Saturday, January 11, 2014

Baby It's Cold Outside

Over the last few weeks, I've made friends with my ice scraper, realized the necessity of all-season tires, and learned a new phrase: polar vortex. Sounds horribly menacing, doesn't it? Meanwhile, my friends and family in L.A. tell me that the sky is blue, temps are hovering in the 70s and 80s, and you can even see the mountains. Just another perfect day...

When they ask me, cautiously, how I'm adjusting, I surprise them and myself by saying that I love it here in New England. Certainly, going back to work has been good for my psyche. As a naturally high strung person, I need a focus for my neurotic tendencies, and the Merry Husband is relieved that my target is no longer him. Although I am thankful that I was able to take almost six months off from work, I feel more productive, energetic, and, well frankly, a lot happier now that I have a job. Remember Dicky Fox from Jerry Meguire?

Ah, Sweet Purpose, how I've missed you.

But I didn't expect to like winter. I thought I'd be miserable and counting the dark days until spring. Instead, when I wake up to fresh snow covering everything in sight, I feel like Elsa from Frozen.

The Merry Husband has been trying to temper my expectations. He says that March will be difficult. Right now, though, I'm enjoying the novelty of it all.

Unlike Ice Queen Elsa, I have to admit, the cold bothers me a little bit. Fortunately, these New Englanders are a tough breed and have developed helpful coping mechanisms.

1. Legal Sea Foods' Clam Chowder. If I could mainline it, I would.

Via Legal Sea Foods
2. 10" Shearling-Lined Bean Boots. Keeps even my Raynaud's disease-ridden toes toasty warm.

3. Running. Seriously, the runners are still out there. This is prime training season for the Boston Marathon, only 99 days away. Just be sure you wear a reflective vest.

4. Alcohol. Last weekend, the Merry Husband and I stopped in for lunch at the Century House in Peabody while we were waiting for an oil change on my car. At 1:00 in the afternoon, the bar was absolutely packed. I asked the waitress if there was a special game or other event going on. No, she said. Every Saturday, people rushed in as soon as the bar opened at 11:00 in the morning to claim their seats for the rest of the day. They watched whatever was on (that day, it was Bruins hockey), played Keno, and socialized.

5. Friends. New Englanders have a reputation for gruffness. Think Bill Belichick in his cut-off hoodie.

They all seem to have been here since the Mayflower. They give directions by referencing defunct businesses. ("Turn right where that Dunkin' Donuts used to be ten years ago.") They drive with one hand permanently positioned over the horn. But once they decide that you're alright, never will you find more loyal friends. Case in point, our 72-year-old neighbor, a former highway patrolman, who insists on checking up on us at least once a week, even if that means braving his icy driveway with his cane. With friends like this, spring can wait.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Snow Day

We had a snow storm yesterday, which meant that I got to work from home in my pajamas, a novel experience for me. Another first: I made a snow angel. 

Merry Dog didn't find the snow nearly as entertaining as I did. She was too busy growling her disapproval over the snow plow guys. 

With my little front yard art installation, I've officially knocked 9 items off my Day Zero Project list. I'm making some progress on a few of the long term goals too. I've committed to running the Toronto Waterfront Marathon on October 19, 2014 (yikes). And I've started to learn Cantonese. I've downloaded an app called Earworms Rapid Cantonese, in which a very sexy sounding British guy tells you how to order a round of drinks. So far though, my attempts at communication with the Merry Husband in his native tongue have been a flop. Apparently, the Cantonese phrase for some drinks sounds a lot like the word for stupid (oops). 

I hope that all of you had a very Happy New Year, and that 2014 brings health and happiness your way.
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