Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Snow Day

Winter Storm Janus: Punishment for Christieism
I blame NJ Governor Chris Christie for Winter Storm Janus and the subsequent traffic snarl it caused yesterday afternoon, everywhere. If the fundies can blame me, then I get to blame some one, too. In truth though, the germ of the idea for this post came out of a Facebook status I posted last night, so forgive me if I'm repeating part of this. 

We all knew the storm was coming and the first tiny flakes started to fall yesterday morning just as I reached the last traffic-lighted intersection before arriving at the Day Job. At 11:00 I took my morning smoke break (yes, I know) and notice the plant across the way is closing, as cars begin to make a mass exodus from the lot. I came back to my desk to find an email from HR announcing we were closing at 1:00 (No lunch breaks, please). All well and good. The snow is light and easy to get off my car and I'm on my way by 1:12. It wouldn't be until 1:49 that I even got out of the town where the Day Job is located! The ride that normally takes 20 to 25 minutes and can sometimes take 40 to 50  minutes in bad weather, actually took me well over ninety minutes. And all because every other company along the I95 corridor closed at the same time and sent out millions of vehicles out onto snow-covered roads with hampered visibility. When I finally got home, after bitching about the weather and the traffic and the need to shovel, I sort gave in and resigned myself that this was happening and at least I'd gotten out early and would get a Snow Day out of it (an unusually high 2.5 this season). Which got me thinking about how I went from loving Snow Days as a kid to hating them as an adult. 

When Uncle P and his sister were kids, our Mom loved Snow Days, because it meant we got to stay home and she could play with us. We'd bundle up to go out and play in the snow; come in to warm up and dry out and have PB&Js and Campbell's Chicken Noodle soup and then go out for a another hour, until our faces were red and our noses runny. Then it was inside again where warm towels from the dryer waited for us wrap up in while leaning against the boiler's hot brick chimney. Then came hot cocoa and some sort of activity at the kitchen table. Colorforms; Shrinkey-Dinks; Spirograph; paint-by-numbers; coloring books and crayons; watercolors... always something creative to keep us busy until it was time for her to start making dinner in time for Dad to get home. 

Today, was not at all that kind of Snow Day. Sis's Sister-in-Law's son (say that three times, fast), who I've just started to get know and now refer to as my "Nephew-in-Law," came and shoveled me out today, and when I went to get money to pay him, he skipped. I texted him "No fair!" and he texted back "You're family!" Of course, when he helped me this past Monday to put the new battery in the car I'm trying to sell, I stuck a twenty in his pocket when his hands were busy and he had no choice. I'm going to make him some cookies or brownies or something. He's a good kid and I am appreciate my BIL and his family's (especially his sister and her son) kindness more and more, all the time. So, while I could have done any number of things today, including cleaning; painting; inventorying and purging the chest freezer (among others), I instead hibernated until after 10:30 and then vegged out on a "Tattoo Nightmares" marathon on Spike. And while I have 4 episodes of "Dracula" on my DVR, I'm not sure if I'm really willing to continue with the slow-moving plot that seems to have bogged it down the last few episodes I did see. 

So after dinner (the last of the chicken and hush puppies from Sunday) it was off to Netflix and the film version of a story I first read online: John Dies at the End. David Wong's online novel about time-travel; metaphysics; alternate universes; demons; mystical drugs and artificial intelligence (among other things) is transformed into a just-as-weird film by co-writer, director Don Coscarelli, creator of the equally weird Phantasm series. But this is also Coscarelli's homage to other genre directors with nods to Carpenter; Cronenberg and Raimi as told by Lovecraft. Produced by and co-starring Paul Giamatti, Coscarelli and David Wong worked on a script that both managed to connect some of the missing dots in Wong's novella, while maintaining its gonzo sensibilities. Add cuties Chase Williamson and Rob Mayes as leads Dave and John; genre fave Clancy Brown as a charismatic preacher/exorcist (he's so powerful, he can expel a demon over the phone); the often-used but rarely seen Doug Jones (Pan's Labyrinth; Hellboy); a cameo from Angus Scrimm (Phantasm's 'Tall Man') and loads of physical gross-outs and FX (plus an animated sequence that is both gross and hilarious) and you end up with a strange and often hilarious horror movie with two characters who deserve a sequel. *** (Three Out of Four Stars).

So, that was my Snow Day - some nostalgia; sleeping in; bad tattoos and a fun, weird horror movie I've been wanting to see that turned out to be actually pretty good. I may be too old for sledding and snow-forts, but you're never too old to appreciate a lazy day and then ramble on about it like anyone else really cares. 

Did you have a Snow Day today? What did you do or not do, today?

More, anon.

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