Shivering in a Perfect Warm Arizona Winter

Today’s temp was 70 degrees. Tonight’s low: 40.

Ditto tomorrow’s forecast. (21.1 C. high, 4.4 low)

It’s picture-perfect conditions here in Phoenix, Arizona, dry, warm stunning blue skies.

There’s no denying these pleasant comfortable conditions — best of the year and oh so very attractive to snowbirds from around the northern continent — including you, Canada!

Best time of year to be in southern Arizona

January 5th and it’s a bright 70 degrees (21 C)! That’s just fucking wrong!

While I could justifiably gloat “read it and weep” to much of the country shivering in snow and below-freezing temps, I don’t.

Why? ‘Cause while I can’t deny its pleasantness, I don’t like this weather!

Dead of winter. I should have traded in my flip-flops for socks and New Balance sports shoes by now!

Should be wearing a heavy coat rather than lightweight sweatshirt jacket — or simply a flannel shirt.

Should have my tiny studio sealed up with a heater running rather than windows wide open at 7:15 at night!

I should be sitting here with at least warming slippers rather than bare-footed, for god’s sake!

Yes, both my natural earthiness and Nordic genes sound alarms about this gross unnaturalness of a winter that elsewhere mirrors late-spring to early-summer.

It’s more than that.

A day’s 70 degrees in early January warns ferociously and undeniably of what’s to come:

The Brutalizing Bones-Cracking Bake-Off.

Which in Phoenix begins begins in early June — with official entry into the Triple Digits — (100 F, 37.7 C) followed by steady ascents into 115-120 degrees (46.1-48.8) C.)  through July/August — then a snail’s-paced descent back to 100 (37.7 C) in late September.

That’s four solid months of unforgiving blazing dry summer heat, guys. Would YOU like to live in that!? You’re invited to take my seat. Take it, please!

That question’s almost impossible to answer since most folks have no concept of extreme desert heat. Reading the numbers and experiencing them are entirely different animals.

So yeah, 70 degrees (21.1 C) sounds great ‘n’ all.

And to all you reeling in snow and ice and frigid temps, I feel ya.

I do. I’ve lived that too.

I’ve lived in about every sort of climate short of the EXTREMES far north and south of the equator.

I’ve done my time, paid my dues.

I wouldn’t exchange a fine Phoenix winter — as UNREAL and unnatural it feel — for shoveling snow, sliding across ice, a zillion car accidents and STUPID drivers, high heating bills and all the rest that spells winter.

I can only accept — this once — these mighty pleasant conditions as a well-deserved and just reward for having suffered through and survived but barely the long GOD-AWFUL heat and painfully dry 2019 summer.

Tomorrow’s forecast: 70 high, 40 low (21/5 C)  … then late week we slide to a “chilly” 61 high, 36 low (16/2 C).

Again, no “read ’em ‘n’ weep!” gloating from this quarter!

I envy ye with genuine winters, to a point.

But I do sit here shivering … not in coldness but in fear and trepidation of the abhorrent heat ahead.

Seems that shivering is as much a winter as I’ll ever enjoy in Phoenix, Arizona.

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“But it’s a dry heat” – and fatiguing as f*ck

Winter fatigue gets all the attention and airtime.

Summer fatigue — heat fatigue — just as real.

This is my first full summer as a resident of Phoenix, AZ — aka the Valley of the Sun. (Makes the hideously crowded Los Angeles-of-the-Southwest sound sooo much nicer!)  

Heat here starts early and runs long … from June to October. Four months of Triple Digit days that begin at a “cool” 100 F (37.7 C) — official entry into the triple digits always garners headlines and elicits dread for what’s ahead — then escalate into 115-120 F (46.1-48.8). Not uncommon for it to be 100 F (37.7 C) at midnight.

“But it’s a dry heat.”

The running line here. The lack of humidity has its challenges. Still, Phoenix is an oven. Creatures bake. You bake. And yup, egg-frying contests on sidewalks ain’t a rumor.

dryheat

Summer relief comes intermittently with the monsoons. Most people think Arizona’s just hot dry desert. SOOOOOOOO not the case!

Not only does the state have VERY varied climates — from Snow Country to the north to Brutal Desert to the south — but it receives very powerful and dramatic monsoons between, officially, June-September — though in practice more like July and August.

Except this year. “Nonsoons” they’re being called. Virtually no monsoon activity.  We are in a heap of trouble.

