HEY SISTER, GO SISTER...
I may never say this again: deadlines saved my sanity.
The Frommer's Italian phrasebook wrapped this weekend, so I was frantically copy-editing thanks to the sub-contractor's late delivery until bolting out the door for the dread Snow Bath.
No time for, ahem, cold feet, then. I plait my hair into cutsey alpine-braids in the lobby. Helen and Lynn consult on the sash; we decide on a trailing Isadora-Duncan-style scarf configuration, though hopefully with less deadly effect.
The morning's a blur. I gaze at the ice palace of Bonhomme, the cheerful, high-kicking snowman who serves as the Carnaval Ambassador (he's not, organizers stress, merely a mute mascot). I wander past snow sculptures and carnie booths. Nothing sinks in. Except cold.
We watch horse-sledders skid around a racetrack, which momentarily punches through my self-absorbed anxiety. "Hey sister, go sister," Lady Marmalade warbles over the loudspeaker. "Soul sister, go sister ... You are the one gotta represent."
As the All Saints hit the less-relevant chorus Voulez vous coucher avec moi ce soir? I'm back in the now. The sun's crisp, the crowd delighted, adventure is on hand.
And as my friend Edward says: "Half an hour of pain, lifetime of stories."
Go sister, go.