Archive for the ‘Weather’ Category

Snow is Peaceful

Despite the annoying fact that I could see my breath on the train this morning, I still believe this will be a good day. Snow blankets everything, making the city feel like a Disney movie set. And there is something about the sound of falling snow. It’s like silence… only aloud. Also, while shoveling out the mail box this morning, even the roar of our neighbors’ snow blowers sounded soothing (maybe that’s because we ordered our own snow blower after Mike spent hours shoveling last night…). Plus, no one appears to be in the office yet, so I can sit at my desk, actually accomplishing things, while listening to my collection of Christmas music (which has now reached 116 songs).

I feel…

Peaceful.

December 14th, 2007 • 9:30 am • dinane • Posted in Christmas, House, WeatherComments Off on Snow is Peaceful

Well…

It’s snowing.

I guess it’s winter now.

November 20th, 2007 • 10:16 am • dinane • Posted in Weather311 Comments »

Grey

The only colors I see out my window are various shades of grey. We are living in a cloud today.

November 13th, 2006 • 3:04 pm • dinane • Posted in WeatherComments Off on Grey

Breakfast 2.0

I got to the train station with time to spare. Of course, I got there without my umbrella… But the guy on the news said the rain would be over by the commute! He’s a liar.

I didn’t get too wet on that end, though, because I could stay in my car until the last possible second. I sat next to a distinguished-looking man in the first car of the train, and listened to my Gnarls Barkley. I also finally beat one of the puzzle levels in Tetris that had been giving me trouble.

The train eased into North Station, and I had soon detrained (yes, that’s the word they use, it’s like deplane, but slightly less cool, and not recognized by standard spell checking). The walk over to the subway was as it always is – short but annoying. I’m not a huge fan of being part of a herd. I’d moo or something, but that would distract me from my air-drums.

A green line trolley came and allowed me to get on. Which I did. I settled into a seat, pulled my DS back out, and went into my T-rider’s coma. When I can listen to music and play video games, the T ride goes by quickly. I sometimes am surprised when I realize we’re approaching Arlington.

Today, I was surprised when I realized we were leaving Arlington. And I was still in my T-rider’s coma, in my seat, playing Tetris, and listening to Gnarls. I quickly stuffed my things in my bag, and got off at Copley (the next stop). I reasoned that it was fate, so I may as well stop at Finagle a Bagel.

At first I thought about getting a cinnamon bagel with some light cream cheese. But then, I spotted the cream cheese of the month. Pumpkin! So many things taste good as pumpkin flavored. It’s amazing. So, obviously I wanted to get that. And I decided to be safe and have it on a nice plain bagel.

My walk continued, and I continued to get wet. So did my bagel bag. But when I got to the office and into the elevator, I checked, and the bagel itself was as dry as it ought to be. Good job, bagel bag!

Morning greetings all around, and I soon settled into my desk chair. I opened up the wrapping, and scraped some of the excess cream cheese off. I don’t need three pounds of cream cheese per bite, thank you very much. With a smile on my face, I took a bite.

The smile immediately turned to a frown. “Well, this is horrible,” I muttered.

One of my coworkers looked up over the cube wall. “What’s wrong?”

I told him about my botched morning thus far, and he laughed. “I was so excited by pumpkin cream cheese. But this is awful.”

Another coworker chimed in, “Usually pumpkin flavored things are good. They must have screwed it up.”

“Somewhere, in a Finagle a Bagel factory, sits a giant vat of rotting pumpkin cream cheese,” observed the first coworker.

I offered them a chance to try it, as I wasn’t going to eat it. This spawned the necessary conversation about how people often take anything offered to them and wonder why at a later moment. The first coworker offered me some spoilt milk. Neither one of us bought what the other was selling.

“I’m still hungry. But I can’t even take a second bite of this thing.”

That first coworker asked me if I wanted anything from Au Bon Pain, as he was about to head over there for some oatmeal. I grimaced, and made a quick decision. “I’ll come with you. I just feel bad about wasting food.”

“It’s not waste. It’s proper disposal.”

