Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Some photos...

Here's a couple of pictures of the car I've been driving, so you can imagine me on the freeways. :-D

The sports car!!

...and with the top down!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

A moment of reflection

I've had a very busy weekend on the road. I took myself out of Cincinnati for the first time in months, driving up north to another part of Ohio. I actually saw some kind of a forest - or a glorified cluster of bushes really - for the first time. Nice to know there is a little bit more to this place than just concrete! :-)

As I was cruising down the freeway with the top down, I suddenly recalled that today is the day I was originally booked to return to NZ! I was supposed to be sitting on a plane right now, not in a car zooming halfway across the state of Ohio?! Isn't it funny how things turn out...

Anyway, it continues to get hotter and hotter over here. Yesterday was 35 degrees celcius and today it was 36. Apparently it will end up somewhere around 40 for the month of July. Oh yay.

The only bonus to all of this heat is that my clothes dry within about half an hour of hanging them out! Which is a good thing, considering I need to change about three times a day in this weather...

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The thrilling ride

On Wednesday night I was havng dinner with my boss from the Courthouse, who mentiond that she is going to be out of town on vacation from June 22 - 30. Now, since she is my boss, I obviously knew that already (considering that all of us in the office are responsible for keeping the place running while she is gone!) but what I DIDN'T know, is that she is planning on giving me her limited edition convertible sports car to use while she is away!!! Oh My God!!!!!!!!! I was shocked, surprised and utterly thrilled all at the same time. :-D I am going to have 8 days of pure transport freedom in this city for the first time since I arrived. (The thing with Cincinnati's public transport system is that it totally sucks, hahaha, so there are great chunks of the city that, to this day, I still haven't laid eyes on.)

Along with the car comes her reserved Courthouse carpark of course, so I won't even be afflicted with the usually-impossible task of finding downtown parking!

So .... Wednesday night was the dinner. Then, on Thursday morning I go to work like usual, and about and hour into the day I realise that I've left a really important file at home. Doh!!!! Normally this would not be such a problem because while I was living on-campus I could catch one of the very few(!) buses that actually go anywhere useful in this city (haha) and get back to work without too much hassle. Now though, I'm living in happy suburbia where rickety old buses don't so much go. :-)

As I was explaining my dilemma to the boss, she suddenly hands me her car keys and says: "That's not a problem. Just take my car, go home, get it, and you'll be back here in the office within half an hour, tops!" Oh My God, again! :-)

Now, up until this moment I have always had someone else sitting beside me in the car as I drive, telling me which friggin' highway exit to take on the many Spaghetti Junctions in this town ... while I use all of my mental capacity to focus on the actual mechanics of driving. Adding road directions to the mix has been a little beyond me up until this point.

Suddenly, however, I had no choice. If I was going to get this file - AND practise driving the sports car, hehehe! - this was my opportunity.

I am glad to say that, once again, I survived!!! :-D I did get slightly lost at one point (surprise, surprise) but with the help of a map and a friendly passer-by who kindly showed me WHERE on the map I actually was(!) I did make it back to the Courthouse before lunch. :-)

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Heatwave and how to drive...

Today is the hottest 9th day of June in Cincinnati since 1874. It is currently sitting on 92 degrees (approximately 32 degrees celcius) which means I am currently sitting right beside the air vents of the air-conditioner!! Even my computer is a little hot to touch right now. :-)

I must say, I didn't really notice the difference between the heat outside today and the heat outside over the last seven days. Each morning I get the local weather forecast emailed to my account (this is something I started in January when I needed to know how much snow I should expect each day before venturing out!) and here is the rundown for the past week:

Friday: 29 celcius
Saturday: 29 celcius
Sunday: 29 celcius
Monday: 29 celcius
Tuesday: 31 celcius
Wednesday: 31 celcius
Today: 32 celcius.

... and the next five days are going to go something like this ...

Tomorrow: 33 celcius
Saturday: 30 celcius
Sunday: 29 celcius
Monday: 31 celcius
Tuesday: 30 celcius

Well, I guess at least you can say it's consistent?? :-D Oh, and did I mention the humidity level? (The word extreme comes to mind.) I truly feel like I am living back in Sydney again at the moment.

In other exciting, yet totally unrelated, news - I drove a car for the first time in the States today!! This momentous event also just happened to occur right in the middle of the 5 o'clock peak-hour traffic flow, so I am very proud that I am still actually around to tell you the tale. :-D

Over the next few weeks I will be house-sitting for people, and along with this comes the occasional use of a car. I got thrown into the deep end today when a friend of mine figured that now was as good a time as ever to get me used to the idea! It was just coincidental timing that we happened to meet up at ... 5pm.

Personally, I was more inclined to go for a deserted side-street sometime around midnight, haha! But alas, the opportunity of finding someone who is actually brave enough to let me loose behind the wheel of their car - while I practise driving completely opposite to all that my instincts tell me! - is understandably few and far between. The only scary moment was when I forgot about the whole lot of car extending out to the right of me, and nearly had my friend's right arm cut off as she gracefully dangled it out of the passenger-side window!! (It was a hot day. :-)

But, apart from that, everything went brilliantly.

I am already dreaming blissfully about some of the places I will finally be able to get to next weekend, with my temporary set of wheels...

Sunday, June 05, 2005

The better of two evils...?

June marks the end of tornado season here (hip hooray!) ... but, er, the start of the hurricane season. Hmmmm.

Apparently Florida is in the firing line for around 15 storms this year. At least 8 of these are supposed to reach hurricane level. The friendly weather people on the television keep telling us that they are in for "another active season" just like last year. I bet the locals are happy about that cheerful news - not. I'm just glad Cincinnati isn't in the state of Florida!

I haven't had the courage yet to ask anyone here whether hurricanes come through this area just like every other strange weather pattern seems to! Apparently Cincinnati lies right at the point where the colder northern air from Canada clashes with the warmer southern air. I have heard Cincinnati refered to - meteorogically, of course - as the toilet bowl of the States! The place where all the shit gets dumped. :-D