Good morning and greetings, spring flowers fans. It’s the magical month of May, a spectacular time to be alive and smelling the roses on this marvelous planet of ours.
The weather on the central coast has been as impressive as Lindsay Lohan’s vow to turn around her life, and I, for one, am fully in her corner. I fell in love with her in “Mean Girls” and my admiration for her courage has grown from there. As Lindsay says, “Life is full of risks, why not take them?” Or you could simply pay for them first.
Last week, I found myself being asked the questions, “Can you believe it’s May?” and “What was it like being a supermodel?” Yes, the days on the calendar continue to hurry by like Kim Jong On’s wife trying to escape from under his demilitarized zone.
Last Wednesday was May Day, the first of May, and if the weather around the nation was any indication of what’s in store, then hold onto your barometers, thermometers and wind chimes. I never judge a book by its cover, except for Playboy’s party jokes, but this opening chapter of our fifth month was a doozy.
May Day is a celebration of the international workers movement. In Seattle, it’s celebrated annually by brave anarchists smashing windows of local businesses while dodging pepper spray. Yes, nothing helps keep the focus on the global economic crisis and the immigration reform movement than creating havoc and running wild in the streets with a bandana covering your face.
In Hawaii, May 1 is Lei Day, which always brings smiles to vacationing honeymooners. It celebrates the history and tradition of the lei, the fragrant floral necklaces that have become synonymous with the aloha spirit and vacation rentals on the Big Island. In the Hawaiian culture, giving or receiving a lei carries a special meaning, like here on the mainland, when you give that special someone cash on their birthday.
Let’s head back to the weather map. In Colorado and Wyoming, May started out with a blast of wet spring snow. I received a first hand report from my brother Brad in Boulder, who was snowboarding down his driveway so he could de-ice his mountain bike. But as they say in Colorado, ‘If you don’t like the weather, wait ten minutes,” as one minute it will be blizzarding and then sunny the next day with blue skies and 70 degree temps, making that snow disappear faster than a box a donuts from Rush Limbaugh’s desk. For you Denver basketball fans, the only months that snow hasn’t fallen or people weren’t grumbling about the Nuggets being knocked out of the first round of the playoffs have been July and August.
The first day of May also brought buckets of heavy snow and fried chicken all across the midwest. For those of you who aren’t geography majors, Sioux Falls, which is the largest city in South Dakota, got its first May snowfall in 37 years. Kansas City experienced a May snow for the first time since 1907, which coincidentally is that last time the Chiefs had a shot at the Super Bowl. Schools in Wisconsin and Minnesota were closed as children frolicked and played and went ice fishing. I may be old-fashioned, but nothing says spring to me like mittens, boots and snowplows on the road. That sound you hear is the groundhogs chuckling.
Meanwhile, trouble loomed to the north in Fargo, North Dakota, which I didn’t even realize was part of the United States. For the last four out of five years, the Red River has flooded, swamping this city of 105,000 and ruining prom plans. It’s an annual event for high schoolers in this area to come together and bond over filling up sandbags, of which a million were filled this year in preparation for the rising waters. In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.,” We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.” The good news is the river crested over six feet below record levels, which means the newly built sandbag dykes remained dry. The bad news is they’re still in North Dakota.
So while the snow was coming down harder than Oprah running wind sprints, a natural disaster was taking place in southern California. No, I don’t mean the announcement of Fox’s summer TV schedule, but wildfires, fueled by dry, gusty conditions, were burning out of control all over the Inland Empire. Conditions throughout the Golden State are drier than my mouth in the middle of the night when I wake up and hear the camels laughing, but that’s nothing that a little sleep apnea can’t take a care of. With high winds, high temperatures, high cholesterol, low humidity, dry brush and a wet comb, it adds up to a perfect storm for wildfires. It’s one thing to be stuck in traffic on the 101, it’s another when fire is burning in the diamond lane.
Since we had some April showers, I feel it’s my cyber duty to feature some magnificent May flowers. Today’s beauties are bearded irises, the fleur-de-lis symbol that for centuries has represented French royalty, which makes them the flower most likely to surrender. These ornamental masterpieces feature more colors blended together than you’d see in the stands at a day game at Yankee Stadium. Their name comes from the fuzzy hairs growing from the downward facing petals that are called beards, leading to the name of bearded iris, which is still no excuse not to shave.
So let’s end with a flower joke. Two friends, a blonde and a redhead, are walking down the street and pass a flower shop where the redhead happens to see her boyfriend buying flowers. She sighs and says, “Oh, crap, my boyfriend is buying me flowers again.” The blonde looks quizzically at her and says, “What’s the big deal, don’t you like getting flowers?” The red head says, “Oh sure, but he always has expectations after giving me flowers, and I just don’t feel like spending the next three days on my back with my legs in the air.” The blonde says, “Don’t you have a vase?”
On to the late night. “An elementary school here in New York City has become the first school in the country to serve only vegetarian food. It’s serving only vegetarian foods, like tofu. Now when bullies say, ‘Give me your lunch money,’ students are like, ‘Here, take it.’ Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is in trouble. He was arrested this week for threatening to expose some sensitive government secrets. And you can tell it’s serious. His bail was set at 200 goats. New reports say New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will not run for president in 2016 if Hillary Clinton does. In a statement, Hillary said that she appreciates the decision and the support. Then she added, “Because I would crush him.” – Jimmy Fallon
Washington Wizards center Jason Collins just came out of the closet, making him the first pro athlete in a major sport to be openly gay. He is getting credit for being the first openly gay pro athlete. Or as Martina Navratilova put it, “Hello!” – Jimmy Fallon “More news keeps coming out about Jason Collins, the NBA player who revealed he’s gay. It turns out he’s a free agent looking for someone to sign him. He’s got some interest from Chicago. Not the Bulls, the Broadway musical. There’s a trend now of prison inmates reviewing their prison on Yelp. The downside is that people are now committing crimes just to get the amazing fish tacos at Rikers Island.” –Conan O’Brien
“There’s now talk here in California of letting noncitizens serve on juries. The bad news: If you’re ever on trial for underpaying your nanny, you could get the death penalty.” –Jay Leno “It’s been two years since the SEAL team busted in and got Osama bin Laden. On the night of the raid, the guy never knew what hit him. It’s like being married to a Kardashian.” –David Letterman “I don’t consider myself a baby boomer. To me, that means hippies. What do I have in common with a hippie? I never went to Woodstock. I never wore flowers in my hair. I never took huge amounts of LSD and then battled killer ducks who I swear were out to kill me. All right, I did the last one but I didn’t think it was groovy.” – Craig Ferguson
So welcome to May and the second round of the NBA playoffs. We’ll catch you showing fans what gems there are to be had in the second round of the NBA draft. Aloha, mahalo and later, Draymond Green and Chandler Parsons fans.