Category Archives: Very Bad Weather (or life in Texas)

A Blupdate for Melissa–AKA Summer is the Cruelest Season

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I need a mint.  I just got back from lunch with the parentals where I stole an onion ring off the monster’s plate.  It was tasty, but onioney and breaded and fried.  Yes, I know.  “Duh.”  But my mouth has that icky taste you get from eating onion rings and washing them down not with the superior Dr. Pepper (because yet again, you are trying to wean yourself off) but with water.  Water is always good, but it does not sufficiently eliminate onion ring mouth unless preceded by toothpaste and floss.  I used to secretly make fun of people I worked with who brushed their teeth right after lunch, but right now I think they’re pretty darn smart. 

It was freaking miserable work walking out to my car this afternoon to meet Dad and the Monster.  Texas isn’t the only state where summer just blows-I think that’s just generally how it is in America.  Sure, there are some places where it’s not so bad and where the concept of a “summer sweater” is not a sick joke.  But most people I know, no matter where in the US they live are not having fun this summer.  From out west (hey, Lei-lei) to east (what up, Mel?) everyone is kind of suffering from an excess of heat.  Here in Texas it’s hot and ridiculously humid.  I don’t think it would feel so unbearable today if we hadn’t just enjoyed a rare 5-day gift from God in the form of unseasonably cool temps and lots and lots of rain.  It was so nice I didn’t even need to use the sunshade in my car.  But the rain, rain has gone away and it’s back to normal, loosely translated as oppressively hot and humid and rather difficult to breathe.  Plus my fair skin turns bright red in the heat and I look like a walking, sweating tomato.  Not in the least bit attractive.  April may be the cruelest month, but summer is the cruelest season.

So what else (besides bitching about the weather which could quite possibly turn into some type of thesis topic by the time I’m done)? 

Let’s see…books.  Have read them.  I’ve been randomly picking authors in the fiction section of the library and seeing what I come up with.  There’s an interesting mix of topics that way, though I will admit that I cheat by reading jacket blurbs and pitching what sounds idiotic.  And trust me-I have a beautiful gift for suspension of disbelief, so if I chuck something for being “idiotic” that should say something.  I’ve read some classic and critical darlings, but I also read a generous amount of brain candy-or if you are a little bit of a book snob, and I won’t hold that against you-trash. 

Movies.  Have seen a few.  I will cop immediately to having seen Eclipse in the theatre on opening night with foi and clover.  It was way less sucky than the first movie and a little less sucky than the second.  The movies continue to improve is what I’m trying to say here, but they aren’t exactly supergood.  Although vampire decapitation?  Pretty cool.  More importantly they showed trailers for two movies I really would like very much to see.  The first is called Red, which I gather is based on a graphic novel of the same name.  I’ve never heard of it and haven’t really researched it, so I have no idea.  The point here is not the comicky nature of it.  The point is Helen Mirren as an action hero.  That’s like a gift straight from the cinema gods.  I love Helen Mirren.  I think she’s classy and a terrific actor and she’s sexier than 9 out of 10 much younger women.  The second is called Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, part the first.  🙂  I know my readership here, so when I say I squeed like a teenage girl who just saw Taylor Lautner in person, then you’ll completely understand.  It looks awesome.  So awesome I have to continually bold and italicize the word awesome.  Honestly.  Is it November yet?  No, really.  Because if it were November it would be not hot and that much closer to Harry Potter awesomeness

What else?  Work?  Still busy though it has slowed down somewhat.  This will definitely go in cycles, but it’s nice to not be asking someone for work.  There’s plenty for me to do here now.

So I guess that’s my life all blupdated.  Your turn.

A Letter to Texas

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Dear Texas–

You know I love you and I know deep down inside you love me back.  I know it when I rehearse outside for my upcoming show (Much Ado About Nothing-Shakespeare in the Parking Lot, free admission, not that I’m the cheap type who would promote a show on my personal blog.  Did I mention free?) and the night is blissful and warm, but not too warm, and the breeze blows gently, artfully mussing my hair.  I know it in the spring when bluebonnets creep along the side of the freeways overpowering my senses with blankets of vibrant color, making the work commute a joy instead of a pain in the ass.  I know it during the thunderstorms when the sky turns that strange blue-gray shade I’ve only ever seen in Texas, and buckets of rain come flying down, rythmically pounding the roof.  I know it late in the summer when I sit on that one cliff at Lake Whitney with my friends, pants legs rolled up, with my feet stuck in the water and we talk and solve every world problem.  I’ve felt it at the beach, hiking along a woodland trail, bike-riding in Friendswood, TX, walking along the River Walk in San Antonio.  Truly, I do feel the love.  So, why?  Why for the love of all that’s holy, why must you rain upon my car right after I wash it?  Every.  Single. Time.  It’s just cold.

