"I Live to think for myself. I refuse to be a mindless sheep following the crowd into cookie-cutter oblivion. Otherwise I'd just be a zombie with no heart or passion in life" - Hervey Taylor IV

Rain Man

Friday, October 18, 2013

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I learned something today that blew my mind: My parents are probably the smartest people I've ever met.

Now lets just hold on there mother. I know you're about 2.5 seconds away from hitting the send button on that text addressed to me. You know the text I'm talking about, the one that goes something along the lines of: I now have this confession in writing to hang above your head for the rest of my life. And I shall use it as I see fit.

Which you most certainly do have now. You should think about framing it because it's never going to occur again. Actually, I should think about framing it and giving it to you... Christmas present solved.

Anyway, back to the previous claim I made. Sorry to burst your bubble mama but this is more in particular about Dad today (though you're pretty freaking awesome too).

In case you were wondering, I probably have the best Dad ever and no I'm not over exaggerating here. He's smart, funny, battled cancer twice and won and he rocks a sweet stache. He's the one who taught me how to shoot a gun, clean a Dove after hunting and appreciate Pink Floyd. He taught me that real gentleman open doors for women and help out around the house equally and can cook a meal like nobody's business. He taught me how to change a flat tire... not once... not twice... but three times. None of which actually stuck and I should probably get him to show me again next time I'm home. He taught me a whole bunch of things but what I didn't know is that he was teaching me even when he wasn't actively teaching me.

Which is why this post exists.

I grew up in a household where we watched the Indy and Daytona 500 but no other racing. We watched golf because, well, I actually don't know why we watched golf but we did it. But most importantly we watched the weather. And now many years later and thousands of miles away from my parents I find myself doing those exact same things and not even knowing why. But I know I can't help it... and I'm not going to stop.

But the key to this statement is we didn't just watch the weather... we actively tracked the weather. I remember growing up with my father recording the temperature every day in a notebook and then when computers came in to existence I remember my dad spending countless hours imputing those temperatures in to a handy excel spreadsheet. You can't even imagine how excited he was to be able to analyze the ridiculous amount of weather data he had collected. Give me a minute and I could probably tell you the temperature outside of our house 8 years ago on April 25. I can actually tell you if that was the perfect date. If it was indeed not too hot and not too cold and all you really needed was a light jacket. Though, I doubt this is the case in April in southern New Mexico. And if you didn't get the Miss Congeniality reference... I feel for you.

I think the best thing we ever got him as a present (translation: my mom got him as a present and my sister and I signed our names on the card) was a weather-thing-a-ma-jig. Yes, that's its technical name and it was awesome (is awesome because he still uses it). It stood in our backyard and actively tracked the wind, the rain the lack of rain, the temperature, the humidity... you name it, it did it. And within the 10 minutes of getting home from work, my dad had to check the updates on it.

So how does this translate to me at all? Well, I didn't think it ever did. I just had a Dad who was a little strange and I thought should have been a meteorologist instead of an X-Ray technologist. But it didn't ever really affect me. Except I was always prepared for any weather. This part was actually my mother's doing. Though my father tracked the weather, my mother implemented the clothing to be worn in it.

And then it hit me yesterday, right smack dab in the middle of a full blown rain storm. I was sitting at my desk starring out the window at the ugliness that is rain and realized I'd forgotten my rain jacket and my umbrella. Rookie mistake. It wasn't because I didn't know the rain was coming. Trust me, if there's rain about to hit... I know about it. Why you ask? Well, when my alarm blares out at 5:30 in the morning, after promptly hitting snooze 4 times, I check the weather. Not on my one app on my iPhone but on my FOUR weather apps. And I compare their results. And figure how to dress accordingly for my day.

Which is exactly why I set out my rain coat and umbrella. It's my forgetfulness and flightiness that led me to not actually bringing them with me (which I probably also inherited from the parental units). But initially I was prepared.

As I was sitting starring out at the ugliness and realizing my lack of rain gear, all I could think of was how disappointed in me father would have been (though he's so awesome... and therefore I'm so awesome... I never actually disappoint him). None the less, I needed to rectify the situation.

Which is how I pulled up the weather channel on my computer. You know, the best website ever. More highly visited on my computer over Twitter, blogger, the news, and just about everything else besides Facebook and Gmail. Yeah that website. It's pretty much my favorite thing.

I pulled it up and went straight to the radar page and clicked future forecast. Which is probably the coolest thing ever. It predicts the rain movement for the next 3 hrs in to the future. It is a lifesaver. I zoomed in on my walk home and realized I had exactly 30 minutes between 4:15 and 4:45 where there was a break in the weather, otherwise I was going to get trapped, and therefore soaked, in the torrential down pour.

I scooted out of lab and down the street when 2 rain drops hit my forehead. People were shuffling around the streets with their rain coats and oversized umbrellas. I wasn't worried though. I looked at the forecast and I knew I still had 20-25 minutes before the flood was going to hit.

As I stepped in the front door of my apartment, I looked out the window and it began. The rain was hard and swift and it looked rather cold to me. But I wouldn't really know, because there I was sitting, dry, in the living room munching on my candy corn pumpkin (which by the way are WAY better than regular candy corn).

Thinking to myself: take that rain, you obviously haven't met my father.

Side note... after I posted this the first time, my mother promptly told me she was indeed going to hang this over my head and then she said I made her cry. I don't know what I would do without my parents.

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