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Central Ohio Is Closed

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The blizzard of 2008. Twelve to 15 inches on the ground and more coming, but given the wicked snowdrifts, it looks worse from my back door. There’s a level three snow emergency in my county, which means you have to be gushing blood from the head in order to have an excuse to be on the road. The airport is closed, all high school events, churches, factories, restaurants, and even Municipal Court is closed. Those due for arraignments have to spend an extra night in jail. They can join the rest of us. I’ve been stuck in this house for two days with my children and bored pets. I’d take the peace and quiet of the county jail.

Okay, time to shake off the snow time blues. This is the Age of New Media right? My entertainment options are endless. We are a very tech savvy family and have all the state of the art musings at our disposal. We should have no trouble passing the time today.

My TiVo has been bare ever since I cleaned it out during the writers’ strike and my satellite TV isn’t working, likely because there’s a foot of snow resting on the dish outside. I head to the media cabinet. Let’s see… I have seven seasons of The West Wing, ten seasons of The Simpsons, the entire Monty Python’s Flying Circus TV and movie collection, two seasons of Supernatural, two seasons of WKRP in Cincinnati, and only two seasons of Scrubs? How did that happen? I could have sworn I had at least five. I instantly check my memory to see which cunning friends and relatives have pilfered my collection. I also notice there’s no X-Files. I ask the hubby where that was. We never had it? Didn’t I get the entire nine season collection for Christmas or my birthday (which is shortly after Christmas)? I could have sworn it was high on my list. No? Looks like I’m going to be on Amazon today, assuming the Internet connection works.

I’m interrupted by my husband’s loud exclamation about the back door. The snow is piled up so high it’s going to take a team of sled dogs to get us out. I know my miniature dachshund can’t do it. Looks like I’ll be cleaning up messes in the basement today. Think I can train the dog to use the cat litter box?

Anyway, back to entertainment. I go through the movie collection next. I’ve got every Pixar, Disney, and DreamWorks animated flick ever created. I’m not announcing that with pride. Relatives know these DVDs make affordable Christmas gifts for kids. A good majority of them are still in the shrink wrap. I did find one gem in that mess.

For any adult who hasn’t seen Hoodwinked, you are missing out. The kids can watch it, but there are so many nuggets in there for adults one should suspect children were not the intended target audience. It’s an ingenious yet twisted take on Little Red Riding Hood. Picture a granny kicking butt and taking names through extreme sports, a schnitzel truck driver channeling his inner Paul Bunyan, a typecast big bad wolf cleverly done by the guy who played Puddy on Seinfeld, a weird cast of woodland creatures trying to investigate a crime scene loaded with baked goods, and top it all off brilliantly by Andy Dick portraying one malevolent bunny. That DVD ought to kill a few hours.

Hubby puts on the local news via rabbit ears. I do find irony in watching local snow coverage through a snow-filled TV screen. The local weekend crew is trying to kill hours to cover the fact that there’s a freaking lot of snow on the ground. I love the crack investigative reporter telling us not to go outside without a thick coat and some gloves. I have a better idea, don’t go outside at all, or how about someone tell me who I call for a sled dog rescue? A breaking announcement just came on with the most tragic of all news. They just closed the mall.

I fetch the iPod. I have 4907 items on my iTunes and my playlists are a mess. This would be a great day to catch up on that dream project of creating playlists based on TV shows and movies. I see that Dirty Dancing playlist coming together. What? Both soundtracks are already on there? Must be my husband’s doing, for I never bought those. I move onto playlists based on TV shows. The list from The West Wing is about ten songs long. For a bunch of middle-aged political yuppies, they didn’t listen to much great music. Plus, I don’t have The Jackal. I do have the Foo Fighter’s Miracle though.

I try songs from Supernatural. There’s a ton of great songs on that show, and I grew up on the same classic rock creator Eric Kripke did (I’m originally from Detroit, he’s originally from Toledo). What do you mean I can’t get any Bad Company songs on iTunes? That weakens the list. I do have Asia’s Heat of the Moment though. I have no idea how. I’m appalled to find I don’t have any Triumph on iTunes. One of my favorite bands in the '80s? The act responsible for one of the best concerts I ever saw at Joe Louis arena? I go to the basement to dig out the CD’s. What? I only have them on tape? I’m going to be spending some money on iTunes today too.

My lists are interrupted so I can break up a death match between the kids over the GameCube. Not bad. I got until almost noon before breaking up the first fight. Maybe this isn’t such a bad day after all. I take another look out the back door. We’re getting beyond sled dog stage. Backhoe is now the better option. It’s supposed to snow for several more hours? Now the outlet mall is closed too.

