I’ve been hurt one too many times by this state. I thought for sure that I had another couple weeks of snowboarding left in the season before I had to settle back into the monotony of school, work, and real life. I edged, re-waxed, and bought enough lift tickets to paper my walls. Yet, in spite of my best intentions, Alaska has once again decided to melt my dreams.
Apparently it’s that time of year again when the air begins to smell like a decaying moose carcass and the ground starts to look like a poorly maintained North Korean restroom. It’s spring again; and I have mixed feelings to say the least.
On the one hand, I no longer find myself waking up in the morning moaning “dear God why?” at the ceiling, on the other hand, venturing outside now requires a military-grade gasmask and a wetsuit. Alaska, it would seem, is just full of these lovely trade-offs. You’d think that after twenty-something years I would have acclimated to this yearly horror, but every year I still seem to be taken by Alaska’s bait-and-switch.
It’s rather appropriate that we tend to refer to this season as “break-up”, because it’s a horrifyingly painful process that leaves us with deep psychological scarring. I could rant on this for the entirety of the column, but I’m fairly sure that I don’t have to convince anyone of the terrible downsides of spring. With the possible exception of the windshield wiper fluid industry, I seriously doubt that anyone actually looks forward to the annual sludge storm.
Don’t misunderstand me; I’m not some sort of sadist that hopes for the destruction of summer, sunshine, and happiness. I just wish that we could get to summer without first enduring a season of climate mood swings that vary between a Saharan afternoon and a brisk morning on Hoth.
Maybe that’s just me. There just some parts of spring that I don’t find particularly endearing.
On that note, I’m also not entirely fond of having to submerge my sad excuse for a plastic car every time I try to park. Given the fact that I’m already being robbed by Parking Services, I’d rather not combine extortion with the water damage that comes from parking in a replica of the Atlantic.
The worst part is that as soggy as my car may be, it’s only slightly safer than my dorm room. I was able to make it halfway through the entrance to my building yesterday before I was forced to perform an Indiana Jones dive-roll to avoid being skewered by a falling icicle. Normally I’d love the chance to display my classic movie inspired athleticism, but it this case I had to spill my Thai food all over the ground to save my life. I can only assume that Alaska has it in for us all.
It’s not all complaints from me however. Spring signals the end of the semester, meaning that I’ve already registered for classes, suffered through mid-terms, and completed my third Lost re-watch of 2013. Increased sunlight and warmth tend to improve my overall mood as well. For example, it’s been almost a full two weeks since my last incidence of road rage, and almost a month since I’ve had to go to the pound and surround myself with puppies to combat the stress.
So it’s certainly not all bad that our campus is finally starting to warm and out maintenance crews are finally starting to chip the ice. You definitely won’t see me complaining that I was able to walk to class in nothing but a T-shirt the other day. Really my only complaint is that everything in a five hundred mile radius has to turn to possibly radioactive brown sludge before we’re allowed to enjoy the sunshine.
So I guess I’ll pack up my snowboard for the season, save the extra wax I bought for next season, and weave a blanket out of the now-useless lift tickets. I can always shift back into hiking and kayaking for the next couple months, biding my time until the next tri-annual climate shift. And assuming North Korea stops threatening to wreck my summer plans, I might just enjoy the remainder of spring.