a short film about the weather

January 15th, 2009 | Uncategorized

I was just talking to a friend in San Francisco who said it’s been weirdly warm there. The magnolias are blooming and freaking her out. That makes me feel grateful for the very cold weather we’ve been having here in Vermont. But I was happy about it already. Here I am this morning. It looks like it might be even colder tomorrow.

83 Responses to “a short film about the weather”

  1. NLC says:

    “At ten below zero, depression is simply not a luxury your body can stand.”

  2. Ha!
    Well said. And it would explain my peculiar exhilaration at such arctic temperatures.

  3. NLC, are your windows all iced up like mine?

  4. Ready2Agitate says:

    20 below! So butch! 🙂 🙂 🙂

  5. meg says:

    the inside of my downstairs door (into an unheated stairway) is frosted, the doorknob slick with ice.

  6. brooke says:

    jealous of your bitterly cold weather. it’s supposed to be like that here in logan, utah! but it’s not. it’s going to be in the 40’s next week. blargh. i love the cold (16 degrees out and i have a window open).

  7. Rachel says:

    I recognize that crunchy snow sound! I haven’t heard it in a long time, having moved myself to the land of freakish magnolias.

  8. Pam says:

    Now you’ve made me miss Vermont winters.

    I just have to remember how much I dislike ice…

  9. Suz says:

    20 below! And someone who works at home up at 7 am!

    It’s around 15 (above) in NYC right now, which I’m surprised doesn’t feel as cold as it seems like it should.

  10. tea says:

    ya’ll don’t even know. FREAKISHLY warm out here in the Bay Area. it’s beginning to freak. me. out.

  11. HKSuz... says:

    In Hong Kong we freeze when it is 10C above zero… I am in awe of your hardy natures!

  12. Antoinette says:

    We only got to 10 below this morning, but I had to get up early to put petroleum jelly on the dogs’ paw pads before letting them out.

  13. Hannah says:

    in SC here and we’ve been having weird warm weather for the past couple of months up until now – the clipper winds from Canada have finally gotten down here and it’s about…lets see…OK! It’s 15 degrees out there! When you consider that a few weeks ago I got away with wearing shorts, got buzzed bombed by a mosquito and we had a very healthy fire ant mound on the edge of our property, I am thrilled! Mosquitos in December? Ugh! In our case,there’s been some warm current in the gulf pulling warm air and rain across GA and SC for quite a while. On the flip side of our freak weather, our drout is almost over thank god! But I am glad to see the cold weather. My dogs arent…Ewok has enough fur that I think weather is sort of an academic excersize for him, but MacDhu is a short hair and every time I take him out he shivers. Trying to find a doggy coat for him. He is a rottwhieler-dachshund cross, so his shape is a little different. Cheers to you for caring for your dogs so well!

  14. Mame says:

    ice boats.

  15. NLC says:

    NLC, are your windows all iced up like mine?

    Curiously enough, no. All of them are clear, even the ones that never see the sun.

    (Maybe this has something to do with the windows. Our house was built by a contractor who had originally planned to live in the house himself, but ended up giving/selling it to his niece’s family who then lived next door. So I’ve always thought that many of those details were better than I’m usually aware; although much appreciated on a day like today.)

    Have you ever seen a bluer sky?

  16. Here’s a curious thing, which reminds me of a discussion on here some time ago about what makes one cry. One person commented that they rarely cry in real life, but often cry in movies…or something like that. Not sure if I’m getting it right.

    Anyhow,last night I watched the airplane rescue on the Hudson for a long time, on many different tv stations, fascinated and excited but not upset, and certainly not crying. Then just now I read the report in the Times and got all choked up. What is it about reading words on a page (well, a screen) that made me more emotional than watching video images of the event itself?

    This has interesting implications for a person who tells stories with words and pictures.

  17. Lee Ann says:

    Alison, don’t know about you, but one word explains my strange emotions right now — menopause, maybe?

  18. Antoinette says:

    I dunno about plane mishaps, but as another little girl with a distant father, I can tell you parts of “Fun Home” certainly choked me up.

  19. NLC says:

    What is it about reading words on a page (well, a screen) that made me more emotional than watching video images of the event itself?

    I wonder if this might be less an issue of the watching visuals, per se, as distinct from specifically watching it on TV?

