Category Archives: weather

You know you love the snow

Oh, Chicagoans! We have a love/hate relationship with snow.

We curse the constant layer of frozen white and salt’s attack on our shoes. We’re famous for using snow as an excuse for turning our apartments into winter hideouts.

But we secretly love it.

The snow is part of our identity as a city. A badge of our toughness, if you will. We’re badass enough to endure six months of winter and its six months of snow.

So, have I been surprised to hear complaints about this season’s lack of snow? Absolutely not. We feel debilitated.

For those who feel lost without wearing snow boots, here’s fix to tide you over. You’ve probably noticed, but we got a dusting this morning.

Happy 2012, everyone. The end of 2011 had me in a bit of a funk. But hopefully I’ll be seeing more of you this year.

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Did someone say “free?”

Last Monday, I was reminded that summer + indie music + FREE = a serious crapload of people.

It was the first really warm evening of the summer. So, the husband, some pals and I went to the Iron + Wine show in Millennium Park, along with the rest of Chicagoans age 15-45.

Although Iron + Wine was great, we spent the majority of the time drinking wine (sans iron) and people watching. Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever seen more people in one place. It was also a goldmine for latfh.com. I’m glad I didn’t wear my romper.

The most enjoyable/annoying part of the evening was watching hordes of people try to sweet talk the “security guard” into letting them jump over the gate in front of us to get in.

We decided since we really came to hang outside and chitchat, next time we’d see a jazz or orchestra performance. Or maybe we wouldn’t pick the biggest free show on the warmest day of the year.

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Hallelujah, warm weather.

Sweet. Jesus. The past two days in Chicago have been over 80 degrees.

(No, you just didn’t hallucinate. That said 80 degrees.)

In typical fashion, Chicago skips spring and runs head first into summer. Only to backtrack to fall in a few days. Typical indeed.

Anyway, it’s funny how people immediately flock to patios for drinks and parks for picnics on warm days. Moods are lighter, and the city itself seems a bit shinier.

These are the days that make living here in the winter worth it.

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Parking dibs

Snowpocalypse 2011 has passed! We’re alive and digging out of the snow.

And apparently we’re saving parking spots again. I could have taken 10 more pics like this, but my child-size hand would have turned into a popsicle. It’s funny how each of these peeps called parking dibs in their own way.

Parking for two, please

Baby not on board (thankfully)

Use caution when trying stealing my space, bro

What do you think? Is this rude or necessary?

Mostly, I think people are weird. But I don’t drive that often.

On an unrelated note, I attempted to go into the office today. After trampling through mountains of snow, I encountered this scene at my Blue Line stop:

A line just to get to the platform. After reading emails from several co-workers experiencing the same thing, I was so annoyed that I turned around and went back home. Most everyone else is working from home today anyway.

Update: My husband just saw this article on Yahoo. Time Out Chicago explores both sides of the parking dibs issue.

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Filed under Chicago, city life, random, weather

It’s coming…

SNOWMAGEDDON!

SNOWPOCALYSE!

THE DAY AFTER SNOW TOMORROW!

RED SNOW DAWN!

INDEPENDENCE SNOW DAY!

…or whatever other silly memes are floating around. Gah!

I used to applaud Chicago for keeping its cool about the snow. But the news, online and face-to-face chatter have been crazy this time around.

All the freaking out reminds me of my high school job as a grocery store cashier. Whenever meteorologists predicted an inch or more of snow, hordes of people would clean out the bread and milk aisles out of fear of never eating again. It doesn’t snow as much in Kentuckiana (the area around Louisville where Indiana and Kentucky high five each other), so people aren’t as laid back about it. Schools inevitably get delayed or closed. The news has special coverage of the conditions. And so on.

In all seriousness, I hope everyone stays safe and keeps their cool out there. And I hope our 2011 blizzard is nothing like Snowmageddon ’09.

(Link via Jeff Cenna @jeffc76. Awesome find, sir!)

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Surviving winter

Winter is particularly hard on people after the new year. After the holidays pass, all we’re left with is snow, frigid temperatures and perpetual gray for four months. And let’s not forget the cranky moods.

I’ve seen it—and experienced it—firsthand. The long stretch of winter makes grumpers out of the pleasantest of people and recluses out of the most outgoing. These days, I don’t want to leave my apartment. I don’t want to write in this blog. I don’t want to do anything, except curl up in front of the TV and rot my brain.

That’s why I’ve resolved to not to let winter win. We’ve got three more months of winter to go, and we must carry on.

Though they may not be the same as Bear Grylls’, here are my winter survival strategies:

Mix up the wardrobe

Living in a semi-tundra, your first instinct getting dressed is probably to throw on jeans, a hoodie and warm boots. Mine is. And (un)luckily, I have a job where I can get away with this. BUT I’m not going to do that. I resolve to wear dresses, jewelry, goldy gaudy chain belts, lipstick and even heels. It seems silly, but stepping up the wardrobe a notch does wonders for the mood.

The best part of this resolution is that you might need to do a little shopping to make it happen. Prints and colors, voila!

Stop complaining

Here’s the thing, we chose to live in Chicago or other respective cold locations. Not Florida, not California, not Mexico or the Caribbean. And complaining about how cold it is isn’t going to change the thermometer. Only make our cranky moods worse. So, let’s resolve to not complain.

Start a project

As mentioned, winter transforms me into a lazy bum. I feel uninspired 98% of the time. For instance, it’s taken me a week to finish this post. So, when the hankering to start a project strikes, I run with it. Like these New Year’s cards. My procrastinating self failed to get Christmas cards out or even addressed. So, I made these instead. I had grand ambitions to send them to all fam and pals, but they ended up going to the peeps who sent us cards. (Sorry)

Make yourself get out of the house

There are some days on the weekend where I don’t have a need to leave the apartment. Like today. My friends came to me since we were hosting brunch. I didn’t get around to leaving the apartment the rest of the day. Too busy sipping bloody marys, watching movies and napping. Joe just suggested getting Thai delivered. The restaurant is a block and half away. I vow to leave the apartment and pick it up, thereby saving $5 on tip and delivery.

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I’m tempted to add “Remind yourself of Chicago in the summer,” but I get annoyed when people say how great summer is during the winter. Because, let’s be honest, that’s just mean. We’ve got a lot of winter left.

What are your winter survival strategies?

If you are miserable and pissed off at Chicago, this week, Time Out Chicago had some nice reasons to love/hate Chicago.

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Filed under Chicago, city life, weather, winter

Keeping this for a winter’s day

Nine months of the year we complain about the weather in Chicago.

We pile on layers, sludge through snow, ice skate our ways to work, hibernate indoors, curse ourselves for not living in California, deplete our Netflix queues, dream of Caribbean vacations, order Thai delivery every weekend…all for glorious summer moments like this:

This is why we live in Chicago.

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