I’ll always remember snOMG (that’s “Snow: Oh My God”) as the day ALL of my clients cancelled a day in advance. It will be one of the favorite days of my life where me and my partner watched 5 episodes of Dexter, played with our three dogs, and we spent hours doing our separate “homework” while watching the blizzard begin to hit us on TV which intensified our excitement while actually seeing it and hearing it pummel our high-rise and wreack havoc on the streets below.
The next morning I woke up to an incredible sight. There were 10 foot snow drifts against buildings and snow so high that only tops of street signs and half of bus stops were visible. There were no people that I could see and there was barely any indication that anyone had been up that morning or had ventured outside because only our building’s sidewalk had been shoveled and there were not a lot of footprints or dog prints in the 20 inches of snow. Moving cars were non-existent because the snow plows could not keep up with the pure white stuff that whipped down from the sky and blanketed the cars that were parked on the curbs. The few cars that were in the middle of the street were abandoned and covered by snow as well. You’d think the dogs would have loved running wild in the middle of our usually busy intersection without leashes, but our morning walk/play time was a little exhausting for them because the shallowest snow was up to their necks.
As the dogs and I came in from our first foray into our winter wonderland, we passed Lisa, and Tom, my next door neighbors (on either side) on our floor. Lisa looked exhausted and was telling Tom that she didn’t get home till 3.a.m. that morning.
In my head, I was thinking, jon-david, you do not have anymore time to waste! You have a book to publish, you don’t even know how E-books work yet, you have to call Billy Dec and Carrie Fisher to ask them to review your promo copy book, the spare room is not going to paint itself and your writer’s ass is going to be a fat-ass if you don’t get to the gym today. Seriously: I had stuff to do and I hadn’t done very much, the previous day, during the blizzard, including make money. My goal oriented mind needed to get back on track. But the little voice in my head that makes sure that I actually enjoy my life of “doing and accomplishing” made me stop & listen. This was going to be a once in a lifetime story that Lisa wanted to tell and I wanted and needed to hear it.
Lisa was one of the few Chicagoan’s that worked past 3pm on blizzard day because new boss at her new job ignored the three days of news pre-warnings that was to prepare us all for the blizzard that actually became the 3rd biggest storm that Chicago had ever seen. He was obviously a man who didn’t listen to his little happy voice in his head very much; work had to get done, regardless of the weather warnings, so he made his employees stay at work. When Lisa finally left work, she had the foresight to call the city’s transportation department to ask which route to take home to Uptown. They said for her to take Lake Shore Drive, the 40 MPH “highway” that runs along Lake Michigan: the same lake that that every news agency had been saying to stay away from because of possible 25 foot waves which would ice-up and stop all roads it would come in contact with.
Well, Lisa was one of those unlucky people who were imprisoned in thier cars for 10 hours. Luckily, she had enough gas to keep her car running and she was finally plowed out only to drive all the way home to find our parking garage closed in drift. Her car was one of the ones in the middle of the street abandoned that I saw that morning. Here’s a YouTube video. It’s says it all.
I grew up in Southern California. It’s sort like its own one-season continent held together by freeways and ambition and it is mentally sectioned off into only five areas: L.A. basin, San Diego, desert, Orange County and Magic Mountain. There is no winter there and there is never going to be a Snowpocalypse. So there is never a forced opportunity to put aside the to-do list. I actually moved to Chicago to become a writer. My life as a salon owner in Long Beach was wonderful but there was no down time. It was: wake-up, run on along the beach, go to work, teach a class, go to a cocktail party, chamber meetings… And since it was always sunny, that “surf’s up—gotta go” attitude is always with you and you are outside, in the water, on your motorcycle or playing with your dogs outside all the time! I need angst. I need to stop and reflect. And I need a little friction to write about. I know my Chicago friends complain about being over the winters here, but listen-up people: it takes stamina to be sunshine happy, go-go-go all the time. Do you think you’d ever stay indoors to watch 5 episode of Dexter, or write books and blog or watch football indoors when you could be sitting on your back porch barbequing all the time? Speaking of sports—forget about it. Everyone in So. Cal. is apathetic when it comes to sports. We lost the Rams because no one went to see them—everyone is too busy achieving and being outdoors doing activities. Very few people support sports team there because no one, except me, is really from there anyway, so nobody gets attached to them.
So, today it’s Super Bowl Sunday and I double booked myself. Do we go over to Lisa’s? Or do I go to my buddy Mike’s because I kind of told him that his Glee party was not what I really wanted to do today and I reminded him that it was Super Bowl Sunday--so he switched it to a Super Bowl party.
And it snowed again! After the dogs’ morning play-time in the new snow, I soon realized that I wasn’t going to make it to church or finish my book’s screenplay or get anything else on my to-do list done. There won't be any time to get to the gym because by the time I finish this blog, my partner and I will have to have breakfast and spend a few moments together, before I have to make my way to work to do that one client from Indiana I had to reschedule from Blizzard Day—and then it’ll be time to start drinking beer and watch the game.
I will get my book out to Chicago and the whole world will be able to read it--someday. But I’ll always remember the time I began publishing my book because I did it during the big storms and the Super Bowl of 2011. Thank you, Chicago, I love your winters and the Bears, and the Cubs and Sox and Blackhawks and all of your sports teams. You make me stop and enjoy my friends and neighbors. I love you all. Hmmm, maybe my Indiana client cancelled today? I have a phone call to make.