jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
It's snowing.

It snowed once last winter[1], about this time. Traces of white on the grass and sidewalks in the morning, all gone by lunchtime. I don't think there's actually been a winter without any snow at all yet but the past few have been about like that.

13/14 had a really good snow, and 11/12 had the snowfall where I got to play native guide for [livejournal.com profile] papersky and Z. 09/10 was DC's Snowpocalypse, season of my heart, a reprieve from all the personal horror of that winter and spring.

It wasn't snowing in New West, which is why I didn't wear my fuzzy black boots. I got to break out my most excellent winter coat, at least. (Nice heavy dark-grey wool. Near as I can tell it's mostly an Ulster coat, though without cuffs or patch pockets and with only a decorative half-belt.) I rode the skytrain in through occasional stops and starts, and got off at ComBroad to catch the #99 B-line, my usual bus.

The bus line wound back into and through the station.

"Guess I'll take the slower less-crowded #9," I said.

The line for that one was around the block.

I grumbled a bit and got in the 99 line. Stood there for about five minutes while it failed to move at all (unusual; there's usually a 99 every two or three minutes).

Eventually I got tired of waiting and turned to the girl[2] behind me. "Where are you headed?"

"Um, school. Arbutus and 10th."

"I'm going to Oak and 8th. Want a ride?"

"... Sure."

So we walked a couple of blocks to the nearest car2go. I could have done without the slush (blame the lack of boots) but there is something deeply intoxicating about walking through a snowfall in a good winter coat and a hat. We crossed the bridge over the lower half of the skytrain station and it was unspeakably beautiful. The old train depot in New West does this in the snow as well but that's, you know, brick and slate-looking roof and generally appealing architecture. I hadn't expected a transit station and train tracks to hit me like that. But there it was: gently arched glass, steel rails, and a tranquil fluff of white covering the whole.

The drive in was remarkably pleasant. At least at eight in the morning there weren't enough drivers to make for any kind of traffic, and Broadway's flat and straight for most of its length. I stayed cautious and alert and mostly (mostly) didn't spill my tea all over. At red lights I got to marvel at the small drifts and at how much happer I get when the city's half blanketed like this.

We passed more fire trucks than buses. I have no idea why so few of the buses were running.

And now I'm at work, with terrible tea. At least it's warm. At least I can still watch the snow falling outside.

[1] To the devil with your ridiculous astronomical seasons, beginning on the solstices/equinoxes. I am mostly on board with meterological seasons that start on the first of the month containing the solstice/equinox. Erin has been lobbying, unsuccessfully so far, for the cross-quarter seasons, so that Midwinter is actually, you know, in the middle of winter.

[2] I use the word "girl" advisedly. I would have bet cash money that she was at least a college student, but no; eleventh grade.
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
I didn't really expect it to snow again this week, but I'll take it. The flakes started coming down sometime very early this morning. The little courtyard outside was covered by the time I went swimming before sunup, not that that's any great achievement when the sun doesn't come up until after eight AM.

I took an extra-long lunch to go wander around in the snow. It was still falling in big fat drifty flakes for the whole time I was out there. This made for a very picturesque walk, during which I couldn't see much on account of having my glasses covered in big fat wet snowflakes.

This was a good snow. Snowpocalypse dumped a lot more snow, but that was all powdery stuff, no good for anything. This was nice and packable, and if I'd had company I would have considered turning Cardero Park into a Calvinesque sculpture garden. Some things just aren't as much fun when you're by yourself. Also, the one snowball I rolled up in Cardero Park picked up the snow too well, and also the dead leaves and mud. Brownish snowmen are just unpleasant.

So I went for a ramble around Lost Lagoon instead.

... and I seem to be incapable of talking about it. There was snow on evergreens, cold and crunchy underfoot and wet and drifty overhead. A number of ducks and other waterfowl were sulking in the lagoon (including an elegant pair of hooded mergansers, and one extremely disgruntled blue heron). I don't think I stopped grinning for at least half an hour. It felt so good to be out, to see snow, to be wrapped up in my nice wool coat and my fuzzy-inside boots and my hat and to feel the cold as something outside of me. I think this snow is the first thing I've been genuinely excited and happy about in a long time.

