10 January, 2014

the chinook blues (well, more faecal browns, putrid beiges and noxious greys)

not a happy day.

the chinook continues its nasty job of undermining both winter and my equanimity: streets covered with melting brown slush that's reminiscent of the manure-infused mud and water one can find around a pig farm; disturbingly warm wind whipping the clouds around; boots covered in salt stains despite constant efforts to clean and polish; migraines crouched always just out of sight but ever at the ready; not a sparkling bit of frost to be found for love or money.


oh for a nice crisp winter's day.

to add insult to injury (cue annual rant), the majority of the population continues to wreak linguistic havoc by equating warm with nice (i.e. "it's nice out" when wading through ankle-deep manure-like slush does not meet my criteria of "nice," and when what they really mean is "it's warm out"), and continues their socially-acceptable and media-supported hatred of winter. why am i the outlier, the weirdo, when, having chosen to live in a cold climate, i actually embrace the winter and find things to love in it? i'm tired of having to defend to people (even friends sometimes) the fact that i do indeed love winter and no, i am not merely lying to myself about it, har har.

isn't it a sign of some kind of mental and emotional balance to try to embrace the reality of one's surroundings instead of choosing to bitch constantly about the fact that we ain't got no palm trees lining our streets? i don't know, maybe it's not, but i do think that some of our happiness does stem from facing a situation's reality and the reality here (well, in edmonton, not so much in calgary with its infernal chinooks (i am here temporarily and am therefore exempt from the reality clause of having to learn to love chinooks)) is several months of serious winter. as in november to march, with probable snippets both before and after.

my suggestion is to face reality and in the case of winter, the suggestion has two sides: a mental one (you live in alberta; embrace the climate; don't feed the hate) and a practical one (buy clothing that is appropriate to the conditions - calling something a winter coat does not automatically make it a winter coat. it should also be… i don't know.. warm?). it's astonishing how simple the latter is, and yet how some people figure a light fall coat will do double duty in -35ºC (mister monkey is exempt here, because the man is actually truly never cold and would likely sweat to death in a parka).

i'm happy to note that more and more the streets of our cities are populated by young people wearing weather-appropriate attire. amazing how much happier you can be when you are dressed for the conditions. hah - maybe that, right there, is the answer to all  most of life's problems: rubber boots in vancouver, mukluks in edmonton, flip-flops in honolulu = happiness.

(note: i do realise that i bitch about the weather and then about people bitching about the weather. like i said, my excuse is that this windswept city is not my home and i didn't choose it. )


Zhoen said...

Brava! Exactly. I figure it's the editorializing of weather by news outlets. The only Nice weather is warm and sunny. Well, screw that.

But people in Boston hated anything that wasn't that, in a constant fuss over rain or snow or clouds. And here, it's even worse. Maybe it's partly movies, that exist in an eternal California.

I'm with you, weather is interesting, the stormier the better.

polish chick said...

you're right, it is the ubiquitous editorializing and the holywood fiction factory. i remember watching e.t. my first or second year in canada and being flabbergasted at the fact that kids were trick-or-treating without parkas and mittens over their costumes.

Zhoen said...

Or the Little House on the Prairie series, that had maybe one winter episode a season, the books had a LOT more snow.

Tom said...

Although we do complain about the weather, not that complaining ever solved a thing, it seems to be that those who face the "worst" weather seem to complain the least. Note the almost cheery attitudes of many Brits who have been seriously flooded again and again.

Also, there is a perceived notion amongst weather forecasters that certain weather is "bad", like rain even when crops are dying of thirst, and some weather is unquestionably "good", like hot sunshine even when people are becoming ill with the heat - and crops are withering through lack of water which was taken from drying out rivers. Not that I'm complaining, you understand. :)

Crusty Juggler said...

Hear! Hear! I'm new to Calgary as well, and although it's a temporary residence, I don't understand the appeal of the sudden, filthy melting of ice and snow in the middle of winter. Not a fan of Chinooks or of the suggestion that warm invariably = good weather.

Joan said...

This week we've had a snowfall warning, freezing rain warning, wind warning, rainfall warning and a windchill warning!! It's now 7 above and raining on a Saturday night! Weather is interesting and goofy!

Geneviève Goggin said...

My teenager has finally asked for an umbrella after four years of insisting that a hoody is fine for Vancouver winters. And he's just realized that rain down here means snow on the mountain for snowboarding. And rain in the winter means lush greenery and beautiful flowers. Logic prevails!