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Posts Tagged ‘snow’

Anna and I obviously both have weather on the mind today, since she posted her blog post just as I was mid-sentence on mine.

Instead of writing today, I’m going to share a clip from one of my all-time favorite films. I think this scene accurately represents how I’m feeling about March right now. Just imagine that the mother embodies “winter,” the father embodies “spring,” and the grandma is the snowclouds hovering dangerously over concord today.

Oh yeah, and I’m James Dean.

*the moment of truth is at 0:52

** sorry for the subtitles.

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You wouldn’t know it was spring by peering out the window today. After warm temperatures and sweater weather, it feels like February yet again. But despite the snow, today marks the first day of spring. I’ll take it!

A few posts ago, Hannah mentioned my recent blogging block. Sometime around the beginning of March, I just couldn’t get excited about self-analysis. I tried. I really did. For example:

What about March personally resonates with me?
Nothing, other than vague (tame) memories of spring break.

Are there weather events or cultural milestones that impact my emotional calendar this month?
Huh? Ummm. No.

Who likes self-reflection when winter refuses to gracefully exit?
Is that rhetorical?

With that attitude, I have a feeling the crocuses bloomed several days before I looked around long enough to notice them this Saturday. Hannah, at least, says she first saw them last week.

For today, they’ll be buried under a thin layer of slushy snow. I’m hopeful that I’ll spot them again soon, and this time as soon as they emerge—not five days after. And then I’ll marvel (again) at how quickly things change.

Weather: Snow.

Moods:

Anna –5 out of 10 on the “so miserable I can’t get out of bed” to “jumping for joy” scale. No sun, no fun.

Hannah – 6 out of 10. She had a nice weekend.

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Back in October of 2008, at the end of the fall season of environmental education, we threw an end-of-year celebration and staff party that happened to coincide with Halloween. That was the year that I wore my most inspired costume ever: a lampshade rigged up on top of my head. Partygoers were invited to pull the cord dangling by my ear. Nothing would happen.

“Oh dear,” I’d say. “I must be burnt out!”

Speaking of burning out, I was pretty exhausted last week after an epic writing run. So I took Thursday and Friday off and put myself through a strick four-day recharging regimen.

Task One: Read a novel. I chose Swamplandia!, which I purchased even before reading all the media hype because of a loose affiliation with the author. Enjoying a luxury I haven’t taken advantage of in years, I read for two days straight, failing to leave my apartment between 5pm Thursday and 9am Saturday morning. It was total immersion in the hot, humid, mosquito-ridden Florida swamps — the perfect escape from a cold winter of writing in New England.

Task Two: Go on an adventure. The final third of Swamplandia! is a hallucinatory near-death expedition into the swamps. On Saturday I got up early and caught a train out to Ipswich, where I rode my bike out to Crane’s beach. For the first 1.5 hours it was sunny, cold, and beautiful to be walking along the beach. Then I rounded the point and found myself in the salt marshes on the windward side of the peninsula. In the wind it was bitterly cold, I was exhausted, and when I tried to find my way into the shelter of the dunes I instantly lost the trail and got lost in the hills. Sand rose up steeply around me, the wind whipped through the narrow valleys, and slick sheets of ice pooled in the depths. I felt a little bit like the thirteen year old hero of Swamplandia!, lost and exhausted in extreme conditions in otherwise familiar marshland — the precise opposite of the Florida keys.

Task Three: Recovery. I slept for eleven hours on Saturday night and woke up feeling fully refreshed. Then I opened my curtains and saw the snow piling up outside. The solution? Fresh-baked chocolate chip scones, which were remarkably easy and delicious, if I do say so myself. (I will save the recipe for a Food Friday.) These particular scones always remind me of my uncle Mike, who lives in San Jose, California. Mike’s rare visits to the east coast involved massive pillow fights at night, and chocolate chip scones in the morning. This time I shared them with a few friends for an impromptu brunch. Glorious.

Today, I’m feeling refreshed, renewed, and ready to keep writing. Even the worst weather ever can’t put me off.  Plus, I had leftover scones for breakfast.

 

Not my scones. But don't they look good?

Weather: worst day ever. Thirty six degrees and rain/sleet/horrible.

Moods:

Hannah: 7 out of 10 on the can’t get out of bed to jumping for joy scale.
Anna:  6.5 in her current caffeinated state, but she has a stressful week ahead of her. “It’s Monday. But soon it will be Thursday!”

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My downstairs neighbors must hate me. Yesterday, during a random craving for exercise, I set up my roommate’s Wii, which I’ve never played before, and tried my hand (my feet?) at Dance Dance Revolution. I flailed about the room, attempting to hit the steps, and instead kept getting booed by the Wii for my constant screw-ups. In my defense, it was not at all clear why the game never registered shakes of the left-hand controller, or the right-hand one.

Clearly, I didn’t read the instructions.

Ever since I returned from Europe, I’ve had a case of the fitness blahs.  The food in Vienna, Prague, and Berlin was heavy and oil-laden, and rarely included anything green or brightly colored. It was a relief to fill up on salads in Greece, and the fact that I drenched vegetables in olive oil—good fats!—felt healthy. Most days I spent on my feet, touring museums, exploring alleyways and side streets, or running up 500 steps to “that seemingly-close acropolis over there.”

Now that I’m back and cooped up because of the snow, I’m desperate to sweat and exert myself—not my typical impulse. The sidewalks remain treacherous and barely shoveled. The streets have been overtaken by ice mountains and funny-looking snowmen, like the one below. And running up and down the stairs in my building just doesn’t sound appealing.

