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Friday, February 12, 2010

I Sorta Survived Snomageddon 2010 And All I Got Was Wet Pants

...and a sore back ...and no parking spot ...and a slight hangover ...

(these events are so epic, it will take more than one post to convey. you've been warned)

Okay, so last Thursday I get a call from my boss asking if I want to be put up at the Hilton Friday night at the company's expense to insure I get to work on Saturday morning. Something you might not know about me, I don't watch the news--any news--when I'm home. Ergo, I was completely unaware of the impending Close Encounter of The White Flake Kind poised at our collective doorstep overnight Friday.

But being that they NEVER offer to put us up anymore, I jumped at the chance. I also figured I could slip Geo my room key and we could have a romantic hotel interlude on the company dime. We were both excited by this prospect until our adult self did the math and being the kill-joy it is, channeled Dwight Schruite and bellowed these facts:

FACT: I would have to go to actual sleep by 9:00pm in order to rise at 3am to face a 12+ hour day.
FACT: It's not a suite, nay one room with one TV poised directly at the bed
FACT: Geo would want to watch TV all night
FACT: I would murder him in his sleep for keeping me up when I have to be up by 3am to endure a 12+ hour day because, you's all about me

So I reluctantly left my Honey's company at 8pm, trudging through the first eight inches of part one of Snowmageddon to catch what turned out to be the last trolley to Buffalo,, I mean downtown SnowBurgh to sit alone in my lonely room with no one to frolic in the sparkly white stuff. All I really wanted to do was stay home snuggled on the couch with Geo in front of a roaring fire eating freaking Bon Bons and watch the telly. But, NOOOOOO. I had to go into television.


It looked like this when I went to bed.

It looked like this when I woke up.

WTF??!? It.Never.STOPPED!

My 1000 yard journey from hotel room to newsroom was blocked by 15 inches of snow drifting to more than 20 inches, enormous felled tree limbs and a constant fall of quiet, heavy, steady snow that showed no sign of letting up.

We ended up being on the air non-stop for seven hours. It was incredible. Fortunately our boss had the foresight to schedule an extra body on the crew to provide breaks for everyone. I got to make a food run with one of the photogs around noon. The city roads were horrendous. We were in a Jeep and still fishtailing everywhere. The intersections were the worst where the snow that was plowed collected into 15+ inch deep spans impassable by anything except SUVs.

As I was dealing with work-related storm issues, poor Geo was home alone facing this.

My beloved Rita's under this mess.

All in all, we fared pretty well. Just some broken limbs and a crushed bush, but enough about me. Hey Ooooo!! Come on. It's funny!

Hey look, kids! It's Mount Recycle and his little pal Clyde the Gnome.

Yeah... We're not gonna be using that bin for a while.

I ended up staying yet another night in town because the trolley which I'd used to travel to work, closed operations due to storm-related happenings. So much for my bright idea to take public transport.

Geo finally sprung me on Sunday. I could not WAIT to get home. Of course that only lasted one night then it was back to the Hilton for Snowmageddon Part 2: This Time It's Personal. At least on Tuesday night I wasn't alone. There were a ton of us staying over which turned Snowmageddon into Snowapaloosa. More on that in the next post.

Meanwhile, it's day six. It's STILL snowing. There are still people without power. Most of the city limits remain covered in two feet of unploughed snow. A lot of people can't get out of their houses because of excessive snow and fallen timbers blocking their exit. The city streets are horrible. Epic fail on their part. City officials simple cannot get their shit together. I think the urban brain trusts are up to plan C or D or X for snow removal.

The Burbs on the other hand did an outstanding job. The main roads in our little town are perfect and most of the streets are clear to at least one lane of traffic. However, six days later there are still people in our neighborhood who haven't dug out their cars like this one.

UGH!! Yes, that is a car's side view mirror weakly peaking out of that snow mound.

But we have seen the return of the Pittsburgh Parking Chair!!

It's kind of a tradition around here to place a chair, recycling bin, table, whatever in the spot you've painstakingly and painfully cleared out in an attempt to prevent some A-hole from parking in your spot before you return from work. Jimmy McParkway tells me the notorious parking chair is illegal, but whatev. It's Pittsburgh, Dude. People uphold tradition here.

We had a blizzard in '93 in which people in my burb were actually having fist fights over parking spots. The police decided to collect all of the parking chairs and stash them at the pool parking lot in an attempt to stem the feuding.

It's a humorous sight, isn't it?

Okay, I admit it. It really is beautiful, but damn it's getting old. Every day I trudge through snow. The bottoms of my pants are constantly wet. Every morning poor Geo has to shovel yet again. The bleakest part is it's only mid February and there's no warm up in sight. This shit's not going anywhere until April. Seriously.

On a brighter note, because I am an optimist--I know, right? Who knew?--our vodka is staying nice and chilled on the back deck. :-)

Anywho, until the big thaw occurs coinciding with the end of days sometime in 2012, here are some more photos from the morning after. You have to admit... It really is pretty.


demoncat said...

at least you managed to survive the snow storm of all times to get to the hotel. and have fate spring should come some day and be rid of the mess at least the gnome looks thrilled with the white stuff

Gary said...

The end of "me" in Pittsburgh TV was when I realized one Sunday in March of 1997 that I had to shovel out my entire driveway of 23 inches of snow that fell I could drive into work and tell snowed. Admittedly, I was doing school closing crawls but all they had to do was look out their freakin' windows.

I don't miss TV news for one cold, frosty second.