No Snow!

January 26, 2016 at 4:14 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Wait. No snow?

I know many people and places are being ravaged by the weather lately and trust me, I know what that’s like. I’ve lived through at least one veritable blizzard in my time as a Chicagoan and while it was a freezing, miserable experience, it was also pretty cool. Sure, the grocery stores looked like something from an apocalyptic movie and my tears and snot froze to my face every time I walked outside, but there was something exciting about it, too. Everyone in the city always seems to be a little closer when faced with impending awful weather and watching as the snow piles up brings out the kid in us. Well, most of us.

But not this year. We’ve had maybe two snowfalls so far this season and neither one of them left much of anything to write home (or on a blog!) about. So I can’t help but feeling a little jealous when watching everyone I know busting out the shovels while enjoying their snow days. Why can’t we get one huge dump of snow that incapacitates the entire city? I don’t own a car to shovel out and I’ve got good boots, so I’m ready.

blizzard_large

Not this kind of blizzard. But I’m fairly familiar with these, too.

Obviously, if a huge snowstorm does happen to appear, I’ll regret these words. I like to bitch and moan about the weather with the rest of the city and right now, many of us are bummed about the lack of snow. Of course we’ve been enjoying the warmer temperatures but if we could get one big storm at least once this year, that would be great. Maybe for my birthday? After all, it was my birthday when the last big blizzard came and I even got a snow day myself out of that. So – birthday blizzard? Pretty please with a snowcone on top? Then it can melt in a few days and we jump right into spring. Sounds good to me!

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Birthday Girl

February 3, 2015 at 9:34 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , )

Well, technically my birthday is tomorrow but I celebrate my birth all week month long and I’m posting now. So there.

Blow me.

Scott and I went out on Saturday night to a cool Mexican place with some friends who were there to help me celebrate the fact that I manage to get older without looking a day over 25. The food was good (minus the mix-up with my meal that caused my vegetarian self to eat part of someone else’s beef burrito – luckily the tequila helped to cleanse my palate) and the company was even better so we all had a great time. I have some seriously great friends and they all chipped in to cover my food and drinks (which were ample, trust me – see above). After we ate most of us wandered to a nearby club and had a few more drinks before fighting a huge blizzard to get home. Yup, this is my second birthday week in Chicago where we’ve had a record amount of snowfall and this was the second week in my life where I was able to work from home due to the weather. Talk about an early birthday present!

Now what will I do to celebrate my actual birthday?  So far, the plan includes waking up super early to go to the gym (we’ll see if this actually happens or not…), stopping in for breakfast at this diner by my apartment that I always want to go into but never make time for, working, going to an after-work event which includes snacks and adult beverages, then coming home and enjoying some quality time to myself. Scott has class all night and most of my friends are busy so I think I’m going to get a huge frozen pizza and watch some of my favorite guilty pleasure television programming. And you know what? That day sounds just about perfect to me!

I must be getting old. And I don’t mind a damn bit!

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Frosty the Slushman

February 8, 2013 at 3:36 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , )

Here was my view last night as I walked home from the train:

Temperature not included.

Temperature not included.

It looks fairly tranquil until you notice the creepy, shrunken snowman in the foreground.  Also, this picture doesn’t do justice to the three inches of pure icy slush that covered just about every surface.  That was fun to walk in and it taught me a valuable lesson in the need for waterproofing shoes.

Still, it was kind of peaceful and pretty.

Happy Friday!

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Wacky World of Weather

January 29, 2013 at 2:03 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

Having lived all my life in the mid-west, I’m used to some random weather.  I’ve seen snow a day after sunshine and temperatures in the 70’s, hid in basements during tornadoes and even heard the elusive thundersnow during the Chicago Snowpacolypse.  Still, strange weather manages to grab my attention and seems a little noteworthy.  For instance, in the past 48 hours I’ve walked in: rain, hail, freezing rain, snow, fog and lots and lots of wind.  Sunday night there was thunder and lightning during a torrential downpour.  This was called a “wintry mix”, which is about the most vague description of weather that once can come up with, making it perfect for Chicago.  Today is supposed to be in the 60’s…for it being the end of January, that really is strange.  Too bad there’s more thunder, lightning and possibly tornadoes instead of sunshine (sure going to make my evening commute fun).  The high of 15 on Friday is more like what I’m used to for this time of year but it’s not exactly something I’m looking forward to.

