ShareThis Page
News Columnists

Winter of discontent

| Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2007

The months between October and March are interspersed with important calendar dates, all crucial to our survival as a species.

There are the holidays, of course, like Thanksgiving, Christmas and The First Day of Buck.

And there are the other notable occasions that seem to pop up unexpectedly each year, like that Wilco show a few months back at St. Vincent College.

Really -- who saw that one coming back in August?

Hopefully, the cumulative effect of these mileposts is sufficient to keep you from harming yourself. Otherwise, the extended periods of cold and darkness can really start to get you down.

Not sure whether you've noticed, but winter is a lot of work. Even the simple act of running out to the grocery store is like an Arctic expedition, what with the attendant layering, bundling and zipping. Kind of makes you wish you'd thought to stock the pantry with nuts back in the fall.

Likewise, entertaining oneself when the temperature dips below, say, 45 requires considerable effort and imagination.

Often, it's easier just to grab an afghan, curl up in the fetal position and preserve body heat.

Summer, on the other hand• Well, let's just put it this way:

A porch swing and some beer will do the trick most nights. The worst day in June will always beat the best day in January, because no matter what the weather might be like in June, you'll never hear the sound of rock salt crunching beneath your flip-flops.

Ah, yes, flip-flops.

So maybe the opening of "Cabaret" at the O'Reilly has been your beacon of hope. Or maybe the long-awaited return of Jack Bauer has given your life meaning. Or perhaps you've been counting down the days until pitchers and catchers report to spring training (16).

Me, I've been eyeballing Jan. 31 -- that's tomorrow -- the night New Orleans jazz-funk instrumentalists Galactic come to Mr. Small's. Seriously, I've been looking forward to this since the moment the Steelers were eliminated from the playoffs -- thusly wiping out several weeks' worth of life-sustaining winter entertainment.

Horns, harmonicas, drums, guitars, bodies, sweat, beer, smoke and a spacy, enchanting light show befitting a band called Galactic. All within the darkened confines of a former Catholic church.

Looks like it's gonna be a hot one tomorrow night in Millvale.

Not a minute too soon.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me