And then I had a pancake the size of my head for lunch, and came home and had tea.

Sadly, my fuzzy-inside boots from 2005, while still admirably performing their primary function of keeping my feet warm, are beginning to fail in their secondary function of keeping my feet protected from the elements. Specifically, the rubber sole of the left one has started to disintegrate, and now lets water in. Last winter I spent a day taking them all over Vancouver in hope of finding a cobbler who could repair them, and everyone looked at them and shrugged. Oh well. They work well enough for this winter. Eight years is a pretty good run for boots, too, and I'll replace them next November when I'm in Tysons again.
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
It snowed most of Monday, ranging from big fat flakes down to barely-precipitating dots. You could still see some faint green in Cardero Park but it had covered over the frozen parts of the fountain across the way.

I did not go out and tromp around Stanley Park in the snow wearing my nice wool coat. It didn't occur to me until that afternoon/evening that this was a missed opportunity. Next time.

The snow also marked the return of the Vancouver grey. According to my weather app it's cloud cover as far as the eye can see (so, through the end of next week). It does feel more like home now at least. The constant sun got kind of weird after awhile, and temps above freezing are nice too.

I write about the weather because it's concrete and safe, and because it sometimes makes for interestingly subtle metaphors. Maybe my next post ought to be What I Write About When I Write About The Weather.

Mostly it's been a week of missed connections, cancelled plans, unexpected crashes, and general exhaustion. I would like to trade this week in for a working model please.

Also I had really ought to finish xmas shopping/wrapping/packaging. The only day we can take things down to the States to mail them is this coming Sunday, which is approaching with all the inevitability of a date on the calendar that's closer than it appears.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
What more can I say? It's still the best city I've spent any amount of time in. (A vanishingly small set, admittedly.) We arrived at the very end of the winter grey: the sky was perfectly clear the entire time except for a touch of rain/snow on Monday, and then a light snowstorm all day Satyrday. We rode buses and Skytrain and ate lots and lots of delicious food and walked around and saw things. We took very few pictures: at first the rechargeable batteries were all dead, and then it was just too cold to want to bother fumbling with gloves and camera. We found a Chinese bakery where they make buns and dumplings and bean-paste sesame balls, and sell them at prices that seem obscenely cheap.

An apartment was not forthcoming. Most places appear to require only 30 days' notice before vacating, so very few of the agencies we talked to had any idea what their stock for late May would be like. And since I've blown all my vacation on this trip plus moving, I guess I'm sending [personal profile] uilos back out there in another month or two to look at available apartments. On the other hand, from the places we did see we got a better idea of what we're looking for (relatively large, and a "den" is Not Sufficient for an office since the "dens" we saw were smaller than my closet in the current apartment) and where. So that was helpful, if not as much as I'd hoped.

A friend of A--'s got in touch with me a week or so before we left, and we caught up with him for an hour or so on Wednesday to talk about life in Vancouver. Nothing earth-shattering, at least not that I recall. Just good conversation in a pleasant little coffeeshop / breakfast-place.

Other than that and one group of fairly welcoming gamers on Tuesday night, the human interaction was negligible. Meh. I'm slightly disheartened but only slightly.

And that snowstorm on Satyrday ("up to 5 cm" does not sound at all impressive) really made my week. There is something wonderful about walking through a snowfall in a trenchcoat and hat and sunglasses and sandals. Winter and snow are the things I'm most afraid of missing, environment-wise. Good to know that they'll still be around.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Woke up yesterday feeling vaguely disgruntled and out of time. Outside the window was brighter than I'd expected, and the Fairfax County Gov't website proclaimed "open but with liberal leave in effect." That seemed like a good excuse to call in snowy, and catch up on various things that have been going undone lately.

