It begins.

We know what you thought. You thought you’d start 2014 right. You were going to get organized. Mop your kitchen. Start composting. Call your Aunt Bronislava. Get back to the gym. Or maybe stop going to the gym so much, because your friends are worried about you and you’re neglecting social obligations to fit in another hour of power-squatting and overexercising is an addiction too goddammit and it’s time you kicked back and ate a Twix bar, for Christ’s sake.

You were going to get your t’s and i’s crossed and dotted, your feet on the ground, your ducks in a row. It was gonna be great.

Then on Monday Chicago’s arctic temperatures broke national records. And if you were really unlucky your plumbing broke. And then that weird Jersey-accented public corruption scandal broke, making you more disillusioned and glad you left the East Coast, and yet also achingly homesick. And then your cabin fever broke and you woke up damp in your bed after midnight, laptop open on your chest with a new high score in Tetris and all around your room your ducks were scattered, wandering, and laughing ugly duck laughs at the very idea that you could coax them to stand in a row.

It’s all right, though. You’ll be okay. It may not feel fresh, but the year is still new. And warmer today. Eventually the ground will thaw and yield vegetables to compost. We’ll get through this together.

This weekend at the Neo-Futurarium, we embrace 2014’s early-onset chaos with a hot batch of work to cure your mental frostbite. We only rolled a 7 last year, but on Tuesday, intrepid winter warriors Leah, Trevor, Kirsten, Malic, Dan and Lily decided to kick this week right in the bronislava by putting 10 BRAND-NEW PLAYS into the menu.

And in the event of another deep freeze, Malic has shared some basic coping strategies:

” five things i did while it was negative butthole degrees, for future reference in #ChiBeria:

1. watched a terrifying documentary about Aleister Crowley

2. completed half of this abs routine from a Jillian Michaels workout video

3. embellished a denim vest with google eyes

4. covered the following songs on the ukulele:

   “Love Is A Battlefield” — Pat Benetar

   “We Belong Together”– Mariah Carey

   “I’ll Be” — Edwin McCain

4. had a dance party with my headphones in while Lily slept, featuring this song

5. searched for pleather overalls on the internet for under $50. found them.

See you this weekend. (Tetris can wait.)

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