Wednesday, January 21, 2009

steal a giggle

Ok, I can't take credit for this, but I'm posting it because No. 1, it's hilarious; No. 2, it's true and No. 3, I'm buying time in between my last post and the most awesomest, funniest and coolest (pun INTENDED) post EVER. It's worth the wait, I promise. 

A co-worker forwarded it to me, so I don't think I'm violating any copyright laws... 

ND Cold Weather behavior:

60 above zero: Floridians turn on the heat. North Dakotans plant gardens.
50 above zero: Californians shiver uncontrollably. People sunbathe in Minot.
40 above zero: Import cars won't start. North Dakotans drive with the sunroof open.
32 above zero: Distilled water freezes. The water in Devils Lake gets thicker.
20 above zero: New Mexicans don long johns, parkas and wool hats & mittens. North Dakotans throw on a flannel shirt.
15 above zero: New York landlords finally turn on the heat. People in North Dakota have one last cookout before it gets cold.
Zero: People in Miami all die. North Dakotans close the windows.
10 below zero: Californians fly away to Mexico. North Dakotans dig their winter coats out of storage.
25 below zero: Hollywood disintegrates. Girl Scouts in Fargo still selling cookies door to door.
40 below zero: Washington, D.C. finally runs out of hot air. People in North Dakota let their dogs sleep indoors.
100 below zero: Santa Claus abandons the North Pole. North Dakotans get upset because the Mini-Van won't start.
460 below zero: ALL atomic motion stops (absolute zero on the Kelvin
scale). People in North Dakota can be heard saying, "Cold 'nuff fer ya?"
500 below zero: Hell freezes over. North Dakota public schools open two hours late.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

temperature test

In some states, people lay eggs on the sidewalk to see if they fry. We do that too... to see if they’ll freeze.

PS: THUMBS UP to Kyle J. She is the FIRST to comment on my Freeze Me You Devil blog. Thanks Kyle, and thanks for rocking. I should tell you though, your comment was so mean I cried. And then my tears froze.


Wednesday, January 14, 2009

morning sickness

Every morning I listen to the national news as I get dressed, curl my hair and sip my coco-latte concoction. This morning, my stomach lurched... 

Check out Chicago, the weatherman said. Schools are starting late so the temps can warm up a little before the kids walk to class. Today's high is 15 degrees there, that's not with windchill, no, no, no, he said, that's just air temp.

Inner-city Chicago kids may have poor schooling, public transportation and rival gang violence, but they've got nothing on me and my N.D. homies. Nothing. 

Current North Dakota air temp: 25 below. Today's high: minus 12. Yes, really. And our kids are in school. 

A big THANK YOU is due to Renee M. who texted me last night saying, Wish you Warmth... it's 50 DEGREES HERE.

Awesome Renee. We're only talking a 75 DEGREE difference. The least you could do is share. 


Friday, January 9, 2009

city girl survival guide

In my quest to give you the best stories cold weather can provide, I forgot perhaps the most important one: the day I packed a shovel in my suitcase and headed north.

North to North Dakota that is. 

On Dec. 31 I stole my brother's oversized luggage. He'd needed it to haul his Christmas gifts and winter survival clothing back with him to college, but I was braving the arctic, so I needed it more. 

See, I'd parked my car in the Fargo airport for the 13 days I'd vacationed in Colorado and Iowa. During that time, 20 inches of snow fell and, well, we don't know what the temperatures were because all the mercury froze. 

(P.S.: Current temperature is 3 degrees, not to mention the two inches of snow from last night, this morning and the predicted half dozen more by Monday)

So, since my dad is a nice guy, he'd bought me a collapsable snow shovel that somehow just fit along with my coco-latte machine and six pairs of don't-you-dare-where-them-in-snow shoes. 

I tried to make a back-up plan on the plane. I wooed my neighbors in seats 12 B and 12 C, exaggerating tales of how, all by myself, I'd moved north living in a town 100 miles from the airport and more than 600 miles from any relation.

Oh geez, I sure hope my car starts, I flirted, batting my eyes and hoping they'd say, we've got jumper cables, we'll help you. But no such luck. I blame it on the peanut butter ball weight gain. 

By the plane's landing, I didn't have to be the last one off to know I'd probably be the last to leave the airport too.

As I waited for my luggage, I wondered if the suitcase-swigging rolly-round could spin fast enough to catapult me to Jamestown. I gave it a try, but the security guard (who'd eaten more peanut better balls over the break than me) grabbed my arm and catapulted me to the floor.

Thanks for nothin', I said, finding the customer service desk unattended. In my quest to find someone to help me out of the worst and coldest day of even a polar bear's life, I yielded an Avis Rent-a-Car rep asking if he knew who I could talk to or where I should go for assistance unearthing my car from its snowy tomb.

I have no idea, he said, I just do rentals.

How entirely unhelpful of you, I replied, praying the airline gods would NOT ship my suitcase to any other destination in the continental U.S. as it'd likely steal my swimsuit, run away and forever sip mai-thais in my mockery. 

Since the gods have been on my side and both the stars and my front-wheel tires have been aligned since the knight in shining snow boots rescued me from the evil snow drifts, once I found my suitcase, my only trouble was finding my car. (After 13 days and 30 inches of snow, even six-cylinder 4x4s looked like white European imports.)