The "snow" stopped pretty quickly. I got a decent amount of stuff done, and had a good bath, and generally pretended the outside world didn't exist. Then around 3 I got a text from [personal profile] uilos saying she was coming home early for snow. Yep, it had started falling again.

An hour later (from what's normally about a half-hour trip, if that) she got in. The snow kept falling. Reports of godawful traffic began trickling in, then getting worse.

[personal profile] uilos called up a traffic map around seven, out of curiousity. The parts of the DC area that weren't red were black. There seem to have been some bad wrecks near Tysons, too: at least one of my friends had his seven-mile commute take four hours.

We've been lucky enough to still have power, too: a couple of flickers, but nothing worse.

Today I dug out Straylight and came in to work. There's one other tech writer here, and I think there are a half-dozen other people somewhere on this floor. It's nice and quiet.

Snow: still the best weather ever.

(My only regret is that this is some excellent packing snow, and I'm not getting to make any snowmen.)


Jan. 12th, 2011 02:24 pm
jazzfish: an open bottle of ether, and George conked out (Ether George)
I know why the vampire sparkles!: "By now, I’m sure you’re all with me: vampires are bugs. But what kind?"

Count von Count, as a Nobilis 3rd edition character. He's the Count of The Count, of course. "That which is true of the Count, and of the Count of the Count, is thereby true for all." (I've missed Hitherby Dragons.)

Brick your phone.

I sleep better when I don't dream ("remember my dreams or even that I dreamed at all," whatever). Seems like every day last week I woke up in the middle of a dream, which makes for a groggy [personal profile] jazzfish. I mentioned this to my counselor and she gave me a tincture of something called scullcap. It's supposed to help me sleep better or rearrange my sleep pattern or some such. I'm not totally clear.

It's not really helping. The last two nights I've had clear, if jumbled, memories of having spent the whole night dreaming, instead of just the few minutes before I wake up. Yesterday was awful. Today seems to be a little better but I still have no focus. And way too many things going on that I want and need to be wrangling and taking care of.

I can admire (what's left of) the snow, though, and the way the sunlight drifted through the ice on my rear windshield this morning.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Beaker, the Swedish Chef, and Animal singing "Carol of the Bells". (For traditionalists, John Denver and Rowlf with "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas".)

David Mamet: Chinese Restaurateurs Thank Jews of America: "We do not completely understand your dietary customs..."

The Greatest Letter Ever Printed On NFL Team Letterhead. I can't argue.

Goodnight Room: "The Old Lady is a hologram stuck on endless loop since the program froze. That is why she can only say, 'Hush, hush.' The clack of her knitting needles always plays the same short rhythm."

Digby's eggnog sugar cookies, mostly for my own reference. I thought about making theses yesterday or the day before, but there were plenty of cookies around so it's just as well I didn't. Maybe next weekend.

The Fear of Self: "What the soldier describes--accurate or not--is familiar.... A man of that particular stamp fears his own gaze."

Woke up around eightish yesterday to make gingerbread pancakes for breakfast, which were delicious. Snow started falling about the time I went to wake [personal profile] uilos, so we got to eat Xmas breakfast with big fat flurryflakes out the window. As it should be. Then we spent half an hour or so sitting under the tree, opening presents and generally being cute. There was something unutterably right about not having a ton of people around in the morning. And having a dozen or so over later for Xmas dinner and gaming was pretty much right as well, I think.

Best Xmas ever. My parents really did get me the best present of all.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
So yesterday was going to be a nice relaxing random vacation day.

It mostly was. )
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)

Good thing yesterday was the day of going into the district to see geckos and fruit people. (Of which more anon.)


Edit: in retrospect my standard choice of footwear may have been unwise today.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Hey, Jamin Winans has a new short film: Uncle Jack. This one has just a bit of the feel of Ink to it, and is a lot of fun regardless.

