Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The cold is almost gone. That is to say, the bug. The cold remains. The biting, frigid breath of the Ice Gods that strikes most Californians with fear and panic, that cold is still with us. It comes up the hinge pins on the front door, and slides in through the cracks in the windows. It permeates the house, slips between the sheets in the dark of night, and frosts the door knobs and toilet seats. Even the cats shudder depressedly under the bed, noses beneath paws, tails wrapped around their hindquarters, quietly meowing for the sun to come up.

Okay, so maybe it's not that cold. The rest of the country mocks forty degrees, and for anything north of the 48th parallel, that's a summer morning. But we here in San Diego are soft, and don't start sweating until the triple digits. Ahh! The triple digits! Dreams of summer...

Went out and ran in it anyway, before the sun hit the horizon. I actually put my ear warmers on this morning, for a fun change. I normally just run in the cold, as I usually heat up in the first eight minutes or so, but I'm getting old and tired of it all, and thought I'd give it a shot. It had the nice effect of keeping the sweat off my brow and, yes, my ears stayed warm. My hands, though, my hands were cold. Icy knuckles. On cold days I grab my thumbs with my fingers and hold them tight when I run, like little handlebars, and some days I hold them so tight it feels like they're going to break off like little Otter Pops. When I get back to the house I press the backs of my hands up against the kids' thighs and they run screaming. Maybe tomorrow I'll take gloves.

The cold makes you run faster. Not sure why this is, exactly, but the desire to get the run over with is certainly a contributing factor. And perhaps the body is more efficient, not having to waste a lot of energy cooling you down, as you're pretty much already there. But I ran fast this morning, and I think I may have run my local route in record time. I would know for sure, were it not for the dependably recurring failure of my exercise tracking device. All the technology in the world in a little handheld phone, and yet it can't keep the stopwatch from tripping off. Pathetic. Probably failed due to low ambient temps.

I am confused this morning about how to tackle this week's outstanding problems. And by "outstanding" I do not mean "excellent" and "marvelous" but rather "unfinished" and "incomplete". Getting up early solved nothing, and no epiphany manifested in the quiet dark over a pleasant cup of warm coffee, as was the hope. Yesterday afternoon I found another small note written by the Little Ditchman that read succintly, "No, Dad. No." And when I asked her about it, she refused to divulge her reasoning. So I must be failing around here, somewhere, somehow. Days like this I just press on like an old tractor, accomplishing minor tasks with brute force, and total disregard for... what's the word... aplomb? sophistication? No, can't think of it. Can't even think of it.

The words aren't coming to me. Earlier I used the word "depressedly" and my machine has informed me that this is not a word. "Depressedly" is not a word? I was sure it was a word. I think we all know what it means. (It's the way a cat acts when it's freezing under the bed, awaiting daybreak.)

Anyway, I should get on with things, however depressedly. It's Tuesday, after all.

UPDATE:  "finesse".