Wicked Winter

Ice, ice baby

Did you know that the freezing temperature of dry ice is -78.5 degrees Celsius?  You know the stuff that they use in movies to create bone-chilling fog that rolls in doom, disaster and fear?  The scary smoke they use at Halloween that bubbles out of creepy cauldrons and mad scientist labs?  It is also what they used to use to freeze off warts and boils and other kinds of ghastly skin afflictions before some plucky doctor noticed that liquid nitrogen was clearly the colder, better choice.  Dry ice is the stuff that flash freezes your smoothie blueberries into their purple pellet pods of stuck-in-time anti-oxidants before they even have the chance to scream out their protests of indigo indignation.  And why all the talk of goblins, ghosts and ghouls, you ask?  Because in Montreal it is colder than a witch’s tit, although I suppose if there was a witch’s tit in Montreal, her pointy, witch-hat nipples might plink right off her magical mammaries and skeeter on down the icy-brick-road before she ‘d have the chance to cackle, “And your little dog too.”

Dry ice can cause frostbite on your skin in two seconds or less.

The temperature in Montreal last week was  -27 degrees Celsius, before the windchill, which was supposed to bring the sensory mercury to somewhere around the balmy realm of -45 Celsius.  So that means that Montreal was over half of the way towards the temperature of dry ice….and nearly 40 degrees below freezing.  Now, I am aware that there are other places on the planet where people exist in much colder temperatures than here, however….I am convinced they must have received frostbite in the frontal lobes of their brains, which is the part that is responsible for making any kind of good, rational decisions.

Montrealers are crazy winter warriors.  And no wonder.  Before kids can walk, or even waddle, for that matter, in their head-to-toe snowsuits, their parents have folded up their Bugaboo’s and traded in 3-wheel drives for the two metal rails of some type of sled.  Young, fresh youthful skin at the earliest of ages, has already acquired a shell of hardness and resilience to the biting cold even through layers of skin cream and scarves and snot-crusted cheeks.   The baseball fields are converted into hockey rinks, the joggers trade their running shoes for cross-country skis.  The summer ponds that were once sprawled out with picnics and wine, circus performers and couples making out, are now frozen and etched with whiskey and hot-chocolate, fire pits and skaters, (still making out), albeit with rosy noses and wind-chapped lips.

I have lived in Montreal for nine years, and for a girl who comes from the West Coast where winters might see a sporadic snowflake sprinkled across a street unfit for even the most seasoned driver, I still do not get used to the cold here.  I’m not sure I ever will.  My fashion icon at this time of year is not Alexander McQueen nor Roberto Cavalli, but rather Kenny from South Park, where the only thing sexy you see is his blank, blinking eyes.  And in my mind, if its as cold in South Park, Colorado as it is here in Montreal, Kenny is probably better off getting shot, electrocuted, run over, or eaten by zombies in each and every episode.  His short trip to Hell might be a slight bit more pleasant than the 8 months of the year that I endure the cold.

The temperature this week was plus 10 degrees Celsius.  A thermal roller coaster ride with a 30-degree swing within the span of one week.  And now we’re plummeting our way back down below the freezing line.

But like New Yorkers, who earn their merit badge for a near-manic gauntlet of fast life in a big city, we too, in Montreal have something to take pride in.  We embrace the cold and ride the ebb and flow of the changing seasons like a cowboy clinging his bow-legged thighs to a bull.  We wrap our frostbitten arms around Seasonal Affective Disorder and chomp on Vitamin D as if it were being pumped out of a Wonder Woman Pez dispenser.  We find Long Johns as sexy as lingerie and our asses are strong because we lug ourselves around in clunky winter boots.

And when summer rolls around, we party as if it was our last dying day.  Because we KNOW about living the moment.  We know that pleasure is fleeting.  And we know that what once was warm and inviting, romantic and sultry, will soon become a frozen urban tundra devoid of a soul.

In the meantime, I am counting down the weeks, because I have a golden ticket to Hawaii for a yoga training wrapped in my white, pasty fingers.  Ducking out to join the flocks of fleeing snowbirds, not because I can’t take it, but just because I can.

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Dad
    Feb 04, 2013 @ 09:01:59

    brrrr…Hawaii sounds nice..

    Reply

  2. Sara
    Feb 10, 2013 @ 07:58:29

    I love laughing out loud before 8 in the morning.
    Thank you Jen. You’re a superstar.

    Reply

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