A Wintry Mix

We're in Atlanta, no thanks to the snow yesterday or the traffic on I-85. Jack flew in last night on a one-way ticket from New Orleans, so he'll be riding back with me on Sunday after the regional music theory conference I'm attending this weekend. We were originally going to drive together from Baton Rouge, but I ended up driving down from Winston-Salem after a rather unexpected trip to visit my grandmother during the Mardi Gras break. I left Winston-Salem just before 10 a.m. yesterday, thinking I'd get to Charlotte around 11:30 in time to eat lunch with one of my English dept. advisor from Queens. I did make it to Queens, but it took me 3 hours to get there from W-S instead of the usual 1.5. It took 45 minutes to get from the highway to Queens alone, which is supposed to take about 10 minutes... everyone was apparently trying to get home from work, and nobody knew how to drive in the snow, so it was a mess. The woman in front of me for most of the 45 minutes was skidding every time she stepped on her gas pedal, so I broke with tradition and screamed at her from my car about her necessity to learn to operate her car in the snow (I'm sure she couldn't hear me, but I still don't usually scream at people). Dr. Seelbinder and I had lunch and gave the roads a chance to clear up, so after I left Charlotte, the roads weren't too bad even though the snow was certainly coming down. I was cruising along fairly easily and was expecting to get to the Atlanta airport several hours early, even though Jack's flight wasn't supposed to get in until 9:30. I called Granny to inform her of my progress, and I told her that once I had gotten out of Charlotte, things had been fine.

This was the kiss of death, and you may mark it on your calendars as the day I decided to stop tempting fate with such comments.

Ten minutes later, when I crossed the state line into Georgia, things suddenly stopped. I was surrounded by 18-wheelers, and at first I thought it was going to be like those mob movies when the guy is riding along in his limo and suddenly is surrounded by black vans whose occupants then come out and shoot him or set his car on fire. I looked around wildly for a minute and promptly locked my doors. After remaining untouched by the truck drivers and idling for a few minutes, I decided to put my car into park, which turned out to be beneficial, because we sat there for another 3 or 4 minutes before moving at all. To make a long story longer, this continued for a while, and I went just under 5 miles in an hour. Traffic in the other direction was stopped as well, and I began screaming again, not at anyone in particular this time, but at the fact that I had listened to an entire CD while creeping forward inches at a time and being forced to stare at the tractor-trailer in front of me with the Indiana license plate. Being in a car for too long will do things like that to you. Ordinarily, if I were completely stopped, I might get out of the car for a minute and stretch my legs, but packing last Friday before anyone knew anything about this snowstorm had left me with only my leather jacket, which wouldn't have stood up against all the snow and wind. After we crept along for this hour, we finally got to the point where the accident had occurred; I saw an 18-wheeler in the large, grassy median, and they were loading a crumpled car onto one of those tow trucks with a platform. Ugly. I received a phone call from Jack shortly thereafter explaining that his plane was delayed and he didn't actually know what time they were supposed to take off, so I was still going to arrive at the Atlanta airport a little early and he wouldn't be there until much later. I got there just after 9, and his plane got in only about an hour late, so we left the airport and got to Joel and Lisa's (his uncle and aunt's house) around 11:30 last night. I was so sick of being in the car that I was irritable and glazed over all at once, which was an interesting feeling but not one I'm looking forward to reproducing. Luckily, I can make Jack drive all the way back on Sunday if I want, because I have some grading from what seems like months ago (just over a week in actuality) that I need to do.

On a brighter note, the conference got off to a great start; my advising professor from LSU gave a good paper about rhythm (one of his main foci in his research), and there were two really fascinating papers at the end about popular music. The Masters student who delivered the last paper, about electronic dance music, is thinking of doing his Ph.D. at LSU, so I'm going to be sure to talk to him tomorrow! He also studies guitar, and I think he'd find a lot in common with the other theory student at LSU who's interested in guitar and jazz-type things. Notice I said "the other theory student;" it'd be so nice to get more people here who care about theory!! Tomorrow is a full day of papers, and we'll be eating lunch at a place called Everybody's Pizza... the name just throws images into my mind of some sort of perpetual pizza conveyor belt that everyone eats off of in a big communal eating experience, but I'm sure that's not what it's about. =) Tomorrow night, we'll be hanging out with our friend Emily from Queens who lives in Smyrna (not too far from here), so that will be great; things at Thanksgiving were so crazy that we didn't get a chance to call her, but I'm glad we can eat dinner with her now and catch up on the happenings in her life!

If you haven't read my husband's posts lately, now is the time. He's gotten up on his soap box a few times in my absence (since I was in NC for several days and he was all alone), and they're definitely worth reading. See especially the posts entitled "Activism" and "Thanks, we love you too" from this week.

Well, Joel owns the TV show "24" on DVD, and he and Jack are watching the first episode in the next room, so I'd better go; it seems like it would be an engaging show to watch, and I don't want to miss it (they already started without me though, so they're punks)! Love to all, unless you're a random person from the internet reading my post, and in that case, "amiable platonic feelings to all."

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