There's also a small selection of Snowpocalypse photos from my corner of the world. The two snowfolk are from today: the last inch or two that fell was sufficiently wet that it could be rolled up, sort of. So [livejournal.com profile] uilos and I built a snowman to wait for the Metrobus, and another smaller one to wave at the rental office. I can't remember the last time I built a snowman. For whatever reason the snow around here tends to be of the powdery sticks-to-nothing variety, good for looking pretty and getting down in one's gloves and collar but no good at all for packing or rolling.

Work tomorrow, and only a 50% chance of more snow on Monday. I'm preemptively declaring the snowpocalypse to be over with. I'll miss it: we never lost power or ran out of food, and the apartment complex has been really good about getting the sidewalks shoveled out. On the other hand it'll be nice to not have to worry about denting my cookie sheet any more, and to have sufficient food in the grocery store.


Feb. 10th, 2010 02:38 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
It's kinda windy out there.

Sideways snow is impressive. Snow that's falling up is just scary.

There's about an inch of accumulation on the porch right now. The covered porch.

The snowman that someone built a week ago, when the snow was wet enough to stick to itself, is now hip-deep. He also has a pointy hat.

So far today I have had cinnamon rolls for breakfast and attempted to sell my shoes for a good cause ([livejournal.com profile] helptheproject; check it out). Later today I shall provide feedback on someone else's story, and attempt to find some semblance of plot in my own. These seem like reasonable tasks for a day when going outside is potentially punishable by death.

Snow-blind: "I realize there are lots of problems that cannot be solved just by throwing money at them, but snow removal is not one of them." Can be extrapolated to other basic infrastructure requirements. This is exactly why I say that taxes are the price we pay to live in a civilised society.

The evolution of Metrorail, 1976-2010: an absolutely fascinating slideshow, demonstrating (among other things) that Metro service during Snowpocalypse is on par with Metro service circa 1982. I had no idea Van Dorn was such a recent addition. This also explains why my hindbrain is firmly convinced that the correct conclusion to "Blue line train to" is "Addison" and not "Largo." (These matter because in high school it was equally (in)convenient to drive to either Dunn Loring or Van Dorn to go into the District.)

How to report the news.
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
So, I'm at work today.

Anderson Road, despite having had snowplows up and down it for the past two days, is still in less than stellar shape. I can only imagine what the actual back roads are like. (123 and International are both perfectly clear.)

Mostly I've been very impressed by the local snowplowing, and by the power company. We had a couple of flickers on Friday night, nothing more. The water heater even stayed on. Hearing the reports of power outages and housebound-ness coming in from further out has solidified my desire to never live any further out from a population center, or be any more car dependent, than I am right now. I don't doubt that there are advantages to such things; they're just Not For Me.

They say it'll start dropping another five to twenty inches later this afternoon. That's about the point when I stop admiring the pretty white stuff and start getting genuinely concerned. Where are they going to put another five to twenty inches of snow from the roads?

Of course, it hasn't actually started yet, so this may be a big fake-out. We shall see. . .
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Well, I had a good weekend. Helps when it starts on Wednesday.

snowpocalypse, and previous )

Short version: it was fun, I survived. Would buy again.
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
Snow falls in big fluffy flakes.

I have a mug of tea, warm fuzzy slippers, and a bathrobe. Breakfast was poached eggs and cinnamon toast.

The snow's dusting the hedge and the evergreens out the back window.

I slept late after a wonderfully relaxing night out with friends, including one that I've seen only once in the past decade. The cats are snoring, not quite in unison.

Later today I shall brave the fearsome inch or so of snow in my fluffy boots, down coat, and Charlie Brown hat. Still later, the unpleasantness of the week and month and season will catch back up to me.

For now I write email and watch out the window and smile, just a bit.

The memory, like candy
The sweet taste of love dissolving on my tongue
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Maybe at some point I'll even get around to talking about my very cool weekend, featuring belly-dancing, aerial antics, lots of books, and new Girlyman songs. (Plus "Superior," which I don't think I'd ever heard live. Good stuff.)

meanwhile, have some more northwest )


Dec. 31st, 2008 10:25 am
jazzfish: a black-haired man with a big sword. blood stains the snow behind (Eddard Stark)
snow snow snowy snow!

