Ah, snow.

Feb. 5th, 2014 10:57 am
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (quest)
The children got school off, but the libraries are open, so I am at work. Rather hoping that the mayor and the top staff at the library all had truly hideous commutes this morning...
rabidsamfan: (hoooolmes)
Honestly. I mean, would you name your kid "Sherlock"? No matter how big a fan you are? Because there were some tourists on the train tonight when I was coming home from sailing, and the mom was speaking French to this tiny boy and she called him "Sherlock". Twice. I mean, I might have been mistaken the first time (although my head did nearly swivel off my shoulders) but the second time I was listening and even though the first syllable was a bit odd, it was definitely "Sherlock".

I confess I'm hoping for the kid's sake it's a nickname. I do know another small boy who is called "Turtle" by all and sundry, after all. Even though his name is really John.
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
Okay, so today I got rooked into walking in a parade along with some people from different agencies working with 0 to 5 year olds. We also invited families with children of that age to come with us, and in the end the group was about sixty people, ranging in age from "can't sit up in the stroller yet" to "who says retired people can't have fun?" I was banner wrangling, with the help of some adolescents as well as a couple of determined pre-K kids, and while we were waiting for the parade to start, and for our part of the parade to get moving, the older kids and I started to make up our own words to songs between bursts of listening to the bagpipers near us. Then one of the little ones piped up with this, sung to the tune of Frere Jacques:

We've been waiting
We've been waiting
All Day Long
All Day Long
That's why we are singing
That's why we are singing
Waiting Songs
Waiting Songs
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
Just woke up and did the Oh-Dark-Thirty shovelling of my tiny scrap of sidewalk. It really isn't a lot of concrete to worry about, except that my house faces north and is in the middle of the row, so this time of year the front walk is perpetually in shadow. If you don't keep it clear, icebergs form out there, and taunt you with your puny muscles and plastic implements should you be foolish enough to think you can remove them before the city fathers descend with grim satisfaction to leave you a twenty-five dollar ticket.

Not that I'd be the one to pay it, mind. I rent, and there are people upstairs who own. But I also am on the first floor, and have made myself acquainted with the little old ladies and gentlemen down the street whose necks are on the line. So I shovel.

Sometimes, it's an exercise in futility -- or seems to be. This is one of those storms where the snow keeps packing up against the side of the house, and up the front stairs, and even all the way up the doorjamb, so that when you open the door there's a crust of the cold stuff that hangs there like some kind of mad arctictect's idea of cleverness. "Look, if we make the doorway a more Interesting Shape, you can impress people with you agility as you leap past the layers!"

Or knock the snow off with your broom, whichever.

Then, of course, you have to unbury the steps. I am seriously envious of the people next door, who spent money this year to add a second door at the bottom of their steps. It's not an uncommon thing to do -- I'd say that more than half of the buildings on this side of the street have enclosed their entryways. But we haven't, so the shovel has to be employed before you can even take a step outside.

The wind, the way it is tonight, won't let you close the door properly if you've forgotten your keys. You can see it sending snow skirling up into the hall, like Marley's ghosts skittering up to go see Scrooge. Best to shovel quick, and get back inside.

One step, two, three, four. I shoveled before I went to bed and cleared these steps, but you'd never know it. The wind has drifted the snow into piles so deep that not even boots would save me if I were fool enough to step into one of the delicate shapes.

Which are HEAVY! For all that the wind is pushing the snow around like it might be the powdery kind, truth is, this close to the ocean, the snow has plenty of moisture. Just clearing the steps has me puffing a bit. Thank goodness for nice long heavy scarves.

The wind has actually cleared half the sidewalk, almost to the pavement, but that means more has piled up beside the building. I go along, breaking up the drift and pitching it out to where the wind picks it up. I'm only clearing half the sidewalk tonight. Boston has funny rules. If you don't shovel, you get fined, but if you throw the snow into the street, you get fined more. Not really a problem at the moment. Give this stuff a bit of loft and it instantly becomes someone else's mess. The wind is worse than the snow right now. I'm halfway along the walk when a gust picks up and tries to lift me and my shovel along with the snow. It's all I can do to just stand and wait for it to ease up, watching the snow swirl away down the street and pile up against trees and cars and other people's steps.

