It’s been a hell of a weekend. On Thursday there was a grand party at Bob’s house. Bob works in Tech Support, and he’s a cool guy. Anyway, it was the most stunning display of excess I’ve ever been involved in on New Years. Roundabout midnite we were drinking this great cheapo champaign, and Bob’s ferret was scampering about my shoulder and upper arm. Several of us spent the night, sleeping on the floor, the couch, or any other available surface. I was deep asleep on a futon which Josh shared with me after coaxing me into getting it out and unfolding it.
Awesome party. The next morning I walked home through the cold, hoping the fresh air would help clear my head, and appreciating the snow that had been falling gradually since the night before. The next day I slept heartily, waking up from time to time to watch the blizzard blowing outside. Most anyone who could help it did a fair job of staying indoors yesterday, which was a Saturday. Last night after the worst of it had passed, and after eating dinner, a hearty pasta dinner, Uncle and I went out shoveling snow. I tell you, a foot and a half of snow and a belly full of pasta is not a combination to make you cheerful. But we got the sidewalks cleared.
Today, everybody was out in the streets digging their cars out. It was nice to see so many folks in the neighborhood out in the alleys and streets working together on the same projects. It had me thinking that a good blizzard, and maybe the whole Winter Solstice thing were Mother Nature’s way of giving us a good kick in the pants from time to time to see that we might get out there and take care of each other. Something about piles of snow, even with the shoveling, seemed to bring out the good humor in people.
To be sure, things would have been a lot different if the storm had not had such great timing. Saturday is not a bad day to spend indoors, letting it snow, and Sunday is probably the best day of the week to have to dig out your car. A lady on the bus pointed out to me though too that it was good timing to wait until after New Years, so that there wouldn’t be people driving out there drunk in bad weather. And Mayor Daley looks good because the roads are mostly nice and plowed.
However, Lake Shore Drive was closed most of the weekend – white out conditions. And if it had been during the week that this storm had hit, there would be many people angry that they couldn’t get to work and such. Instead, the city had time to clear things up before tomorrow morning’s rush, which should go pretty darned smooth.
I had managed to crash sasquatch on Saturday, but waited until today to fix it. I was thinking I might try and dig out the Beetle and get it started and drive it down to the NOC, just to prove it could be done, but after eating brunch with mom, it was getting on towards 1400h and I figured to just as soon take the El. That was exciting too.
First of all, there were more people on the CTA than usual – people who just didn’t see it worthwhile to or otherwise couldn’t get their cars going. Folks were doing shopping errands, carrying bags and bags of groceries or other wares. Riding the el down, I noticed the outer tracks were still covered with snow, and got to watch the city drift by in front of me – mile after mile of people taking on monumental shoveling challenges. Some mini-malls weren’t plowed at all, especially in the Asian neighborhoods around Argyle. Maybe those places are closed on Sundays anyway.
And then I had hoped to get off at Harrison, only to learn that it is closed on weekends. Another mile’s walk through cold and slush for me. People were walking on streets a lot because not all the sidewalks are shoveled. When I got into 600 S. Federal I was hootin’ somewhat in victory. The new coat that mom got me worked well, combined with my hat and neck-warmer.
I started home around 1700h, figuring that even on Sunday there might be some sort of rush hour service. Well, I was either right, or the CTA had underestimated the amount of extra ridership it would have, as the ride home was standing room only most of the way.
On the train, I got to notice and admire a very beautiful young lady who looked very clearly to be half Asian and half Caucasian. She was way too young for me, but I still was impressed with how well everything had come together to give her such nice features. In the back of my mind I wished her well in life, coz she looked like the sort of woman you’d put in a princess fairy-tale, at least after she’d aged a few years. She seemed all the more innocent because she was riding with her Aunt or Grandmother or some other relative. Every beautiful innocent-looking princess has to have the older lady to be a confidant and protector. At least that’s how it works out in literature. I had no desire to be a Romeo in this story, I was content to muse on the idea of seeing a girl that struck me as being so lovely.
/* Right dannyman, anyway, keep talking about the blizzard! */
Perhaps it is that a blizzard of relatively Epic proportions inspires the rambling romantic muse?
/* Okay then, uhmm, you’re forgiven, but knock it off heh? */
Ayup. So on the news tonight the report was that this was the biggest blizzard in thirty years, and that 2 January, 1999, was the biggest single day for snowfall for Chicago since they started keeping records. The schools are closed tomorrow and everything sucks at O’Hare, where a quarter of a million holiday travelers had planned to fly through. Flights are running 50% today and passengers may well be stranded or otherwise delayed until Tuesday or Wednesday. There are three EnterAct employees I’ve heard of so far that are stranded on their travel holidays and who wont be at work tomorrow.
My Beetle is still covered in over a foot of snow, and is resting quietly behind a 5′ mound left my a snow plow. After this ice age, I should have the gaskets and washers necessary to do a proper oil change. At the end of the week, I’ll then be driving down to Urbana.