Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Spokane Winter Events

Well, fine folks of Spokane, two weeks later, and it's still snowing! Hope you weren't too disappointed this past Sunday when it stopped for a few hours.

Take a look at some of the fabulous events we have for your enjoyment this winter.

Plowing Week

Location: Spokane, city-wide

The only week every year that Spokane pulls out all 30 of their snow plows and actually shovels the streets! Come watch that tundra in your front yard become a road again.

(Don't park in the street or your car will be impounded.)

Bumper Berms

Location: Downtown

Tired of losing that middle lane to a wall of snow? Play a fun game of Bumper Berms. Try to skid into and bounce off the berms as much as possible.

Winter Road Trip

Location: Any drive within a 20-mile radius

Next time you commute to work, count how many cars have just careened into the ditch. Extra points if a police car is already there. My total: 8 in 2 days.

Snow Days

Location: Eastern Washington University

Skip school! If you drive, you'll get stuck in the snow. If you take the bus, you'll probably get stuck in the snow, and you'll definitely be late.

This event is proudly brought to you by Eastern Washington University, located in the impossible-to-get-to-in-the-middle-of-a -blizzard town Cheney, also known as a field.

Sun Hide-and-Seek

Location: Probably everywhere in the entire Pacific and Inland Northwest

See how long you can avoid the sun. It's harder than you think to hide in the snow; everything is white--the ground, the streets, the sky, the houses, the trees--but then again, you probably won't see the sun until March anyway.

Car Sledding

Location: Hills, with the central event on South Hill

What else can I say? We're all doing this already.

Icicle Contest

Location: Eaves

My icicles have grown five feet in a week! Who can top that?


...meanwhile, in Minnesota... It's in the 40's. They are plowing an inch of slush off even the dead-end residential streets. I can't BELIEVE I'm saying this, but....

I miss Minnesota winters. If there has to be winter, I at least want to live in a place where they know what to do with it.


A few (positive) notes:

-I'm not trying to complain. I'm just prone to focus on the negative, out of some sick fascination.

-I have wonderful snow tires that Wescombes are letting me use. They really make a difference; in fact, I am even starting to enjoy the challenge of winter driving.

-The hills are actually pretty well tended, at least the main streets. The car sledding thing is just in response to my own fears, which are, as yet, unfounded.

-The bus drivers are WONDERFUL. I can't imagine how stressed they must be.

-When there's enough light to see it, the landscape between Spokane and Cheney is beautiful. Trees totally white with snow, a few long grasses poking up, the hills like enormous sand dunes.... Some days I might complain that everything west of Spokane is bleak, but deep down I'm a little in love with it.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Blizzards in Spokane

I am such a baby. Because it's snowing today, because there are 6 inches of snow on the ground, because it's 0 degrees, I decided not to walk ten minutes to the bus to go to school. What a joyous 5 months I have to look forward to.

Also, it really is blizzarding all over Washington.

In other news, my parents are arriving on the train Thursday morning at 1:40 a.m. (give or take a few hours...it's Amtrak)! I love that they're taking the train here--because it's adorable and because it means they'll be here :)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Welcome Back to Snow

Today was the first real snow--it's been going all day, and they say by tomorrow we'll have 7 inches. Despite having lived almost 10 years in Minnesota, I'm a total winter pansy. I'm terrified to drive in snow. I hate the cold. I have no real waterproof shoes. I will take this into serious consideration when I move on to the next place.

This last week has been sort of crazy, but just enough that it's gone by fast, not too much that I've been completely stressed. I had 7 meetings (covering pretty much every area I'm involved in), which I guess was what made it extra busy. Then the usual--class, internships, a couple poetry readings. The best activity was a reading by Naomi Shihab Nye, my absolute favorite poet! :) I've never heard her read before, and it was wonderful. In case you're curious, here's a poem by her (I'm attempting to make this blog a bit more than a badly written public journal, in case you can't tell):

Two Countries

Skin remembers how long the years grow
when skin is not touched, a gray tunnel
of singleness, feather lost from the tail
of a bird, swirling onto a step,
swept away by someone who never saw
it was a feather. Skin ate, walked,
slept by itself, knew how to raise a
see-you-later hand. But skin felt
it was never seen, never known as
a land on the map, nose like a city,
hip like a city, gleaming dome of the mosque
and the hundred corridors of cinnamon and rope.

Skin had hope, that's what skin does.
Heals over the scarred place, makes a road.
Love means you breathe in two countries.
And skin remembers--silk, spiny grass,
deep in the pocket that is skin's secret own.
Even now, when skin is not alone,
it remembers being alone and thanks something larger
that there are travelers, that people go places
larger than themselves.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

I was mistaken in my ridiculous belief that Spokane was pretty much sunny the whole year. We're into our second month of always-gray skies, and it's really messing with me--it's this odd, claustrophobic feeling that I'm half-asleep all the time, waiting and waiting and waiting for morning that never comes.

It fits great with the blahs that come toward the end of the quarter and the anxiety about winter weather and about the responsibility and time commitment I'll be taking on at the Writers' Center. And of course the general anxiety about life--future, relationships, guilt that I'm not good enough, etc. etc.

There have been positives too, of course. Been hanging out with people a lot. Spontaneously went to a Josh Ritter concert with Erica and a couple of her friends. Had coffee with Cara. Explored the Davenport Hotel with Natalie. Went to "Begin," this free event at the MAC (Museum of Arts and Culture--It's in Browne's), with Ann and Isaac and some people from church. Drove to Idaho with Isaac because we've been so stuck in Spokane (we started to drive around Coeur D'Alene Lake and then found out it would take a few hours, and we were almost out of gas and it was getting dark[er]. It was beautiful though!). Got my hair cut. Went to small group (pardon me, "missional community"). Submitted a few poems to a contest.

I posted some more pics to my album, from Ken and Maile's visit and our drive and a couple other things: