Fast Forward to Now... A break from my vacation blog.
21.02.2011 - 21.02.2011 -5 °C
So I thought I'd throw in a bit of an intermission here in between my travel blog. I haven't had a good rant in a while and writing in a first person narrative, AFTER the fact is taxing on the brain and emotionally draining. Emotionally draining because I sit here writing these travel blogs about beaches and tropical weather in my tracky dacks with the temperature outside at below freezing. I sometimes have to close my eyes, sit next to the heater and imagine feeling the sun on my face just to remember what I did on my vacation. It's snowing again after a brief reprieve from the sub-zero cold, with the temps rising to a sweltering 50 Fahrenheit for one day last week (10 Celcius). It took a while to figure out that warm sensation on my skin was the sun. Trust me, coming from freezing temperatures, you become sensative to natural heat so that you can almost feel the sun's heat reflecting from a full moon!
It is so fricken cold here in Chicago. Did I mention that? Just our luck as well that in our second winter in Chicago, we experienced the third worst snow blizzard ever recorded. It's been so cold that when I would wait for the bus, sometimes I want to poke a burning stick in my eye just to distract from the pain of the biting wind chill. Then at least one part of my body would be warm, or at least would not feel the cold, or anything for that a matter, due to the nerves being cauterized. Chicago got hit with over 3ft of snow in one night, and to add to that, our dog Presley was suffering from bladder stones and so was pissing like a horse (where it pleases) everywhere in the house. Poor thing, but my hands were as dry as a dead dingo's donger due to the continuous use of surface spray cleaning up her accidents. The next day when it stopped snowing and safe to go out, I decided to go for a walk around the block to check out the carnage. Snow drifts had buried some cars almost to their roofs. There were cars stuck in the middle of the road under snow and every street looked like Charlie Sheen's coffee table on 4th July. So after being awe struck by the blizzard's carnage, I'm back at the house and guess what, I've lost my house keys somewhere along the way...AWESOME! and of course Sam is out of town...BRILLIANT! Luckily for me, but only after retracing my steps around the block, did I remember that I left the back door open! My forgetfullness saved me from my losefullness.
It hasn't been all that bad. Christmas was great as we shared it with some friends and fellow Aussies visiting from Oz. We built snow men, had snow fights, drank mulled wine and ate Turkey. NYE was a quiet affair with a small group of friends enjoying dinner and ringing in Twenty-Eleven. Our friend Janet from Oz also paid us a visit. We played tourist with her checking out some of the sights. I've even managed to hit the slopes, or more like a grade, just north of Chicago in Wisconsin. I dusted off my snowboard and cut through some 'slight inclines'. The Chicago Bears gave us almost something to cheer about but it in the end, it was false hope in the NFL playoffs. Well that's a bit harsh, but they fell one game short of going to Dallas and playing in the Super Bowl. As they lost to thier arch rivals, Greenbay Packers (who would go on to win the Superbowl) a big hush fell across the city, followed by the random and scattered sobs of grown men and the hushed comforting words of thier female partners. I was heart broken so I could only imagine what some of these die-hard fans were going through. Drink more beer I say. I've also had a chance to shovel some snow...wait, I think that signals the end of the "It hasn't been all that bad" section. PS I love you, garage.
Talking about loving, my love-hate relationship with the Red Line picked up where we left off. I love the Red (we're on first name terms) in only that it gets me to the office (which actually should be a reason to hate it) and that it also gives me some comededic material. At least in the winter, the smell of urine isn't so strong because it's frozen in the corner of the carriage, waiting for the spring thaw. Body odor is hidden under the 23 layers of clothing to keep warm and my gloves protect me from the slimy film on every exposed surface of a Red Line carriage. One day I dropped my 7 days CTA pass on the floor of a Red carriage. Before I dared myself to pick it up, I had to calculate how many days was left on the card and if it was worth the risk in picking it up...along with 543 different strains of bacteria, fungi, virus or protozoa (I googled the 4 major germ types), and of course urine. This weather has made me numb, I picked it up. I also don't understand, short of some fool falling on the tracks, what reason a train driver needs slam on the brakes every time it pulled into a station. It's not like the station appears out of no where! There's no 4 way stops to worry about and rats do not count as pedestrians. It goes forward, it goes backward. How hard can it be?
Throw in the 'Tea Baggers' and the likes of Sarah Palin and Glen Beck, and you've got yourself a National Lampoons Political special
US politics has kept me entertained in this 'stay indoors' weather. I won't go on any political rant, only to say that for someone who now lives here, but who lived outside the US during the Bush years, I can now see how someone like him can become President. For those Bush-haters outside the US who just couldn't understand how he became president, I think you have to live here to understand US politics and how something like that is possible. It's funny, it's outrageous, it's insane! Some of the stuff that comes out of the mouths from both Dems and Republicans are just absolute WTF moments, and I NEVER use WTF!!...WTF!?. Throw in the 'Tea Baggers' and the likes of Sarah Palin and Glen Beck, and you've got yourself a National Lampoons Political special. Sometimes when I flip through the TV channels, I find it hard to work out whether a show is about serious political commentary or a reality show about guidos from New Jersey.
So we're almost at the end of this intermission and back to a stressful first-person narrative. I want to end it off with some good news.
...One cold morning in January, I was woken up with with Sam shouting my name from the bathroom..."AL!!" ..."What?" I muttered, thinking I'm sure I put down the toilet seat. Little did I know that in that split second, Peter Pan would become Peter Man (Sam would comment later), As she burst out the bathroom and uttered those two life-changing words: