Friday, February 23, 2007

A Poem for L

wants to see snow,
so here we go...

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

"Leck. Big leck."

In a fantastic marriage of two wonderfully witty methods combining poor translation with dumb-ass signs...we get this.

Peeing in your pants is optional, of course.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Best served warm

I will never enjoy being cold.

My townhome has warm spots but, overall, it is far chillier than I would like. I have to dress in layers to stay comfortable. God knows that mornings are best while still under the covers rather than outside them.

My place mostly faces north, which doesn’t help. Last winter I sought multiple strategies to stop the incessant cold from creeping through the windows. However, nothing really worked, and the thick curtains blocked the view.

This year, I chose to use temperature-blocking curtains, which work fairly well. And I only inserted them halfway up the windows so that I still can enjoy the scenery.

Because, despite the cold, I do like the snow. Which means that every time a snowflake threatens to fall, I catch myself nose-to-window watching for it. And this is what I know…

Sleet rarely happens. But when it does, it is boring. And it hisses.

Flurries, despite the rhyme to hurry and scurry, are neither. Instead, they’re indepenent, drifting little flakes that don’t know where they’re headed or where they came from. And flurries really are not worth watching.

But snowfall, with or without a wind, is fasacinating. It’s silent. Gentle. Peaceful. The endless variety in shapes and sizes captivates me. I can stand at the window and watch the snow for hours. Better still, I want be a part of the snowfall, to immerse myself in the silence, to share its peacefulness.

Only one little issue keeps me from doing so. Snow also is cold.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hands at 10 and 2

I spent an hour and a half this afternoon driving from the Amtrak station to my home -- a 40 mile drive.

The snow had started earlier this morning. By 12:30, when my train finally rolled into the station from New York, it had been snowing, sleeting and raining for hours. The interstate was covered in some of the nastiest slush that I've ever seen. Drivers crossing lanes -- if you could see lanes, that is -- stirred up massive amounts of dirty ice to coat windshields. I saw a lot of snowplows, except that they all were clearning the other side of the highway.

To add to my driving pleasure, the sleet turned to blurry ice that my wipers couldn't clear off fast enough, even at the highest speed and with the defroster running at full-blast. I had to lower a back window to reduce the amount of smothering heat within the car.

Travel speed ranged from 15 to 40 mph. Twice I passed small cars that clearly had lost control. One of them actually protruded into my lane. Luckily, the 18-wheeler next to me had the presence of mind to swing wide enough to allow me to avoid hitting the other car's rear-end. Thank goodness I have an all-wheel-drive vehicle; and that I'm cautious enough to control my speed (yes, one of those very rare moments!).

Those 90 minutes rank among the longest of my life. And it probably was the first time since driver's ed that I kept my hands at the 10 and 2 positions on the wheel.

I can't wait for tomorrow morning 'cuz all this precipitation is expected to freeze solid over night. Do snowplows scrape up ice as well as snow?

Monday, February 12, 2007

Thank you!

I had planned to spend a few days in Houston after the pain management meeting this past weekend in New Orleans. Instead, I have to be in the Big Apple on Tuesday for a workshop. Kinda totally screwed my plans, as well as my Valentine's Day--oh. wait. I've only ever had two good February 14ths...

But that's not what's important about this posting.

Rather, I wanted to stress my very short timespan in Houston. Which was enjoyable nonetheless because of two very special people. So, a hearty

Thank You

to Rhonda and Lindsey for spiriting me away from Bush Intercontinental Airport for the night. Thanks for the company, the bed, the breakfast and the ride back to the airport.

Oh, and was Terminal E, after all. But that's OK 'cause it has the better President's Club and was worth the walk.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Cold, Beads, Screams, Elbows, Dark

I'm staying at the DoubleTree in New Orleans for a pain management meeting, and the Pygmalion Mardi Gras parade just rolled past my hotel. Impressions of the last half-hour.

Cold wind because a front is coming to town. Dammit. Thought I'd gotten away from that weather.

Floats pulled by old-fashioned tractors. Not the big fancy floats one would expect to see for a New Orleans parade. But respectable ones -- with the possible exception of the float with all the people making out. The crowd yelled 'Get a room!' as that float passed.*

Peering into the darkness down the street to figure out what goodies the next float will be giving away. Should I photograph, video or just try to grab what I can without wrestling the woman next to me who's already so loaded down with beads I'm amazed that she can even move?

Whistles. Crappy-little-plastic-barely-make-a-sound whistles! This is why I jammed an elbow into the mass of beads that was the woman next to me? Jeez, freakin' idiots.

Screams for beads and baubles from the crowd that grew larger as the parade went by. In fact, I'm convinced both the DoubleTree and Double-U** hotels had emptied of guests by the time the last horse passed our block.

Camera flashes. But no tits.

Oh, and there was a band!*** (this sentence is for Robert S)

And now I hear sirens. Definitely time to go back to my room.

So, I will post pictures once I'm home and can download to my Mac. And, if I can get it to run right, I'll post video of the struttin' High-Steppers and other drill teams that passed by. And possibly of the make-out float.

*Okay, so really it was just me yelling that. But it made for great video.
**W - what a silly glyph-name-symbol for a hotel.
**Actually there were several. But Robert has only ever commented on one.