Ajax Bell

Author of the Queen City Boys books

How I spent my winter vacation

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Today was a do nothing day.  It snowed and snowed and snowed.  Tons of snow. Okay, well, a little snow in general, but a lot of snow for Nashville.  We just aren’t equipped or prepared for it this far south.  And it was a little layer of ice, a few inches of snow, more ice, more snow and a final topping of ice.  Suffice to say, given the opportunity (and a rare Saturday off work), I stayed in bed.

Which isn’t to say I did nothing.  I managed to some stuff.  I did dress up all warmly this morning to go clear the snow off the porch and steps (for the fourth time), only to discover that after the previous clearings there was nothing left but ice.  Am considering dumping a couple buckets of warm water down it tomorrow.

Since I had pants on already, I took a few pictures, just for the memories.  I confess, I just don’t like snow.  I get it, I mean, I know people like it.  They like snow sports and days off school and the sort of freedom to goof off that Americans get when it’s a rare or major snow.  But I don’t like it.  Yes, it is pretty when it’s freshly fallen.  Yes, it is quiet and pleasant for a romantic walk or an introspective one (if dressed properly).  Still, I don’t like it.  Sledding?  Cold, wet gross and mostly associated with getting snow down the back of my pants. Not fun.  Ditto snowball fights and snow angels. And, after the initial pretty snowfall, urban snow is just gross. Mashed up, dirty, trodden on and weirdly polluted.  Traffic is awful.  Especially in places like Tennessee where almost no one knows how to drive in it, and the few transplants who do either opt not too, or get too cocky and forget that all the other people on the road have no idea what they are doing.  I just don’t like it.  It makes me cranky, crotchety, bitter and unpleasant.

Um, oops, oh yes, I wasn’t ranting, I was detailing my day.  So I went outside.  Then I came back in and hunkered down with my laptop all day.  I installed all the software that had fallen by the wayside when I updated my OS.  I reinstalled all my fonts and lost some time to finding a few pretty new ones (I do love fonts).  I cleaned out my browser bookmarks (backed up first, of course).  5 years of bookmarks.  FIVE YEARS.  Whole folders of hundreds of links I hadn’t even looked at in 2 or 3 or more years.  There’s something oddly satisfying about doing that kind of clean up.  I tided a few folders on my computers.  Organized some photos.  Backed up everything on my external drive.  Managed to clear up 54 gigs of space on my laptop (a lot of stuff had gotten duplicated in the transfer after the OS upgrade, I guess).  Spent a little time tweaking things, as Windows 7 is easy and lovely and light but still new in some ways. I made to-do lists of other things I need to do (which I will start on as soon as I post this). I shopped for and purchased a new bedspread (mine is functional, and in decent shape, it’s just uncomfortable and I kind of hate it). It was a day of nothing and still something of a useful day of clearing up loose ends.

I also watched Twilight.  Now, I haven’t read the books and have no intention of it.  I have very clear idea of the plot through the whole series and I know why some people like it and why others don’t.  I’ve heard critiques of author and of the film.  The whole thing borders on a pop culture joke. Still, I was curious so I watched it.  I admit to liking some pretty lame movies.  I don’t expect my entertainment to always be highbrow or anything.  And overall, for what it was, this movie wasn’t that bad.  It was silly and very cheesy but could have been enjoyable.  However, Edward (or rather the actor playing him) really ruined it for me.  Wow, his BAD BAD BAD overacting and weird pained looks and just bizarreness in how he played the character.  It was painful.  And also, the movie was pretty beautiful in parts (enough to make me really homesick for the West Coast), but I’m unclear on the decision not to have shot it on the Olympic Peninsula, where it takes place.  I recognized a lot of the PNW locations they used (mostly in Oregon and south central Washington).  They were gorgeous locations, but they didn’t look like Forks.  Perhaps the choice was made because there isn’t much picturesque about Forks.  Don’t get me wrong, I have a lot of good memories tied to Forks and the surrounding Reservation and forest land.  Just, you know, it doesn’t look anything like central Washington or Oregon.  And yes, it was a cheesy movie, but aside from Edward’s bad acting, what really pulled me out of it was not at all feeling  like where they filmed it looked right.  Like it was green and grey and wet in all the right ways, but it wasn’t the coast.  It lacked salt air or something. I suspect I’m a minority of viewers who would have such a problem.

I’m actually quite cheerful and pleased with my day, even though I suspect this post comes over all rantypants and insane.

Hi!  What did you all do with your Saturday?

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