a tad chilly

It's cold in Illinois tonight, folks.

FOLKS: How cold IS IT?

So cold I can see the steam rising from my cup of tea - and the tea's not too hot to drink.

So cold the tip of my nose is numb and I have to cup my hand around it to keep it from falling off.

So cold I stopped feeling my toes hours ago - and I'm wearing socks.

So cold I'm lighting candles on the off chance they contribute some ambient heat to the polar air.

I hate the insulation in my bedroom. It's the biggest flaw of my apartment - my bedroom is on the first-floor corner of the building, and it has a big picture window with no storms or screens, just a single pane of glass between me and the outside world, and all the heat just sucks through the walls and ceiling.

It's a pervasive cold, just sort of sinks through your skin into your bones and you don't really notice it all that much unless you're thinking about it (or writing a blog post about it as you procrastinate on writing your new ghost novel). You can sleep in that cold, burrowed deep into the covers, and you curl up on your side to keep your core warm and sacrifice your limbs to the cold and let your nose peek out and freeze. But then you wake up in the morning and take a hot shower, and that heat sinks in like a nuclear blast flying through your body, and you think you'll never be warm again but it takes over in your bones - then you so don't want to get out of the shower.

I almost increased the thermostat. Almost. But I just can't afford it. Not given the reaming Ameren's going to give me come February's bill.

I compensated by a) turning up the wonderful, lovely, terrific heated mattress pad and b) leaving my bedroom door open. The closed bedroom door really succeeds in making my room a meatlocker. But it's extremely difficult for me to sleep with the bedroom door open. No, I don't know why, and no, there's no childhood trauma involved.

Still. In case I forgot to do so at the time, THANK YOU AGAIN to the wonderful elves who gave me this heated mattress pad for Christmas. Without it I might be suffering from frostbite.

Time to stick my cold nose in my hot tea again. Did I mention it's cold?