Thursday, January 29, 2004

Minnesota Cold

I have never before really thought about ever moving away from Minnesota simply because I like the atmosphere of the state and the people here are nice and my family is also here. The one thing that has made me wonder if I really want to stay in this state the rest of my life is the ungodly cold of the last few days. It hasn’t just been the temperature not getting above 0 degrees, but the unbelievable amount of wind we’ve had to go with the cold. Yesterday, after you factored in the wind chill, it was a nice, nippy 30-40 degrees below zero. Yes, for all of you southern folk, temperature can go below zero degrees.

Besides making the temperature so cold out, the wind also made my drive down to Clear Lake an interesting one. On the way down I had a hard time keeping my speed under 80 mph because I had the wind pushing me, but on the way back I had to keep the pedal crammed down just to stay above 70. I can’t imagine what it would be like driving a giant SUV or semi in that kind of wind. Actually, I have a hard time imagining why people would want SUV’s in the first place, but I’ll let that go for now.

Since it’s been so wonderfully cold, I have had no desire to go outside for any reason. Since I don’t go outside I’ve been forced to find activities to do in our house to keep me from just completely vegetating on my bed staring off into nowhere. To fill some of that time I started to watch the dvd set of the tv show Firefly. Not too many people remember it, but it was a sci-fi show on Fox last year or the year before that was broadcast on Friday nights (usually viewed as the timeslot of doom). Frankly, I am in love with this series and it saddens me to know that it only lasts 16 episodes. Fox really had a winner on its hands and I can’t imagine why they would cancel this show.

Pretty much Firefly is an outer space western. Imagine Cowboy Bebop done live action with a little less of a comic slant. The stories are very well written and are not as clich├ęd as some of the other big name sci-fi shows that are on the air right now (cough, Enterprise, cough, sucks, cough). The creator of the show, Joss Whedon, is thankfully moving from the tv industry to writing comics, so I’m anxious to see what he can do in print media. I picked up his comic series Fray, but I haven’t had a chance to read it yet.

I’ve also been trying to make sure I get some kid of a workout in at night, but I often feel as if I haven’t exercised enough when I’m done. I either use our treadmill or our weight set. Running on a treadmill isn’t the same as doing actual running on a track or outdoors so even if I run as much on the treadmill as I would outside, I still don’t feel like I got as much accomplished. Our weight set also can’t compare to the weight room I’ve become so accustomed to up at SJU. I can’t do all of the exercises the I’m used to and it sometimes feels like I’m just repeating the same muscle groups over and over because of the lack of variety. I suppose I can’t complain too much, though, because if I didn’t have either of those in the house I’d go stir crazy and probably start making laps around the dining room table.

Well, I’ve kind of been avoiding the topic so far in this post because I haven’t wanted to talk about it, but I might as well put it out on the table. Two days ago my grandfather had a mild stroke. He’s pretty much fine now, but this came somewhat as a wake-up call. Any person that regularly reads this site knows that I am somewhat obsessed with, and unbelievably afraid of, death. In this case my own mortality wasn’t so much brought to the forefront in my mind as much as the mortality of all of those around me. Assuming that I don’t kick the bucket first, the people I love will eventually leave this world and me.

I remember back when my grandpa Eddie died. I don’t think I was truly old enough to realize the implication that he was never going to be around again. I somehow deluded myself into thinking it was just a long vacation he was on. Eventually it dawned on me, quite a ways down the line actually, that someone else’s death was just as permanent as my oft thought about impending end. I have a hard time imagining living without certain people around me, and grandpa’s stroke made me think about these thoughts once more.

I really don’t want to delve into my morbid ponderings on the grim reaper’s day job any more right now, but again it comes. I wonder if deep down I have some odd fetish with death……let’s hope not, though, because that would be just plain weird.

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