Just bitchin'



“In like a lion; out like a lamb.”

That’s the way the month of March, that quixotic, transitional interval spanning from winter into spring ;


And HOLY CRAP!!! Just as I hit the semicolon, a huge flash and an immediate clap of thunder that made my hands jump, my cat’s tail expand to alarming proportions, and the house shake!!!

I kid you not.


So now, after a brief break while all things electrical were turned off and a barrage of hail flattened the hyacinths in my planters…now I will continue. And it seems more appropriate than ever to discuss March and its unique attributes.

I think I’ll leave the unfinished thought and improperly placed semicolon above as a tribute to the angriest month on the calendar. Maybe that slight offering will keep it from further inflicting itself on me.

What started me writing about this in the first place was my kitchen ceiling. Its disconsolate dripping is a fitting sound track. The sagging, cracking sheet-rock another testament to the birth pangs of spring. The light switch taped down to discourage inadvertently flipping it on and shorting out the kitchen light that is perilously close to the leak and thereby burning down my house is another signature of March.

I’m not a fan of the month.

But I still wonder about that ‘in like a lion’ thing.

Lions are golden and soft-furred and regal. March is dark and violent.

And ‘out like a lamb?’ Lambs are cute, but they can be messy and loud and notoriously hard to catch. (Note the hover-lamb below.)

hover lamb_1

So based on this year’s experience with the month only half over, and as a plea for the quieter, more manageable way in which I hope it will end:

March —

In like a brontosaurus; out like an arthritic vole.

In like a tsunami; out like a jar of grape jelly.

In like Trump; out like My Little Pony.

Just, please, no more shaking and roaring, okay? OKAY??


Just bitchin'

Sweating in Seattle


It has been the hottest July on record for my neck of the woods.

Those records have been kept since the late 1800s, so we in the Pacific Northwest find this newsworthy to the extent that it’s all we can discuss.

The heat.

The heat.

The heat.


Seems only appropriate that I should join the steady stream of sweat-soaked Seattleites who populate our newscasts throughout our sweltering days and torpid nights. The newscasters whose smiles at the beginning, when they announced sunshine in the forecast, are now frozen in a rictus of confused denial.

You see, we can’t admit we don’t want all this heat and light. We like the rain. We adore clouds. We bow down to fog. This unprecedented string of solar showmanship is…is…unnatural. Yet we feel we should be appreciative and brave, telling each other how beee-oooo-tiful the weather is.

We’re afraid the rest of the world will realize our unofficial state flower is mildew. Or that most of us have never found the need to have air conditioning installed. Or that we’ve never had to water our lawns to keep them green. Or that we’re in danger of crisping ourselves like bacon during the short journey across a parking lot to our cars.

This weather is untoward.

It’s not us.

And it’s never clearer than when I drive into the city and it looks deserted.

We are all clustering around the few air conditioned venues we can find. The spacious walk-in beer and wine cooler at the QFC atop Queen Anne’s Hill…packed with teetotalers and imbibers alike. The downtown library swamped with first-time patrons who didn’t realize books still exist in the sea of tablets and Kindles. The few air-conditioned buses plying their routes over melting asphalt, their drivers wondering why no one is getting off.

This is my home.

And it’s hot.

And it’s all anyone can talk about anymore.

And there’s only one way out…


…ice cream.


Just bitchin'

Midwinter Malaise


It’s like cabin fever of the soul.

But not quite.

It’s like mental nails on a mental chalkboard

But not quite.

It’s like teeth grating on the tines of a fork.

But not quite.

It’s emotional mid-winter. Grey. No end in sight. Damp and wet and squelching underfoot. Soggy and chill. It’s wanting to stay in bed all day. It’s forgetting to open the drapes, because, really, what difference does it make. It’s watching the sky drip like a suppurating wound. It’s going a little deaf from the endless rattling of the rain, the sifting of the flakes. It’s life bounded by drear, experienced in murk.

But not quite.

Out of sheer desperation you instigate paltry changes, as though doing so will make Nature take notice; will make Her speed up Her calendar and change now, change soon. As though Nature cares that you’ve hacked off your hair, or thrown out half of your possessions, or walked naked in the snow to demonstrate, if not your power, then your indifference.

As though Nature cares.

It’s breaking rules and doing things you’ll regret; regretting even as you do. It’s squinting at displays of red and pink satin hearts that try to deceive you into believing this is anything other than a time of snarling discontent.

It’s February.

It’s midwinter malaise.

It’ll pass.

Too late.

Damn that groundhog anyway.





Image: Dark Hand In A Dark Place from pulsamedia.eu