19 January 2002
What does 19° F feel like? I've been checking temperatures for Rochester and see that
today it had a high of 31° and a low of 19°. I've lived in California my whole life. I can't
relate to 19°. It is probably about 31° right now, as I sit here at my desk, shivering.
The way this house is built, the heat doesn't really reach into my office unless you've
made an oven of the rest of the house, so I'm almost always cold on days like this. My
Last night we went to a retirement dinner and when we came home, I was standing outside
the front door waiting for Walt to unlock it and I was shivering a bit in the cold air.
The thought crossed my mind that this was probably balmy by Rochester standards.
Am I out of my ever loving mind?
(don't answer that)
This is one of those times that I would like to be a normal sized person. (Unlike every
other day, of course, when I just love waddling around town like a hippopotomus)
If I were a normal sized person, I could find another normal sized person who enjoys
skiing and borrow some clothes to wear for the one day I will be coping with Rochester
If I were rich, I could, perhaps, outfit myself in what every Rochester resident wears
in the dead of winter (whatever that might be). But to spend big bucks for one day seems
If even possible.
It's January, so naturally the stores are beginning to stock beach wear. You buy winter
clothes in August, dontchaknow.
But even if they were selling cold weather clothing, it's not easy buying off the
rack when you're this size.
Remember our trip to Orkney last November? As it turned out, it wasn't nearly as cold
as I expected, but I tried to plan for freezing winds. I went to several stores trying to
find something that I could wear in that cold. I even went into the men's section
of London Fog and tried on their XXL size coats and they wouldn't button over the
panniculus. I did find a coat, but it's much too light weight for 19°.
Someone told me to layer. Just what you tell a fat person: layer!
But I suppose personal embarrassment goes by the way in deference to personal comfort.
Given the choice of padding this already well insulated body or freezing, there's not
really a problem making a decision.
Of course they'd have to send a pickup truck for me at the airport because I probably
wouldn't fit into the car.
(the mental image of "Kenny" from SouthPark comes to mind!)
Someone else warned me that when it's 19° outside, people tend to overcompensate with
warmth inside, so she pointed out that if I layer too much, I could die from heat
prostration. You don't, as a general rule (I don't think) walk into someone's home and
remove your coat, gloves, scarf, and long johns.
But what do I know? Maybe you do do that in weather that's 19°.
I should ask Char. She lived in Fairbanks. I remember when she'd tell me that they were
going out for ice cream because it had warmed up to -21° (that's minus twenty one,
in case you didn't see the minus sign there). She, too, grew up in San Francisco and
the day she moved to Fairbanks it was -51° when she stepped off the plane. If I can't
relate to 19°, I certainly can't relate to -51°. So I'm sure she'd have good advice for
how to cope with freezing temperatures.
It occurs to me, though, that there might be a perk in spending a day in freezing
temperatures. Everybody knows you can burn fat off by a lot of exercise. Do you think you
can freeze fat off? Think if my derrier gets too cold I can just break off a few
chunks and leave a little of me...uh...behind...in Rochester?
I may have discovered a whole new way of losing weight.