Yes, loyal reader(s), I have been officially hibernating from all non-work-related computer technology (well, other than email. And Digg. And YouTube. But other than that, I went, like, totally caveman this month.).
It was just too much – working on Web stuff all day, writing my book at lunch, coming home to edit my lunchtime progress or post some witty, enlightening commentary on the blog to appease my nagging mother – um, ahem, anyway, you get the point. I was overwhelmed. Underliving. Devoting all my free time to writing instead of doing. Anais says, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.” But if we forget to live in the first place, we eventually run out of stuff to write about. I needed to unplug for a bit. A technology hibernation, if you will.
Speaking of hibernation, today turned out to be a good one for it here in Colorado. I made it in to the office, but by 11 am they closed us down and sent us packing. Apparently that almost never happens because we’re a Canadian-owned company, and the Canadians decide when to close, and it takes a lot of snow to impress our neighbors to the north. Hailing from Buffalo as I do, I’m practically Canadian myself. And truth be told, while en route to the parking structure, I doubted the overhyped ferociousness of said blizzard, thinking it mild compared to the 4-feet-an-hour we’re used to upstate. But hey, a day off is a day off, people. Granted, it took an hour and fifteen minutes to exit the parking structure, as Denver on the whole has not quite figured out how to move large groups of angry people like cattle – the sort of urban herding practiced and perfected only in New York. But once I got on the road, the 8 mile drive wasn’t bad. Slow, but safe. I was home in about 45 minutes.
Unlike all the chumps who tried to tackle the highways. Come on, folks, those are the first to get messed up, all that open space and blowing, sideways snow. Denver isn’t even all that big, so I just don’t get it, as I sit here in my jammies at 9:30 PM watching people on the news who are still stuck in their cars on I-25. Why don’t you people ever learn? I’ll tell you why. Buncha Californians and Texans who moved to Colorado and don’t know how to drive in the snow.
Not to be cruel, especially if you are sleeping on a cot at the high school tonight, but we enjoyed the snow this afternoon. After I got home, I changed into my winter ensemble, grabbed Alex, and hiked down to the nearest plaza on foot to pick up our storm survival essentials. Thank God that liquor store was still open!
Then I came home, changed into my jammies, curled up on the couch with a big ol’ comforter, and watched all the overhyped news coverage. Those guys just live for that stuff, man. It’s like, they have some guy on standby in the studio just waiting for the call:
“Yeah Bill? Bob here. Just got the word. It is officially a blizzard. That’s right, a blizzard. Get the marketing team on it, ay-sap. Were gonna need graphics, a theme song, and a catchy name. And better dig up those station-branded parkas from the basement for the interns. We gotta get them out on the street, reporting right from the scene. What’s that? I realize it’s cold, Bill. It’s a blizzard for the love of God. But we gotta have a man on the scene, and you know the anchors won’t do it.”
Yeah, right on the scene. The highway. It’s like the stranded motorists make the most dramatic picture, so they go car to car looking to interview the hands-down dopiest bastards in town with questions like “So, how do you like the snow?” And the dopier the better, right? “Well uh, we’re just tryin’ to git home to watch the game, uh-yuh, and all these people just a’ slippin’ and a-slidin’, uh-yuh, it’s winter all right, yuh-yuh-yuh.” Way to represent the homeland, people.
I think the ones at the news desk just sit there and laugh their warm, dry assess off during the commercial breaks at all the chumps they sent out on the street.
“Ha! Barbara, would you look at that moron standing out on the roof measuring the snow with a wooden ruler? What a tool.”
“You said it, Trent. Good thing we’re hear at the desk. Say, hit me with another shot of Southern Comfort. We’re on in 5.”
*Whoa. This just in. Seriously. The news is on in the background – because the blizzard warrants 24/7 special coverage and there is no other news in the world tonight, coincidentally and quite fortunately for the Holiday Blizzard Marketing Team – and they asked this random woman “So, how do you like the snow?” and she said, just this very second, “This isn’t Denver. This is Buffalo NY. I look around me and all I see is Buffalo NY.” I didn’t realize Buffalo had such a title-winning snow rep. Makes ya feel all warm inside, huh? And glad you don’t live there.
Anyway, Bill comes back to convey the message to the marketing team, orders a few pizzas, initiates a brainstorming session (called the Oh-Six Storm Storm!) and KAZAAM! Within minutes, this storm has officially been tagged The 2006 Holiday Blizzard, despite the fact that it’s kind of in between holidays, and it doesn’t matter who coined it first because all the other stations pick up on it instantly. Shiny, silver snowflakes flash and shimmer across the screen each time they show the cold fronts and low pressure systems and splashy weather maps with frozen thermometers to indicate, just in case something about the word BLIZZARD is unclear, that zero degrees is BELOW FREEZING.
But hold your horses, folks, the marketing team’s work is far from over. Quickly now! We musn’t neglect the corny winter weather cliches!
*Clears throat importantly*
- You don’t need to be a meteorologist to know that this is a bad storm, Ken.
- Looks like all those people wanting a white Christmas will get their Christmas wish, Rod.
- Stay warm out there, guys.
- Boy I’ll tell you, Tim, the highways are just parking lots.
- It’s a winter wonderland out there, Frank.
- Mother nature is just not cooperating with holiday travelers, Sue.
- These people are going nowhere fast, guys.
- A great day for the folks on the slopes, Todd, but not for the folks stuck in their cars on the roads, out of gas and food, peeing into old coffee cups.
You certainly don’t need to be stranded in a blizzard to pee in an old coffee cup. Just ask my Mom. But if you’re out there tonight, on one of the parking lot highways, cursing your pre-holiday prayers for a white Christmas, cursing Mother Nature for not cooperating, cursing the fact that you had a venti-half-caf-no-whip peppermint mocha right before you got on the road, well, might as well have fun. You’re not going anywhere fast. So the next time a parka-wearing intern knocks on your window for a man-on-the-street opinion about how much you like the snow, peg him with an ice ball and say, “Go get me a coffee, intern. I had to dump out my last one to use as a pee cup.”
And don’t forget: stay warm, guys. It’s a winter wonderland out there.
Back to you, Trent.