I just checked the weather on the local news station's website; apparently it currently feels like NaN degrees outside. For the non-nerds reading, that's Not a Number. As in: does not compute. Welcome to Iowa. The irony of the situation is that 18 degrees is the highest we've seen in the last week; it is certainly a welcomed respite.

Despite this apparent glitch in the matrix, after 25 years in this state I feel that I've finally come to terms with the hellish abuse that is Iowa weather. Honestly, I've got no problem with the blast furnace humidity that exists from late June to early September. If you've ever hauled 600 pounds worth of amps and guitars into a windowless Phoenix coffee shop in mid-July, you know that any complaining about Iowa summers is feeble, at best. You also learn why native jungle dwellers are never wearing any clothes.

No, it's winter that has consistently deflated my balloon. This shit can really bring a soul down. I've never experienced Chinese water torture, but I imagine that it effects a similar madness as three months of Iowa winter. Apparently, the key to successful water torture is randomly timed drops. Too uniform a cadence, and it's not as effective. I think this correlates nicely with winter. It's the randomness that gets you in the end. Three days of nicer weather, and you're on top of the world. Everything is great. And then SLAM! you're inundated.

I'm getting better, though. This too shall pass. My brother has started a habit of not receiving any anesthetic before oral surgery. Some might call it masochism; he calls it learning that pain is as much an idea as it is a sensation. This outlook has informed my approach to winter. You've got to come at winter with an unflinching determination. You've got to look the motherfucker in the face and explain to it, in no uncertain terms, that it's your bitch. Suddenly, then, it doesn't feel as cold outside. Dress in layers, invest in some nice gloves and a scarf, and you'll be fine.

A gut full of Jameson doesn't hurt either.

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