Sunday, January 23, 2011

Oh the weather outside is frightful...

Is there a point you reach when you become entirely sick of the snow?  A time in which you realize that frozen, white stuff falling from the sky isn’t pretty, but your enemy?  An exact moment in which you begin to curse Mother Nature for punishing us by dumping inches and feet of powder on our streets?

I hit that point years ago.  In fact, I think the last time I enjoyed snow was in the 9th grade.  Rewind to January 2003- no school for me- the almighty Regents Week had arrived.  I didn’t have to worry about walking to the bus stop and schleping myself and my 90-lb. bookbag from the junction to Midwood.  Bitter cold freezing temperatures? Who cared! I was snuggled at home on the couch with hot chocolate, sleeping in and not caring about the weather outside.  Then, miracle of all miracles!  A snowstorm that warranted enough snow for a NYC Public School snow day!  (NYC Public Schools have only been closed 6 times since 1978 for a total of 8 lost educational days, according to the NYC government).  My mom and my sisters were off from work and school, and I got bundled up and went outside to play in the snow with my two best friends.  We didn’t have to shovel, we didn’t have to clean off the car, or worry about driving in the snow.  We were free and clear and happy as can be.  We sledded and skated and made snow angels until we couldn’t feel our faces anymore.

Fast forward to January 2011.  New York City has received 36.1 inches of snow THIS SEASON.  That is 14 inches over the average snowfall the city usually gets.  Needless to say, I’m sick of it.  I’m sick of having to shovel, and argue with my neighbor about the driveway.  I’m tired of having to get up an hour earlier to clear off the steps to my house and to get the car cleared off.  I’m totally over not being able to find a parking spot near the school I work in, and I am most definitely tired of having to skate across treacherous ice skating rinks (the sidewalks in front of houses where the people are too damn lazy to shovel) as I walk down the block. 

I missed the Christmas Blizzard this year- but wasn’t spared the side effects.  I cruised the Caribbean for Christmas and got to escape the frigid winter cold of NY for a week.  We docked in Tampa at 7am, and I turned on my cell phone after a week of no texting, bbming and emailing (pure torture I tell you) to find an e-mail from Jet Blue saying that my 7:35pm flight from Tampa to New York had been CANCELED.  Canceled?!!? Why?!? We knew nothing of the impending doom about to befall New York.  Tried as we might, we couldn’t get another flight into NY.  Instead my sisters and I flew to Pittsburgh (ugh Steelers country) to stay with our Grandma, rather than sleep in the Tampa airport.  Turned out it was a good thing, since some French Witch tripped my Grandma with her suitcase as we were disembarking and Grandma ended up with a broken wrist.  We arrived in Pittsburgh at 7pm, and were there from Dec. 26th to Dec. 31st.  We were spared the digging out and shoveling at home.  Luckily my Uncle has a truck and was able to drive out of the 8 foot drifts in his backyard to come and rescue us from the airport!

The Christmas Blizzard made Dictator Bloombag the most wanted man in NYC.  What a disaster... at least the citizens of New York City were able to see our assinine Mayor’s true colors as he jetsetted to his vacation home in Bermuda, while the rest of us were stuck in the Blizzard.  The majority of the city was never plowed, even though Bloombag proclaimed that every single block had been plowed.  What a liar.  Not that Bloombutt is the only one to blame.  I blame Sanitation too- they could have been far more pro-active in snow removal.  Instead, everyone has to point fingers and pass the buck instead of stepping up and doing the right thing.

Then on January 11th and 12th we got hit with ANOTHER storm- my neck of the woods got a whopping 8 inches of snow.  On the night of the 11th, my facebook newsfeed was filled with the stati (statuses?) of the private school kids (yay snow day!) and the public school teachers/kids (PLEASE IF THERE IS A GOD GIVE US A SNOW DAY).  I know plenty of teachers who kicked back, had a glass of wine, and pretty much assumed that we would have a snow day, or, at the very least a delayed opening.  I set my alarm for 5am to check to see if we had a snow day- and SHOCKER! Our illegal Mayor declared that schools were indeed OPEN.  5:25 am I got a text asking if I could sub.  That is one good thing about lousy weather- I am almost guaranteed a day of work.  One glance out my bedroom window led to an automatic groan.  Of course we hadn’t been plowed, of course the car was buried, of course there wouldn’t be anywhere to park.  So into the shower I went, and to work I walked, trudging along in 8 inches of snow for a mile.  At some points the snow was up to my hips (I kid you not), since some people chose not to shovel after the Christmas blizzard.  We had almost 20 people call out of work that day.  Attendance rates in the NYC Public Schools hovered near 46%.

Glorified babysitting- that’s all January 12th was.  I started off the morning with 4 kids.  Slowly they trickled in- up to a whopping 13 out of 30.  Less than half.  I read aloud a story to the kids, then we went to a mass prep.  Then we did some more reading aloud, went to lunch, and then combined with the class next door (where my mom just so happens to be the teacher!).  We wrote letters to the Mayor that afternoon- and most of the kids thanked Bloombag for keeping the schools open- because they got to play all day.  The day was pretty much a day lost in terms of academics.  No teacher taught anything new because there were so many kids out. 

Then, this past Thursday another fast moving snow storm moved through our area.  I’ve never seen snow fall that fast before!  I got up (even though I hadn’t been called that morning to work), figuring that someone would call out and I would get a day of work.  Mom and I bundled up, went outside, cleared the car off twice, and drove on solid ice to work.  No one called out.  Go figure.

Now meteorologists are warning of another miserable storm- and depending on which way the low goes- we might get hit with another storm far too reminiscent of the Christmas Blizzard.  Judging by the past three snow storms, it is a safe bet we won’t be recipients of the elusive snow day... but perhaps I’ll get a day of work.

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