Posts Tagged ‘Kirksville’

So, last night was an emotional mess, but I’m much better this morning.  As such, here are a few photos that exhibit just what kind of storm we received.

Photos courtesy of James, Jenn, and myself.

This was on Monday, around noon.  We’d actually only received about two inches by that point, but it seemed like more since it was on top of what we already had.

Around dinner time, it started picking up more, along with the wind.

And now, these are from today when Noah, Ann, Ginny, Jenn, Hillary, James, Jess, Nick, and I went adventuring around campus.  SO COLD.

Leaving Missouri hall.  Zac had cleared some of the sidewalk, but it still meant travelling through the drifts that went above our knees.

Outside of Missouri Hall.  Someone built a tunnel.

The drifts could fool you into not knowing that that’s a wall.  It was completely level.

Yes.  This is up to my waist.  I pretty much just yelled out, “LOOK AT HOW FUCKING DEEP THIS SNOW IS!”

Also, I’m a unicorn.  Or narwhal.  We sang songs and had battles.  You know, the norm.

Anyway, those are some of the pictures from this blizzard.  I’ve seriously never seen anything quite like it.

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I’m not sure how to explain the fact that I literally.  LITERALLY.  thought that I was going to die while walking back from work to my dorm.  It’s a half mile.  In a blizzard.  The snow was up to my mid-thighs, I was trapped in the middle of Violette’s parking lot trying to get inside so that I could get warm.  I couldn’t see Grim (where I had left five minutes before, but was only 100 yards from me).  I couldn’t see Violette.  The snow was in my boots and in my pockets and in my face.  And all I could do was sob and try to climb up the steps into Violette.


And it was locked.


I literally thought that I was going to have to call Noah and tell him not to come looking for me because no one was going to be able to save me but to have to call the police and help me.  I literally thought that I was going to be one of those three-foot snow drifts.  I have never been more scared of ice and snow and wind and cold.  I have never been in a situation where I felt so alone and lost by my physical environment.

And I just had to keep walking with the snow up to my knees and my tears freezing onto my face.

I literally thought that I was going to die.

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The first blizzard of the year is making its way south, punching Kirksville in its skinny-ass torso, and watching the thermometer drop degree by degree is making me dread leaving work here at Grim.  Grim.  I’ve seen all of two people here today–three if you count that one person came twice to get quarters.  It’s a very hopeless kind of place, very cliquey, with a sad quietness to it.  Granted, that means that I can spend my four hours-long work shift eating and reading Questionable Content comics, but I somewhat feel like I’ve landed in the valley of death.  Except this valley of death is significantly warmer than the outdoors, so I’m a little trapped.

I shouldn’t complain too much, though.  I made it through this week, Lord knows how.  I read 190 pages of psych, studied for two exams, and did decently well on both of them–all in less than two days.  It means I didn’t sleep or eat or leave my bed for a long time (seriously, my bed must be sick of me sitting on it or napping rather than just getting a full night of sleep).  I really summed up the situation in my latest Potters video.  The amount of insanity and sleepiness in my life is never the greatest of combinations.

Unless it causes these conversations to occur:

(knock on the door, Missi falls out of bed to answer it)
Missi: H…hello?
Jenn: Missi, for a Christmas card, do you want a gingerbread man or a Christmas tree?
Missi: A… A what?  …Ginger…bread…tree?
Jenn: No.  Gingerbread man.  Or Tree.
Missi: Oh…  They both sound lovely.  …Tree?
Jenn: Okay.  Thanks!  Go back to bed!
Missi: (closes the door and still stands there)  Okay?

(while contemplating if I should actually get out of bed and go eat dinner)
Missi: I could go now.  But I could wait until 6.45 when I need to leave for USMED but just eat on top of time because on top of time I can go to 6.23 and eat until 6.45 so I’m ready at the same time that I’m sleeping.  But would that hurt physics?  Does physics have feelings?  Can I hurt physics’ feelings?!
(and then I fell back asleep)

When I have little sleep, it leads to moments that make it totally worth it, even if I wake up the next morning sounding like death and looking like I’ve lost ten pounds from underneath my eyes and arse only.  Seriously, my jeans fit awesomely today, but the rest of me looks like shit from not having taken care of myself over the past week.  Rest assured that I will be fixing this and don’t plan on being in the same situation for quite some time.

