STFU Fridays: Winter

Let’s just cut to the chase right here and now: if you are going to get all defensive and up in arms because I’m about to take all the people whining and griping about winter, and shit, to task – just stop. Stop right now. Go back to your fucking pity party, where you sit on your computer looking for deals to tropical places that you will never take a vacation to during the winter; go back to your bitch posts on Facebook and Twitter about the cold and the shoveling and all that bullshit too. Just stop and go back to all that shit and do not read ANY FURTHER.

Because I don’t have time for your bullshit defensiveness right now. Really, I don’t.

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I haven’t done an STFU Friday post in a long time, mainly because on Fridays I’ve been inundated with all of your fucking gripings about cold this, and polar vortex that, and OMG my weekend is ruined I have to shovel snow horse shit. Breaking the fucking STFU silence here, though, because – quite frankly – I’m sick and goddamned tired of all of you guys and your panty-waste whining.

There. I said it. Someone had to.

Well, it’s February 21st motherfuckers, and March is just around the corner. In like a lion and out like a lamb, so let’s just all agree to shut the fuck up and move on about this whole winter thing.

Before I moved to California, I lived in Chicago. I will never forget my last winter there. It was a doozy. Some nights the wind chill got all the way down to negative 30, and we had about 38 inches of snow in a period of roughly 48 hours. Now I’m not that old, and a lot of people I hear griping about the weather in the Midwest and East Coast right now have lived in cold areas like that for much longer than I have been away from it; which means that winter must be like child birth in the sense that everyone fucking forgets after a few years what a hard one really is like.

I am so tired of hearing about the polar vortex. Really. Really and fucking truly. First, and foremost – it’s over with! Fucking move on! Stop trying to analyze it, or deny the fact that the whether patterns are getting more extreme, and that the jet stream has changed, because of global warming, a.k.a. climate change. We’re not talking about why it happened – I have no interest in arguing with you ignorant fucking assholes about that. Let’s just all agree that shit is changing, and this is obvious proof of it. Now just shut up about it, because really it has been that cold before and it will be that cold again.

Shut the fuck up complaining about the way people drive in the winter weather, too. Or the way you have to shovel the driveway a lot. Every time I hear people bitching about shoveling I think to myself Jesus fucking a Christ, snow plows have been around and affordable for DECADES. Shut the fuck up about how you have icicles hanging from your roof, and about the fact that your heating bill has been so high the past few months. Probably 90% of the people I hear bitching and griping about all of these weather-related things work in the service industry: doctors, therapists, firefighters, policeman, nurses. In other words, there are plenty of jobs in places that are far warmer all year long where you could all relocate to and never have to deal with the snow driving-slash-driveway shoveling-slash-heating bill bullshit ever again. Until you make a concerted effort to do this, shut the shit up about all the rest already.

Can it with all your complaining about your kids being home from school. If you didn’t want to run the risk of your kids having snow days from school, you shouldn’t have had kids when you continue to live in a fucking place where you know this could be a possibility. Fuckin’ for real, people – someone had to fucking say it, and I know a lot of you that don’t bitch about your kids having to stay home on snow days were thinking it. That’s like saying you are upset because your child has a fever and can’t go to daycare. That’s pretty much been the lay of the land for – oh, I don’t know – since the advent of people having children in daycare. Therefore, you knew what you were getting into. Let your kids jump on the fucking bed after they play in the snow and have their hot cocoa; work from home, and shut the fuck up.

I saw an article the other day about how cities have a “new challenge” with all this cold and snow and ice and shit, in that they have to close down sections of sidewalk next to big buildings so that people don’t get murdered by falling icicle daggers. I’m sorry, new challenge? Huh? This has been going on FOR DECADES. Since the advent of skyscrapers. My mind is just utterly fucking boggled by this, because it is case-in-point proof that you people have never experienced winter before in your entire fucking lives.

But that isn’t really true, is it? The truth is that you guys had a couple easy ones, and – like I said – it was like all of your awful, 30+ hours of labor and delivery, when you tried to squeeze little Johnny out your v-hole. You forgot, quickly, how truly horrible it can be.

