Thursday, June 07, 2007

Everyone knows it's windy...

Okay, I'll stop indulging myself at poor Paris's expense. I couldn't help it. The idea of her wearing prison-issued undergarments makes me laugh!

What's happening in my (non-incarcerated) world? It is WINDY here right now. Not tornado wind, thank goodness, just plain old straight winds. But the kind that make you really glad you no longer live in a house surrounded by old, indifferently maintained trees, ready to come crashing down on you at any moment. Not that there aren't plenty of old, indifferently maintained trees in my current neighborhood, but none of them are in direct striking distance of my house. I kept hearing really strange noises last night, though, when I was outside, coming from the direction of a large industrial facility close by. I'm not sure what they do there, exactly, but they have lots of long, metal-roofed buildings, and I guess some sort of wind tunnel was being created, 'cause there was an eerie, deep sort of whistling sound being generated, and it was kind of freaking me out.

The wind has not always been my friend. There was the power outage of the broken arm summer, of course. The night (in my old house) that one of MY (or my landlord's, more accurately) formerly indifferently maintained, now completely DEAD trees came crashing down on the neighbor's fence and power lines. That was fun. Fortunately there was nobody living there at the time, and the other landlord was very nice about it, but I was the one serving as the liaison between the two landlords and the power company, and it was very stressful for a couple of days there.

The funniest wind story I know isn't mine--it happened to a co-worker, years ago. We were working downtown, and the street our building opened onto is a notorious wind tunnel. Seriously, sometimes it's almost impossible to walk across that street when the wind's really kicking up. There's an elevated, enclosed walkway connecting the buildings on each side of the street, but that was a little inconvenient to access from our corner, so we'd usually just plow across at street level. This one day she was going across the street on a snack run for the office, to the little convenience store there, clutching a $20 bill and a couple of $1 bills in her hand. Before she knew it, the wind had plucked one of the bills from her hand, and off it blew. Without looking to see which bill it was, she took off after it, fearing it was the $20. (That was a lot of money for us back then.) Down the block she raced, while the elusive bill flitted just out of reach. Just as she passed under the overhead walkway, she made a big leap, grabbed the errant bill....and promptly landed flat on the sidewalk. She was wearing a skirt that day, of course, and the skirt immediately billowed up over her face, exposing her "mildreds" for everyone overhead to see. She collected herself with as much dignity as possible, and looked down to see that the bill she had humiliated herself to retrieve was, in fact, a single. The $20 was still safely in the other hand. Hee!

My worst experience with wind, though, would have to be when I flew to Chicago in a windstorm several years ago. I have never been so sure I was going to die! The turbulence was incredible, people were throwing up all over the plane, and they couldn't even bring the drink cart down the aisle. "Omigod," I thought, "I'm going to die in a fiery plane crash, dehydrated and surrounded by puke." Finally O'Hare came into view. The relief in the cabin was palpable. The airport approached on the left as we began to descend....and then receded behind us as we banked to the right and began climbing again. WTF? The captain's voice came over the intercom, telling us that, due to the wind, there were only 2 runways open, and the runway they had us scheduled for was currently experiencing crosswinds in excess of 65 mph, which was "beyond the capabilities of this aircraft." So we were just going to circle around for a while and wait for a chance at the other runway. Oh, GREAT. So we circled, and circled, for most of an hour. Above Lake Michigan. Which might as well be an ocean, when you're circling above it with no land in sight. "Omigod," I thought, "now I'm going to die NOT in a fiery explosion, but by DROWNING." Well, at least that would end the dehydration. Heh. Eventually our turn came to land, and the instant the wheels touched the ground the entire plane erupted in spontaneous applause. I believe there may even have been a few whoo hoos!

"I'm never getting on another plane in my life!"

But of course, I was. For I wasn't merely flying to Chicago that time....I was flying to Grand Rapids. And so I was going to be forced to board a puddle-jumper and finish my trip. But not right away. Oh no, I'd missed my connecting flight, of course, and I was going to be forced to spend a few hours sitting in the terminal at O'Hare. With lesbians.

Okay, I'll explain the non-sequitur. As I sat there waiting, I began to notice girls filtering in, 2 or 3 at a time, all quite athletic-looking, and many of whom seemed to be lesbians. "What's with all the lesbians all of a sudden?" I thought. "Not that there's anything wrong with that." Then I noticed they all seemed to be carrying matching duffle bags, emblazoned with the name of a college. A sports team? It's mid-March...a basketball team! Makes perfect sense. So we sat there, the lesbians and I, and one middle-aged businessman who asked me to watch his baggage while he grabbed something to eat. Why me? I don't know...did I look more trustworthy than the basketball players? I probably just looked less intimidating--those were some BIG girls. The tall kind of big. The aggressively athletic kind of tall and big. Eventually we all boarded the plane, the flight to Grand Rapids was uneventful, and my BFF was waiting in the airport for me, reading a magazine and eating a hot dog. And, if I remember correctly, holding up a little sign with my name on it, 'cause that's the kind of silly we are. We drove off to Holland, Michigan, where he was living at the time, and started a delightful week of adventures.

Later in the week, I was reading the local paper and was delighted to see that my airport buddies had won their game in the basketball (see--I was right) tournament the local college was hosting. You go, girls!

Enough with the wind. How are Dolly and McBeady? Dolly is well, but I'm afraid McBeady has been in a fight. He's limping pretty badly on one leg. And, of course, in his current fraidy-cat state, he won't let me check it out. I hope he's okay--he'd better not have an abscess; I don't think I could get antibiotics down him right now. Damn it, McBeady! I only want to help! Grrrr.

Yesterday was day 49 of the new order. 49 days was also the amount of time it took the Buddha to achieve perfect enlightenment. I don't know that I've achieved enlightenment, exactly, but I've certainly lightened! And learned that if you give in and eat ice cream and cake one day, the scale may very well reflect that the next morning. Sigh. Maybe I am becoming enlightened, after all.


Noelle said...

I would totally risk a face plant and exposed knickers for a $20 bill. Even with inflation.

The thing I hate about the wind is when my hair gets tangly, like it did when I went to get my lunch just now.

stefanie said...

Oh, Noelle; I feel you on the hair tangling thing. Mine tangles instantly. It's a pain.

We are supposed to be having massive storms here today. The whole area's been receiving severe thunderstorm warnings, and we're supposed to be on the watch for very strong winds and possible tornados. Yet, looking out the window right now, all I see are blue, clear skies. Weird. The last time a major storm with wind advisories like that came through, the tree in my yard crashed down onto my neighbor's deck and the city was without power for two days (not because of my tree, of course). So I'm a little concerned, but so far... nothin'.

Mousse said...

Liz, I've discovered your blog through "Stinkypaw" (her hubby is my cousin) and I just want to state for the record, your blog postings are absolutely delightful. Each one is great for a chuckle, and you're so well written, keep up the great postings, I'll be back to visit !!!

lizgwiz said...

noelle, so would I. Twenty bucks is twenty bucks. And thanks for reminding me to keep my hair short. I have the most easily snarling hair ever. Hate that!

stef, I hope it's not "the calm before the storm!" Tree crashing is NO fun. And SO expensive to clean up after--those guys make some serious cash!

mousse, thanks! Please come back any time. :)

Paisley said...

We went to Disneyland with M's conservative cousin from Australia on Gay Family day. Lots of folks in red t-shirts. We have no problem with that, but we weren't sure how comfortable she was.

I hate the wind.