A young professional’s take on the trials and tribulations of everyday life in New York City.

By Nina Pajak

So, with Irene behind us, the National Hurricane Center has already begun to track another Tropical Storm creepazoid named Katia (pronounced KAH-tya, like a Russian ballerina who is beautiful and graceful but is really super mean and nasty).

Weather friends, can we take a break? Half of the East coast is still trying to bail out flooded towns and sop up the water in their basements, while the other half have serious Nervous Nellie Fatigue. But of course, now they’ve put this Katia thing out there, so I can’t help but start reading incessantly and allowing my anxiety to run wild.

According to Accuweather.com, Katia could gradually grow into a Category 3 Hurricane by this weekend. Or not. But maybe! Right now she’s all the way down in the Cape Verde Islands, which are located approximately 300 miles off the coast of way the heck out in Atlantic Ocean and far, far away from us. But due to winds dying down or building up or cooling down or warming up, she could strengthen into yet another deadly storm as she makes her way North through more islands which are nowhere near us.

But then, could she hit us? Yes! Maybe! Or she could blow back out to sea before getting near enough to do any damage. Or we could see some effects despite her distance. Or she’ll graze some of us, but not all of us, but probably don’t throw out your window tape yet. Or, get this: Yet another Tropical Storm could form in the Gulf of Mexico, which could alter Katia’s development and path in ways that even the people making lots of vague and premature predictions cannot predict!

Photos: The Wrath Of Irene

The important thing to remember is that you mustn’t stop watching weather reports and reading weather websites and refreshing as new information becomes available and immediately outdated. Essentially, we are in a constant state of potential danger, and also August metrics are low.

Listen, these weather outlets are like your mothers, whom you don’t call nearly often enough: despite the fact that they consistently give you important and concerned advice, you take them for granted 99% of the time, only checking in in the most perfunctory way (How are you? When’s dad’s birthday? Do you know where my birth certificate is? Yeah yeah yeah I know it’s raining thanksloveyagottago). And when once in a blue moon you recognize how valuable and needed they are, all they want is to extend that moment. And, you know, they can get a little hysterical in the name of those efforts. With Irene, we all sat up and took notice, clicking and viewing far beyond the usual 5-day forecast. They’ve gotten a taste of our love, and they want more. Is that so wrong?

I don’t know. But it’s definitely annoying.

It doesn’t matter, though. As transparent and desperate as their tactics clearly are, they’ve ensnared me once again. Sure, last weekend I should have learned something about my own propensity to panic and overreact given too much information, and I probably ought to know better this time. But I don’t. I can’t not look. “Fear of Danger” is my middle name. Weird, right? I tried to change it when I was a teenager, but my fate had already been written. Bad news for me, good news for fear mongering weather outlets.


Dear Readers: While I am rarely at a loss for words, I’m always grateful for column ideas. Please feel free to e-mail me your suggestions.

Nina Pajak is a writer and publishing professional living with her husband on the Upper West Side.

The Nina Archives:

Hurricane Anxiety

Now I Just Need A Theme Song

The Top 10 Post-Earthquake Tweets

If You Need Me, I’ll Be In My Growlery