My first summer in Phoenix has been tough. Educational. Memorable — as most firsts are. I want to capture the highlights while they’re blazing in my face.

I’m Tired of Blazing Blue Skies

Sure, clear bright blue sunny skies are great — ESPECIALLY if you’ve lived under miserable constant gray damp cold sunless skies of the Pacific Northwest. Every day I see the sun — even in excess — I’m reminded of where I’ve been and am in gratitude to no longer be there.

Still. Imagine a humongous blue canvas hanging in your home for months on end. Sure, it’s a pretty blue but after a while it feels flat, redundant. My eyes, my mind hunger for visual stimulation, for something OTHER than Blue Sunny Sameness.

True, this Sameness is exacerbated by the absence of monsoons, their incredible cloud formations, torrential downpours, lightning, haboobs (dust storms). What clouds we have seen pass too quickly. It’s Back to Blue. The upbeat version of “Back to Black” by Amy Winehouse but still depressing in its way.

Heat is Exhausting

I’m of European Nordic heritage. I’m not built for this. I’m wired for cold — DRY, please! I’m not in my element. It’s simple Biological Dissonance.

I‘m Tired of Living in Containers

Take my home for starters. A tiny studio with two windows. One faces east — thus is bathed by (hot) morning light — and the other west — thus is subject to summer blaze.

Thermal blackouts are imperative to keep out the natural elements: the heat and sun … and keep in the cool of air-conditioning.

I can’t remember the last time I got to open my curtains and windows! Oh wait! Like June!

I am ALL ABOUT natural light and fresh air. I REALLY need both more than most people. I’ve ticked off more than one past roommate by opening a window in cool weather!

Having to keep my studio sealed up is tantamount to a prison cell. My brain cells rebel. My mood shifts to DEPRESSIVE. To combat that, I often crack a curtain to allow in some natural rays — at the expense of losing cooled air and related cost.

I’m Tired of Life in An Airplane Cabin

EVERYWHERE you go in Phoenix is air-conditioned (sometimes to the Arctic Zone, which presents its own issues).

You’re breathing recycled manufactured air everywhere for months on end as you bounce from one air-conditioned space to the next. From your home to your car. Your car to your workplace to store to cafe to fill-in-the-blank.

Sharply contrasting life in the airplane cabins is the Space Between — the Phoenix Furnace. You do not linger there. In fact, you’d RUN through it to the closest air-conditioned space if only you could! Truth is, the HOT forces you to move slowly if you can move at all. The heat does not fuel your zip. It zaps it.

Some people fare better than others but every body is affected. Articles on surviving the heat abound. Excessive Heat Warnings are a norm. People die from it. Phoenix heat is as deadly as winter freezes …. just not talked about or appreciated outside the region.

Point is: Air-conditioning is ubiquitous because it has to be. It enables us creatures to survive. Nonetheless, it’s artificial recycled air — an airplane cabin — for months. My body, my lungs yearn for natural air. But I sure as hell ain’t gonna go hang around outside in 115 (46.1 C) for it! It’s an effort just getting from my studio to my car!

Excessive Heat Zaps My Will

This is somewhat surprising. I live in far too much solitude in a tiny studio.  Whether it’s to the gym or nearby favorite craft brewery,  I need to get out, meet people, TALK with humans, engage beyond the confinements of four walls exacerbated by the dampening effects of thermal curtains, closed windows, the constant running of a fan and air con.

It’s all I can do to move.

Even as I know my well-being and health require getting out, CONSIDERABLE effort is required to lift myself up, face the blast of the furnace, drive with air-con blasting and deliver myself into another air-conditioned spot

The mystery is that even when I’m indoors, not directly in the heat, I still feel the heat. It zaps my will. Sucks the life outta me. Frighteningly, it prods me toward an eternal siesta from which I’d never awaken.

Climate Control is Costly

Air-conditioning strains the budget. I keep my space at 78-79 F (25.5-26.1 C) — which many folks consider rather warm. I’m tough — definitely not a Whining Snowflake Millennial!! — and will endure discomfort to cut costs. That said, I’m ready for my electric bill to return to a reasonable level. Really ready.

In sum …

The extended Phoenix summer is at the halfway point. Come mid-October generally, this excessive oppressive heat lifts and the best, most temperate time — envied by America’s wintery regions! — begins.