By the time I get to the end of my stretch of sidewalk -- and we're talking about a stretch that I can walk on a normal day in fewer than four seconds -- there is already a thin layer of snow on the steps. I dash inside and catch a glimpse of myself in the hall mirror. My coat is coated with snow, and so are my hat and scarf. My hands are mumbling imprecations at me -- next time I better remember my mittens.

But at least inside it is warm. And quiet. If I listen now I can hear the wind. It's so muffled by snow I'd underestimated it before I went out, but I've got it's measure now. Time to crawl back under the covers and wait for the alarm to go off once again. I expect by then, the stairs will be buried and all. But I don't mind. I've already seen what the neighbors' walks look like, and I'm well ahead of the game.

Let it snow!
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
Just woke up and did the Oh-Dark-Thirty shovelling of my tiny scrap of sidewalk. It really isn't a lot of concrete to worry about, except that my house faces north and is in the middle of the row, so this time of year the front walk is perpetually in shadow. If you don't keep it clear, icebergs form out there, and taunt you with your puny muscles and plastic implements should you be foolish enough to think you can remove them before the city fathers descend with grim satisfaction to leave you a twenty-five dollar ticket.

Not that I'd be the one to pay it, mind. I rent, and there are people upstairs who own. But I also am on the first floor, and have made myself acquainted with the little old ladies and gentlemen down the street whose necks are on the line. So I shovel.

Sometimes, it's an exercise in futility -- or seems to be. This is one of those storms where the snow keeps packing up against the side of the house, and up the front stairs, and even all the way up the doorjamb, so that when you open the door there's a crust of the cold stuff that hangs there like some kind of mad arctictect's idea of cleverness. "Look, if we make the doorway a more Interesting Shape, you can impress people with you agility as you leap past the layers!"

Or knock the snow off with your broom, whichever.

Then, of course, you have to unbury the steps. I am seriously envious of the people next door, who spent money this year to add a second door at the bottom of their steps. It's not an uncommon thing to do -- I'd say that more than half of the buildings on this side of the street have enclosed their entryways. But we haven't, so the shovel has to be employed before you can even take a step outside.

The wind, the way it is tonight, won't let you close the door properly if you've forgotten your keys. You can see it sending snow skirling up into the hall, like Marley's ghosts skittering up to go see Scrooge. Best to shovel quick, and get back inside.

One step, two, three, four. I shoveled before I went to bed and cleared these steps, but you'd never know it. The wind has drifted the snow into piles so deep that not even boots would save me if I were fool enough to step into one of the delicate shapes.

Which are HEAVY! For all that the wind is pushing the snow around like it might be the powdery kind, truth is, this close to the ocean, the snow has plenty of moisture. Just clearing the steps has me puffing a bit. Thank goodness for nice long heavy scarves.

The wind has actually cleared half the sidewalk, almost to the pavement, but that means more has piled up beside the building. I go along, breaking up the drift and pitching it out to where the wind picks it up. I'm only clearing half the sidewalk tonight. Boston has funny rules. If you don't shovel, you get fined, but if you throw the snow into the street, you get fined more. Not really a problem at the moment. Give this stuff a bit of loft and it instantly becomes someone else's mess. The wind is worse than the snow right now. I'm halfway along the walk when a gust picks up and tries to lift me and my shovel along with the snow. It's all I can do to just stand and wait for it to ease up, watching the snow swirl away down the street and pile up against trees and cars and other people's steps.

By the time I get to the end of my stretch of sidewalk -- and we're talking about a stretch that I can walk on a normal day in fewer than four seconds -- there is already a thin layer of snow on the steps. I dash inside and catch a glimpse of myself in the hall mirror. My coat is coated with snow, and so are my hat and scarf. My hands are mumbling imprecations at me -- next time I better remember my mittens.

