By Dylan Haslam
In a City full of ice, insane weather conditions, and gross forecasts of cold, Dylan Haslam (that’s me) and his fellow nerdy friends try to do the impossible: help create a guide to help you survive the cold. This is Dylan’s Declassified Cold Survival Guide; results may vary. This past week has been one filled with some of the coldest weather Edmonton has ever seen. We are no strangers to fluffy death falling from the sky and the feeling of being trapped in an icy whirlwind. However, even we, as cold-weather Canadians, have our limits. No one feels comfortable when the temperature drops as low as it has been, and this nerd is no exception. It was so cold outside while waiting at the bus stop that I expected to see a mammoth that sounds suspiciously like Ray Romano. Despite Edmonton looking like the snow-covered plains of Hoth with cold enough winds that even Idina Mendel would sing a Disney-quality song about it, don’t worry my fellow Concordia students, for there is a gaslight at the end of the icy tunnel. While the weather confines you to your homes, it is a perfect time to get out your warmest blanket, brew a cup of the finest hot chocolate, and get reacquainted with your inner nerd. It’s the perfect time for a mental health break, so sit back and relax as I give some tips for staying nerdy in the cold. Whether you plan on staying indoors or venturing out on a quest towards the Misty Mountains of Middle Earth, these tips will ensure you some solace during this cold time.
My first nerdy tip on surviving the cold is brewing the finest cup of hot chocolate. While some places tend to brew a decent cup, chocolate dragon, it is the homemade aspect that makes all the difference. Your first step is to buy a mix at the store. I personally like the dark chocolate mix. It may seem like a simple mix between powder and hot water, but it is so much more complex than that. You have to pick your ingredients more carefully than the disciples of Christ, and pay more attention than Celebrimbor did when creating the rings of power. While your water is boiling, I’d recommend boiling three cups. Get out your cutting board and dice up two strands of a Kit-kat bar with a finely sharpened knife. Put the pieces into a bowl and wipe down your cutting board. Next, take out two squares of a dairy milk chocolate bar and begin to thinly dice them and then, once they are at your optimal desired size, crush them. Once the water is boiled, add the dairy milk bar to your mix. The indicated amount of water should fill a mug for yourself as well as someone else, while leaving enough water for a bit more to be added to each mug. This allows you to have enough hot chocolate for, say, having a good life talk with someone, while on a date night in, or even drinking it solo. I would suggest using a candy cane stem to stir the mixture. It gets the job done while adding a delightful minty taste. You are free to add as much of the chocolate as you wish to your mug. It provides a taste sweeter than William Wallace’s taste of freedom. Whipped cream is also a pretty good topping.
My next tip is to be very selective when picking a movie to watch while curled up in a blanket on the couch. Depending on your mood and the company you are with, your selection must be executed perfectly. For a good date night movie, I recommend Willem Dafoe’s Togo. While it may not be as nerdy, it will make you appreciate the warmth of where you are even more. If you are with friends, there is never a wrong time to watch the Dark Knight trilogy. The Avengers films are also a good choice if you know you are staying in for a long time. Lastly, if you are spending a blanket and couch day alone, fear not, because this is the perfect time to go on the internet and check out a binge-worthy series. As well, you are able to catch up on shows that you may not have previously had time for. In terms of mental health, these movies provide a good distraction for you. They let you take a break and give you some well-needed rest.
These tips are just a couple examples of ways to help make a cold day better. Everyone is different and will have their own unique choices for movies. For other suggestions, it is worth noting that in previous issues, I have noted some great movie picks for different moods. Nerds are an adaptive species; no freezing cold, Hell, or high water will stop us from indulging in that sweet pop-culture content. Do so while still being as comfortable as you possibly can. Using these tips will make time pass by quickly and will make your warm day in much more spectacular. Enjoy your nerdy days in and stay warm. If you do go outside, please do so sparingly and dress accordingly. Remember that time Leonardo DiCaprio was on a boat and wasn’t prepared for the cold? Learn from his mistake and, if it comes down to it, please consider that the door is, in fact, big enough for you and the person you are with.