Monday, January 28, 2008

The winds are blowing...

Geez, I think we are having a bonified blizzard today. The weather folks have been talking about this storm for about 3 days, billing it as a Monday morning commuter special. As of Sunday night the snow was supposed to hit at 8am, at 2 am the Winter Storm Warnings banner was running across the bottom of the TV, this morning they were saying 9am, but 9am came and left with out incident.
It was very windy, as evidenced by all the overturned trash cans in my neighboorhood, but the wind blew the inversion away and it was sunny, so it was actually pretty out for the first time in a while. (The air pollution here is lousy, especially in the the winter.) I was guessing this is was just another "overhyped because there's nothing else newsworthy worth talking about" storm. Then at 10:30 one of the guys in the lab tells me to look out the window. (It's funny how you can get so engrossed in your work that you don't even look out the window) Wind whipped snow was swirling everywhere, the tree weres swaying, and the sidewalks already coated with snow.

Even though people tend to use the term loosely, not every snowstorm is actually a blizzard. I think of a blizzard as a windy snowstorm, but until today I never sought an actual definition. According to the National Snow and Ice Data Center a blizzard is a:

Violent winter storm, lasting at least 3 hours, which combines below freezing temperatures and very strong wind laden with blowing snow that reduces visibility to less than 1 km. says the wind needs to be 35 mph and visibility less than 1/4 mile.

Interesting; I never knew a storm had to have a minimal duration to be a blizzard.

We have plenty of big snowstorms here, but they rarely use the word blizzard. I guess now I know why.

I 'm pretty sure that today we have the winds, visibility is sure poor, and I guess we will have to see if lasts for three hours or not. We're up to 2 so far, and it looks like chances are good that it will snow for another hour. Now I'm going to have to pay attention to the news to see if indeed this is an actual blizzard! (Yeah, yeah, I know.... nerd alert!)

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Am I a bad mom?... or a cool one?

My daughter and I don't always agree about what plays on the car stereo. I'm an NPR junky, she claims their monotone voices give her a headache. Since her whining gives me a headache, we usually end up playing the music of her choice when we're together in the car. Recently she introduced me to some new music I really like; Grieves, an (***gasp***) up and coming indie rap artist. I have very varied tastes in music, but I must admit that for the most part, rap hasn't done much for me, so nobody is more suprised than me how much I love his album "Irreversible". It was probably the best $10 I've let Sarah spend on I-tunes. I jokingly say that I must like him because he sings "folk rap", rap with interesting, meaningful lyrics. Great beats too! So now I have officially received some "cool points" for liking some young hip music.

Grieves played a concert here in Salt Lake last night. The concert was at this funky place called Kilby court, an all ages venue that is in essence a large, (about 4 car) cinderblock and plywood garage that is hidden away in a alley in an industrialized section of town. The concert building, ticket/drink kiosk, and another small building surround a courtyard where, in the winter at least, they build a nice fire in a fire pit. It's really like listing to a bunch of friends jam in their garage. Much to Sarah's chagrin, I decided I wanted to go to this concert too. She wasn't too thrilled at having mom go to a concert with her; she said it made her feel "awkward". But since she knows I like the music so well, she "let" me come along. I promised not to talk to her and her friends, not to make any silly scenes, no wild dancing, and that I would leave when the 2nd act, Mac Lethal (who I'm not as nuts about)played, so she could have some non-mom time. So I was the old lady standing along the back wall, trying not to call too much attention to myself. I was probably the only one over 40, perhaps the only person over 30, at the concert. I think that except for the moment when one of Sarah's friends said loudly, in front of several other people, "Sarah is that your mom back there?!", she survived the bad mom embarrassment well.

I enjoyed the concert, and feel compelled to pimp Grieves a little. You can find him on Myspace music, where he has 5 songs from his "Irreversible" album available to download. Give him a listen, and let me know if you like him. If this old lady can like some young hip music, perhaps you will too! Here's a link brave, try out some new music!

Friday, January 18, 2008

What are friends for?!

