Monday, December 16, 2013

Snow Day

Today isn't exactly a snow day, though on Saturday we did receive enough snow to effectively shut down the entire Metro Detroit region. It's more of a "Wow That Snow Totally Killed Our Sales So Now We Can't Afford To Have So Many People On Staff Today" day. I was originally scheduled to work 61 hours this week and 10 days in a row, so I am pretty delighted by this break!

Judging by the snow piled on my balcony, we had about 6 or 8 inches of snow dumped on us. Snow fell for about twice as long as the weather reports kept saying it would; they just pushed back the time they thought it would stop by another hour or two when the snow didn't stop at the previous estimation. This is Michigan, and it snows a lot here, but Southeast Michigan is the least prepared for it. When I drove to work on Saturday morning at 8:30, I was honestly worried for my safety with only 2 inches of snow on the ground! I grew up in Lake Effect country, so I have driven in 2 feet of snow with no worries because in the rest of Michigan, the local governments send out fleets of snow plows and de-icing trucks as soon as the snow starts accumulating so that by prime commuting time the roads are clear and dry. 

Not so out here. Ann Arbor only plows the major roads and not until the snow has stopped falling. Despite being one of the most affluent cities in Michigan, they insist there isn't enough money in the city budget to pay for snow plows. I call bullshit on this. They also insist that there isn't enough money to pay for all the street lights in town, so they took away roughly 50% of them (some are still standing, they are just dark), making my walk home at night from my job to my car even more fearful because I can't see where I am going or if anyone is waiting to jump me. 

This may be a ploy by the city to encourage people to forgo the free parking in the surrounding neighborhoods and instead spring for the well-lit parking garages or metered street parking that is close enough to downtown to be lit by street lamps. It has worked on me. I pay to park at the meters about 999% more than I did before the street lights went dark. The serial rapist that was on the loose a couple of years ago is still at large, and I don't want to be one of his victims should he choose to return. Also, since the neighborhoods don't get plowed in winter, I run the risk of having my car get stuck should I venture into them, and I can't afford a tow truck.

Since I have the day mostly to myself, I am catching up on mending pants for work, cleaning my disaster of an apartment, doing a load of laundry, and setting up goals on SparkPeople. I tried doing Weight Watchers again this year, but the food options were not at all what I wanted. In favoring foods low in fat, WW promotes high sugar and sodium foods and a diet extremely lacking in whole foods. A whole food diet can be made compatible with WW, but it seems silly, in a way, because a whole food diet is healthier because it includes saturated fat, which is good for the heart and arteries. WW would have you believe drinking milk is bad for you when it is, in fact, quite healthy! SparkPeople puts an emphasis on a balanced diet, which is much easier, and more intuitive, to follow.

I also plan to run some errands because the sky is mostly sunny and the roads are largely clear at this point. The 9 cars I saw over the weekend abandoned by the roadside have all been removed. Most importantly, Greg and I get to spend an evening together, even if it does involve Christmas shopping.

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