So let’s all just agree that you people amidst a shitty winter need to say “hey, look…it’s been a shitty winter, but just around the corner we’ll have spring and then a shitty summer to bitch and gripe about.” Because that’s what’s next, right guys? An extra hot, or extremely humid, summer that you all won’t shut your lily-livered mouths about?

Right. I thought so.

Sorry, guys. I know, this must be easy and all for me to say, being that I’m in California and haven’t worn anything but flip-flops in my 14 years here. But I’ve been back to the cold and the freezing in that time, and I just didn’t bitch about it. I actually enjoyed it. Truthfully, you guys should all consider yourselves lucky, for it isn’t until you live in the same, drab weather day after boring fucking day that you realize a harsh winter isn’t that bad in the end. It’s a change of pace. A beauty of nature. Something many people dream of and have never had the fortune to experience.

So shut the fuck up about winter, guys. Seriously. Shut. The. Fuck. Up.

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I Like The Cold

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People always look at me like I’m a complete moron when I tell them that I like the cold. As in cold outside, you know: snow, sleet, wind chill.

I get jealous when I see that there are blizzards going on somewhere in the world.

I live in California. Particularly, Southern California. We have one dial on the weather-o-meter and that’s about it: 70s and sunny. Sometimes we get fog. Occasionally it rains for a few days. Once in a while the winds blow and it hits 90; or the ocean blows in some high 60s.

High 60s. Anything below that and the city in which we live shuts down.

By contrast, I grew up in Chicago. Those of you that have been hanging around the blog for a while know how much I love the city and its suburbs. In the winter, and sometimes in the fall and spring, it is exceedingly cold in Chicago. Like cold-cold.

And I love it.

I guess maybe you don’t realize what it’s like to live in a place that has virtually no weather variation at all until you have. I’ve lived in Southern California now for almost 14 years and I can say without a doubt that it is beyond boring, mainly because of the weather. Yeah, it’s nice to not have to worry about things like closed-toed shoes or scarves and hats. Sure you have the ocean with the EPA’s estimation that thousands of people take a dump in that water every day while out surfing or swimming (related note: I do not ever go in the Pacific Ocean). Okay, you have the beaches you can go to any time of the year ….unless, of course, they’re closed because of all the hypodermic needles sticking out of the sand.

But there is no changing of the leaves really, especially not as dramatically as in the Midwest. You never have the excitement of jumping in a pile of freshly raked leaves; or by contrast the thrill of knowing that spring is just around the corner.

There will never be a first snow of the year for Southern Californians.

No, there will be first snow in the mountains that people will get in their cars and drive to, only after the snowing has already happened. And only for a little while before getting back in their cars and driving home to the 70s and sunny before nightfall.

You cannot get much more monotonous than that.

What I’m saying is that there are no changes of the seasons, which means there is none of the living that comes along with it. I equate living with having these experiences that are unique and exciting and different. Not monotony. Shoveling. Snow balls. Raking leaves. Seeing fresh flowers bloom. Feeling snow in your hair. Ice skating. Sledding in your back yard. Bundling up in a hat, scarf, and gloves for a football game. Hot chocolate when it isn’t actually hot out.

In 70s and sunny every day, there is not much room for exciting and different experiences when it comes to the weather. I find this ironic because in California we pride ourselves on organic-living, which should extend well beyond just the foods we eat into the way we live. And yet there is nothing organic at all about making fake snow at Disneyland or having to drive four hours in traffic to see orange, brown, and red leaves.

I don’t know, maybe it’s all in my head. I must be biased because I love Chicago and dislike California. I’m sure there is an entire conglomerate of blog followers, family, friends, and people that just like to hate me waiting to tell me how I am making no sense. I have rocks in my brains for liking cold weather, or I’ve just forgotten what a foot of snow feels like.

The bottom line, though, is that I’m home again, in suburban Chicago for the holiday. And I felt more alive as I stood in the snow yesterday afternoon than at any point in the last 14 years that I’ve lived in Southern California. I was cold. My fingers felt numb. But I could feel it, and I knew I was there because of it. There was nothing monotonous about it at all, and that is living.

Countdown to Thanksgiving Day 3: Will Everyone Shut Up About Black Friday Already?

