I’m tucked away in my basement, penning this missive, while outside the temperatures continue to fall. Today is the coldest day it’s been this winter in Minnesota thus far, with a high of zero and a low of seventeen below.
Days like today, it’s unadvisable to go outside. Every breath feels like your lungs are freezing and any exposed skin, grows taut and painful in a matter of minutes. No, it’s best to remain indoors, resting in a comfortable chair, with a full belly, watching football with the ones you love.
Interesting games today.
Felt sorry for the Vikings and Seahawks alike playing in the arctic temps. Stadium looked like a sea of smokers, as every ticket holder’s breath billowed forth as if from locomotives. Thought the Vikings were going to win this one, but a fumble and a shanked field goal led to their demise. I’m not necessarily a Vikings fan. I think the only true Vikings fan in the house is our two year old, and perhaps her affection for the men in purple is intrinsic; after all, she’s the only one in our family to be born in Minnesota. So I’m sure someday we’ll hear her singing “Skol” along with the rest of ‘em.
Regarding football teams, we are a house divided. I’m a 49ers fan, which isn’t always easy, and Audrey, who sent her formative years in Green Bay, is a Packers fan. After visiting the Packers Hall of Fame, and taking in the history, I too became a fan of the Pack, and so we both cheer for each other’s teams, so long as they aren’t playing each other. How do the Vikes factor in? State pride. Neither of us hails from the land o’ lakes, but we’ve heartily adopted it, which means we’ll throw the horns up (so long as the Vikings aren’t playing the Niners or the Packers, of course).
It felt great watching the Packers pull out a win against Washington. Who knows how they’ll fare against Arizona next week, but for now, this win is enough. After struggling so much the past few weeks, a resounding victory lifted spirits. We cheered, high fived, and sang the fight song, as the Pack turned it around and jumped up to a 17 point lead.
January is tough month. The school’s One Act play is moving full-force, and beginning to come together. Every day, I see stronger performances from each of the students; I think we have a real shot at placing in competition this year. Our practices do go until 4:30, which puts me at home around 5:15-5:30. This may not seem too late, but my time with Audrey and the girls is limited as a result. I know it’s only for about another month, but I miss them something fierce. Makes the weekends all the more meaningful, though.
My Passat finally died. It had been wheezing out its last breath for over a year, and I was planning on getting something newish, but I don’t think I was quite ready. We returned from our Wisconsin Christmas Trip, and I didn’t drive it at all that weekend. When I went to start it up on Monday, to leave for work, it cranked and cranked with all its might but just wouldn’t turn over. I was pissed. Audrey calmly explained that: a) I could take the van to work, and b) we were planning on getting a new car anyway. She made perfect sense, but I felt the need to grumble anyway. We shared the van throughout the week, and we quickly realized that I needed to get a car.
I returned to the same dealership where we purchased our van a year and a half ago, and test drove a Nissan Altima. Half hour later I was signing the paperwork. Huzzah! We bought the car outright, rather than trying to finance; I don’t think we would have gotten a very good rate anyway. We already have one car payment, a mortgage, and those ever present student loans. Cash on the barrelhead for us, and now I have a solid commuter car with a working heater–the Passat didn’t blow hot air, but rather a slightly less cold air than what was outside. It’s a solid car that should last us quite awhile.
My writing habits haven’t improved. I’ve already failed in my resolve to write 250 words a day, but again, this month’s a bit of a kick in the teeth in terms of what we have going on. But, I have written every day. I’m not sure what I’m working on…no one story, at least. I write down ideas in my pocket notebook, and then sketch scenes for this longer story I have in a specific notebook; that is, everything pertaining to that story goes in the same notebook…my other notebooks are a bit of a hodge podge. I also write in this Creative Writer’s Notebook that my in-laws gave me for Christmas. It features a slew of writers, discusses their contributions and style, then provides writing exercises pertaining to them. For example, the James Joyce section focuses on stream of consciousness and portmanteaus. I like these because they force me to work outside my usual writing style.
Before I go, I’ll recommend some stuff:
- Listen to the Bob Forrest episode of Wtf with Marc Maron. Interesting stories from a guy you might recognize from the band Thelonious Monster or the show Celebrity Rehab.
- Read Bill Willingham’s Fables. I’m currently on volume 18. Each collection gets better and better. Inherit the Wind is my favorite of the series so far.
- Listen to Nathaniel Rateliff & the Night Sweats.
- Watch Kingsman: The Secret Service (I received this as a Christmas gift. I’m watching it in 10 minute intervals, but it’s really a lot of fun. Colin Firth is so badass).
That’s it for this week. I’m off to gather as much sleep as I can muster.
Be well, stay warm. Read, listen to, watch, and create cool things.