Weather, Crows, and Grammar


I slept until noon today. I haven’t done that in a long-ass time. I guess this cold is still lingering a bit. But that’s okay, my calendar is free for making art for the next two days and I am very excited and happy about that. I don’t usually have two whole days free and dedicated to do that.

Yet here I am writing in my blog.

But I’m getting to it. I like to write a little in the “morning,” either in my book, or on some forums I participate in (WetCanvas if you’re curious). and before that, I have my coffee and go outside and have a smoke (yes, I’m still smoking and yes I’m still full of guilt and shame because of it).

And while I was outside, I felt the beginnings of the winds that come here in Southern California, which are known as the Santa Anas. They are arriving right on time. They are here today, just barely, but I feel them. Maybe because I was expecting them. I was expecting them yesterday, or maybe the day before, but it was actually kind of gloomy, and the Santa Anas have nothing to do with humidity. For some reason today, there is a slight sense of coolness to them. But that will go away by tomorrow. I knew they were about to come because yesterday while I was working in my studio, all I could hear were the crows cawing like crazy. Instead of letting them drive me mad, I just accepted it as if they had a “nice” song like all the other birds, but that wasn’t an easy feat.

I don’t know why I am sensitive to these little changes in the air. I’ve always been a city person, but I’m in tune with this shit. Right around the 15th of October the hot winds come, the giant black crows come in murders, and the mountains light up in flame. It’s called fire season here. The humidity becomes zero by the end of October and the Santa Anas fly through the air at high speeds, making it near impossible for firefighters to keep the fires contained. It’s because it would be something natural that would happen otherwise, but we’ve built homes too close to the mountains and forest land, so that’s what we get.

Just like mud slides along the cliffs and bluffs on hillsides that aren’t bedrock – your house might slide down the hillside if it rains a lot, and you should know that going in.

We have peculiarities here in Los Angeles, and it seems like everyone is surprised each year when it all happens all over again. Like the first week of September – that is not yet fall my friends. That is still summer, and we have a heat wave every time in the first week or so of September. I have a Brazilian Pepper tree out back that lost a quarter of its branches the second week of September, just after that heat wave. That’s because we didn’t have it trimmed properly, the branches got weak from the heat and the whole thing came down. Poor tree. Now I see (and hear) the other branches weakening, but I can’t trim them until all the bees get the hell out of my yard, which won’t be until after November.

I remember going back to school that first week of September when I was a kid. Of course, that would never last. I’d inevitably be taken out of school for one reason or another, but I do remember the times when I’d get that fresh start after the summer break and newly sit in one of those Godforsaken classrooms – asbestos floors and ceilings, no A/C, and we’d all be just sweating our asses off in our new school clothes because there was a heatwave that week. We’d all have migraines, and if there was enough smog, thank goodness we’d be restricted from playing on the playground, but we’d still just have to sit still in the classroom that sometimes did and sometimes didn’t have a fan.

That’s how I remember that there’s a heatwave the first week or two in September.

Nowadays, we don’t have the kind of smog we had back then in the 70s. <– Ha! I love how now when you type 1970s or 50s instead of 60’s in your browsers, email, Google, etc., you will get a red underline. Who in God’s name programmed these grammar functions? Did you know that putting a ‘ before the s after the year is absolutely incorrect? Don’t take my word for it. Just ask the Harvard Linguistics authority I learned it from on KCRW a couple of years ago. Also, something I never needed a Harvard pussy to tell me: please resort to you Strunk and White (the above is also probably in there too): ANY TIME you use quotes, please stop putting your punctuation after the quotes! It’s not correct. Like “when you do this”, this is not right. “this is,” right. No matter what.

I am done with my grammar and weather lessons for the day. Onto art.

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