Uncanny Valley and the 12 Seasons

I guess there are people from my long ago family history who made their living with agricultural work—the closest I ever came was de-tasseling corn one summer—a fairly short-term job about which I have fond memories. I grew up in the Midwest around farms and farmers, but never considered it as a way to make a living (except in that way, when you're younger, that you consider a lot of things). I can't imagine how really difficult it is to have the work you do and your livelihood so affected year after year by weather. It's worth stopping to think about that every once in awhile.

For many of us, like me, weather is a lot of fun. I love the seasons. Half of the people I know have moved to Los Angeles, which is a place I've visited, and am entranced with—but the one thing that keeps me from moving there is how much I love not only the seasons we have in the Midwest, but especially fall and winter. I know a lot of people aren't crazy about winter, and I understand that, yet they continue to live here for one reason or another. Maybe they love to hate it—there is something about dealing with difficult things that you know will change with or without your input that is very attractive.

One of the things I both love and hate about our seasons and the ways we mark time is the weirdness of the way they've been organized through history—and how we keep using that—the names of the seasons, the dates, the names of the months, the calendars. Our lives would be very much the same if we just dispensed with all that and just started the year with Day 1 and proceeded to Day 365, then started over. Yet the thought of that is horrifying. We love our season names, month names, days of the week. Every year, at some point, though, I try to propose a new reorganization and renaming of all that (one year I tried making a five day week calendar—but it didn't work for me).

This year I decided that—in that the names of the seasons and the names of the months just don't match up to our reality very well, I'd make a new seasonal calendar based on twelve seasons, with—to make it simple to understand—the same dates as our current months. So what you have, essentially, is the same months, but all with new names, and called seasons instead of months. So here is my first attempt—with the existing month name, followed by the new season name.

The Twelve Seasons

January – Dark

February – Cold and Very Cold

March – “I'm Over Winter”

April – It's Still Winter

May – Why Isn't It Summer Yet?

June – Outdoors! Clothes Off!

July – Drunk All The Damn Time

August – Lamenting Summer Ending Soon

September – Back to School (even if it's been decades since I've been in school)

October – Halloween (actually, Halloween now starts after Labor Day)

November – Family Strife/Civil War/Divorce/Doom/Overeating

December – Shopping/Boycott Shopping/Avoid Airports/Revert to Childhood with Colored Lights, Snow-globe Vistas, and Happy Music/Just Got to Get Through This Year

Obviously I have a little more work to do. Most of these are a little too long, too unfocused, and well, they're almost all too long. Ideally each one should be one word only. I supposed they actually did do a pretty good job at naming them in the first place, even if we have to do research every time we wonder about what any of those name mean. I'm going to continue to work on this though, and if anyone would like to join me, you're welcome to. We'll have our first meeting at Real Chili (for those of you local to Milwaukee) at 6pm this Friday. The rest of you can Skype in. No, don't do that. No Skype at Real Chili.

Randy Russell, 5 March 2019