Thursday, November 16, 2006

Wait, WHAT time of year is it???

I can't believe that Thanksgiving is in a week. A week!!!

It just doesn't feel like it should be Thanksgiving yet. I think that's due, in part, to the weather here. Today I went for a walk wearing jeans, a tank top and cotton/poly turtleneck [I think - Chinese clothes don't often have labels in them]. That's it. For the middle of November??? Are we joking?

Not meaning to gloat. But heck, I don't particularly enjoy this unseasonably warm weather. It makes me worry for our little planet. In the past five years or so, I honestly can't remember a single year where the weather was predictable or even the same two years in a row, you know, where you walk out of your house and feel the way the sun soaks into your bones and think, "Yes, this is what this time of year should feel like." Year after year of anomalous weather, one year a freezing spring the next a warm spell hits in February - what's up with that?

There were times over the summer when I thought Beijing felt like Palo Alto, and back home California is having the heat wave of the millennium [luckily we aren't even ten years into the millennium so I can say that, right?] Trust me, Beijing summers are famous for being horrible, so what happened last year?

I'm no scientist or climatologist, so I won't spout off on climate change and global warming, since I don't really know what's going on and haven't looked at any of the data. But I do find it unsettling, even if it comes out in my "Hey wait a minute, how is it already Thanksgiving?" moments. Hm. Let's just all do our part and try to convince our FriendsFamilyNeighborsCoworkersBossesDogWalkers to do theirs too...

Of course, maybe the other reason is that I'm so used to the flow of holidays fitting into the rhythm of the school year, that when Thanksgiving rolls around and I'm not plain exhausted and driving myself nuts with work and pleading for a break and going on an empty tank and my eyes threaten to swell shut every morning, it just feels a little odd.

I used to think of school as akin to washing a tall tottering pile of dishes, no matter how many you washed more were added on to the pile even more quickly, and all you could do was slap-dash away and hope that you could outlast the semester and crawl in past the finish line before the stack came crashing down all over you.

Too bad I can't paint or I'd have myself a lovely little visual metaphor. Well, I'll leave you with a different vision of my upside-down-world instead ...

Lovely, just lovely. In that "NO" sort of way.

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