Thursday Things

1. Oh, I had the most wonderful afternoon Tuesday at work. Someone I had emailed mentioned Pines of Rome in their signature, and I thought, “Gosh, I haven’t listened to Pines of Rome in forever. To YouTube!”

GAHHHHHHHHHHHH that last movement.

A couple weeks back when mentioning my eclectic music tastes I completely failed to mention my deep love for orchestral/classical music, particularly that of the early 20th century, particularly particularly that of the early 20th century that prominently features brass (trumpeter fo’ lyfe right here. Have I mentioned that I played the trumpet for 12 years? I played the trumpet for 12 years, in case you didn’t know, and on the continuum of “my parents forced me to do this” to “I don’t ever want a steady income; I just want to play my trumpet forever,” I was firmly in the “I can excel at this, and therefore I shall, until I tire of caring,” camp. First chair for three years in high school and a three-time State Solo & Ensemble participant, thanks for asking *brushes shoulder off* [actually, that’s a whole other story I’ll have to tell some other time. It may or may not involve a temper tantrum.]).


My parents never listened to “popular” music when I was growing up, so as a kid, I was exclusively exposed to classical music, which, combined with 12 years of band and six years of piano lessons, probably has a lot to do with my lifelong appreciation for it. As I think we’ve solidly established by this point, I really, really love music in general, but there’s something about classical music that stirs my soul unlike any other genre. I…hated theory as a piano student, so I can’t talk in official terms, but certain chord progressions (like those in the last movement of Pines of Rome from 3:45 to 4:05, for example), and even more so, chord suspensions where it sounds like the music is practically breathing, simultaneously break and swell my heart in the most satisfying and painful way AND I LOVE IT. Cannot get enough.

For your listening pleasure and/or cultural enrichment, a few of my faves:

(Okay, let’s be honest: pretty much the entire Fantasia 2000 soundtrack is ah-mazing in my humble opinion. Except maybe Pomp & Circumstance, but I only have a grudge against that song because I played it so. many. times. in high school and college. And I guess I really only have a grudge against the traditional graduation march part of it, not the whole thing.)

In other news, I should probably look into getting tickets to the CSO, since I’ve haven’t been at all since I moved to Chicago, and that’s pretty unacceptable at this point.

2. Raise your hand if you’re a weather nerd!

*Looks around; sees she is in the minority*

Well then.

I’ve had a pretty much lifelong fear of severe weather, and I’ve always kind of operated under the “know thy enemy” principle when it comes to severe weather. I have more weather apps on my phone than any non-meteorologist has any right to have (and I have Opinions on said weather apps, namely, that is crap, and I will ABSOLUTELY judge you if you trust it, because that means, in no uncertain terms, that you are an idiot. Sorry not sorry. AccuWeather, people. Know it, use it, believe it. This is one of my personal crusades in life.). From about April through November, I spent an embarrassing amount of time on the Storm Prediction Center’s website, studying/obsessing over its Day 1 and Day 2 Convective Outlooks for severe weather and reading through the expanded text version of said convective outlooks. Like I said, know thy enemy.

We’re supposed to have some pretty nasty weather today, and as such the SPC and I reunited earlier this week. I was surprised–nay, thrilled–to see that sometime between the last time I visited and Monday, they had done a bit of updating.

Screen shot 2015-04-08 at 10.00.40 PM

Back in the old days, the SPC had four categories on its map: green, which meant there was a chance of thunderstorms of any variety in the shaded area; yellow, which meant there was a slight chance of severe weather in the shaded area; red, which meant there was a moderate chance of severe weather in the shaded area; and…whatever color high was, which meant there was a high chance of severe weather in the shaded area (in my SPC stalking, I’ve only ever seen “high” used twice: once in October 2010 and once in November 2013. And yes, I remember both storms, and exactly how I handled them, in excruciating detail, in case you’re interested). But now, they’ve added “marginal,” which is below “slight,” and “enhanced,” which is between “slight” and “moderate.” AND I AM THRILLED.

Here was my beef with the SPC’s convective outlook: for one thing, I found the terminology misleading. “High” did not mean that the predicted severe weather would necessarily be devastating. It simply meant that there was a really, really, REALLY good chance that there would be severe weather – and realistically, it doesn’t take much to make a thunderstorm severe (58 mph winds OR 1 inch hail OR a funnel cloud OR any combination of the above. It’s the wind that’ll often do it.). But when you here “high risk of severe weather,” what do you think? Do you think “high chance of 58 mph or faster winds?” No. You think “SUPER TORNADO.” And I find that to be problematic for thing #2: fear-mongering in meteorology. AccuWeather, for as much as I love and adore them, are the champions of fear-mongering when it comes to weather reporting, and I have a major problem with this, both for personal reason (I don’t like having my anxiety stirred up for nothing) and for public safety/boy-who-cried-wolf reasons (how many times have you heard a weather report that basically predicted the end of the world and then resulted in a drizzle, or, even worse, nothing at all? And how many times have you brushed off meteorologists as useless because “the weatherman is always wrong”? Right. That’s a problem, because sometimes, meteorologists ARE right, and you know when a lot of people die at the hand of severe weather? When they don’t know a storm is coming – or worse, don’t trust the meteorologist who says the storm is coming.)

