Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cold. (Updated with Celsius correction)

I'm not one to whine much about the weather in Chicago. First of all, it's been done before--and better--by people who have lived here longer than I have.

Ok, I might be able to put a fresh twist on a bare recital of the facts--add a little zest to things, say, with a description of the way my hand got frozen to the car door this morning--but chances are, anything I'd say would have been said before.

But I want to tell you about today's parking situation, anyway.

On Sunday mornings, I park around the corner from the cathedral where I sing. The garage I park in is part of a development: there are a few shops, a Whole Foods, a Blockbuster, and an apartment complex. It's a typical one-block city development. Usually it's pretty quiet on Sunday mornings. And today, it was extra quiet because it was freezing--literally. When I left the house this morning, it was five below zero (27 C) or, to the metrically-inclined, minus 20.5 degrees Celsius.

After church, when I went to pay, the machine kept telling me I was using an invalid ticket. I tried four times, and the same thing happened every time. So I had to call the garage office on my cell phone, and they told me to go to the office.

When I arrived, things were pretty chaotic. There were two angry customers in the office, and two more customers yelling at the girls via cellphone. The girls were pissed off, too. Pretty much everyone was pissed off--even me. I mean, at first, I was sort of glad to have to go to the office, because this meant the problem probably wasn't my fault. (Because--let's face it, after all these years I know myself pretty well, and most of the time, IT IS.) But after a while, I started to get pissy, too.

I mean, I really shouldn't have had to make three separate phone calls just to figure out where the office was. But I did. And then when I finally got there, things were so ugly, it was like someone had let a bunch of aldermen loose.

At least with all the yelling going on, I found out what the problem was. Apparently the computer that runs the parking machines got so cold that it wasn't working properly. That's right--it was so cold the computer died.

So that's Chicago for you: a unique combination of freezing cold weather, dead computers, surly incompetence, rude assholes, and bloggers who don't know when to shut up.


  1. I would have driven through the wooden gate arm.

    But I am a tropical scofflaw, dripping with expediency.


  2. I'm guessing you mean -27C? In which case, holy mother of hell, do people really voluntarily live in places where it gets that cold? And do cars even work in those sorts of temperatures? Wow.

  3. I don't care.
    I'm still trying to figure out a way to live there.

  4. You just gave the agnostics, atheists, and pagans yet another reason to skip church on Sundays. Thank you.

  5. I am with ya there jen, lol. I mean... assuming you are one of those you mentioned and weren't being sarcastic and all. My ass stays nice and warm on Sunday mornings, lol. Right in front of my wood stove blasting out the fires of hell. Which is probably where I could end up some day. I mean.... if I weren't such an atheistic pagan and all.

  6. Yep. And in Ann Arbor this morning, our outdoor thermometer froze. It says 68 degrees indoors. -- degrees outdoors.


    What, exactly, is that in farenheit?

  7. It ain't just Chicago. My BFF, her MIL and I were JUST talking about those damn parking machines today, and you described EXACTLY my last experience with them, in the freezing cold. Sigh. I hate those machines.

  8. I fixed the temperature to the correct amount in Celsius.

    I'm betting Kim is still going to faint away when she sees it. And then go turn up her air conditioner.

  9. I actually yearn to live somewhere that gets that cold - because I live somewhere where there is no snow ever so of course the idea of living somewhere where it snows has all these romantic notions of open fires and big mugs of hot chocolate. And NONE whatsoever of actually having to function in it.

    And BTW - we don't have air-conditioning. We live about 200 metres from the beach and apparently the cooling onshore breezes are meant to do us just fine. Which they largely do.

    True Sydneysiders try and convince themselves that the temperatures year round do not warrant air-conditioning of any sort, which is stupid because summer is so damn humid I dream of air-conditioning while winter does get cold enough for me to imagine underfloor heating.

    I can't believe we're discussing the weather.


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xxx, Poppy.