Surly Thursday or a Reasonable Facsimile

Yeah, I'm faking it because you can't be authentically surly when you're dead inside, but Clara was looking forward to surliness and I adore Clara and I'm stalled in this assignment until my husband gets home and shows me how to make a concept map in Powerpoint.

Things that would make me surly if I still had feelings:

When the Rideau Canal was still open, Alan Neal was talking on CBC about the no-pickup-hockey-games rule that the National Capital Commission instituted. The reasons given were 1) it's dangerous and disruptive with so many people skating and, more importantly 2)the kind of 'static weight' generated by these games, as opposed to the 'moving weight' of people simply skating could cause the ice to sink and result in dangerous skating conditions. Neal concluded the piece with "what do you think"?

What do they think? Who gives a crap what they think? Are you going to ask them what they think about the rule about not knocking over liquor stores too? It's been determined that this is something that could shorten the canal skating season or result in injury, but let's all vote? Stuff a beaver tail in it, Alan Neal.

It's silly to get surly over a column in the newspaper, right? I always kind of know even while reading and feeling pissy that this writer needed to fill their column inches for the week, there's a good chance they're exaggerating or even just making stuff up, and that it's likely that my outrage is, in fact, the intended effect. And yet....

There was a column in the paper this week or last bitching about people bitching about winter. You know, we're soft, we're whiny, we should suck it up and embrace the chill, celebrate the upper-body-workout given by shovelling a foot and a half of snow, etc. etc.

Suck it, Pollyanna. Complaining about winter is a Canadian birthright. Sometimes I wonder what it's like living somewhere without winter. Are people always happy? What do you lament about in January if it's sunny and warm and you can leave the house without girding your loins in gore tex and sorels? I don't expect to ever find out. I live here, and it's unlikely that I'm ever leaving. I'm partial to many aspects of it. But right now, backing out of my driveway is an act of blind faith. The main intersection at the end of my street only has one lane clear, so if someone is coming around the corner as I pull up I have to drive up onto the snowbank in order not to get scraped by the other vehicle. My skin is raw, and Vaseline Intensive Rescue lotion has suddenly started smelling like something unpleasantly male and biological to me. Sure, there have been a handful of days where I've gotten out and frolicked in the snow or enjoyed the bracing frigidity, but mostly it's a slog. It's not tragic, and it's not insurmountable, but it's wearing and it's my winter and I'll complain if I want to.

The other column was about how people shouldn't sneer at ereaders or the people who love them. Which is a fair point, except when people with ereaders are snotty and sneer at people who are still reading those laughably antiquated things called books. The columnist says she still wants to own beloved books or first editions, but for a flimsy paperback she'll just download it onto her ereader for a few bucks. Uh, yeah, I don't own all the flimsy paperbacks I read either - I get them from the library, for free (fuck off, this is NOT the place to ask how much I pay in overdue fees). Other people have written about how giddy they are about getting rid of all their books and then replacing them on their ereader. Uh yeah, okay, so you've now paid for the books twice but now yay! Your collection is now portable. And invisible. Clearly this confers some kind of superiority. I didn't particularly love the Kindle I had for a few weeks before I gave it to my mother, but I could completely see their appeal and understand why people liked them. Douchebags who think their way is the only way? Turns out I'm still against them. Maybe I'll write a column about it.


Nicole said…
Love the surly. As for "what do you think?" I think that people are often very ill-informed idiots who have no idea how the world works. LET'S PLAY PICK UP HOCKEY AMIDST HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE. That will have no ill effects, I'm sure.

Also? Winter. If I lived somewhere non-wintry, I would be a joyous being indeed.
clara said…
Awwr, thanks.

OMG. YOu are not the only one who smells that in the Vaseline Intensive Lotion. Added to which, whenever my husband puts it on his hands, the cat comes over and licks them. WTF? The world is so gross.

My cousin lives in Australia and every time she sends pictures of her happy little family at the beach all year round I just remember: sharks. They have sharks there. I wouldn't be able to swim anyway because of the terror.
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I watched hockey on the canal when I was in Ottawa, it was so cool :-) But that was official so I guess it was allowed (maybe the picked a really thick part).

And I would read paper books, but I find it harder to change the font! ;-)
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S said…
Hah! I like you surly.

Quite frankly...
StephLove said…
We have a different kind of winter surliness here. B would like colder winters with more of that white stuff. We were supposed to get our first storm of more than an inch this year last week (4-8 or 5-10 inches depending on the source) and it petered out and ended up being a half inch of slush. The schools were closed, she stayed home from work, heck, the federal govt was closed. I was out of sorts because the kids were underfoot and book club was cancelled. She was out of sorts because the storm didn't deliver. At one point she accused me of looking at her funny just when I'd been thinking the same thing. So, that was fun.
I don't know how you can manage the Ottawa winters year after year. I spent the whole day volunteering at my son's Soccer Fun Day on the weekend and I was bitching about how cold my fingers were (and it was 5 degrees). If I lived in the north where I grew up or pretty much anywhere east of year I wouldn't stop bitching. Winter! Waah!

Sasha said…
I can't believe you just tomatoed the unimpeachable Alan Neal. (See what I did there?)

And yeah, anyone who thinks their way is the only way is a dork. And that's the only way to see it, as far as I'm concerned :P

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