    I find that I experience a real emotional “remove” when watching stuff on TV –especially “real life” events– than when viewing/reading the same events in other media. I just don’t seem to feel that level of emotional involvement when watching TV that I do reading about the event, or even viewing other media with visual content, such as movies.

    Maybe I’m just so used to thinking of TV as –necessarily– make believe that thinking of it as a TV show –even a “news” show– primes my head to tune it out.

  20. NLC says:

    Concerning the USAir landing/rescue in NYC:

    Tom Tomorrow’s ‘blog has an interesting item about what the pilot had to pull off in order to bring about this, well, miracle:

    http://thismodernworld.com/4631

  21. judybusy says:

    Blog hijack: I heard about this book on NPR yesterday and thought many on this blog would be interested–it’s about the author’s experience of leukemia, as told by a different drawing for 365 days. http://chrisayersdesign.com/DZ_home.html

  22. Maggie Jochild says:

    There’s a great post and comments up at Group News Blog (where, yes, I’m a writer, but I didn’t do the post) about the particulars of what the pilot pulled off and how it’s not a miracle, it’s the product of excellent training –mostly brought to you by unions. Almost every single person in the crew and rescue response are union members. This is not a coincidence.

    Anyhow, the post by my pal Jesse Wendel is here. And the equally great post about the union connection by Emptywheel can be found here.

  23. Leda says:

    A little while ago, the saturday magazine for the Guardian newspaper here in the UK did an article that consisted of six transcripts of people phoning for ambulances and the operator talking to them until it arrived. All resolved happily but to my complete surprise, I wept and wept reading them. I think the power of written description thing (like my technical terms?) is bit like that thing where in a horror film they cut away from the knife about to slash across someone’s flesh and its more powerful than if you’d seen it. There something about making you create that image or idea in your head that is more absorbing and powerful then being shown it.

    I think this still holds for cartoons because despite the fact they visually show us something they don’t show all of it. They show a snapshot of time, a single slice, but having a written element contradicts that. We have to read sequentially, its inherently temporal. Also if there is a conversation going on in a panel then clearly its not just one instant and sometimes the words do not relate to or comment directly on the image. So to get the meaning of the panel you have to bring together the image and the words and you come out with a kind of third thing, in the same way you complete the image in the horror film.

    But (while I’m flinging around theories) I suspect that the reason Alison’s work so rich and there is much to think about is that she is very good at subverting her images with her words.

  24. Nice theory, Leda!
    Plus thank you for the kind comment about subverting.

  25. Ellen says:

    Hey Alison and all,

    I haven’t cried much since my mother’s death last month (I think I’m still traumatized by the five months preceding it), but then reading the NY Times article late, late last night, I found myself crying too.

    For me, people who make an effort to save lives–like that pilot or much more simply drivers who pull over to let the ambulance pass–brings up the tears. Decency and compassion move me in some unknown way.

    Maybe it is the clarity and directness of the acts that feels so profound, without the voice of a news reporter or decisions of a camera crew to interpret it for me.

  26. Anonymous says:

    It’s most likely the language the Times uses that gets you. They do have a very distinct voice.
    And, have you noticed that the colder it is, the higher the squeaking snow sounds?

  27. LA Steve says:

    I’m so envying you your cold weather; in LA we’re undergoing yet another faux summer. Here’s something you can do if it gets REALLY cold, say, 35 below zero: Put a cup, or cup and a half, of water in a pyrex measuring cup and heat it in the microwave till it boils briskly. Carefully carry the boiling water out to the back step and throw it into the cold air! The water will NEVER HIT THE GROUND. Instead, it instantly turns into a little cloud, from which a few snowflakes will fall to the ground, but that’s it. I’m not sure what the carbon cost of boiling the water is, but it’s sure cheap fun otherwise.

  28. Ginjoint says:

    I am so, so sorry, Ellen. I have a feeling we went through very similar experiences, and yeah, “traumatizing” is the right word. It changes you forever.

  29. Jessica Bessica says:

    It’s that cold here in Madison too. I am not happy about it.

  30. laura says:

    Just a quick word (it has been a long long day of a long long week) to express my gratitude to AB and y’all for mentioning your crying while reading (and to Leda for an amazing analysis of the phenomenon).

