Monday, February 7, 2011

There's No Business Like Snow Business (or...We're Off To See The Blizzard)

Snow is an obvious staple of a midwestern winter.  We play in it, we shovel it, we sculpt it into interesting shapes.  We marvel at the beauty of a new snowfall, and then curse it's inconvenience when we get behind the wheel of a car.  We listen to the forecasts, plan accordingly, and dutifully clean and salt our walks and driveways when colliding weather fronts dump a few inches of the powdery stuff on our domain. 

When the dire predictions of impending doom began to emerge last weekend, we peered at the foretold omens with skeptical eyes, having been taken in before by the cries of meteorological "wolf".  More than once, prophecies of disaster have turned into nothing more than a bothersome dusting of white fluff.  Adopting an "oh well, just in case" attitude, we stocked up on shovels and de-icer, and the usual staples of bread and milk (my list also includes chocolate and Diet Coke). (And maybe bacon).

Well, Mother Nature decided to more than live up to the hype this time.  Pulling out all the stops, she treated us to blinding snowfalls, howling winds, and even a side show of thunder and lightning. In the northbound lanes of the illustrious Lake Shore Drive, three accidents in short succession blocked the roadway for all who followed, bringing traffic to a standstill, and quickly entombing hundreds of commuters in snow and ice encrusted vehicles. I guarantee the stranded motorists had at least these two thoughts on their minds:
  • " How the hell am I going to get out of here??"
  • " Why the hell did I drink so much damn coffee at the office??!!"

About ten hours later, rescue finally arrived; but instead of a prince on a white horse, it was a firefighter on a snow-whitened snowmobile. All of the marooned motorists were eventually rescued, and were rewarded with days of trying to locate their towed cars in the myriad of city impound lots.

When all was said and done, we only managed to obtain the status of 'third-worst blizzard in Chicago history", missing the top mark by a scant two inches.  If it had only managed to snow another hour or two, we easily could have taken top honors.  Thankfully, we weren't required to leave the house for any reason (not that we could have anyway), and even more thankfully, the power stayed on.

The only reason the dogs weren't handed snow shovels was due to their lack of opposable thumbs.  They celebrated this biological advantage by gleefully bounding through the snow drifts as we spent hours digging ourselves out.

The blizzard-induced sequestering wasn't all for naught; I did manage to try a couple of experiments using the Sea turtle and various acrylic mediums.  They turned into disasters in and of themselves.  Here's one example:

  • Pre-calamity:

  • Post-calamity:

I really must learn not to use India inks when I have my mad Scientist hat on, I don't have the feel (and apparently the eyesight) to tell when it's completely dry.  I may have to attempt a turtle resurrection with this one, as she was coming along interestingly before the ink obliterated her facial features.  Or maybe I have just created a new species called the Swirly-Black-Headed Sea Turtle.

Yeah.  I'm going with that.