When Hell Freezes Over

I’ve never actually read Dante’s Inferno, but I have enough 101-level cultural literacy to know that there’s 9 circles of hell described there, each one with its own individual ambiance.

I think one of those hell levels is of the frozen wasteland variety?

I am, of course, ruminating on this notion because I am writing this in glorious Indianapolis, Indiana, where the current temperature is a balmy 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and where tomorrow’s predicted high will be an even more impressive 2 degrees.


If that weren’t bad enough, this predicted high will be happening at midnight whilst the temperatures continue to fall. By the time I’m waking up, things should be closer to -10 or so.

Remember: there are all actual temperatures. Wind chills will be a whole other order of magnitude.

In the interest of general courtesy, I will refrain from too much speculation around who thought it was a good idea to have a late-January conference in the chilly Midwest.* That’s all water under the bridge (or ice up against the dam): the choice was made, here they are, and therefore, here I am.

Maybe this is just me being a hypochondriac, but I kinda think I can feel it. Most often, when I stay ion a hotel in wintertime, there’s so much radiant heat coming in from neighboring rooms and up from lower floors that I’m actually trying to bring the temperature down a little bit to a level I find comfortable. Tonight, I feel cold in my hotel room–a rare occasion, indeed.**

I got a few grocery-type things today, so I could just roll up the sidewalks and stay in my hotel room once I got in after all day’s meetings. Covered me for dinner tonight, and should get me through most (or all?) of tomorrow, too. It’s not my usual approach to visiting a new city–even though I don’t go to super-expensive places, I’m usually wanting to try out local restaurants and walk around bit to get a little bit acquainted with wherever I am.

Not tomorrow, though. Based on the current forecast, I’m not too sure about the rest of the week, either.

On the bright side, being a New Englander means I was able to be mostly prepared for this. Layers, cardigans, wool coat, fleece-lined leggings to wear with my work dresses: the whole nine yards. Even better is that fact that I was able to book a room in one of the conference hotels that has an enclosed walkway connecting me to the convention center. So it is hypothetically possible that I can get through the next 36 hours without having to face a single molecule of the outside air.

Dante might call that a win.


* Seriously.

** Not cold enough to raise the thermostat, though–not if I can avoid it. That’s already reading 70, so I’m going to try very hard to bundle up so I don’t have to do the excessively selfish thing of cranking things up higher than that.


Image credit: Flickr user Nathan Warner, via a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 2.0 Generic license.


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