Sunday, January 23, 2005


A Snowy Day.

One look at the number of posts on Saturday and you can obviously tell I've been cooped up inside this weekend.

Winter in D.C. is very frustrating for this transplanted Chicagoan. Whenever it snows, the whole city shuts down. It's as if everyone in this town grew up on Venus, and every time they see snow it's for the very first time.

In the otherwise horrible The Day After Tomorrow, you know my favorite scene? There's a moment early on in the film when the panicking residents of Washington are clearing out the grocery store of bottled water and toilet paper. My audience laughed very loudly at that scene, because the "run on the store" is a grand Washington winter tradition. A weatherman in this town need only whisper the word "flurries," and pretty soon it's impossible for a gallon of milk to be had.

Now, we don't get anywhere near the frequency of snow that folks in the Midwest or Northeast get. Yet, when it does snow, it sometimes comes down as fast and as hard as any snow I've seen in Illinois. A good Noreaster will dump a foot of snow on Washington as quickly as lake effect snow back home.

And, for everyone who (rightly) criticizes D.C. drivers and their inability to drive in the snow, I will highlight that Washington has one thing Chicago doesn't have: hills, and plenty of them. It's easy to be all macho driving across flat snowy plains. Try getting traction on ice up a 25% grade, and then we'll talk.

Thankfully, the storm this weekend wasn't bad at all. I'd be surprised if Arlington got more than four inches of snow, which is nothing at all. Still, I had to drag my butt out to shovel today, which gave me more exercise than I normally get in a month.

It also gave me a nice excuse to chat with the neighbors. I've got some nice people on my street, and I spent a while chatting with them about all the usual small things people talk about. As usual, the only neighbor who *didn't* show up is the woman who lives next door to me in my duplex townhouse.

I honestly never see her. She sneaks in and out of her house like Lazlo sneaking out of the closet late at night in Real Genius. In over a year of living here, I may have exchanged thirty words with her.

Which is a damn shame, because she is, in the technical sense of the term, "hot." Given her extended absences, I'm thinking she's got herself a boyfriend (girlfriend?), but otherwise, I know nothing about her.

Man, I sure hope she's not burying anything in her house. A drop in my property value is the LAST thing I need right now.

It could have been worse. I've seen this city shut down on half of what we had yesterday. On the other hand, the plowing in this area is a complete joke. I got stuck dogsitting this weekend at my friend's place in Crystal City, and then went out in Arlington last night. There are all thse major roadways like Jeff Davis Highway, Wilson Blvd, Fairfax Dr, and they've all barely been plowed. Here's an idea. Instead of waiting until it has completely stopped snowing until you plow, why don't you run the guy through while it's snowing? What a concept.

Seriously, as someone else I read mentioned, there seems to be a mentality in this town that we're in San Diego or Miami, and so everytime it snows it manages to shock the living heck out of everyone. Umm, people, we live in the NORTHEAST, thus it will snow during the winter. Scheeeez.

All right, off of my soapbox. Enjoy the football today.
Paul, I work in Rosslyn, and let me tell you, I have never been angrier at the People's Republic of Arlington than I was this past Wednesday.

While the snow was coming down for hours, there was never a single snow plow to be seen in Rosslyn. Not a one came to plow the Wilson Blvd. hill.

Sure, I love watching snowy accidents from my warm high-rise perch as much as the next guy, but c'mon! This is DOWNTOWN ARLINGTON, and nobody can be bothered to plow or salt? A single plow in thirty minutes worth of work could've prevented a dozen accidents that afternoon.

Oh well. My tax dollars at work.
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