On January first, Chris chrisamaphone quoted Doctor Who: "Well done, everyone. We're halfway out of the dark." From one point of view, that statement was accurate; from another, though, we were not halfway out of the dark but merely all the way into the dark, and just beginning to get the ship turned around. We had some friends over last Wednesday -- to watch Groundhog Day, naturally -- and for the first time, I realized that Groundhog Day falls at the midway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. In other words, I would argue that it's only now that we're halfway out of the dark.
But it appears that winter won't be leaving without a fight. First, there was last week's ice storm, which shut school down for a day. Then, yesterday afternoon, as Alex oniugnip, Will, and I were driving to the climbing gym, we got a call from our climbing partner, Andrew: his car had slid into the ditch on a rural road and was now stuck at an awkward angle on someone's driveway. Or maybe their lawn. It was hard to tell on account of all the snow. When we arrived, we found Andrew and a helpful stranger who may have been the owner of the driveway and/or lawn, both valiantly trying to dislodge Andrew's car. At that point, nothing had been hit, and no one was hurt. Just as we were about to help push, though, a truck came along a driveway next to us, tried to turn out onto the slippery road, couldn't get traction, gunned it across the road, fishtailed a bit, and finally came to a stop after clipping the guy wire attached to a utility pole. Meanwhile, as we stood there gaping, another car came over the hill that Andrew had come over when he'd gone into the ditch, and, trying to avoid the obviously out-of-control truck, veered off the road and promptly hit a tree. It was then that I ran to the top of the hill to stand in the middle of the road and wave my arms wildly before any more cars could come roaring over the hill and pile up on top of the ones that were already there.
The driver who had hit the tree was unhurt, but he was certainly upset. Someone called the police. More people arrived to help. A little while later, Andrew's car came unstuck, and he drove off, cautiously. Will, Alex, and I took off, too, before we could get stuck or hit. Just as we were all leaving, in a cruel twist of fate, a snowplow came through to clear the road and apply salt and sand. We rendezvoused with Andrew at the climbing gym, an hour later than we'd all planned to get there, and we had an abbreviated but good climbing session. I managed to get a 12-mile run in today, so I'm caught up on training now.
But, man, I'm ready to not run (or drive, or bike) in snow and slush anymore. I can't wait for spring, and in fact, I won't have to: my internship at Mozilla will start on the 14th of March1, so by the time it's officially spring, I'll have been in Mountain View for more than a week. I have two more trips planned before then: first, to Boston, where I'll be giving a talk2 at the Northeastern PL seminar in a little over two weeks; then, to Barcelona to run the marathon in about a month. Winter will end. I feel like my body and brain are both coming out of hibernation. I'm stretching, shaking out my limbs, feeling lean, hungry and full of nervous energy.
- And you better believe I'm bringing pie on my first day of work.
- Fisher-Price: My First Invited Talk™!