Well, Washington, you must be verrrry pleased with yourselves. In the words of a headline my friend Adrianne likes to quote, You’re snow king! And you can’t handle it. Although God knows why not. I know this is an unusual event, meteorologically speaking, but it’s certainly not unprecedented. As long as I’ve been reading newspapers, you can count on the eastern seaboard to be buried at least once every two years or so, and you’d think you’d have it figured out by now.
As a Midwesterner, I think it’s amusing that every storm on the east coast is covered like an attack by al-Qaeda. You read the NYT roundup, and they mention how “60 million people” were affected by the storm — or, as the NYT likes to call on its college education from time to time, that many people had “Whittier’s snowbound American landscape recreated” for their edification. (The web story contains a link to the poem. Thanks, English majors!) The unspoken subordinate clause, “…30 million of them journalists.”
I’m just grousing here. Detroit got less snow over the weekend than Columbus, Ohio, which is where we were on Saturday. We’ll catch up, we always do, but by the winter solstice, I’m yearning for the blanket of white to reflect what little light there is.
If I’m talking weather on a Monday, it’s a bad Monday. In the great traditions of Short Attention Span Theater, let’s make this an all-bloggage day.
Staying offline most of the weekend was the best thing I’ve done in a while. I should do more of it. You sign back on after a day away, and discover Brittany Murphy died, and your first thought is “drugs,” your second “anorexia,” and your third, “It’s sort of embarrassing that I even know who Brittany Murphy is,” although I always thought her work as Luanne Platter was her best.
In three minutes, Michigan’s attorney general is going to outline a lawsuit he plans to file, designed to keep Asian carp out of the Great Lakes. Kind of funny, when you think about it. Sue the bastards!
You are commanded to listen to the podcast/webstream of “This American Life” from this past weekend, which was about the drinking culture on the campus of Penn State University, only of course it wasn’t just about Penn State, but college in general. You are especially commanded to do so if you have a kid in college, or headed that way. It was, how you say, grim. Listening to the students speak of the rituals of college drinking — the tailgating, the pregame, the brand names, the “fracket” — I was reminded of rituals at another well-known American center of binge drinking, the Indian reservation. The students aren’t yet consuming hair spray cocktails, but that’s the next logical step after Red Bull and Vladimir vodka, in my opinion.
I kept asking myself if I was in any position to talk. I drank in college. Almost everyone did. I sometimes overindulged. Almost everyone did. I did it often enough that in sober moments I reflected on how fortunate I was to live on a small, walking-centered campus, rather than one that required a car. I asked myself if I would stand on the steps of a fraternity house, dressed in a tiny cocktail dress and towering stilettos, shivering in my fracket (defined as a cheap, crummy jacket you wear to frat parties, because you know it’s going to get vomit on it by night’s end, and you don’t mind losing it), hoping my tits or legs or pout or whatever will stir the doorman enough to grant me entrance to the party, because that’s where you go to get hammered, and that’s what a girl has to wear to get in — if I would have done this at the age of 19, and I think the answer is no. I didn’t know anyone at Ohio University who had to go to the E.R. from drinking, a common event in State College, Pa. Barfing? Sure. Hospital admissions with a BAC of .25, the average among hospital visits? No. And O.U. was a party school right down to its bones.
Sad, sad listening. And I don’t know what’s to be done.
But I do know what’s to be done today, and that’s work-work-work. So I’m outta here.