Friday, August 31, 2007


It's been hellishly hot, and I mean that as literally as is possible. So hot that, when I left Starbucks at 3:30 this afternoon, after putting in about an hour and a half of work while sipping a tall iced decaf Americano with two pumps of vanilla, the display panel in my car registered an outside temperature of 116 degrees. One-one-six. Eighteen degrees higher than a normal human body temperature. No wonder they talk about killer heat waves. How can anything LIVE in heat like this?

To be fair, the car had been sitting in a parking lot without a stitch of shade for miles around. Once I got it moving and air flowed over its sensors and we dipped into the shade of the occasional tree, the temperature dipped as well...all the way down to 106. Much better, right? I guess. At least that's a temperature that would only hospitalize an adult, rather than kill him immediately. (Why yes, I am a glass-is-half-full kinda gal.)

What I'm trying to say is, it's hot. It is summer in the City of Angels, of course, which means that to expect it NOT to be hot would be to display an intense amount of stupidity. T.S. Eliot was not an Angeleno, or he would have known that it is SEPTEMBER that's the cruelest month. Still, this hot is noteworthy. This hot is different from the normal September hot. This hot doesn't go away when the sun goes down.

I'm spoiled. We've lived here in the foothills for five and a half years now, and this is the first time I can think of that, for more than just one or two isolated days, sunset hasn't brought immediate and major temperature relief. I'm typing this out on my back deck at nearly midnight on Friday night, and it's still in the low 80s out here. And this is the coolest of the last four nights. It's crazy. (Crazier still is the fact that we don't have central air, but in our defense...Oh, never mind. It's a long and boring explanation, and really, if I haven't already run you off by talking about the freaking weather, the death knell of almost any conversation at any time, talking about how the architecture of my house and architecture of my bank account make central air well nigh impossible at this time would just be cruel and unusual.)

If you're waiting for a joke, a punchline, something to tie this all together, I'm about to disappoint you. This is all I have for you today. One hundred and sixteen degrees. One hundred and six in the shade. I ought to write a book.


Green said...

I lived in South Florida for four years before moving to SF. I understand your hell. Here in SF it's been hot the last two days - to the point that I've gotten a heat rash on my wrist from my watch.

I keep thinking about how spoiled I am, that THIS weather is "too much" for me, when I survived Florida summer heat. Of course in FL, there's a/c EVERYWHERE, and here there isn't. But still.

Hope it gets cooler soon, for both of us.

Mary said...

I was raised in cool Seattle, where we complain when it gets into the 80s. I remember my first September in college in LA. I didn't know it could get that hot in the world. I thought I was going to die. Couldn't eat or sleep or anything. I seriously considered packing up and moving home.

I didn't, and four years later, when I moved back to Seattle, I was cold for a year.

Anonymous said...

When I was in Phoenix two or so weeks ago, I was in the car and my elbow touched the inside window. I got a burn. An honest-to-goodness real red for a few days burn. That's too hot for humans, if you ask me.

Google/bloggers refuses to acknowledge who I am. Leila, for the record. :P