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January 12, 2010

Big! Winter! Storm!

Although we've made it through winter so far with our 78 degree temperatures and sunny days, all is about to change and bring the second largest city in the United States to a crippling halt:

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Dallas Raines says MIST IS COMING!!!

Now you may be saying to yourself, "Self, why is Los Angeles crying like a baby at their five one-hundredths of an inch of rain when we've had 15 feet of snow? And why are they are breaking out the down parkas and handknit alpaca scarves for a high temperature that would send all of us here into shorts and T-shirts?"

Well, this may seem crazy to you when you've just spent two hours shoveling snow off your driveway, but do you have any idea what five one-hundredths of an inch of rain can do to the shiny finish from your recent car wash? The water spotting is really tragic.

Plus, apparently the jet stream will be bringing us... uh, palm trees:

dallasrainesjan1210-2.jpg

Just in case you wanted to know what the weather is like in places that have no weather, well, now you know. We have palm trees in the forecast. Keep us in your prayers.


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This morning I was running late and I really wanted a smoothie but I don't have a suitable travel mug for straw-based drinks. Conundrum!! Then my redneck ingenuity gene kicked in and I was quite impressed with myself as I made my smoothie, poured it into its usual tumbler, wrapped the top in plastic wrap and poked a hole for my straw:

jan12-tumbler.jpg

I would have gotten extra Cracker points if I'd secured it with a rubber band OR if the tumbler had a Coors logo but I do live in Los Angeles and we can only assume I have suffered in the Cracker Ass McCracker department because of my proximity to the left coast. Still, I was pretty full of myself for fixing this problem. Hee.

- - -

Yesterday when I was waxing nostalgic about the good old days when people used to be able to greet you at the gate at the airport I was just.. being nostalgic. And you know how nostalgia can be, very rosy and reminiscent and not truly that accurate. For example, people also used to smoke on airplanes and air travel used to be prohibitively expensive and it was much harder to get from here to there since there were fewer options and internet travel hadn't been born yet.

And why am I feeling all nostalgic about this anyway when I usually travel alone and no one would be meeting me anyway, and all those happy homecomings might make me feel sad instead of independent and world-traveling-pants as I do now?

As I was driving in to work this morning I was thinking that things have also changed in a good way. For example, flying feels safer than it has ever been. I flew a lot before 9/11 and have flown even more since then, and while security is sometimes tricky for the most part it's orderly and seems to make people behave better. I have noticed that since 9/11 you rarely encounter a belligerent or ridiculous passenger making demands and threats to the flight attendants or other passengers or causing a scene because they know that a team of armed guards and FBI agents will meet them at the gate with handcuffs. This is a GOOD thing. Especially on long trans-Atlantic flights where alcohol flows freely and people can easily get obnoxious.

And flying is cheaper in general, making a trip to another country affordable and more accessible than ever before. It gives more people the opportunity to travel abroad and when you travel you see how alike we humans are, no matter what language we speak. And that diminishes fear which is a really good thing! Fear eats away at your quality of life. When I get scared to try new things I remind myself that I will not be lying in the hospital bed dying and wishing I had watched more TV. ("I really wished I hadn't missed that season of CSI Miami ... someone push the morphine drip...")

Nostalgia is one of my default settings, but I have noticed I sometimes feel all rosy or maudlin about things that weren't even that good at the time. I refuse to let the idea of terrorism change my life or the way I look at travel. Air travel is still a gazillion times safer than any other mode of mass transportation and the idea that you can start in Los Angeles and end up in Prague or Moscow or Buenos Aires in just a few hours is still pretty freaking amazing.

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Finally, this morning I saw this car waiting to get on the freeway on-ramp ahead of me:

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Hello Kitty!

Posted by laurie at January 12, 2010 8:59 AM