Ultraq's Final MooCow

Bits and pieces by Emanuel Rabina

Seasonal changes

When I woke up this morning, a few things came to mind: First, why am I up so early? My clock said it was only 9am, and I was out all night and didn't get back until 3:30; I expected to be knocked-out until 11. Then I remembered I rewound my clocks back by 1 hour for the end of daylight savings. Second, what am I going to blog about today?

The Blog Every Day April challenge has given me something to look forward to every morning. When I wake up, I wonder: what exciting/mundane activities am I going to do today that I can write about for all the world to read? This morning I thought I'd write about things that happened at the birthday party last night, but many of the funnier things that happened then - embarrassing moments being caught on camera and then posted to Facebook or the slideshow that's on the TV - have been pretty well covered elsewhere on the Internet. Then when I turned on the computer and saw my brother's tweet about how he has "mastered information" by getting the TweetDeck app and organizing his follows, I thought I'd be writing something about Twitter. Every other media outlet seems to have said something about Twitter in the past month, so I might end up writing something about it later just so I can join the bandwagon.

But instead I settled on writing on something that's been plaguing me for the past week: dry lips.

Chapstick
We could've been friends

Dry lips are a pretty easy thing to remedy - just get yourself some chapstick. However, I never did because it's one of those things I've put into the it-will-go-away-by-itself-and-so-I-don't-need-to-do-anytyhing-about-it category. Things I've also filed into this category are: sore throats, the common cold, the flu, and tonsillitis.

These are the sorts of things that happen so often that I can accurately plot my progress through these illnesses for the week after the first symptoms appear. I get a cold at least twice a year, three times if I'm unlucky, the flu at most once a year, and while I haven't had tonsillitis since turning 20, I used to get it about four times a year - another reason why my teenage years weren't exactly great.

So how often do I get dry lips? Exactly twice a year: once when summer ends, and once when winter ends.

My lips have become a barometer for seasonal change.

"But it's April now!" I hear you say, "Summer finishes end of Feb!" I don't know what it's been like in your country, but in NZ we had ourselves a late summer which felt like it ended just last week. We've actually had several late summers for the past couple of years and every time my lips were there to let me know.

I wouldn't start thinking about adjusting the seasons, set by decades of climatic data, just because my dry lips said so. They're definitely not on par with the kinds of instruments used to measure whatever forces are adjusting our seasons.
Heck, I can't even use them to whistle properly! But they're good enough for telling me when I should start wearing thicker or thinner clothing on the walk to work.

So whenever I make it to work with a jacket as we change seasons, and one my workmates didn't bring one because they think it's still summer but then it starts getting really cold, I like to break into a little smile - but only on the inside, otherwise my lips might crack.