    I happen to cry while reading the newspaper and people around me think I am weird. Granted, I do not limit my crying to the emotional renditions, but, rather, I sometimes cry while reading rather dry articles and numbers on poverty, underdevelopment, bad services, low funds for research and the like. But you see, I imagine what it means for people and for the future.

  31. Hannah says:

    Well, aside from my partner’s theory that underneath the butch exterior I am a marshmallow, I have wondered that perhaps those of us who grew up reading – and by reading I mean the rabid, must have book or die bookworm type – may be more sensitized to having our emotions connect with what we read. Also, while there are things that will visually hit the emotions, there is a difference between video -movies, news, commercials, tv etc, and art and writing. I think that we are desenitized to some degree by the commonality of the moving image. We have movies which we know aren’t real, and news reports that are and the blend between the two gets closer everday – remember people who turned on the tv on 9/11 that day and thought for a while they were watching a movie (horrifying thought. I wasn’t one of them – almost wish I was. The world would have been a more innocent place for just a few minutes longer.) Whereas, those who are deeply involved in the written word perhaps experience there what we don’t experience watching moving visual medium. The imagination becomes more engaged, and our minds take us there, and I think therefore our hearts are more engaged. And that certainly goes for something like Fun Home (and the DTOF). Visual it maybe…but we have to connect with it more than we do tv or movies. We have to engage with it, rather than it pouring over us. Am I getting what I am trying to say down clearly here? I feel like I am one step short of what is in my head. Of course I just survived a test in Counseling and Psychotherapy and I may be out of spare brain cells for this discussion. And…there is the marshmallow theory mentioned above…I still cry when I read Wind in the Willows. (Piper at the Gates of Dawn chapter). So there you go…

  32. Jay says:

    LOL. I have spent pretty much all my life in Vermont. The last few winters I’ve taken significant breaks from VT in SF. This winter my partner and I are here for three months. I’m *loving* it! The weather is unusual for January, more like spring, but I’m indescribably happy that I have left the -20’s behind me. Elated. Ecstatic. My SF housemate said I was jumping up and down when I arrived. “Do you know how wonderful it is to be here, with only a light jacket, walking distance from hundreds of restaurants (we’re near Valencia), with scads of people on the street?” I love Vermont in the spring and summer, but stick season and winter last *way* too long.

    It’s supposed to get into the 70s today. Dolores Park beach, here I come!

  33. noominal says:

    I love what it sounds like at 20 below. 😉

  34. NLC says:

    Yet one more off-topic post for the day (what the heck, it’s Friday…):

    OK, everyone, here’s your chance to say “Bye”/

    Salon reports the following offer from none other than Karl Rove:
    Send a farewell letter to President Bush—Email
    gwbfarewell@gmail.com [no attachments] and I’ll give him your note on January 20.

    http://www.salon.com/politics/war_room/2009/01/16/rove_bush/index.html

    (Alison, you wouldn’t happen to have a nice JPG of a shoe handy, would you?)

  35. judybusy says:

    Jay–I’m sooooo jealous! We are definitely feeling the cold here in MN (38 below windchill this a.m.) My partner and I have plans to move to Portland, OR, and it can’t happen soon enough. She just has to finish school, and we’re outta here–in 2010!

  36. jeezus, won’t those guys just slink away quietly?

    wasn’t it cool that Bush’s creepy plastic goodbye yesterday got totally upstaged by the plane-landing-in-the-river?

  37. R says:

    It was so good waking up to a good news story. My initial thoughts on seeing the image without sound was OMG how many have died..NONE!!! I smiled on the inside. However what I don’t understand is the use of the word ‘miracle’…really?. A skilled pilot, clear waterway,

  38. Heidi says:

    I have no idea what below-zero weather feels like. Probably never experienced anything below about 18 degrees. It’s in the low 40s here today, and I just heard my partner say to the cat, “Seneca, it’s too damn cold!”

    The weather in Texas has been fairly erratic this winter, though. One week the high on Sunday was 78, and on Monday the high was 34. Either way, it’s fine by me.

  39. Ready2Agitate says:

    Hi – I’m back from a nostalgic sojourn inside of YouTube’s many Electric Company clips from 1971-1976. Wow.

    Well I too got teary-eyed reading nyt dot com last night abt the plane crash. But my happiness (they ALL survived! a baby! an 85-year old woman!) was tempered by my grief and outrage for the slaughter in Gaza.

