Monday, September 27, 2010

When in Boredom, Talk about the Weather

Around noon today, I was running some errands, and had a bit of trouble getting out of the bank’s parking lot. Why? Because two men from the office building nearby were standing in the middle of the driveway, one snapping pictures of the bank’s giant digital clock. Maybe they’d never seen triple digits in OC before. But we’ve certainly been feeling them lately.

To me, it’s Phoenix that will always be the “Sun's Anvil.” I think it was during our 1994 family roadtrip, hanging out with my dad’s uncle and aunt, that’s torched into my mind. We were leaving the Pizza Hut – you know, the old pizzeria kind that went extinct? – and I’ll never forget seeing across the street the 111 complete with a pretty sunset backdrop. Yes, it was 111 degrees at 7:15 PM.

But we have our fair share of miserable weather here in So Cal. I remember a particularly hot August years ago during my tenure in the Pacific Chorale. There was a last minute need for more participants in the PSO’s September 11 concert. I volunteered since I like singing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony (even though my German hasn’t improved much since I was three, as I’ve blogged about before). The dress rehearsal was on location at the outdoor Verizon Wireless Amphitheater.* The heat was terrible, and the big white digital clock by the director’s stand was a constant reminder just how terrible.

It seemed like every two seconds we took a minute break and just sat there. I asked another alto what was wrong. Three or four replied that the musicians, upset about playing in 100+-degree heat, had lobbied to get the breaks into their contracts. So with temperature fluctuating between 98 and 101 degrees Fahrenheit, and a union representative onstage, we had to stop every time it broke 100. Me? I would’ve asked for 90.

*Yes, that’s its real name, and yes, there’s more than one of them.