January 9, 2017 at 6:26 pm (Cussed Dumbers, On the road again...)


Ice storm!Snowmageddon!Close the schools! It’s the end of times!

SPOILER ALERT: I survive. In fact, I came out of it pretty good.

We haven’t had a real winter for a couple years, so Mother Nature is making up for it in spades. The past week hosted non-stop sub-freezing temperatures, and the past few days have added liberal doses of precipitation, leading to enhanced thrills and spills. Cue Paul Simon; “Slip slidin’ awaaay…”

The media always blows snow and ice events out of proportion. Well, not always, but any hint of ice, snow, sleet or freezing fog is met with near-panic. A few years back I started wondering how “bad” I would consider the weather if I didn’t know it was coming. I still watch the news, and sometimes I wish I hadn’t. This time I was glad I checked the weather first.

Rain has been very good about making sure I stay warm in the winter. She visits the shelters, keeping an eye out for clothing that might fit me. She’s quite the bargain hunter, and I often reap the benefits of this. For the past 3-4 years I have had The Great Pumpkin, a Tang-orange puffy coat that is rated to -30 degrees. It has to be below freezing when I wear it, or I get too hot.

Rain has also given me hoodies. Not flimsy ones, but Columbia Sportswear heavy-duty types. My current traveling companion is moss-green, and still has its full sleeves. (Most hoodies and long-sleevers get chopped off at the forearm, but I save a few full-length sleeves for weather such as this.)

ice-gripsBut my newest addition, that thing which I can no longer live without in the winter? My YakTrax.

They were a gift from a TriMet driver a few years back. He was Sister’s regular driver, familiar with her newspaper-delivering ways, and he got us both a pair. (His were one of many sets of eyes watching out for her at night.) They cost $20-$30 apiece, although I think maybe TriMet may have provided them to him. They are quality, whoever paid for them. They are starting their fourth year of service. I treat them nicely, because I can’t imagine being stuck at home when the weather gets like this.

When the ice and snow come out, I become a Yeti wandering the night. And lately I’ve had my Sister-Yeti not far behind.

I followed the progress of the storm on TV as well on the internet. Way back yonder in the good ol’ days, when I was spending a lot of time with thatgirl and becoming an internet presence, a few like-minded souls created the Portland Twitter Storm Team! (@PDXtst) The exclamation point is important if you’re not typing the actual URL. It began as a parody/goof on the hysteria every time a snowflake falls in the west hills.

But then, folks like news-hottie @StephStricklen, her Evil Twin, slightly-less-appealing-to-me-but-hey Dave Salesky, a smattering of techie folks stuck in an office downtown with a big window, @TriMet drivers and “personalities” started pitching in, and @PDXtst became a fairly reliable source for weather. Especially shitty weather. Because unless exclamation points are involved, @PDXtst doesn’t waste a lot of time talking about the weather.

This massive storm was nothing to sneeze at. The snow began falling Friday night, causing mayhem in traffic but not much of a problem around downtown. Downtown is often warmer than the eastside, and with the cold weather there wasn’t much foot traffic. When you factor in that the residential hotel and the bar taking up two-thirds of the block are closed due to fire, I figured I’d have plenty of time to read. I’ve been trying to finish an Elmore Leonard book for several days now.

But no, one whack-job after another would come in and assume the position in front of me, reciting their tales of woe, mooching candy, money or cigarettes. If they didn’t insult my intelligence by pretending to shop I would give them a few minutes to warm up. If they’re wandering around fondling products, looking to see what I’m doing, etc? You get my undivided attention until you are out of the store.

Then there are the ones I want in the store, the motherfuckers on the schedule that relieve me. I’d feared it was a Giggles night. Imagine my relief when I found out it was Antknee coming in to relieve me. Dr T told me he’d said he might be late, but I could deal with that. Antknee knows what it’s like to be stuck with a ten-mile walk home. If he didn’t show up, it was because he was stuck. Giggles has a ten-block walk. He’s late almost every night. I’m changing the subject. I’ve missed too many buses because of that chucklehead cocksucker.

Three nights in a row I made it home with no crashes, auto, home or work. YakTrax took me to and fro, and Sister’s gym socks on the outside of her shoes worked almost as well. No crashes so far, this episode.

As I rode with Sister to work, I looked down out of habit and went into full-blown panic attack. Where was my bag? The black plastic bag used to carry my work stuff wasn’t resting in its usual spot between my knees. WTF? I was just this side of panic when it dawned that I wasn’t on my way to work, and my traveling bag was home in its spot. Phew! I was escorting Sister to work, and picking up our bus passes. They’ve been held up because of the hotel fire. I met with my friend long enough to grab the passes, handed one to Sister, and walked her the rest of the way to work.

By the time I was halfway home, the ice had melted off the sidewalk in Southeast. I stopped at Freddy’s for country ground pork and milk. Pappy’s makin’ gravy tonight! Pineapples are 99 cents apiece this week, I bought two. I will be the epitome of a knife-wielding tropical nut.

Pineapples may be the closest thing to anything warm or tropical tonight. If the rain breaks I may go for another walk. Likely as not, I’d end up sleeping the whole night away if I stay home watching TV. I keep fading out, whether on the bus or on the couch.

Maybe I should take a hint from Mother Nature and curl up for a while? It might be more tempting if I had someone to curl up with. Rain has been scarce lately, I’ve been taking advantage of the solitude. But, it occurred to me the other day, could these blues I’ve been having be derivative from the fact that two major relationships have undergone major shake-ups? Rain moving out, and Meg flipping out and ending things completely? I noticed the other night, hanging out with Mizelle, how much I’d missed her. It wasn’t because I was lonely per se. I was missing quality company. I enjoy Rain’s company, but we argue a lot. I never argue with Mizelle. I have an endless stream of people to talk to at work, but there are few I enjoy talking to. Mizelle and I can take any topic and make it fun.

So I sent her a note on Faceplace. She’s got big sad family duties to attend to, but I figured I’d toss a distraction out there. Just in case she wanted to go somewhere quiet, but not too quiet.

I have pineapples, and I know how to cut them!

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