These Southerners…bless their hearts. They hear about a risk of snow or ice, and – God Bless ’em – the city SHUTS DOWN. I mean, what’s a bit of precipitation?

I stand corrected. We’re now recovering from what the news stations were calling “Winter Watch 2005”, complete with ominous music and all-day long live updates from exciting places like Cumming, Georgia. (Can’t wait to see the webstats on that term. And I’m not talking about “Georgia.”) After a going-away party on Friday night where free beer soon got this “all I ate the whole day was a Pop-Tart” gal into Aubrey Drunk Dial Mode&#174, I stayed at my (female) friend’s house, only to awake to a city under seige…by ice.

Her car was coated with a 1/2″ glaze of ice. Power was out all over town, a result of ice-coated downed power lines. Taxis weren’t running; nor was MARTA. I was stuck.

This didn’t come as a surprise; the city was as prepared as it was going to be. Only problem – whereas Cleveland has a fleet of snow removal vehicles, I believe the city has two. There are salt trucks (who conserve the precious mineral by the inclusion of gravel) doing their best to adequately prepare the roads for travel. And yet travel stopped.

Won’t bore you with the sordid details, but I ended up getting home, had a Cleveland-bound visitor en route from Orlando arrive safely (and get to experience the rarity of actually walking to bars(!!) and, minus one little icy spill by my friend Todd, we survived relatively unscathed.

If only my furnace did.

In a Murphy’s Law-esque cruel sense of irony, the five-year old furnace decided to take a respite from working. Despite the fire we’ve had going for the past two days, the temperature INSIDE the house is currently a balmy 46 degrees Fahrenheit. I slept in a stocking cap, glove (note the singular since they don’t make gloves for big bulky dislocated-thumb casts), socks and many more layers than I even wore skiing. Even the cats are cold; Sebastian hasn’t surfaced from under the covers save for one quick trip to eat. (Actually, neither have I…)Anyway, the furnace man is expected within the next two hours, but in the meantime, I’m here, Chillin’.