Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Miscellaneous: No Business Like Snow Business

It snowed in Seattle again last night. Not a whole lot, just enough to throw the town into a tizzy. I’ve lived here for years, and days like this force me to admit I don’t understand this place. How can a city surrounded by mountains and peopled by skiers lose its collective head whenever the white stuff hits the ground? Winters back east have warped my expectations. In Boston, snow plows are on the streets around the clock. Even in August.

The adverse conditions haven’t affected me much, although I did scrap my plans to stop by Seattle Mystery Books and meet Charlie Huston. Today, that lunchtime jaunt would consume the entire afternoon.

What annoys me is that Seattleites don’t even take routine precautions like, say, clearing off their sidewalks. We got a light dusting on Saturday, sufficient to cover the slick patches that lingered from the midweek snow. I discovered one while strolling up to the supermarket. My Doc Martens were no help. Ass, meet pavement. Icy, rock hard pavement. My only thought as my second foot slid out from under me was, Man, I haven’t fallen down in years.

Since then, I have been liberally self-medicating with ibuprofen and Irish whiskey. At least my mishap didn’t ruin the weekend. We’d already been to see Pan’s Labyrinth. (Quick take: get thee to a theater at once.) And my pain had subsided enough by Monday so that we could see Notes on a Scandal. (Quick take: great nasty fun. Comparisons to Patricia Highsmith are apt.)

You’d think a quieting blanket of white would facilitate my getting some work done. But the snow didn’t keep the valiant crew renovating the apartment upstairs from their appointed rounds. No, they’re here, prying the hardwood floors up one board at a time. Good thing I’ve got plenty of that whiskey on hand.