Bessie under snow
Friday February 5. 2001
dreaming in white
I left my Art History class early to go to meet Nicole and Rachel in front of the dorms. I was supposed to give them a ride to Doylestown to the Moravian Tile Works, which was a field trip for my ceramics class. By this time the snow was thick and there was already a couple inches on the ground. I knew it was a bad idea to try to drive all the way up to Doylestown, so I called it off. I returned home shortly thereafter. As it turned out, my suspicions were right - if we had gone to Doylestown, we would've probably been stranded on the side of the road like so many motorists I saw on the news tonight.
It's amusing to see just how apeshit newscasters are whenever snow hits in Philadelphia. I guess Lebanon just gets a lot more snow, and it's not so much of a big deal. They deal with it, they have coverage, they move on. Here, they interrupt regularly scheduled programs (no Oprah!), they interview the drivers of the salt trucks, they have cameras and correspondents stationed at every major bridge and highway within a fifty mile radius of the city. Now, I can understand being concerned about a large storm like this, but if there is an inch of snow predicted for the next day, it's the lead story, and a solemn weatherman grimly outlines all the courses the storm may take. I'm sure all the people in Minnesota and upstate New York are laughing at us.
I finally succumbed to my curiousity and started reading the Harry Potter books. I've blazed through the first two in the last week, and now I'm almost done with the third. I'm really enjoying them, they don't take any great amount of brain power to read and understand, but are interesting enough to keep my attention. My suspicion has been confirmed, however, that J.K. Rowling just can't hold a candle to Roald Dahl.
I think the most interesting aspect of the books is the ongoing mythology of the story line, how Harry is supposedly destined for some kind of confrontation with the powers of evil that killed his parents. In fact, the entire archetypal structure of the story and characters seems like it's been lifted directly from Star Wars (and of course, George Lucas lifted the archetypes in his films from elsewhere, but anyway). I really think that's the strongest aspect of the whole series - that the books are one long, complicated tale that will supposedly all come to an end when Harry defeats the forces of evil. The writing isn't particular original or engaging, I really think Roald Dahl's books are much more imaginative. But that's just my extremely biased point of view.
I ventured out late tonight to get some stuff from Rite Aid. As soon as I defrosted Bessie and coaxed her out of the parking space in which she had been ensconced, I wobbled onto the road and immediately regretted deciding to go out. The items I needed weren't even essential - bubble bath and jellybeans. There wasn't much traffic on the roads, which were still mostly a mess, and I ended up straying to the middle of the road in order to stay in the tire tracks. As I pulled into Rite Aid, there was a guy standing at the corner waving and pointing at the passing cars.
As I walked across the parking lot, he yelled something about getting a ride to Willow Grove. I said sorry and quickly walked in the store. I could hear him yelling, "God bless, God bless...." behind me.
Purchased Mr. Bubble bubble bath in a ripply, bright pink container, and a back of Jelly Belly Jellybean Sours. As I walked back out into the parking lot, the guy once again yelled his request for a lift to Willow Grove. I muttered my apologies and quickly got in the car.
I parked Bessie in a different spot, and after much spinning of wheels, I managed to get her only a couple feet from the curb. I walked the short distance to my apartment on the slippery steet. The quiet after a snowstorm, it's like nothing else. Like mother nature has put a huge, white, wet blanket over all the sounds and rendered them soft and fluffy. The only sharp sound was coming across the street from the snowplows in the mall parking lot, scraping and beeping, their wan yellow lights flashing off the new white snow and into the cold winter night.
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One Year Ago:
"There's this light right out our window, a security light of some kind that's on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and it shines directly into the window whenever I'm trying to get to sleep. It even penetrates the ugly curtains, and I was watching this little block of light shining on the Celtic tapestry hung on the opposite wall of the room. It wasn't a bright light, a kind of sallow, dark yellow, almost like right before a light bulb burns out."