Dead Or Alive

I wake up, roll over, and cough six times. This doesn’t feel like coughing, really; more like loud yawning. It serves as a reminder, is all, that I’ve been a little sick and I should remember that, not get all frisky just because I’m sleeping (finally) through the night and not lumbering around from chair to chair.

I noticed the cough this morning, same as the past couple of mornings, residua from what seems to be about 10 days of an annoying cold. I mention that number because I got one of those Fitbit emails yesterday, the ones they send out once a week with your stats, all cheery and gung-ho, telling you how the exercise program has been going and this one left out the exercise part.

I mean, I looked for a minute. It was not there. That’s because I haven’t moved enough in the past week to warrant logging it as exercise. This also makes perfect sense. I think I’ve been pretty sensible about all of this. It helps that I don’t have an office to worry about infecting, or other absolutely necessary appointments that needed to be made. Except for a couple of days when I virtually couldn’t type—just couldn’t get the right keys in the right combinations—I could at least do some work from the desktop here.

Ten days, two weeks; sounds about right. This has been such a big nothing in terms of illness, but also worth paying attention to, I guess. I bake so much that I’m a chronic hand-washer, but I could do better, especially in the winter.

And I need to start exercising again, just as soon as this weather warms up just a teeny bit. That may not happen for a few days, as it turns out.

So, let me explain, quickly and simply. I live in the Pacific Northwest. Arctic air often flows down south from, you know, the Arctic. It tends to split off and wander over to Minnesota, but sometimes we get some cold. Mostly we’re mild here, because we live next to the Pacific Ocean, which is warm. It mediates our weather; it is our weather. The Pacific, and then these two mountain ranges we sit between.

A storm rolls in from the Pacific, bringing lots of moisture and wind. At the same time, we get an Arctic blast that sweeps through British Columbia and the Fraser River Valley down in our direction. Wet, warm weather system hits dry, cold one.

Everything depends. That’s why snow is such a big deal up here. It might stay cold long enough for that moisture to fall as snow. It might warm up too fast and just be rain (most of the time). To be cold and wet at the same time (as opposed to feeling cold and wet) is rare, it just is.

So while our snow on Sunday afternoon was predicted, there was a lot of uncertainty. Most models were going up to 1-2 inches, but were cautious about it. It pays to be cautious.

View from my bedroom window

View from my bedroom window

I believe they got about 1-2 inches in Seattle proper, in fact. More like 8 inches here, and more a little to the northeast. Craziness for us. I can’t find any boots, for one thing, either my long rubbers or my snow boots, because when you use something once every few years, maybe it tends to get lost. So I only walked around the yard a bit until those 20 degrees F. and the wind seemed a bit much, and my jeans were soaked. The snow came up nearly to my knees.

And here’s the treat—they’re projecting another storm, with more snow, maybe much more snow, showing up around Friday. That’s three days away, and things can change in three days, but this might get interesting.


I wrote a couple of pieces in the past two weeks about Groundhog Day and my affection for that film, and its implications. I think I just admire that particular form of creativity, when you come up with an interesting idea and then get to see all the fun stuff that eventually spills out.

And I’ve been mentioning The Good Place a lot, which just finished its third season, another kind of loop situation in which characters have to fix themselves—or at least achieve a level of awareness—before they can get to where they’re going.

Of course, in that show they’re all dead. It’s a given. From the beginning. I’m not sure the show ends up with them all being alive again (although, in this show, I wouldn’t be too sure).

So I feel very self-conscious about mentioning that I binged through Forever, the Amazon Prime series that showed up a few months ago, quietly. The episodes are short and there were only 8-10 of them; took no time at all. It has Maya Rudolph and for some reason I love Maya Rudolph (she’s also in The Good Place). It also features Fred Armisen, who worked quite a bit with Rudolph on SNL and of course has his own little small series, Portlandia, although I’m not sure that’s still around.

Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph in “Forever” (Amazon Prime)

Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph in “Forever” (Amazon Prime)

Anyway. Maya and Fred, and this is sort of a spoiler, are also dead. If you’re seeing a theme here, I’m also seeing it and worrying, just a little.

The appeal isn’t a mystery. All three of these (Groundhog Day included with the two series) are about the deadening of routine, and that’s a big subject for me. Big. Ol’. Subject.

At any rate, I can recommend Forever at least for being brief and interesting, if maybe a little dull and also maybe an idea that wandered out of its lane. But Maya is wonderful.

Chuck SigarsComment