    Gaza! Gaza! Gaza! When will the madness end?!?!

  40. ksbel6 says:

    We had a high of 0 here yesterday in northeast MO and I woke up to a frozen pipe in my kitchen. Luckily I got it thaw without bursting. I like the cold, but not this cold!

  41. Feminista says:

    I have no nostalgia for sub-zero weather,which I experienced occasionally growing up in south central MI,and more frequently in 2 southern WI winters. However,I’m happy to go snowshoeing in temps ranging from (windless) high twenties to low thirties.

    Rachel Maddow’s witty words re: the last days of W are worth watching. Imagine,someone that intelligent on mainstream news!

  42. Feminista says:

    judybusy–Glad to hear you’re coming to our fair city on the left coast.

    I have fond memories of MN–in the summer! The one Xmas vacation we spent in MN at my grandma’s house we only went outside to get groceries. Of course,my mom had walked 4 miles to high school(no exaggeration),but she didn’t want to go outside that trip,either.

    Our itinerary: After flying to the Twin Cities from E.Lansing,we took a train to Crookston (near Grand Forks,ND). We’d seen the film Dr.Zhivago,and the temp and landscape resembled Russia! So glad we were inside a relatively warm train,instead of the bitter cold.(Cue Lara’s Theme…)

  43. Mad Scientist says:

    To cry or not to cry: I’m sure one could go off into some neuroscience type explanation regarding how our brain processes visual pictures v text and how these uniquely blah blah blah …impact our emotional cortex thingy. For me, at this particular instance, I’m thinking, I feel, that the experience of reading is a much more private, vulnerable thing, than the public, voiced over in your face TV news thing…and as such it inherently allows more contemplation and time to – feel.

  44. Mad Scientist says:

    …coure that in no way explains how I can cry at a TV commercial at the drop of a hat. Raging hormones or not!

  45. Mad Scientist says:

    ..crap….should read …’course,

  46. OMG!
    Kate clinton’s gonna be on Rachel Maddow any minute now!

  47. Anonymous says:

    Hannah, I know what you mean about news reports that look like films and the othe way round, I think its not just that we can’t quite believe the events going on and so try and make them fiction, its that news reports are being edited almost in a filmic way. Plus the survivors that get inteviewed often seem like they have been scripted by the writers of the action films. Or maybe we all know what to say in these event because we’ve seen the movie…

    Thanks for the comments about the theory Laura and Alison, I was avoiding some work…but I still don’t know why I cry at what I do cry at and why cry, whats up with the tears?? But I do love that feeling of calm after a good cry…

  48. Leda says:

    I was clearly so overcome with emotion (and blinded by tears) whilst thinking about crying that I forgot to type in my name above..

  49. Sylvia says:

    Same feeling here in Montreal (Canada) this morning it’s minus 19c…
    I would recommend you to cover your ears if you’re going outside for more than 2 minutes!

  50. Bob says:

    Another thing to do at -20: blow bubbles. They freeze in the air and remain when they land on the snow.

  51. Donna says:

    Probably a really skilled writer did that story for the NYT, and TV news is completely annoying and in your face. Not to mention here in L.A. the content is riddled with anything and everything Hollywood-related. It’s enough to turn you to stone.

  52. Duncan says:

    Over semester break I reread Lawrence Block’s mystery novel Everybody Dies (for the fifth or sixth time — it’s become an annual ritual, along with rereading Nicola Griffith’s The Blue Place), and at some point the narrator (a gruff old ex-cop in his sixties) muses that he often cries at movies, but they aren’t real tears, just as the fear we feel while watching a horror movie isn’t real fear. I think he’s right. I’m a gruff old queen, and I have no objection to crying in real life, but I haven’t done so in a long time. Yet my eyes well up when I watch certain movies and read certain books; sometimes they get a sob out of me. It has less to do with sadness (though sometimes it does) than with being very deeply moved; there’s a feeling of great loss that goes with it, even though it may have little connection with what’s happening on the screen/page.

    I’m glad that the Bush gang will be moving out, but the Obama gang replacing them (except when he’s keeping on Bushites like Gates) is pretty horrific too, and the Messiah-elect is replaying various Bush-era lies (on Iran and Social Security, for example). But I know, I know, on the 20th he’ll finally be able to reveal himself, not the candidate who has to be careful what he says, but the real Barack Obama who can finally say:

    “Greetings! I am Lord Xypto, from the planet Korg in the Ztrog Nebula! I have come to enslave humanity and harvest your rich supply of biliary fluids to nurse our spawn with. Starting tomorrow, you will all be chained to a funnel in a vomitorium. Muahahaha!!”