Anyway, I’m really excited about these updates, and I hope it leads to more responsible reporting. Also, if anyone needs me this afternoon, I’ll probably be hiding in my basement, cursing the Midwest and looking at apartments in California, where they have nothing but sunshine (and wildfires and earthquakes, but whatever.), because damn do I hate spring and summer and fall around here. Thunderstorm-free winter forever, plz.

3. I am the only female I know that is not pregnant. Okay, fine, that’s not exactly true, but HOLY SMOKES does it feel that way. I counted earlier this week: of the 30 bloggers who regularly post that I have in my Bloglovin’ feed, six of them are pregnant, which is a solid 20%. And let’s not even get started on my Facebook friends (#westmichiganproblems). I stopped counting there, because I swear, every single day someone else announces their pregnancy. Unlike engagements, these Facebook posts don’t cause me to seethe with jealousy, because if there is anything I do NOT want before I’m old enough to rent a car at a reasonable rate, it’s a child, but good heavens is it overwhelming – not necessarily because it’s happening, but more because it’s all happening at once. Like zero to 60 in the space of…six months? Maybe?

Classical music fans?
Are YOU pregnant? I’m kidding. Kind of.

18 thoughts on “Thursday Things

  1. Ha! #WestMichiganProblems… I have noticed that people tend to have kids early in that neck of the woods! And yeah, you are so right! Besides me, two of my best friends are pregnant, so many bloggers I read and a lot of Facebook friends are pregnant as well. It’s everywhere!

    • Marry early, have babies early…different world back home! To each his/her own, I suppose. That’s exciting that a lot of people you know are pregnant, though! I imagine it’s nice to have people who can really understand what you’re going through 🙂

  2. I”m a weather nerd too haha I’m actually my roommates’ and boyfriend’s personal weathergirl. They literally ask me every day what the weather will be like. I just like to know! And as a lifeguard for 8 years, I pay close attention to details like that.
    And yes to the pregnancy. I don’t plan on popping out kids for a longgggg time (or ever, but I think my grandmother would be really upset about that so maybe I’ll change my mind when I’m a real adult) but I keep seeing it all over my blog feed too. My “real life” friends aren’t at that point yet thankfully but since I’m one of the younger bloggers out there, I feel like I’m playing the “who’s next” game. Better them than me, that’s all I can say.

    • Yay fellow weather nerd! I would imagine that’d become second nature after spending so much time lifeguarding.

      I swear, all my real life friends (“friends”, really…to call them actual friends would be awfully generous, since I haven’t spoken to most of these people in years haha) got pregnant at the exact same time. I mean, it makes sense – they all got married at the same time, too, so it’s not surprising that they’d all get pregnant at the same time, but that doesn’t make it any less overwhelming!

  3. Not pregnant over here! Zero chances of that, thank goodness. But, yes, I saw at least two announcements this week.

    Do you have feelings on Weather Underground? That’s what I use. Although, my mother in law used to work for the National Weather Service so that’s where she goes for her weather reporting.

    • I actually like Weather Underground! I think I gravitate towards AccuWeather since I’m used to their interface/reporting, but I trust Weather Underground. I suppose the only thing I have major strong feelings against is Weather Channel. Utterly useless, in my experience.

  4. I check the weather every morning. Um I know SO many people that are pregnant too. I’m still in the phase where all my friends are engaged or married, but still. People are popping out babies left and right all over the place.

    • A lot of people I went to school with all got married straight out of college, so a fair number of them have been married for almost three full years at this point, making the baby boom not all *that* surprising. I still didn’t expect so much all at once, though!

  5. Lol I’m proud to say I’m not pregnant! Woot woot!

    You ARE a weather nerd! that was quite the rant hahaha. I loved the weather last night/this morning. I had the day off so I’ve been in bed all day and it’s been PERFECT 🙂

    • Hahaha way to go, girl! Congrats on being in the not-pregnant club with me 😛

      Funny story: I was SO exhausted last night that I slept like a complete rock and had NO idea that it stormed at all! Until this morning, that is, when I walked outside and saw hail all over the ground O.O

  6. I am not pregnant! But I can think of at least three bloggers that are pregnant (Katie, Sara, and Valerie). Who else do you know that is?

    YES on the classical music and parents not listening to popular music when I was growing up. I played the piano and the flute, and was in band and orchestra throughout junior high, high school, and college. I do enjoy listening to classical music when I am running – I feel like it uses a different part of my brain and helps keep me balanced, you know?

    Oh my goodness! If you haven’t seen the CSO, then it’s time to go to Ravinia (their summer home) and see them there!!! Speaking of which, Ravinia is hosting a CSO Fantasia concert on July 12!!!!

    • Katie is the only local blogger I know who’s pregnant. The other ones all live all around the country – Julie (Peanut Butter Fingers), Melissa (Freeing Imperfections), Kristin (Glitter & Dust) and Becky (Olives ‘n Wine).

      Oh SNAP. CSO + Ravinia + Fantasia sounds like someone dreamed that up just for me! I’ll have to look into that.

  7. Matt is our resident weather expert. I think he uses the National Weather Service, but I’m not sure. He is always really interested in the rainfall and ground moisture levels because that can directly affect his work! I just want to know what the temperature will be so I can dress appropriately.

    The tornados were actually really close to his work last night so I am glad they happened after he was gone for the day!

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