Jan 17 2007

A slight antipathy


I had the flu for a couple of days, and when I came to and took a squint out the window, the disagreeable tableau affronting my disbelieving eyes was the above-pictured frozen purgatorial gloom. Naturally I have taken the only recourse open to a spinster aunt caught in a supernatural and obnoxious Austin ice storm, which is to take to my bed until the thaw. At which time I will prance back into circulation, fresh as a daisy blooming in what I fully anticipate will be the warm, bright January sun.

I have no objection to winter weather, as long as it involves blue skies and 70 degrees of Fahrenheit.


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  1. Ann Bartow

    Huh, I’m actually hoping for an ice storm, or at least some actual cold weather, so that some members of the pestilent legion of biting and stinging insects around these here parts get frozen to death. Two days ago it was 78 degrees and I actually used the air conditioning in my car, because rolling down the windows would have allowed in the hungry bug life. Granted this is “South” Carolina, but sheesh!

  2. Ann Bartow

    Just out of curiousity, do you have a “Difficult Persiflage” post category?

  3. CafeSiren

    You may hate the cold, but it’s a fantastic photo. Holga?

  4. norbizness

    Send sand trucks to East Austin! I’m getting Condo Fever!

  5. Persian Pen Name

    I know exactly what you mean, Twisty. I’m just a little south of you in the BCS area, and it’s been frozen solid outsite for three days now. The entire town has shut down!

  6. cycles

    Y’all, stop. My Austinite brother sent me icicle pix yesterday, too. I’m getting very nostalgic for A-town. And also jealous of folks who get to experience the specialness of accumulated snow and ice where it usually ain’t. It’ll all be gone in a few days. Enjoy it for now.

  7. mustelid

    We were having a really mild winter up here in Mass. Now it’s changing to more of a traditional winter, with snow and ice. Bleh. I’ve lived in New England most of my life, and have yet to get used to the cold.

  8. Hawise

    Throw on a few extra blankets, catch up on the unread books pile and enjoy the sight of icicles glittering in the glow of streetlights at night. Ignore the rest of the icy problems and enjoy the surreal.

  9. Minerva

    Talk to me when you get 40″ of snow in less than 2 weeks time–and it is still on the ground a month later because the daytime temperatures haven’t been above 35 in f’in forever. I miss Texas in winter.

  10. mearl

    Ha! I clutch my Goretex-clad sides in hideous laughter at the thought of icicles being a novelty. Here in Canuckistan, it has been -35 degrees celsius for the past week. I didn’t have to work on Friday or Saturday last because with the wind chill, the temperature was -45 C. Herds of yeti riot unchecked past my window.

    Twisty, if you are planning a radfem weekend salon for your blogreaders anytime soon, please invite me.

  11. Flamethorn

    Here’s something random for you. I was browsing through the Skeptic’s Annotated Bible looking for plot ideas to steal.

    1 Sam 13:20 But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter,


  12. Jezebella

    I’ll never understand why canucks/yankees/whatever you northern people wish to call yourselves must always, I mean ALWAYS brag about how hideous your winters are. It’s like you have to out-winter each other the minute anyone says “cold snap.”

    Why do you even live up there? What brand of lunatic pioneer builds a shack in Minnesota one summer, spends the winter there, and doesn’t flee (minus fingers & toes) the minute spring thaw starts?

  13. Hattie

    Thought your readers might enjoy bumper cars in Portland, OR.
    Pardon the long URL:

  14. arse poetica

    Ann, this storm is headed our way, so you should be getting your wish right about now!

    My only complaint about “weather” in the South, which we didn’t have today but we’ll have tomorrow: folks at work are already planning their hard rations and emergency hoohah. I mean, really. Then again, it may provide me cover just to tuck in tomorrow, so I take it all back. The Great Blizzard of ’07 is upon us!

    Hope you recover quickly, Twisty!

  15. scratchy888

    Perth is hot.

  16. Hawise

    It is summer in Perth, it had better be hot.
    Bragging about our winters is a survival trait. When you force many people indoors for long periods it helps to have a common bond to alleviate the tension. We have winter, we complain about it, we brag about it and we plan complicated and usually pointless ways to deal with it. People down south have bugs all year to bring themselves to that same level of commonality. We have a short but intense bug hating season, you have a short but intense winter hating season, it all balances out in the end.

