Archive | Weather Matters

Brooklyn Wins

I hadn’t been able to drive my car for nearly two weeks. I’d parked at the corner during the first blizzard, and was subsequently so buried by the city plows that I couldn’t even see the roof of Sadie, my poor aged Hyundai. With climate change and all, I figured that the snow would melt on its own soon enough. Instead we had another snow and ice storm, and my car was further buried. It got to the point that I figured I’d just wait til spring to drive again. Then they announced the L Train was about to stop full service on the weekends and weeknights.

So today it was in the 40s and I figured if there were ever a moment to dig the car out, this was it. Around 4 I set outside with a shovel and a pick and started working. By 4:30 I could see the roof of my car but it still was buried in the snowbank. Four tweens came by–neighborhood kids whose names I didn’t know but whom I recognized from when they attended the elementary school across the street. “That your car?” they asked. “Dude,” I answered like the mean lady I’ve become. “I’m not digging out SOMEONE ELSE’S CAR.” They all stared at me blankly–I was definitely a weird grownup–but I was too grumpy and sweaty to apologize. After a minute one of them grabbed the pick and started chipping at the snow blocking the wheel. The two other boys started kicking at all the ice. The girl started to pull at the snow with her hands, heaving huge chunks of ice into the street. “You don’t have to do this,” I said, afraid they’d ask for cash since I had none on me. “I’m in a bad mood,” the girl said. “I need to break things. Can you see my eyes are red? A boy was mean to me.” “A boy she used to go with,” explained one of her friends. “These guys are looking out for you?” I asked. She nodded. “They waited till I stopped crying and then walked me home,” she said. I felt like crying, too. These were good boys. We all kicked the snow and shoveled and, slowly, slowly made progress. I kept telling them to go home as the sky darkened. They said they were already late on account of waiting for Pamela, the girl, so they wanted to see the car get out. Big neighborhood guys walked by, offered advice, did not actually help. The five of us rolled our eyes and talked–how to handle it when we got mad, what they wanted to do when they grew up, what I already did. Hipsters scurried by, totally confused by our tableau if they even noticed us.

By 5:30, as I steered and they pushed, the car glided out of the snowbank into the road. We all hollered happily. I offered them rides home but everyone knew they’d be in a lot more trouble if they took a ride from a strange lady. Instead, we took a picture of the five of us on Xavier’s phone. He says he’ll send it on but even if he doesn’t I’ll remember that moment for a while to come. The bunch of us standing in the middle of Conselyea Street, in front of my idling car and the last rays of today’s sun. Yet another beautiful Brooklyn day, and I’m grateful to be grateful. (Update: Xavier sent the photo, pictured above!)

Missive 354,003 from the Cat Lady Annals

With the holidays around the corner, the air conditioners have finally been taken down in my apartment. (Physically arduous tasks tend to get postponed until the last minute in La Casa Rosmanica.) Suffice it to say Permakitten Gracie is officially bereft that the evil, evil pigeon who perches on the bedroom window AC–you know, her arch frenemy—won’t return again until summer. Not even a bird-festooned Christmas tree can lift my little friend’s gloom. And, no: I’m not projecting. (Mostly.)

Charlie Bucket Soup, Muppet Lady Chic

The day began charmlessly–cold and windy, with vast, horizontal sheets of hail and rain defying even the most substantial of umbrellas. It never found its footing after that, even though I’d donned the cutest bad-weather uniform I could find. (Blue rubber moccasins and a blue fur hat; Muppet chic at your service.) The whole time we taped our show I could barely feel my feet, and my clothing remained uncomfortably damp. Finally, I cried Uncle and retreated home to make a Charlie Bucket soup: a meek concoction of whatever was in my larder since I wasn’t about to go into that not-so-good night, gentle or otherwise. Cabbage, leeks, fennel, chicken stock, parsley, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sesame oil, ginger, garlic, sriracha. It was around the ginger that I realized this soup wasn’t going to be so meek after all. By the time I finished two bowls of it, poured over some rice noodles I’d found in the back of a cupboard, I felt like a person again–albeit a person in a flannel nightgown and fuzzy slippers, flanked by a permakitten mawing a dish of the same soup right there on the kitchen table. Afterward, I settled into an armchair with a novel, an afghan, and Betty Carter crooning to Ray Charles through the speakers, and I read by the light of a pink seashell lamp that any boyfriend I’ve ever had would loathe. It was all pretty great, actually. This has been my Cat Lady year, and I’m starting to think everyone should have a few of them. They’re so darn peaceful.

"All, everything I understand, I understand only because I love."
― Leo Tolstoy