And then this happens when a building catches on fire and it’s well below freezing outside.

My dad told me that it was in the 80’s down in Louisiana last week and that he had to turn on the air conditioning in his truck.  I told him to bite me.

So when will it end?  It won’t.  And I really do try to accept that fact and just deal with the weather as it comes but sometimes it’s just so difficult.  Much like trying to plan outfits that correspond to climate.

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What Winter?

March 8, 2012 at 12:28 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

To live in Chicago is to bitch about the winter but this year has allowed us to all keep our mouths shut.  We’ve had a grand total of maybe 8 inches of snow all season long and the temperatures have been consistently hovering around 30 degrees.  Considering how in years past I’ve spent entire months and never seen double digits (while seeing nothing but mushy, sooty and depressing piles of snow that were too cold to melt), 30 degrees seems downright humid.

Not this year!

It’s been ridiculously warm and while I really want to sit back and enjoy it while I can, it’s tough because I know in the end this probably isn’t a good sign for our Mother Earth.

Regardless, when it got into the mid 60’s yesterday, everyone had a smile on their face.  Granted, there were 40mph winds and that smile might have been forced due to the gales nearly blowing us over but we smiled nonetheless.  The boyfriend and I actually went out to the local pub just because we wanted an excuse for a walk and a chance to get out of the apartment while it was nice enough that we didn’t loathe every moment of being outside.  It seems that spring is in the air but most of us Chicagoans are holding our breaths because we feel like there’s just no way we can get off this easy.  In fact, it hasn’t even felt like winter and I haven’t needed my heavy-duty coat or super thick scarves and gloves once yet.  What’s a girl with all of the necessary accessories needed to survive frigid months to do?  Trust me, I’m not complaining, I’m simply in a state akin to shock.  It will probably snow 4 feet in late April or early May although that won’t stop me from keeping my fingers crossed that this was just a fluke of a season and is no way indicative of climate change.  And it’s easy to keep my hopes up when the ten-day forecast just gets warmer and warmer!  I even saw a guy in shorts over the weekend…though given this city, he could have just been a little deranged.

 

 

 

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Nice While it Lasted

November 10, 2011 at 11:49 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , )

Well, it’s cold.

Brr

We’ve been relatively lucky so far this winter and temperatures haven’t caused us to cry just yet.  Today that all changed.  I’m not entirely sure the high will get above the mid-40’s today and I had to bust out my large winter coat for the first time all (seasonal) year.  I knew this was coming and so I can’t really complain but I’m sure not happy.

Why does summer seem to go so fast?  I know that I chose to live in a city with an extremely brief burst of warm weather but I can safely say I made the most of it while I could.  I hit the beach a number of times, read and napped in the nearby park, went to various street and music festivals and spent many a lazy afternoon enjoying a cold one on my back porch.  I’ll miss all that while Chicago freezes over and I seriously contemplate moving to Mexico.  There are a few winter festivals to look forward to but it’s hard to get excited about putting on four layers just to walk to a bus stop.  And to be honest, it’s not even that cold out today – in two or three months I’ll be begging for temperatures in double digits and anything above freezing will feel like a heat wave.  There were even reports of snowflakes today but I luckily didn’t see any myself.  My opinion is that the first snowfall of the year needs to actually mean something and produce some accumulation – none of this wispy washy flurry bullshit.  Of course Mother Nature has never really listened to me or my opinion so there’s a chance I’ll see some snow tonight.  If it’s light enough to see anything by the time I get out of this building.

Is it Spring yet?

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Mother Nature’s Sick Sense of Humor

April 18, 2011 at 12:33 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

My current feeling towards winter

Eight days ago I woke up and put on my sandals for the first time in six months.  I then put on a tank top and shorts and spent roughly 4 hours walking around outside in temperatures well above 80 degrees.  After donning snow boots and heavy coats for months on end, I can only try to describe how glorious it was to enjoy sunshine and warmth.  I knew that such a heated day was an anomaly but I enjoyed it while I could and began to allow myself to think that winter might actually be over.