But at least inside it is warm. And quiet. If I listen now I can hear the wind. It's so muffled by snow I'd underestimated it before I went out, but I've got it's measure now. Time to crawl back under the covers and wait for the alarm to go off once again. I expect by then, the stairs will be buried and all. But I don't mind. I've already seen what the neighbors' walks look like, and I'm well ahead of the game.

Let it snow!

Legume day

Feb. 7th, 2009 06:42 pm
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
Lentils for lunch,
Beans for supper...

It makes up for being extravagant yesterday and stopping for dinner downtown on the way home. Although I had beans then too, along with bangers and mash, fried onion strings, and apple chutney. There's a lot of pseudo-Irish pub food in Boston, which suits me, since I like it now and then.

And besides, there are occasionally side benefits. Like the chief cook coming out to ask me himself about my carrot allergy. Especially when he's cute. Very cute. And doesn't make his gravy with stock that has carrots in it so I can have gravy, which is a bonus, but the cute part would have been sufficient on its own.

Having indulged that far I decided on dessert, strawberry shortcake with a shot of Grand Marnier (which the waitress asked me before she poured it over the top, and was good even though I don't often have alcohol.) It required tea to accompany it, and that was good too, because being pseudo-Irish, the bar had to provide tea done the right way, with a pot of hot water and the milk separate so I could brew it to my own liking and pour the milk into the cup before the tea. (yes, it does make a difference).

So today is beans.

mmmmmm... beans...

Legume day

Feb. 7th, 2009 06:42 pm
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
Lentils for lunch,
Beans for supper...

It makes up for being extravagant yesterday and stopping for dinner downtown on the way home. Although I had beans then too, along with bangers and mash, fried onion strings, and apple chutney. There's a lot of pseudo-Irish pub food in Boston, which suits me, since I like it now and then.

And besides, there are occasionally side benefits. Like the chief cook coming out to ask me himself about my carrot allergy. Especially when he's cute. Very cute. And doesn't make his gravy with stock that has carrots in it so I can have gravy, which is a bonus, but the cute part would have been sufficient on its own.

Having indulged that far I decided on dessert, strawberry shortcake with a shot of Grand Marnier (which the waitress asked me before she poured it over the top, and was good even though I don't often have alcohol.) It required tea to accompany it, and that was good too, because being pseudo-Irish, the bar had to provide tea done the right way, with a pot of hot water and the milk separate so I could brew it to my own liking and pour the milk into the cup before the tea. (yes, it does make a difference).

So today is beans.

mmmmmm... beans...
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
The other evening I left the T at Downtown crossing because it was pretty clear that there were a gazillion people waiting for a late orange line train, and it was going to be a whole lot easier, and more comfortable, to walk the few blocks over to the blue line and get home that way.

Of course, once I was above ground I was in the temptation zone, and I decided to have some chili at Wendy's for dinner instead of crawling home and staring uselessly into the refrigerator. Got my chili, looked for a seat, found one, much to the annoyance of the guy who had spread his stuff over chairs at three tables. (No, actually, your backpack does not count as a "person", so I can sit opposite it quite happily.) Squirted the not-quite-sour-cream (acidulated?) into my chili, crunched up my crackers and deposited them into same, took a sip of Dr. Pepper and began to dine.

As I ate, I read, and was about halfway down the container when I heard someone say "Nice hat!"

Now, I get "nice hat!" a lot, because I usually wear a black cowboy hat with indian bead trim. Particularly from street folks, who spend a lot of time people watching. But on this occasion I was wearing a bright orange knit creation with two dangly bobbles at the bottom and one bobbly bit at the top, and so far it hasn't yet attracted the same kind of attention.

I turned to thank my admirer and found myself eyeball to eyeball with a little old lady -- emphasis on the little! (Remember I was still sitting down.) She leaned on her cane, eyeing my hat gleefully and said, "I wore one that same color to school on Saint Patrick's Day when I was a girl."

"That must have been interesting," I said, since by her accent she'd grown up in or near Southie.

"Oh yes," she giggled wickedly. "Mrs. Murphy made me go to the principal."