Nuthin’s free in life. We PAY for pleasant winters with brutal summers.

 It’s official. I’ve got Heat Fatigue. 

The will to endure has been replaced by the need for it to be over. Think of it like the holidays. You feast on carbs, meals, sweets, drinks. Come January, you’re beyond ready for regular food in moderate amounts!

Heat Fatigue deserves equal attention and airtime given to Winter Fatigue.

Perhaps it doesn’t get its fair share ’cause everyone’s too zapped to speak and write! (haha)

 

 

 

Yes, Virginia, rain really happened

Rejoice!

The song of every living creature in Arizona at the moment! From trees to cacti to single blades of grass to animals of earth and sky and human beings … we’re connected in singular Rejoice!

At last: It has rained.

At long long long long looooong last.

From Severe to Moderate to Extreme — as defined by the National Drought Mitigation Center — whichever category your location, all agree that Arizona is in a drought and suffering.

I live in high mountain desert abundant with evergreens and pines. Not my pic but everywhere’s this drought on display:

dyringtree

For too long, precipitation has been record-breaking nil or nearly so.

Snowfall in my area alone last winter was laughable and temps warm — foreboding the dangerous wildfire season we’re experiencing.

BUT! the monsoon season is approaching. (Dollars to donuts you didn’t know Arizona has monsoons.)

Fingers crossed it’ll be a doozy and deliver 2 years’ of backlogged moisture. July and August will tell.

Meanwhile, Arizona is at long dry last getting a small taste of that manna today. Rain. Actual rain.

Not the heaving thunderstorms predicted. Media/forecasting overdramatizing. Yawn.

Light showers. We’ll take ’em. We NEED ’em.

REJOICE! sing all living creatures collectively.

I can feeeeeeeeel it all around me. Hear it in bird chirps. In the light drip-drip-drip from the leaves.

When did we last hear this?!

Even I, too a living creature albeit not deprived of moisture, marvel at the difference elusive water makes upon the world.

I had to grab my phone to capture these celebratory moments, these rare sights unseen. Kinda like shooting Bigfoot.

For these brief showers are ceased. If not by day’s end, certainly by tomorrow, Sir Sol of Arizona shall be back on full shining display, erasing all traces of moisture. Happens that fast in a dry climate.

I wanna capture it all on (digital) film! … this wondrous world wetted … that shall pass all too quickly like a dream … return to burning dry all too cruelly … leaving all of us to ask tomorrow: “Did the rain really happen?”

REJOICE! Yes, Virginia, rain really happened.

wetleaf1

 

wetleaf2

bootiful petal pool

wetleaf3

hear them sing!

EVERYTHING looks refreshed! …

from the clothes rack to flagstone to wooden yard trim … all things spring to life when the rains arrive …

rack

raindrops: captured for posterity

flagstone

from bone-dry stone to glistening

woodtrim

hey, where ya been, ye rain gods?? we’ve ALL missed you

 

“Humanity. Not a big fan” — an understatement!

To quote gifted and hilarious comic Ricky Gervais: “Humanity: I’m not a big fan.”

Shining example – Reader’s Digest version — in my local Arizona paper:

A woman in Kingman, Arizona (where I coincidentally once lived) has a small case containing $170,000 — proceeds of sales of her house and business in Texas.

She stops at Walmart.

She fears leaving the case in her car due to suspecting someone had tried to break into her home to steal the money. So she brings the case with her to shop.

Sets case at the bottom of cart. Shops.

Returns the cart to front of store. Nice of her! Gets home. Realizes she forgot her case in the cart. Returns to Walmart. Case is gone.

Surveillance photos show two persons of interest in a red car. Public’s asked to call police to identify.

Her $170,000 — gone.

Now the rest of the story that prompted this post.

The story catalyzed a poll in my paper:

If you found $170,000 in a suitcase, would you keep it?

Three choices:

  •  I would keep it (this is an anonymous poll, right?)
  •  No, I couldn’t live with myself
  •  Hard to say until it happens to me

I’m way too honest for my own good — or humanity’s — so the choice was clear-cut: “No. I couldn’t live with myself”

So disturbing are the results to date. (Should note that I live in a great little town, solid community, lots of decent good folk …)

  • I would keep it: 18%
  • No, I couldn’t live with myself: 58%
  • Hard to say until it happens to me: 24%

WHO ARE THESE 42%??!?

