January: A Survival Guide

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With the right mix of sex, pop culture, and planning, the bleakest month of the year can be almost bearable.

Hanukkah is long gone. Christmas left nothing but debt in its wake, and you can’t even remember New Year's. And yet, it’s still going to be cold, dark, and dreary for at least two more months. The only way to survive until spring is to do exactly what I tell you.

Dawn Simulator

Buy a Dawn Simulator

Seasonal Affective Disorder is not a joke! You don't even realize that the lack of sunlight is slowly sapping your life force until, one morning, you find yourself unable to climb out of bed. So get a dawn simulator. This light gradually brightens in the morning, giving you a gentler awakening than the sudden shock — out of REM sleep, into total darkness — by your cell-phone alarm. As a bonus, you can trick your body into thinking that there are more hours of sunlight in the day. Just be sure to hide it when your friends come over.

Winter Significant Other

Find a Winter Significant Other

It is cold and bleak outside and, quite frankly, it's time to settle. The frequency of your "out trolling the town" nights will be cut in half by the reality that it's generally too cold to wear skirts and that coat checks are super annoying. Thus, if you're sleeping with someone now, and you kind of like them, just make a decision to bunker down with them for the next couple of months. Refuse to “sell yourself short”? Looking for a “genuine connection”? Fine, have fun with that. You'll be missing out on the least expensive form of heating your bed.

Netflix Instant

Set up a Netflix “Watch Instantly” Account

If you have your winter relationship on lock, then you're going to need some cozy activities to partake in with your significant other. I like a good game of Scrabble as much as the next guy, but there are times when your brain is frozen beyond use. In these instances, you'll need some movies to watch. I doubt you want to venture out of your house to see one; in fact, you probably don't even want to fuck with walking to your mailbox to retrieve a Netflix DVD. So get a Netflix Watch Instantly plan. At only $7.99 a month, it's one-third the price of a movie ticket to see TRON: Legacy. And eight million times better.


Buy Plane Tickets to SXSW

Book your tickets to the twenty-fifth annual South by Southwest music festival. The festival doesn’t begin until the third week of March, but buying your tickets in early January will ensure that you don’t have connect in both Denver and Nashville. More importantly, it will give you something to look forward to as you trudge through the sleet. Also, Austin will most likely be warmer than wherever you live. Unless you live in Miami, in which case, why are you reading this winter guide? Go rub some baby oil on your body and fuck off.

Junk Food

Eat Junk Food

Have you heard about the new fitness trend “adding winter-weight”? If not, it’s because I’ve just started it. I ask you this: what do bears do to prepare for the winter? They eat a ton of shit and then nap. You can’t technically hibernate, but it is possible for you to eat a ton of calorie-laden food. Don’t feel guilty about this. A few extra pounds will actually help you to stay warm, which will make you happier, and because winter forces you to swaddle yourself in so many bulky layers, no one will notice, except for perhaps your significant other, and you're going to be dumping him in two months anyway.

Home Brew Kit

Home Brew Kit

Like I said, you probably don’t feel like getting out too much anymore. The sub-zero weather is like a force field between your home and your neighborhood bar. Of course you could buy a bunch of beer and drink it alone in your apartment, but that would make you maybe an alcoholic. The more fun thing to do is to brew your own beer with this easy and inexpensive home-brewing kit. Then you can get drunk with your winter significant other, eat a whole pizza, and watch the entire third season of 30 Rock on Netflix (maybe even turn on that dawn light for good measure). See how much fun winter can be?