Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Yes, We Have No Bananas

It's here: the kind of weather that makes your lungs freeze up on the very first breath in. No man within a 500km radius of here will see his balls again until May. Yesterday we had what is being called 'the deep freeze' which sounds a lot like it feels: damn cold. And yesterday it was still autumn! No more of that 'mild' weather though, because today we are officially into the season of winter, that precious time of the year when I seriously consider becoming a bear so I can hibernate right through.

I hate winter. I hate the cold. I hate snow. I hate coats with a vengeance; in fact, I don't even like sweaters. I have a touch of claustrophobia when it comes to clothes. Anything bulky makes me very uncomfortable. For the very reason, I do not own a parka. I have a nice little pea coat from The Gap, and although I wore it all winter long last year, I only did the buttons up twice, and both times it almost killed me, and I only did it because the frostbite would have surely killed me. I hate scarves. I hate mittens. I haven't worn a hat since 1989. It doesn't matter that yesterday it was -36 with the wind chill, I'm still trying to go out in just a hoodie. It's not so bad when you can send Jason out to start the car, warm it up, scrape off the ice, and drive up to the door when he's ready...I can run out in the bare minimum of clothes and be quite happy. And this makes Jason happier during the shopping portion of our trip, because me + coat + mall = bad. This time of year I always start freaking out in stores because I overheat. And I'm a fainter. Yesterday, however, the car would not start. And try getting a jump from any of the other cars on our street that were also frozen piles of tin. Nothing doing. So it stayed plugged in to the block heater all day, and fortunately started up okay this morning. Mom called to say that hers did not, and could she please have a ride?

So yeah, it's cold in Canada. In the very spot where I burned badly enough to blister on 6 different occasions this past summer. But no matter the weather, I still sleep naked. If I hate coats, then there isn't a word strong enough for what I feel for sleeping in pjs. But on a night so bitterly cold as yesterday's was, I cannot help wondering: is there something morally wrong with sleeping naked, but with socks? Cause man, I could have used some socks last night!

My mom was supposed to visit yesterday, but common sense tells people to stay indoors, so that's what we all did. I curled up with a good book. Not Tess of the D'Ubervilles, I've left off that one for Jason's sake, and I'm now reading Cheever's The Wapshot Chronicles where I came across an interesting concept: a carrot that strongly resembles male genitalia. Now, on the news I often hear about food that looks like something else...like the woman and her virgin Mary grilled cheese, for example. Or the lady who collects potato chips that resemble Elvis and Bart Simpson. But this particular image...well, it gave me nightmares, let's just say that.

Know what's funny? Yesterday Jason says to me "Let's play Boggle." Now, Jason and I own a fair collection of board games that we break out occasionally, often while watching an old Adam Sandler movie. Jason always loses. He's not bad, he's a pretty smart guy, and matched against anyone else in the world, he'd stand a pretty good chance...but I just have an edge on him, and he cannot win. But with Boggle, the edge is more like a cliff. I whoop his arse so badly it stings for weeks. But he is a glutton for punishment, and he keeps coming back for more. I won 115-17. But in the middle of the game, I suddenly got struck by a strong thirst.

"Jason, I'm thiiirrrrstttyyyyyy." Subtle, right?
"Oh, can I get you a drink?" Damn he's good!

But that's the thing: he will always jump up to get me a Diet Pepsi. Actually, I don't remember the last time I poured my own drink. Must have been back in the 90s (god it's good to be queen). The problem is, though, that his serving manners leave a little to be desired. Jason hands me everything. And by that I mean that he will never put anything on the table, he has to put everything directly into my hands. What kind of habit is that?

Anyway, with the 'deep freeze' (isn't stupid how the weather people have to name every little thing these days?) on, it's a miracle that Jason even made it home from work at all. My grandfather had to traipse out to pick him up. Jason works in a big office for a cell phone company, and Pa saw a strange sight in the front windows.

"Does everyone have one of those box things?"

Now, whenever your grandparent says something, it's always worthwhile to take a moment not to laugh, and to really try to understand what the hell they are saying. At first Jason thought he might mean the computers, but Pa at least knows about computers, because I've been giving him mini lessons on mine (he wants to buy a computer so he can play solitaire on it).

"What box things?"

"Oh you know, those square things. Where the people sit."

Oh right, cubicles. Funny to think that he's from a time where there were no cubicles. Clearly, he's never seen Dilbert.

