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  • [es-pree de less-ka/-iay] (idiom) A witty remark that occurs to you too late, literally on the way down the stairs. The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations defines esprit de l'escalier as, "An untranslatable phrase, the meaning of which is that one only thinks on one's way downstairs of the smart retort one might have made in the drawing room."


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February 12, 2008


Claire, please tell me you remember how we got a snow day our senior year in high school the day our senior theses were due? I had stayed up until about 4 in the morning trying to finish, then remember my dad shaking me around 6am with snow day news! I literally squealed with excitement and went promptly back to sleep. Plus it was a Friday so we got the whole weekend too :)

Haha, I don't remember that! I have very little memories of my senior thesis - how odd!

I remember some snow day freshman year because I was working in a group for some history project (no idea what class or what project) and we totally screwed around instead of doing it. It was due Monday and we had nothing. Somehow we got a snow day, got our acts together and finished the project in time.

I remember having several snow days in a row in fifth grade. I spent them sitting next to the wood stove, sculpting a mermaid out of clay (I have pictures of her somewhere) and watching the Gulf War on TV.

i can't even bring myself to comment on your post about the end of the polaroids. i tried but i'm being so ridiculously dramatic about the whole thing so i thought it best not to.

and i can't really remember a great snow day story-- i remember there was a huge ice storm here when i was little, and by huge, i mean HUGE, to the point that it iced so much the backyard was smooth so i could ice skate on the grass in my backyard. and so i did! i think we got a few snowdays for that storm if i remember correctly, mostly because all of the ice brought power lines down.

also, that photo!! i love it.

Kristen - great story! I can picture a little you doing just that!

Meg - I know. I'm so sad because there is NO way the spectra film is going to be produced anywhere else. It's terrible news.

For me, really, snow days mean what I said above: sledding, hot cocoa, red chapped cheeks, frozen snot. They probably all ended in tears, knowing my siblings and me and our propensity for fights.

I love these comments! Thanks ladies!

Growing up in Buffalo, NY, snow days occurred at least twice a month during the snowiest months (December-March), and once a month for the rest of the school year. Snow days saved my toosh too many times to even count. We had at least one research paper due a week in my high school and, with such a ridiculous work load, I became a master procrastinator (an ailment from which I still suffer today...). Thus, the snow day was my closest friend. God must roll Her eyes when she remembers all of my fervent, "please may it snow hard enough to close all of the schools but no so much as to cause ill-will to the homeless of the streets" prayers.

However, my parents didn't let us take all of our snow days. My district, in the snow belt South of the city, had zillions of snow days. Sadly, though, my high school which was downtown was rarely closed. The school recognized a student's home-district respites, but my parents did not. As my mother is a teacher in our district, a snow day meant a day off for her-- which also meant she could take all the time necessary to drive my sisters and I through the blizzards and white outs into school. :(

Now that I live in Mexico, I especially miss snow days... :( Luckily, I've found naked protests in front of the Embassy a nice substitute! :)

Bird, that is hilarious and surprises me not at all that your mother would risk life and limb so she could have the house to herself once a month. I may have to remember that, should I ever find myself in a similar sitch.

Miss you, friend! You all had naked protests? That's nuts. Literally.

I don't have strong snow day memories, probably b/c we didn't get many of them--a few maybe in my elementary school days but my high school district prides itself on only having closed twice in about 40 years for weather. yes, that meant that we went in 10 below temperatures and in 2 feet of snow--even during FINALS! I do remember one year when there was a crazy amount of ice and it turned the elementary school playground (which was across from my house) into a HUGE ice rink. It was a gravel playground so it flooded and then froze and we put on ice skates, crawled across the street (so as not to mess up the blades, of course) and skated around the monkey bars, tire swings, etc. We had the whole thing almost completely to ourselves. You can't build things that fabulous!

NAKED PROTESTS? This reason, if for no other, is enough to make me appreciate the craptacular weather we have in Chicago right now - no one could bear going outside with exposed skin. Bird, I just don't even know what to say...

We used to get snow days in Nebraska every winter. But we got so many of them that they would tack the extra days on to the end of the school year, so on the years that we had particularly bad winters we had particularly long school years - where is the justice in that, I say?

Both of my parents usually had to work, which meant that my sister and I had an endless day of watching Matlock re-runs and making a complete mess of the kitchen.

My memories consist of watching The Price is Right, sledding at the golf course and making a snow cave at our neighbor's house. Do you remember that time sledding when Eric fell in the creek through the ice at the golf course?

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