Friday, February 15, 2008

Sometimes I like to give myself props

Utah is freaking freezing.
A few days ago I was talking with my cousin-friend* Matt who is my opposite in a funny way. Matt grew up in Utah, but ended up in Virginia for school, and is now back in UT. I grew up in Virginia, went to school in UT, went back to VA, and am now back in UT. We were talking about the weather, and I commented on the never ending winter and snow here. He laughed and replied, "Virginia was COLD!"
And he's right, VA was cold. But we have these blessed warm strange spikes in weather all the time. Al Gore calls it global warming. I call it a Godsend.
Utah, for those who are unaware, is a Godforsaken state. I can prove it. We never have those all important warm weather spikes. Those spikes are what keep people from falling into massive depression from the darkness, ice, snow, dirty ugly highways, and big muddy piles of more snow. Oh and my favorite, the dangerously dangling and dripping and falling icicles that double as life threatening spears if you don't think to look ALL ways before entering buildings.
But tonight I found a little moment of happiness in spite of the freaking Utah winter.
I went to REI (to buy tickets to the Banff Film Festival). And there was a 50% clearance sale.
And I didn't buy anything. I withheld. I was amazing. I chose to NOT spend money. In spite of the freezing weather, ice puddles (something I think are unique to Utah), and my numb fingers, I did not buy every fleece jacket and warm sweater I saw in there. This is nothing short of a miracle.
Now my ADD brain must ask my next odd question. (There was a connection here in my brain from freezing and wanting warm clothes to being cold in my apartment and having to pay utilities.)
I have managed to live on my own for the better part of 15 years now and have never had to pay utilities. I have always lived in places where utilities were included. And now here it is, the dead of winter, in a state where the snow won't stop coming down, and I have to pay utilities. And I'm paranoid about the bill being outrageously high. If you know me, you know I HATE being cold. As I write this I am wearing fleece sweats, socks, under a furry blanket, sitting on a heating pad, with the heat set at 72, and I'm just barely warm. Actually, my feet are very cold and it is time for me to move the heating pad from my back to my feet.
So the question- how do you keep warm in a cold state in a very drafty apartment? How do you keep the utilities bill down? I have to pay electric, gas, and water. I'm not worried about the water. But I have a gas fireplace. And my hot water heater runs off the gas too. Anyone have any suggestions for staying warm without paying an outrageous utilities bill? (And no, we don't do that averaged out payment thing here.)
Ooh, but on the subject of saving money, can I just say how cool it is that I have lived here 8 days now, and have only used up half a tank of gas? I'm loving my 4 mile commute to work. My car insurance went up thanks to the new location and the car accident, but my gas bill has gone down big time!!

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