Wednesday, January 13, 2010

It's been a quiet week in Lake Wo... Wait a minute. This post may ramble on to nowhere, but I still can't use that line.

I stand by my sensible vow to blog about work only in the most general of terms, but today was one of those frustrating days where the nature of my company's business required me to pretend to be an expert in an area I'm not, which is something I will never be particularly good at or comfortable with. I maintain that my liberal arts education successfully prepared me to bullshit my way through myriad tasks and situations, but sometimes it just seems more appropriate and ethical to say, "Sorry, but no, we don't do that. Seriously, don't hire me for this."

Or maybe I am hiding behind ethics simply because I don't want to do the thing they want to pay me to do. In any given situation, if it's a question of ethics or laziness, there's a good chance the latter is more solidly to blame. Or, equally possible, maybe I am making a big deal out of nothing. Perhaps this is just the way business works. After all, lots of people get paid to lie. Meteorologists, for instance. Nine times out of ten they're just making stuff up, right? Maybe I should be a meteorologist. Would I have to get a helmet-like haircut for that?

At the moment, I couldn't possibly be any less accurate a meteorologist than the ones currently serving the Twin Cities metro area, because every one of them repeatedly assured me that the temperature would reach 30 the past two days, and every one of them was downright wrong. Which wouldn't be so bad had I not BELIEVED them and been so bold as to downgrade from my down jacket back to my flimsy wool pea coat and to leave my hat at home. After nearly two solid weeks of sub-zero temperatures, I should be used to this. Instead, I feel perma-cold.

Even if I'd been out of the country in some balmy locale for the past week, I would still be able to tell that it'd been ridiculously cold for days on end. No one dares get a car wash in weather like this, for fear that the damn thing will freeze solid. Hence, everyone's car becomes so uniformly spattered with road spray that you can barely see its original paint job. Highways and parking lots start to look like suburban subdivisions--just like the cookie cutter houses in those neighborhoods, every car on the road is an only slightly varying shade of beige. As soon as the temperature reaches the mid-30s, there will be lines ten deep at every car wash, not unlike the gas crisis of 1973. Except that people will let their gas-guzzling giant SUVs idle for the duration that they wait in that line, so really, I guess nothing like the gas crisis of 1973 at all.

Moving on. I realize there are few less interesting things to talk about than the weather, but I am a Midwesterner. Talking about the weather is what we do. It ensures we don't have to muster any creativity in our small talk, and it prevents most of us from getting too personal (which makes Midwesterners uncomfortable), too. Besides that, even our esteemed public radio affiliate thinks the weather is news. Just the other day, I heard a thoroughly interesting and enlightening (read: utterly obvious and pointless) story explaining just why driving on every residential street in Minneapolis is like driving on a glacier right now. Really, MPR? When the snow melts a bit and then immediately freezes again, it turns into bumpy mounds of ice? And snow plows aren't designed for solid masses of ice? They can clear piles of snow, but not ice floes? How fascinating! Shocking, really! You learn something new every day.

In truth, I may have been predisposed to annoyance at that particular story solely because it was presented by the reporter who didn't find me charming enough to warrant a second date. I should be over and past that by now, of course, but usually when a dude doesn't like me (or I don't like him) I have only to worry about spotting him in Target. I don't typically have to hear his voice in my car on my commute, reminding me of the rejection, taunting me, if you will. This particular reporter has a specific beat, so when I hear the intro for a story that falls under that topic, I'm at least prepared for the commentator to say, "Here with more on that is Tim Becker." But ice floes in the street are not Tim's beat. What is he doing on my radio so often these days?

I'm not the only one to notice he's been in increased rotation, either. Ever the supportive friend, Carrie said out of the blue one day, "I'm so sick of Tim Becker." It surprised me, because if we're being entirely objective, there's actually nothing wrong with his reporting style, nothing at all unpleasant about his voice. Truly, the man's only offense was his lack of interest in me. But my disappointments are her disappointments, apparently. It's nice to know a friend's got my back. I'm equally grateful to my pal Flurrious, who once wrote, "That MPR reporter was a fool. When we cast your montage, let's find someone ugly to play him." Heh.

Incidentally, I should mention that Tim Becker is, of course, not the reporter's real name. I am not quite foolish enough to type that. I was, however, foolish enough to give the man my blog URL. (It was an experiment, part of a brief period where I decided to do the opposite of what I'd usually do in certain social situations, which unfortunately met with no notable results.) I cannot imagine any reason said reporter would still be checking in here regularly, but if I'm wrong about that, well, hello, Tim. Keep up the good work. How's it going? Call me! (Sigh.)

