I'm heading off to bed early tonight, after another warm and humid day. I'll probably be asleep, if and when a potential derecho -a chain of severe stormsthat can cause even more severe windstorms - blows across or near the Chicago landscape sometime starting around 1 a.m. tomorrow. We had a nasty one blow through here last August 10, one that generated the tornado that hit my block just south of our alley.
I'm feeling more than a bit guilty about looking forward to a big storm - but I think I'd like it to stop at "really cool thunderstorm", well south of any tornado or tornado-like weather.
Sun, Rain, Thunder, Then Sun Again - Happy Chicago!
It is about 36 hours after Chicago (and the rest of Illinois) opened up, and I'm still conflicted about whether I'm going to enter places without a mask in hand, or on my face. I've gotten a copy of my vaccination record laminated and it's in my purse, but I keep remembering news stories about douchecanoes boasting about having fake vaccination records, and I don't want anyone to side-eye me suspiciously. So for now, I'm going to be wearing my mask everywhere.
I haven't been outside today, except to take out the garbage, and I'm glad I didn't go out thereafter. Even the short trip to the dumpster was uncomfortable. At that point, the sun was shining with a will, and it just got warmer and warmer until we got a relatively quick thunderstorm in the middle afternoon. And then the sun reappeared.
*checks outdoor temperature at 7:30 p.m.*
Ah. It's 81F. Yay.
I really do miss the ability to be out in the sun and imitate salamanders. I used to have that ability, and I used to love the heat. These days, not so much.
Today, I did manage to get at least two sentences done on both of my fiction endeavors. I count that as a win. I also found some "Zombieland Saga" fics on AO3 - and that's definitely a win. *stans for Best Girl Tae-chan like a stanning thing*
Hmm. Alright, I'll end this by saying I love discovering music on YouTube. I am still luxuriating in my discovery of guitarist Gabor Szabo. Here's some information about him, and here's my favorite album of his (thus far at least.)
I have some delayed (of course) birthday wishes to send out, and some catch-up on Fandom Snowflake to do, but right now I want to marvel at the fact that plummeting temperatures here in Chicago, my oversleeping and missing taking part in the Women's March as I'd planned, and the darkness of winter, haven't dampened my better mood.
Those plummeting temperatures I mentioned? They've been part of yoyo weather here in the almost-northern Midwest, by the shores of Lake Michigan this winter season. We get a day of weather in the 40s and sometimes 50s, then it drops to the 30s, then it's up to the 40s again, then it drops to the 20s, then it's up for a day ... lather, rinse, repeat. It's harder to deal with than extended periods of one extreme or another.
Yesterday, we got somewhere between 3 and 5 inches of snow, the first significant snowfall of the season; that storm came on like gangbusters, from nothing at all to "it's difficult to drive with this wind and snow" within two city blocks. Today it warmed up enough to start melting that snow with rain and turning sidewalks to slush. Now there's a cold-weather alert, and the temperature's been dropping ever since early afternoon. We're told to look for winds of up to 45 mph tonight, along with temperatures going down into the single digits. I love living in the Midwest. Of course, what we're dealing with doesn't begin to approach what Newfoundland got - good lord, and good luck to everyone up in Nfld. and Labrador - but it's enough to keep our furnace running pretty much all day.
But that's part of my rising mood, weirdly enough. We have lights on, so the house is golden, we have Van Dyke Parks' "Tokyo Rose" album on, preceded by an album of Compay Segundo's Cuban songs, which provided lots of sunshine. I'm about to make a very casual (and unhealthy but tasty) egg and salami supper. We'll have a relaxing and warm evening together, and I am satisfied with that.
There are so many things I want to talk about. But I'm going to curl up on the couch, under my TARDIS blanket, and turn off my mind by watching one of the following:
a) What we technically call a shit-ton of anime. b) One episode of the first season of Legion. Just one. One at a time is all I can take of this brilliant but intense series. c) A couple of episode of The Umbrella Academy. It's brilliant without taking my brain and putting through a shredder, then trying to glue it back together.
