December 01, 2005

Stormy weather.

I used the verb "to howl" repeatedly on Tuesday. It may have been misapplied.

I was explaining, or complaining, to two architects about the situation in which they'd put me. It involved things they didn't tell me we'd need, and the unreasonable expenses involved in last-minute rush orders. When this happens, the office manager finds out and howls at me. Howls, I told them.

Please note that today's weather in San Francisco is heavy wind and rain. That's heavy wind, and intermittently heavy rain. It's not raining just now, but an hour ago it was coming down in buckets, barrels, swimming pools and the occasional medium-sized lake. The wind, for its part, has been ceaseless. People skulk down the street shielding their umbrellas with their bodies to stop them from turning inside-out. My co-workers have been staggering in the front door with their coats billowing around them like warm, comfortable airfoils.

There's a gap around the front door somewhere, and the wind has been whistling in it all day. It stops, it starts, it rises to a shriek, it subsides, it starts in low again, and so on. I keep thinking of The Secret Garden; when the little girl hears the sick boy upstairs moaning to himself, the nurse insists desperately that it's "just the wind, wuthering across the moors." Well, either there's a spoiled invalid in our attic too, or this suburban San Francisco street can wuther as well as any moor could hope to do.

Now we're howling.

Posted by dianna at December 1, 2005 03:24 PM

When I visited Chicago there was a corner right near my hotel, I believe the intersection of Michigan and Delaware Avenues, where, thanks to a combination of extraordinarily high buildings and the lake three blocks in either directions (three blocks east and three blocks north), wind came whipping in through the building-created wind tunnel from two directions, creating a powerful whirlwind almost all the time. As soon as you entered that intersection the wind would either blow you forward or backward, and it was a mighty effort to resist.

My visit to Chicago is why I now own warm gloves; even in the post-thaw early spring, the ambient temperature coupled with the wind meant I could only stay outdoors about 10 minutes at a time before my digits became numb and threatened to fall off.

Posted by: Zach S. at December 1, 2005 07:46 PM