Namo amitabha Buddhaya, y'all.
This here's a religious establishment. Act respectable.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Talk Thursday (on Friday): Apples and Oranges

This has been the weirdest week in recent Jen history. For starters, I've spent a disproportionate part of it here at the house, huddled in a warm blanket and waiting out the Big Chill (blast of Arctic air from somewhere up north that doesn't like Texas very much) with Joan and the cats. I went to work on Monday like normal. All Monday night and Tuesday morning we had sleeting rain that froze when it hit the ground, turning my little corner of Albatross Lane into a skating rink. At about 7:45 Tuesday morning I got a call that for the first time in Law Firm history, we were going to be closed because of the weather. Which was good; despite the ice I'd navigated as far as the Main Drag that runs past my house, only to discover that it, too was an unsalted, unsanded skating rink, and there was no way to go another foot unless I wanted to strap some skates to the ol' Saturn Vue and glide the rest of the way to work. So I turned around (with some difficulty) and back home I went.

I dunno about you, but long strings of unplanned unstructured time give me the willies. I never quite know what to do with myself. Oh sure, I can spend the whole day writing (and I did, for the most part) but there's always this nagging sensation that I SHOULD BE WORKING (on Law Firm stuff, that is) and despite the utter lack of any ability to actually do so, I can't help but feel vaguely guilty. I think about the mail piling up on my desk and my cute li'l task list growing ever longer. None of that actually stops me from, you know, curling up with the cats and taking a long afternoon nap, but it does make it a little less fun. (The cats, of course, are oblivious; warm hooman to nap with! Yay!)

Wednesday the Law Firm was back in business; we just opened late. I skipped my swim (no unnecessary driving in this mayhem) and crawled to work on a well-sanded freeway that was STILL icy as hell. I don't think we ever got above 30 mph and that was just fine with me. Any faster would have been too scary. Only about 1/3 of my colleagues actually made it to the office; plenty of people had kids home due to closed schools, too far to come on roads too bad to be safely navigated, and other Winter Driving Issues. Those of us that did make it in were like survivors of the Titanic, giving each other high-fives. We'd have ordered pizza, but we couldn't find anyone to deliver it (!).

Thursday we were actually open at the regular time, though I was late anyway because I drove Joan (who will not drive on ice, no matter what) to work. Getting downtown from our house, which is only about an eight mile drive, took something like 45 minutes as we crept down a Main Drag that still hadn't been sanded. Getting from downtown to the Law Firm, though, which is a comparable distance, only took about twenty minutes. The miracle of sand trucks. Then, Friday, just as we were starting to clean up from this mess, along came six or eight inches of snow and threw us right back into the middle of it.

I mean, seriously. Six or eight inches of snow on top of a sheet of ice. THAT's fun to navigate. I was all ready to jump up and try it anyway, but Joan asked me, very politely, to please have an ounce of sense and not try to go in to work. I'm glad there are people around here that are smarter than I am. I let myself be talked into it. Which turned out to be for the good. The nice news lady on Channel 8 kept saying it over and over again: "If you don't have to go anywhere, please stay home." She didn't add, "And if you're the fat chick on Albatross Lane who thinks she'll be just fine because she drives a Saturn Vue, this goes double for you," but she might as well have.

So here I was with another eight hours of unstructured time. We elected to spend the first three of them asleep (the vote was seconded by all three cats, who draped themselves around us like throw pillows). When we finally did get up, we decided our big project for the day would be digging the cars out of the snowbank and chiseling all the ice off the windshields, in case we had to go someplace in a hurry. This took, oh, about an hour, by which time we darn near froze our fingertips off. And noses. Twenty degrees is rough on noses. Of course there was some time spent on the Internet. We made a batch of squash soup with sweet potatoes. And yours truly spent half an hour on the Gazelle for like exercise. (I haven't been to the pool since Monday. My chlorine content is getting low.) And I exchanged a number of text messages with my boss, the basic thrust of which was, Chill out. It can wait until Monday.

It can wait until Monday. What a concept.

So as Day Four of the Big Chill rolls to a close, I'm several pages further along in my WIP, the cars have been swept off, I've had a little exercise and there's squash soup chillin' in the fridge. Which, for an ice day, is not half bad. How does it compare to last year's Snowpocalypse, when The Worst Storm Ever In the History of North Texas plowed through here in the middle of the Winter Olympics and left us without power for four fucking days? Apples and oranges, my friends. We never lost power this time around. And that made everything a lot more tolerable.


Marcia Wall said...

Still reading... thx for continuing to write. :)

Jen said...

Awww. You're welcome! I read you too!