Friday, January 19, 2007

The Arctic Blast and my first week back at school

Well, they warned about it all last week. Bad weather was headed our way, and it was supposed to get here last Friday. It would get cold, and there would be ice on the roads, and life as we knew it would come to a complete standstill. Thursday they talked about it a lot. Friday, they were still talking about it, but it didn't really seem to be here yet. It was nearby, but not really here.

I went out and bought supplies. We do that. It's an odd thing to do, like you're really going to starve to death after being iced in for three or four days. I mean, let's say it was really bad and we had to stay in the house for an entire week. What is the big deal? There are probably still a few edible things in the refrigerator. There are at least a half dozen cans of soup in the cabinet. There are lots of cans of other stuff in the cabinet. We have spaghetti. We have frozen dinners. We have potatoes that are starting to sprout, but they don't really look that bad.

But, the grocery store parking lot was nearly empty by the time I got there, so I went in and got the gallon of milk and the loaf of bread and the dozen eggs that you are supposed to get. I also got half a dozen more cans of soup, a bunch of sodas, and a few other things. I really didn't need to go out at all. We already had toilet paper and shampoo and everything.

But I pictured being nice and comfortable in my warm house that I wouldn't want to leave for three or four days.

But not that much happened Friday, or Saturday, or Sunday, or Monday. There was stuff happening nearby, and there was some ice on the roads but most of it quickly melted except for on the bridges. There were accidents and such, but mostly early in the morning. It just wasn't that bad, and we ended up going out for one thing or another everyday.

And while we were out, we might as well eat something, so very little of the groceries I bought have been used, except for the milk and sodas.

Monday, some Martin Luther King Day stuff was cancelled, just in case.

Tuesday was my first day of ceramics class at the community college. I've had one other semester of ceramics, but I'm just taking Ceramics 1 again. I just need a lab to work in,:I don't need the credit.

So there was good news and bad news. The good news is that the teacher doesn't care of we work on non-assigned pieces, just as long as we do the assignments first and we don't bring stuff from home to fire and bury him in extra work. The bad news is that except for the other class periods, the lab is always locked, so I can't just stay after class and work on my own stuff.

Fine. He's promised that the actual class assignments will mostly be simple and shouldn't take up much of my time. And if I want to come in during the other class times I can do that. And, the bookstore already has clay in the back, so I can buy most of it from them and won't need to keep going to Trinity Clay for it. And, he's promised us lots of free glazes that he will be mixing. So I go to the bookstore, buy some clay, and head home.

The next day I am up earlier than I need to be, because I plan to go to the Wednesday morning ceramic class to work on my own project. But I am up way to early to head straight to class, so I come in here and answer my email and read a few blogs. A couple hours later, it is light outside, and....

There is ice on the street.

Actual slide around on the street and wreck your car ice. Not melting and going away ice. Ice. Ice that they said was coming Friday or Saturday or Sunday or Monday. Ice that was supposed to have all melted and gone away before Tuesday. Ice that they started predicting again on Tuesday after I had stopped paying attention to the "Arctic Blast" weather reports. Ice that cancelled Wednesday classes until noon. Ice.


So, I planned instead to go to the Wednesday night class. The ice was melting, if not fast enough for me. But the roads were mostly clear at lunch time, so I planned to go to the night class.

They decided to be on the safe side and cancel everything until 10 am on Thursday.


Thursday morning I got up and checked to make sure that the classes would go on as scheduled starting at 10, and then I ate breakfast, put my clay and stuff in the car, and headed to school.

Some of the art classes are in a separate building, which was locked when I got there. Someone else was already waiting. I have to drag my stuff to the door. My coat is such a hassle. I waited with just my sweater and a scarf. (It's a big scarf.) Another student came to wait with us.

Three maintenance guys unlocked the other end of the building and went inside. It would have been nice if they could have bothered to unlock our door for us, but no. A fourth student got out of her car and went in the other door. I wonder if we could get in that way. Probably not. Probably the doors in between are locked. The fourth student tried the door from the inside, but couldn't get it open, so we went in the other door too. I had to make two trips, because I had all of this stuff with me. By the time I got everything where it was supposed to be, one of the maintenance guys was running us out. You can't be in here without an instructor. That's not exactly true, we can't be in here without a staff member, so what's the big deal if you're here? We're not faculty; you can't be in here. Blah, blah, blah.

So we went back outside. It's nearly ten, the instructor should be here at any minute. The maintenance guys leave the building.

It is after ten, and most of our class has shown up, but not the instructor. How long do we have to wait until the class is allowed to leave without penalty? I heard twenty minutes. It's been nearly fifteen. I'm leaving. Me too. Let's all sign a piece of paper to prove we were here on time.

So we're all leaving, except that I have to go get the police to unlock the door so that I can get some of my stuff to take home. I know that he has a rule against working on things at home, but I think that he might bend the rule this time since I've lost nine hours of lab time this week.

Someone finds the instructor's phone number and calls him. He isn't coming in. Since the class was supposed to start at 8:30, he thought it was cancelled. Most of the students thought that since we have both the 8:30 class period and the 10:00 class period that we were still expected to be there at 10 am. And since he did not call and cancel the 10 am period, the staff was not notified to even put up a sign saying class was cancelled.