Tonight I’ll try my hand at DDR again and hope my neighbors don’t complain. A gym membership now seems essential, so signing up is on my to-do list. Until then, though, what would you do if you were me?

Weather: A slushy, nasty wintry mix. Good thing Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow today.

Moods:

Anna – 5.5 out of 10 on the “so miserable I can’t get out of bed” to “jumping for joy” scale. Cabin fever!

Hannah – 4.5 out of 10. She’s cold, even though she has heat.

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Julia is a  colleague who is home from her first semester in college. She shared her thoughts about bad weather everywhere with us.

“This Is Nothing.”

That’s what I’ve been saying to my mom since I’ve been home from college. Trust me, Massachusetts’s blustery winds have nothing on Ohio’s howling gales.

Oberlin College (which is also Hannah’s alma mater, by the way) is situated smack dab in the middle of “The Snowbelt,” which stretches from upstate New York to Wisconsin. In terms of extreme weather — blizzards, floods and tornadoes — Ohio has seen it all.  From November to April it’s as if the Arctic Tundra has been temporarily relocated to the Midwest.

Since September, I experienced a host of tempestuous conditions — sudden heat spells, torrential downpours and harsh snowfall — all of them usually occurring within a short period of time. On top of all my schoolwork, this unpredictable weather has been a lot for me to handle.  After one particularly violent wintry day, I exasperatedly asked my hall-mate, an Ohio native, “Is it ALWAYS like this?!”

Being at home has been a nice break from unpredictable weather — up until last weekend, when a surprise cold snap rolled in and ruined my mood. It was too cold to go out and do anything, like explore the city. On top of that, I had a terrible cold that zapped me of energy.

This week, I’m still sick and growing ever more frustrated by this frosty weather. Sure, snow is pretty when it’s softly falling on cedars, but during blizzard conditions I can’t stand it. I have no desire to sit by my window and stare contemplatively into the wintry white abyss.  All I can do is curl up into a ball and wish it were spring.

If I’m trying to get somewhere in the snow, like to work so I can write this blog post, I hate the snow even more. I don’t know how to drive so I rely on public transit to get me everywhere. But in inclement weather, trains and buses are almost always hopelessly delayed and I am left in the cold, aggravated and waiting for them to arrive.

This severe weather will only worsen when I return to school in two weeks. I’m excited to start new classes and see my friends, but now more than ever part of me is wishing I went to school in California. At least there I wouldn’t be freezing from November to April.

Weather
Overcast with lots of slush on the ground.

Mood
Julia: 5/10. Could be better, could be worse… still wishing it were Spring.

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I relaxed on Sunday. My one foray into the outside world was for a cup of coffee at Starbucks. (Of note: my favorite suburban coffee shop is closed on Sundays.) Otherwise, I read. And listened to my mother fret about the impending snowstorm. Okay, okay. She was right—blizzard.

I spent the rest of my non-reading day watching weather updates on the news, talking about plows, and eavesdropping on the telephone updates my mother received from her weather-inclined friends.

Somewhere between discussions of salt, sand, and shoveling techniques, we flashed back to the December ice storm that clobbered this area two years ago. It left us without heat, electricity, and sanity. And we were the lucky ones—our power resumed after a mere four days. Other people were off the grid for weeks.

That ice storm was an anomaly. You see, we had no idea it would be so bad. We didn’t know it was going to knock a tree onto our brand new car. Or partially sever a tree branch right over our kitchen roof. When we finally shoved the tree off the car—still driveable—and piled in on a quest for a hot cup of coffee (priorities!), the only place in town that still had power was the insurance agency. Go figure.

Now, back to last Sunday. As any good daughter would, I reminded my mother that she was acting like somebody else she knew. My grandmother.

Especially around the holidays, my grandmother used to become the queen of weather reports. Is there a possibility of snow? Ice? Freezing rain? Anything that would impact her drive from her house to ours?  When she’d finally arrive, safely, she’d relax…until her return journey neared.

I like to think weather obsession is not genetic. I tease my mom about her constant monitoring. (FYI: Monday night’s news provided another few hours of weather gluttony for her.) And I don’t have to worry about driving in bad conditions since I don’t own a car. But I’ll admit to listening to the weather report on the radio each morning before setting off for the train station—I mean, what if it’s going to snow?

Weather: Blue skies over a blinding white blanket of snow.

Moods:

Anna – 5 out of 10 on the “so miserable I can’t get out of bed” to “jumping for joy” scale. I was a 4.5 earlier in the day, but now I’m neutral.

Hannah – 5 out of 10. Post-Christmas exhaustion.

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Yesterday, while walking through Harvard Yard, I crossed paths with three shrieking girls. At first, their high-pitched voices concealed the meaning of their words, but after some careful eavesdropping, I deciphered:

Girl 1: “I feel it! It’s here! There are tiny snowflakes hitting my face! It’s real! AHHHHHHH!”

Girl 2: “You just have to embrace it! Embrace the snow!!!”

Girl 3: [Shrieks with laughter]

Girl 1: “Snow! AHHHHHH!!!”

Yes, indeed it snowed yesterday, but the flakes were tiny and silvery rather than fat and white. And really, if there isn’t enough snow on the ground to make an itty-bitty snowman, does it really even count?

But still, here’s to the amusing antics caused by frozen precipitation—and it’s only just the start of the season!

Weather: Chilly, blue skies.

Moods:

Anna – 7 out of 10 on the “so miserable I can’t get out of bed” to “jumping for joy” scale. She’s alert.

Hannah – 6 out of 10. She gave me a desperate look when I asked—she has a lot to do.

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