Monday, May 12, 2008

Mind Bending

Today is one of those days when living in a city is...challenging.

Fine night's sleep, fine morning, fine shower, fine breakfast, fine dog walk, fine commute. But, you see, it's windy out. Apparently quite windy once you get up high enough. I am up high enough since I work on the 31st floor. The smart people who build skyscrapers have figured out (one assumes with a process of trial and error that makes my blood run cold) that it's better, in a windy situation, to have a building that bends rather than breaks. On a normal day this is all behind the scenes magic that a particularly nervous person can shut her mind to. On a windy day, though, there's the creaking. You can hear the building swaying in the breeze. You know the sound effects that are used in a movie when people are on a ship crossing the sea at night? That's what my office sounds like. I try to keep my mind on the logic of it with a mental picture of Charlie Eppes to soothe my anxiety.

Not working.

On days like today I'd really just like to go home. Or pack a bottle of Jack with my lunch.


  1. Anonymous4:39 PM

    I suppose it really won't help to relieve your mind as you sway with the breeze if I mention that most fire department ladders cannot reach above 10 stories?

    Charlie Eppes. I'm happy to report I actually know who this character is, I regularly watch the show and he's my favorite character. I really like his voice. On my tv with super stereo sound there are wonderful bass tones in his voice (saying "baritone" would not do them justice). Of course, as usual, if I had to eat cottage cheese or name the actor, I'd be hurtin'.

  2. Anonymous5:00 PM

    Reading this made my tummy turn. Sorry dude.

  3. Anonymous5:24 PM

    An old in-law of mine used to work way up in one of the twin towers. On windy days, not only would the building sway, but you could apparently turn the faucet on in the bathroom and see how much it was swaying by watching the bottom of the water flow move from side to side!

    I'm writing this after 5:00, so hopefully you're reading it after you've left work!

  4. oh sweet monkey lovin. that whole post make everything I have squench up. Tight. So sorry dear. hopefully by now, you are on solid ground. and not swaying and gobbling up dramamine as i would be. xoxo

  5. Anonymous8:13 PM

    I saw the Perfect Storm when I was in a tall building. I swear a giant tidal wave was going to sweep over the entire structure. That's why I hate it when big tall buildings creak.

  6. Pack the Jack! I am all in for that. I remember working in the high rise... maddening. Very Edgar Alan, right? Ravens and all.

  7. I don't enjoy skyscrapers. Happily the highest I've ever worked is the 11th Floor. Thank goodness.

    I think there's something abnormal about not seeing the ground. People are landlubbers! You're supposed to see the earth!

    People who live up there just perplex me. I just don't get it.

    The wind won't topple a building, though. King Kong, maybe. At least you can tell yourself that and comfort yourself with it?

  8. Eeek. You know, my engineer-husband explained to me once that things like buildings and bridges HAVE to move to stay structurally sound and I believe him, but it still makes me heeby to be on a bridge that I can feel bouncing. Oh, and the story about the water in the sink? SO didn't need to hear that - yikes!

    Here's hoping for less wind today, Babe...

  9. Wanna make yourself really crazy? Take a length of twine and attach a rubber ball to one end; then, attach the string to an airvent or something in the ceiling of your building. Watch the ball sway, and that's how much your building is moving. I did this at the Sears Tower once, and the ball was moving in an arc about eight feet wide.

    It was cool.

  10. See? This is the difference between engineer-types and the rest of us. Engineer-types think that shit is cool. The rest of us? Not so much..

  11. Chili, Clemo is an actor and a writer, not an engineer actually. So, just crazy.

    Charlie Eppes is played by David Krumholtz who can also be seen in things like 10 Things I Hate About You and Serenity.

    H. I have never seen the Perfect Storm because I'm petrified of drowning. I also have that dream you describe and it's been plaguing me since the recent natural disasters. Welcome to a list of reasons I don't live in CA.

    Kitty, I love having an expert on hand for stuff like this. It is actually reassuring to hear you say that stuff. We can see the ground from here, it's just ground that's very far away, like in the river kind of ground.