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Monday February 13, 2006, 00:33

I have consumed so much media in the past two days that I feel like my brain is going to pop. My apartment and life are both an incredible mess1 and I've been unable to empty a box that I had packed just before New Year's that was intended as a quick, one-day fix to get things off the ground and into the closet. It frustrates me when things are out of place and right now I can't seem to find a place for anything. I have been watching far more television than I ever liked to believe I was able to, and I have been recording movies with abandon, "to watch later," which makes the assumption that I will, at some point in the near future, have the desire and the time to watch "The Replacements" or, heaven forbid, "Underworld2." I have also been watching a wide variety of shows that air (and do programs on cable actually "air?" - I suppose they are just broadcast) on HGTV with titles such as "Design on a Dime" and "My First Home" which bring the aesthetic of a recently married Denver couple into your living room ("oh no, that's far too modern for us").

So assuming that the programs stored on the DVR are cringe-worthy enough even for me, in what can only be considered a state of mind only slightly less incapacitated than a full lobotomy, I have been trying to get through my backlog of books and newspapers that litter the living room. This morning, I was finally able to finish Thomas Friedman's "The World is Flat" which is, as far as I can tell, about globalization. And honestly, after reading it, I'm pretty convinced, and had a long argument to that end with a friend last night, while sharing a plate of penne. I was also able to get through the entire Saturday paper (save the book review) on Saturday, a feat which I have not been able to accomplish in recent memory. The Sunday paper never showed up, most likely due to the "inclement weather" they were all talking about, but that just meant that I didn't need to trouble myself with actually reading it. Besides, like magic, a copy appeared in the recycling bin outside the apartment, which I dutifully retrieved as I was disposing of the bag that my dinner came in. The stack of paper sitting on the couch has six sections in in that need reading. Two are from this weekend, two are from last weekend, and I'm fairly certain the final two will have news of Lincoln's assassination in them.

I might have read even more today, but I got distracted by the snow. Glorious, glorious powder for all ages came tumbling down from the sky yesterday around 4pm, began sticking around 11pm, and when I woke up this morning, the sky outside the window was white with snowy static flying sideways. By the time all was said and done we probably had 18" kicking around downtown, with drifts up much higher. When I was out taking photos (mostly of signs and dogs frolicking about), I managed to step in a snow bank that engulfed my entire leg up past my knee. The first snow of the season certainly didn't disappoint this year.

The thing that I just love about this city in the snow is the silence. It is glorious without the cars honking about and, in fact, without cars at all. For the most part, the streets are empty after the big snow, before the plows come around. Where today, many people were probably unable to even get to their cars, the city is hardly a place to be driving in the rain, let alone nearly two feet of the white stuff. And so the silence descends on the city, and the only sounds are of people laughing, because snow inevitably makes everyone happy. It could be that the snow is just fun to throw at other people and brings out the playfulness of otherwise stodgy city folk. Or it could be that the silence actually brings down the collective blood pressure of the city's eight million occupants, which leads to an overwhelming sense of calm. Or it could be simply that the dampening powers of snow are such that a thick covering will absorb all of the surrounding rumbles of the city, leaving only the cracks and rustles of the trees throwing off all their extra weight.

Everyone does seem to work harder in the snow, from the trees to the guy shoveling the sidewalk. But in the end it is always worth it.



1. Ask me about that. It's not a very good story, but it's pretty much the one thing that's occupying my entire life right now.

2. Oh how I wanted to like that movie. Oh how I love the costumes and the Kate Beckinsale, and oh how horrible it was as a movie, when I saw the bulk of it one night while waiting for french fries at that terrible hamburger shop on Avenue A.

Update: I watched Underworld again, this time in a different setting (at home) and this time in a completely different mindset (not receiving bad service at a fast food joint) and despite the fact that my recording cut off with about a half hour left in the movie, I actually really, really enjoyed it. Go figure. Here's to second chances.

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