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Blog: How To Beat The Cold, Skillz Style

(originally written 12/21/08)

I recently changed zip codes. It's been an adjustment.


I have already gotten accustomed to having a large steel gate blocking my entry and exit, like an army of ten 5'6" security guards welded together. I've made peace with the fact the ducks that live on the property think they are cars, and treat the roads as such.

Living with a guy now, I've had to remind myself that it is no longer OK to walk in the bathroom when the shower is in use.


I'm still working on not trying to flip on a non-existent light switch in the living room. My roommate must think I'm nuts, molesting the wall every time I come home. 


The largest adjustment I've had to make is sleeping alone every night. The second-largest—the freaking ICY weather up here that threatens to freeze my very soul.


California winters, in my experience, are sunny and inviting. Often times you wouldn't know it was winter if the sun didn't go down at 5pm every night. But I've never lived in this part of California. It is COLD here in the 209. 


Have you ever stepped outside, and turned right back INSIDE because you forgot something inside?


More than once, here I have stepped outside and turned right back INSIDE because only an absolute fool would be outside in 30-degree weather unnecessarily. It hits you right in the face, like a mugger. Only difference is you cannot file a police report against the weather.


Today, however, I found a way to warm up.

Mind you, it wasn't the way I had in mind.

Now that I'm a single man again, I've been working out and  exercising regularly. When the temperature dropped this afternoon, I thought, "I know! I'll go work out! That way I'll accomplish TWO goals for the price of one!"


But for all the lifting and grunting and straining I did in that wretched gym, I'm still shivering, surprisingly. So I took to the hoop courts. Surely, running and jumping around will get the blood flowing, I thought.

Thanks to about 1,500 cute girls in the park, the blood flowed, all right—but not where I intended. This COULD be the first time in my life I've been cold, sweaty and horny all at once.


To make matters worse, on the ride home my soaked shirts dropped my core temperature another 10 degrees. I SERIOUSLY considered stopping for a pizza JUST so I could press myself against the box.


I'm back home now. The sun has gone down. My only weapon of defense against the frigid winter air has left to provide relief to the Pacific Islands and Asia. With a heating system that is, at best, inconsistently effective, I am now on my own in a battle to stay room temperature.


I jump in the shower, and let the hot water thaw my frozen bones. If I could only take that shower with me everywhere, the problem would be solved. Well, unless I went near the television. Or the kitchen floor which is hard enough to stay balanced on even when it's dry.


But eventually I had to leave the shower...BRRRR. I've NEVER gotten dressed so fast. What a waste to not be late for anywhere. 


Still cold, I turn the heat up to 80 degrees. But it just isn't helping. I tried coffee, and it proved a temporary fix—and a disgusting one cuz I forgot sweetener in my haste. Never shivered while frowning before. In the mirror, it was kinda funny. At least this hypothermia was good for something.


Next idea: move around. Two guys in an apartment, surely there MUST be mess, right? Wrong. Thanks to me and my proactivity, all the dishes are spotless, laundry is laundered, carpet is dirt-free. Nothing to clean. Nothing really to dust. I'm destined to never be warm again. Nice goin, Skillz! 


I'm thinking: How did I solve this problem in Sunnyvale? 

Oh, right, I curled up with my girlfriend. But I'm not here to talk about the past.

Back to square one.


Then it hits me: the OVEN. Ovens warm things. Just three days ago, it warmed up a very tasty lasagna dinner. Surely, given enough time, it can warm up a large desperate man, can't it? I've never known appliances to discriminate based on mass type.


200 degrees? No, I'm REAL cold. Let's make it 300. On it goes. While in preheat mode, I sit on the floor next to the oven and elapse into a TV-like fantasy in which I'm a turkey, shoved inside an oven just like mine for the sole purpose of fulfilling a family's hunger.


It feels so good. I can feel the heat from all sides, my juices bubbling inside me like a bad case of indigestion. Aaah, body heat, I soliloquize. The oven has already worked a miracle—I am slowly thawing. Being a turkey is heavenly so far.


Then it happens.

My fantasy had evolved into a full-blown daydream. Still sitting on the floor, I decide to prop myself up using the open oven door for balance.


Correction: VERY BAD IDEA.


For those of you who don't know, 300 degrees is hot. 

I've been burned before. My ex's curling iron roasted my arm five years ago, leaving quite the scar as evidence. You'd be amazed at exactly how I managed to do that, but I'm not here to talk about the past.


Back to the present: the awkward angle of my arm meant I could not immediately yank it off the searing door. It got cooked for a good 2.5 seconds. My response?




Whether because of me or for another reason, the  upstairs neighbor's deranged dog  picked this time to let off a howl of its' own, as if to compete with me. He lost. I didn't appreciate his candor. In my temporary insanity, I imagined burning that stupid mutt so HE could howl and I could mock HIM. (Calm down, I'd never really do that.)


I leap off the floor and run around, searching for water. Of course it didn't register I'd just been in the kitchen near an unlimited water supply. Back I go, rinsing my wound while simultaneously swearing at it. Right now, cold is a good thing.


Anyone who's been burned knows the pain is pretty intense for a few minutes—my iron burn was a paper cut compared to this. I spend that few minutes hopping around, speed-walking from room to room while denouncing myself for being so stupid. After five minutes I realize:


I'm not cold anymore. 

All the motion from trying to relieve my burn agony has warmed up my core. No more shivers. 

I am warm, and all I had to do was set my arm on fire! Serendipity! The next step: patenting this formula so that I and ONLY I can make money off of it.


Take THAT, Stockton winter!

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