WHO ARE THESE “FELLOW” HUMAN BEINGS WHO WOULD DO ANYTHING OTHER THAN TURN IN THE CASH??!?!?

WHO WOULD EVEN NEED TO THINK on it? NEED to be in that situation first to know what to do?!

For those who outright admit they’d keep it, there are special seats with their names waiting in hell.

On humanity, Gervais expresses it in that understated polite British manner: “I’m not a big fan.”

Me, I’m bold and direct. “I hate ’em.”

For the journalistic record, here’s the story link link and pic of persons of interest.

They deserve to get caught. As for recovering even part of the money, I fear no. It’s how people are.

Subjects_Walmart_money_t715

People of interest in big cash robbery at Walmart, Kingman, Arizona

Of dirt and drought, a delight!

Biggest misconception about Arizona is it’s all sweltering desert.

Nothing’s further from the truth.

It’s true that southern Arizona — Phoenix, Yuma, Tucson — is that way. But the greater part of Arizona is not.

Matter of fact, I happen to live in one of those (very) temperate regions. High desert mountain. Same altitude as Denver, in fact. Mile-high.

Which isn’t to say that it’s not dry here! D-R-Y and severely drought-stricken. All of which segues into today’s post.

I hike religiously. Well, as religiously as a God-detesting heathen could. (That’s self-canceling, admittedly, complicated and definitely not today’s topic!)

Anyhow, I’m hiking the other late afternoon. Come along to share through my eyes.

Drought. Dry. Every direction vegetation thusly:

dryhike

Then something catches my eye.

dryhike2

A single white flowering wildflower.

Well, would you look at that?!

dryhike3

“Little” things move me tremendously, deeply. Things having NOTHING TO DO WITH PEOPLE. Whom by and large I hate. My love of nature, however, is solid gold.

I behold this single plant. Marvel at its tenacity in such arid conditions. Not only to survive but produce beautiful delicate blooms.

Petals like white rice paper. Centers in bold sunflower yellow.

Behold its thorns! In Arizona, all’s about survival. This plant means business! Beautiful!

dryhike4

And its buds! The promise of blooms still to burst. Despite heat and drought. (Not Phoenix heat but hot enough.)

dryhike5

It’s windy windy windy in them thar (here) hills! Petals dance faster than my camera can capture. Still  …

dryhike6

Then a moment, still … revealing:

dryhike7

You may think me mad or heathen-ly at the least but I bow to no God. I bow to this. A single wildflower. In such dry brown topography. I bow to survival. To beauty. To life.

And then, as I must, I bid goodbye, with an honoring and sensitive soul, to one thorny wildflower.

dryhike8

That’s often all it takes for me. The single thing, small, so commonly overlooked by others, reaches into my heart and reminds life is grand.

(not people. Life.)

 

 

There’s no paper & ribbon for this gift

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” croons Frank Sinatra, possibly, over the cafe’s sound system.

I’ve no idea what Christmas, a mere week away, will look like this year!

I may be at the radio station working that afternoon if it’s needed — and I’m happy to do so.

If not, I may be lending a volunteering hand at the big free community meal at a church. Like 500+-people big! I don’t attend that or any church. I’m spiritual and not at all religious. I very much like the idea of serving others Christmas Day.

Or I may go as a guest to mingle with the community.

Or I may go to a movie.

Or visit a favorite saloon on Whiskey Row.

Or spend time on the road with my Subbie, weather permitting.

Or stay home and paint or play with clay or write and drink mulled wine, a seasonal favorite, and listen to Mannheim Steamroller’s Christmas on Pandora.

Whatever I end up doing, it won’t involve family; whether buddies will be involved remains to be seen.

I’m not worried. I’ve survived much worse Christmases. Christmases alone with no friend or casual acquaintance or connection in sight. In geographical places that were very dark, lonely and depressing (the Pacific Northwest categorically the worst, of course).

Have also spent plenty of Christmases at jobs I detest or loathe or at the very least want out of, please God, get me outta here!

It’s because I’ve survived so many rotten and unconventional Christmases over some 20 years that I’ve cultivated more than a thick survivor’s skin.

I’ve developed gratitude.

Gratitude for being where I am today. In a state (Arizona) and town that I love and that resonates, mutually.

Even if I’m with complete strangers — as I may well be this Christmas — I like this community. It’s quirky yet solid and highly conservative with a sub-population of oddballs, artists, creative sorts and mainstream misfits.