I raised an eyebrow. "You wore it deliberately?"

"Yes!" she said, enjoying my astonishment. "I was always the one who would do things when I was a girl. If you were afraid to do it, you'd ask me, and I'd do it for you."

I laughed. "You must have had a wonderful time."

"I did," she said, with great satisfaction. "Nice talking to you!" and off she went to get her supper. As I was leaving I saw her again and complimented her on her choices.

"That looks good," I said.

"Yes," she said. "It's a dinner of 'I didn't have to cook' and that's always good."

We said our goodnights, but today I saw her again as I went through one of the T stations. She was wearing a soft beret in the hottest pink this side of 1978.

"Hey," I said. "Nice hat!"
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
The other evening I left the T at Downtown crossing because it was pretty clear that there were a gazillion people waiting for a late orange line train, and it was going to be a whole lot easier, and more comfortable, to walk the few blocks over to the blue line and get home that way.

Of course, once I was above ground I was in the temptation zone, and I decided to have some chili at Wendy's for dinner instead of crawling home and staring uselessly into the refrigerator. Got my chili, looked for a seat, found one, much to the annoyance of the guy who had spread his stuff over chairs at three tables. (No, actually, your backpack does not count as a "person", so I can sit opposite it quite happily.) Squirted the not-quite-sour-cream (acidulated?) into my chili, crunched up my crackers and deposited them into same, took a sip of Dr. Pepper and began to dine.

As I ate, I read, and was about halfway down the container when I heard someone say "Nice hat!"

Now, I get "nice hat!" a lot, because I usually wear a black cowboy hat with indian bead trim. Particularly from street folks, who spend a lot of time people watching. But on this occasion I was wearing a bright orange knit creation with two dangly bobbles at the bottom and one bobbly bit at the top, and so far it hasn't yet attracted the same kind of attention.

I turned to thank my admirer and found myself eyeball to eyeball with a little old lady -- emphasis on the little! (Remember I was still sitting down.) She leaned on her cane, eyeing my hat gleefully and said, "I wore one that same color to school on Saint Patrick's Day when I was a girl."

"That must have been interesting," I said, since by her accent she'd grown up in or near Southie.

"Oh yes," she giggled wickedly. "Mrs. Murphy made me go to the principal."

I raised an eyebrow. "You wore it deliberately?"

"Yes!" she said, enjoying my astonishment. "I was always the one who would do things when I was a girl. If you were afraid to do it, you'd ask me, and I'd do it for you."

I laughed. "You must have had a wonderful time."

"I did," she said, with great satisfaction. "Nice talking to you!" and off she went to get her supper. As I was leaving I saw her again and complimented her on her choices.

"That looks good," I said.

"Yes," she said. "It's a dinner of 'I didn't have to cook' and that's always good."

We said our goodnights, but today I saw her again as I went through one of the T stations. She was wearing a soft beret in the hottest pink this side of 1978.

"Hey," I said. "Nice hat!"
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
On a Friday night, when I'm actually riding the trains at rush hour, I usually can get home in forty minutes.

It took me an hour and a half to get halfway. Including shuttle buses. Overcrowded shuttlebuses. I bailed out at that point and walked over to the other trainline and got home around 7.

I'm just hoping that this is actual problems and not the government buggering up my transit system for the big practice drill that's happening one of the weekends this month, because I've got to take the trains to and from work tomorrow too.
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
On a Friday night, when I'm actually riding the trains at rush hour, I usually can get home in forty minutes.

It took me an hour and a half to get halfway. Including shuttle buses. Overcrowded shuttlebuses. I bailed out at that point and walked over to the other trainline and got home around 7.

I'm just hoping that this is actual problems and not the government buggering up my transit system for the big practice drill that's happening one of the weekends this month, because I've got to take the trains to and from work tomorrow too.
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
Have you ever heard a pile driver?

Imagine a steady, monotonous knocking, like Paul Bunyan taking chunks out of a forest with his ax on a leisurely morning.

