Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Day 771: Thinking Warm Thoughts

Here in Wisconsin, it is cold.

And I mean it's COLD.

Down in Florida this past week, I know several people who were complaining about how their hands were cold and they couldn't feel their fingers and COLD and I'm up here like...dude, I can't feel any part of my body. While it may have been around 50 down in Florida (it's now closer to 80), back up here it's currently 7 degrees out, but don't be mistaken. It actually feels like -8 out, and our low tonight, without wind chill, is scheduled to be that same temperature, meaning it'll probably feel more like -28 by the time we get to the coldest part of the day.

This means that we have to get pretty creative in our mission to remain frostbite free. The number one way is to just not go outside at all, something that's literally impossible when you go to college, or school, or work...or live in general. So instead you just limit how many times you have to go outside. For instance, I remain in the music building from around 2 until 7 tonight, and tomorrow I'll spend 11-6 here, even though I only have classes at 4 and 5. Why? Because that means I don't have to venture outside into the cold.

But when you MUST venture out, you tend to bundle up. Personally, I've even pulled out my bigger, thicker peacoat, and that means it's REALLY cold, because I LOVE my red one. So for me to replace that red with grey, that's saying something. On top of that, I end up generally wrapping my giant winter knit infinity scarf (referred to as "The Colin" scarf, via Christina Perri's "The Words" - it looks like the one he wears kind of), around my head and neck and then sort of tucking it in a little bit and literally I won't go anywhere without it now. If I'm wearing a different scarf during the day, the big knit one still goes on top. Head protection can go a long way in keeping warm. Of course, my leather gloves are necessary, and leather jackets that double as layers are also a common way for me to go.

Sometimes though, you just are still cold. You can be wearing six layers and go outside and still not feel your arms or legs or, let's be honest here, face, so you need other ways to warm up. Sometime last year, I started this thing to try and keep myself warm on the long walks back to my dorm (my walk this year is about half the distance it used to be). I call it "The Warm Circle of Hugging," because apparently using Olaf's theory of thinking of all things hot does sort of warm you up...if only for a few seconds.

So when I'm really cold you'll see me close my eyes while continuing to walk (probably not my greatest idea, but that's beside the point), and then I'll say the following words, trying to convince myself they're real: "Han Solo is hugging me. Chewbacca is also hugging me. Captain Hook is hugging me as well. It is a warm circle of hugging." And then I bunch my shoulders up and for a few seconds, it works. I do feel warmer. And then the realization that none of the above characters are really there and there certainly aren't any Taun Tauns around to keep me warm either (then again, could any of us really bear that smell?), so the cold seeps back into my bones.

But at least it works for that short while. Because really, you haven't felt pain until you've felt negative temperature wind chills on your bare skin.

Have a magical (and hopefully warmer) day!

(Note: This blog post was written on February 23).