Ice ice baby

19 07 2015

Last summer I made it alllllll the way through without stuffing the air conditioner into a window.

This year, I made it to July 19.

Actually, I put the a/c up yesterday, knowing I needed to clean it prior to use and thinking I might need it overnight, but nope, not until this morning did I plug ‘er in and turn ‘er on.

Again, not generally a fan of air conditioning, but when it’s over 90 degrees and humid, I am mighty grateful for it.

Of course, I’d been even mightier grateful if the temps would fall so I wouldn’t need the damned thing.


Once again, a big THANKYOU to P. & T., who bought the thing for me lo’ those many—okay, 6—years ago.

In the summertime

31 05 2015

Three signs of summer in the absurd household:

1. Sheer fabric in the windows:


2. The summer quilt:


3. The shaving of the legs (human, not feline) twice rather than once a week.

Nobody needs to see a picture of that.

Oh, and the heat, of course, the fucking heat.

How could I forget.


22 09 2014

Did you miss them?

The posts of me bitching about the hot and the mugg and the sun and the smell, capped off by the August I-hate-everything rant?

Yeah, didn’t happen this summer. Because this summer was. . . not bad.

Not bad at all; in fact, it was the best summer since I moved to New York.

There were occasional hot days, and a fair amount of humid days, but in June-July-August, there were damned few hot-and-humid days. The worst week of the summer was the first week of September, with temps in the eighties and dew points in the seventies—uncomfortable, but which discomfort was easily abated with a fan.

Okay, during one or two of those early-Sept days I could have turned on the a/c, but since I hadn’t bothered to put it in the window, I made do with the fan.

That’s right, it was so not-awful that I never needed to heave that box into position; instead, it remained hunkered down on an upside-down milk-crate beside my bed, an ersatz bed-stand for my (30+-year-old) clock radio and a couple of plants.

The only downside to the many cloudy days was the sadness of my windowbox-basil. It enjoyed the sun and rain thru most of June, but there was a big windy storm at the end of June, and it never fully recovered. I got enough leaves throughout the rest of the summer for salads and sandwich toppers, but not enough for pesto.

Still, that’s a trade-off I will make every time. And hell, isn’t that what greenmarkets are for, anyway? I bought a coupla’ bunches for a few bucks and whipped up another year’s worth o’ basily and garlicky goodness.

Of course, me being me, I’ve already had moments of dread about next summer—which is a decent argument for trying to get away from oneself from time to time.

And hey, it’s supposed to be a cold winter! That I can look forward to!

Summersongs: Martha and the Vandellas

3 09 2014

Labor Day has come and gone but the heat remains.

Now, I generally associate Stax and soul music more with heat than Motown, but this happy tune bounces over an insistent beat, and while the anti-war protests hadn’t really yet hotted up, I can’t help but hear the call to dance in the street as a kind of if-I-can’t-dance. . . defiance.

I could pull out a political undertone from this tune, too, but honestly, I just hear that there’s no way to escape the heat—and maybe that ain’t so bad.

Black sheets of rain

4 07 2014

Okay, so I’m a bit odd.

It was hot and sticky the past coupla’ days—just about hottily-sticky enough for me to have hoisted my a/c into the window and cranked her on.

Just about, but not quite.

I know, I hate summer, hate the heat, the stickiness, the sun, and, by August, everything, so you’d think that I’d have that a/c humming whenever the temp got heatward of 85.

Except, of course, I don’t like a/c. I’m glad for it, sure—nothing like standing on a stinky-hot subway platform to make one glad for the air-cool of the car—but my appreciation is merely dutiful, and, frankly, even a little resentful:

If it weren’t so fucking hot I wouldn’t need the damned thing.

Anyway, since I wasn’t thinking about how miserable I was every second of the day and I was able to sleep well enough with the window fan, I figured I could go without.

That’s a reasonable reason for laying off.

The real reason? Thunderstorms were to blow through, dropping the temp into the seventies.

When I lived in Minneapolis (and Montréal and Somerville), I didn’t have air conditioning, and would thus suffer (not at all stoically) thru the summer muck. The only relief came with the storms.

Wind! Thunder! Lightening! Cats and dogs and ponies!

It was glorious.

I didn’t much like summer back in the day, but it’s only been the past few years that I’ve really come to hate it.

So while it may make no sense to a normal person for me to delay installing the one device which might allay my misery, I did it for the right reason.

I did it for the glory.

Ice ice baby

5 07 2013

Made it through June, but the beginning of July and it all ends.

The a/c-free livin’, that is.

I don’t have any strict rules for when I put the box in the window, but when I can’t sit in my apartment without thinking how hot I am and I can’t sleep at night without heat interruptions,  it’s time.

Pre-a/c I used to just sweat and swear it out, waiting for the thunderstorm or front shift to blow through and restore me to sanity [oh hush, you]. I hated the steam bath, but ohhhh, the blow-through was divine.

Anyway, the other night the mugg couldn’t be budged by the fan and yesterday as the temp and dew point crawled skyward I said ‘Self, it’s time.’

The cats appreciate the cool, but as I’m the one paying the electric bill, I’m a bit grumpy about the whole thing.

Still, better grumpy than homicidal.

99.9 fahrenheit degrees

25 06 2013

Okay, it’s not quite that hot—just lower nineties.

Still, I have not yet put my air conditioner in the window, relying instead on a fan.

Why? One, I don’t like air conditioning.

Oh, I appreciate it when it’s sweltering enough to melt my face, but it is a brittle appreciation, one driven more by annoyance at the necessity of the a/c than a delight in the artificial cool it brings.

Two, I prefer fan-in-window cooling at night to that of the a/c. The fan, strategically aimed (well, okay, propped slant-wise in the window) at my bed, delivers an even cooling on a low hum throughout the night. The a/c, on the other hand, cycles on and off as the room warms then cools then warms then cools.

Not a nice even cool.

Three, I don’t like air conditioning.

What, have I mentioned that? Okay, um. . . yeah, so I don’t like a/c at night.

I’ve mentioned that, too? Well, the fan-in-window has worked the past couple of nights and has afforded me (or would have afforded me, had Jasper not been an asshole) delightful nights of sleep.

Four, I’m cheap. A fan costs less to run than a/c.

Five, it hasn’t, really, been that bad. I don’t like 90-degree weather, and while it’s been hot and humid, the weather has not devolved into the beastly, by which I mean: I can sit in my apartment with the fan and not constantly be thinking about how miserable I am.

Six, I’m teaching this month, so manage to be out of my apartment during the worst part of the day.

Seven, this heat wave is supposed to break tomorrow night. I can wait it out.

I’d really like to get through the summer without shoving the a/c unit into one of my few windows, but if the heat gets to the point where it immiserates rather than merely annoys me, then shove it I will.

The a/c into the window, I mean.


Warning: So begins the series of wailing-and-gnashing-of-teeth posts about summer. At some point there’ll be a post in which I announce I’ve cut off all my hair (probably titled ‘And then she cut off all my hair’)  and one, in August, in which I announce “I hate everything”. No, I’m not planning these things: I just know they’re gonna happen.


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