As the threat of a Tennessee snowstorm became more apparent heading into the weekend, I failed to stock up on bread and milk (and whiskey) for what promised to be a desperate 48-hour test of my survival skills.

Friends, it did not go well. At all. Although I can now say that I made it through the worst mostly intact.

In addition to having to wear thick socks-I’m more a fan of no-show footies-I also had difficulty keeping warm despite my owning a cashmere hoodie and “insulated” vest. It was downright chilly and my nipples reacted by corpsing. How embarrassing to have perky nipples!

I also found it nearly impossible to use my iPhone while also protecting my hands from the cold with gloves. Text messages were left unanswered (apologies, Monica) and my TwoDots skills are greatly diminished, having spent 48 hours away from the game.


Here are several other minor inconveniences I experienced thanks to Winter Storm Helena. What a weekend it was.

I had to boil tea.
The convenience of living in a metro environment is the ability to walk in almost any direction and have access to a piping-hot cup of locally roasted coffee. Not during Helena. I attempted (once) to exit my apartment building, but the chill immediately chapped my lips and I became too hideous to go on. Following an application of a generous portion of Kiehl’s Lip Relief and an Epsom salt recovery bath, I started searching for a way to inject caffeine into my body. My cabinet is filled with herbal teas-chamomile, peppermint, etc.-but they do me no good in terms of caffeine. Finally, I found an old dried-out box of PG Tips. I even had to boil my own water!

I had to eat sardines and crackers, leather.
Ignoring alerts and warnings from government agencies and news organizations is kinda my thing. Most of the time, I’m not too put out by a surprise tornado or air raid bombing. But Helena gave me a swift kick in the teeth with her power. I neglected to purchase any food for my refrigerator. The only “edible” items I had in store were two cans of King Oscar canned sardines (circa 2013) and a box of opened and stale Great Value saltines. Occasionally, I’ll get a hard hankering for a tin of sardines, but this weekend was not such an occasion. Instead, I decided to boil a cubed sheet of leather and dip it like an English biscuit into my PG Tips. Let’s just say I didn’t go hungry. And I also solved the pesky frequent problem I suffer from: having an overactive digestive system under duress.

Read Heidegger’s “Being and Time,” collection of Chuck Tingle that had piled up.
With a bellyful of sardines and shoe leather, and the prospect of 40 hours of solitude and contemplation, I picked up a copy of philosopher Martin Heidegger’s seminal “Being in Time.” After skimming a few pages about Dasein and space, I decided my understanding of the temporality and explication of “time” as the transcendental horizon of the question of “being” was pretty freaking clear. Anybody could understand this garbage. Who needs college? Boring. I decided to give myself a break and started moving through my collection of unread Chuck Tingle titles, including “Scary Stories to Tingle Your Butt,” “Space Raptor” and the “Chuck’s” series of “Dinosaur,” “Unicorn” and “Bigfoot” Tinglers. It wasn’t a terrible afternoon.

Girlfriend picked me up for movie and burritos.
My girlfriend, Monica, owns an SUV that has a transmission system that provides power directly to all four wheels. She could drive up the side of a snowy mountain and not spill liquids, if you know what I mean. Following a cryptic text message from my end saying, “Help. I think I’m dead. Need you!!!!” she braved the snowstorm and drove (too quickly in this weather) to be by my side. I bounded into her vehicle as she screeched into the parking lot. She was ANGRY because she thought I was “actually sick” and evinced her frustration by calling me a “selfish [email protected]&*([email protected],” but can you really blame me if I just wanted to eat at Mojo Burrito? Later, we sat through “La La Land,” and she was so nice to not even utter a word for the rest of the day. I think she knew I was stressed from the ordeal. She’s great.

I made a blanket bundle.
Monica continued to give me solitude by remaining silent, and she didn’t seem to mind when I told her I wanted to “take the night off and bundle up in PJs” without her. She enthusiastically dropped me off at my apartment with no questions. I appreciate her distance, too, having just recovered from a cold and not wanting to kiss me goodbye What a lady! As the sun set on Saturday night, I situated two electric blankets on a pallet, then covered myself with several down comforters and fleece blankets. And there I slept and had a nightmare about David Crosby threatening to kill me. I didn’t even move for almost 17 hours. The smell was horrendous, and Monica refused to help me clean up or talk to me for the rest of the weekend. Helena, you almost had me beat, ya old codger lady, you, but everything turned out OK. I’ll never forget you.

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