Don’t misunderstand. It ain’t Berkeley or San Francisco or New York or even Austin — all places overtaken (hence ruined) by the libs/socialists. Not. At. All. It’s conservative but quirky, my town — in a nutshell.

Moving along …

It’s BECAUSE I’ve been in such dark places many times and years over that I sit here with such gratitude for where I am today. And with zero concern or worry about what I may or may not do on the so-called biggest holiday in America.

Reckon some folks might trade places with me for a day. Because the sad truth about Christmas in America is: It lost its meaning long ago.

For most, it’s all about presents — gross commercialism — and rushing around and beaucoup stress and even more credit-card debt and time with relatives they don’t want to see, obligations they wish they didn’t have to fulfill, controlled chaos and … did I miss anything?

Oh, and screaming whining crying ungrateful brats. I don’t mean exclusively the tots.

I don’t see it happening but on Christmas, I could sit in my new-ish (4 months) lovely space staring out the window and be centered and calm in gratitude. For all that I have and how much better my life has become — and continues to become.

The simplest things are the most meaningful, to me.

I’ll probably have one gift to open, perhaps a few cards. It’ll be a gift and cards from people who mean a lot to me, individuals I truly care about and love.

I’d trade that for, say, a slew of sweaters I don’t need or wouldn’t wear from people who feel obligated to give me gifts any day.

But that’s just me, un-American freak that I am; freak because I’ve no interest whatsoever in the BuyBuyBuy SpendSpendSpend version of the American Christmas. So sad.

Whether I be at work (gratefully at a job I love) or a community feast, a saloon or at home alone singing along to Mannheim Steamroller — only after several glasses of mulled wine! — this is sure:

I shall be in my heart in gratitude.

And that is a gift, of and to the self, that could never be put on a credit card or wrapped with paper.

from greasy sinks to showers to sun

Well, lookin’ like I won’t be submerging my hands* in greasy scalding water on a regular basis again just yet!

*preferably in thick industrial rubber gloves

But! There’s always tomorrow! And the day after that and the day after that …

Last week I interviewed for a dishwashing position in the kitchen of an exclusive golf course. The facility’s recently changed hands — speaking of dishwashing — and under considerable reconstruction … construction-workers-here-and-there-and dust-everywhere setting. I’ve not heard back so presume it’s a no-go.

I’ll refrain from my tirade born of anguish, pain, disappointment, fear and frustration at the possibility of another Lame Crap Job (menial job at minimum wage) in which I have zero interest, one with no future or food to build a foundation for my life.

I’ve expressed it a thousand times already. Today I’m simply in no mood for the repetition or re-enactment of banging my head against that bunker wall.

I attribute my refusal to do so to the rain.

Huh?

Today, you see, we here in central Arizona (and other areas of the state) are witness to a rare pleasure. A true treat. R-a-i-n!

Our drought is no laughing matter. It’s everything they say it is — and worse! Presumably the powers that be downplay the severe water shortage for reasons including not wishing to dampen tourism.

For example, what golfer would be compelled to come to Arizona if s/he thought the courses are drought-stricken dead grass?! Not saying they are! Just sayin’ that it behooves the tourism industry to highlight the plusses and perks and downplay the vices and woes of any given location.

Anyways, the rain’s scant and the predicted thunderstorms didn’t happen. Big surprise — not! You’d think with all this technology, forecasters would be right at least 75% of the time! Not so. Not even close.

In the end, my eyes looking out a window, nose sniffing the air, skin and bodily sensations are more trustworthy and reliable weather guide than some dude makin’ beaucoup bucks for bein’ wrong!

It’s more than these sorely-needed showers that are welcomed. So are the cloudy gray skies.

I know that sounds insane coming from me! No one — and I mean no one — has less good to say about sunless gray skies and gloom than I! I best amend that. The sunless gray skies and gloom of the Pacific Northwest (i.e., Washington state, Oregon coasts, etc.).

Were selective amnesia medically possible, I’d have them remove every single cellular memory connected to my five years in Puget Sound! The absolutely and positively most god-awful miserable years of my adult lifetime. I got out (barely) and I know that life will never ever be that dark, that replete with struggle and hardship and pain again. Never again. Never.

And it all began with the weather.