So I am humbly requesting that next time I wash my car, you refrain.  Just a week.  At least a week-I don’t think that’s asking too much.  I know you are pondering rain again on Monday, so I will hold off.  But after Monday, could you just help a friend out?  Please.

Sincerely (your devoted fan),

Izzybella

Family Togetherness

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I think I’ve read a thousand essays in which a family group, during a power outage, lights candles, sits together in the living room and gets to know one another all over again.  They’re charming stories where viewpoints are changed and reconciliations are made.  They’re hopeful, because the implication is that at the end of the day, family bonds are made stronger and familial love and affection prevails.

In my family?  Not so much.  Well, at least not with dad and the monster.  Mom and T have a little more imagination.  The power is still out, and as of this morning, is expected to be out until at least Saturday.  Last night, we lit about 20 candles-there still wasn’t enough light to read a book by, and with only one flashlight, it would have been selfish of me to use up the batteries reading.  We opened windows to get some circulation flowing and then we sat.  It went something like this:

izzy: Aw, it’s like the old days…we can sit and talk for a while.  What did you do when you were a kid?

Dad: I’m not that old.  We had power when I was kid.

izzy: Yeah, dad, that’s not what I meant.  I know you had a power-even had a television.  But what did you do when the power went out?  How did you spend time?  What did you talk about?

Dad: Nothing.  (silence)

izzy: So, monster, what did you and dad do with your day off?

Monster:  Went out for breakfast.  Had the car washed.  Painter came by.  Went out for lunch.  Came home.  Then took the dogs for a drive.  Then came home.  (silence)

izzy: The painter came by?  Great!  When are you scheduled to have the house painted?

Monster: (look flashes across face making it clear she thinks I’m an idiot for asking) He can’t until until J [our contractor] does his repair work.

izzy: Oh, right, J’s coming this weekend still?

Monster: (another look flashes across her face–is the kid really this stupid) Where do you suppose he’ll be plugging in the power tools-we have no electricity, remember?  (doesn’t say ‘duh’ but clearly thinks it)

**silence**

Dad: This is crap.  It sucks.  I wanna watch television.

izzy: (sympathetically) Yeah, I’m sorry you have no electricity on your day off.  Makes playing on the computer sort of difficult.  Stinks.

Monster: (snorts in a very unladylike fashion) Yeah, no playing with Edna today.

izzy: (confused) Edna?

Monster: His mistress, the computer.  We’ve named her Edna.

izzy: oh.

**silence**

Dad: Who do you think got voted off American Idol?

izzy: Dunno.  They all kind of stunk last week-could be any of them. 

Dad: Wouldn’t know.  ‘Cause we have no power.  Can’t watch the television.

**silence**

izzy: No, seriously, Dad.  I know you didn’t have television when you were a young boy-so what did you do then?  When did you get your first tv anyway?

Dad:  Aunt Margie had a television first.  Her husband was a crook.  I think he died in jail.

**silence**

izzy: Okay…well, that’s nice to know.

**silence**

Monster: I’m going to call the power company again.

izzy: You’ve already called them six times since I got home 2 hours ago.  I think you should let it go and just let them work on it.

(Suddenly, the lights flicker on, then off, then from a distance we hear an explosion.)

(Simultaneously) izzy: that didn’t sound good.  monster: I’m calling the power company again, right now.  dad: *$#&)#%

**silence**

(one of the candles suddenly extinguishes)

monster: (dialing the power company) please, let me get the US call center…please let me get the US call center…

**silence** the monster is still on hold.  Dad goes outside with the flashlight and shines it the general direction of the power grid, which is over six miles away and completely NOT visible from our backyard.

monster: Hi, is this the US call center?  Oh.  Well, I just thought you should know that our lights flickered but the power was still off.  And we heard an explosion right after…yes, ma’am…no ma’am…no, we still don’t have power…well, do you know when we might have power…okay, fine thanks.  (beat) We still don’t have any power.

izzy: screw this.  I’m going to bed.

That was our pleasant family evening.  Go ahead, Normal Rockwell, do a painting of that one.  I dare you. 

Big Texas Storm

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It stormed last night-an impressive storm, too.  Lots of thunder and lightening and pounding rain.  My dog, Sydney, is afraid of thunderstorms.  She tries to hide from them.  She’ll turn her back to the window in the most determined fashion, as if repeating a mantra, “if I can’t see it, it’s not happening…”  The other dog, Baxter, is usually pretty sanguine.  He knows the storm will pass, and in the meantime, he’ll just wait it out.  But last night scared him a little.  He woke me up at 2:30, his chin resting on the bed, breathing noxious fumes into my face.  Dog has the worst breath ever.  He seemed to want comfort, so I pet him for a while. 