Oh, and for those of you wondering how my little project went last weekend, awesomely.  It looks so beautiful and like it should be in the door of a German pub.  When I get my camera from those OfficeMax punks, I’ll show you an awesome picture or two.

The snow is picking up, though, and it’s glittering from the street lamps outside the window.  As much as it will be freezing walking back to MO, I can’t help but feel that it will be enjoyable.  Maybe I’ll stop for some cappuccino along the way.  Snow viewing and hot drinks are never a bad combination.  In fact, on the list of great combinations, it comes in around the top five, placing significantly higher than the combination of Missi and no sleep.

“From the courtyard, I floated in and watched it go down,
heard the cup drop, thought,
‘Well, that’s why they keep them around.'”

Have One on Me, Joanna Newsom

Update:  See, I could have gone the cheap route and have given you 20 Years of Snow by Regina Spektor or Snow by Emilíana Torrini or anything by Snow Patrol, but my musical gift for today just happened to be what came onto the shuffle.  Lucky you!

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You know what’s ridiculous?  The seven and a half inches of snow that has fallen in the past twenty-four hours.  Add that to the already nine inches of snow, and we’re talking about the most snow on the ground that I have ever seen in my life.  Okay, maybe not in my life; after all, I did go skiing in Colorado once.  But the most I’ve ever seen in my life in Missouri.  Absolutely ridiculous.

So, the blizzard moved in yesterday evening after a rather warm day (right at freezing is warm, don’t mock me), and being the marvellous person that I am, I developed a bladder infection over night so that I was forced to go to Walmart at two o’clock in the morning.  The roads were fine.  Sure, a little snowy, but it had only dumped two inches at that point, so it wasn’t too bad walking the three blocks to my car and driving around.  I got to Walmart in fine condition and started the epic search for meds.  Well, after wandering the pharmacy section for about ten minutes, I finally found what I needed and went to the check outs, which were sketch as fuck.  Seriously, there were all of ten shoppers at Walmart at two in the morning, and they were regulars.  I knew this when I was line and the checker said, “Hey there Todd, have your usual?”  You’re kidding me, right?  Usuals at two?  Proof that I’m in a small town.

So, I managed the snow and drove back to the dorms, taking my pills and sitting around all antsy like for them to kick in.  I started reading Lord of the Rings until three then internetted around in the lounge, amazing all those who were up (and why were they?) that I was actually awake.  And, after reading some web comics (which you should check out: Head Trip Comics), I finally felt well enough to go to bed around four in the morning.  And I slept until noon.  What a night, eh?

This morning, or afternoon, rather, I called my mum to ask for the doctor exchange since it was a Sunday and called to report my infection and get antibiotics.  They were on top of things, and within twenty minutes, my meds were being called into Walmart.

Well, to give the pharmacy time to get their shit together, I didn’t leave until around four in the afternoon.  Well, the snow was much worse by then.  Walking the three blocks took just about forever, and the snow that was falling was the kind that is cold and wet (remarkable description, I know).  It was the kind that, upon hitting any part of you, immediately melted.  So, by the time that I had gotten to my trunk, my scarf was an extra pound heavier with water, and my hair was completely sopping.  My shins were hurting from the walking, too.  With so much snow on the streets, you had to walk on top of the tracks from cars that had recently driven by.  Otherwise, you’d slip and probably fall.  And since this all would occur in the middle of the street (because who could actually find the side walks?), that would spell bad news.

Once I reached my truck, I threw my bag and scarf into the back and started clearing off the several inches of snow, avoiding the foot or more deep drifts all around the truck–which were actually not drifts and just the actual amount of snow that had fallen.  And, after much snow removal, I was on my slow way to Walmart, where I enjoyed watching others fishtail and go fifteen miles per hour down the highway.  These are times when I am so thankful to have a truck.

Well, my meds were ready for pickup, and I got some ramen and apple sauce for dinner since the cafeteria doesn’t serve anything on Sunday evenings (it encourages the houses to eat a meal together that they make, which is enjoyable).  Then, I drove back, walked in the snow, and got to my dorm room dripping and ready for dinner.

