Sunday, February 10, 2008


We have high winds buffeting the area around This Nation's Capital tonight. The temperature has taken a fairly dramatic nosedive (I heard we should expect it to sink to 15F later today) and it's a fine day to stay indoors. Unless you are draped to the gills in warm layers and just love getting swept off your feet in a cloud of broken tree branches, that is.

After running a couple of quick errands this afternoon, I stopped to drink a cup of coffee and read the newspaper in my car outside a strip mall. In the middle of one mighty blast of arctic air, I felt this incredible impact with my bumper. Oh crap, I thought, someone hit me again?!? I turned to see a wide-eyed kid more or less spreadeagled across the trunk of my car. Two of his friends stood a few feet away, marveling at the situation. More than a little freaked out, I jumped out and asked the kid, who had to be around 12 or 13, if he was okay. He pulled his skinny self up off my car and patted down his body. "Yeah, I think so! Man, that was wild!" His friends were in appropriate awe of the power of Mutha Nature. "Duuuude, you were flying!" Laughing, they headed off down the Pike. I pretty much decided that was a sign from the heavens that I should just head home.

I intended to spend the afternoon down shooting photographs of the Chinese New Year celebrations in the District, but having just recovered from a lingering lung ailment, I figured I'd rather not roll the respiratory health dice again quite so soon. So, instead, here I am, in the failing light, watching "Helvetica", the documentary tribute to that most ubiquitous of fonts.

And I am not alone.

The wind has thrown someone else temporarily into my household. Well, if you count the balcony.

There is a large, unhappy owl tucked into the far corner of my balcony, hooting like crazy, raging away at the sky. He's taken refuge under a small table I use when I'm potting my portulacas in the springtime. If I could get a good angle before the sun vanishes, I would snap a photo of him, but I really can't get the angle unless I open the balcony door, and, oh brother, that would be a mistake. I know my luck and tendency to be drawn into bizarre mishaps. Imagine me chasing an angry owl through my apartment! Thank ya very much - I'll pass.

Sure, I could go outside and snap a photo, but that would require the rebundling of the currently warm and unshod body. I'm in for the night. And my feathery alarm system will surely keep me updated on the wind situation. He's better than that National Weather Service.

If I still have power in a couple of hours, maybe I'll watch the Grammy Awards. Curious to see if Amy Winehouse will be sober on her satellite feed from London. And, if Kanye doesn't sweep every category, will he have one of his now-traditional award show tantrums?

Eh, who gives a hoot?


Sudiegirl said...

Is "potting my portulacas" a euphemism for something?

Just wonderin'.

Janet Kincaid said...

That poor owl. Did s/he survive the night? That was one blustery bit of... erm... blusteriness we had going on there!