Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Helping sands

They postponed the three-ring circus, but Jamestown still walks a tight rope. 

In anticipation of high-pressure water releases, volunteers will build temporary levees to protect local property. I'm not worried about loss of life or loss of limb, I'm just worried I lost my mind as I signed up to join them. 

At first, I'd hesitated. 

What if my pointy-toed shoes popped a hole in the polypropylene? That could compromise the dam's integrity...

Then I thought of all the awesome stories I'd write and awards I'd win. If this was about integrity, I thought, pass me a shovel. 

Wear water-proof boots and worker gloves, the signer-upper said. I asked if water-proof boots are the same as the ones I sport when I want to blend in with the natives. They're not. 

I haven't determined what "worker" gloves are, but I'm hoping two pairs of "regular" gloves will work just as well. 

I don't know exactly what I'll be doing other than it involves tossing the equivalent of frozen turkeys for six hours. I cooked a fool-proof turkey breast once... How hard could this be?


Sunday, March 29, 2009

god dam it

North Dakota is one of the most church-going states in the country. To me, that's only proof that the sacrificial lamb is a sacrificial scam. 

Not only is it both cold and flooding here, but we expect snow this week. If this state is so holy, why another 8 inches weatherman? Why?

Maybe the state is trying to rid itself of hot-weather heathens like me...

Saturday, March 28, 2009

In cold flood

 All is well in Apt. 6, but Apts. 1, 3, 5 and 7 look more like empty swimming pools than former residences.

Larry (remember him?) said something about the snow from the balconies (on the south side of the building, I'm on the north) flooding the ground floor apartments across the hall. He also said something about a sewer backing up. I guess the apartments filled with water, the landlord's doing nothing so the tenants skedaddled.

I don't know what Larry's talking about, but I do know I can play my music a little louder these days.

Actually, I shouldn't kid.

The only evidence of flooding I've encountered is the unflushed toilet-bowl smell. My belongings are dry. My carpet, Christmas tree (which stays as long as the snow!) and antique kitchen table are all safe. My former washing-machine sharers are not so lucky.

The risk in Fargo receded, but isn't gone. Waters are rising here and whether its Jamestown or one of its neighboring villages, houses will flood and property lost. The local officials practically guaranteed it. The sandman delivered yesterday and bagging begins Thursday.

Thursday? you ask. Me too.

Can't sandbag until after the Shrine Circus, they said.

They're thinking of us, those government officials. If the city doesn't sandbag until after the big tent, it'll get two circuses for the price of one, know what I mean?

The next couple days and weeks will be long and consumed with work. The stories I gather about the impending flood inform people and keep them safe. But those stories will also live in local history books as long as the ink is dry. I'm obligated to the paper readers, but I'm also obligated to this blog. Of all the years to capitalize on the weather in North Dakota, I picked the 2012. What can I say? My dad does brag I have the Midas touch.

In other news, after two weeks of hostage-holding in Bismarck, Vinny the Volvo is back, safe and running. Now if only I could get him to run south... or east, or west. Anywhere but the state of four seasons in one day...

If you'd like to see some news and photos, click here and here.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

freeze-proof flood pants

I drove home from Fargo yesterday in a co-worker's car... (long story... check back later.)

The back-seat view looked more like Lake Michigan than the wheat fields of their custom. And by Lake Michigan, I mean Lake Michigan gone Niagara Falls.

The 1.5 hour drive took four. The water buried roads like a dead bodies. Ice glaciers buoyed where hay bails should have been.

At one point I asked the driver, is this a pontoon or a Pontiac?

Friday, March 13, 2009

temper-ature tantrums

When I write my new book, that's what I'm calling it. "Temper-ature tantrums" AND I CALL COMSIE BACKSIES.

Today, the weather warmed to 20 degrees and suddenly I couldn't drive without rolling down my windows. It was like god wanted me to practice for my week of Mexi-Go crazy. The temps got me so excited, I practically flashed neighboring motorists because I knew I could do it and my baby-feeders wouldn't freeze.

But although the weather warmed, local brain cells didn't.

As I left the cop shop today (my newest meet-market... for meeting men, you know) a gentleman no taller, no older and no acquaintance of mine said he'd seen me before.

Mind you, I had JUST passed him. Like, said excuse me, fumbled for my keys and went about my business. I turned my head, reached for my door handle and...

"HEY. I seen you at that spaghetti supper."

Yes, "seen you." That's how you know he's local.

Uh... the one for the Humane Society, I said? Two weeks ago?


Excuse me but, did I have something stuck in my teeth that night? Had my hair fallen flat? Was it my abnormally green coat(s)? No, it couldn't be... I know, it was my middle toe's stature compare to my big one, wasn't it? I knew that would get me in trouble. How embarrassing. But more importantly...

How does a dude look at a lady for one second and remember exactly where he last saw her?

I didn't stick around to know the answer.

As I was leaving, I double checked the signage. I meant to drive to the police station, but maybe I'd wound up at the state hospital instead...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

double socks, double pants, double-breasted knee-length parka

Today is the third day in which I wear two pair of pants. The current temperature is 17 BELOW.

Kevin C. said Arizona temps are in the 80s today. If he's basking in a 100 degree difference, does that mean he isn't wearing ANY pants?

In other news, my car recovered. Turns out, the battery needed replacing. Since I'd recently purchased one, this battery was under warranty. THATS HOW COLD IT IS HERE.

PS: view this video and tell me you didn't laugh. I double snow-dog dare you...

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March 10

Weatherman says below zero temps and snowfall totals in the double digits today. More than 10 inches will likely fall between now and tonight. If you don't believe me, here's a visual:

Naturally, my car wouldn't start. AGAIN.

So from now on, this blog isn't freeze me you devil, it's volvo: you're a devil. Now freakin' work already. In fact, the whole reason I can write this is because I'm waiting for a ride. Vinny didn't get the memo: I'm not 15 years old and this isn't Oak View Mall. Although, like him, I sometimes wish it was.

Anyone else wearing two pairs of pants today?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

sauna for the volvo

Up yonder, we park our cars in the company garage (aka storage area where trucks deliver 40-ton paper reems) so as to melt the underbellies of our cars and get all the gunk and frost off.

Do you do that in America?

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