Thursday, January 23, 2014


If you’ve been watching the national news, you know the Northeast got socked with snow and a blast of arctic air on Tuesday. My part of Pennsylvania got off easy, all things considered. We got around 5-6 inches, in contrast to the foot or so Philadelphia picked up. We also had a lull in the action Tuesday afternoon, so the neighborhood turned out and dug out the cars, driveways and sidewalks before the storm started up again. And it was the light, fluffy stuff, easy to shovel without any moisture weighing it down. Come Wednesday morning I only had to shovel about an inch off the walk, brush off the car, and let direct sunlight handle the rest.

However, by Wednesday morning temperatures had plummeted to around 1 degree, with sub-zero wind chills. Good thing I got the bulk of the shoveling done the day before. And the trick with panty hose under the pants does work. Wish I’d had warmer gloves, though. By the time I was finished my fingers ached like hell, and I wasn’t even out there a half hour. Some TV meteorologist reported it’s warmer in Siberia than it is here in the Northeast. Thanks. I don’t find that comforting.

What all this means is that I was cut off from the Internet on Tuesday. The library never opened, and I wasn’t going to risk my life and my car to slide over to McDonald’s just to check my email. For all I know, McDonald’s was closed too, though I doubt it. Who’d go out in a snowstorm for a Big Mac and fries? Y’know, you’d be surprised. There are people who see snow and ice and think, “I need (fill in the blank). Better go get some.” Any store that’s operating will have customers. So I’ll bet if McDonald’s was open, they did a brisk business. I don’t even want to think about the WalMart.

What’s this got to do with anything? Well, I had no Internet because I never bothered to get home WiFi. I thought about signing onto my cable TV provider’s program back around the beginning of December, but kept putting it off. I didn’t really want to spend the money. I can get Internet free at the library, McDonald’s, and a couple other local places. The last couple years we’ve had mild winters and getting around wasn’t a problem. And so forth. And that’s what led to Tuesday and me stuck in the house and cut off from all social media.

This isn’t the first time this winter I’ve run into this, either. I’ve gone out in single-digit temps and braved icy roads and been confronted with a closed library and been forced to post (and therefore write) blogs the day before because of an onerous forecast. All this could have been avoided if I’d just sucked it up and plunked down my money and let Blue Ridge hook me up to the aether so I can send emails and watch gay porn (for M/M research, of course) in the comfort of my own home. Oh, and access my publisher’s web site, which the library’s content filter won’t let me do any more. Hell, if I stock up enough provisions, I wouldn’t even have to leave the house for weeks on end. Welcome to modern social interaction.

(Oh geez. Just had a flash of me holed up in my bedroom hunched over the laptop and muttering, “My precious.” Ewwwwwww.)

But I didn’t bother to get WiFi when I could have, and now I’m paying the price. At least I get fresh air once a day. Frigid, but fresh.

# # #

So what did I do during the storm, stuck in the house all day? I’d like to say I wrote, but we all know better. Heavy snow days just seem to demand you curl up in bed with a good book or two. Which is what happened. When I got tired of reading I’d switch on the TV and see how many inches had fallen so far and how cold it was getting, then cruise channels looking for interesting reruns. There is nothing on TV during the day. Trust me. I watched it anyway.

Why not write? I had 16 hours of free time, with nothing better to do except shovel. I’ve got 3-4 stories I could work on. I had the laptop and the notebooks out a couple times but got stuck. Could be my brain froze in the cold. Or maybe, like with the Internet, I just figured I’d put it off.

Procrastination is a huge problem with me, especially when it comes to writing. I don’t know if I can rightly call it a block, because I make it a point to write something every day. Maybe it’s my inspirational logjam again. I’ve got four ideas jostling for position in my head, with none rising above the others. It’s easier just to avoid the whole thing and see what’s on cable for a few hours. This is not how one makes a living as a professional writer.

I think I’ll try putting off procrastinating. Let’s see if that does any good.

For those following the saga of Stray Kitty, he’s fine. He shows up in the morning for his breakfast no matter what the weather’s like. He can’t afford to put anything off because if he does, he’ll starve. Wonder if I can train him to type?


Savanna Kougar said...

Sorry, so not a fan of this nasty cold weather... yep, another blast here... although, maybe 'polar vortex' will kill off the ever-increasing tick population... but, come on, I was hoping for some real global warming... just enough to keep the temps more moderate... darn!

Glad Stray Kitty is safe and sound.

I would suggest no wi-fi, but ethernet, or whatever else works... because regardless of the hype, wi-fi ain't good for the human body.

Here's hoping your muse cooperates and gets the right story on track... or all of them on track.

Pat C. said...

Looks like we're going to be in the deep freeze well into next week. Meh.