Countdown to Thanksgiving Day 6: Cooking for Ungrateful People (STFU Fridays) was postponed because it contained a snarky, and yet scintillating, roast of a few of my favorite bloggers, one of whom’s father had to unexpectedly undergo an emergency heart procedure to unblock some arteries. B(itch)log is happy to report he is on the mend, and our roast will be featured this week on Black Friday. 

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This morning I woke up and did my usual. I read my emails. I checked my Facebook. I scrolled through my Twitter.

Then I got angry.

That’s pretty usual too, so not entirely out of the ordinary. But I was extra angry this morning. You might say extraordinarily angry; and it was for one reason: Black Friday is this week.

Everywhere I looked, I was being assaulted visually with Black Friday bullshit. I get it. The Christmas season is breathing down our necks. What will I get for Aunt B – the person that has everything? How am I going to manage my meager funds if I don’t take advantage of the Buy 1 Get 5 Free holiday turtleneck bin at Target? When will I have another opportunity to murder someone in line at Walmart to get a good deal on a flat screen TV?

All excellent questions we all ask ourselves year in and year out.

But I still got angry, and for a few reasons.

#1

Christmas Is About Jesus, Not a New XBox360

I’m pretty sure every year on his birthday, Jesus wasn’t screaming at Mary and Joseph for not getting him a new XBox360, or Tweeting about how his life was over because he wasn’t given a new iPad.

Whether you are religious or not, it is absolutely wrong to ignore the actual meaning of Christmas. It ‘aint about what you got, who gave it to you, and who’s off your list next year because they gifted something homemade. It ‘aint family gatherings where Uncle Floyd gets shit faced and moons the Christmas carolers at the front door. It ‘aint a Christmas ham bone getting stuck in the dog’s throat. It’s about Christ.

I’m not about to wax all Catholic on you faithful blog followers; and quite frankly as a Catholic I am well aware that Jesus wasn’t even really born in December. But that’s all beside the point: religious or not, the least we as consumers could do is exert a little humility and appreciation for the actual meaning. And then we can subsequently calm the fuck down on the gift giving nonsense.

This is just like Thanksgiving, though. Do you think Thanksgiving was all about shoving as much turkey into your body as was physically possible? Is the meaning of Thanksgiving to engorge yourself on pumpkin pie until you go running for the bathroom in a sheer fit of fiber-induced gas? I think the answer is obvious.

#2

Thanksgiving Isn’t Even Over With Yet

Seriously. Did Thanksgiving cease to exist? Are people not even doing anything this year? At least that’s what it seems like because the stores are decked out, people’s houses are already covered in lights, and Black Friday is being shoved down our throats.

I read a great post a few days ago about how these retailers are showing their true greed and opportunism by opening at 6 or 8 in the evening on Thanksgiving night. And while I did think it was a great point, I also believe it is the role of the consumer to stand up and say “no” to that kind of bullshit.

But they don’t, obviously because we don’t give a fuck about Thanksgiving or traditions. We give a fuck about our new Bluray players and our Old Navy sweaters.

Now I have been done with my Christmas shopping since September, so perhaps I have absolutely no room to talk. But that wasn’t about getting into the Christmas season, prancing around in my santa hat and sipping egg nog and shit when Labor Day was just passing by. It was about avoiding these assfucks on Black Friday and thereafter altogether.

And while I am generally anti-holiday, being far away from my family and stuck in a pretty awkward and dysfunctional location, I also would like to just enjoy Thanksgiving without the retailers cramming their shit down my throat before my turkey’s even fully digested yet. It’s relaxing to have a lot of people gone and out of town. It’s nice to have my husband around to clean up some of the shit around here.

OK, so if you are a retailer, please kindly consider shutting the fuck up until it’s actually Black Friday. If you are into this early Black Friday stuff, fine; just don’t ask me to get in line outside the Beanie Baby Outlet at fucking 8 o’clock on Thursday. And if you are smart, you’ll do what I did, as well as some of my friends: Amazon, bitch. I have no idea why anyone would go anywhere else. Those Buy 1 Get 5 Free turtlenecks just aren’t worth it.

Next up on the countdown? Day 2: explaining the correlation between the genocide of innocent Native Americans, and shoving turkey down our throats in celebration, to your kids.