Monday, April 28, 2008

I love Chicago, but honestly

the weather is so bad it makes me crazy.

Check it out--my children are going to a Minor League baseball game after school. The three school vocal groups are going to join forces and sing the National Anthem.

In three-part harmony, bitches.

The school hired those fancy country-music-star touring buses so they wouldn't have to drive all the way to Geneva in plain old everyday school buses. The plan is that they'll be able to do their homework on the bus. (Shyeah, right.)

So they have their special music polo shirts on. And money for the concessions. And sweatshirts because even when it's almost May, it's still a little chilly in Illinois.

But it's been getting steadily drizzlier all day. And just now, I looked out the window and it was SNOWING.

Now, the snow looks fairly feeble. And we do get what they call "lake effect snow" in these parts, because we're only four blocks from Lake Michigan. This kind of snow doesn't stick. It melts as soon as it hits the ground.

You see? I understand all this and in general, I'm fine. Adversity builds character!

But a baseball game getting called on account of snow is just. too. crazy.

You know, there were indigenous people here when the white men arrived, but they were nomadic. When the bad weather hit, they got the hell out of here. Their intelligent choice survives in the practice of today's snowbirds, those old retired people who spend half the year in Florida. (But not the whole year, or they'd be bitching about the heat.)

I wish someone would explain why anyone decided to build a city here in the first place.

I realize that the climate in the continental United States came as a rude shock to everyone who encountered it for the first time. Whether you got off the boat in New England or New Orleans, you were either freezing your ass off or dropping dead of yellow fever.

(Actually, this is how Americans got rich. They invented central heating and air conditioning, and then sold systems to all the subsequent immigrants.)

But why compound the original error? I mean, if you're starting on the east coast, why even bother to go to Minnesota in the first place? Have you ever seen the stats on cold and snow in places like Wyoming, Minnesota, or Michigan? It's so cold in Wyoming that the state population totals two--and they're both United States Senators. They moonlight as members of the House of Representatives. It's true. The population really is that small. Because it really is that cold.

Hey, guess what just happened. A few buses just went by. I guess the game didn't get called, and the kids are going to go do their patriotic duty. And get snowed on.

Well, well, well. Say what you will about public education: it builds character. And that makes me feel good. Because after you've gotten frostbite singing the National Anthem in the snow, you can't possibly grow up to be as whiny as I turned out.


  1. Come back to L.A. It's eighty-fricking-nine degrees in the valley right now!

  2. It'll be like they're hitting snowballs. Damn Chicago and Damn Ann Arbor, too.

  3. "Lake effect snow" that anything like "too much booze effect sex"? Similar lack of follow-through, I'd say.

    Cool blog. I'll be back. Or you could come see me. :)

  4. kathyr: I'll grant you that, but guess what the temperature was on Friday? 80 degrees and humid. Today? 37. There is no justice in the world.

    Ree: I always hear that people in the midweat are so nice. It's because we're too busy pulling on long underwear to develop an attitude. And how much of a hipster can you look like wearing the same North Face jacket for eight straight months?

    tress: I'm there. Thanks for stopping by!

  5. The weather is about the only thing I don't miss about Chicago. We got married there on 3/29, and I was joking with out-of-towners that it might snow on the wedding day ... ya, well, it only missed by about 24 hours! So much for a Spring wedding in Chicago (we should've planned our spring wedding for June, maybe?)

  6. Hey wait a minute. We have lake effect snow here [upstate NY] all winter long and it sure as hell sticks. Several feet of it at a time sometimes. What you've got there sounds like spring snow of the kind that doesn't matter because it'll be gone before you finish ranting about it.

    Nice hyperbole, though. You're the best.


  7. Once I moved to Chicago I too wondered why the hell people lived there before central heat.

    In fact, I've moved from Chicago 3 separate times now because of the winters. Guess what? Even Colorado's winters are considerably warmer!

    Gloat, gloat.

    Hope your kids had fun and survived.


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