Arctic Blast

Those of us around Seattle are preparing for Arctic Blast ’08.  Everyone is either at home from school and work, or waddling around town in their thickest items of clothing.  Seattle hasn’t yet gotten the snow we have been told to expect at any moment, but it sure as shit is cold out there.

One of my favorite things about this cold weather in Seattle is how people who have come here from places like Chicago or the east coast talk shit about how we think 28 degrees is cold out.  Well, assholes, it is cold.  You see, if things are freezing and there is snow and ice, it’s probably cold out.  Freezing doesn’t happen unless the temperature is cold.  Maybe we don’t experience this and even colder temperatures for half the year like you do (yeah, I’m looking at you, UTAH), and that’s probably why it’s such a shock to the system when this happens and we are left with no real idea of how to manage our lives.  I live on the middle of a steep hill, and the ice makes it incredibly difficult, if not impossible, to walk it up or down to the bus in order to get to work or the store or anywhere not my garage, really.  Last year we had a short spell of snow and ice and I barely made it to the next block before slipping and landing on my back, breaking my sweet Tootsie Pop lunch box in the process.  Seattle has a lot of large hills that make it difficult for people to commute when things are icy and snowy and we also have limited snow plows and machinery on account of the fact that we don’t live our lives in a winter wonderland 7 months out of the year (Yeah, I’m talking about you, CANADA), so when you’re sitting on the Metro bus, jabbering into your phone about how people in Philly know what it means to live in a place that’s really cold, think about the people just like you who tried to drive to work last year from near my house and had to abandoned their cars all along the side of the hill after having smashed into the back of a car that tried to do it just before them.

In addition to the snow and the freezing and the cold, Janie has decided that at some point the power will go out and we’ll be totally fucked.  Several years ago, when the Hanukkah Eve Wind Storm of 2006 hit Seattle, it knocked our power out for two nights.  In some middle finger waving turn of events, everyone in our neighborhood had power but the side of one street, and that’s the side we happened to be living on.  Janie and I sat huddled in our living room around a fire that really wasn’t doing anything other than looking pretty.  We had all of our blankets piled on the the pull out couch where we shivered alongside our cats for several days.  No lights.  No heat.  No showers.  No hot dinners or tea.  We had a flashlight and our love to keep from dying in a darkened ice cave.  That Christmas, Janie’s parents bought us a small electrical generator that would provide light, a radio, a place to charge a cell phone and a device to jump start a vehicle.  It also has a port for a plug, so we can work our electric tea kettle if need be.  But Janie is somehow convinced that this small device will power our entire house.  Yesterday she suggested we’d be able to power our refrigerator or the microwave.  I tried to tell her it wasn’t likely that this small box was going to be able to do all the things she was saying, but she was having none of it.  So if you’re in Seattle and the power goes out, feel free to come over and entertain yourselves around our useless fire as we watch Janie try to plug the oven in to bake a turkey.


  1. December 17, 2008

    Big ditto on the assholes from somewhere else, saying it’s “not really cold” here. I’d wouldn’t mind punching some of them.

  2. December 18, 2008

    Yesterday at work clients were joking with us as they were leaving about being careful in “all the snow”. Not two hours later I left for the day, got within a mile of home and barely made it home. In fact I couldn’t make it even half-way up our steep ass hill and had to slowly reverse down the hill while trying not to slide into anything. (FUN!) I was hoping for a snow day today, but it looks like I have to go in after all. Hopefully nobody hit my car last night, or I’m screwed since the buses were already having trouble on our street 12 hours ago.

    Don’t we live here so we don’t have to deal with this kind of stuff?!

  3. December 18, 2008

    “breaking my sweet Tootsie Pop lunch box in the process.” Gee I sure hope this is not a euphemism. IF it was a real lunch box it can be replaced with minimal pain.
    Oh by the way I live in Canada but have enough sense to live in an area well south of you.

  4. heathen
    December 18, 2008

    Sadly, Bandobras, it was a real lunch box. It’s sort of fixed now, but I just keep it on a shelf, to look at, so it is no longer in harm’s way.

    Today, as I was waiting for the bus (and after an hour, came home) I watched as car after car hauled ass down the street. Isn’t the first rule of driving in snowy conditions to do it slowly? Also, as predicted, there are cars littering the side of the hill, smashed into one another, again. But hey, SNOW DAY! I’m goign to watch Golden Girls.

  5. December 18, 2008

    I hope you have bread and milk–it looks bad up there, according to my Continuing Arctic Blast News Coverage.

  6. E's Mom
    December 18, 2008

    While some of you are at home snuggled up with loved ones, I am at work. The City stops for NO ONE. Not that there are any people desperate enough for a dog license to actually come in, but hey I’m here if they need me. I am the ONLY person who made it in from my department, and just a few from other areas are here. What does that mean? PANCAKES! HOT COCOA! Woo Hoo! Driving home, up hill, will be fun.

  7. heathen
    December 18, 2008

    Janie, too, is at work. Libraries for all, even on snow days.

  8. Janie
    December 18, 2008

    Working on a snow day when most people are off is a bullshit. It’s fun to watch people across the street making snow angels and trying to sled on flat ground, though.

  9. Robin O
    December 18, 2008

    The idea of cooking a turkey with a generator made me LOL.

    And yeah, anyone that denies the cold is an asshole. Pretty much, anything that happens to a city that it is not prepared to deal with in advance = problem. Could be a variety of things, but for Seattle, this definitely includes snow. In addition to the lack of machinery, hello MANY BRIDGES. Those like to get nice and frozen.

    We’re both at home today, and noticing that both:
    1) There’s much less traffic
    2) Many of the drivers that are going past our house are going way too fast. Think you might like to slow down for a nice low visibility, ice-y intersection?

  10. December 18, 2008

    I fucking LOVE YOU, Linsey. I hope Janie doesn’t punch me in the mouth for saying that.

    I’m tired of everybody acting like I don’t need boots, because when the End Times Snow comes, I don’t plan on wearing some old New Balances stuffed with ziploc steamer bags and newspaper to trudge through the 1/4 mile high snow banks. How am I going to dig the abandoned dogs out of those snow drifts wearing a pair of flip-flops over my feet, which I’ve wrapped in some Sham-wows?

    Also, nobody left me any unfiltered apple cider at the store yesterday, and to that I say, time to shoot a gun in the air and start declaring Marshall Law.

  11. December 19, 2008

    No power is no fun. I lived without electricity for 10 days once in the cold. It was a nightmare — but those little power boxes are pretty good. Do you know Risley of fame? She’s in Seattle, too and has been whining about the weather

  12. heathen
    December 19, 2008

    XUP – Ooh, I didn’t know about her – but it looks like I’ve found someone to commiserate with!

    L – I love Marshall Law. Almost as much as I love Citizen’s Arrests. When the Rapture Snow is upon us, I will not begrudge you boots and a down jacket.

  13. December 22, 2008

    i’m sad about the lunch box, it’s good you still have it.

    i too get annoyed with people that compete over the weather conditions, and try and convince me that i don’t really know what cold is. why, yes poopie pants i KNOW WHAT COLD IS. you aren’t even in my body so just take it somewhere else pal.

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