Thursday, February 18, 2010

The snow melts slowly

Things are almost back to normal in DC. Driving is still treacherous, because deep potholes have appeared like urban mushrooms and you must dodge the pedestrians forced to walk in the street by the mountains of snow in the sidewalks. Schools have resumed. My university has declared that the academic calendar cannot be extended, nor spring break cancelled, but that professors must make up the classes somehow. I had some trouble getting back to DC, but since I was happy to be stuck outside of DC rather than in the middle of "Snowmageddon," I didn't complain too much.

In related news, I've noticed that a few of my winter coats are appearing a bit frayed and worn. Maybe all this extra-snowy weather has caused premature aging. Rather than go to the work of replacing them, I've decided to just go somewhere where I won't need them. That's why I'm happy to announce that in May I'll be moving to Miami, where, coincidentally, I have just accepted a job.

Monday, February 08, 2010

25 inches

The snow, the snow. School was cancelled on Friday and Monday. The mail didn't come and the Saturday paper showed up on Sunday night. Andrew and the landlord spent four hours shoveling the driveway. (FOUR hours.) Most of the side streets weren't cleared today, 48 hours after the storm ended.

And I had three different flight cancelled. They kept rebooking me, but what are you going to do when the airport isn't open? In the end I got a bit desperate. I didn't really have the option of postponing this trip later in the month, and each day that I lost put me closer to when I needed to be back in DC for a conference.

So last night I rebooked, for the fourth time. Andrew drove me to Richmond, VA, which is less than three hours away in the southerly direction. We left home eight hours before my flight in case the roads were unbearable. But I think it's all going to turn out: I'm sitting in an airport, I have three hours before my flight, and airplanes appear to be winging their way into the sky.

Now the question is, will I be able to return on Wednesday, in the midst of the next predicted storm?

Friday, February 05, 2010

The quiet before the storm

I'm experiencing the lull before the storm both metaphorically and literally right now. They are predicting a big storm will hit DC this afternoon; as a precaution, the university and schools across the region are closed. From our house we can see a nearby grocery store, and the parking lot is stuffed. This is in spite of the fact that the skies are very calm and overcast. You'd never know a storm is on it's way. But if there's one thing DC knows how to do, it's to preemptively overreact about the weather. (I know that our limited supply of snowplows means that activities will be cancelled more often than in northern climes, but how serious is it if you're snowbound with less than 24 rolls of toilet paper?)

The personal lull is due to a number of approaching professional activities. I have an interview next week and a conference the week after that. I've been crazy busy preparing talks and posters, but now that's all pretty much done. Today and tomorrow are my chance to catch my breath, work a bit on longer-term projects, and prepare to dazzle strangers with my research.