Sunday, February 10, 2008


Our weather station says the wind chill is 40 below this morning and we're starting to feel despair. I heard GK on the radio yesterday say that some Minnesotans go to warm climates during the winter but he thinks its better to suffer despair quietly in your own home than to go somewhere and hope things will be better when you come back. Something like that. I liked the part about despair. Below zero wind chills are what make us appreciate spring and summer so much.

We're carb loading again today with pancakes for breakfast and pasta for dinner because a guy can't survive in weather like this on salads. You could take the trash can down to the curb, slip on the ice, and that would be it. At least with pancakes in your belly you might survive long enough for the next car to come down the street and see you there like a popsicle in the snow bank.

Tom's making pasta sauce and meatballs. After I announced that I hate those little frozen meatballs, he said he had planned to try and fool me. Ha! I had those meatballs once in a nice restaurant to which I will never return. The same place that served me a French dip on a (you know the expletive) wiener bun. This restaurant has had several inexplicable fires over the years so I'd say they are getting their just desserts for trying to slip fake meatballs past discerning customers like me. And the wiener bun, well, there is no punishment evil enough for that sin.

We're spending another day hunkered down. I haven't had sandals on since October and my feet are crying out to be liberated. In the last few winters, we've had a few warm stretches where you could actually get by with sandals on a sunny afternoon without looking like a complete nut. One of the good things about global warming, sorry Al. Not this year. I've been in wool socks and boots for weeks and it doesn't look like a break any time soon. If you haven't looked at the prediction for next Friday night, the wind chill might reach 55 (you know the expletive) degrees below zero.

A very good book to recommend: Pretty Birds by Scott Simon. Here's a snip from a review:

Young women served as snipers for both Bosnian and Serbian forces during the siege of Sarajevo; Simon, a prize-winning correspondent and NPR Weekend Edition host, interviewed one of them and has masterfully imagined her life.

The book begins with half-Muslim Irena, 17, perched on a rooftop, wearing a black ski mask, sighting down a rifle and listening to a sneering Serbian propagandist on the radio ("The Yanks send you food Americans wouldn't give to their dogs") before she pulls the trigger. Simon then flashes back to the spring of 1992, when Irena, her parents and her parrot, Pretty Bird, must flee their home on the mostly Serb side of the city. When they make it (barely) to her grandmother's apartment, they find her slain on the staircase.

Simon's account of the family's refugee life—sans water, electricity and supplies, they eat snail-and-grass soup—is full of brilliant details ranging from the comic to the heartbreaking. When a former assistant principal spots Irena, once a high school basketball star, he offers her a job that quickly has her recruited, indoctrinated and trained in deception and weaponry. That's when the action really begins to move along.

Pretty Bird is released for mercy's sake, flies to his old home and is caught by Amela—a Christian and Irena's former classmate and teammate—who concocts a devious and difficult plan to return him to her friend. A deeply felt, boldly told story and clean, forceful prose distinguish this striking first novel.

Stay warm today, friends. Babies especially, Miles!


Anonymous said...

55 degrees below zero next Friday?? Who is this weather man you're listening to and where does he live?? I need to find him and leave a poopy diaper on his door step.

Jill said...

Gees, Teresa, I'd think after reading an exhausting and violent-sounding book like Pretty Bird you'd think MN deep-freeze temperatures are a party on the beach and you might even give Tom the go-ahead for those little frozen meatballs!