It's cold these days. Like, "-60 degrees with the windchill" cold. Even the local Inuit folks are complaining it's cold. It's cold enough that Cambridge Bay has a wind chill warning:
"Frostbite on exposed skin may occur in less than 2 minutes."
This can be perilous, seeing how I've taken up a bad habit of walking outside with my jacket open, wearing no snowpants over my tights (yes I still wear dresses and tights), figuring a short walk to the truck. You'd think with the windchill warning I'd take the time to properly dress myself, but I've been enjoying the windchill warning as a fun challenge to dash out the front door, run to the truck, unplug the truck from the wall with my bare hands, and jump into passenger's side, all under 2 minutes before the frostbite sets in. It'll take a lot to make me stop wearing tights and wear real pants. Besides, maybe peculiar frostbite marks will become the new cool thing, like the new kind of tattoo.
Meanwhile, Toronto complains about have to work in -40 degree weather.
The annoying part of this cold weather is that your body shifts into survival mode. The cold makes you hungry. You can eat and eat and never feel full. MUST ACQUIRE BODY FAT, your brain tells you urgently. EAT SOMETHING.
But I just ate something, you protest weakly.
EAT SOMETHING ELSE, it insists. MUST ACQUIRE BODY FAT TO KEEP WARM.
Er, I'd rather not, you say. I'm actually trying to lose the body fat I gained while gorging on buffets in Mexico.
Then your brain slaps you. MUST ACQUIRE BODY FAT TO KEEP WARM, it repeats. SKINNY BITCHES GONNA DIE FREEZING. EAT SOMETHING.
The grocery stores have moved back into "winter" mode, with winter prices and winter produce conditions. The tomatoes turn quickly, the bananas somehow manage to be both green and bruised, there is no tofu, and we haven't seen any chicken breasts in a while. A lot of things, like mushrooms and green onions, just aren't there. It depends on what day you shop though. You gotta catch these things on a day when the plane has been able to land. Some people poke their heads into the grocery store every day, on their coffee break or during lunch, just to see what's there. However, Christmas chocolate has gone on sale for fifty cents, making my survival mode brain very happy.
On the bright side, the sun has started to rise again.
there it is
and now it's gone already
In other news, the Globe and Mail recently published an entire edition about the Arctic. In this article, writer Ian Brown goes on a sleigh ride in Cambridge Bay and talks about how cold it is at -25 degrees.