Next thing, we get a huge clap of thunder and the power goes out.  Monster gets up to call the power company and Sydney follows her into the office, so she can hide under the desk.  We have a pleasant home, but everything looks sort of creepy when there’s no light.  Power company acknowledged that the power was out (which, really??  gee, had no idea…) and furthermore, it would most likely be out throughout the day today.  So monster went back to bed.  Sydney followed.  Under-the-desk is a great hiding place, but she also likes to be around people during a storm.  She seems to have this naive confidence in people.  Should her persistent ignoring of the cacaphony outside fail, she just knows her people will protect her from the fury of mother nature. 

I tried to go back to sleep-no success.  Gave up on sleep around 5:00 a.m. and just laid in bed-my mind juggling a million thoughts.  The power was still out when I got ready for work, so I showered in mostly dark (I suddenly hear Billy Crystal in my head saying, “he’s only mostly dead…” and ten points for you if you know what movie that’s from).  Dad found one of those battery powered camp lights for me, so I had that going while I got dressed and attempted some semblance of my usual morning routine.  Though I must say, I do actually look like I got dressed in the dark.  Plus, the hair…is not blow-dried.  S’okay.  Some days are not good hair days.

On the plus side, the power is on at work.  I get to purchase a new chair for myself (the old one is uncomfortable and also old) and I’m taking coworker to lunch for her birthday.  The rents stayed home.  Dad wound up getting the day off and the monster just took it.  I thought for about 10 seconds about doing the same, but decided against it.  Anyway, the storm is over for now.

 

Hot Soup on a Cold Day…

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…is quite possibly the yummiest thing there is.  Just finished a steaming bowl of turkey (what else?!) tortilla soup.  It was really, really, really, really good. 

It’s cold here in Texas-most of the weekend hovered between the upper 30s and low 40s.  I can hear my Yankee friends laughing at how I think that’s cold, but if you’ve been sailing along at 80-something degrees and suddenly it’s 38 and snowing, it’s cold.  That’s a big temperature drop to make in just 24 short hours.  So the cotton nightgown has been relagated (temporarily) to the bottom of my dresser and the flannal pajamas are now in play.  For a while anyway.  Supposed to be close to seventy degrees again by mid-week.

Okay, so I have two questions.  The first is: Why is it that the same day I recommit to eating healthily and re-losing the weight I lost, then gained back, does my co-worker bring German chocolate cake to the office?  The second is: Why, oh why, does my office have the air conditioning on when the temperature outside is in the 40s?  What is wrong with these people??  Oh, that’s three questions.   Sorry.  Anyway, have not eaten the German chocolate cake, a Herculean effort, let me assure you. 

As for the air conditioner…I always freeze here at work.  I keep a cardigan at my office especially for work, because it’s just generally really cold here.  It’s just colder than usual today.  And by that I mean, earlier today I went into the breakroom for the sole purpose of wrapping my hands around the freshly brewed pot of coffee just to warm them up.  Sad.  So very.

Hope all of you are having a splendid day.  I like that word.  Splendid.  It’s a splendid word.

Yay for Rainy Weather

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I’m stage-managing a show for a friend and she just called me and told me to cancel rehearsal for tonight. There were already scheduling conflicts with a couple of our actors, but rainy weather clinched it. The building manager for the location we have been rehearsing in decided to close up tonight because the storms headed our way include baseball sized hail and the possibility of tornadoes. They didn’t want any legal liability issues should something happen while we were there, which I totally understand. So rehearsal is cancelled and I have a sudden bonus free night.

My big plan for the evening involves laundry and an early bedtime. I feel really good about that plan.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Grrrrr….

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I typed up a nice friendly little post yesterday on my excruciatingly slow home Internet connection and just when I clicked on “Publish,” Blogger gave me a big ole’ error message and told me to get lost. So I grumbled and then I decided to get lost on account of the excruciatingly slow home Internet connection.

So not much happened this week. It was very busy at work, but co-worker is back today (and her grand-daughter is much better), so hopefully things will slow down a little. I had yesterday off. It was a snow day. For a half-inch of snow. I’m two minds about this. The first tends to want to justify the snow day. You see, the half-inch of snow covered a layer of ice, and Texans have no clue how to drive on snow and ice. We don’t get it often enough. And there were plenty of car-wrecks in North Texas. The other mind is all “We had a snow day. For a half-inch of snow.” It is kind of a little sad and wimpy.

I wasn’t complaining though. Day off=happiness. I was a little concerned at first we wouldn’t even get it. The president of the university I work for is from the north. He’s pretty much of only one mind about snow days for a half-inch of snow, and it’s not favorable. By the time 6:30 a.m. came and went without word of the school’s closure, I dragged myself out of bed and took a shower, muttering “Damn Yankee” under my breath. But when I got out of the shower, the university closure was scrolling across the bottom of the television screen. So that’s all good.

Have lots to do now. Must go and do it.