    Before he couldn’t say that, ’cause there were so many people who weren’t ready yet.

  53. Liza says:

    Kate Clinton on Rachel’s show. What an amazing treat. Invasion of the Dykes To Watch On TV. The whole thing would have been unimaginable in the not too distant past.

  54. Kate L says:

    Liza,

    Is there a link to the Rachel Maddow interview of Kate Clinton? MSNBC is blocked like a premium channel on my cable system out here. However, Fox News Channel comes through loud and clear for some reason…

  55. Aunt Soozie says:

    I missed Kate on Rachel, too… went to an amazing MLK day celebration instead, it was worth it but if anyone knows where I can watch that clip… or if anyone wants to describe it in rich detail and make me weep… I’ll be waiting right here!
    in single digit temperatures! brrrrrr……

  56. annie says:

    hey girls if you are cold, listen Nina Simon, Marta Wash, Jocelyn Brown!!!

  57. Mad Scientist says:

    I also am at peace with the cold weather. In fact, I prefer extreme cold to extreme heat ’cause, to my way of thinking, you can always get warm but you can’t always escape oppressive heat. This personal adage was however proved faulty last night, when, even while living in the heart of Boston, I lost electricity…for 10 hours…YIKES! In regards to those little birdies: their metabolism is always at peak, churning out the calories…and their feathers, some of the best insulation going.

  58. NLC says:

    Saith Mad Scientist: […]I prefer extreme cold to extreme heat ’cause, to my way of thinking, you can always get warm but you can’t always escape oppressive heat.[…]

    Amen.
    As my Aunt Pat used to tell us kids, “You can always put on more clothes, but there’s a limit to just how nekkid you can get.”

  59. Mad Scientist says:

    Very well put NLC. Your Aunt Pat sounds like a wise gal

  60. Quigley says:

    Yikes, I’m a Chicagoan and its been that cold around here for the past few days (especially poor Aurora, windchill in the-50’s!). You know it’s cold when the snow sounds like it’s screaming at you to just go back inside every time you step on it. Although it sure does make you walk fast.

  61. Hannah says:

    Everyone needs to keep the crowds that are pouring into Washington for the Ignaugaration (sp?) in our thoughts and prayers…alot are southern folk with no clue about hypothermia and how to dress, and it’s gonna be COLD up there outside on the parade route and the green. No joke. Some people could get in trouble! And hypothermia can start if the body gets down to 90 degrees…it doesn’t take much…makes me wonder how I survived the amount of time I spent playing out in the snow as a kid. I remember staying out for HOURS. And not that bundled up!
    As for the how crying discussion goes, yeah. It’s one thing to lose it over something like 9/11 (which I mentioned in my earlier post. With that, literally collapsed the instant I saw the screen. My then partner grabbed me and aimed me for the sofa just in time.) or the recent plane crash with the 100% survival rate…but tv comercials!? It’s embarrassing. And it’s getting worse the older I get. And I can’t blame menopause, damn it, because I aint there yet.

  62. Susan says:

    Funny, I just got back from an trip to chase and view the wolves in Yellowstone. My partner and I werent even the only lesbian couple on the trip. Anyways, the first day it was -24 f! It was sunny and bright. Not that cold! OK so we had ski pants on and silk underware. And we are Los Angeles gals.
    I felt quite buff being able to handle it. BUT the big news!
    On the plane with us was the chief economic advisor to Mr W. Bush! Ed was quite nice after I buttered him up and teased him. So I asked if CA was screwed and he said no! Well where are you gonna get the cash to bail us out? His answer..”secret money”!! This is heavily edited but I had to tell someone!

  63. Susan says:

    Oh and yes, I do like the cold cause I have MS. You can always put on clothes but the heat makes me sick! That is over 70 degrees f. So give me neg 24 and a few feet warmers!

  64. Alex K says:

    Happy Sunday — Blog hijack alert!

    Reasons why I am sometimes happy to live in Britain: Exhibit A.

