Tornado Weather

The weather outside this morning has a very specific feeling. It's what we in the south call "tornado weather". Even though it's hard to define exactly what that means, everyone here knows what it is and will agree with you if you say that's how it feels. It's cloudy, unseasonably warm and pretty windy, although it's not quite gusty just yet. Despite the wind blowing and the leaves swirling, it is oddly still. I think it's the stillness that makes it tornado weather.

It struck me this morning that the weather feels not just like tornado weather, but like California weather, too. Not the beautiful, unending sunny weather that California is famous for, but more like the weather when the Santa Ana winds move in. It's not quite as dry as that and not quite "earthquake weather", but the feeling for me when I stepped outside was distintcly California, and I had a very visceral reaction to it.

This kind of day always feels like change is in the air, like I am on the cusp of something big happening. I'm never sure quite what it is, and if I look back, I can't seem to recall any great change actually occurring after a day like this. But somehow, it feels like something in the air is brewing, and it makes me take notice and feel cautiously hopeful.

Of course, it really is tornado weather, since the night before last I was serenaded with the nearby siren that signifies a tornado warning is in effect and a funnel cloud has been spotted nearby. So there's that.



After a 2-year break from blogging, I'm back with more exciting tales from my life.

I was really looking forward to this last weekend, as I was going to visit family and meet up with my boyfriend, who I had not seen in a few weeks. I should have known things were going to go awry when I made dinner on Thursday night. Because I apparently think there is no reason to open the oven door all the way, I wound up with a pretty painful and unsightly burn on the outside of my wrist. Smooth. This is why I don't cook that often, people.

Friday morning, in spite of the burning purplish-brown spot on my wrist, I was looking forward to a great day. I loaded up all my stuff for the weekend, including the big bottle of pinot noir I bought so as to avoid drinking all of my parents' stash (which I knew we would blow through anyway). So there I am, plugging through a pretty boring work day, taking a short lunch so I can get off a half-hour early and hit the road, watching the clock.

4:30 rolls around and I bound out of the building, certain that leaving 30 minutes early is going to make a huge difference in my evening. I open my passenger-side door to put my purse on the seat and am confronted with an odd smell. I look down to discover that my wine is open and a quarter of the bottle has poured out. I have tan interior and this is red wine, so you can imagine the horror. What happened, you ask? Well, apparently, leaving an unopened bottle in a hot car (it was in a brown bag in direct sunlight) can pop the cork. Which it did. Luckily, my car is usually pretty messy, so there was a plastic bag full of trash under the wine bag, so almost all of the wine that poured out was in the plastic bag.

So that was the first big mishap. Which doesn't seem all that bad since very little of the wine stained my seat, except that I was making a 2-hour trip with an open container and a car that reeked of wine. Luckily, I'm not a crazy driver, so the likelihood of getting stopped was slim. I'm chugging away, doing a drive that I do every couple of weeks, singing along to my music, when I hit some traffic. Now normally, this drive is 2-hours long, and that's with a tiny bit of congestion coming out of the mountains and into Chattanooga. This is the only place on the entire trip that I encounter any traffic, and I usually am stuck in it for about 20 minutes (it occurs during the 20-minute stretch before you get into the city proper).

So I'm sitting there, not too annoyed because this is pretty typical. 20 mintues goes by, and I haven't moved much, but I know it will clear up shortly. 40 minutes go by, and I start getting a little aggravated. Time keeps ticking away, and I get angrier and angrier. I left 30 mintues early, after all, so I expected to be home that much earlier. My boyfriend is driving up from Charleston to meet me there, and I'm already an hour late. It smells like a bar in the car, and I'm hungry. I call my dad, who says, 'Well as long as you are moving, you should stay on the freeway.' Oh yeah, I was moving alright, about 3 miles an hour every 10 minutes or so. Finally, after an hour and 50 minutes, my dad was able to guide me to an alternate route to bypass the traffic. Four hours after I left work, I arrived home, less than amused. A 2-hour trip took 4 hours, due to traffic jamming up a 20-minute stretch of road. I lived in LA for 10 years and never experienced traffic like that there.

So that's how my lovely weekend began. No, it wasn't Friday the 13th, believe it or not. And yes, we did drink the rest of that wine, which was amazingly not ruined by cork-popping heat.