When I left that sinkhole that is western Washington state, I decided that not only would I never step foot in the state again, I’d never again live in a climate void of light, warmth and sunshine. I’d never subject myself to a climate reeking of dampness, molds and round-the-year gray! Sink Deep Into Your Bones Cold Damp Sunless Wet Suicidal Depressing Gray.

More power to anyone who likes that weather. I do not.

Thereafter, I vowed to live only in climates with Sunshine (at least 300 days a year) Warmth and Dryness.

In other words, the utter opposite of the Pacific Northwest!

I’ve not backed away from that commitment either. After departing hell in 2011, I’ve lived in the warm, dry and sunshine-rich states of Colorado, Utah and Arizona.

Because I HAVE lived in Hell and survived (barely) to tell about it (rarely), I appreciate the sun, blue skies and warmth. Possibly more than any other person on the planet. I never tire of them. I could definitely live the rest of my life in a Happy Climate.

Yes, we ARE creatures who need sun and the light! Don’t let Big Pharma convince you that they’ve got the meds to fix whatever ails you when what ails you is the absence of a natural need.

Variety is the spice of life. Much as I adore and worship these prevailing clear blue skies and abundant bright rays in this high mountainous desert of central Arizona, we need to change it up. Rather, see it changed up by Mother Nature.

Thus any precipitation is welcomed as much as the change of heavenly scenery.

What differentiates these gray Arizona skies from those in the (bawd-awful) Pacific Northwest is this: Here they end!

Sure, the heavens may be darkened for a day or several days as a front passes. Rain and/or snow may fall. If we’re lucky!

But Mr. Sol always returns. ALWAYS. And when he does, he stays for a good long while.

He’s the Dependable Father in a family split by divorce who keeps his word when he promises his kid he’ll come watch him play on the baseball field, in the school play, at the piano recital. Or he’ll simply be there for the kid’s 9th birthday party.

Like (uncommon) men who step up to the plate, Mr. Sol is Mr. Steadfast in Arizona. He’s a great father, a great healer and, honestly, my best friend!

Very soon, these velveteen ash-colored clouds swollen with moisture will roll on their way and the sun shall resume his place on center stage. To Mr. Sol, I flick my Bic and give an enthusiastic standing ovation — over and over!

He is, with water, life itself. Our Great Sustainer. The Source of warmth, health and optimism and renewal.

Cheers and salutes to Sir Sol now and forevermore!

(And, oh yeah, not so much to another round and year wasted in menial minimum-wage labor. I’d surely welcome the sun in my career again! Here’s hoping the optimism rubs off in work.)

sun:sunflower

Alert to the snow-wearied: Do not read!

Finally! Precipitation!

More! More! More! Pretty please!

More! More! More! Pretty please!

The view from my window when I awoke about 2 hours ago. Normally the town’s visible beyond that tree there. Today, not so much …

While this is about the last thing that much of the country, worn out by Winter 2015, wants to see, Arizona, along with Utah and other Southwest states, welcome it! We’re mired in a severe and lingering drought. We *wish* for and soooo need some of that wet stuff! Our land is dry, bodies of water are hurting for replenishment.

I didn’t believe it when I heard it last night. “More rain and snow on the way.” As it stood, the weather forecasters had once again overstated, overdramatized, overhyped a “massive storm” that’d deliver “days of rain and snow from Saturday through Monday.”

Typical liberal media “the sky is falling! NOW!” Everything’s a crisis with the media except Fox. However, this is Arizona. One of the very few remaining vestiges of conservatism, reason and freedom from the socialist takeover by Obama and the libs and the outpouring of crap from from his lapdogs media. The liberal press, and hence its overblown overkill weather reporting, are not part of this terrain. Most people here don’t buy into it.

So when days of drenching precipitation didn’t materialize (wasn’t even close!) my skepticism about the trustworthiness of weather forecasting was only fueled.

But! Snow they predicted for Monday and snow is what we’re getting! Yeeeeey!! Yahoooooo! *Boy do we need it!!!*

Won’t be much, they say. About 1-3 inches accumulation. Come tomorrow, the storm’ll travel eastward. Personally, I wouldn’t object if it stuck around for five days or so. We so need the moisture. And aside from a staff meeting anon, there’s nowhere I *have* to be or that I can’t walk to to replenish supplies or relieve cabin fever.

The pic above shows what I awoke to; it’s just the beginning. Forgoing the coffee, I hastened into street clothes and moved my car. Away from its spot along a very steep slope (approximately 60-degree incline) and down the hill to a lower-level dirt incropping.