  17. Antoinette Niebieszczanski

    Jezebella, we boast about it to give evidence of our inherent (insane) toughness. We delight in the wussiness of those with enough sense to live in balmier climes. Some of the good things about wicked winter weather are that the lower temps seem to keep the nuisance bug population controlled, and the summer heat & humidity are less prolonged. Oh, and flannel jammies. You gotta love curling up around a nice cuppa hot chocolate (with brandy shots) in you flannel jammies whilst watching a howling blizzard outside. Provided you don’t have to go out in it.

  18. Sylvanite

    That’s true; the best thing about winter weather is not having to go anywhere. When we got our usual annual snow dump last year, we went for a walk in the Wissahickon Valley, taking pictures. The snow was beautiful, and it wasn’t too cold, so only a moderate amount of bundling up was required. Then, home, to warmth and hot beverages!

  19. yankee transplant

    Great photo. Hunker down and enjoy warm potables. And Bert.

  20. redwards

    Winter! How I long for the almost $100 in coats I spend in November to actually be put to use! Here’s hoping the semi-cold( 35 degrees)in VA lasts. And yay for warm alcohol-spiked potables!

  21. mearl


  22. Hawise

    Mearl- we have long since conceded the coldness competition to Kujjuaq and the scientists at the South Polar stations, what we can do is get more complainers into a single venue than they can on any given day. We don’t win on actual technical merit but we can get the artistic merit points;)

  23. hedonistic

    In Minnesota where I grew up it was SO COLD in the winter –

    Chorus: HOW COLD WAS IT?

    – it was SO COLD that the tires on your car would freeze flat on the bottom so when you tried to drive it (once you dug yourself out) you’d go kerthunk-kerthunk-kerthunk down the road until they thawed out.

    – it was SO COLD that when the wind chill was -80 degrees, exposed skin would supposedly get frostbite in something like 60 seconds. We kids still had to wait outside for the school bus, our white-tipped eyelashes peeking out of our parkas.

    – No, wait, we WALKED to school for miles in the snow, UPHILL BOTH WAYS!

    – it was SO COLD that men (always men, WTF?) really did drive their trucks on the lake, and sometimes even lost their lives that way, thus proving Darwin’s Theory.

  24. alphabitch

    Ha! Hedonist is correct — I grew up there too. But I’m not sure what you’re talking about when you say “uphill both ways” as there are so few hills there.

    I remember one winter we tried to come up with a formula for determining the temperature by sticking one’s head out the door, inhaling, and counting the seconds until your nostril-hairs freeze. The problem was that it’s different for everybody (nostril size? body temperature? speed and volume of air taken in? variations in the difference between the outside and inside temp?) so it was not reliable from one person to the next, and we couldn’t calculate an actual formula — although you can get a pretty good idea about how many layers of clothing to put on by doing this.

    Last time I visited Minneapolis in the winter, they were issuing warnings on the news for people who had facial piercings to please cover them up when going outside, as there was some kind of epidemic of facial-piercing-related frostbite among young hipsters. That’s when I knew I could never go home again. Way too hip for me.

    And AE: Now that I’m here in NC, the rush on the grocery stores and provision-stocking following a forecast of any type of winter weather totally cracks me up too. I was out of milk yesterday and didn’t want to go anywhere near the store because I would be sort of embarrassed to go in and buy milk, bread, eggs, or batteries — even if I needed them — with snowfall predicted. Unless I’m out of beer, which hardly ever happens.

  25. Jezebella

    Alpha, I swear to bog, the first time my nostril hairs froze, I thought I was having an aneurism. Horrific.

    After enduring three years in Kansas, though, I do now snicker at people who panic because there’s going to be a “hard freeze”!

  26. thinking girl

    Here in Halifax, weather has been sketchy. It should now be continuously cold, with a fair amount of snow. Instead, it’s quite warm (almost 10 degrees celsius yesterday) and rainy. We had snow this week, our second storm this winter (the first was in early December and it all melted away two days later). Yesterday’s rain, however, has left us much less white.

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