Helping You Get the Most Out of Your Misery






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Friday, August 11, 2006


You're Thor? I'm Tho Thor I Can't Even Pith!

It's a beautiful, beautiful day in New York. A wonderful cool breeze is blowing through my apartment, meaning sweet, sweet relief from an air-conditioning-inflated electric bill. It's cool enough that I can enjoy coffee again! It's so incredibly nice out because we had one hell of a storm blow through last evening.

The weatherfolk had forecast a "chance of thunderstorms", but we got something a bit more intense than I'd expected. When I walked our dogs last night, there was a police emergency crew on my block taking a chainsaw to a tree that had been blown apart and blocked the street. This morning, in the park, I saw that huge streams of water had swept away great chunks of dirt and wood chips from one of my favorite spots and that there was another downed tree.

And during this storm, I was sitting inside the apartment, watching the rain splash against the window. Which makes me feel old.

Now, see if you can follow my warped, moronic logic on this:

I love storms. When I was a kid, they scared the living shit out of me. I was petrified that I was going to be struck by lightning or that a tornado was going to swoop down out of the smallest storm cloud and smash my body into paste. I remember one time waking up in the middle of the night, looking out the window of my bedroom and thinking that a couple of tree branches were actually a funnel cloud. I ran through the house, waking my family up and yelling for them to join me in the basement.

Then, when I was about thirteen, we moved to the former campground where my grandparents lived. That summer, I rode out a storm with my grandpa in a tin-roofed pavilion. My grandpa was having a great time, watching the lightning, staying dry in the center of the pavilion as the rain blew in through the open sides and soaked the floor. The sound the rain made pounding on the roof is one of my favorite noises to this day. It was awesome. And I learned that storms are natural and beautiful and--as long as you don't do anything too stupid--enjoyable.

It changed my outlook on things. Instead of running for a bomb shelter the first time I saw a flash of lightning, I learned to look forward to storms. I learned that, in the words of the immortal Eddie Rabbit, "I love a rainy night."

I remember a storm when I was in college. There was massive flooding and a friend of mine and I decided to go splash around in a newly-created roadside lake. It was a great time.

On our honeymoon, my wife and I got wetter than I thought humanly possible while walking in the park by our hotel during a Montreal gullywasher.

But last night, when this storm was blowing through, instead of running downstairs to check it out; instead of going outside to marvel at the power of nature; instead of celebrating the glory of Thor, God of Thunder; instead of standing in the middle of the maelstrom and reminding myself that I'm alive; I sat on my fat ass watching South Park and eating pizza. What the hell's wrong with me?

I'll tell you what the hell's wrong with me: I'm so fucking whiny and self-absorbed that I actively look for signs of my own decrepitude. Is it that bad a thing that I don't stay out all night anymore? Is it that bad a thing that I don't get high anymore? Is it that bad a thing that I'd rather finish my delicious home-made pizza than rush outside and get my clothes all wet and then have to change into something dry before I can finish my pizza? Probably not. Probably, it's okay. Probably it's not a sign that I'm ready to lie pissing myself in a nursing home bed.

Still, maybe next time I'll put South Park on pause.