Now, having returned from ABP with a nice bowl of oatmeal, I feel as though my first breakfast should have been detonated by the bomb squad, to make sure no one has to even look at it again. Of course, I simply wrapped it back up and threw it away. But I can have dreams of controlled explosions, can’t I?

I couldn’t decide what to name this entry. My other option was “Toxic Waste.” I’m still not sure which is better. Oh well. Hitting “Publish” will make it semi-permanent.

November 2nd, 2006 • 8:53 am • dinane • Posted in Food, Weather2 Comments »

40 Days and 40 Nights

I woke up more or less on time this morning. That is an unusual feat for this week. I think the three-day weekend threw me for a loop. That and the darkness. The impenetrable darkness.

Give me back my sun!

If I could live someplace that had lots of sun but still got four seasons, I’d be a happy lady. But alas, cold weather and lots of sun repel each other like magnets turned to face each other.

I was slowed down a bit by the tying of shoes, so I knew I’d be cutting it close to catch the train. See, I’ve recently decided that one of the more annoying features of my commute is in fact the drive to Malden. So, as an experiment this week, I’ve decided to take the commuter rail from Melrose – which I can get to in under five minutes, even when the traffic lights are against me.

The traffic lights were against me, and as I approached the railroad crossing, I could just sense that I would be trapped on the wrong side of the lowered gates, unable to get my car to the parking lot and dash for the train. Much to my surprise, however, the gates were not down and the bells were not ringing. I pulled in to park as close to the parking-money-taking-ticket-spitting-box as possible, dashed out, paid my $2, dashed back to my car to put the ticket in the window (why can’t Melrose be like everyone else and just have the box you shove money into based on parking space number?), locked the car, and dashed to the platform.

I grinned as I looked left to see if I could see the train’s headlights in the distance. I did not, so I started towards the Metro box to pick up a free paper. Then my brain kicked into gear and heard the muttering of annoyed commuters. This caused me to follow their gaze – up and to the right… Oh… the red-glowy-lights-of-information…

“…30+ minutes. We apologize for the inconvenience…”

What?!

“…flooding at Bradford, trains will be delayed 10-15 minutes…”

Okay…

“…mechanical difficulties, the 6:05 departure train from Haverhill is running late by 30+ minutes. We apologize…”

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…………………………..

The ladies whose gaze I mimicked were just realizing that our 6:51 was in fact the 6:05 departure from Haverhill.

I don’t know what it is about me, but I can’t waste $2. I could have gotten in my car and drove into Malden. I could have taken the orange line like I did only last week. But I would have wasted my parking ticket in Melrose, and that was simply unacceptable. I went across the tracks for a muffin.

After selecting my corn muffin and Pure Premium orange juice, I settled down at a table to munch. Then I heard the tell-tale ding-ding-ding-ding of the crossings going down. “I guess the train isn’t delayed that much!” I bolted. Across the tracks. Like the idiot I am.

It wasn’t really that close of a call. But my heart and brain were racing when I realized I had just crossed in front of the train heading from Boston outbound. The outbound trains don’t stop at all the stations in the morning. It was going at full speed.

The poor engineer was probably shocked silly that such an idiot maneuver had been performed right in front of his train. He blew the whistle, but by the time he did that I was already safely on the other side of the tracks. Let this be a lesson to you. Don’t be an idiot. Stay behind the gates when they close.

After I recovered from my adrenaline rush of near-death, I went back to munching on my muffin. I finished that, and grabbed myself a Metro. It’s a good thing I wasn’t sipping my orange juice at the exact moment I turned to page 2. The second headline on the page had the gaul to read, “T: Commuter rail on-time rate is greatly improved.”

Ha! Ha ha ha ha ha haaa haaaaaaa!

Unfortunately, the rest of my fellow commuters were already onto later pages. I could not share the laugh. Plus, morning commuters are something like beta fish – happier to be left alone.

