The snowstorm that has hit the city ironically referred to as Hotlanta has rendered me crib-ridden for the past 3 days. This is crazy stuff. The city of Atlanta at the mercy of…snow? This, folks, rarely happens here. More often than not, on the rare occasion that it has snowed down here, it has normally melted away the day after. We’ve rarely been subjugated to any post-traumatic weather consequences. However, this time around, we’ve had ice on the roads for the past 3 days (and will probably continue to have it for the next day or so). This is the first natural catastrophe over the past 5 years that I’ve actually been present for. The snowstorm we had on Christmas Day in The A a few weeks back? I was in Macon – where it didn’t snow nary an inch. The tornado that hit downtown years ago and caused damage to buildings throughout Downtown? I was in Savannah for St. Patty’s Day. The flood that hit the city that had most of Buckhead submerged beneath inches of water? I was traveling for business on the Left Coast. So, I’ve finally experienced a natural disaster in this city. You may be smirking in reticence…but…for us feathery soft Atlantans, a few inches of snow and sheets of ice is considered a bona fide natural disaster. They’ve postponed college openings a week. Friends of mine haven’t had to report in to work the entire week and may not have to for the rest of the week. It’s like Mother Nature trotted out Mariano Rivera in the 9th to shut down the city of Atlanta – and shutdown this city done did. Well prepared we are definitely not. However, no love should be lost between the citizens and the city. You can’t exactly prepare for the scarcely unexpected.
For the most part, I think people in The A are excited about the snowfall we’ve received this past weekend. Count me amongst the excited. I actually enjoy the winter. I love snow. I’m sure a lot of that has to do with the fact that our winters are short and not nearly as harsh as those experienced by folks in the Midwest and Northeast. That’s probably true…however…I love seeing snow on the ground. Now, the level of excitement isn’t nearly the same as when I was a kid, but I still get excited when I see snow flurries coming down.
I’ve mentioned before on this blog about how ambivalent I’ve become about anything that is current – whether that be the latest in music or the most current in news. I can’t even recall the last time I watched the local news for more than a few minutes. However, the only time I ever make it a point to watch the local news on the telly is whenever we have inclement weather (which is a rarity unto itself). I remember as a kid staying up all night to watch the 11 o ‘clock local news to find out…no…more like pray…that my school was closed the following day. More often than not, I was disappointed. I hated the fact that our weather changed so quickly so often that we rarely got to enjoy any snowfall for more than a day or so. I remember the big blizzard we had back in ’93. We received about 2 feet of snowfall, but didn’t miss a single day of school because it had all melted away in 2 days (the snow fell on the weekend). Anyways, that isn’t the case this time. The snow started late Sunday and has stuck around. I remember those good ol’ days when local news was actually quasi-relevant in my life. I watch local news so infrequently now that the only anchor I recognize is Ken Cook. If there’s a Hall of Fame for newscasters, that man and his legendary ‘stache belong in it.
What sad state is the news industry in when I only tune in for affirmation of weather induced postponements? Just saying. Then again, I am a valence electron on the perimeter of the atom of cultural relevance, so whadda I know?
On the flip side, since I’ve barracked myself in my home for the past 3 days, I’ve been able to catch up on a few movies. I saw The Kids Are All Right last night, per a recommendation by a cousin of mine (who I generally consider the film connoisseur of the crew). The general storyline of the movie involves the lives of a family headed by lesbian mothers and their cryokids (aka sperm donor children). The cryokids (an 18 year old girl and a 15 year old boy), curious in getting to know their biological father, reach out to him and begin a relationship with him. I don’t want to sound naive or uniformed…but…it was interesting to see the dynamics of a family headed by members of the gay community. The only person I’ve ever known that was gay and that had a family was the interior decorator I hired years ago. However, he didn’t really speak much about his spouse nor his child. So, my insight into that life is limited at best. Whether the actual dynamic represented in the movie was at all indicative of reality or not (probably not), it was refreshing to see a movie attack this storyline. I loved the fact that the movie didn’t engross itself nor concentrate the storyline around the fact that the main characters were gay. It was a movie about a family going through tough times together. The fact that the family is headed by lesbian spouses was just added background information. A solid movie. Not exactly 94% good (which is the rating it received on Rotten Tomatoes)…but…still a good flick. Sheck it out. Torrent that mother.
I’ve been unemployed for 2 months and haven’t exactly been able to parlay any of my free time into any sort of discernible progress. I wanted to give myself a couple of months to free up my mind and see where it would wander. I’m a week past the 2 month mark and am finding myself getting restless. I am contemplating a return to engineering. I’m not quite the Brett Favre of engineering (yet), but I had a feeling that I’d entertain the idea of an imminent return to engineering months ago when I foolishly proclaimed my “retirement”. More like time off than retirement…an indeterminate vacation I suppose. The driving factors for this are the ongoing mortgage payment I have and the impending marital costs that are shooting down the pipeline of the not-too-distant future. I fondly harken back to the good ol’ days when I broke less bread, but had less bills to pay. If I didn’t have a mortgage to pay, please believe my Brown behind would vamoose in the quickest to my ‘rents’ crib in L’Ville. Free rent and food? However, it may dull the shine of the anticipation and excitement my ‘rents feel whenever I make my weekly visits back to L’Ville. I swear to you, when I lived at home with the folks, they’d maliciously whip up the most mundane of Indian dishes on a daily basis. I would implore my mother constantly to expand her culinary resume to no avail. I was given the prisoner treatment: you’ll eat WHATEVER we make and you’ll got damn like it! However…once I moved out, things changed. My mother would call me early in the week and ask me about what I wanted to eat. She even started dabbling in cuisines native to other regions of India. I went from eating like a peasant to being treated like a King. Glamor life, my friends. Glamor life. Why exactly didn’t I move out and shack up on the corner when I was 12? I might’ve been eating like a pauper and munching on leftover tostadas out of the dumpster 6 days a week…but at least I would’ve got my grub on like a prince 1 day a week. I shake my head in disappointment at sacrifices never made.
Yet again, I digress. My point was that If I didn’t have a mortgage payment, I wouldn’t nearly be as concerned about slapping the ankle tape back on and grabbing tightly for a future employer. I’d probably wait at least another few months before even pondering a return to engineering. However, income is needed. I haven’t hit the panic button yet…but am currently considering taking the steps towards getting back in the 9-5 grind. However, this time, I want to take an opportunity where I’m not asked to work nearly as many hours as I previously had and where the travel is limited to an acceptable minimum (less than 20%). If I maybe had worked at jobs previously that fit that particular description, I maybe would’ve never quit in the first place. Who knows? Anyways, I haven’t exactly been able to produce any tangible results out of my fancy boy delusions, so…for the time being, I am considering a return to the grind. Maybe. I’m still looking into other opportunities as we speak, but engineering will remain the Kevin Kolb of my life (a solid backup). I haven’t yet given up on finding an alternate career…but at least I’ve given myself some time here the past few months to reflect on the path that’s brought me where I am.