mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

The Winter of my Discontent...

I don't remember really caring about the seasons when I was younger. In grade school and high school, summer meant summer vacation and the accompanying family vacations - touring various east coast historical sites in my parent's blue Plymouth minivan. But I don't really remember caring much about the weather.

Even in college, I don't remember caring much about the seasons. I actually kind of disliked a couple of the summers , because I spent them in New Jersey with the parents. The summer before my senior year in college, which I spent in Baltimore with roomates, was one I remember fondly.

But I don't think I thought about winter much. There was Christmas, which was nice, and the occasional snow day, which was always a pleasant surprise, but I don't remember dreading winter, nor looking forward to it.

That has changed for me the last couple years. I've grown to hate winter. I don't like to do that - after all, winter is 25% of the year, and if I'm miserable and hating the season for a quarter of the short amount of time I have on this earth, I'm dreading a fair number of my limited days.

But there are a bunch of things that annoy me about the cold weather. First of all, something about winter seems to set my allergies on edge, until my nose runs like a faucet and my eyes itch. It's counterinuative - you would think that summer, with it's pollen and leaves, would set me on edge, but it's winter that makes me hack up unnatural amounts of phlegm. This is probably partly the warm, dry indoor air, and partly the fact that I'm allergic to dust and dust mites, two things that are in abundant supply in my sealed-up apartment.

And then there is snow. Snow was always fun as a kid as a means to an end - something that got you out of school for a day or two. And one of the perks of working for a college is that we close if there's a lot of snow. But it's rare that there is a lot of snow - when it does snow, it's usually enough to make me have to shovel out and slide around the roads, but not enough to get off work. Even worse is when it snows on a Saturday, Mad Anthony's day to work overtime. If it snows on a weekday and school is closed, I get paid, while if it snows on a Saturday and I'm off I don't get paid. And what seems to often happen is we have a delayed opening or an early closing - so I have to shovel and skid around Baltimore, but work fewer hours and get paid less than I would on a sunny spring day.

And then there are the little things about cold weather - the sad, lonely grey of the sky. The chill of a cold wind. The fact that my hands tend to chap and bleed in cold weather. Having to wait for your car to warm up in the morning.

Then there are the things I enjoy doing that I can do in warm weather but not in the cold of winter. Like sit outside on a Sunday night with a cigar and a beer and read a book as the sun sets. Like drive around with the sunroof open and the windows down blasting rap music. Like wear shorts and sandels. Like leave the gym in shorts and tee shirt instead of having to bundle up before I leave.

Of course, working at a college means that summer has it's perks beyond the weather itself. Few students around mean easier work, more parking, fewer people at the gym (but also shorter hours). But even if I worked for a less seasonal employer, I think I would dread the winter and look forward to the spring and summer.


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