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pick up the pace

maura @ 6:18 pm

The weather, everyone’s talking about the weather. Jonathan keeps reading me these statistics from the interwebs, hundreds of days since the last time the temperatures went below freezing in Central Park, predictions that it’ll be in the high 60s on xmas eve, etc. etc. etc. It seems boring and repetitive to complain about the weather, but seriously, this weather is getting me down. I like seasons, and I really like winter. I’m more sensitive to cold temperatures than I used to be, though I’d still rather be cold than hot by a fairly wide margin. Snow is just plain magical.

Mostly what I’ve missed this extended fall that won’t turn into winter are opportunities to wear my winter clothes. I don’t have all that many clothes and it gets boring to wear the same thing when there are lots of things that I want to wear but can’t because it’s not cold enough for them. Also the apartment tends to be hot, and work tends to be hot too, most especially when it’s in the 40-60 degree range outside. Which it has been since October.

I miss:

– my magenta + other colors striped sweater, which is a pullover so I feel like I really need to commit to it when I wear it, unlike, say, cardigans which can accommodate temperatures that vary throughout the day.

– my gray wool pants, a great find at a thrift store years ago when the narrow cut was sort of out of style, but since I’ve kept them around they look okay now, *almost* modern, and are a nice pants option for work in the winter.

– various turtleneck sweaters for work, a bright blue one as well as a new to me purple one that used to belong to my mother in law which I’ve not yet had the chance to wear.

– I have worn my oatmeal heather wool skirt, another thrifty find from years ago, to work this semester because I love it, but I had to turn on the fan in my office that day so I haven’t worn it since.

– all of the amazing wool socks that folks have hand-knitted for me: 3 stripey pairs from my mom, 1 charcoal from my pal Abby, and 1 multicolored from my father in law’s artist’s coop shop.

– my ugly green + brown striped writing sweater with the weird cowl neck, which I got for free at a swap-o-rama maybe 6 years ago in the park right next to where the kid would end up going to middle school (though I didn’t know that at the time).

Okay, I’m wearing the ugly writing sweater right now, because it’s actually been wintery this weekend and I am, in fact, writing. The weird cowl neck means that I can pull it halfway up my face or even kind of create a hood for when I’m really chilly or just need to take a break. It’s reversible (because I say so) and stretchy and cozy, and makes me feel like writing. I think I’ll need to get another item of clothing to infuse with magical writing powers because global warming. Also because my research partner and I need to deliver the manuscript of our book (!!!) on September 15, 2016, which means lots of spring + summer writing next year.

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drift compatible

maura @ 9:44 pm

It’s snowing again (well, it was earlier) and I kept wanting to tweet that I am always here for the snow. Always all in. #teamsnowforever #sorryhaters. But we have pals who live in Boston and I can believe that things are awful there, that there’s such a thing as too much snow for an urban infrastructure to deal with, and that the cold and the wind have made things just awful. So I refrained.

I tried to make myself take my skis over to the park, but I was coming off a coffee nap and by the time there was enough new snow that it seemed like there might be enough to cover the old icy stuff that I’m sure is blanketing the long meadow, it was already after 4 and both the light and my resolve was fading. It sometimes seems so far away, even though it’s only a couple of blocks, there’s also the having to pull on fleece-lined tights and longjohns and windpants and sock liners and socks and a turtleneck and a sweater and my parka and hat and mittens, then get my skis and boots out of the closet, then put on my boots which have laces and a zipper and velcro. Then over to the park, where maybe it turns out that the new snow isn’t actually deep enough for skiing, and I’d have to come all the way home.

I love winter, but you can see why the inertia got the best of me.

les tags: ,

planning for grumpiness

maura @ 9:27 pm

There is apparently a historic blizzard heading our way, if the amped up folks from the weather channel are to be believed. I’m trying not to get my hopes up because seriously, winter has been so very lame lately, and there’s no use getting excited if what we’re going to end up with is 38 degrees F and torrentially raining. I’m starting off with the grumpiness now, so it’ll be good and settled in by tomorrow.

I shouldn’t complain too much, since this winter has been better than last. At least this year there’s been some snow, though it’s been largely aesthetic rather than functional. Still, falling snow is a quiet and sparkly treat. And it’s even smelled like winter much of the time.

The timing of this storm means there’s slim chance of a snow day. I would very much like a snow day, and on my walk home from work today thought about all of the things I would do if there were, somewhat magically, a snow day. Here’s my plan:

– Sleep in a smidge, get up, have some coffee and breakfast.

