Tag Archives: winter

Now it’s too late to go skiing

Man, this was the longest winter ever and I don’t feel like I took advantage of it at all. I only went skiing once, and it was in February. Yeah, the snow was great, perfect powder, that’s how real ski people, or the real ski people I’m imagining in my head anyway, that’s how they describe really good snow, powder, some really nice powder. But I only got to go the one time. Whenever it’s summer, fall, when it starts getting really cold but it hasn’t snowed anywhere yet, I always have these visions of me driving up to the mountains every weekend, really taking advantage of that powder, hitting the slopes, getting in some serious downhill time.

But I don’t have a car. And I work every weekend. My days off, well, it’s not the same every week, but it’s Monday, it’s Tuesday. Which, now that I’m thinking about it, those should be great days to go skiing, nobody else on the mountain, all of that powder to myself. But it’s never that easy. My days off finally arrive and then the next thing I know, it’s Saturday again, which, to you, the average reader, is like Wednesday. And I’m like, man, half the week behind me, half of it in front. Where is all of my free time? How am I ever going to find a minute to sneak away to the mountains?

And so when I did finally go this winter, I was pretty conscious that it was probably going to be my only time up there. Or, I was half conscious. The talking part of my brain was just yapping really loud and fast in my head, saying nonsense like, “Wow! This is terrific! Powder! It’s only February! There’ll still be powder in March! I can still go skiing in March! I’ll definitely go skiing in March! So what if there’s no more powder, they make pretty decent snow! It’ll be great!” all while I’m handing over my credit card to pay for the seventy dollar lift ticket, the calculating reptile number part of my brain, it’s not saying anything out loud, it doesn’t have to, that’s not how that side of the brain works. But if I had to translate the thoughts going on in there to English, it would be something like, “Ha. Powder. Please. He’s lucky I allowed him this one weekend. Work. Money. That’s all I care about!”

No car, no other weekends. It’s April already. As of writing this right now, right this second, I’m told that it’s the first day of spring. That’s what they say, anyway. I haven’t left the house yet. I already got fooled once last week with some alleged promise of spring-like weather. My days off were, yup, Monday and Tuesday. And everything for that week’s forecast said fifty, fifty-five degrees. Better break out the windbreaker. I got up that Monday and did my writing, told myself I’d take the dog for an hour long, two-hour long walk, to the park, to just bask in the springtime, finally.

And I made it outside and, yeah, it was slightly warmer, but not what I would really consider warm. I thought about skiing, how in previous winters I’ve been up at the mountains and have had actual days of skiing, dressed in wool socks and down jackets, in temperatures about the same as it was this day. Then the sky got really gray. Once the dog and I got about forty-five minutes away from the house, it started raining, a cold rain. The temperature dropped. I tried to hoof it back home, but the dog had to shake himself dry every five seconds. I was like, “Hey dog! Less shaking and more walking! Shaking isn’t going to do anything because you’re still going to be wet, it’s still raining,” but that’s when you know you’re in a bad spot, when you’re just yelling at your dog, him not understanding anything, his thought process must have been like, “Man, what did I do to be dragged out of my warm house and subjected to this water torture?”

We got home. The temperature dropped even more that night. The thermostat kicked in but I already had a chill in my body. That night I went to sleep shivering, and I dreamt of being cold, of being cold but taking advantage of that cold, getting into my imaginary dream car and heading up to that imaginary mountain, abundant with imaginary powder. And I thought to myself in my dream, “See? I knew I’d take advantage of this winter, that I’d get to go skiing at least twice,” and it was one of those really real type of dreams, one where, I wasn’t necessarily thinking about it right away when I woke up the next day, but days later, when I started thinking about skiing, when I sat down to write this whole thing up about skiing, and I’m writing about how I didn’t take advantage of the winter, that idiot part of my brain chimed in, “What are you talking about? We went skiing that second time last week,” and only for a moment I was fooled, like for a quarter of a second I thought about how much fun I had upstate that imaginary second time around.

How about global cooling?

