the day hell froze over

It’s deadly cold in the Midwest right now. We don’t have the absolute worst of it, but it’s bad here. When I left the house this morning it was -13F with a windchill of -26F. What that means is if you’re outside without sufficient protection from the cold and wind you have about 10 minutes before the frostbite starts. I was not at all interested in that.

Because it’s so cold I’m not exactly dressed like I normally would be. Today it’s all about the layers. I have on:

  • Tights
  • Leggings
  • Jeans
  • Tank top
  • Long sleeved t-shirt
  • Fleece hoodie

In the picture above I was also wearing:

  • My winter coat
  • A wool hat that I knit and felted
  • A knit headband that I used to protect the bottom of my face
  • A knit scarf wrapped to keep the hood of my jacket up (which was over the hood of my blue hoodie which was holding the wool hat in place)
  • Two pair of gloves, one inside the other

All of that, ALL OF THAT, and I was mostly warm on the walk in from the parking structure to my building.

All of the schools in the area are closed, except the universities. We don’t have classes starting here until noon, but that’s still kind of bullshit. There’s no trash pick up here today and the fucking postal service isn’t delivering mail.

The postal service isn’t delivering mail. Just let that sink in for a minute. The motherfucking postal service thinks it’s too cold for their people to be out. Their people are adults who know how to dress for this shit. We have students who are still wearing shorts right now.

ARGH.

At any rate, I got some homework done last night which was good. And at work yesterday I submitted a third proposal for a conference presentation at a local thing.

Overachiever much? Yes, yes I do.

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winter in the midwest

Unless you are young enough to not have to drive, or wealthy enough to have someone else drive you around, winter in these parts often sucks. It can be dangerously cold, we get rain that freezes and gets topped by snow that is sometimes measured in feet, and in spite of it all there are still people who insist on driving like they’re competing in the Indy 500.

I am particularly NOT FOND of driving when it gets like this, and right now it is very much THIS. Partially this is because I once ran into the back end of a sheriff’s cruiser in bad winter weather (while on my way to meet my soon-to-be in-laws for the first time, on Christmas Eve) and partially because there’s no way for it to just be me on the roads. There is always some jerk who thinks that 4-wheel drive means something different than “all 4 of these wheels will slide at the exact same time when I hit a patch of black ice hidden under the snow while I’m driving 65mph on a surface street.” No, I am not exaggerating. This is the land of the pick-up truck and while not everyone who drives a truck is like that, many of them are.

If we get lucky, and this is “luck” as defined by me and most school aged children, we get a snow day. For those of you not living in a climate like this, a snow day is where the school districts, and sometimes the universities and every now and then a whole city, waves the white flag of surrender and lets all of us small children stay at home where it’s safe. This keeps the kids from standing outside waiting for buses and possibly slipping on ice, keeps the bus drivers from dealing with nasty roads, and makes it easier for the snow plows to do their jobs.

There’s typically junk food, movies, and non-stop pajama time involved. For me it usually includes some amount of time working on a craft project. It’s found time and it’s a beautiful thing.

Unless you’re sick.