    Krispy Kreme wants us all, in honour of B. Hussein Obama’s inauguration, to have a free do(ugh)nut. OK. Good news; finger-licking yummy glaze for all! But…the American Life League saw and reacted with in the press release below (www.all.org).

    KRISPY KREME CELEBRATES OBAMA WITH PRO-ABORTION DOUGHNUTS Washington, DC (15 January 2009) –

    The following is a statement from American Life League president Judie Brown:

    “The next time you stare down a conveyor belt of slow-moving, hot, sugary glazed donuts at your local Krispy Kreme, you just might be supporting President-elect Barack Obama’s radical support for abortion on demand – including his sweeping promise to sign the Freedom of Choice Act as soon as he steps in the Oval Office, Jan. 20.

    “The doughnut giant released the following statement yesterday:

    ‘Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, Inc. (NYSE: KKD) is honoring American’s sense of pride and freedom of choice on Inauguration Day, by offering a free doughnut of choice to every customer on this historic day, Jan. 20. By doing so, participating Krispy Kreme stores nationwide are making an oath to tasty goodies — just another reminder of how oh-so-sweet “free” can be.’

    “Just an unfortunate choice of words? For the sake of our Wednesday morning doughnut runs, we hope so. The unfortunate reality of a post Roe v. Wade America is that ‘choice’ is synonymous with abortion access, and celebration of ‘freedom of choice’ is a tacit endorsement of abortion rights on demand.

    “President-elect Barack Obama promises to be the most virulently pro-abortion president in history. Millions more children will be endangered by his radical abortion agenda.

    “Celebrating his inauguration with ‘Freedom of Choice’ doughnuts – only two days before the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to decriminalize abortion – is not only extremely tacky, it’s disrespectful and insensitive and makes a mockery of a national tragedy.

    “A misconstrued concept of ‘choice’ has killed over 50 million preborn children since Jan. 22, 1973. Does Krispy Kreme really want their free doughnuts to celebrate this ‘freedom’?

    “As of Thursday morning, communications director Brian Little could not be reached for comment. We challenge Krispy Kreme doughnuts to reaffirm their commitment to true freedom – to the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness – and to separate themselves and their doughnuts from our great American shame.

    “American Life League was cofounded in 1979 by Judie Brown. It is the largest grassroots Catholic pro-life organization in the United States and is committed to the protection of all innocent human beings from the moment of creation to natural death.”

    Speaking for myself, I can only endorse the comment of an earlier reader: “Abortion donut? No thanks! They come out of the oven WAY too early.”

  65. Ian says:

    @Alex K: Words fail me, they really do. I still have trouble believing that people like that actually exist.

  66. Hannah says:

    The Krispy Kreme doughnuts did free doughnuts on election day here. If you had a “I voted” sticker on, you got a free doughnut. We stood in line a total of about 4 hours to vote, and were quite happy to go get off our feet and get our doughnut! Reading the above kinda made my head spin. That was a bit of a stretch. I know we are accused of having a “gay” agenda, but when you read something like that where the use of two words, not even next to each other in the sentance, not modifying each other but applying to the doughnut, as in no charge for it, and you get to pick which one you are ordering, and someone takes that and goes completely somewhere else with it…oh, I ask you. Who has the agenda? WOW. Just wow. What a world we live in!

  67. Maggie Jochild says:

    Just to argue for the other side of the climate coin: Cold air makes my lungs hurt, and lack of sunlight literally makes me ill. I took the Bay Area, layering, always damp towels, never enough sun and warmth for as long as I could. Give me 90 degrees any day. Actually, the human body is much more able to adapt to heat than cold (yes, nudity or nearly so may be necessary, that’s a perk). We began in Africa, after all. Sweating all day is great for purging, simply keep drinking water. (Mmmm, water!) And slowing down is great for the mind and spirit.

  68. --MC says:

    They say, pick your battles, and I can think of no stupider place to put down your sword than in this matter. Affirm your pro life status by turning down free donuts! It makes the AFL look petty; plus, more donuts for we the heathens!

