nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
... it's cold.

The NOAA tells me it's 4F this morning. I wish I could run my heat normally, but I still have the downstairs smoking neighbor problem. So I'm warming the house up to Tropical Rainforest and then letting it cool to Arctic Tundra over the course of the day. Gah. I can't wait to get out of here.

I have managed over the past several months to get new floor and countertops laid down in my kitchen and am currently badgering Paint Contractor #3 for a written estimate so that I can get the room painted. Then I just have to clean the carpets and find a realtor. I've already boxed up all my paperbacks, but I fully expect to be asked to decrease the number of books/shelves for showing. I look forward to the expression I'll get when I explain that I've already taken down about half of them. :-)

Meanwhile, the job gave us a half-day yesterday during the snowstorm and told us all to stay home today, a bizarre mercy. I suspect alien involvement. Fortunately, I haven't packed the tinfoil hats yet ...
nebroadwe: (pic#1047247)
... okay, maybe just a little bit.

It's been a lovely summer, really. We had that awful week and a half of torrid weather back in July and then the dewpoint dove down and stayed down all through August. Which was good, because due to the smoking downstairs neighbor, I can't run my central a/c without tobaccoing up my house. Argh. But it's September, now. We were down into the 50s a few days last week. I thought it was safe to take the fans out of the windows.

It wasn't. And I suspect that doing so attracted the attention of Mother Nature, so I now I feel responsible for all the other people suffering through 85+ degree weather with a 70+ degree dewpoint. I'm sorry! I didn't mean it! The fans are staying in until the World Series is completed and summer is officially over, I promise!
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
I think it's done snowing; looks like a couple of inches of accumulation. The plows are already clearing the parking lot, so I may have no excuse not to go to the gym tomorrow morning, dagnabit.

Also, I uploaded "Cry Havoc" to FF.net two hours ago and already over twenty people have read it. I have stories in other fandoms that twenty people haven't read yet. Clearly How To Train Your Dragon is a big deal ...
nebroadwe: Write write write edit edit edit edit edit & post. (Writer)
Natural disaster #3: minor flooding. Not as bad as what came with Irene, but still pretty annoying. (I hope [livejournal.com profile] kanja177 isn't stuck on a train somewhere -- things started getting bad up by her yesterday.)

Got my [livejournal.com profile] fireandice2011 prompts. I signed up partly because I've written some stuff I really liked for this contest in the past, but mostly to give my muse a reason to get back to work. As y'all will have noticed, I haven't written anything for months. I can count on the fingers of one hand the workable ideas I've had in that time. I have no yen to sit down and write. (I blame this on both my own lack of discipline and the ongoing, soul-grinding difficulties that have overtaken a local voluntary organization in which I have participated, at various levels of leadership, for the past twenty years.) So when the prompts arrived I stared at them and thought, "What in blazes am I going to do with these?"

But I did have the start of an idea for one of them (thank you, Al!) and have been hammering away at a plot to house it. Now I'm at the point where I'm paranoid about repeating myself -- I don't want to keep writing the same story, but my comfort zone for romance is ... narrow. So I decided to set myself a challenge that's frequently considered orthogonal to romance and see if I could create an Ed/Win piece that ... well, you'll see, if I pull it off. All my characters are talking to each other, which is a good sign. I just hope I can plant myself in front of the keyboard long enough to get the thing finished by deadline. Now, off to do research!
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
First an earthquake; now this. It's enough to make one question the fallaciousness of the Gambler's Fallacy.

My immediate neck of the woods escaped serious damage -- I think most of the marginal trees and tree limbs came down in last year's windstorm (though my friend C lost power when a 100-year-old tree toppled onto electrical lines in his neighborhood) and, being on high ground, we didn't have the trouble with flooding that lower-lying areas did. My perceptions of the event are seriously skewed, however, by the fact that, during the height of the storm, the local fire siren sounded just as the TV began bannering a tornado warning for my county under the Patriots-Lions game. Twenty seconds later I was in the basement with my little weather radio trying to get more information and figure out how best not to die in the absence of anything sturdy to crawl beneath. As it happened, the siren had nothing to do with the warning (mixed reactions of phew! and why, in the age of the cell phone and the pager, does the company have to run its [redacted] siren every time they get a call?) and the tornado passed well to the south. But when the next warning indicated possible tornadoes a hop-skip-jump to the north, I realized I wasn't getting any sleep until the watch was lifted at 5:00 am. So I made myself a bed in the hallway next to the bathroom, on the assumption that a) if I had no warning of impending doom I was at least in the hallway away from the windows; b) if I had very little warning I could dive into the bathroom; and c) if I had sufficient warning I could get myself to the basement again.