So me, my pointy-toed-boots and 40-pound suitcase hiked the unplowed parking lot in search of a vehicle that likely wouldn't even start once we got there. Finally I spotted her, that gorgeous Vinny, a mere aisle and four-foot snow mountain away. 

Now, this luggage, by itself, stands at or near my belly button. Even though my arm muscles rival those of Chuck Norris himself, I still had to push, kick and ROLL my suitcase like a bulldozer tire to maneuver it over the hip-high snow towers. 

But I did it. By myself. 

Being as my biceps felt more like penne pasta than the AK-47s of their nature, I didn't bother to lift the case into the trunk before opening it and unburying my treasure: a $10 snow picker-upper.

So there I was, unpacking and repacking my brand-new and unopened Christmas socks, shoes and $15 hair barrettes in middle the North Pole... ahem... Fargo parking lot and sweating in the minus 11 degree weather.

Finally, I saw it, a brand new shovel without a crack, chip or broken-off handle. 

Before I bother to cinnamon-roll this suitcase UP and INTO Vinny's boot, I thought, I better see if the car will even start. I'd have laughed had my lungs not hurt from inhaling. 

Sucking it up and cracking the perspiration from my brow, I hunkered into my purse, aching for the keys that would determine my fate. Would the snow gods kill me, today, in this airport parking lot or force me to scrape and shovel my way through winter, only to kill me in spring? Bastards.

Finally, I saw a beam of light. And a voice said, come home Katie, come home. 

It wasn't Jesus. It was Jane. 

Can't talk now mom, I gots to git gettin' on, I said, retraining my tongue towards the dialect of the Upper Plains. 

And then, there they were. My keys. Vinny's keys. My heart swelled and broke all in the same instant. Like magic, key and car united. Sparks flew like my neighboring apartment garage on fire. 

Woo hooo I cried, as if I'd lived on a North Dakota pig farm my whole life. Out of the car I hopped, scooting and shoving each flake, ignoring the mountains I'd piled onto the neighboring Lexuses, Cadallacs and BMWs 10 years Vinny's junior.

Thirty minutes later, I could see concrete beneath my feet and off to Jamestown I was due. I seat-belted my shovel, plugged in my Garmin and realized this big, scary mess of a state was no match for me. 

Suddenly, a pick-up with a giant shovel on its front and jumper cords in its back pulled up beside me. 

You ok, mamn? the dude asked. 

Never better, I said, wondering what in the frozen hell was he thinking. Like I'd ever need the likes of him... :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

freeze frame

I'm not supposed to talk about work, so I won't. But if you'd like to catch up on your reading, click here.

In other news, something got caught in my throat this morning, so I spit to rid the remnants. Upon hitting the pavement, the saliva made a tink

So, everyone staying warm? 

I noticed Omaha was 41 degrees today. Current Jamestown temperature, 6 below. 

PS- you can leave comments at the bottom. Anyone can do it, you don't even have to sign up. First one to leave me some love gets a THUMBS UP in my next posting. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

tranny uncanny

The other day, a co-worker told me she broke her “tranny” out of the garage.

Trannies are good to have around, she said, and perform better in the cold weather. I had no idea Jamestown was open-minded enough for double-gendered population but I’m glad Jamestownians consider them such hearty workers. When I asked where one goes to find a quality tranny and if you ever get jealous because they look better in your clothes than you do, my co-worker looked at me like I myself had sprouted male parts. She said she was talking about her transmission drive and that I should have figured that out by now. I still don’t know what a transmission drive is, but I guess I’ll be leaving my wanna-be-woman in the closet where she belongs.

This is the first time I’ve humiliated myself while writing about how I humiliated myself. So keep reading.

Since I live in the smallest town in the country next to Manchester, Iowa and Arnold, Nebraska, it’s not uncommon to run into people you know. Today, as I sat in an off-the-grocery store breakfast restaurant filling myself with eggs, sausage and pre-buttered toast waiting for the service station to refill my oil, I ran into a woman who coordinates various volunteer programs in town. She says hello, what are you doing up so early? Surely, she can’t remember me, I think, answering politely but taking my seat. I interviewed her once, and that was months ago. Suddenly, she’s hovered over me, reading my screen.

Say Katie (YES she remembered my name and YES they start sentences with say here), what kind of computer (pause) you got (pause) it’s cute (pause) small (pause) huh... her voice trailing.

Oh my god.

Of all the people and all the things I could be writing at 8 a.m., this right-hand-a’-Jesus is reading my tranny story with a raised eyebrow taking back any goodwill she once had towards me.

Apparently, I’m not the only person here with alternate definitions for the vehicular nickname.

Update- After an hour for breakfast, 30 minutes for grocery shopping and a cab ride home, the service station has yet to start oiling my car. Now, as auto-tech professionals, they should know that withholding a person's vehicle, especially in the dead of winter, is frankly, really mean. You couldn't have told me at 7:45 this morning to stay home because you wouldn't get to my vehicle until NOON? You waited an hour and a half until I called you to break the news? Now I've eaten a $10 breakfast, need two $10 cab rides to get back and forth, don't have time to go to the gym, could have slept in (since I left work at midnight last night) AND I could have written my tranny blog from the privacy of my over-crowded apartment avoiding the jaw drop of a pre-humounsly-nominated saint.

I guess I should look on the bright side, weatherman says temps should reach above zero today.

Is it Friday yet?

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