On the way home, they also discussed tea cozies, of all things. Seems that Pa, the king of darts, won himself a tea cozy at the last tournament. He's not impressed. Pa has been trying to teach me how to play darts, but without the benefit of darts or a dartboard. Now, I have both right here in my home, but that's not the point. The point is, I still can't throw worth shit, and he's taken it upon himself to teach me via miming. So every time I see him, he gives me this gay little wave hello, so gay it would not be out of place in a pride parade, but it's actually not a wave, or gay, it's him miming the perfect way to throw a dart.

It's not helping.


sunny said...

It's nice to see that I'm not the only one with a clothes-specific claustrophobia. Last winter, I worked at a gas station, and as part of my duties had to shovel off the ENTIRE parking lot, all day long every single day (that it snowed, obviously). It was freezing, and yet I couldn't manage to wear anything but a hoodie. I detest winter coats.

Also with the PJ thing. Pajamas are the most wonderful invention in all the world, but only pre- and post- bed. In bed, they suffocate and entrap me.

It's nice to meet someone else that's sane.

amy said...

I'm not claustrophic really, but I have to admit that the idea alone of wearing a coat in a mall (during the holidays or any other time of year) begins the suffocation process. Why bother? I'd rather be half-naked in comfort walking around the mall instead of smothering in my own sweat from being around all those other people!

Anonymous said...

I must say...1)I might just have to get me self some tea...
2) I find this so much more interesting that writing my thesis proposal, which at first made me panic to realize I've gotten nothing done in the last, well...day (could this be the cause of my first grey hair?) But then I decided I'm allowed to be distracted because it's bloody christmas and everyone else has already left this hole for better things.
3) Don't know the type of books you're in to these days...but Atwood's "The Blind Assassin" was most excellent...
--A very old friend

Jay said...

a) I see agree about the pjs! Great to hang out in them, but I always take them off for bed.

b) Amy, you're a hoot, always. My mother always says 'put some clothes on, you'll catch your death' and I'm like, dude, I already have a massive hole in my back, what else can go wrong?

1. Still yuck on the tea, although I am getting hate mail from tea-lovers from around the world.

2. I see you're still a master procrastinator.

3. I actually own The Blind Assassin, I love Atwood, and yes, it was great. Thanks.

Harry said...

This one I saved for Ebay (to insure retirement income someday): Two Animal Crackers hippos, humping, brought to my attention by one inquisitive 8 yo; "Dad, what are they doing, really?"

And J, there's a gift idea for Pa. Somewhere out there is a three-piece Dilbert set, including the darn cube.

citygurl said...

"No man within a 500km radius of here will see his balls again until May."

I think I just peed my pants.

people who sit around me (in their little cubicles) are starting to wonder if I have 'a problem' because I keep laughing out loud.

transience said...

jay, you're killing me here. it seems the holidays are just making you funnier than ever. you're endearing!

as for the coats, well, you know i don't really wear them around here. i mean, long live the tank tops, right? hehe.

and pjs? no thanks.

amy said...

Jay, my Mom always said that I shouldn't go outside with wet hair or else I'd catch a cold. Um, ok, Mom, but unless you want to stand behind me and hold the hair dryer for an hour so that my shoulder doesn't fall off, I'm going out with it wet. Long live the rebels!

Tara said...

You are hilarious. I completely suck at darts, so if you get the knack at it and have any tips, feel free to pass them along. Does anyone else have the song "Yes We Have No bananas" going through their head now?

jes said...

move closer to the equator.

She-Hulk said...

Good for you for getting that Diet Pepsi and kicking his arse! Do it for all the other women!

SMW said...

Negative 36 degrees?


Why would anyone live in a place that got that cold? I don't understand that. I feel like a whimp complaining when it gets 40 degrees here!

I love Miami!

Ian said...

Here in Edmonton the weather has been nice. The coldest its been is like -20. that is really nice cuz when it is rediculously cold (like -36) it really sucks. I hope it doenst get colder,

Jay said...

Amy...yes, I got the wet hair speech too. When I was young, I would get icicles in my perm waiting for the bus in the morning...yes, I said perm...we don't all have gorgeous hair like you.

I would love to live somewhere warmer, but I do love Canada in every respect other than the weather, so I know I'll never leave.

And poor Ian...people know generally that we freeze here in Ontario, but I know for a fact that Edmonton also gets very cold, and for some reason people don't think of the prairies in that way as much...but you guys totally get stupidly cold wind chills. Stay warm!

Rolo said...
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