  69. Selene in MO says:

    As I played the video clip of crunching snow underfoot, my partner’s face scrunched up, grimacing at the memories (from western NY, where “lake effect snow” was unheard of as a term, but very present in life, through all of childhood).
    And the consensus is yes, colder=higher pitch of screaming snow….
    Alison, your earlier video of the bird outside with your cat ogling – looked exactly like a view from our previous home – window shape, bird feeder, panting feline and all!
    BTW, I am the mother of the woman who asked you to sign a copy of “Fun Home” when you were in Toronto and included in her comment to you that “Not everyone in Missouri” (where you have been banned on occasion) is like that. Been reading you for many years. Best giftmas ever.
    Thank you, and please give us more.
    (from a former lurker)

  70. Selene in MO says:

    Oops, I was just corrected – Lake Effect was used, but Wind Chill was not. “They just told us it was cold out, so bundle up.”

    To Ian K – get to know your enemy. If you don’t know what they think, they can outwit you since you’re not looking! It is true, and outrageous. Please pay attention, and be outraged.

    (spoken by a true donut loving heathen!)

  71. Ready2Agitate says:

    I, for one, take issue with the donut manufacturer’s poetic license with proper spelling. Well, the sugar ain’t good for this Type 1 diabetic’s blood, BUT here’s three cheers for the fact that they are so openly pro-… Obama (‘n proud!) 😉

    ps snowstorm in new england today.

  72. Genia says:

    You were actually happy about cold weather? I live in Wisconsin and I was miserable last week. We never saw a day with a temperature above negative 10!

  73. Another Deborah says:

    Regarding the doughnut debacle, I’m with MC, “More for us.” But I was sure this must be an internet hoax/urban myth. I did the research. The A.L.L. is real…and scary…and claiming to have convinced the company to change their press release: “Krispy Kreme Corrects ‘Freedom of Choice’ Faux Pas” Here’s the link to their “Pro-life News Stream”
    http://www.americanlifeleague.org/
    Damn, I wish this was a joke!

  74. Hannah says:

    As an antidote to the doughnut weirdness, and continuing the weather discussion, a funny story from today to make you laugh! My partner Cyn is dog sitting for some friends this weekend and they have a hot tub. I went over there yesterday (we have pets too, so we have to split this duty, and one of us stay home with our babies.)and piled into the hot tub – which is outside in the back yard (meaning have to wear bathing suits which sucks because I am an inveterate skinny dipper, ugh). Yesterday was about a 29 degree high in South Carolina which is COLD for us, ok folks – I know it’s nothing compared to Allison in Vermont, and the rest of you north and midwest crew, but it IS still a bit brisk for out door hot tubbing. The tub is great. The dash for the house is NOT. But we had fun.
    So, went back over there today to have another round of sitting in it, before our friend comes home in the morning. So, it’s about 39 degrees outside (which yes, IS ten degrees warmer than yesterday, but still a little nippy for bathing suits). We get our bathing suits on (reference my grumble from above) and go charging out to the tub in the back yard. Pull the cap off the tub. Scramble up the steps…cue back ground Raiders of the Lost Ark theme here…dun dun dah, duh dun dun dun dah…leap into the tub AND – instant twin shrieks! Evidently a button got pushed wrong yesterday and instead of landing in 103 degree water, we splashed down into 86 degree water!
    Aiiieeee!
    Immediately shot up out of the water…and hit the 39 degree air.
    Aiiieee!!!!
    Sat back down abruptly and stare at each other shivering! And then we got the giggles and broke up! So Cyn paddled over to the controls and started widgeting with them, got the red light of the heater on and said, “Ok, the temp should go up:” I replied “Ok, lets just hunker down and wait…it’ll warm up and we’ll be fine then.” So we sit. Shiver shiver shiver. Sit some more. Air temp has dropped, I swear. Sit some more. Shiver shiver shiver. Cyn finally checks the temp again. “Well…it’s gone up…a whole degree.” My response – *string of expletives deleted*.

    At that point, we knew we had to bail. Hypothermia – seriously – could set in before it warmed all the way up, plus the fact that one of my PTSD triggers is cold, and I was starting to get a little glassy eyed holding that off. So Cyn, brave woman that she is, took the reverse plunge, charged into the house, toweled off, started a regular tub of hot water, came out with a dry towel, tossed it over me as I broke for the door. I made a lightening bolt dash up the steps, slid through the house, simultaneously shedding bathing suit in a manuver I am not sure I could ever repeat again if I tried and nose dived into the bath tub…Aaaahhhh! Whew! And then my jewel of a partner brought me a mug of hot chocolate – god I love this woman!We are still laughing!
    And our weather forecast for tonight is snow! Woohoohoohoo!