It's a sound that's just regular enough that you can almost sleep through it. Almost. If it's at a distance. Like jackhammers, it's the sort of thing that distance mutes into dream-fodder instead of irritation. And like jackhammers, it tends to start and stop based on some strange criterion which is difficult to suss out from the depths of the pillows you've jammed uselessly over your ears.

Actually, one criteria is clear. They're not allowed to start until 7 a.m. 7:30 for the pile driver, unless they cheat and go a minute or two ahead.

Too bad I'm in the habit of waking up at 8:30, hey? And alas and alack for Tuesdays, which used to be the day I could sleep till 10:30 without a qualm. Getting to sleep at night has never been fun, but lately I stare at the clock, desperately telling myself "you gotta sleep now" and watching the minutes I could be sleeping slip away irrevocably. Morning was my best time for sleeping -- it really was. I almost never have nightmares once the sun is up.

The construction company finally sent around a letter to tell us what they're up to, and how many piles they need to drive before they build the luxury condos a couple of blocks away. Several thousand.

Oy...
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
Have you ever heard a pile driver?

Imagine a steady, monotonous knocking, like Paul Bunyan taking chunks out of a forest with his ax on a leisurely morning.

It's a sound that's just regular enough that you can almost sleep through it. Almost. If it's at a distance. Like jackhammers, it's the sort of thing that distance mutes into dream-fodder instead of irritation. And like jackhammers, it tends to start and stop based on some strange criterion which is difficult to suss out from the depths of the pillows you've jammed uselessly over your ears.

Actually, one criteria is clear. They're not allowed to start until 7 a.m. 7:30 for the pile driver, unless they cheat and go a minute or two ahead.

Too bad I'm in the habit of waking up at 8:30, hey? And alas and alack for Tuesdays, which used to be the day I could sleep till 10:30 without a qualm. Getting to sleep at night has never been fun, but lately I stare at the clock, desperately telling myself "you gotta sleep now" and watching the minutes I could be sleeping slip away irrevocably. Morning was my best time for sleeping -- it really was. I almost never have nightmares once the sun is up.

The construction company finally sent around a letter to tell us what they're up to, and how many piles they need to drive before they build the luxury condos a couple of blocks away. Several thousand.

Oy...
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
I spent the day home, coddling a cold, although I did do some frantic dusting on the off chance that my best friend and her mom might come by. (Yes, laugh... but at least the respirator my boss gave me for Christmas is a useful gift!) Reread a book, watched a couple of episodes of the Emma Peel era Avengers. Made oyster stew, which curdled, darn it, just after I'd dished the first bowlful. (Don't ask me why! It was fine till then!)

But at five minutes of midnight I went out to court pneumonia and watch fireworks.

I live that close to Boston Harbor, and on First Night, the fireworks are always on the harbor. Depending on the tide they might be way out by Castle Island or nearly all the way in towards Charlestown, but tonight they were due south of Eastie -- due south of my perch on the iron railings of Piers Park.

It was good...

You can always tell how warm it is by how many other people come out to watch, and by how much noise they make. This year it was practicaly tropical. I didn't take my fluglehorn, not wanting to contaminate it for next year, but others did, and the ringing notes of sick-cows filled the air, along with the pop and bang of the small fireworks that the teenagers were setting off in the street behind us. Lots of whooping and hollering -- I wish the guys on the firework barges had tape recorders or something so they could hear our appreciative oohs, and ahs, and the occasional oh! f&^%! that was a good one! from the drunks. It was plenty noisy tonight. But we manage to generate a fair bit of noise even on the coldest of New Years' Eves, when only a few frozen diehards gather together with our faces wrapped up to the eyes and our toes slowly freezing off. I've been out there when it was ten below and I was not alone. I try not to look for omens in the fireworks, but one year they didn't go well, and neither did anything else. This years went very well indeed, with a couple of shapes I'm not as familiar with, and more colors added to the usual banging noisy finale that is so much a part of Boston that I think I'd be astonished to find it happening in Denver, where the finales were always chrysanthemums when I was a kid. Heck, half the display in Boston looks like what I think of as a Denver finale.

