Tuesday, July 22, 2008

hot hot heat is bug bug bugging me.

No, not the band, though I'm not wild about them either. It's hot, by which I mean HOT, which means that I am now exceedingly cranky and a little depressed, which is a mean trick when you're already taking boatloads of antidepressants. I have this theory that I have some kind of reverse SAD kind of disorder. Actually it might have to do with high barometric pressure. I am no biometeorologist (which I hold in a similar regard to homeopathy -- I guess it means something to some people, and if it works for you, go with it...but, seriously, I can't quite follow the logic. If infinitesimal concentrations of, say, arsenic are better for you than the largest -- something I can't really argue with -- shouldn't I be the picture of health because I am consuming the smallest concentration of arsenic possible, which is to say none?) but I think there may be something to this. Prairie high pressure is fierce and strong and unrelenting, much like our folk heroes of yore (Paul Bunyan, Pecos Bill, Laura Ingalls Wilder). I just cheer up when we get rain and storms, which I think may have something to do with the lower barometric pressure. I actually have no idea, I just like rain and get sulky when we go a month or two without any.

The dogs are unhappy, too, which makes some sense (I would be especially grumpy if I were to be stuck in a longhaired sweater in this weather). Though not all that much, as we go out of our way to let them out in the morning, when it's cooler, and then they get to stay inside the air-conditioned house all day, lounging about on our beds and couches, taking an occasional break from napping in order to bark at a squirrel or something outside the window. It's a rough life.

I will probably always, the rest of my life, associate Lawrence with oppressive heat -- when I was in high school and then college, it always seemed as though it was 10 or more degrees hotter on any given day in Lawrence than it was in Olathe. Not that this is a bad thing. I just associate Lawrence summers with sweltering. Though nothing, nothing, I repeat NOTHING is as hot as an un-airconditioned summer in Washington, DC. I used to live in a beautiful old pre-WWI building with french doors and high ceilings, and no airconditioning. I ended up getting an airconditioner for the bedroom (I don't care how hot it is anywhere else in the house; you just have to be able to sleep) and I'd go in there at the end of the day and it would be like plunging into a swimming pool. As long as I live, I don't know that I will ever feel such unalloyed bliss as that first moment walking into that room after a long day of work and commuting with the lunatics on the bus and trudging up the 5 flights of stairs. Which just goes, I suppose, to show that sometimes innovations and the modern are not necessarily always better. I mean, really -- if you're in climate-controlled surroundings all the time, where's the absolute relief of walking into a room a full 35 degrees cooler than the ambient temperature of the house? If there's always call-waiting, how will you ever know the relief of hearing the phone actually ring after an hour straight of getting a busy signal?

In keeping with my general upsetted-ness, I have been reading John Kelly's "The Great Mortality," all about the Black Plague. This book is great. Just FYI -- I understand if you aren't keen on plunging into several hundred pages on the decimation of Europe -- but it's really good. Even if it does kind of make a person want to move a hundred miles away from her nearest neighbor (which in Kansas is actually a legitimate possibility, at least out west).

Anyway. There's nothing to be done, really, about the heat, so go have a Fudgsicle and sit in front of a fan and read something good. I am reading the Venerable Bede, which is remarkable for many reasons, not the least of which is the wackadoo Angle, Saxon, and Jute(-ish?) names. If I get another dog, I'm naming him Ethelred.

Friday, July 4, 2008

when, in the course of human events, yo...

Happy Independence Day. It's good not to be under the thumb of a detested regent suffering from mental illness. Or at least, so I am assured. Hee.
I stopped off at the grocery store last night. The 16-ish-year-old fellow hired to put my purchases into a sack had nothing to do, as I generally do not require sacks from the Hy-Vee, because I carry around a giant LL Bean Boat-n-Tote for just such an eventuality. Anyway. So this kid says, "what are you doing for the 4th of July?" and I, being me, say "celebrating our nation's independence from the yoke of British monarchy, how about you?" and this sends him into a fit of giggles. He then told me a story about how his neighbors across the street are British, and didn't know what the deal was with the 4th being a holiday. I was skeptical. Surely if you are in the USA, and you are British, you are clear on the fact that the USA (U-S-A! U-S-A!) has this deal about being ex-British. I mean, maybe you don't know that it falls on the 4th of July, but you probably know that we have, as a country, sort of got this vested and adamant interest in being independent, and that we generally take any opportunity at all to deck ourselves out in red, white and blue, and eat high-fat meats cooked over charcoal. Anyhow.

The kid said his neighbors didn't see what the deal was. I suggested that maybe they were, as the British say, "having him on." I then proposed that if said British expats have a swimming pool, he and his friends go chuck a couple of boxes of teabags into it. Down with the King! Down with the tea tax! And the Stamp Tax! Whoo! Stupid Redcoats! Yankees rule, Tories drool! Kid looked confused. Oh, well.

Stay safe. Don't stick sparklers in the ground and go running around barefoot. Remember: a significant number of maimings occur following the utterance of the following sentence: "Hey, watch this." A significant number of amputations tend to follow the addendum of "Hang on...hold my beer."

Thursday, July 3, 2008

home again, again

Okay, so remember how I wasn't home because I went to Louisville? Well, then I was not home because of a burst pipe. Kelly and I are now back in Perry after 6 fun-filled nights and 5 sun-drenched days in glamourous, exotic Topeka. (Thanks, Corcorans! Y'all are aces! Thanks for the bed and the breakfasts!) Things we learned:

1) gas is more expensive in Topeka
2) our commuting from Topeka to Lawrence on a regular basis would not be in anyone's best interest
3) you can turn off the water to your house with one of those vise-grip wrenches
4) ...but it is easier with the grabby iron pole thing that the water department uses
5) our cordless phones can serve as walkie-talkies
6) mysteriously, we had a pipe extend underneath and past the house that went to absolutely nowhere. I am considering displaying it as art, calling it "The Ted Stevens Memorial Water Pipe to Nowhere." (this funny, really -- google "Ketchikan Alaska" or possibly "Gravina Island Bridge" and see whatcha get)
7) it is apparently unwise to join copper pipe to steel pipe
8) those tall weedy things that you kind of sometimes just let grow near the perimeter of the house because, heck, they're not bothering anything? Cut 'em down. Seriously, no, cut them down now.

But anyway, now we're home again. Again. Stop by, swap howdies. Have a glass of water, now that it's running again and is not the color of blood. *

* water not the color of blood is a potentially limited-time offer, based on outward worldwide apocalyptic indications. Requests for water not the color of blood after postmillennial or amillennial dispensation may not be honored by the management due to availability constraints. Colorless water availability improves in absence of locusts, hail, leprosy, Wormwood, celestial trumpet soundings, bowls being poured out upon the seas, and reconstructions of the Temple of Solomon. Tax, title and destination fee may apply.
Creative Commons License
A Microscopic Cog in a Catastrophic Plan by Laura Lorson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at witheringexhaustion.blogspot.com.