I discovered during the whopper New Year’s snowstorm just how un-doable my driveway becomes in snow and ice. It demands gradual and measured dual maneuvering of backing out in reverse and a precise timely sharp turn that even in the best of conditions are tricky. In snow and ice, it’s a slide down a hill waiting to happen. No thank you.

I’ve chosen to live in Arizona for many reasons and one of them is snow. I’ve lived in snow states and cities. While my Nordic genes and I quite enjoy it, I don’t care to relive it knee-deep. Don’t care for the hassles. Above all, I loathe the moronic drivers. (Don’t get me started on that vitriolic topic!) It’s really they who’ve driven me out of snowy sites. I hate stupid.

It’s nice to see weather that’s different from the usual crisp bright blue skies and sunshine! Which is not to in ANY WAY imply that I tire of them! No! No! No! No. I barely got out with my life from the gloom of god-awful Washington state / Puget Sound. That’s one state — and the only state in the union — that I’l never step foot in again. Unless I were en route to Canada. And even then I’d take the long way around. It’s a vow I made when I got out and one that I WILL keep for the rest of my life.

The snow’s building. Evidently it’s keeping the neighbors away from their workplaces. They’re up there, making all kinds of racket again. Moving furniture for across their wooden floors for the 100th time. The one downside to the white stuff today.

After living under continuous activity and noise for 3+ months, I’m truly feeling that there’s something wrong with him. Something’s off. Maybe ADD or hyperactivity. He’s unable to stop moving or doing something “manly” like reconstructing and renovating.

Were that the pretty snow that buffers sounds and silences could be dumped into Apartment A above! I’d do it. I would! Would give them thermal socks or such to protect the feet. Don’t wish frostbite upon the Noisy Neighbors. Only the Sounds of Silence.

And plenty more precipitation for Arizona and this here northern region. It’s needed like a fish needs water. Like a bird needs air for flight. Like a mountain goat needs to climb. Like a body needs sleep. Like this girl needs a shot of rye whiskey to stave off the chill. (oops, did I say that aloud?)

Salud to snow!

Salud!

Salud!

Arizona goes dark for a day

So I’m writing this post yesterday — about this same time too, noonish — and the Internet signal dies.

What the?! Have had unpleasant issues with Cable One lately. Are they up to no good again?

So I do the whole resetting the router & modem routine. Doesn’t work.

So I get on the phone to Cable One. Wait on hold. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. And wait some more. Then “mid wait” they fucking drop the call!

Long story short, it wasn’t Cable One’s fault. This time.

All of northern Arizona, stretching from northern Phoenix to Flagstaff, lost its Internet and telephone services (including landlines). Only Verizon phone services were unaffected.

A vandal had gone in and cut a Century Link fiber cable. A cable that supplies juices to oodles of other services. Everything from police and emergency services communications to banking and ATMs to digitized store transitions to credit-card usage and so much more were down all day.

Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to imagine the effects of dead Internet and phone services. Neither does it take that same scientist to imagine the consequences of said power outage.

Anyhow, it’s back on now. Police say they have no suspect or motive.

Well, I’ve got a few of my own! And the first person(s) I’d be looking for is (1) someone(s) with the means and tools to thoroughly slice a cable and the knowledge of WHICH one and (2) someone(s) with a grudge or hatred of Century Link (a massive Internet Service Provider).

Well, that’s a list infinitely long! Century Link is the pits. No doubt about it. So a former employee. Or a current one.

I could pen any number of scenarios. An inside job involving one or two men working together. An inside job involving a former employee paying off a current employee sharing a hate of Century Link to cut the cord.

I mean, to any true writer with a genuine understanding of people and humanity (the two are NOT mutually inclusive!), the tales of possibilities are boundless!

Anyways, I and a million others got cut off in midstream surfing yesterday; for me, that meant a blog post that didn’t get completed. Sometimes posts can be continued, “resurrected” if you will; other times no. It’s all about the flow and where the focus is.

As a final thought, although I’ve got my own ideas and hunches and speculations about where the police and Century Link should be looking to finger the culprit(s) (and I do believe more than one person is involved), I predict we’ll see scant to no follow-up publicly.

One act of vandalism. A communications outage that crossed a good half of the state, if not more.

