My dad, who I like to call the Hard Guy, has always liked cliches. Lets face it, they always have a basis in reality and once he gets rolling, it’s hard to stop him. One of his favorites has always been, something like (I’ve never listened too closely, I am Cain to his Adam) “I felt sorry for myself that I had no shoes, until I met a man who had no feet.” I’m not sure if that’s a real quote or something he made up, but I’ve been hearing it from my dad for so long, it seems like it must be genuine.
Like most of the northern or eastern part of America, I find myself freezing my ass off to below normal temperatures. Here in the midwest, where I live, the normal high is 38 degrees (fahrenheit) and lately it’s been anywhere between -5 and 20 degrees for a high temp. I hadn’t left the house since New Year’s Day. Thankfully, I don’t live on the east coast where I’d be victim of the “bomb cyclone,” whatever the Hell that horrible thing must be. There’s no snow here, just unrelenting cold. It appears a blast of “arctic” air has descended upon us and like an unwelcome relative has stayed too long.
Unfortunately, for me, during this cold snap, the furnace here at B&V has had a motor go bad. The furnace itself is ok, but there is apparently more than 1 motor, and combined with a number of safety devices it’s colluding to prevent my furnace from working properly. The company that I’ve been paying over the years to “maintain” my furnace, seemingly missed this issue with the motor during this year’s inspection and are telling me it’ll be Monday before they can repair it… I bought a few space heaters to keep my pipes from bursting and I related my displeasure to the company, but that’s a matter for Yelp. Apparently revenge is no longer a dish served cold, although that would be appropriate in this case since I’m freezing, but a dish served on the internet.
All of this started last night when I realized that my furnace, located in the basement, began to sound like there was an airplane in extreme distress landing down there. It was really loud. It was like Zeppelin loud down there… I immediately called the furnace company… The furnace guy came out, diagnosed the problem and told me the part/motor would be in this morning and they’d be out to fix it some time today… when that didn’t happen, I was pretty pissed. So I did what I always do. I put together a playlist to commemorate being cold. Being very, very cold. The Rock Chick and I are wearing coats, while under heavy blankets…
I was feeling pretty bad about myself as I drove to the local mall to buy space heaters when I saw something that jerked me out of my self-pity. I was at a stop-light, going over the horrible things I was going to say on Yelp about my furnace company (which, lets face it, I still intend to post) when I saw a young woman, bundled up from head to toe, with only her eyes visible, sitting on the corner. She was holding up a cardboard sign with a simple request for help on it. It’s below 20 degrees here and the wind chill is God knows how awful. The stock market is over 25,000 and there are still people out in the cold… It was then that I was struck with an epiphany, or at least a healthy case of guilt. I realized… my father was right. Here I was pissed because my house is 40 degrees and here was a woman sitting on a street corner in the 20 degree frigid weather…she’s OUTSIDE. At least I’m shivering indoors. I had no shoes… she metaphorically had no feet. Damn, I hate admitting my father is right, it’s a father/son thing…hard to explain, but easy to understand.
I’ve already got this Cold Playlist put together, but it’s no longer to bitch about my furnace not working… although admittedly I am very cold. Tonight, this playlist is for that poor woman sitting on a corner in the cold, and all her homeless brethren who don’t have a place to get warm, who don’t have a furnace to complain about and who need help. We all have those old coats we don’t wear anymore. We all have those old blankets tucked away somewhere in a closet. Now, in the heart of winter, is the time to dig those out and, as Bill Murray says in ‘Scrooged,’ “say, here.” It’s a tough time in the world. There are people who are having trouble even staying warm… donate some clothes, coats, blankets or money to a homeless shelter near you and help these people out.
In that spirit, here is my playlist to complain about the cold. While I’ve huddled in my coats and blankets, this goes out to those less fortunate….As usual, I’m stylistically all over the place but that’s why I usually leave the playlists up to the Rock Chick. Keep an open mind… Most of these songs reference the coldness that creeps into relationships, but I’m speaking metaphorically here, so go with it…
- Stevie Ray Vaughan, “Couldn’t Stand The Weather” – My kingdom for some warmth.
- AC/DC, “Black Ice” – I saw a lot of this on the road today. Be careful out there.
- Cinderella, “Long Cold Winter” – God, I hope it isn’t one.
- David Bowie, “She Shook Me Cold” – Ok, this is actually about sex, but there’s something about the way Bowie sings about this sexual encounter that I can relate to.
- Bob Dylan, “Cold Irons Bound” – If I ever get ahold of my furnace company, I may be in cold irons…
- Bruce Springsteen, “Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out” – “and I’m so alone, I’m on my own…”
- Deep Purple, “Stone Cold” – “And I thought I knew you so well,” furnace company…
- Stevie Ray Vaughan, “Cold Shot” – Which is what I felt like taking to warm me up.
- Van Morrison, “Out In the Cold Again” – If Van’s warm vocal on this ballad won’t warm you up, nothing will.
- Bob Marley, “Coming In From The Cold” – I wish I was coming in from the cold. But since my furnace isn’t working I’m coming out of the cold into slightly less cold. Lets’ help some of the less fortunate come in from the cold this winter… the Salvation Army works all year round, folks.
- Social Distortion, “Cold Feelings” – “Cold feelings in the night, you know, this feeling just ain’t right.”
- Black Crowes, “Stare It Cold” – “Don’t you wanna be there, don’t you wanna stare it cold?” If this cold snap holds up, the Rock Chick and I may just stare each other cold.
- Little Feat, “Cold, Cold, Cold” – “Freezing, it was freezing in that hotel…” How must it feel on the streets?
- Roger Daltrey/Wilko Johnson, “Ice On the Motorway” – True confession, I’m not sure what Daltrey is singing about here, but it sounds like he’s getting nowhere fast because of the iced-over freeway and his frustration is palpable. I can relate.
- Cage The Elephant, “Cold, Cold, Cold” – “Cold, cold, cold inside, Doctor can you help me cause something don’t feel right.”
- Metallica, “Trapped Under Ice” – “Freezing, can’t move at all, screaming, can’t hear my call.” I’m talking to you furnace folk.
- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers, “Out In the Cold” – My heart goes out to anybody whose literally, out in the cold. In the US, if you see someone call 311, identify the location and someone will get these folks to a shelter.
- ZZ Top, “Sure Got Cold After the Rain Fell” – Well, thankfully it ain’t raining, but this weather can make anybody feel bluesy.
- Buckingham Nicks, “Frozen Love” – A rare chestnut from the ‘Buckingham Nicks’ album… a real treasure if you can find it.
- Foreigner, “Cold As Ice” – Which is how I feel.
- Peter Wolf, “The Cold Heart of the Stone” – Wisdom from Woofa.
- Billy Joel, “Running On Ice” – Where Billy can’t make any progress because he’s slipping on the ice. I can relate.
Try to stay warm out there folks… and if you can help someone whose less fortunate than you are, please do. And if you have any recommendations on furnace companies…