Displaying articles for: February 2013

Winter Weather Advisory Mathilda

Meteorologists have reported that a perhaps potentially dangerous weather pattern is developing over the mountains in the western part of the state. A Winter Storm Warning, which local weather officials have named "Doreen," has gone into effect for several counties. ( While typically only storms themselves have been named, we at alarmistweather.com agree that Warnings and Watches, a crucial part of weather panic, deserve some recognition as well.)

Snow is expected to begin falling sometime after 10am in affected areas, and may continue for up to several minutes. As ground temperatures are in the  40s, the snow is not expected to stick to roadways and overpasses, but it will definitely still fall on them.

Snow will also fall on cars, and may stick to them. Snow will likely stick to most cars, but it will only really stand out on darker cars. Owners of white cars are advised to keep in mind that the snow on their cars might be difficult to see—but that it may still be present. Windshields with snow accumulated on them may be difficult for drivers to see out of—in such cases, using windshield wipers is advised. This may be done while driving.

Snow may also stick to and accumulate on raised, grassy areas and outdoor patio furniture—one of the consequences of your not having heeded Patio Furniture Advisory Jim-Bob last fall. Snow may also accumulate on pets that are sent outdoors; it will be particularly visible and cute on dark-colored pets. Please send your photos of pets with snow on their noses to  PetSnowNoses@alarmistweather.com. We’ll post our favorites on our website! But above all, according to Pet Nag Fido, defrost and dry your pet before allowing it to track through the kitchen and climb on the sofa

Overall snow accumulation during this putative storm is expected to be as much as .025 inch in some areas. Tiny, misshapen, dirt-filled snowmen may be formed using this snow by children under the age of six who were too young to remember the Great Letdown of ’10, which we herewith retroactively name Fizzle),and  during which much of the state was perhaps not blanketed but certainly coverleted with over ½” of snow. Effusive praise of these snowmen is not recommended, as it will only encourage these children to hope vainly for more snow, which is unlikely to occur during the remainder of their childhoods. Send photos of your children’s snowmen, such as they are, to NiceTry@alarmistweather.com.

Please be advised that snow may also accumulate on trees, park benches, and hydrants, and that birds and other wildlife may be seen foraging through the snow for food, even as it continues to snow. Our official position about this matter is that they are funny that way.

Residents are encouraged to race to the nearest grocery store to purchase mass quantities of milk and bread prior to the onset of remotely-possibly-hazardous weather. The more milk and bread your household has stockpiled, the safer your family will be during Winter Storm Warning Doreen. In the event that you encounter other residents at the grocery store who are also attempting to stock up on milk and bread, do not succumb to the tempation to share, especially if you are bigger than they are.
Standing outside in the snow while it is actively snowing is not encouraged, although you should be warned that if you do this, and look straight up into the sky, it will look like the snowflakes are huge and are coming right at you really fast!  Generally, snow will not accumulate on stuck-out tongues.

In the event that no snow occurs, residents are still urged to seek shelter, just in case. Finally, please be advised that temperatures are expected to reach the 50s tomorrow. No Watch or Warning is in effect at this time, but if there is one -- a Tornado Watch, say -- it is tentatively named Tornado Watch "‘Bradley," unless it turns out to look more like a girl tornado, in which case it will be Tornado Watch Meghan.


Molly Schoemann writes humor and satire and always stocks up on milk and bread, just in case. Her work can be found at mollyschoemann.com.


The Bridesmaid's Tale


No, I'm not the bride. She should be here any—


I'm not sure. I think it's the “Pollyanna.” And I believe the color is “Bahama Breeze.” Is that available in—ah, I see. Well, I don't know. I suppose “Tahitian Sky” might be—I mean, it looks pretty similar, but—yes, I guess we'd better wait for the bride.


Well, I usually wear a 6, but I know these dresses—yes, of course. Oh, you do measurements here? Perfect. Sure, I can just—two inches “over” in the hips? What does that mean?


I wasn't planning to do a juice cleanse, no. I guess I could stand to hit the gym a little more often. I go to Pilates twice a week, and—no, Pilates isn't the gym. Yes, I understand it's not an aerobic workout. Do you think I can get away with an 8? Oh. Okay.


No, I understand. I'll take the 10.


Shoes? I don't know. I think she said something about open-toed pumps. In pale gold or neutral?


An up-do. With plenty of spray, to hold the shape—it's in July. Yes, very humid.


I guess I will need a good concealer. I'm not really much of a makeup—well, no, I wouldn't want my “face” to melt. I do want to look nice in the pictures. Look, I really just need your help with finding the dress, so maybe—


Hair, nails, and makeup are at 7:30 that morning. The ceremony's at 2.


Yes, I bite them. Filthy habit, I know. Since the sixth grade, but I read in Cosmo that short nails are in now so—


Oh, I don't know. Something metallic? Silvery pink? Or pink-y silver? Sparkly but not vulgar, she said. I wasn't worried about calling attention to my hands, but now—Azature? No, I'm not familiar with their “Butterfly Wing”collection. I don't even know what— Do you think Duane Reade—? Of course not. Where's the nearest—Madison and—? That's an hour from here! I'm sure it is the best.


You're right, it's a once-in-a-lifetime event. At least I hope it is, ha ha. Please don't tell her I said that.


So how much will the dress actually—? $539—that's with the alterations? Before the alterations. Okay. And with tax it's—?