Woke up this morning and went into the kitchen to put some coffee on, and discovered that the hot water pipe leading to the kitchen sink faucet wasn't working and was either simply frozen, or frozen and burst. This took place despite me having turned the faucet on to dribble the night before, in hopes of avoiding just such a scenario.
We couldn't identify the frozen pipe; it wasn't any of the ones easily accessible under the sink, which means it's probably in the wall, which is hard by the outdoors (and that's probably why it froze.) We've had an electric heater on almost non-stop under the sink, to no avail, and we can't use a hair dryer because we can't access the affected pipe. The other faucets in the house aren't affected, so it has to be fairly localized, but still ... no luck in finding it.
We're hoping that the heater, which is now pointed directly at the back wall, keeps the pipe from bursting, even if it doesn't thaw the ice inside. But it looks increasingly likely that we'll have to call a plumber. Since tomorrow is going to be almost as cold as today, when our area got no warmer than -11F, I'm guessing that plumbers really can't do their best work tomorrow. Plus, since there are probably people all over the city with similar situations, once plumbers do come out, there will be a hell of a long wait time. My guess is that we won't be able to get a plumber out until at least late Friday.
And by that time, the pipe may well burst, if it hasn't already. Bob did some checking, and the estimates for fixing something like that hover around $15,000, he said.
Right now, Weather Underground's nearest amateur weather-watcher puts our temperature at -5F, but with no wind. The NOAA forecast out at O'Hare, says it's -6F out there, with -26F windchill. Being by the lake obviously has some positives for us. Still, I suspect the wind will pick up, and our windchill will drop.
I love living in Chicago, but the cold, while I acknowledge it as an important formative pillar of the overall personality of my city and its environs, is sub-optimal. Certainly sub tonight.
Our furnace has been running more or less steadily since about 3 p.m. I donated to an on-the-ground group that provides blankets and food for at least one of the tent cities Chicago's homeless have created. I realized I have some hats and scarves that we no longer use, so I'm going to call around tomorrow and see if there's a place we can drop them off.
If the cold hasn't deflated our little orange car's tires, which is a real possibility.
And of course, speaking of orange, the Orange Splotch is making massively unfunny jokes about how we could certainly use some of that there global warming now, hyuk-hyuk, and his base undoubtedly is lapping it up.
Learn the difference between weather and climate, you massive piece of unusable nightsoil. This entry was originally posted at https://kaffyr.dreamwidth.org/719213.html?mode=reply, where there are currently comments. You can comment there or here, but prefer to read over on DW. You can comment there using open ID if you don't have a DW account.
I can't believe how long it's been since I actually posted something, or responded to other folks. Here's my "n things makes a list" post.
1. Vincent is settling in, and Opie, while continuing to growl, seems to be getting used to him. I was saddened when I saw Vincent awaken to the fact that "this other little ginger guy actually doesn't like me! Why?" but I'm hoping that they'll eventually get comfortable with each other. We got a new cat litter pan, or more accurately, a "litter loo" that is essentially a mini-shed for holding the real litter pan. It's taller than our old Booda-box, which allows Vincent to get in, turn around, etc., without getting his fur into the litter or his own leavings (and that is still a big problem; I can hardly wait for his Feb. 2 grooming date, during which he'll have the fur around his butt trimmed. Cleaning a very big cat's behind is an exercise for two people, and it's tough to do well even with two.) The litter loo has the added benefit of being a small table, providing another horizontal surface in a kitchen that needs them.