But fortunately, as Ray Bradbury so eloquently put it, "Nothing much else happened, all the rest of that night." Amen.
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
All the weather about which my westerly flist has been (rightly) complaining landed here over the past few days: heat and humidity that buckled highways, broken last night by a hailstorm. Which OF COURSE took place while I was away from home at a rehearsal and couldn't leap to the rescue of the tomato plant I am carefully nurturing on the balcony. Agh. Fortunately it only lost a few leaves, but I shook my fist at the uncaring heavens anyway. I like to think that the mumble of thunder afterward constituted an apology. Pathetic fallacy FTW.
nebroadwe: Write write write edit edit edit edit edit & post. (Writer)
On the Dress of a Traveler Ascending from the Subway

Thought you were hardcore,
Bald guy in shirtsleeves, till you
Put on that ski cap

      This frosty bright March morning.
      (Brr! Wish I'd thought to wear mine!)
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
Total snow accumulation (official): 6.2 inches.

Total snow accumulation (unofficial): ankle depth.

Snow type: Fluffy.

Plow type: Bulldozer. (Kid you not. I heard the scraaaape-scraaaape-scraaaape begin around four in the morning and checked. Maybe they ran out of regular plows?)

Aesthetic impact: High. (Especially when the trolley drives through the cutting in the woods. On one side, the creek, frozen and snow-covered, except where the waterfall pours down over the rocks. On the other, the woods themselves, dark trees outlined in white against a white slope rising to meet the pale, pale blue sky.)
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
... or, Why I Need to Find the Dustpan and Brush Now, or, Great Oaks from Little Acorns Grow, But Not on My Porch, Please.

On Thursday afternoon, a little before half past three, I was sitting in my living room, listening to a ball game and watching the sky darken, wondering whether my team (playing at home) would finish off its opponent before the rain started. The wind picked up first, as it does, lifting the branches of the oak next door and flipping the leaves on the jungle of ivy, maple saplings, mulberry bushes and random weed trees beneath it. It was a pretty stiff breeze, but nothing unusual. Lightning lit the clouds a ways off, judging by the delay between the flash and the thunder.

And there was nothing unusual, either, in the tappity-tap-tap-tap of rain that began to fall a few minutes later. I was curious about the occasional interspersed tick, though, and went to the window to squint out. We don't see much hail around here, but sure enough, the odd pea-sized chunk of ice bounced off the panes and onto the porch.

No, wait, make that blueberry-sized.

Quarter-sized?

And then Mother Nature gathered the entire storm into her palm and slammed it against my house.

Read more... )
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
Local official snow total: 15". (Somewhat more at the airport.)

Chance that aliens have infiltrated my employing institution under cover of bad weather: 80%.

Two snow days in a row: priceless.

And for everything else, there's a shovel. I cleared the balcony yesterday morning during the lull in the sleet/snow changeover and cleared it again this morning, to the bemusement of one of my neighbors. But since [livejournal.com profile] nateprentice reported the collapse of his patio roof and another friend a downed tree in her backyard, I figured it was worth it. I'll be out later today to shake the snow off the bushes again; some of them are bowed right to the ground. Clearing them off yesterday during the storm was fun, in a childlike, look-ma-I'm-covered-with-snow-now! way, but not all that effective. I'm sure the snowplow guy working the parking lot at that point thought I was nuts. (The association sent a plow and an earth mover, which was impressive. We've got some eight- or ten-foot high heaps of packed snow in the corners, which I don't doubt are going to get a lot of use by the neighborhood kids over the next few days. Heck, I might try mountaineering up some of them myself. :-)

Got a little further forward on my brand new story about Ozai banishing Zuko, which is to say I laid out the beginning and the end and discovered a plausibility hitch in the middle, which will need to be thrashed out (perhaps today? C'mon, Muse, work with me here!). Mostly, though, I watched Babylon 5, which I never quite managed to see through when it was on broadcast. I love space opera, especially with Cistercians. I think I must begin acquiring copies of this for my personal library now ...

ETA: Shook snow off the bushes and onto myself, en masse. If I'm going to keep doing this, I think I need to dig out my snowpants from wherever they're stored. At least this time I knew to tie off the tops of my boots.

ETA 2: They're sending us back to work tomorrow. I guess the alien coup has been defeated. Sigh.
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
In an utterly uncharacteristic access of common sense, my employing institution will be closed tomorrow in recognition of the foot of snow predicted to fall overnight. I suspect someone of replacing the relevant administrators with pod people.

A friend reported the first flakes in this area at about 7:30 p.m. It's coming down thick and fast now. Viva El NiƱo!
nebroadwe: Write write write edit edit edit edit edit & post. (Writer)
Beneath sullen clouds,
chill air whispers, presaging
sleet's derisive hiss.
nebroadwe: (Bear)
I mean, who doesn't think winter is for snow? Not me!

Read more... )

ETA: On a related note, the best children's book about playing in the snow EVER is still in print. Given proper encouragement, I will recite swathes of it from memory ... ("The hill is long. The hill is steep ... [pause to take in the full effect of the illustration of the dog lying on the sled the trudging children are pulling up said hill] We think our dog has gone to sleep.")
nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
Nothing gets your blood moving in the morning quite like jogging to work in a streaming downpour while cloud-to-cloud lightning strikes burst like artillery shells directly overhead. Eep.

This, my children, is why I keep a complete set of clean clothes at work.

And what's up with the faint smell of sewage in the downstairs staff corridor? Ewww.

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nebroadwe: From "The Magdalen Reading" by Rogier van der Weyden.  (Default)
The Magdalen Reading

August 2014

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