Distracting me of course! I had "important" plans last night. I was going to finish cleaning my house, which still isn't quite put back together again after putting away Christmas. I was going to take pictures and list a few beads on ebay. I was going to actually make some beads, something I have not been doing enough of lately. I got home from work and the house was quiet. I picked up the two remaining Christmas decorations, the ones I "missed" while putting the rest away, carried them upstairs and put them away. I peered at the vacuum standing in the middle of bedroom. I left it there as a reminder that by god I was go get the house clean before the 3 day weekend. Then I took a misstep - I walked into my studio and lit the torch. What the heck, I'll make a few beads before I do my cleaning. That is always easy to rationalize because I can view it as a safety issue. I can always vacuum later when I'm tired, but perhaps lighting a torch and playing with molten glass is best done when I'm not exhausted. So what the heck, melt first, clean later.

While working on my second bead the phone rings (don't ask my why there is a phone with caller ID on the shelf above my torch). It's my friend Tori, and her question is "Have you had dinner yet?" She was "throwing together" a Torta Rustica, and invited me to come eat with them. Besides being a wonderful friend she is a great cook, so that was an offer I couldn't refuse. Extinguish the torch, grab a bottle of wine from the rack, and off I went. So much for my best laid plans for the evening.

As I said, Tori is a marvellous cook. Everything she makes tastes a like a gourmet meal. Torta Rustica is sort of pie-like, a pizza type dough draped in to a deep springform pan, layered with a myriad of marvelous meats, cheeses and vegetables, topped with another layer of dough, and baked. My first comment was, "Geez, I can't believe you're making this on Thursday night"as it is not a trivial dish to throw together. Her response was that they "needed to use up the prosciutto before it went bad". At $15/lb I guess that makes sense. These are the kind of friends to have, the ones where a bit of aging deli meat spawns an impromptu dinner party. Friends, great food, good wine and laughter, there's no better way to spend the evening!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Sweet Sixteen!

"It's so cool to look at yourself in a spoon" she said as she twirled the spoon..."right side up, upside down, right side up, upside down. I guess it's because it's convex and concave". This was my daughter speaking at breakfast on Thursday. I don't think in my 47 years of life I've paid attention to my reflection in a spoon, but sure enough she's right. It's a good way to entertain yourself if you happen to find a nice shiny spoon at a restaurant. We where at a pancake house having birthday breakfast in celebration of Sarah's sweet sixteen. She wanted to play hooky from her first period class to go to breakfast, and since it was her day that's what we did (don't tell the truancy officer!) We first headed to the Artist Palate, our favorite little breakfast place, but for some reason it was closed so we headed to a pancake place I've always wanted to try... One with shiny spoons so I could have an entertaining early morning physics lesson.

It was good we had breakfast celebration because she ended up spending 3 1/2 hours of her birthday evening studying for Fridays math test. It wasn't exactly how she wanted to spend her special day. About 9:30 the neighbors came over for homemade chocolate birthday cake and presents. It proved to be a sentimental birthday. Val, my neighbor, had put together a wonderful photo collage of childhood pictures of Sarah and Zoe (her daughter). Those two have been cute together for many years now! Then Sarah opened her gift from her grandparents. One gift was a small jewelry box containing a locket on a fine gold chain. The locket had been my mothers, a gift from her godfather when she was a small child. Sarah was was nearly brought to tears as she read the note explaining the origin of this special gift. She's been wearing it since. Despite the trauma of the math studies, she had a nice 16th birthday.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

It's been a while..

It appears once again I have been avoiding my blog. I've written about several topics, in my head, but never managed to sit down to get anything into my computer. I guess it's been a busy week, between work and New Years (no partying but I did go skiing), shoveling snow, a little more skiing and dismantling my crispy Christmas tree, time has flown. Today Matt was supposed to head back to college. I said supposed to, because he ended up not leaving. It snowed yesterday, and more today. Today was my "mothers nightmare" day... the only thing I don't like about Matt going to school in Durango is that he has to travel between here and there in the winter; over a couple of mountain passes, and through miles and miles of desolate 2 lane highway. I guess I was relieved that about the time he should have been leaving the snow really started coming down, removing any question in my mind about whether or not Matt should go. So he'll miss classes Monday, and hopefully the weather will break on Tuesday so he can be back at school for Wednesdays classes. As it turns out, his northern Colorado buddies aren't returning for Mondays classes either, many of the Colorado passes were closed due to avalanches. I guess I'll assume that a school located in the mountains must expect this sort of thing to happen once in a while.