Thundersnow? Chicago loves to talk snow (it's in our blood)

February 1, 2011

A story: Thundersnow to the rescue!!!! Thundersnow? Is that a real thing or did Tom Skilling make that up? No, it's real and I guess very dangerous. Thundersnow is the 3.0 of blizzards. I don't know about you, but the more I hear about thunderstorm and danger and dire and destruction and dire and thundersnow, the more I want to go outside and witness it firsthand. Thundersnow might even close Navy Pier.

And memo to local blogs and Twitter: Cool it on making fun of the mainstream media's coverage of the snow. I've read so many people making fun of the media's coverage, tweeting and blogging that  'It snows in Chicago, duh!" over and over and over. Most of those folks aren't from here. When it snows in Chicago, and I mean big snow, people expect it to be front page news. Our little AP story from Sunday night saying there was going to be a blizzard this week has seen thousands and thousands of hits, even today. People want it because snow forecasting is in Chicago's blood. Snow storms are markers for our history. My mom just told me yesterday that the first time she ever got a day off from CPS was because of the '67 blizzard. Bilandic could probably trend on Twitter for all the remarks about his mayoral snow-removing meltdown. And a few of us have posted and remember 1999.

Schadenfreude (my comedy group) was doing "Live from the Heartland" at the Heartland Cafe on January 2, 1999. So we busted up to Rogers Park for this interview in the middle of the blizzard. We didn't die. And we have a great memory together. I'll never forget trekking up in blinding snow and waiting for the Red Line which never seemed to come. I remember getting home after the show and looking around my neighborhood, unrecognizable from the bright white snow. I remember that my girlfriend at the time (and now my wife) had to stay an extra couple days because we couldn't get her car out. Those are good memories from a blizzard that everyone took very seriously. I suggest you get out in the blizzard, but don't die. That's my suggestion.

At the end of this storm, Chicago will have experienced something together. Snowstorms are looked upon as badges of honor. If you lived through it, you can talk about it at Thanksgiving and other uncomfortable family engagements. It might be the only topic of conversation. This will be my third Chicago blizzard. I'm excited for my three-year-old son - this is his first. 

B story: I broke down this week and got cable. Yep, for the first time in my adult life, I will be able to watch USA and Lifetime. For the longest time, I was able to avoid cable television by just having antennas. But something clicked over in my building last week and now I'm forced to go with basic cable for any television signal (or at least one that has more than three channels). So what are some tips to avoid cable-rot? I can't get myself up for it. There is really nothing to look forward to watching, that I don't already Hulu or catch on Netflix. Please let me know of some ways to navigate cable TV and what I should be avoiding. I shudder at the possibility of surfing 80 channels over and over again.

C story: Achy Obejas has an interview today with Patricia Van Pelts Watkins. She is a mayoral candidate that had very little going for her until Carol Moseley Braun wisely quipped that she was on crack. When I say wisely, I can only assume that CMB has a long-term strategy to make it seem like she's losing control of her campaign, but in the end will flip it, give it the ole' 180 degree treatment and give us that "we get it" moment we really want to have. I really want that moment, Carol. Otherwise, I'm afraid we are watching live coverage of a train wreck on the local news. Wait, I get that on cable too, right?

D story: Gery Chico didn't fill out his questionnaire about historic preservation. He was the only candidate that didn't. Might we take from this that Gery Chico hates old buildings and if elected, will do everything in his power to eliminate architectural preservation? Probably not, but these off-the-wall remarks are what can happen when you don't fill out questionnaires. Speaking of questionnaires, did you see Alderman Bus filled one out? He also released his tax returns.

Weather: I haven't been paying attention, I think it's supposed to rain or something?

Sports: Don't look now, Chicago, but if the playoffs started today, the Blackhawks would be the 7th seed. That means that if they don't start winning, they are in danger of getting bounced early in the playoffs or, worse, missing the playoffs altogether. Pay attention to the next few games. If the Blackhawks come out and skate well, we can all rest easy. If they hit this road-trip and come back under .500, well, then we might have a problem on our hands. Oh, and yeah, Derrick Rose ate a waffle.