Posts Tagged ‘kentucky’

it’s mardi gras outside

February 17, 2010

The past few days when I wake up it’s been snowing, though there’s not much on the ground. It’s a running theme. Definitely the snowiest winter I’ve seen, and that’s not saying much. My friend EJ in Southern Ontario says they’ve had a relatively snow-less winter. Similarly, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver suffer from a lack of snow. We need to send some of the white stuff from D.C. to B.C.! (Ha…I wonder how many other shithead bloggers have already coined that one.)

Just today in Mesoscale we covered lake-effect snow, the kind most Ontarians usually deal with. This was right after I presented my forecast for Seattle. See, all B.S. meteorology seniors and some of the geography grad students at Western are participating in this national pay-to-play forecast contest. The forecast city changes every other week. We started off with Atlanta, and now it’s Seattle. Let me tell you, forecasting for Seattle (especially precipitation amounts) is a bitch.

(The funny thing is the models are showing a huge cutoff high developing over British Columbia and the Alaskan Gulf by the end of the week, bringing above-freezing temperatures as far north as the Yukon Territory, while the eastern half of the continent remains frozen. Those poor bastards in Vancouver.)

It was my second forecast discussion in two days. TJ (not related to EJ) and I gave a synoptic-scale discussion for the 424 Analysis & Forecasting kids on Monday. Drs. Goodrich and Durkee were present for that one.

EVERYTHING HAPPENS AT ONCE. This evening (immediately after the Seattle forecast and the lake-effect snow lecture) I started training for delivery at Mariah’s, a staple of Bowling Green dining. My friend Mike is a waiter there and put in a good word for me. I know a few others, too, so it looks like a good place to be. Again, it seemed like the perfect night for training: we got orders from our best and worst tippers, so I know who they are. A cop pulled up lights flashing behind an employee’s car as he was leaving—haven’t yet found out what that was about. Just walked into the kitchen like he owned the place, too. I had to wash the smell of bacon off my hands when I got home. Seriously, though. I work in a restaurant.

Then I watched the second half of the Kentucky–Mississippi game with my downstairs neighbors. John Wall isn’t the only important UK player, but I see magic in that kid. (Also in DeMarcus Cousins’s headband. It’s a ball magnet!) But really, number 11? My favorite prime number?! It really is! And he’s got the double-L in his name: Wa11. Eleven is a special number to me. I was born on the eleventh. And my name is John Wi11iam Ho11and.

And he’s the Great Wall of Kentucky. And he’s younger than me. To tie it all together, just like there’s a Boston U. player named John Holland (with the prime number 23 on his jersey), there’s a meteorology student here named John Wall—but he spells it differently.

So begins Lent. I’ll probably be giving up sleep.

It was a new moon Saturday. It was Valentine’s Day Sunday. President’s Day Monday. Fat Tuesday. Ash Wednesday.

Get my drift?

storm of the month

January 27, 2010

I’m not trying to make this a “weather blog.” But as a student of meteorology, I am going to talk about the weather. And right now there’s a winter storm on the horizon:

From what I can tell, everyone’s flipping out because this is a rare atmospheric set-up that has the POTENTIAL to unload a foot or more of snow in places that usually never see more than an inch or two, if that. (For a more comprehensive look, visit Landon’s Fast Forecast.) As far as TV weather people are concerned, this is a great opportunity for ratings. Please keep in mind, that’s all they care about. I overheard someone today saying “you just can’t ever trust these people” and though she probably meant the broadcast weathermen, it’s too easy for the general public to dismiss forecasting as pseudoscience. I’ve also heard some old guy drawl “They don’ know, they jes guess like we do” which is very stupid wisdom. But true nonetheless. We’re just better at guessing than you.

Actually I’m no good at guessing. I’m not even an atmospheric scientist, really. I just like weather.

I think there is a relationship between consciousness and atmospheric phenomena. Not too sure about cause and effect, but weather patterns tend to reflect what’s going on “at the surface,” i.e. in our daily lives.

This week, we hit the ground running at school. And right off the bat, here’s this perfect chance for a winter storm, for everyone to observe and document. Co-incidence? Exactly.

I run the risk of ruining my meager credentials by making such claims. But hey, I say this is a blog about weird Fortean shit, anyway. Let your hair down, science.

bowlingreen

January 19, 2010

There are two hills in this town. The university sits atop one; the other has a water tower painted to resemble the American flag:

From the bathroom I can look out and see it peeking over the roof of the church next door to my house. It’s lit from below, giving it a metallic sheen. A ship hides in the belly of the water tower.

So when I relieve myself in the middle of the night, I can look upon the modern trinity of God, UFOs, and American infrastructure.

It took way too long for me to write that.

I used to be able to write a couple pages at once, skinny-dipping into streams-of-consciousness. I’ve never considered myself a poet. More like an efficient recorder of words that come one right after another, that don’t get hung up on tiny details, that never run out of things to say. I know that stream is still there because I can reach it while dozing, not dreaming but not really awake—sometimes I can view whole pages of words, a document of the subconscious, but of course I never remember what it said.

Maybe that’s the thing. It wasn’t really about anything. The conscious mind arranges the words into meaning.

“Roygbiv” from Boards of Canada’s Music Has the Right to Children has that voice loop, the “ay” sound, and there’s no telling what the sample’s really saying, so any listener can apply their own: “hey,” “late,” “face,” “shape,” “space,” “faith,” “fate,” “lace,” the list goes on.

It’s like that with the dream text. Latent thought. Meaningless, yet.

Having a holiday named after me would be bitchen. What do Jesus Christ, Martin Luther King, Saint Patrick, and Christopher Columbus have in common?