The Karma Chill is in Negative Digits

Driving in Snow

I’ve survived three commutes, so far, since the big snowstorm on Sunday dropped eight inches of the deceptively gorgeous white stuff upon us.  Even more is predicted tomorrow and I’m seriously thinking of quitting my job so I can stay home until Spring.

Except if I do, I’ll quickly be living in my car, which kind of negates the sense of safety I was going for.

It isn’t a long drive—eleven miles or so, depending on the route and whether or not I’m dropping kids off at school—but it has hills and valleys and treacherous snowpack in most of the spots that require turning or breaking or playing chicken with gravity. Plus there’s that mile-long bridge, currently coated with ice, right in the middle of it.

I can drive in snow and with one exception,* I’m not bad at it. I’m one of those slow and steady drivers who give themselves plenty of time so they won’t have to rush—and who send all those other drivers who assume they’re the only ones who know how to handle winter conditions (e.g., floor it like it ain’t happening) literally around the bend and sometimes into one of the ditches or retaining walls we grow along the sides of the roads around here.**

Snow CommuteBut that kind of focused attention takes a lot out of me. I save up all the stress and horror and road rage and impatience and let it go all at once after I’ve arrived at my destination,*** leaving me in an odd state of twitching lethargy and strident vocabulary overshare.

I’ve been told it’s amusing to watch—primarily by those who purport to love me—but while I’ll do a lot to make people smile, I’d rather wear a clown nose and burp Yankee Doodle Dandy, which at least has the advantage of embarrassing the kids.^

I’m nearly to the point where I’m crossing my fingers that Janie’s cold will worsen juuuuust enough to keep her out of school tomorrow, so I can stay home and take care of her without blowing any vacation days.

I’m sure she won’t mind supporting me in this endeavor.


(Yes, you do. Lying is beneath you.)


I wouldn’t worry. I’d jump aboard and make ’em drive me to work.



PSST: To further fuel my state of nerves, my stats are jumping today for no discernible reason. Normally, I’d be thrilled, but as no specific post is being singled out and no referring sites are listed, I’m forced to assume that either someone’s mouse is stuck or I’m under investigation for something for which ignorance is no excuse.

So if you could please make sure your computer is working properly, check my financial records to prove it’s not worth paying a process-server to deliver the subpoena, and/or just leave a comment to tell me why you dropped by, I’d appreciate it.

You don’t have to STOP, by the way; just let me know, please. I have a writer’s imagination and I’m already chanting ATTICA! ATTICA! under my breath.

Thank you!



*Our driveway. It’s a short slope and not very steep, but I can’t manage it in snow or ice without slipping, sliding, or spinning my wheels to the point that I smell burning rubber.

**As long as I’m alive to rack up the negative karma points, I’ll continue to rack ‘em up, five miles below the speed limit.

***Or halfway up my driveway to my destination, like last night. After three tries, I gave up, parked, stomped into the house and confessed my inability to get my car into the garage. My MIL and daughters looked at me in disbelief and told me my husband never has any trouble. I KNOW THAT. And I was grateful that he brought my car in when he arrived home—and secretly vindicated when I could hear him spinning my tires the whole time.

^Or one of them. Sunny is a great musical burping tutor (That sentence is grammatically correct no matter how you parse it, by the way).


Let it Snow, my blue, frozen @$$


You know why this post is so short?

Because five inches of snow and a 20 minute commute that took and hour and twenty, that’s why.

Because EVERY WINTER, certain owners of big vehicles tell themselves that other people—presumably everyone in front of them—can’t drive in snow and then end up doing some asinine tailgating-passing-too-close-snow-isn’t-slippery-when-I’m-driving-on-it-engine-gunning-mine’s-bigger maneuver that ALWAYS ends up with their beloved behemoth and three or four other cars turned the wrong way at the end of a mile-long bridge, with bumpers and headlight pieces strewn all over the place, blocking the whole works.

That’s why.

At least the kids weren’t in the car with me when it happened and a Terry Pratchett audiobook was, so my tension levels were nearer Eye Twitch than Defcon.

I don’t like driving on snow. And I especially don’t like braking while driving on the packed stuff—which I did for three miles and forty minutes this morning.

There is hope that the roads will be clear of both snow and idiots—Karmic Darwin* to the rescue—because Jane’s birthday is tomorrow, and I would like to pick up a couple of things on the way home, in case her school closes due to “extreme cold”.**

And if you have it worse—and many people do or did or will, this winter—all I can say is that your pain and frustrations don’t negate my pain and frustration.

But if you’d like to share your Winter Wonderland horror stories below, I’m listening.


*Best superhero name ever!

**It’s supposed to be -30F with the wind chill, and many of the kids have to walk outside between classes.  It’s one of the hazards of having a school that outgrew its original historical landmark building.

Random Thursday: Special Snowflakes and Homicidal Ice Heaves

Random Thursday (ˈrandəm ˈTHərzdā): the day on which Sarah plunks down all the odd bits and pieces she’s been sent by friends or has otherwise stumbled upon this week in an effort to avoid writing a real post, the assembly of which usually ends up taking twice as much time as sitting down and creating actual content.

This isn’t really random—there’s a definite theme. But that’s not my fault.

As found on xkcd, ’cause I’m not looking at any more white stuff unless I absolutely have to.

But y’all go ahead.

