Friday, January 08, 2010

The Great Texlahoma Blizzard of Aught-Nine

As most of you blog monkeys are probably aware, this past Christmas Eve was marked by an enormous blizzard that shut down highways throughout Texas and Oklahoma. Luckily for me, I headed up to OK on Tuesday afternoon -- stopping off in Tulsa to hang out with Cap'n Shack-Fu before heading on up to Miami on Wednesday -- so I was able to avoid getting caught in the horrible weather. Many of my friends weren't quite so lucky: it took Coronela 16 hours to get from Ft. Worth to Oklahoma City; TopGun's normal 5 1/2 hour trip to his family in Midland took him 19 hours, with people skidding out of control all around him; and the winner of the "longest Christmas Eve ever" award goes to Shack-Fu's sister and brother-in-law, whose 9 hour trip from Houston to Pampa took them over 28 hours due to the highway becoming a virtual parking lot at times.

And then there was The Lovable PigPen, who called me while he was on the road to let me know that if we ever decide to go on another ski trip, we could probably take his car, which was handling fine in conditions very similar to what we encountered on our way home from Breckenridge a couple of years ago . . . of course, then he wound up getting stuck while turning into his mom's driveway about 50 yards from her house, so maybe we should rethink that suggestion . . .

When I got PigPen's call I was out doing last minute Christmas shopping with my parents in Joplin -- my mother was all giddy about shopping on Christmas Eve, and I was along for the ride. The bad weather didn't hit us until we were heading back to Miami, and it didn't really start coming down hard until after we made it home. We did venture out once more that evening, heading to the video store so we could rent some movies for Mom to watch while we were snowed in, but after that Mom and I didn't leave the house until Sunday afternoon when we went to visit my Grandma Ann.

A great deal of my entertainment/exasperation on Christmas Eve came courtesy of my parents' cat, Snitzelfritz. Not too long after we got home, Snitz decided that he wanted to go outside, and so positioned himself by the back door and meowed to be let out. I opened the door, and as the bitterly cold and damp blast of wind hit him he backed up, shivered, looked at me with a baleful stare, and emitted an accusatory meow that I couldn't help but translate as "What did you do?!!?!?!" That was the amusing part; the exasperation started to set in as his tiny cat brain seemed to think that if he waited three minutes the outside conditions would change completely, and so he would be at the door meowing again, only to turn tail and run as soon as the door was opened and the cold hit him. I have no clue how many times we went through this ritual before he had a burst of feline inspiration and demanded to be let out into the garage instead. Of course, my parents have it set up so he can exit the garage and go outside, so probably 10 minutes after letting him into the garage there was some frantic scratching and meowing at the back door as the dummy* desperately tried to regain entry into the house. This, too, was repeated several times, until finally the fact that being out-of-doors was not a viable prospect for him finally sunk in.

The biggest downside to the bad weather** was that it derailed my post-Christmas travel plans; even if the weather was supposed to be okay in our neck of the woods on one day, then it was supposed to be bad somewhere else along the route -- and then the conditions would be flip-flopped the next day. By the time it was all said and done, I didn't head back to Denton until New Years Day, which meant I missed out on the Singles New Years Eve party with its super-hero theme. Luckily, I had thought to drop the stuff I'd promised they could use for decorations beforehand, so all of my action figures were available to guard the DJ from evil-doers.

But unfortunately it meant I didn't get to see all of the super-costumes everyone had thrown together.

Although I'm even more upset that I didn't get to have fun playing with the visual sound effects.

On the plus side, by heading back on Friday, it meant I got to stop off in Tulsa and see my best bud Cap'n Shack-Fu again for a bit, and as he's the closest thing to a real Action Hero I know, it was practically like being at a super-hero party. Only, y'know, fewer girls in interesting outfits.

Yes, they're wearing super-hero boxers; Marvel on the left, DC on the right.

*When I visit my parents, I often amuse myself by coming up with "Weird Al" style songs about how stupid/crazy the cat is. The festive one I settled on this time around was "You're a Dumb Cat, Snitzlefritz" to the tune of "You're a Mean on, Mr. Grinch," which was probably on my mind mainly because Zinger had sent me this link while I was there.
**Besides the fact that there was tons of snow and none of my friends to play in it with


Cap'n Cluck said...

I'm sad my costume didn't make the blog. Emma Frost was in full force at the party!