Mind you, it's not a long fireworks display. Fifteen minutes, max, and I can scuttle home to hot chocolate. This year I'm having sparkling cider. It was on sale at the grocery today, even though it's not the same brand I had on Christmas. Nice, once I found the church key and got it open. I'll probably go and try to sleep now, although I expect it will be a little longer before the children and drunks wander in. On colder nights that's usually not a problem. But even if it is, it won't be for very long.

Goodnight! Sleep well! And may tomorrow be better!
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
I spent the day home, coddling a cold, although I did do some frantic dusting on the off chance that my best friend and her mom might come by. (Yes, laugh... but at least the respirator my boss gave me for Christmas is a useful gift!) Reread a book, watched a couple of episodes of the Emma Peel era Avengers. Made oyster stew, which curdled, darn it, just after I'd dished the first bowlful. (Don't ask me why! It was fine till then!)

But at five minutes of midnight I went out to court pneumonia and watch fireworks.

I live that close to Boston Harbor, and on First Night, the fireworks are always on the harbor. Depending on the tide they might be way out by Castle Island or nearly all the way in towards Charlestown, but tonight they were due south of Eastie -- due south of my perch on the iron railings of Piers Park.

It was good...

You can always tell how warm it is by how many other people come out to watch, and by how much noise they make. This year it was practicaly tropical. I didn't take my fluglehorn, not wanting to contaminate it for next year, but others did, and the ringing notes of sick-cows filled the air, along with the pop and bang of the small fireworks that the teenagers were setting off in the street behind us. Lots of whooping and hollering -- I wish the guys on the firework barges had tape recorders or something so they could hear our appreciative oohs, and ahs, and the occasional oh! f&^%! that was a good one! from the drunks. It was plenty noisy tonight. But we manage to generate a fair bit of noise even on the coldest of New Years' Eves, when only a few frozen diehards gather together with our faces wrapped up to the eyes and our toes slowly freezing off. I've been out there when it was ten below and I was not alone. I try not to look for omens in the fireworks, but one year they didn't go well, and neither did anything else. This years went very well indeed, with a couple of shapes I'm not as familiar with, and more colors added to the usual banging noisy finale that is so much a part of Boston that I think I'd be astonished to find it happening in Denver, where the finales were always chrysanthemums when I was a kid. Heck, half the display in Boston looks like what I think of as a Denver finale.

Mind you, it's not a long fireworks display. Fifteen minutes, max, and I can scuttle home to hot chocolate. This year I'm having sparkling cider. It was on sale at the grocery today, even though it's not the same brand I had on Christmas. Nice, once I found the church key and got it open. I'll probably go and try to sleep now, although I expect it will be a little longer before the children and drunks wander in. On colder nights that's usually not a problem. But even if it is, it won't be for very long.

Goodnight! Sleep well! And may tomorrow be better!

Lost!

Oct. 16th, 2005 09:06 pm
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
No, no, not the TV show. Me, trying to find my way from downtown Boston to East Boston by following the signs to the airport.

Some of you will understand why I ended up in Dorchester.

THE STREETS IN THIS TOWN WERE LAID OUT BY COWS!!!! DRUNKEN COWS!!!!!!

And the signage was done by demented "Bert and I" fans.

Lost!

Oct. 16th, 2005 09:06 pm
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
No, no, not the TV show. Me, trying to find my way from downtown Boston to East Boston by following the signs to the airport.

Some of you will understand why I ended up in Dorchester.

THE STREETS IN THIS TOWN WERE LAID OUT BY COWS!!!! DRUNKEN COWS!!!!!!

And the signage was done by demented "Bert and I" fans.
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
There was a hobbit greeting people in the subway this morning!

(He was handing out lovely flyers about the props/costume exhibit that is coming to Boston's Museum of Science next month.)

*still grinning*
rabidsamfan: samwise gamgee, I must see it through (Default)
There was a hobbit greeting people in the subway this morning!

(He was handing out lovely flyers about the props/costume exhibit that is coming to Boston's Museum of Science next month.)

*still grinning*

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