Monthly Archives: December 2009

Frosty the Towman

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It’s that time of year when people put out their “Best Of” lists. I am only going to regale you with one list, because generally I find them obnoxious, and also because I can only think of one list (and even that only has two entries). Here it is:

Best Visual Scenes from the Christmas Season

  1. The shiny white snow covering the mountains on my drive home to Western North Carolina
  2. The Santa hat on the head of a towtuck driver

I would give you a list of Best Books Published in 2009, but I really didn’t read all that many recent publications, and besides, such a list would be too similar to the Fourth Annual Book Rundown that I shall present on 1 January.  (If I were doing Best Books Published in 2009, however, I would include Women’s Nonfiction: A Guide to Reading Interests. Not that I am biased.)

I’m in something like my fourth month of writer’s block now, probably I should ask my doctor if they make a pill for that, but anyway I am parched for things to talk about. Though actually that does remind me of something, come to think of it:

When I lived in Western NC, I visited an optometrist or an opthalmologist or some such, I forget exactly which, but the important point here is that he was an eye doctor and he was mean. I recall crying after one of my visits to him. I think I chalked it up to my being moody and oversensitive.

But when visiting home this Christmas, Mom and Dad showed me an article from the local paper. Turns out the optomawhositsatrist is going to have to defend himself against the medical board. Apparently he told one of his patients that she was too fat, that overweight people were a burden on society, and for good measure he added that she shouldn’t have so many kids if she couldn’t afford them. Plus he poked her in the thigh to accentuate his point about body weight.

So here I am vindicated a decade later. I wasn’t being hypersensitive those times I visited that doctor. He really was a jerk.

I suppose that being a jerk doesn’t violate the Hippocratic Oath (do eye doctors take that? dunno) but it does seem unwise for a person in a service profession. It’s amazing he didn’t go out of business years ago; I think he managed to hang on as long as he did because he was the only optowhateveratrist in town, or at least that’s what Mom told me when she made me visit him way back when.

Good. This post doesn’t look quite as anemic as it did. Check back Friday for the terribly detailed analysis of the books that I read AND WROTE in 2009.


Please work, reverse psychology. Please work.

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With the rare snowfall that we had Friday night, the roads turned icy and treacherous. Just parking my car in the apartment parking lot was a challenge. At that point I pretty much resigned myself to having to stay home from work the next day. I became slightly more hopeful at 3:00 a.m., when the preciptation turned audible: this meant the snow had warmed up to rain. It was a sleeting, icy sort of rain, however; realistically, it just didn’t seem possible that the roads would be drivable in the
coming hours.

Imagine my delight when I woke up four hours later! Much of the unsightly snow had
vanished (and as an added bonus, the head from the SnowLady I’d crafted the other night
had fallen off, a sure sign that things were melting) and the roads, thought damp, were
quite safe. Hardly believing my good luck, I dashed to the library website, where there was no indication whatsoever that we would close! Just to be sure, I called not one but two phone numbers (the number for library closings, and the number for county closings). Joy of joys, it was true! The library would be open!

Once at work, however, it was touch and go. Throughout the day, the news got worse and worse: the entire state, apparently, was blanketed in snow. Words such as “savage” and “brutal,” and I am not kidding about this, showed up in the headlines. Quite possibly the only safe haven from this brutality was my little neck of the woods.

Fortunately, the weather stayed in check throughout the work day. The power never once flickered, and serious snow only started again right when we were about to lock up the library. Whew! That was close!

I only hope that the snow that’s fallen this evening will clear up for tomorrow. I would despair if I had to start my Christmas vacation a day early.