Saturday, January 21, 2012

Sneaky Winter and Fun Reading


Winter weather is finally upon us. I was wondering if it would ever arrive! With 68 degree weather in the middle of January I found myself looking at the spring clothing lines that are sliding so cunningly in to stores.

BUT! I've managed to curb my wishful spring-time spending. Apparently the Farmer's Almanac is predicting a pretty heavy, and icy, winter gift at the end of this month or early into the next.

Let me tell you a story.

Once upon a time my University had a running history of NO CLOSE dates in the winter due to weather. Then.... I started school. More winter weather than you could shake a stick at in my first undergraduate journey. The University was closed at least one day each winter while I was in school. My theory? Ice gremlins.

With the weirdly, and suspiciously late, arrival of winter I can only suspect that its tardiness is due to mischievous planning on a large scale of either the ice gremlins or winter itself.

Today one of my Professors predicted an ice storm to come that may rival the one back in '09... and as the youngin's around me looked curiously at each other, no clue in their sweet little heads, I nodded knowingly and retreated back into that cold...cold... memory.

Frozen trees, downed power lines, smashed cars, slippery sidewalks, renegade icicles, transformers blowing right and left. No heat. No electricity. "Keep the milk out on the counter kids! Colder in the house than it is in the fridge!" I had to abandon my home, and my precious cat. I left a pile of blankets on the floor for him to burrow into, I knew he would survive. I then made the dangerous trek to an on campus community house, one with a fireplace. A mass of students had come, driven from their homes by the cold, icy anger of the winter storm. The fireplace was our source of heat, and a means of cooking what little we could find to eat. We lined mattresses, one next to the other, huddling together to keep warm in the cold night. BOOM! Another transformer blows and we wonder if we'll make it. Shivering and praying we finally fall asleep clinging to the hope that the ice will destroy nothing more.

So yeah.

In all seriousness the storm was really bad, in such a hilly/mountainous region ice on the roads is not a cool thing. I didn't have electricity at my apartment and no fireplace so I packed up a little overnight back when it first started to get really bad and went to the local Chi Alpha international dorm (they had a fireplace). We all played board games, ate a bunch of junk food (whatever we didn't have to cook), and stayed up late.

The scariest part of all of that for me... when that transformer blew up right outside of our window. First you see a light, and then the BANG. We thought the lord was comin' back!

Anyway, a lot of property was destroyed, but as far as I know everyone stayed pretty safe and sound. But I DO have an "I survived the Icepocalypse" t-shirt to commemorate the experience.

At least winter weather has come, I was worrying there for a while that it wouldn't. Mostly my worry stemmed from this idea that the longer it took for winter to arrive, the longer it would stay when it finally got here. I love warm weather and I'm hoping that despite the late arrival cold weather won't stick around past April.


I'm very excited about this year. There are a lot of new and exciting things that will be happening and I'll be very happy to blog about them.

I can't reveal the exciting stuff just yet so instead I'll tell you some fun stuff that isn't QUITE as exciting, but is fun to chatter about.


Aside from all of the Academic reading I'm trying to keep up with some leisurely reading as well.

At the moment I'm reading

ABARAT: Absolute Midnight

This book is the 3rd of the ABARAT books. I started reading ABARAT when I was in High School and there were so many years in between each of these books that I forgot about them. After the second book I figured that there wouldn't be anymore.


I was walking through Barnes and Noble looking for books to put on my "Too Read" list. I hopped over to the teen fiction section to see what there was to see and I was confronted by a wall of darkly shaded book covers with titles like "Blood Moon", "Midnight Kiss", "Werewolves and Other Creepy Things We've Made Sexy For Already Angsty Teens".

Okay, fine, I like a good supernatural book as much as the next person but the teen fiction section is just overrun. Where's the variety? Goodness.

Anyway! I was about out of the teen fiction section when a big, hard-back
book caught my attention. It was the familiar art work that got me to look again. And there it was... ABARAT: Absolute Midnight.

I snatched it up quick! Then had a change of heart when I opened the cover and saw the price of $30. Bugh. Good thing I have a Kindle.

The Abarat books were written by CLIVE BARKER. I have two of his other (more adult) books that I hope to start reading (and finish reading) this year.

Anyway, Clive Barker is a Horror Fiction author who has a great imagination. He also does the artwork for his books, and they're fantastically creepy and magical.

For Example:

(All images copyrighted by Clive Barker. I do not own these images)

Christopher Carion:

Abarat Cover Art:

Give ABARAT a read if you get a chance. It's darkly whimsical, but not as heavy as his adult fiction books.

Happy reading!

Until next blog,


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