Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Interlude, with Icicles

Here in Seattle, big chunks of snow mixed among the usual, more delicate snowflakes are falling from the sky. Forecasters have been promising "melting rain," but apparently the weather has become as unpredictable as any other event. Tramping out to the nearest cafe, trudging through snow yellowed by dog piss, I specially looked for street drains and saw that not all of them were free of snow and ice. Back in 1996, two feet of snow melted under the force of torrential rains, and the water had nowhere to drain. (I distinctly recall the weirdness of watching Tarkovsky's Stalker, which we kept pausing for Tom to make trips to the basement to bail the rising water. The rain, in Stalker, is relentless.) The coming rain is expected to be gentle, so the comparison may be amiss. Who knows? In the meantime, we're dodging long, melting icicles dropping without notice on hapless passersby. They're pretty things, those sleek and shiny daggers, and when I was a kid, I thought they tasted better than ice cream and every winter would try, unsuccessfully, to get my parents to let me store some in the freezer for later consumption.

Yesterday Strange Horizon posted a review of Theodora Goss's Voices from Fairyland: The Fantastical Poems of Mary Coleridge, Charlotte Mew, and Sylvia Townsend Warner. The reviewer, Karen J. Weyant, begins:

For many of us, mention of the Victorian Age of literature conjures images of Norton Anthologies used in college literature class or the thick works of Charles Dickens—images of a time that celebrated the novel and pushed poetry to the background. Certainly, anthologies devoted solely to poets born in the Victorian Era are rare. Even rarer is a thorough explanation of speculative poetry, which is what makes Voices From Fairyland: The Fantastical Poems of Mary Coleridge, Charlotte Mew, and Sylvia Townsend Warner, edited by Theodora Goss, so fascinating.

You can read the whole review here.


Anonymous said...

Minneapolis bought a brand new downtown main library building, green roof, high tech, and pretty glass elevators. But all winter the front entrance has to be blocked off with yellow tape and "Danger-Falling Ice" signs.

On the one hand - planning? On the other - a library with teeth.

-Carrie Devall

Timmi Duchamp said...

Minneapolis: now there's a city that knows from snow! I've no doubt that any Minnesotans visiting Seattle over the last couple of weeks would have been shaking their heads over our city's abysmal performance. So probably the poor planning of my city trumps yours(though in all fairness, it might actually be a matter of budget cuts that nobody is talking about publicly)...

& the teeth? Nice image. (Though do you know what it reminds me of, Carrie?)

Nancy Jane Moore said...

Unless you're starting to get snow more regularly than you used to in Seattle (I seem to recall a few other winter horror stories involving Seattle), I'm not sure you all should invest in a lot of snow removal planning, despite your current mess. I haven't seen any significant snow here in Austin since I've been back, but I know it happens some years and brings the whole place to a halt. Still, it's probably a more cost effective solution just to shut down the city when it snows here than to invest in equipment for something that doesn't happen often and rarely sticks around long.
Not that it's likely to be a problem in Austin anytime soon, since I'm convinced it's never going to precipitate in any fashion here ever again. And while droughts are not uncommon here, I personally suspect global warming (and I blame your Seattle snow on the same thing).