Five minutes later: All done now. Was nice to see, anyway. Maybe it'll be a real winter after all.


Dec. 5th, 2007 01:13 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Snow! Sticking, even. And it didn't affect my commute at all, so I can look out the window at the swirling flakes and the fog and enjoy it, instead of cursing the %&$ DC drivers who panic at the first sign of precipitation. December is here.

This afternoon I shall go home and take a bath. I will not be rebuilding Godot even though the hard drive came in yesterday, because the power is still unreliable and I'd rather not kill a brand-new hard drive. I can live on the laptop 'til after Xmas.

Reminder: reading this coming Satyrday at seven.


Feb. 7th, 2007 08:42 pm
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Based on a statistically valid sampling of available poll results, plus the incontrovertible fact that the lurkers support me in email, gaming shall be held at my place on Satyrday, starting at two and probably heading off for food and Shakespeare around five. Directions here as usual, though I haven't moved since last time. (Shock. Amazement.) There will most likely be Caylus, in an effort to get [livejournal.com profile] elf through an entire game of it, and probably other things as well.

[livejournal.com profile] uilos suggests Meskerem for dinner. I know nothing about it but we've been talking about going to get Ethiopian for, oh, probably since before I moved back here. (The photos on the website lead me to suspect that it's the same place I once ate Ethiopian with [livejournal.com profile] j_simpliciter eleven and a half years ago. Neat.) Dissension and/or alternatives welcomed.

I've covered all the visible baseboards with blankets. This seems to have slowed the leaching of heat, at least. Tomorrow I call the complex office and bug them about exactly when the painters are supposed to show up to do whatever it is they do. (Paint, one assumes.)

The snow this morning was absolutely gorgeous, all bright sky and crisp shadows on the white. Too dry to make good snowballs, but it did brush off the car easily. Between the sunlight and the snow it looked far more like late-December than early February. The lack of wind helped too; meant it didn't feel nearly so bone-chilling.

And via [livejournal.com profile] chadu:
The spice must flow!
jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
And the new dead leaves they made the trees
Look like children with grey hair

Snow and ice yesterday. Spent the afternoon curled up on the couch with [livejournal.com profile] uilos watching the ground gradually turn from green-brown to white. A good ending to an overall excellent weekend.

There's a diner in Friendship Heights that shows movies every night. By "shows movies" I mean "has a separate room attached to the diner, and a projection TV and DVD player." We caught Heat there on Friday night. The chill and the overloud heaters tried their hardest but failed to detract from the experience of watching one of the greatest crime dramas ever made. Satyrday was Pan's Labyrinth at the AFI Silver (gorgeous theatre, gorgeous movie) and then gaming at [livejournal.com profile] rislyn's new digs.

This morning I actually put on boots and my trenchcoat, despite it being in the upper thirties. Good decisions both, as it turned out. I went out to scrape the car at just before eight. After some effort I managed to pull the door open, dumping ice shards onto the driver's seat. I hit something on the key fob while dusting off the seat and the car honked three times. "Huh," I said. Started up the engine so that it could be warming up while I scraped the ice off, closed the door, and went to work on the windshield. After a bit I decided I should really turn the defrogger on. So I went to open the door.

No luck. I appear to have bumped the LOCK button while mucking around with the ice on the seat.

The rental office doesn't open 'til 8:30, giving me plenty of time to finish scraping the car. Eventually someone showed up and I got into my apartment and retrieved my spare car keys.

So I have no idea whether it actually takes me longer to scrape my car than it does to drive to work; I took my sweet time scraping the car this morning. I still suspect this to be the case, though.


jazzfish: Jazz Fish: beret, sunglasses, saxophone (Default)
Tucker McKinnon


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Adventures in Mamboland

"Jazz Fish, a saxophone playing wanderer, finds himself in Mamboland at a critical phase in his life." --Howie Green, on his book Jazz Fish Zen

Yeah. That sounds about right.

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