I then put away my extremely cold weather scarves and hats and I think that’s where I went wrong.  Why?  Because today I woke up and saw snow on the ground.

After spending a bit of time crying, cursing and generally denouncing the distance from the equator in which I find myself living, I rolled out of bed and put on more layers of clothes than I should be wearing this late in April.  I didn’t put on my snow boots out of principle though I did have to dig in my closet for a hat, muttering my hatred for the weather the whole time.  I realize that this sort of thing happens and should honestly be expected at this point but come on.  Enough already.  I surrender.

I’m traveling to southern Indiana this weekend for Easter and I can only hope the weather is a little nicer down there.  However, if it’s too nice there’s a good chance I just won’t come back.  Are you listening, Mother Nature?  I know I can’t be the only one cursing you today.  Though if it helps, I promise to bring back all of my winter gear and leave it out until August, if you just bump up those temps a bit.  If you agree, simply stay under 40 degrees and rain for the rest of the day.

According to Weather.com, it looks like we have a deal.

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Melt Baby Melt!

February 16, 2011 at 12:44 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , )

Temperatures are above freezing and the snow is finally melting!  People are literally busting out the shorts around Chicago and while I think that’s getting a bit ahead of the game, I’m certainly enjoying wearing one less layer to work every day.

Here’s a list of things I’ve happened upon on the sidewalks since the Big Thaw:

  • 3 random keys in 3 different parts of the city
  • a handful of change
  • 2 gloves (not matching)
  • one large men’s sneaker
  • a spoon
  • one sad looking, soaking wet teddy bear
  • a car bumper
  • a broken camera
  • 4 broken umbrellas
  • a bag of charcoal
  • a bottle of hot sauce (found next to the charcoal…someone was trying to stay warm by any means possible)

I didn't realize I was being followed...

However, just because the snow is melting doesn’t mean the sidewalks are yet safe.  My 2 year record of making it through a winter without falling down has been blown to hell, as I fell twice in two days right after the snowpocolypse.  The first time was the day after my birthday, when I lost balance and wound up sitting on a huge pile of snow.  I was hungover, which made it even worse.  Since it was just snow though it wasn’t a big deal.  The second time was a bit worse – I still landed in a huge pile of snow but I fell further to get there.  I’ve come close to wiping out numerous times but have mastered the art of the slip and glide, where I usually manage to catch my balance.  With all of the snow finally melting, I thought I was in the clear.

Wishful thinking.  Snow may be melting off the sidewalks but it’s causing them to become covered in ice, which I learned the hard way two nights ago.  I was walking home from the train and talking to my mom on my cell, which is normal enough.  She was asking me about the weather and I was in the middle of explaining how icy everything was when it happened – ice and gravity got the better of me once again.  I slid for a few feet and managed to stay upright but my poor phone flew from my hand and wound up in four pieces on the sidewalk.  I imagine anyone watching me got a good laugh and I could almost hear passerby’s saying “Wow, that sucks” as my phone hit the ground.  My first thought was that I was going to have to find a pay phone so I could let my mom know I didn’t get hit by a car.  I then gingerly picked up my phone and was thrilled to see that while it snapped apart, it was easily put back together.  By the time I had it turned back on I had a frantic voicemail from Mom (shocker) but I was just glad the thing was working.  And that I didn’t break any bones, because for a half second I had a horrible vision of snapping my elbow in two (and for a nanosecond I was thankful I have health insurance again).  At least when there was 2 feet of snow on the ground there was a little bit of padding.

With the forecast calling for weather in the upper 50’s (I know, can you believe it?!) later this week, hopefully the snow and ice will soon be gone for good.  Or at least, until two weeks from now when it’s sure to make yet another unwelcome appearance.  But hey – today marks the second day that we’re closer to March than January.  Spring can’t hide forever!

