December 13, 2001
Weather Vein



The KRON TV-4 Weather Puppet is feeling a 'funny twinge in her knee' this morning. 

"That's how I know a storm is heading for the Bay Area later today," she tells her television audience earnestly. "And it feels like it's going to be a BIG one."

While this unscientific approach to meteorological forecasting is certain to irritate the weather geeks and the cynics in the audience (read this: Ю僱êrvØ¡), those of us with open minds and our moons in Pisces (read this: me) understand exactly what The TV Weather Puppet is talking about. 

It's a proven fact: there are people who experience definite, specific physical weirdness, whenever the weather is changing ... especially when it's about to change in dramatic fashion. For some, it's a twinge in the knee. Others report a throbbing elbow or a singing wisdom tooth. I had a boyfriend once who swore he lost hair whenever an electrical storm was on the way. (Of course, he said the exact same thing when a heatwave was on the way ... or a blizzard, or an earthquake, or a four-way stop. But still. It sort of explains why he never left the apartment without his 49'ers cap, doesn't it?)

As for me ... *I* have a weather vein.

On the top of my right hand, just below the index knuckle, is a small gnarled lump of scar tissue, the result of a botched IV insertion attempt during a Tot birth. (As I recall, threading that fudking vein hurt worse than all three Tot Births PUT TOGETHER.) The wound hardened into a knot almost immediately, and it remained hypersensitive for years afterward. At some point while the Tots were growing up, we all realized that the scar on Mommy's hand would grow especially huge and throbbing, a day or two before it snowed in TicTac. Thanks to my weather vein, I was able to accurately predict The Big Snow of November 1985 ... The Big Snow of February 1988 ... The Not-So- Big (But We All Called In "Sick" Anyway) Snow of January 1989 ... ad infinitum. (I screwed up The Big Snow of November 1996, but that's because I was drunk in a chat room and wasn't paying attention.) Occasionally the weather vein reports something other than an impending snowstorm -- an overnight freeze, for instance, or an especially chilly rainstorm -- or an ice cream headache -- but most of the time it specializes in snow.

Of course, I haven't had a lot of opportunity to use the weather vein since I moved to CALIFORNIA.  I long ago reconciled myself to the fact that as long as I am married to David -- and as long as the two of us live in California -- I'm never again going to wake up to a backyard filled with freshly-fallen snow. (The only "white stuff" I'm likely to find on the ground around here is goose poop.) Once in a while the weather vein still pops up -- like a thermometer popping out of a Butterball turkey -- whenever a high pressure system is building over the Bay Area. It happened this morning, as a matter of fact, which sort of supports the KRON TV-4 Weather Puppet's theory that we're heading into another weekend of big storms and small commutes. But the rest of the time, being able to predict a snowstorm is sort of like having a purseful of Taco Time coupons: they're both absolutely worthless in Alameda.

But that's OK. I seem to have acquired a handful of other interesting clairvoyant abilities, somewhere along the way. In fact, I'm beginning to think that my entire almost-44-year-old body is turning into nothing more than one big precognitive receptor. I mean ... how else can you explain the way my heart starts beating sideways whenever the telephone rings at 2 a.m.? Or the way my forehead breaks out into one big cystic zit, the day before we're invited to dinner with the in-laws?

Or how about the way that ALL of my most important nerve endings stand at attention when David lights the bedside candle?

Granted, this talent for predicting the smaller events of my immediate future isn't going to make me rich or famous or get me on Oprah anytime soon.That will have to wait until the release of *FootNotes: The Movie.* (Which, my twitching left eyebrow is predicting, will do boffo box office in Wichita, New Jersey and Loo-uh-ville, but will tank harder than the Hindenburg in Pittburgh, PA.) My precognitive powers, including my weather vein, are too weak and too specialized to be of much good to the rest of the world, I'm afraid.

Although I would probably make one hell of a Weather Puppet.

At the NORTH POLE.


tell 'em secra sent you

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~ nil bastardum carborundum ~

ok. i made up the part about the 'moon in pisces.'
i have NO IDEA where my moon is.
i'm just checking to see if my mom -- or sally -- are reading tonight.