The next wave of commuters started to arrive as an outbound train sped by again. We were probably a little too hopeful that the ding-ding-ding-ding was for our train. The 7:17 commuters were slightly confused, but much less annoyed than us 6:51 people. They realized that they would be able to get on our train, long before theirs would show.

Finally, our inbound train showed up. I saw several 7:17 commuters dash from their cars and homes at top speed, thinking they were about to miss their 7:17 train. But no, they merely missed the 6:51, which was oddly half-empty. I expected it to be jammed full, with extra 7:17 commuters on board.

The ride in was uneventful, and accompanied in my ears by Gnarls Barkley.

I cannot tell you how glad I was to hear the announcement at North Station that the orange line was “experiencing heavy delays due to flooding at Back Bay.”

October 12th, 2006 • 9:10 am • dinane • Posted in Life, WeatherComments Off on 40 Days and 40 Nights

Crisp Winter Air

Okay, yes, I know. It’s not winter yet. It’s hardly even fall. But, see, I’m still unreasonably excited about snowboarding.

Last night, we went and picked up the giant box I ordered from R.E.I. Mike’s planning on skiing (smart boy), and will therefore need a way to carry skis to snow-covered mountains. And eventually, I will graduate out of the snowboarding classes that come with free rentals, and I will want a snowboard of my own. (And it will be green! To match my jacket! Or maybe not. Who knows. But it certainly won’t be pink!)

Anyway, so, yeah, we went and got the box. The damn thing is immense. I mean, seriously. It’s ridiculous. Paul could fit in it. And if it weren’t so frickin’ high up there, I wouldn’t put it past him to try to climb into it. (Don’t try it, Paul. Unlike my car’s trunk, it is air-tight, and I’d hate to have to dispose of a body. Plus, then, Kelly would probably kill us, and she’d go to jail, and no bride should be forced to wear black and white stripes to wed a dead man. [Too far? Woops.])

So, there you have it. I’m excited for the winter, even though it’s not even fall. I’m a crappy New Englander. I should want to stare at and smell the foliage.

Hm… Actually… I do have a straight-on view of the public garden if I twist my head about 100 degrees to the left. That probably will be gorgeous. And I do love that smell. And the feeling of cool air with a warm sun. *sigh*

Okay, autumn. You can come too. But don’t linger too long. Once the leaves have fallen, you cease to be fun for anyone.

September 20th, 2006 • 8:53 am • dinane • Posted in Life, Weather2 Comments »

Is it Really the Long Way if There is No Short Way?

Some time between the parking lot incident and the adventures in 24-hour productions, a bunch of driving occurred.

After getting bumped out of the parking lot, the drive home was interminable. I had told Mike I was taking route 9, and the back roads leading up to it were a virtual parking lot. We did inch forwards a little bit at a time, over the span of fifteen minutes or so. When I finally got to the divided road, I thought I was going to be okay. My direction seemed to be clear of cars. And it was, until I got past the crest of the hill.

I slowed to a stop only a few hundred feet from the light where I turned on to route 9. Cars everywhere. We all inched forwards, slow as slow can be, over the span of the next forty-five minutes. I even saw a guy get out of his car to wipe down more snow. He wasn’t driving anyway. Why not? We were actually there so long that the storm cleared up and the sun came out. That was awesome, but it had no effect on the traffic.

When we finally got to the next light (which is barely more than a mile), I decided to bail on 9 and head for 30. I reached for my cell phone to call Mike. It still wasn’t there. I prayed that I wouldn’t get hurt on the way home, so Mike wouldn’t have to go on a wild goose chase looking for me.

I got cut off on the side road I took to hop over to 30 by a small white car that still had a foot of snow on the roof. As she took off, the snow fell down the back of the car and covered her back windshield. At the light to turn onto 30, she got out of her car, and waved her snow brush at me. I smiled, thinking she was going to knock the snow off the back, and maybe she just didn’t have enough room to reach it from wherever she was parked. However, she just brushed off something on her front windshield and took off when the light turned green. I hate idiots!

I did make it home rather uneventfully. Route 30 was relatively clear, and since the storm had died down, I didn’t worry too much about the winding roads. I was able to see them.