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Can’t Park Here

February 11, 2011 at 12:38 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , )

As seen in front of my apartment

Since my move to Chicago, I’ve become rather fond of some of our local traditions.  Dying the river green for St. Patrick’s Day, hating on our politicians and gorging ourselves on food and drink are all things I can get behind but there’s another tradition I’m happy to avoid because it can be downright dangerous.  Of course I’m referring to saving parking spots in the dead of winter

I’ve known about this for a while but have never given it much thought, especially since I no longer have a car.  Apparently the particular tradition of  “if you dig it, you dib it” is a pretty common practice throughout neighborhoods where cars get double buried due to plows.  Things are really serious now since we still have so much damn snow all over the place and Chicagoans aren’t messing around with their spots.  I realized this a few nights ago upon arriving home, when I noticed two spots that had been saved.  As you can see, the first one had a stool in it.  This next one (in case you can’t quite tell) featured a couple of boxes with a piece of plywood stacked on top.

I’ve seen lots of chairs, milk crates, boxes, debris, road construction cones and even a concrete pillar saving spots all around the city.  I understand the reasoning behind the idea – if I spent 2 hours shoveling out my car I would want that spot back too.  Most Chicagoans acknowledge and respect this Ancient Law of Dibs but it remains controversial nonetheless.  Some people say that if everyone shoveled out

Don't walk the plank!

their cars then no one would have to save a thing, but given that the majority of the population tends to be lazy and unmotivated in the middle of winter, this idea isn’t likely.  The For and Against groups post fliers, write lengthy editorials and even start organizations based on their position (Chair-Free Chicago anyone?).  Politicians even talk about this while running for office – current Mayor Daley supports it, as do new hopefuls Rahm Emanuel and Gery Chico.  It seems that everyone who owns a car has a die hard opinion on the matter – personally, I’m thankful it’s something I don’t really have to deal with.

This week we were discussing this tradition at the food pantry where I volunteer.  Out of morbid curiosity, I asked a few Chicago natives what happens if someone stops their car, removes the space-saver and takes the spot anyway.  You would’ve thought I had just told them the Cubs were going to win the next World Series.  After wiping the incredulous looks from their faces, they both just shook their head and said you wouldn’t want to do that.  I’ve heard horror stories of people getting their back windows smashed in after swiping saved spots and apparently that kind of thing really happens.  I was told that at the very least, someone who usurped a spot with dibs could expect a nice car keying.  Really.

I’ll stick to the sidewalks any day.

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Snowed In, Bowled Over

February 2, 2011 at 3:59 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

Can’t talk much today as I’m trying to dislodge the foot that’s in my mouth so I can eat my own words.

The snow came, it saw and it conquered.  I left work early and as I walked the 15 minutes from the train to my apartment, the wind tore tears from my eyes and stuck them to my face.  It also damn near knocked me over on more than one occasion.  Lake

This is the street in front of my apartment

Shore Drive officially shut down, stranding motorists for 9 hours or more.  CTA buses and firefighters went to try to rescue people and then the buses got stuck too.  People ran out of gas.  They peed in bottles (well, I haven’t heard that one for a fact but I would imagine they’d have to).  They abandoned their cars.  Part of Wrigley Field’s roof blew off and landed in the street.  Windows were sucked from their rubber casings in all the wind.  Some lost power for over 12 hours.  I experienced thundersnow for the first time in my life and Chicago Public Schools were canceled for the first time in 13 years.  And can I just say, seeing thunder and lightning during an actual blizzard is pretty intimidating…apparently, this snow storm wasn’t messing around.

There’s over 17 inches of snow outside my building and some drifts are much higher than that.  I’ve never seen this much snow in my life.  I took some pictures and tried to wander around but most sidewalks ended in huge drifts that I would have to climb to get over.  There’s just no place for all the stuff to go. And with temperatures hovering near 10 degrees the next day or so, it’s not melting anytime soon.  But wait, how did I get these pictures on a work day?  That’s right folks, the Blizzard of ’11 gave me a paid day off during my birthday week!  Thank you, Blizzard, I do appreciate it  Now I’m going to bake some brownies, curl up with my book and enjoy the fact that I don’t have to shovel my sidewalk.

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