There’s no kind of atmosphere

So here’s the deal, I do understand cold. Don’t think I’m a wimp who can’t take the chill of Chicago. I moved here on purpose. I moved here with the intent of tackling winter with the ball busting mentality I was born with. That doesn’t mean I’m an idiot.

The past … Jr. High

For three years I went to one of those crack whore schools where you have to wear a skit (please note, when I attended, girls couldn’t wear pants! Man I would have been happier in pants…). Anyway, go to Southern California in the winter. It’s only about 40 maybe 30 degrees (Fahrenheit, people!). That’s nto so bad. But put on a knee-length, black watch plaid skirt, polyester, throw in the wind factor of being close to the ocean and remembering that California’s idea of central heating is laughable, winter sucked ass in Jr. High. Seriously. You were allowed to wear tights, blue or nude, but they had to be slightly opaque. If the teachers couldn’t see skin under the tights, they were too thick. Yeah. Oh, and the shoes? Saddle/oxford. The socks were white or blue (and while knee socks were permitted, warm up ‘leggings’ were not). I tended to wear shoes a size too large and steal my dad’s wool socks. Don’t look at me like that, I have big feet and Dad has small ones.

The past … High School

I’m also one of those boarding school brats. Shut up. I went by choice and I don’t regret it at all. But. Boarding school. Halfway between LA and San Francisco. In the mountains. No central heating. That’s right. We chopped wood to make fires to heat the water for a hot shower, and we also had to make fires in stoves to heat our rooms. Suck on that. No heat in the classrooms, at all. One classroom only had three walls. Rain, sun, sleet or the occasional snow. No heat. Try playing soccer on a half frozen field, when you’re the goalie, eh? It was cold. You’d be chilled to the bone, and you couldn’t take a long, soothing shower, because you had to share it with 15 other girls. You’d get clean, start to feel your extremities, and then run off to dinner in the unheated dining hall. So I know from cold.


Here’s the thing, though. I know cold. I’m it’s friend. I have a poofy ass down jacket (aka The Blueberry, tm ASusan), thick wooly socks in many colors, and lined chinos. I’m prepared. I also don’t wear all of them unless I’m skiing or it’s 0 degrees. Today it’s 8 with a high of 18. So it’s sweater, pea coat, woolly hat and scarf, mittens, and normal pants and socks. I get my coffee and wait for my bus to work. Bus arrives in five minutes, nice ride to the main office, I check on some stuff and then go to catch a shuttle to the hinterlands. My office building is about a mile South of where the main office is, and no busses run by it. Since it’ was cold, I opted for the shuttle, provided by the office, which runs every fifteen minutes on the hour.

I’m set to go at 7:25am, so I wander to the shuttle bus stop and … it’s not there. Hm. Left early. My options are now to (a) walk a mile when it’s 8 degrees (take away 10 for the wind chill and we have -2), (b) get some cash from the ATM inside, and linger until the next shuttle shows up in about 10 min, (c) taxi. I pick B and walk into the nearby office to front my funds and get a coffee. I linger, and meander back with a couple minutes to go before the shuttle arrives. Since it’s due to depart at 7:45, I assume it’ll be there by 7:40, like every day. It’s about 7:38 (I have an analog watch).

At 7:55, the wrong shuttle arrives. See, the big bus with comfy seats is the 15/45 minute bus, while the city-type bus is the 00/30 bus. We’ve got the city-type one. As I get on, now frozen, the driver starts to pull out right away, not even waiting for 8:00, and explains that the other bus is ‘missing’ and he’s covering both runs.

And the heat isn’t working.

Needless to say, I’m sorta cold today. Can you turn up the heat?