The Ice Storm ( no not a crappy ennui-drama about growing up in the 70’s )

Ice Storm in Austin

Hello there readers, this is just to let you know that my baby and I are making it through these wintry days in central Texas just fine. Saturday night we were over chez League having a charming evening and there was some discussion about sleet, ice, and snow.

With the 4x4 in place, we made it back home, feeling rather ho-hum about the affair.

We re-rendezvous’d with The League and Mrs. League at Alamo Drafthouse South to catch the fantastic Pan’s Labyrinth. As we exited from the 4:30 showing close to 7:00 the winds were strong, the rains icy, and it was generally not fun to be outside.

We headed to the local grocery store and, I kid you not, everything was picked over. I hadn’t seen the shelves so bare since the Safeway strike in California. It looked like the final days before a hurricane’s landfall. We ultimately decided to brave the rain and get a few days’ of provisions from another grocer. Thus we retired on Sunday evening.

Today we’ve not been outside. Well, actually, this evening we did briefly try it but after Lauren slipped on the steps we decided to head back into our 3rd story lair. Our stairs are now a treacherous, icy death-slide to oblivion ( can you sue a property management company for not sanding your stairs? ).

So, we’ve become shut-ins. I spent this fine holiday doing a bit of Guitar Hero II and catching up on some reading. Lauren, because she so loves her electric blanket doesn’t move more than a few feed away from the outlet at all times.

This evening we were to meet up with my mom and sister for dinner but my car’s glass was iced over and the stairs were all slippery; it just didn’t seem like a good idea to be out and about. Every time I check out the Austin Statesman I see another picture of someone spun-out and wrecked.

The last time I saw conditions in Austin like this was in 1998 when I returned from Christmas break in Houston to Austin in an ice storm. It was crazy. I was going up a ramp into a garage, lost traction, and started to go backwards out into the street. It was a scary experience ( everything was fine ) and I don’t care to repeat it. It’s odd that these things seem to be on a decade-long repeat rate.

Let me re-visit one point above, I really enjoyed Pan’s Labyrith, or si usted habla Español: El Laberinto del Fauno. Imagine the stark, violent, menacing world of Amon Goeth from Schindler’s List on a small mill in the Spanish countryside. This blood-thirsty maniac has acquired a new wife who, by a previous marriage, has an adorable daughter who loves fairy tales. This girl, Ofelia by name, envisions a rich fantasy world where she can while away the hellish hours as Stepdad from hell tortures, maims, shoots, and searches for anti-Francoist elements. And what of this fantasy world? It’s impeccably created, beautiful animatronics, characters, tasks and quests, all which help our heroine discover her true identity: a princess that wandered away from the immortal kingdom buried beneath the earth.

It’s a rich tapestry and is altogether a fine film. If it’s showing in your locality I recommend it to you.

It was actually reading back-story on the Spanish Civil war that whiled away many hours today, it’s a large and ill-understood episode.

This evening, after dinner, Lauren and I gave a watch to our friend Jim Dedman’s movie: Pleadings. I must say that my friend, and former editorial reviewer, has written a compelling independent film that had us really not liking some characters, feeling a lot of pathos for others, and interested through to the end.

Tomorrow is my first day back to work since the holiday and my Java class ( which I rather enjoyed, and am excited to put into practice ). I’ll be working from home because there was, just today, a 5-car pile-up right at my exit. I’ll hold out on the VPN until things get a bit warmer.

Tomorrow was also supposed to be my first day of classes at ACC, but due to inclement weather they’ve opted for a no-class day.