That was a half hour drive time wasted, plus more than half an hour wasted at school. Just so that the day would not be a total waste, I went to Hobby Lobby for a bit of yarn, and then on to the mall and my recent favorite store--Bath and Body Works.

Okay, so now a few things are actually 90% off, so I got a few Christmas things and a few Halloween things at the upstairs store. I didn't really think that the downstairs store would have anything else that I wanted, but it doesn't hurt to check.

And there was a ton of 90% off stuff. I got a fifty dollar candle in this big gold snowflake thing for five dollars. Who really pays fifty dollars for a candle anyway, but paying five dollars for one with a fifty dollar price tag on it is cool. And I got a pumpkin scented candle for like a dollar and a half, and five pumpkin scented Wallflowers for like a dollar twenty five each.

That was fun.

So then I have to drop the husband off somewhere, and I got to go to two more malls on the way home. I didn't find much at the third store, but I bought two pear scented candles for like a dollar fifty each, so I guess it wasn't a total waste.

At the Irving store I found a lot of Halloween stuff. I bought ten anti-bacterial soaps in the jack-o-lantern bottles for a dollar each. With that many, I might just use a few of them for hand soap now and keep the bottles to put lotion in next year. I bought an eye mask for a dollar and four Christmas candle-holders for seventy-five cents each. I bought a Halloween candle-holder for one twenty. Then I bought some mints in tiny gift boxes for forty cents each.

All way cool stuff. Makes up for missing an hour and a half of class, doesn't it?

I did not even bother trying to go to a class today, and I don't plan to go to one tomorrow either.


nobodyinparticular said...

Is the ice really that terribly bad? Or is that that nobody knows how to drive on it?

laughingattheslut said...

I think that any ice on the road is bad.

But, it is Dallas, so nobody really knows how to drive on it.

I certainly do not know how to drive on it.

And there's always some idiot who doesn't even seem to notice the ice and tries to drive around us all doing 65 or so.

nobodyinparticular said...

When does ice season end?

laughingattheslut said...

There's not so much an ice season as there is just a few days here and there that are hard to predict. Most of it is in January and Febraury, but I've also seen it in November and March. And it is Texas so you could even have some freak thing in October or April, but that would probably melt before it really got to be a problem.

We got stuck at my parents house for a few days one year at Thanksgiving. Seemed to really come out of nowhere. We didn't live that far away, but you just couldn't drive on it at all. Good thing we weren't having Thanksgiving with his family.

nobodyinparticular said...

Good. Does there seem to be more ice or less ice this year?

laughingattheslut said...

Less of the really bad stuff so far.

Thursday there wasn't anything left except for patches on the bridges and overpasses. And after I was driving a bit I forgot that I was even supposed to be looking for ice and I just started driving like it was a normal day. I forgot what I was doing and changed lanes on a bridge. Nothing happened, but there was still a bit of ice there so I should have been more careful.

nobodyinparticular said...

Have you ever tried to drive on snow? Or had the experience multiple times of slipping on something and having the car whirl end for end down the road? It's also interesting when pressing the brake pedal becomes a mere suggestion rather than something that causes you to stop.

laughingattheslut said...

I have slipped around like that a few times, more often as a passenger than a driver.

Once I had to go to work at a mall. The roads were mostly clear by then, but there were still patches here and there, but I made it safely to the mall parking lot. And then I got into trouble because the shadow of the building had kept some of the ice from melting. So I'm driving slow and being careful. But I drive onto an ice patch. There's another car coming from the other direction, but his side of the "road" doesn't have ice on it, and I figured he'd move over since there weren't any cars parked in that area. But he just kept coming. He must have seen me starting to slide, but he kept coming and he stayed in his lane. The brakes do absolutely nothing on solid ice. Really, sometimes braking is bad, cause it will just change your direction a little bit, and you don't know which direction. I barely missed the guy, and he actually gave me a dirty look. He had a whole empty parking lot on his side to get out of the way. One my side there was more ice and a building to crash into.

Stupid people.

nobodyinparticular said...

The mall-lot accidents are really something and they can happen in any weather. The situation with this is worse in the area of the lot where there are the fewest cars. This is where the cars drive across the lanes in diagonal lines, ignoring the parking markers. Next thing you knew there's another car doing the same thing, and there are no traffic rules in such situations. Someone forgets to correct the course and SMASH. I've had a few close calls, and known someone who was injured when she was driving in the back lot of the mall and someone doing the same thing T-boned her car.

Is there a way for the blog system to notify you if there is a new comment to a posting?

laughingattheslut said...

Old blogger sends you an email whenever you get a comment.

New blogger shows how many comments you have listed next to the posts on the manage posts section.

nobodyinparticular said...

So there is no alternative than refreshing either your email or the blogger main screen?

laughingattheslut said...

Possibly there is, but I am not a techie. Those are the only two that I have noticed.

nobodyinparticular said...

The Fruit Smoothie category and the weird Sobe drinks could probably be mentioned too, but I'm not sure of the calories on either one. Don't forget Snapple, either. The clear-colored Diet Pepsi was something I only had in Arkansas.

As for "Taz Hate Water", has Taz tried regular water with a lot of lemon squeezed into it? That can be nice.

If you like ginger ale, then you must try Vernor's: Michigan's best export.

nobodyinparticular said...

Sorry, my internet connection's been winking out, and I ended up spilling sodapop in your ice post. You should probably delete the above one!