I survived the Chicago blizzard of 2011 and 2015. So, I’ve got that!
It seems like the very act of surviving is a resume builder, conversation starter or just a smug reality. Chicago endures disaster in style. We don’t get bogged down in the idea of epic weather. We go out in it.
How I spent my blizzard:
1). Worked: I worked my regular brunch shift during the pre-blizzard. It was snowing hard but the winds are what make a snowstorm a blizzard. And our 40mph winds were estimated to arrive at 2pm. So, Wood was open. And the people came. It wasn’t super busy so I cut about 1pm.
2). Shopped: The wind had started to pick up as I was walking home from Wood. Still, I realized I might have the day off on Monday and wanted to get some provisions. My building commissary is an oasis in bad weather but I’m trying to eat more organic. I made a quick stop at Whole Foods for veggies and stuff.
3). Puzzled: My grocery excursion took me off my direct course home. I had to walk past the New York building. My 28 story building is a dwarf to the NY monstrosity. And the weird thing about that building is it creates a wind tunnel. My last two blocks were cartoonish. I fought my way home against the wind. By the time I got in my place, I was snow covered and exhausted. So, I finished the puzzle Abby and I started weeks earlier.
4). Dined: It was the Super Bowl. And Ellen had invited a few non-football-concerned to her house for chicken and biscuits and Downton Abbey. The commute seemed manageable: one bus. It would pick me up in front of my building and drop me two blocks from her place. In the Blizzard of 2011, I had gone all the way downtown for a show. I wasn’t terribly concerned. Well, the dinner was delicious. And the company was festive!
5). Commuted: The commute was ick both ways. The bus I had tracked from my home on my phone never came. And according to my app, the next one wasn’t due for 15 minutes. Who wants to wait outside in a blizzard for fifteen minutes? Not me! Plus, while I was waiting at the stop on the inner Lake Shore Drive, a truck barreled down the outer LSD drenching my backside with salt melted snow-slush. So, I got in a cab. That experience was slippery and my cab eventually got stuck. I got out and walked the remaining three blocks.
In Chicago, main streets were being diligently cleared. Side streets were a mess. On the way home, I saw three #146 busses awaiting riders to be whisked safely home. I waited ten minutes for the driver in the front bus to tell me that the route was closed. A bus was stuck on Berwyn shutting down that route. So, I meandered back out onto Broadway hoping for the #36 bus or a cab. After ten minutes, I found a cab. I took it. The guy started yelling at me because I planned to charge my ride. In Chicago, cabs have to take credit cards. I shut his rant off with the term ‘legal obligation.‘ It set him off into muttering but the direct assault was over. And I tipped him at the end. Because I was the idiot who went out in a blizzard and he does have to pay a credit card fee.
5). Wrote: I woke up with a sore throat but it was to a snow day! Our administrative office was closed. I got up and started sipping my day of hot brew: coffee to tea. And I leisurely wrote a play review. I had no where to go. And I wasn’t pressed for time.
6). Trained: A blizzard can’t stop Josh. He spent about an hour digging out his car at his home and another annoying twenty minutes trying to park near my building. Still, we worked out. We primarily focused on the legs with squats and other thigh-calf burning activities. And we ended with planks. Three of them! Each coming in at 60 seconds. My pride planking was back.
7). Cooked: I decided to make pumpkin bars again from Gourmet Nutrition. They are tasty pumpkin goodness. It makes for a nice treat. I freeze them individually so they are ready to take to work for an afternoon nosh. I also decided to make veggie lasagna: whole grain noodles, fresh mozzarella and homemade sauce. I’m trying not to get pre-made stuff that has preservatives or sugar in them. I simmered tomatoes, portbello mushrooms, broccoli, basil, oregano, fresh garlic, and onions. It turned out fine. It could have been more flavorful. Next time! My cooking always has room for improvement.
8). Filed: I filed my taxes with Turbo Tax. I’m getting a refund from the Feds and paying the State. It’s not much but anything is better than paying both entities. At one point, I thought I was getting three times as much and then the ‘analysis‘ happens and suddenly the next screen reflects significantly less. I lost money. It was like pulling a lever on a slot machine and dropping down into 3 digits. I cashed out.
9). Hosted: Abby came over for veggie lasagna. We drank wine, traded sore muscle training stories, and solved the world problems.
It was a perfect way to spend a blizzard. I was productive and lazy. And last night, I slept a deep sleep and awoke with the remnants of a minor cold. A snow day is a perfect break from adult reality.