Goes to illustrate that there’s an upside to cutting cords — i.e., family, past relationships, abusive relationships, personal habits and patterns that are no longer useful or helpful.

And there’s a downside. I hope they catch the guy(s) who did it. (And yes, I’d put $$ down that they’re males.) They’re probably laughing all the way to the proverbial bank over their heinous “prank.”

But millions of people, from banks to businesses to hospitals to emergency personnel and the people truly in need of their assistance to regular folks like you and me are not laughing.

I understand people — though god knows that’s a curse; ignorance IS bliss! Verrrrry little if anything surprises me.

That being said, I don’t get the “humor” or the mischief in slicing through a fiber cable and bringing communications to an abrupt halt across an entire state.

But I guess one man’s mischief is another man’s maliciousness.

I’m not a crazy lady. Or a Deadhead. Just look like one.

If whatever’s happening New Year’s Eve prognosticates the tone for the coming year, as it has for years, I’m in for a lively* 2015!

*a conservative way of saying wild

Let’s just say my new year’s eve was more like a 25-year-old’s than, well, someone’s much older. 😉 Perhaps it’s the spirit of youthfulness that joy imparts.

Perhaps it was, in part, the two pints of porter plus the rye whiskey from a flask tucked into my inner coat pocket that I made sure to sip away from the patrolling eyes of the cops on Whiskey Row/Courthouse Square enlivened by partiers and the boot drop.

I think it’s the joy and the abandonment to it fueled in small part by the porters & whiskey! A helluva night!

Not often I find myself hikin’ it a mile or so across town at 3:30 in the morning … in the snow … in 21-degree weather! Or ever. Just how things unfolded.

Fortunately that main street was cleared of snow & ice. Mostly. Fortunately I didn’t slip and fall. Wasn’t dawdling either! Interspersed even a little light jogging. That inclination to stay warm and get home will fuel a girl.

Quite the sight I must’ve been too! This little thing all bundled up in two jackets — one white and one brown — and two scarves — one white, one red — and a striped purple & turquoise rabbit hair beanie bookin’ it down Gurley Street deep into the night!

Oh! And let’s not overlook the white balloon! Wrapped around my wrist, trailing. A balloon I’d picked up off a downtown street at the boot drop a few hours earlier.

I looked like a crazy lady. Or a Grateful Dead groupie racing to the tour bus.

I can only say that it’s a good thing I live in a town that while being very conservative has its quirks and eccentrics. I might be one of ’em. Okay, I am.

Yet there’s such a good spirit in this town. A natural match. An affinity. For me. Not for all. I make that clear to locals and out-of-towners. Prescott, Arizona, is not for everyone. It’s for me, however, absolutely. Joyfully!

Had a cop passed and spotted this ruffian-looking woman with a white balloon dashing down the street in the middle of the night — and believe me, I was spottable on a street largely emptied of pedestrians and vehicles! — he might’ve pulled over to inquire about my business in that late hour.  Or why was I hastening so?

It didn’t happen. If it had, I had a perfectly sound explanation. I was on my way home — I was prepared to state an address if needed — from some strange event. Something totally unexpected, something you couldn’t have seen coming but if ya had you’d take it on anyhow ’cause it was just that spontaneous & fun in a weird way.

Makes for a memorable New Year’s! And a good story, untold & unseen save out there in the ethers.

Happy 2015 to me! I may wanna grasp the seat of my pants. Looks like a ride! A joyful exuberant year. One that if I play my cards smartly — therein lies the ticket — I could accomplish inroads and gains that’ll be lasting and are necessary to creating the foundation of my life that’s much needed, sorely so, and overdue.

I won’t address the alternative, the consequences of if I don’t play those cards smartly. My eyes are on what’s ahead — that big bright light that’s ahead like a spotlight.

I prefer to choose positivity over negativity in thought. Promise over same ol’ same ol’ patterns that have outlived their usefulness, no longer serve, ones that I’m already shedding and will continue to drop into Life’s Bucket of Bye-Bye.

I hope a good new year’s was had by all. They can’t all be good. I know that; I know it well. So if yours was one of those “less-than-good,” I wish for you blessings and guidance and protection from the divine and powers that are to get you where you need to be. Even if it’s as simple as “not here.” ‘Cause I’ve been there too. In significant, meaningful, all-encompassing ways.

明けましておめでとう

Akemashita omedetto!

Happy New Year!

May 2015 be bright and blessed.

 

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