  75. Alex K says:

    @Ian K, et al.: From an ex, for your instruction.

    “Well, at least we HAVE decent donuts, not awful plum-pudding and toad-in-the-hole and bubble-and-squeak, and Heaven knows what-all!

    “And -I-, for one, am glad to be a proud citizen of a land where the most helpless are vigo[u]rously defended. (Helpless, not homeless. The homeless, and the poor in general, need to get a job or at least get out of decent people’s sight.) We will fight for the poor f(o)etuses tooth and nail, because Jesus loves them. But you foreigners wouldn’t know anything about that, would you?”

    That does it; I’m convinced, and I’m off to picket our Sainsbury’s Local for selling eggs. Also known as the pre-born. Erm, make that pre-hatched.

  76. Ian says:

    Alex K – you didn’t watch new crime drama Hunter on BBC1 last night did you, by any chance? (It was all about psycho anti-abortionists kidnapping the kids of women who’d had abortions and threatening to kill their other children. Yes, we have quality TV here too [/irony]).

    I’ve never had Krispy Kremes but they’ll have to go a long way to beat Sayers’ iced ring doughnuts or their custard-filled, caramel-topped ones either.

    @Hannah: love the story. I, personally have given up on our weather forecasters. It’s supposed to be bright sunshine with a relatively strong breeze. It’s actually snowing with hardly any wind.

  77. Hannah says:

    Thanks Ian!*grin* The snow isnt here yet, though clouded over and now should arrive “tonight”, we may actually get some ground coverage tomorrow. Supposedly. I live in the foothills of the northern most tip of SC and the snow (and other forecasts) have a tendency to hit the foothills, and suddenly divide around us, or go above or below us, despite what the weather gurus say. So it’s always interesting. The bread buying frenzy is raging out there. Everytime they predict an inch of snow, people become convinced that they will starve to death in the onslaught of the new ice age and run out and buy up all the bread and milk in town in about an hour flat. I am so not participating in the madness. Haven’t seen the show – I’m in college pushing for a degree in Art Therapy and I am not sure what a tv looks like any more! – but unfortunately, this element exists the round world over!
    Hannah

  78. Alex K says:

    @Ian: Next to the Pret a Manger at Luton Airport is the only place I can think of to lay my hands on a Krispy Kreme over here. (I know they have a branch in Harrods, but I am so NOT going into Harrods on ANY pretext. No. Really, I’m NOT.) £3.50 for a large latte and a classic doughnut, ten days ago, when my flight to Bratislava got icefogged into an eight-hour delay.

    Yes, I exercised freedom of choice. Stop judging me.

    Maybe I’ll see what Greggs has to offer… Nope, no square-eyed time last night. I was trying to soak the salt out of a gammon. (It didn’t work. That thing is just going to flavour baked beans for the next two weeks, it’s far too briny to eat on its own. Wonder what I did wrong?) “Psycho anti-abortionists”: Are there other flavours? Discuss.

  79. Ian says:

    @Alex K: There’s a Krispy Kreme stand @ Euston Station. Or there was last year. Roll up tomorrow and demand your freedom of choice donut. Hmmm, maybe freedom is free after all!

  80. Antoinette says:

    Hannah, if by some miracle the temperature here were to shoot up to 39 degrees F, people would be washing their cars in their Bermudies and flip-flops.

    Praise the Lard, and pass the donuts!

  81. tania says:

    For those of you who are craving the sounds of snow-walking, here’s a little audio piece I made when I lived in Jericho VT (not far from Alison):
    http://taniakstudio.net/media/02snow.mp3

  82. Wendy says:

    I loved your cold video. It’s just what I do every morning as soon as the weather gets below 5 below. Check the time, go over and check the temperature. I can’t believe the dog still wants to go out into the yard at 20 below. It was around 20 below for a few days here in Minneapolis, and my friend up in Brainerd said it was 40 below that day (not including wind chill).
    I love it, and then I love it when it’s over.

  83. Minnie says:

    Hi January 15 – 22!
    I am so behind but now have a new, skinny working monitor for my mini-Mac after the sudden death of my old biggie some weeks ago.

    I imagine there is a correlation between the pitch of the snow-crunch (or snow-squeak) and the actual temperature, maybe modified by the humidity?