Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Pyschology of Heat and the Dangers of Answered Prayers

Yesterday in downtown Los Angeles, temperatures climbed to 113 degrees. It was the hottest day ever there since 1877 when temperatures began to be checked on a daily basis. Here, 20 miles away at 6:45 a.m. it was 73 inside the house and 70 outside.

The peak of the heat here was 105 out on the balcony (in full sun, it must be said.) We are not used to "at home" heat. If we're going somewhere that we know is hot (Palm Springs, Las Vegas, Laughlin, NV) we don't mind it at all. But when it comes home to us ... nuh uh!

Most houses near the beach do not have air conditioning (nor central heat) because, basically, we don't need either. We usually get a week in July that is abysmally humid, but that's about the extent of the weather excitement.

To combat the heat, we draw the curtains - light equals heat - and I shut the balcony door tight. That's where we get all of the morning sun. Thank God for double-paned glass. I climb up on a step ladder and re-drape the towel across the parallel short curtain rods inside it and the skylight goes dim. Now the living/dining aea is only barely lit. Flick on the ceiling fan for the illusion of a breeze and the day can commence.

What's beyond ironic is that since mid-April, we have been wrapped in daily fog/marine layer/overcast (your choice) and have had perhaps four days of full sun from sunrise to sunset. This drove me wild! Every day gray ... I bitched and moaned, had a waltz with Seasonal Afflictive Disorder (aka SAD and rightfully named.) I longed for sun. I hated it that some mornings the sun would wake me up, but by the time the coffee perked the fog/marine layer/overcast and had rolled right back in. This is cheating!

And then yesterday, I got my wish. Couldn't have asked for any more sun. It was 105 out on our balcony, the house was as hot as a pizza oven and it was grim. The cats lay listlessly in the coolest spots they could find; the bird didn't have anything to say, just maintained a sullen silence -- the only comfortable animals were the three goldfish!

Today, my new best friend is back -- let me introduce you to fog/marine layer/overcast!

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