When I pulled into the parking lot, I noticed that Mike had already smartly cleaned off his car. He’s a bright guy :). I couldn’t find a shoveled-out space, so I just barreled head on into one that had no tracks in it, nor had it been plowed at all. It was at its full thickness.

I got inside, shook off the snow and spent a good couple minutes whining to Mike that it sucked and I hated everything about it. Mike said they had postponed the start of the holiday party until 7:15, but we decided we should leave more or less immediately anyway. I changed out of my sopping-wet clothes, and we took off.

Mike had gotten directions to the MFA from the internet both using the highway and highway-less. The museum is on route 9, however, so we thought we might as well just drive on the surface streets. I did encourage him to take 30 until it met up with 9, since I had experienced a better drive that way.

While on route 30, we rounded a corner, and in front of us was the side of the trailer of an eighteen-wheeler. Luckily, Mike wasn’t driving particularly fast, and there was plenty of room to stop. The truck was obviously stuck, and we waited patiently for him to get on off the road. It was kind of weird.

When we got to 9, we ended up right behind a plow. We, and everyone else on the road, crawled along. It was slow going, but it was still going. Until we got to Brookline. First of all, Brookline was probably the worst-plowed of any of the towns along the way. Second of all, traffic got worse. Next thing we knew, we were stopped. And we were stopped for a full hour.

During that hour, we did occasionally inch up. The inching, however, must have just been compression, as we never actually got anywhere. Mike seriously contemplated jumping the median, so we could take some back roads to move ahead a mile or so. Just as he worked up the courage to try out the very illegal U-turn, traffic started moving again. We got through the intersection where blue and red lights flashed, and made it down to the museum only an hour late. For the postponed time. Mike was not impressed. I was very hungry.

Luckily, they had food there. The details of the event, however, are not very interesting. I spent most of the time in a nervous state of shock. I’m kind of a shy person, and huge parties where I know literally one person are definitely not my favorite thing. They were very nice people, though.

After the event, we got back to the car, and drove slowly, along the highway this time, to get back home. Mike found a shoveled-out space on the other end of the apartment complex, and we rushed inside to bed. I did manage to set my alarm for 5:20 DT, which by the way, was about 4 hours after the time I got to bed.

The next morning, after a nice hot shower, I packed up my things for the day of acting, fully unaware of what I would be doing that day. I climbed over the piles of snow into my car, and managed to easily jerk out of the space. My car idled in the middle of the parking lot while I brushed and scraped snow and ice off the windows and windshields.

I finally took off, having just enough time to make it to Worcester. But as I got up to speed on route 9 (this post was brought to you by the number 9), my car started doing bizarre things. The steering was wonky and shaking back and forth, and a strange noise was coming out of… somewhere. I immediately got nervous that I had a busted tire, and pulled into the Dunkin’ Donuts (the one across the street from the other Dunkin’ Donuts) parking lot.

I got out and nervously took a look at my tires. They all seemed right. I kicked each one in turn to make sure they were solid, and they seemed to be right. So I nervously took off back on the road. Through experimentation, I discovered that the problem only showed up when I was going over 40 miles and hour. I also found that it had nothing to do with the engine when I got up to speed, put in the clutch, and pulled out the key (there wasn’t any traffic). So, knowing that, I hobbled my car along the 55 mph speed limit road at 40 all the way in to WPI.

At the end of the very long day, I totally had forgotten that my car was broken. Mike was driving me and a couple other guys back from dinner to the WPI campus where our various cars were hanging out, and I realized that I was in for a long drive home. Mike grumbled that he would have to drive down to Connecticut the next day. I sighed that I would have to call for an appointment with the dealer.

When I got to my car, I still had small hopes that it was a snow-related problem. So I went around to each wheel in turn and used my snow brush to clean off the tires and wheel-wells. With a prayer, I took off eastward. It wasn’t until I got out of Worcester that I was able to try going over 40, but when I did I was greeted by the happy sounds of a car that was happy to do what I wanted it to. I thanked God, and went home at my normal speeds. Mike was pretty thankful that I’d be driving the next day as well.

