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Being bitter has a dual meaning when living in Syracuse, N.Y. My hands are permanently blue and scaly now. Sometimes I look at them and I think,"I’m turning into one of the Stone People from Game of Thrones," but then I remember that I just moved to Syracuse and it’s just really cold all the time. After living in the Texas sunshine for five years and never seeing snow, it’s a little bit of a shock to polar plunge myself back into this “winter wonderland.”
Honestly, I feel a little cheated. The calendar says that the season of winter should last no more than three months; however, temperatures started dropping in October and it’s not supposed to recover until April. Like wtf. Anyway, I’ve compiled this list of things that northerners and I do to cope with the cold:
When I polled my friends on the topic, their number one answer was: “Drink.”
Avoid going outside at all costs
Meaning, I have learned to embrace my inner couch potato (tough one, right?). This winter I’ve taken on the endeavor of watching Game of Thrones for the first time (I know I’m late to the game). Winter is in fact, coming. It's been 15 days since I started and I’m about to finish season 5 – averaging 3ish episodes per day. Also, F.U. to the internet for spoiling everything.
When I do have to leave the confines of a couch and my friends in Westoros, I've learned two ways to cope:
So far this winter, I’ve ate shit three times in public because I slipped on ice due to my really cute shoes. If you do happen to fall, the best part is when everyone stares as you struggle to brush the muck of your clothes and gather your belongings. On a similar note, don’t try to be cool and slide on the ice like the movies - it won't work out well as well as you envisioned. Because of this, I now permanently wear boots and walk like an emperor penguin.
Find enjoyment in hurling snowballs at people
One thing that does stand true to the movies is that snowball fights are definitely still cool. It’s one of the only times in life where it is perfectly okay to huck something and someone else’s face and have it be “for fun” (or is it...).
It’s a great conversation topic
If you think talking about the weather is an ice-breaker (haha), bashing the cold is something everyone in 'Cuse can get behind (along with loving Wegmans and hating Mondays). And we resent the people who are “naturally warm” (*cough* Charlie *cough*).
My personal hygiene has gone through the roof
“Oh yeah, I washed my hands for extra 30 seconds today just because of how good the hot water felt”. Same mentality has applied to hot showers, drinking coffee and refusing to leave my room.
Pretend like you’re going to go skiing/sledding/snowboarding more than you actually will
It was fun that one time, but it's REALLY cold out. I'll just pretend.
Make other people drive you around
I will do anything not to have to clear off my car and drive on the slick, icy and salt ridden roads. I see my life flash before my eyes every time I fish tail. But, while I am anti-driving, I am pro-heated seats.
Negative correlation between the temperature and my dark sense of humor
Fact: Maybe its a coping mechanism, but bitter people are funnier.
Snow is pretty.
Snow is pretty to look at from the window of your warm apartment while holding a warm cup of coffee. Bonus: when you see yellow snow, you know not to step there. Can’t do that during the summer.
Procrastinate on real life obligations by planning tropical vacations
In addition to binge watching GoT, I have also planned multiple tropical vacations. All of these vacations I will probably never go on, but I pretty much qualify as a travel agent for anyone who wants some advice.
Find alternate sources of warmth
Beer and excessive eating.
I have this thought every morning, so I Googled it.
The answer is yes. So that's my plan next winter.
Buy Chap Stick and hand warmers every time you see them
Embrace not having to shave your legs every-goddamn-day
Write blogs like this to distract you
Admiring/Judging the guys who still manage to wear shorts
Winter holidays are lit (i.e. Christmas, NYE, my birthday, St. Patty’s)
Alas, spring is only 20 days away, but who's counting (I am, here's a countdown)? But all-in-all, despite the bitter cold, crazy drivers and icy sidewalks - I really do enjoy this time of year, and now that I’ve survived it, I know I wouldn't want to move south any time soon.
Stay warm and stay tuned.