understood all the Women Who Lotion religiously. 

I am also the girl who had storybook-worthy thick hair. I wore it long, and I had to shampoo it every single day or it would look greasy and stringy, especially at the scalp. It was incredibly frustrating. At times, I even washed my hair with dishwashing liquid, again using whatever was available at the kitchen sink, where all hairwashing was done since we had no shower. (You try washing long, long hair while taking a tub bath.) Forget conditioner because it made my hair lie flat and look--you guessed it--oily. On date nights, I washed my hair in the morning and again when I was getting ready to go out.

Now, I have dry skin and wash my hair about twice a week. My skin drinks in even the richest, most emollient creams and lotions like water. My lips are as dry as that old-fashioned onionskin typing paper. My gorgeous thick hair is a shadow of its former self, and I condition the ends.  I also use a volumizing spray at its roots. It all seems incredibly cruel to me. And terribly unfair.

Perhaps there should be a product for us, The Extremely Dry, that is Industrial Strength. It could come in a huge drum, and we could put on a bathing suit and merely stand in it, up to our nostrils, for about a half-hour each day. We could conveniently locate it near a television so that we could be occupied for that time and not be fidgety. When our time is up, we'd carefully emerge fully moisturized and ready for our day or for our restful night's sleep. Certainly, there are Safety Considerations, and Sanitary Ones as well, but that's for other people to figure out. I cannot be bothered with those sorts of Engineering and Science-y details. 

I feel a little better now, having thought of a Possible Solution. Do you have one? Share it--and your feelings about all this Unfairness--in Comments.


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