2. Last Saturday, I attended a Pioneer Press reunion-cum-goodbye-for-the-buyouts-and-earlier-laid-offs party. It was one of the most surprisingly positive, and positively intense, gatherings I've recently been to. Somewhere between 30 and 50 people attended, nearly all of them Pioneer alumni of various types. I saw people I hadn't seen in decades; I saw three of my old editors, including one who I'd served under in the late 1980s; she told me that seeing me and my colleagues was the only reason she'd braved the weather that night (it was pretty bad.) I didn't even mind seeing my last editor; he might have been what tipped me over into taking the buyout, but I realized that I could interact with him pretty darned pleasantly when we weren't forced to interact on a professional basis. There were loads of hugs, freely and enthusiastically given and received. One of my buyout colleagues said, .as we headed home, that it was very much like a high school reunion; you realize that even the people you hated or feared as a high school student have turned into people you are happy to see.
3. A couple of nights ago, I was feeling kind of down - can't even remember why - and my beloved husband put on the first episode of "The War Games," the final adventure for the Second Doctor. We binged the entire adventure over two nights, and it was rollicking good fun. The pacing was remarkably decent, and I was surprised at how much action there was, since I think the received wisdom is that it was the Third Doctor who was action-oriented, and not the Second. The acting varied from "a bit better than decent" to "OMG this is horrible, and it's viewable only as scenery-chewing OTT fun!" The fellow playing the War Chief was marginally better than the guy playing the security chief, and the War Lord was actually pretty good. It was my first encounter with Jamie and Zoe; both actors did well, especially Frazier Hines. Of course, it doesn't do to inspect the plot too closely, lest one break out into snickers and, eventually, guffaws. But I'm so glad I saw it.
4. We in Chicago are bracing for the coldest week thus far this 2018-2019 winter season. By Wednesday, the high temp. for the day will be -10F, and the wind will put daytime wind-chills close to -25. The night time temps and windchills for Tuesday and Wednesday are even more dire. I therefore went out today and got all the necessary things we'll need; Japanese fish cake, bean sprouts, seitan, fried tofu, Japanese and Korean baked goods, mochi, curry and mapo tofu mix ... WHAT??!?
5. Also? Roger Stone was arrested and indicted. The world got a little brighter ....
Yesterday I kept meaning to sit down and post, because I had exciting news to tell you (well, for various pedestrian powers of exciting.) Remember my tale of pedal woe regarding winter boots, and the supposed loss of the one that didn't need to be fixed, just after I got the other boot fixed? Well, I found the other boot, hiding in a dusty corner of our rear stairwell. You have no idea the amount of rejoicing this engendered. Or perhaps you do, if you know my ability to be chuffed with the slightest positive happening.
In more fannish news, we watched more Korra last night.
We're in the middle of the third season; both BB and I are wondering at the lack of closure from the end of Season 2 ... strike that. Argh: just discovered that we didn't watch the last episode of Season 2 because we somehow didn't acquire it. That explains a lot. How embarrassing.
We're also well into Durarara, and I can say with certitude that I have never disliked a character more, never solemnly yet feverishly wish for a character's downfall, more than I do Izaya. (I do occasionally remain amazed at my ability to become emotionally connected to 2D characters, but only occasionally. It's me, and that's that.)
And now it's back to the kitchen, although I'm going to move my laptop to the dining room so that I can post throughout the day. And I hope to trawl through my friends' list to find out what y'all have been doing.
Not compared to the mugging Mother Nature performed on the East Coast just a few days ago, but Chicago and the rest of Illinois are making a valiant come-from-behind effort. We've got 13" 16" on the ground, with more than five hours to go before the blizzard warning is lifted, and we just hit white-out conditions in sections of Cook County. Chicago's apparently the center of this weather system. And also the epicenter. Yay, us!
I'm enjoying the second true day of vacation (my first days of vacation, Friday and Saturday morning, were spent trying to get one last story into my boss on the new NewsGate editorial platform we're using. I shouldn't do that, but I have a new editor - again - and I felt bad not getting as much in to him as possible for while I was gone. So, yeah, real vacation didn't start until Saturday afternoon, although I did escape from the house on Friday.)