...about nothing, it turns out.
The whole town seemed pretty hopped up for some snow action. We'd gone from twenty percent chance of wintry mix on Friday (this was last Monday) to sixty percent chance of snow Thursday night (this was Thursday night), and while Tarvis claims to have seen a few flurries, I kept checking out that window until after midnight and saw nothing. Instead, all of the roads in town became coated with that slick "black ice" overnight sometime between 10 p.m. and 2 a.m. And since the temperature stayed well below freezing until after sunrise, the roads were slick and dangerous all early-morning-long. (I believe I read that there were 100 confirmed wrecked between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m.) The city therefore requested that anybody who did not have to get on the road today stay home, because they were sick of cleaning up crashed cars or something.
Now, yesterday afternoon, all of Houston's schools and many churches already decided they were going to shut down today. And I do understand that, because the thing with this city is that so many people are coming from suburbs and on highways, and highways are always the last roads to thaw after overnight icings, and people coming from further away have to leave earlier, so the people in the most danger would be leaving at the most dangerous times, and it's just a good idea to call the whole thing off with a nice rambling run-on sentence.
I left for work at about 8:45 this morning. I was prepared to turn back if things looked as bad as the TV said they were. Fortunately, I take no highways to work, and I could tell everything in our parking area had already melted. There wasn't any ice left on the sidewalks or the pavement, so I was pretty confident about heading down Westheimer. Got to work (drove a little extra carefully, just in case) and received an email and a facebook message about fifteen to twenty-five minutes later saying not to bother coming in. This was 9:30. The work day technically starts at 9, though anybody involved in the previous evening's rehearsals isn't required in until 10. Though often people show up whenever they want to anyway. This marvel of efficient communication and timing is brought to you by the fact that we're not very good at making Official Decisions. But I was already there, and I had things to do, and so I didn't mind having a quiet morning around the office building. (The costume ladies were also there, and I dropped off some stuff at the other building and saw the shop crew and a box office person hard at work, too, so it wasn't creepy and silent like Omega Man or anything)
I believe, at this point, the highways were actually still closed, so several folks couldn't have made it in if they'd wanted anyway.
Eventually, the city started to realize around lunchtime that no, we weren't all going to die, so things started to pick up again, and by the time I went home it was like a normal non-school day around Houston. Most everybody ended up coming in to work around one or two o'clock. A lot of people were ticked that we didn't actually get any snow. I was kind of disappointed. Robbie was really disappointed. In fact, I awoke this morning to a sniffly silhouette of a three-year-old standing in the doorway of my dark room, lamenting "It didn't snow, Daddy..." It was kinda heartbreaking. I asked if he needed to climb into bed to cuddle until he felt better. He did. I got a little extra sleep.
I think some of the panic likely came from the fact that we've been getting weather reports from around the country all week long of SNOWPOCALYPSE and HISTORIC BLIZZARD OF 2011, and while nobody really expected that to happen here I'm pretty sure it still held some subconscious effect on the way some folks responded. After all, a blizzard so intense it drops snow from New England to freaking Houston? Big deal! Same principal explains why the city literally gridlocked itself trying to run from Hurricane Rita a month after Katrina left thousands of refugees on our doorsteps. People get spooked.
Oh, addendum to the other night's Goalie Fight post. The losing goalie in that bout, one Rick DiPietro, has had the worst luck with injuries these past few years. Which really sucks, because he's under contract for--not exaggerating--another TEN YEARS! He's one-third of the way through an epic 15-year deal. And the past two seasons, he was healthy for a grand total of 13 games. This year, I believe he's already been to the injured list three times, though he has managed to play in just under half of his team's contests. (Twenty-one games, I believe. Or something close to it)
Well, it was revealed today that, not only did Brent Johnson's one punch break the guy's orbital bone, but he also twisted his knee as he fell to the ice. Some guys can't catch a break.
Or can't not catch a break, as the case may be.