I measured the snow around six, to find that an area showing grass yesterday morning was now seven and a half inches buried.  For those of you more familiar with metric, that would be 19 centimetres in one day.  Which all adds up to 16 inches or 42 centimetres total snowfall over the past week that is now hanging out on the ground.  Wow.  That’s all I can say.

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When driving between St. Charles and Kirksville, one encounters over 200 miles of rolling hills, valleys filled with fog, and (during this winter) varying amounts of fresh snow.  The drive starts out on Interstate 70, passing the various cities that mesh into one giant St. Charles/St. Peters area before hitting more farms that separate Wentzville and eventually Warrenton.  From there, the mountains start (or hills from the perspective of someone actually living near mountains).  In the valleys, you get heavy fog that will cover the rest of the state if you keep driving.  When the hills start to fade away, you’re left with a whole lot of nothing until you get to Columbia and get passed by every single car with a Mizzou sticker that exists.  From there, it’s a hop onto 63, and you’re driving past farms for the next 100 miles, with short bursts of life from Moberly and Macon, with town populations of 10,000 and 6,000, respectively.  All along the way, the fog picks up, regardless of what time it is, and snow starts to pelt.  The accumulations reduce the four-lanes to one lane each way, and not a single driver cares if they’re driving on the lines.  They just care that they’re driving where the snowplough was an hour before.  It’s slow, and the fog and snow reduce your vision to even less of the farms around you, giving the drive an extra feeling of monotony.  But, eventually, you get to Kirksville with it’s 20,000 population, and it feels like you just stumbled upon a metropolis.

But, if you have some good music, something to drink, and a Taco Bell stop along the way, this is quite possibly the best drive ever.  It grows even better with a car full of fun people, and the snow is just an added bonus of beauty and excitement.  After all, isn’t it a little fun to drive through a snow storm?  I think so.

– – –

This weekend, I went back home to St. Charles partly to clear my mind and also to see my grandmum for her birthday and visit with family.  Unlike most of my trips home (that end in fighting and my wanting to immediately leave), this was actually enjoyable, and I made a major point of getting along with everyone.  It’s difficult for me, very difficult.  Especially with my mum, but I tried, and I won.  Granted, I yelled a little on Sunday when I got stressed, but it was an “I’m in a real hurry, sorry!!!” kind of yell.  So, not too bad.

My family ended up driving down to St. James, Missouri on Saturday night to attend my cousin’s band’s trivia night.  We slightly dominated, though not enough to win any prizes (fourth place out of seventeen tables).  The only prize we got was the one for driving the furthest, which I’m fairly certain my aunt set up just for our table since she was in charge of prizes and knew we were coming.  All in all, though, it was fun.  I enjoyed listening to my grandmum and mum’s conversations during the two hour-long car ride, and it was enjoyable to not have to listen to my aunt whine too much.  She only made a jab at my vegetarianism once, and I still shut her up with the now infamous comment of, “well, I’ve lost six pounds and went down a dress size.”  It works wonders.

I counted up the hours over the weekend to figure out that I had been in a car for 13 hours, sleeping for 18, and awake and out of a car for only 17 hours.  I know that doesn’t quite equal up, but it sounds like a pretty good weekend.  So, maybe I’m still in a valley right now, with a lot of freezing fog and snow blocking my view, but I’ve started taking the steps to get back up the hill.  And that’s what’s important.

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I woke up this morning and peered out of the window as usual from my bed, but I could only see the tips of the grass in a layer of white.  Snow.  I had forgotten that it was supposed to snow one to four inches over night, and I felt my self put off as I folded up my blankets.  But, when I climbed down from my lofted bed and peered out, I couldn’t stay mad at the snow.  It was just too beautiful.

There was an inch on the ground when I awoke and another inch after my first class.  I’ll leave for my second class soon here, and there will probably be another half inch on the ground.  When I get back from German, maybe the accumulations will be around three inches.  Who knows?

I’ve seen more snow this winter than probably the rest of my life combined, and I say that in all seriousness.  It snowed six times during my winter holidays at home, where we usually get about four snows during the entire season.  And, in Kirksville, I’ve already seen a good five snows.  That brings up our total to eleven different times that it has snowed and accumulated so far this winter.  Astounding.

