Wednesday, February 2, 2011


It was COLD outside today!! Last night an arctic front came through Texas so the temperature dropped WAY down and just kept dropping all day long. But even though it was so cold and so windy, it was kinda fun . . . I mean, how often do you hear the words "Arctic" and "Texas" in the same sentence?? We have to take advantage of it when we can! And I know my relatives in Chicago will laugh at me for acting like 30 degrees is noteworthy but I don't care who you are - that's COLD!! And even a Chicagoan can't argue with that - I mean it was LITERALLY freezing . . . so by definition it was cold!

The front came in during the night or very early morning - I don't know because I was sleeping like a baby. BUT I did wake up to the sound of the winds blowing like crazy around 5 am so I know it was here by then for sure. I laid there in bed, snuggled under my blankets and happy to be in my warm house. As I drifted back to sleep (after all - I'm not one of those crazy people who wakes up at 5 am . . .), I knew I would eventually have to get out in it so I decided to make it my goal today to stay warm and stay out of the blustery winds that were whipping around out there. As much as possible, that is. But, as is so often the case, life had different plans . . .

First, I woke up to the sound of the garbage truck on the next street and suddenly realized that I hadn't put my trash can at the end of the driveway. So I ran downstairs to rectify the situation as quickly as I could, hoping to beat the truck to my driveway. But since I was in a hurry, I didn't dress properly for the task: I ran outside in my short-sleeve shirt, thin pants, and no shoes and put the trash out. It took me a full 10 minutes to defrost my feet when I got back inside . . .

Then, after I had thawed out, I got ready for work. I had gotten up a little earlier than usual and had gotten ready for work a little more quickly than usual so I was running a little early today, which is very UNusual for me. I hit the road to head to work feeling pretty good about my early start. I cranked up my heat and started to feel my hands defrost when BAM! I got rear-ended. Whiiiiiiiiiich meant that I had to go stand outside and exchange information with the other driver and then stand outside some more while we waited for the police officer to finish writing the accident report - we were outside for over 30 minutes. This was my reward for being early. It couldn't have happened last week in the 60 degree weather or in the Spring when the weather is lovely. Oh no - it had to happen on the morning that a freakin' ARCTIC BLAST was coming through town. I swear the temperature dropped at least 10 degrees while we were standing out there. By the time I got back in my car my face was numb . . . aaaaaaand an interesting color of maroon.

Then at lunchtime, after my co-workers and I had eaten, we decided to go to Starbucks for some coffee to help warm up our insides. The Starbucks by our office has a drive-thru so we didn't have to get out of our cars, luckily. But we DID have to roll down the driver's-side window so that we could place our order. We were kind of dreading it because the wind was so strong and we knew it would blow right in and make us cold in the car. But we figured that we'd just place our order quickly so as to minimize the amount of time that we were exposed to the elements. It was a good plan. So my friend Erin (not my sister - different Erin) rolled down her window and attempted to QUICKLY place our order. Unfortunately, the young girl who was taking the drive-thru orders was 1) apparently new, 2) a little valley-girlish AAAAAND 3) nice and warm inside and NOT in any hurry . . .

Girl: Welcome to Starbucks!! How may I help you?
Erin: Hi. [no time for pleasantries . . .] I'd like one grande green tea. And-
Girl: Okay - one grande green teeeeeeeeeeea?
Erin: Yes, and -
Girl: Do you want the lemooooooon . . . or the miiiiiiiiint . . . or do you just want the regulaaaaaaar?
Erin: Just the regular. And -
Girl: Just the regulaaaaaaar?
Erin: Yes. And -
Girl: Okaaaaaay. Would you like anything else todaaaaaay?
Erin: [pauses to take deep breath] Yes. I'd also like a grande skinny latte with no foam and with 1 Sweet & Low and cinnamon on top.
Girl: Okaaaaay. So that's one grandeeeee skinny latteeee with . . . with . . . ummmm . . . did you say no foooooooam?
Erin: Right. No foam. And with 1 Sweet & Low and cinnamon on top. And then I want -
Girl: Okaaaaaay. How many Sweet & Looooooow?
Erin: [gripping steering wheel] Just one.
Girl: One Sweet & Looooooow?
Erin: YES.
Girl: And some cinnamon sprinkled on toooooop?
Erin: Yes.
Girl: Okay - anything else?
Erin: Yes. I need another grande latte with one shot of espresso, 2 Splendas, and cinnamon on top.
Girl: Okay - so another grande latteeeeeeee?
Erin: With just one shot of espresso.
Girl: Okaaaaay. [pause] And so you just want one shot of espresso?
Erin: [eyes bugged out, looking at me as if to say "SHOOT ME NOW."] Yes. And with 2 Splendas.
Girl: Okaaaaay. How many Splendas?
Erin: TWO.
Girl: And 2 Splendaaaaaaas?
Erin: [shaking fist at the speaker] Yes. And cinnamon on top. And then -
Girl: So with cinnamon on top of that one, toooooo?
Erin: [eyes closed in silent prayer for patience] Yes. And then I need another grande latte just like that one.
Girl: Okaaaay - just like that one?
Erin: Yes. [DEAR GOD, YES.] And that's all.
Girl: Okaaaaaay . . . can I get you anything else today?
Erin: NO.

I think it took us a full 10 minutes to order our drinks. By the time Erin was able to roll up her window, we were all chattering and rubbing her hands together in a desperate attempt to regain feeling in them. But the coffee definitely helped and I was warmed back up, from the inside out.

Until my gas light came on while I was driving home and I had to stop and get gas. I thought to myself "No problem - I'll just start it, lock the nozzle so that it fills up without me, and get back in the warm car." But, alas, the nozzle lock didn't work and, after 10 failed attempts to lock it, I eventually gave up and stood there filling up my tank and freezing my rear off.

Just my luck.

So I've decided that tomorrow I will attempt to trick fate by vowing to spend as much time outside as I possibly can.

And I will also vow to never leave early for work again . . .