Time to check out the Internet. Oh, the world at my fingertips. I’m no longer isolated from civilization. This would be a great time to catch up on all the YouTube links people have sent me. Wow, all this stuff is really lame. Since when did my friends find humor in people acting like morons? I need new friends. The forums I frequent are unusually quiet today. I suspect that’s due to people being out on a Saturday living their lives. Surely, Central Ohio isn’t the only place snowed in, right? Maybe it is.

Since television is my primary area of interest, there’s not a lot of web buzz right now because my favorite shows won’t be returning until April. Onto the sports sites! I hate basketball, but I’m instantly drawn in by spring training in Florida. I don’t care if all the players I’ve never heard of are playing very bad baseball right now, they look warm.

Where else can I surf now? Somehow, I end up on local websites to get news about the snow. I find a warning that you aren’t supposed to go out in a car without a snow shovel, a cell phone, and a flashlight. They forgot the thick coat and gloves! Also, if the only person allowed on the road right now is bleeding externally, don’t you think they might not be in the frame of mind to remember those things? Oh no, now the Internet connection is slowing to a crawl. Time to give the information superhighway a rest.

My husband just fished out a new cat toy for our bored cat. For some reason, I’m mesmerized by watching him bat it around. My daughter is ratcheting up Guitar Hero III. For a ten-year-old, she’s got some game. She certainly blows all of us out of the water. I have visions of her going to all these tournaments and winning us some money, or at least some fame, but aren’t those the trappings of the rock and roll lifestyle? Of course, I can’t get her to touch the real guitar that’s sitting in my closet upstairs collecting dust.

After hours of exploring options, I give up. The blurry TV news is still showing pointless accounts from reporters standing outside measuring snow with a stack of Styrofoam coffee cups (what happened to a ruler?). I can’t see outside my back door anymore, I’m getting embarrassed in Guitar Hero by a ten-year-old and I’m too overwhelmed by all my possible entertainment choices when all I really want to do is go for a walk with the dog. We just got the entire Harry Potter book collection (yes, I’m the only person in the world that has never read them). I’m grabbing The Sorcerer’s Stone and going to my room.

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About Alice Jester

  • Chonda

    I would just like to say to you that I know how you feel. Being cooped up in a house with not one but 2 kids and a male that is on layoff is never a good thing, But I did survive. I wanted to pull my hair out of my head and stuff it in his mouth because all I heard was, I want Outtttt, I want outtttt, from him and then the kids running around screaming at the tops of their little lungs, it was enough to drive me to the nut house I tell ya. Thank god spring is some what near,hey maybe you can send out your dog to sniff out spring for us.. lol

    Oh well enjoy your books, those are great ones, for I own the movies plus I have read all the books.

    ~ Lost in the Ohio snow,send help or a back hoe~

  • Hi Alice. I live downtown, and from my perch high atop the Americana, I am astonished to see our bustling metropolis is nearly deserted.


    As you know, but most don’t, downtown Columbus seems to have a weather dome built over it. Rain storms seem to split, go around us, and then reform, and only half the snow we’ve seen today is very rare. I have a narrow railing on my balcony that’s only about 2 inches wide and I woke this morning to find about 5 inches of snow piled on top of it!!!

    Last time I saw anything like this was the Blizard of ’78. I’m seriously thinking of putting my Christmas lights back out!!!

    One word of reminder people, since I had a sideline of delivering pizzas in the off season.

    There are a lot of people too heartless that order delivery in weather like this and then stiff the pizza guy.

    Have a heart people.

    I may have loved reading this article, but I hated living it…


  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    I have only one question for you folks in Central Ohio (not you, Jet – I know your eyes are bad).

    Can’t you curl up with a good book and read something to your kids? I lived through blizzards too (anybody ever heard of Minnesota?) and I relied on books and the movie The Lion King to get me out of imprisonments like blizzards. My kids were little too once, and that movie, plus a few others, and the willingness to read them stories, did the trick.

  • Ruvy? A book??? how long has it been since you lived in the U.S. A book? Actually I have a library of over 1000 to read-that’s even after I sold most of them in the disaster last year.

  • Remember when blizzard stories were actually interesting?

    “There was a lot of snow outside so I had to use amenities like DVDs and the Internet. It was such a terrible day!”

  • STM

    Central Ohio has been closed for ages, hasn’t it?

    At least after 6pm.

  • STM, obviously you’ve never lived near Ohio State University…

  • Alice Jester

    Jet, it’s so good to see I wasn’t the only one stuck here in the wilderness. I was living in Michigan in the Blizzard of 78, and as far as snowfall goes, no, I haven’t seen anything worse than this. It just wouldn’t stop! Yeah, I hated living it too!

    Matthew – Welcome to the Age of New Media! Thanks for taking to heart this tongue-in-cheek cautionary tale about how New Media has taken over our lives all told by a mind that just saw a bit too much snow in one day.

  • Better you than me, sister. We just missed getting that blizzard.