Monday, December 05, 2005

Let it snow, yes or no?

So it finally snowed in New Jersey over the weekend, and it's apparently going to snow again tonight - which should make my drive home a living hell, as usual.

I have mixed feelings about snow.

On one hand, it's a royal pain in the ass to drive in. I paid extra for a FF car (that's front engine, front wheel drive, for you non-"Gran Turismo"-players) with antilock breaks and traction control in part because I was tired after years of sliding all over the road in my FR mini-Mustang.

But even that FF doesn't mean much in Jersey weather. It mostly means I can actually GET home, just slowly and at the cost of added white in my hair (and I don't mean snow or dandruff) and an increase in my blood pressure, which is otherwise doing quite nicely, thank you.

On the other hand, I don't mind the cold, and I don't mind being snowed on. I kind of enjoy it, if it's nice, fluffy snow or light flurries, and not that heavy, crappy kind.

And some of my fondest memories involve the snow in some way.

The first time I ever appeared in a newspaper wasn't a byline, in fact, it was a picture of me as a little tyke, crashing off my sled (one of those big red saucer-discs) on the hill across the street from my house. The one my mother always worried I'd go spinning off into the road.

I should say I only did once. And of course, it was right into the path of a car. Which, fortunately, was going slow enough to easily avoid a small bundled-up Asian and his out-of-control saucer.

My mother probably still has that newspaper clipping somewhere. (Hey, I was a cute little kid. No, I don't know what happened. Puberty, I suppose, which ruined my complexion, and Domino's, which went on the college meal plan and ruined my waistline.)

Then there was the freshman-year weekend, years later, with Michelle at college, the one and only time in my life I've ever REALLY been snowed in somewhere. That was when I learned that the warmth of holding someone you love close to you is the single best feeling in the world. Yes, better than being drunk. Better than sex. Better than victory. No matter what parts of our relationship can and should fade, I can still feel the warmth of her body curled up against mine, the smoothness of her skin. Curled up on some cheap-ass dorm bunk, watching the snow fall through this tiny little window, just in love and never wanting to let go.

Another snow day in college was a Sunday during my freshman year. I worked at the school paper, a weekly, and we did our production on Sunday. One of the deals we had was with Papa John's, which brought us pizza in exchange for ad space. A great deal, except the weekend they brought 10 Hawaiian pizzas (ham and pineapple, if you've never tried it, and I recommend you never do). Ick.

But anyway, that weekend, Papa John's wasn't delivering. I don't blame them. There was probably a foot of snow on the ground - remember, in Pittsburgh, it's always raining. Lower the temperature, and presto!

So Chris Restifo and I drew the task of wading to the only place that was open, the Subway on Craig Street, about a half-mile away. A breeze in the spring. Not so much in the summer. Chris had quit the fraternity I had joined, years earlier, so I didn't know him well, and most of what I knew I'd heard third-hand, in a negative way. But I liked him, and we really had a sort of bonding experience on the trip. Was nice to get to know someone and be pleasantly surprised. And Lord, whomping through that snow may be as close to polar exploration as I ever get. Though I hope not.

And that makes me think we could've used some dog sleds, but that's not the point.

Speaking of dogs, this brings me to one more fond snow memory, and it's a Morgan one.

Morgan, as I've mentioned, was a dachshund, and therefore what I'll charitably call low-slung. And he hated hated hated (to quote another low-slung kind of critter, Roger Ebert) to get his tummy wet.

So walking him in the snow or rain was an adventure. He never got very far and was eager to run for home. He could dodge puddles, and mostly stay out of wet grass, but in any snow more than about an inch and a half deep, he was in trouble.

So he'd hop. Like a bunny, with his back arched and tummy sucked in, back paws to front paws to back and so on, trying desperately and futily to stay dry.

(Is futily a word? I don't know and I don't edit on this blog. Futile-ly.)

And he actually would look miserable the whole while. Very expressive dog.

I still love to watch the snow fall. And I get a kick out of watching the guys who plow the driveways in my complex run their little Bobcat around, popping it in circles and stuff. Hey, I pay for that, and it keeps going up, so I'm entitled to watch and laugh. It so looks like a toy.

Well, I'll think happy thoughts about snow now. I'll be swearing at it in a few hours as I literally sweat my drive home, no matter the temperature.

All About Snow
Front-wheel drive vs. rear-wheel drive
Why RWD beats FWD, an opinion piece
Domino's Pizza
Papa John's Pizza
Carnegie Mellon...
... and its newspaper
What Roger Ebert hates
And something I hate

And yeah, I'm a cold-weather person. I'm surrounded by co-workers who are always cold, and I'm always hot. Hey, if you're cold, you can add layers. If you're hot, there's only so much you can take off, unless you're on a beach in France or at a nudist colony.


Freak Magnet said...

Dude, your post is, like, doubled or something.

Ace said...

Fixed. Thanks!

(Been having some trouble with Blogger lately. Glitched a couple of times while I was posting.)

Aric Blue said...

FF stands for Fantastic Four. Period. And not the movie.

Get it straight!

Stewie said...

I hate snow.

I can't wait until I move off this godforsaken coast.