Maybe I should return to dating again. It has, after all, been a while. I went on fewer dates in 2009 than any year in recent memory, but you know what? I think I was, on the whole, happier in 2009 than in other recent years as well (nonsense with the Buddhist notwithstanding, that is). Could the two be correlated? Perhaps. Still, dates give me stories, and if I had stories, I probably wouldn't subject the Internet to three consecutive paragraphs about the weather. It's food for thought, I suppose.

Of course, before I go on another date, I should probably have a usable shower, because this showering at the gym or trying to get clean hair in my tub really isn't quite working for me. I can't bring myself to get up early enough to mess with a bath or the gym in the a.m., so I've been washing my hair at night and then sleeping on it unstyled, which leads to this misshapen conehead sort of thing in the morning. It's a good look, I tell you. I should take my next Catch dot Mom profile pic right NOW.

And that about catches you up, I think. I am cold, tired, and not-so-recently showered with no definitive remedy to any of those soon in sight. Tell me, what's new with YOU?


Jess said...

This is what I like about Denver. We have heinous storms and it gets cold and the car gets covered with salt and sludge. But THEN it's sunny and fifty degrees for a few days straight and we can all run off and get our cars washed before the next storm hits.

nancypearlwannabe said...

I don't think I could deal with not having a shower. In this freezing weather a hot shower is the only thing that makes me less cranky.

I think you should start dating again too, partly because your stories are always hilarious and partly because this is your year!

3carnations said...

Regarding Midwest weather, I have lived in 5 states, 2 of which are in the Midwest. In both of those states (and only those 2 states) people said "You know what they say about Michigan (Indiana) weather. If you don't like it, wait a minute and it will change." Do they say that in Minnesota, too? If so, someone needs to change it to "Midwest weather". When I lived in Indiana, I thought the phrase belonged to them.

NGS said...

I did the same jacket thing! I left my purple, puffy, looks like a first grader should wear, but is incredibly comfy coat at home in lieu of my staid, looks like a professional, not nearly as warm, black pea coat. And I was cold. So. There's that.

My car may not be washed until April at this rate. I have a grown up event this weekend (I shall become a godparent for the first time!) and feel kind of guilty for showing up in a salty, dirty pickup truck, but what can I do?

courtney said...

Isn't it weird when 30 degrees seems warm? Today it's supposed to get up in the mid-40s here (so they say) and I'm practically in my bathing suit. (Not really.)

Oh, and Tim Becker? If you're reading this, see what a charming and witty girl you missed out on? Loser.

Shelly said...

I like nancypearl's attitude! This IS your year! The power of positive thinking and all that. And yes, we were promised a warm-up this week, too. Hasn't happened here, either.

badger reader said...

It is 33 at the moment and I went a step further than the pea coat this morning and went with the down vest. (granted I have a turtleneck and wool sweater on as well).
Supposed to be a balmy 35 all week down here and I was just thinking I should probably run to get my car washed.
Your catch dot mom reference made me realize I promised myself I would jumb back on that ship. Hmmm maybe in the 2nd quarter...

lizgwiz said...

My shower tiles are starting to rust and need replaced, as well. My landlord told me to let him know when I thought it was time, and he'd send somebody over. But I don't ever want it to be time, after hearing about your ordeal! Maybe I'll decide to move before they rust completely through. ;)

Maybe there have been layoffs at your public radio station, and Tim Becker is having to cover an extra beat.

Allie said...

The weather and the side street situation sound so much like Rochester, except you guys get colder weather, and we don't have awesome things like bike powered mobile pubs.

So sorry to hear you are still without shower. It's so sucky to have your house undone like that. My trick in college was to spray my hair down a bit with a squirt bottle of water, and then dry it with the hairdryer even though it wasn't super wet. It worked surprisingly well. . . actually, I'm wondering why I ever stopped doing that . . .

Noelle said...

I know exactly what you mean about the cars. Mine normally has such personality, and now it's just dirty.

And don't even ask me about boys. I can't go there.

flurrious said...

It's been warm and rainy here for about two weeks. I am about to lose my mind.

I think you should start dating again and that we should declare this The New Year of Stef. (It was going to be my year, but I can already tell that things are not going in that direction.)

Anonymous said...

Not sure if Allie meant Rochester MN or NY, but the same goes for Rochester NY. It's been in the 30s lately and I honestly think it's warm enough to not even wear a coat.