Kage Baker would usually melt if the weather got hot and humid. It used to be rare in Los Angeles – rare enough that she found it a reasonable response to go hide in a movie theatre when it happened.
We saw some odd, and sometimes surprisingly good, films that way. I don’t think I’d ever have seen The Shadow otherwise; but hiding from triple digit heat and humidity made it one of the best action films I’ve ever seen … ambiance is so important.
At noon here it was 92 degrees. Then it dropped – whoosh – down to 82 in less than an hour. Sadly, the humidity went from 19 to 34 per cent. Now the humidity has stabilized but the temperature has crept back up to 93. There’s a chance of rain. Also of dry lightning, which is a weather phenomenon that traditionally sets California on fire – last time we had a summer storm with dry lightning, over 1,000 fires started in one day; some burned for the next 6 months …
In the meantime … there is a cloud cover creeping over the L.A. Basin; a scrim of burning silver, patterned like a ghost beach in the sky. You can see the ripples and chevrons of invisible waves up there, serenely tropical, threatening fire from heaven at a moment’s notice. It won’t happen down here – it strikes the heights when it comes – but I keep glancing at the mountains to the east, wondering if I am seeing the swelling shoulder of a thunderhead or the first plume of smoke.
I am still luckier than the East Coast folks now beginning to fall under the cloak of Hurricane Irene. And I realize my luck. To whichever one of you god types is responsible: Thank You! Thank you also for holding off on this until my dear agent Linn and her tiny dog Wiley moved out of Manhattan to Washington state. Please, please watch over the East Coast and have some mercy on those poor people. New York is not accustomed to storm surges, and a tornado warning in Massachusetts is surely a crime?
Now it’s back up to 95, and the humidity has dropped back down to 30 per cent. All this in the last 2 hours! We are not accustomed to these rapid changes here; we’re like deep water fish and we’ll explode if the pressures change too fast. Luckily, I finished proof-reading Ancient Rockets yestreday; if I had to do it today, I think my head would pop. I’m off to eat a giant fudgesickle and watch the news nervously, praying we won’t burn and the East Coast won’t drown. In between, may the Madrid Fault system sleep sound and not go off again!
How soon, I wonder (now that the East Coast is getting quakes) before the Pacific hurricanes start reaching us here in California? Then we’ll all be equal, from sea to shining sea.