Friday, January 16, 2009

The One About The Cold

So, for those of you playing along at home, I'll give you a cheat sheet of our Arctic Week, all typed out neat-like, for easy reference:

Monday: School let out at 10 AM for blizzard
Tuesday: School started 2 hours late due to cold
Wednesday: School all day, as scheduled
Thursday: School canceled due to cold
Friday: School started 2 hours late due to cold

Now don't get me wrong, Wednesday wasn't exactly balmy- in fact while I was walking through a parking lot with Marin, head down, her face pressed into my chest, the tears in my eyes were freezing on my eyelashes as they formed.

Also, I'm not complaining about this cold snap. In Minnesota, when it gets cold, we talk about it. A Lot. We say things like "Stay Warm!" instead of "Bye!"; we reminisce about that time it was so cold the Governor canceled everything statewide; we make comparisons like: "Did you know it's colder here than in Alaska right now?" (True story- Not one but two people said those exact words to me yesterday.) We like to talk (and talk) about how cold it is. That's the way it is.

(Another thing we Minnesotans like: PROOF of how cold it is.)

You would think that having air temperatures* at -25 would keep people in, that the whole town would shut down. But no. People are still put-put-putting around town in their minivans. People are still going to the library without hat or mittens. (True Effing Story). The school districts tend to be responsible about not encouraging people to go out- canceling extra curricular activities and meetings and such. But instead of staying in, everyone gleefully heads on over to the Pizza Ranch to shuffle their snouts through the buffet line.

So now I've written an entire post about The Cold, which officially fulfills my duty as a Minnesotan for today.

Additionally, thank you for the winter survival tips- I'm thinking of printing them off, laminating them, and sticking them throughout the house. Because as Erin pointed out, it's not how deep the water is, but how LONG you are in the deep water. WOOOORD.

I've also taken it upon myself to test out Baking as a Cold Weather Technique. FOR YOU GUYS, of course:

Cornbread Muffins

(Ala the 49 cent Jiffy box- cheapest pleasure available to [hu]man)

Bran muffins

(Using the recipe from the Grapenuts box, but subbing All-Bran cereal for Grapenuts.)

(And omitting the raisins.)

(And adding flax seed and chocolate chips.)

*For those of you that need a crash course in proper Cold Weather Terminology: do not let "air" temperature and "wind chill" temperature get mixed up when speaking to a Minnesotan. They will correct you. Also, they will point out that even a slight breeze can make -25 degrees SEEM like -40 degrees. And then they start reciting how fast skin freezes and how their car wouldn't start and how long their furnace runs at any given stretch, and your eyes will glaze over and you will stop listening. UNLESS you yourself are a Minnesotan, because WE never tire of talking of such things.


LoriD said...

I just witnessed a virtual frenzy at a little shop that sells hats, mittens and scarfs (fleece-lined wool mittens for $5!) She'll probably have to close up early due to lack of inventory.

d e v a n said...

Brrrr! It's 10 degrees here today and that's the coldest it's been in YEARS! I can't imagine -25!

Tess said...

I don't even LIVE in MN, and still I never tire of it.

If I was anywhere near a Pizza Ranch right now, you had better believe I would be shuffling through that mofo WITH A VENGENCE.

That is SO not how you spell "vengence".

Pickles and Dimes said...

I walked half a block from work to mail something without throwing on a jacket or gloves and three GUYS yelled at me. At this point, I don't even feel it anymore. Cold is cold.

Stay warm!

Erin said...

Oh, THAT I do not miss. ICK. Too cold, even for a former MN resident like me. But this post is really hilarious. You make a very loveable minnesotan

Glad you got some good winter survival tips! It's like suriving those frontier winds that used to drive pioneers INSANE.

Katie said...

When I lived in Alaska one of my bosses said the was never colder then when he was crossing the Mississippi River at the U in Mpls. Alaska never held a candle to that, he said. Minnesotans are TOUGH.

Kelsey said...

Wisconsinites also like to talk about the cold, but more about the snow!!!

However in Ohio, where I live now, it's all about the ice. I've never seen anything like it. When I was teaching, and living in a little apartment and parking outside, I used to have to heat up water to pour over my car door in the morning so I could get it open - true story!

Anne said...

You know you're a MNtan when this post just makes you laugh.
Ironically I was just remembering that statewide shut-down. Wasn't it while we were in college? I had an RA interview that day and I walked from Gage to Crawford in the blizzard. And then they didn't even give me the job!
Great post!
See you tomorrow!

Kristin.... said...

Minnesota and Maine are a lot alike. However, school is NEVER canceled here due to cold. NEVER. It was a balmy 10 today and compared to our -25 yesterday, it's warm out!

KS said...

You would laugh at the panic that's been sweeping the local TV stations this week when we were expecting a high of 20. That's positive 20, as in +20. Geesh... After having lived in South Dakota for two years, this sort of thing is entertaining. Kind of like when we were in Miami at Thanksgiving two years ago, and they were in total frenzy because the lows got into the high 40s. Tough life. :)