I love it when it’s cold out. Even colder. Snow can get to be a nuisance, yeah, especially if you’re wearing really low cut socks, like even though your boots might be waterproof and snowproof, eventually, if the snow outside gets deep enough, it’s going to find its way in there, in between steps, in the space between your pants and your boots, and you’ll feel it, that cold on the insides of your ankles, that spot where the skin is the softest, the most sensitive. And before you even have a chance to take off your gloves, to try and get the snow out, it already starts to melt against your skin. Now you’ve got wet socks. Now you’ve got wet feet, and the wetness is surrounded by a waterproof shell, so there’s nowhere for it to go.

But having said all of that, I think this problem could be easily fixed with, one, maybe some longer boots. And two, maybe like a real pair of winter socks. I actually bought a pair of really tall boots a few months ago, specifically for this purpose, for heading up North, for getting out there and running around in the snow without worries. There was a pair of Ugg boots on sale for less than a hundred bucks on the Internet. I know exactly what you’re already thinking, but they weren’t regular Uggs. They looked cool. They just happened to be made by the Ugg company. But it didn’t matter. Everybody kept making fun of them, the name, the brand. And I always like to think of myself as this enlightened guy who doesn’t care what people say about him, but that obviously has to be a one hundred percent false self-image that I’m carrying around in my head.

Because I wound up caving in to the derision of everybody else pretty quickly. Those boots sat there for two months without being used. Anybody who ever saw them in the corner of the room made fun of me for owning a pair of Uggs. And then it was Christmastime, that magical time of year when you have to spend tons and tons of cash, and so in a moment of weakness I returned them. Damn you Zappos and your ridiculously lenient return policy. How do ever expect to turn a profit? Letting people take all of the time in the world to sit on a purchase, really chew on it, ruminate all of the ways in which a pair of boots could turn sour, and then actually giving them your blessing, please, please let us give you your money back? I never even had a chance to wear them, not even once, because it hasn’t snowed in New York, not yet, not as of the writing of this, whatever this is.

So now, here I am, we took a little mini vacation up North, to the cold, even colder. At least six inches of snow which, I really just don’t get. In New York it hasn’t been that cold for the second year in a row. But all of the sudden we drive three hours North and there’s snow everywhere. It snows like every day up here. And I’m taking my dog for a walk and he’s loving the snow and I’m running around trying to keep up with his crazy dog energy and not even two minutes later, snow meets ankles, ankles meets wet. I’m inside walking around this very warm house, my whole body is warm except for my feet. Once your feet get cold, there’s only one thing that’s going to get them warm again: an absurdly hot shower. And you have to stand in there for like half an hour. And I don’t know about you, my imaginary reader here, all half-dozen of you friends and family members, but my skin goes nuts after too long of a hot shower. I get out and I’m really dry, really itchy.

Anyway, I really do love the cold. I always watch TV shows and movies set in warm places, I watched Dexter, I watched Magic Mike, and I always walk away thinking, man, I need to move somewhere like that, somewhere where I can wear shorts and tank tops all the time, all year. But then I remembered that I spent most of this summer complaining over and over again, on this blog even, about how hot I was, about how the heat was getting me crazy, about how I couldn’t stop sweating.

I’m up here up North and I feel better than ever. Yeah it’s freezing, way colder than it is in New York, but you get cold and you move. You move and your body warms itself up. I’ll go for a run in the summer and not only do I sweat out every drop of liquid that I started out with, but I feel sick, nauseated, like should I be worried? But I went running yesterday. It was like twenty degrees out. The first mile was tough, really cold. But then after that my body got warm, and then it got hot. And then I didn’t need my gloves anymore. And then I started steaming, like my whole body generating and radiating more heat than I even needed to personally stay warm. I could’ve warmed up somebody else probably. I felt great. The cold air coming into my body felt refreshing. I felt like I was conquering nature. I felt like Superman.

But then I came home and took way too long of a shower and scratched myself raw for the rest of the day. Whatever, I’ll always find something to whine about. But just judging on my levels of whining this summer and my complaining so far about this winter, I’ve got to say, hands down, I definitely love the cold. Even better. Even colder. How about we try out global cooling? Let’s bring on another ice age. I’m ready.