– – –

Last evening, I was in a bit of an odd mood.  It’s a mood that has hovered over me for a week now, ever since the interview, and I know that a lot of it has to do with accepting defeat a little early.  So, since I wasn’t being productive, I decided to go out on a little walk.

Well, my little walk turned into an hour long walk, and it was nice to just clear my head by walking around campus with some music playing (Lord of the Rings soundtrack, Postal Service, and Paper Route, may I add).  I liked looking up the trees and sky while praying or just thinking, and, as I finished a prayer, the second I said “amen” in my head, a piece of sleet fell harshly into my left pupil, blinding me for a few minutes.  Then, a bubble (yes, a bubble) floated over to me.  I don’t know where it could have come from since no one else was out and it was dark.  I can only imagine that it had to travel at least a few blocks.  But, with all of that in just a few seconds, I was a little curious as to what God was up to.  Maybe I’m still curious.

And maybe it was nothing at all.

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I’m fairly certain that God was making tapioca pudding last night.  He mixed the ingredients well, cooked it up, then placed in a large glass bowl and into the refrigerator so it could cool.  Unfortunately, God hasn’t updated his kitchen in a while (after all of the years, who can keep track of the last remodelling, anyway?), and it seems the back of his fridge must have fallen off recently.  You can tell because all of the tapioca pudding in the pretty glass dish has crashed upon Kirksville.

I awoke this morning to the sounds of thunder and Nickel Creek, a surprising combination.  Minutes after, I was reawakened by the sound of sharp rain.  Loud rain.  Only after I got out of my lofted bed did I realise that it was sleet and freezing rain.  So when I finally walked to class at 8.30, I became suddenly aware of what must have happened to God’s pudding.

All around was the ice.  Plastered to trees, railings, and the ground.  That must have been that pretty glass bowl.  And mixed in was the tapioca.  Thick like fish eggs all over the ground, giving your morning walk to class a gushy and otherwise slippery sensation.

Poor God, I suppose he’ll have to make some more pudding for lunch.  Luckily, it shouldn’t take too long.  And maybe He’ll find that it’s time to renovate the kitchen.

A small example of this tapioca pudding sleet.

With every step, you could hear the trees creak and moan.  The weight of the ice has probably caused some limb damage around Kirksville.

My bike has seen quite a beating over the past few months.  Poor thing.  I’ll have to take it home, refill the empty tire, and scrub off the rust.  What a shame that it was so expensive and now so useless.

Seriously!  This rust is ridiculous.  My poor, poor bike!

I couldn’t even turn the handlebars because of the layer of ice.

This is what Mo hall looks like in front of my window.  My room is on the first level, behind this lovely tree so full of ice.

Missouri knows how to turn ice storms into something beautiful, that’s for sure.

(In all seriousness, there was a bit of freezing rain last night that turned into a hefty amount of sleet.  It’s slick and mushy out there, so be cautious and wear boots!  Also, avoid driving and standing under trees; they’re really quacking with the weight of the ice.  The temperature is dropping steadily, so patches of rain will turn into sleet/snow again, and water on the sidewalks will refreeze tonight and tomorrow morning.  Be wary if the salt trucks have not swung by.)

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I managed to get back to Mo hall safely last night, and I made it to and from class earlier this morning.  There was an encounter with a zombie while running from Dobson, but I luckily survived.

Unfortunately, I will have to make my way over to Baldwin tonight for a screening of Harry Potter, and I’m not sure if I will survive the night.  Zombies have begun to guard the exits of Mo Hall and OP.  Unfortunately, I live in Mo Hall, and OP is my safe spot next door (it take about fifteen seconds to run from Mo to OP’s safety).  From there, it’s a one to two minute brisk walk to Baldwin.  The zombies have begun to sanction off areas of Baldwin to guard it.

Fellow humans came through the living room today, where I was sewing up an old t-shirt (my shirt is ripped and jeans muddied), and they informed me of an exit in OP that was kept secret.  I will hopefully be able to use this exit.  Otherwise, I will have to tempt fate and leave through the exit that I have been using.

Once I’m in Baldwin, I will be relatively safe–especially since I will not be leaving until after dark.  By that time, I should hopefully be able to get out alive.

Wish me luck in surviving the night.

PS: As a side note, the death toll has now reached 195, and only 113 humans remain.  I can’t believe that I got this far!

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