Walking in a winter slumberland

By Gus Bode

There’s no Sunset Concerts – ok, there’s no sun – but there’s more to Carbondale in the winter than slick streets and frosted feet. The Pulse presents a cold month guide to Carbondale.

Go to different bars

Tired of the same polo shirt and short-skirt stupid conversation? We are too. Here’s a tip:Try going to a bar where you can actually hear the person standing next to you. After all, you wouldn’t eat lunch at McDonald’s every day, would you? Come on, you’ve seen “Super Size Me.” You wouldn’t. Plus, if you’re 21, Callahan’s, Key West and The Cellar are all can’t miss.


Take advantage of Blockbuster’s new late fees

Need an extra day with that DVD? Go ahead, take it – just be sure to read the fine print. Because if you don’t, on overdue day eight you could be the proud owner of “The Princess Diaries 2.” Forever. So the moral is:Do not, we repeat, do not keep the rental longer than seven days past the due date. If you do, you’re playing with a conglomerate firecracker.

Go to at least one play

Whether it’s a Carbondale Community High School production of “Cats” or the Jackson County Stage Co.’s multi-ethnic ensemble “Azaguno,” theater is theater. OK, so it’s not Broadway, but so what? Plays are proof there is culture in Carbondale – believe it or not.

Sometimes it can be cool to express your inner child. Just be sure to keep it clean. This means no yellow snow.

Get frostbite at the Polar Bear Party

How many chances do you have to be bundled up, in a bar and in the company of, oh, 300 of your closest friends? At noon? On a Saturday? With a cheap Corona? Well, unless you’re from Nebraska or an ice-fishing addict, it’s probably only once a year. Trust us, it’s in your best interest to be there.


Do something at the Rec, even if it’s just watch people play ping pong

Pick up a few weights or a basketball, and you’d be surprised how quickly that freshman 15 (or sophomore 40) flies off. Plus, sometimes it’s cool to see people in spandex – as long as it isn’t Richard Simmons.

Hear a new kind of music

Hangar 9 has Hip-hop Night every Wednesday, and Pinch Penny Pub has jazz every Sunday. Chances are you’re not that familiar with either. And if you already are with both, why not check out some piano Friday at Mugsy McGuire’s? If you already know all three, then your name is Prince. Or at least it used to be. Or, er, never mind.

Don’t get drunk every weekend

Sobriety can be sexy. It’s true. Just look at what it did for Ben Affleck. He gave up booze and bagged two hot Jens – Lopez and Garner. There are plenty of better ways to spend your Friday and Saturday nights – like playing Halo 2.

Read books for free at bookstores

Barnes and Noble actually lets you do it. Waldenbooks does too. Why? It’s hard to say, but why not embrace their obvious love for literature? Also, you don’t really want your roommates finding your copy of the Kama Sutra lying on the couch, do you?

Try a new restaurant

And no, we don’t mean Panera, although it is fantastic. How about trying food from a different continent? Carbondale has the best to offer in Japanese (Kaya), Chinese (Hunan), Mexican (Tres Hombres) and even Thai (Thai Taste). Besides, where else are you going to score some Sake?

Visit a winery at least once

Let’s see, we’ve got Alto Vineyards, Inheritance Valley Vineyards, Owl Creek Vineyards, Pomana Winery, Von Jakob Vineyard and Winghill Vineyard and Winery – and that’s just off the top of our heads. Basically, Carbondale is crammed with wineries. And the wine they sell is phenomenal. Oh yeah, and they let you taste it for free!

Oh, what the heck, make a day at the winery

Seriously, even if you don’t like wine, they have cheese and chocolate that is amazing. And did we mention they let you taste the wine for free? Thought so. Be sure to plan your day accordingly.

Go to a poetry reading

It can be at Longbranch, it can be in an on-campus auditorium – heck, it can even be by the pond in front of Morris Library. It doesn’t matter; just go. Trust us, you’ll be glad you did. And even if you’re not, no, wait, never mind, you will be.

Go to a thrift store

With a surfeit – Community Thrift Store, Goodwill Industries, Salvation Army, The Thrift Shop, just to name a few – of shops to choose from, who couldn’t find some cool clothes? Have you ever seen someone with a better shirt than one that says, “I am Oprah’s Girlfriend?” If you have, they probably got it at a thrift store, too.

OK, so it doesn’t have much to do with entertainment, but come on, why not? Companionship keeps out the cold, right? Just don’t buy a giraffe – you’ll never find a bed big enough for it.