Let me know if the second from the left in the second row or the first one in the last row shows up, would you?

I have questions.


As if the snow and sub-freezing temperatures weren’t enough

Now the ice is coming to get us.

The longer version is here.  

It sounds like a steam engine made of glass.


Move Over . . .

Move Over

Isn’t this in the Book of Revelations, somewhere ?

“And lo, the  gato shall hibernate with the gecko . . .”

(Thanks, Watson!)


The Time Suck with No Clean Up

Okay.  I admit it.  I like some snowflakes.

The indoor, paper kind.

Especially when I don’t have to drag out the vacuum to pick up all the schnibbly* bits left over.



You know you want to.


ALL Snowflakes are Special

Favorite description of an obsessive science nerd ever starts around 1:18.

This is fascinating stuff . . . but the second time I watched it, I noticed that Joe—who ranks high in my list of favorite YouTube science channel announcers—isn’t blinking.   His eyebrows are working overtime, but he doesn’t actually blink until 5:07.

I realize knowing this—and/or confirming it with a third run-through—puts me at a solid seven on the Wilson Bentley scale . . . but that just makes me an extra special snowflake, amiright?

Poetry Wednesday: A Loosely Lying Counterargument to Boreas Bites

A few hours after I posted last week’s poetic rant about the awfulness of winter, I received an e-mail from someone I count as one of my dearest friends, even though she adores everything about this miserable, nasty, icy, wet, frigid, virus-ridden, snowy season.*

The message contained a poem, followed by two words:  “So there.”

I have to admit, Robert Bridges makes a compelling, lyrical defense. I’d expect no less from a Poet Laureate of England and co-founder of the Society for Pure English.

Argumentative bunch, them, but eloquent.

London Snow
(Robert Bridges)

When men were all asleep the snow came flying,
In large white flakes falling on the city brown,
Stealthily and perpetually settling and loosely lying,
Hushing the latest traffic of the drowsy town;
Deadening, muffling, stifling its murmurs failing;450px-Snow_in_Birmingham,_England,_5_January_2009
Lazily and incessantly floating down and down:
Silently sifting and veiling road, roof and railing;
Hiding difference, making unevenness even,
Into angles and crevices softly drifting and sailing.
All night it fell, and when full inches seven
It lay in the depth of its uncompacted lightness,
The clouds blew off from a high and frosty heaven;
And all woke earlier for the unaccustomed brightness
Of the winter dawning, the strange unheavenly glare:
The eye marvelled—marvelled at the dazzling whiteness;
The ear hearkened to the stillness of the solemn air;
No sound of wheel rumbling nor of foot falling,
And the busy morning cries came thin and spare.
Then boys I heard, as they went to school, calling,
They gathered up the crystal manna to freeze
Their tongues with tasting, their hands with snowballing;
Or rioted in a drift, plunging up to the knees;
Or peering up from under the white-mossed wonder,
‘O look at the trees!’ they cried, ‘O look at the trees!’
With lessened load a few carts creak and blunder,
Following along the white deserted way,800px-Snow_in_Neasden,_London_3  
A country company long dispersed asunder:
When now already the sun, in pale display
Standing by Paul’s high dome, spread forth below
His sparkling beams, and awoke the stir of the day.
For now doors open, and war is waged with the snow;
And trains of sombre men, past tale of number,
Tread long brown paths, as toward their toil they go:
But even for them awhile no cares encumber
Their minds diverted; the daily word is unspoken,
The daily thoughts of labour and sorrow slumber
At the sight of the beauty that greets them, for the charm they have broken.

All right, Vannie . . . I’ll think about it.


*And also encourages her small son to call me “Aunt Weenie”, for certain reasons I don’t care to discuss at the moment— they’re archived around here, someplace, if  anyone cares to go hunting—and also because there are three thousand miles of ocean between us, so she thinks she’s safe.  Thank heavens the boy has a (brilliant) mind of his own; he calls me “Auntie Sa’merica,” instead.

Image “Snow Day” courtesy of David Davies

Image “Snow in Neasden. London,” courtesy of Billy Hicks

Post called on account of snow

hate-snow-LucyNo post today, because it’s snowingSNOWING—and the barometric pressure in the big ball of pain I’m calling my head is giving me the bends, and I’m cold because I gave Jane my gloves and Sunny my scarf in the car this morning because we were not  prepared and they get recess and I don’t.

ButtonPlus, I grabbed the wrong coat from the Closet o’ Forgotten Winterwear—or rather, the right coat with the three buttons that I’ve been meaning to sew back on since mid-March, as it turns out there is no such thing as a Button Fairy.*

Or a Dry Cleaning Fairy, either.

I also had a ‘flu shot today, so I’m slightly nauseated, which no one really wants to hear about in any detail, and my arm hurts, too, because the city nurse does not mess around.

And all I want to do is go home and make hot tea—I’ve had enough w(h)ine already, I think—and bundle up on the couch under every blanket we own to re-watch Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, with commentary this time.

Orating with StyleWhich is pretty much all I have to offer today—nothing, with commentary.

I’ll do better tomorrow.



* Or maybe there is,  but she’s armed with a tiny pair of scissors and a juvenile sense of humor,  instead of a needle and a benevolent nature.  She was probably corrupted by the Toilet Paper Fairy, who went to the dark side about the time I left home and started buying my own household supplies—though that’s probably just a coincidence.