– Get some writing done. It should be the book, but I have some game stuff burning a hole in my head that it’d be good to get out.

– Skiing! And sledding. In the park. Is Gus old enough for me to ski while he sleds? Maybe if I make him wear a helmet — that cement water fountain is right at the bottom of the best run.

– Home and lunch and hot chocolate or tea. Maybe lunch before skiing/sledding, depending on how long the writing goes.

– Maybe a brief snooze.

– Video games! I got some for xmas that I’ve barely even had time to play: Journey, an arty conceptual wandering figuring things out game; and Katamari Forever, more rolling up cleaning up fun.

– Dinner, perhaps with movie night? I think the next in our family queue is The Mummy, which should be hilarious.

Here’s hoping you and yours stay snug and warm, whatever kind of weather history is made this weekend.

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snow day in the life

maura @ 6:07 pm

This past week I decided to do Library Day in the Life over on my other blog, so just for a hoot I thought I’d do a post on what our snow day was like this past Thursday. I hadn’t really believed the forecasts, but it snowed all Wednesday night and we ended up with 15″ (or so) of heavy, wet snow by morning. It was the best kind of snow day, too, because it was sunny and warmish and not windy at all, bad for commuting but perfect for snowy park fun.

We were up at the usual time (thank you, body clocks), and Jonathan checked the internets for school closing news while I checked the college’s website to see if we were closed. And the answer was yes! CUNY doesn’t close for snow all that often so I really hadn’t expected it.

We tried to sleep in a little but the kittehs were meowy and loudly demanding breakfast so we all got up. My boss called to let me know about the snow day, then I called the 3 people on our phone tree that I needed to call. Then it was coffee (aahhh) and breakfast: crepes for Gus, and scrambled eggs with kimchi + (leftover) steak for us. Yum!

We looked out the window and apparently the snow took down a tree in our courtyard, which is a bummer. The snow was so heavy that it just snapped at the base of the trunk. The board decided to close the courtyard until the tree can be removed, which I understand but which is maybe just a tiny smidge disappointing, since the snow in there is so pristine it practically begs to be romped in.

Gus and I spent some time after breakfast hanging out in our PJs on the sofa DSing (Advance Wars Dual Strike) and catching up on some work email. Jonathan’s teaching a class this semester in the Advertising Design dept at the college where I work, so he took advantage of the downtime to finish his prep for the class (which started yesterday). I did a little laundry, too.

Around 10:30 Gus and I headed out to the park to sled with a couple of his school/neighborhood pals. They hit the sledding slopes at first, but ended up spending most of the time engaged in an epic boy vs. girl snow fight with our neighbors and their friends. It was a mob scene in the park and kind of like a little village — seemed like everyone we know was there. Gus got this crazy snowball maker from his grandparents for xmas (he reeeeeeeally wanted it) and while I was skeptical at first it actually makes incredible, perfect snowballs. It helped that the snow was perfect for packing — the snowpeople, sculptures, and forts going on were amazing.

We ran into another friend + his mom just as my feet were getting really cold and she graciously offered to drop Gus off at our place once the kids were finished playing, so I hightailed it home, leaving Gus and his friends to their ambitious snowfort plans. Once home I had lunch, then coffee, then a 20 minute nap (because sometimes coffee + nap = perfect). Gus finally made it home around 2 and was starving, so he ate a giant lunch while I puttered around doing a few things here and there.

Then Jonathan finished his work, so I headed back to the park again for a quick x-c ski. And let me tell you, if there was ever a year to get x-c skis for xmas this is it! So. Much. Snow. It’s been awesome, and I’ve gotten to the park most weekend days and even taken a short ski break during some of my research leave days. This snow is very thick and actually not that super for skiing, but it was still fun to be out there sliding around.

On my way home I stopped by our car and tried to dig it out a bit. Which was utterly useless — we’re completely hemmed in on both sides by snowblowers and plows. It’s like someone blew that insulating foam stuff all around the car, seriously. As long as street cleaning is suspended we won’t really need to move it, though it’s nice to have it to take Gus to fencing on the weekends. And we should probably buy a shovel this year.

After I got home I made myself some tea + did a little work while Gus finished up his screentime for the day then took a pre-dinner bath. And…hmmm…now I’m having trouble remembering what else we did that day. Dinner (obvs), and I did a little work in the evening finishing up a handout for a faculty workshop I was planning to co-teach on Friday morning, plus helped Jonathan test out his course website.

And I think that’s it for our snow day! Hope your day was snowtastic, too.

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