why winter in Minneapolis rules

Walking through the snow across Painter Park in the dark towards the coffee shop. Getting there, purchasing one of those tall-boy cups of gourmet joe and for once hearing a coffee shop counter girl talk about Guns n' Roses and Black Sabbath instead of the Pixies and Beth Orton.

Hearing the frail weaklings in line at First Avenue whine about the cold when it's only 25 degrees out. Standing there in my light coat not shivering not wanting to laugh, thinking about the Red River Valley and that wind in January and having absolutely nowhere to go and nothing to do.

Skating after the park has closed, streetlights and the moon providing my only light.

Chuckling through weekly media death-watches over storms that don't amount to much more than a few inches of snow. Laugh out loud during the inevitable morning-news post-storm coverage: They show folks shoveling out their cars on the street. Then they cut (always, it seems ... is it stock footage?) to some smiling, apple-cheeked, bespectacled, middle-aged woman who declares that "we're hardy folk here." Hardly.

After seeing some indie flick and then having a few in the bar, Bob mentions some Grain Belt Premium that he has in his car. He and Chris and I proceed to drink beer in a quiet, almost-empty Uptown parking lot. We could see our breaths. We tried not to laugh too loud. We were laughing a lot. We had to have just one more.

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