Well, that's more than I was expecting, but—no, I don't have any cash. I can give you a— Oh. Am Ex only? I may need to call—


I'd really prefer not to come back here again tomorrow. Well, no, I'm not working, but—


Am I seeing—? As a matter of fact, I am—about six months. I'm thirty.  3-0. Yes, I guess six months is longer at thirty than it is when you're—but we're not quite ready to—oh? You did? After four months? Thirteen years and counting. Well. You can't argue with that. Yes, of course, when you know, you know, but don't you think—


The bride? She's five years younger than me, so twenty-five.


They met on OkCupid. O-K C-U-P-I-D. It's an online—no, I don't think it's just for freaks. A lot of people these days—when I wasn't with someone, I— There's nothing wrong with asking someone out at the grocery store, but that kind of thing just never seemed to happen to—


Do I think who's “The One”? Oh! Well, he's wonderful, but—


Do I hope I'm the one to catch—? I don't think she's doing that. The bouquet, that's right, I don't think she—yes, I know it's a tradition.


Well, yes, sure, I guess if she throws it, I'll try to catch it. It certainly can't hurt.




Raina Lipsitz edits short stories about herself and others at imaginarymoney.com. Her writing has appeared in The Atlantic, The Brooklyn Rail, McSweeney's, and Nerve.com.


The Twentysomething’s Guide To Cooking

Okay, everyone, we’re going to start out with something nice and simple: pasta with marinara sauce. Here we go:


1.      Open a box of pasta.

2.      What do you mean you don’t have pasta?

3.      Yeah, I know “mom used to buy the pasta,” but we don’t live with mom anymore, remember? That’s why we’re all here.

4.      And it used to be shaped like dinosaurs, yes, I remember.

5.      You know that dinosaur-shaped pasta still exists, right? And that you can go out to a grocery store and buy it because you’re an adult, and you get to decide what you eat now?

6.      Well, sure, technically “deciding” that you’re just going to keep letting your mom cook for you counts as a decision, but doesn’t she live, like, two hours away now? Don’t you think that would be kind of a burden on her?

7.      “Knowing that her son still needs her is the greatest gift a boy can give to his mother?” Did you actually just say that? You know this is a cooking class, right? Not a Psycho remake?

8.      The Psycho remake was terrible, I agree. Still can’t believe someone thought Vince Vaughn could pull off Norman Bates.

9.      The type of relationship that I have with my mother is not the issue here, ok? The issue is that, when I sent out the email welcoming everyone to the group, I specifically wrote, “Please bring a box of pasta and a jar of marinara sauce to our first class.”

10.  Well, if it was so hard to find, how come everyone else brought one?

11.  Jerry didn’t bring one because he’s… Well, he’s going through some stuff right now, and pasta isn’t as cheap as it used to be.

12.  I “favor” Jerry? I bring in one extra box of pasta for a guy who told me before class that he got laid off two weeks ago, and you think that means I “favor” him? Geez, sorry for showing some compassion for the less fortunate, Speaker Boehner.

13.  It is too pronounced “Boner.” Stop kidding yourself.

14.  Oh, crap. Jerry, I’m sorry. Come on, man, don’t leave! No one cares that you lost your job! You’re at an adult cooking class at a community college, for Pete’s sake! You think the rest of us have our lives together any more than you do?

15.  Well, great, there goes Jerry. He was two credits away from graduating. Nice work, moron.

16.  Yes, you earn credits here. It’s a college. What did you expect?

17.  Wow. You are awfully condescending for a guy in a Chumbawumba t-shirt.

18.  You know what? No. You can’t have Jerry’s pasta.

19.  Because it was for Jerry, that’s why. And you, sir, are no Jerry.

20.  Oh, yeah, make a joke about his unemployment. That’s classy.

21.  Why did you even sign up for this class? It doesn’t seem like you’re that interested in cooking.

22.  You want to impress “Katy?” Who’s “Katy?”

23.  Whoa…and that’s…that’s a real picture?

24.  Hey, does she have a sister? Or a cousin, or a friend, or anything like that?

25.  All right, cool. Yeah, you know what? Why don’t you take Jerry’s pasta? It seemed like he might have been going to kill himself, so there’s no sense in letting it go to waste.

26.  And here, I’ll give you my phone number, too, just in case you have any questions between now and our next class.

27.  You should feel free to give that number out to anyone else who you think might be interested in learning how to cook, too. Or if you know anyone who’s interested in welding, I also teach a class in that.

28.  Like Katy. Katy looks like she might benefit from a little welding knowledge. Or maybe some of her friends.

29.  Mix in the marinara sauce with your pasta, and get ready to enjoy a delicious meal!



Edward Small is a contributor to The Onion and CollegeHumor. He has a green belt in cooking dinosaur-shaped pasta.



July 24: On this day in 1725 John Newton, the slave trader-preacher who wrote the hymn "Amazing Grace," was born.

Crime fiction legends Dennis Lehane and Michael Connelly discuss the new book that unites their beloved sleuths Patrick Kenzie and Harry Bosch.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
Paradise and Elsewhere

Canadian short story marvel Kathy Page emerges as the Alice Munro of the supernatural from these heartfelt tales of shapeshifting swimmers, mild-mannered cannibals, and personality-shifting viruses transmitted through kisses.


When a persuasive pastor arrives in a sleepy farm town, his sage influence has otherworldly results (talking sheep, a mayor who walks on water). But can he pull off the miracle of finding kindly local Liz Denny the love of her life?  Small wonder looms large in this charmer from Andre Alexis.

The Hundred-Year House

When a poetry scholar goes digging through the decrepit estate of his wife's family to uncover a bygone arts colony's strange mysteries, he awakens a tenacious monster: his mother-in-law. A wickedly funny take on aging aristocracies from author Rebecca Makkai (The Borrower).