December 15th, 2005 • 9:24 am • dinane • Posted in Life, WeatherComments Off on Is it Really the Long Way if There is No Short Way?

White Knight

or… “Would You Like a Blizzard with That?”

When I woke up on Friday morning, the snow was already coming down. But I had things to do, and I wanted to be able to leave work early, so I got my ass in gear. I was out the door plenty early that I should have been able to leave at 3:30, given a normal full-day’s work and a standard length commute. Of course, I didn’t factor in the need to sweep the snow off my car. I did that, and was quickly… I mean very slowly like crawling… on my way.

The drive the work was uneventful, if ridiculously slow. My 12 minute commute upped itself to 35. But I did get there, and I carefully backed into a space so I’d be able to pull out forwards. I was the second person in. I decided to go chat with the first person who arrived, because I was seriously covered in snow and didn’t really want to sit in my chair until I dried off.

I told him about the evening’s plans. Mike’s company holiday party was that night, and we were supposed to get there at 6:00. He wasn’t sure if he was going to go in to work or just work from home, so I had to be prepared for all eventualities. We started making guesses as to who would be the next person to show up. We were startled to find out who it was!

The day crawled on by. At noontime, a bunch of crazies from the test department went out for lunch. In the blizzard. Crazies. When we got back upstairs from our cafeteria lunch, we stood by the window looking for our cars. I spotted mine, and it was completely devoid of snow! Everyone was jealous.

Mike IMed me and told me that he had, in fact, stayed home. But the weather was crappy, and we had to get to Boston for 6:00, so I should come home soon. I decided I’d leave at 3:00 and make up for it later. (Like today.)

When 3:00 came, I was scribbling some notes to myself so that I wouldn’t forget what I was doing come Monday. Mike IMed me to make sure I was leaving, and told me a sobering piece of information – my cell phone was at home on the coffee table. I am such an idiot! I told him I’d take route 9 home, rather than route 30, because 9 is straighter, so I don’t need to see as well.

I bundled up as best I could, grabbed my Rubbermaid box that my lunch had been in and my water bottle, and prepared myself for the zero visibility blizzard. Am I a moron? Why are you asking that?

My car was, as we saw before, not covered in snow, but that snow had to go somewhere. And “somewhere” was a big snowdrift in front of and over my car’s bumper. I swore a bit, and then realized that the person who was parked behind me had already left, so I would be able to back out through that space. Start the car. Throw the stuff in the passenger seat. Brush off the snow. Back in the car.

I pulled back, got stuck. Pulled forward, got stuck. Back. Forward. Rock, rock, rock, and roll! Back I went, and I carefully went on my way. I rolled through the stop sign in the parking lot, because I didn’t see anyone coming and I knew momentum was key to getting out of the unplowed parking lot alive. When I got to the road, I saw a car coming, and I had to stop. After it passed… doom.

My front tires of my front-wheel-drive Jetta were in the dip between the end of the parking lot driveway and the road. And they weren’t going anywhere. 1-R-1-R-rock-rock-rock-spinnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn. This is not good. I got out and surveyed the situation. I stomped down the snow in front of the tires, and got back in to try again. No good. Time for the four-ways! I brought out the brush and tried to push snow away from the tires. Several cars went by. I tried again. Still no good. I yelled and swore, and got out again.

I then noticed the door of the white F-150 opening behind me. The driver had a scarf wrapped around as a face mask and gauntlet-like gloves covering his hands. He came up and asked what was wrong. “I’m screwed.” Okay, I didn’t say that, but that’s how I felt. He offered to help me push. That didn’t work. He offered a bump. I heaved a sigh and said we may as well try. After several false starts, we were both on my way. I stuck my hand out my window into the white-cold and gave him a thumbs-up and a wave.

My hero.

My knight in shining white armor with a blue oval seal reading “Ford.”

I will never know your name.

December 12th, 2005 • 11:17 am • dinane • Posted in Weather2 Comments »
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