H is for Heat


I thought for awhile what to write for H. I’ve felt the pressure to write SOMETHING, because I haven’t written here in quite some time, and this blog, at least in my head, is not defunct. It is still very much alive, even though I’m blogging elsewhere on a more regular basis. I don’t want it to die. And yet, H does not inspire me. And if I’m not inspired, I do not write well.

But here we go. Sometimes, we have to write the crap to get to the good stuff: H is for Heat.

I have had a longstanding hatred for heat, having grown up in Southern California’s San Gabriel Valley (not The Valley–the OTHER Valley) with its mountains trapping the trough with heat and and smog giving the summer sky a milky look. Temperatures were regularly above 90F and often topped 100F.

Exacerbating the situation was a guideline my dad set down, such that I would watch the thermometer like a hawk; if you are already hot, I think the worst thing you can do is WATCH the thermometer, but that is exactly what I did all summer long. My dad would not turn on the AC until the indoor temperature reached 85F. (This means the outdoor temperatures had to hover near 100F).

All summer long, my thighs would stick to the leather couch, my hair would stick to my face, flushed red from…heat.

Because of the “minimum 85F temperature” rule, I felt no incentive to keep the house cool; in fact, I did all I could to make the indoor temperature hit 85F.

Thus started a lifelong hatred with heat. With the Valley. I fantasized about becoming independently wealthy and traveling the world such that I would avoid summer and heat throughout the year. I would live in the Southern hemisphere from May to October! And then move to the Northern hemisphere! I would vacation in Alaska!

To this day, I will stand outside in a pair of pajamas, no parka, watching the snow come down up in Tahoe. My neighbors there think I’m crazy; I enjoy standing out there when the temperature is 12F waiting until my bones are chilled.

I love the fog in SF/Berkeley. The fog covers up any hint of summer. It quenches the heat. Right now, the East is having some terrible heat–I’m hearing about it from friends on twitter–temps near 100F! And with about 100% humidity to accompany the heat. They too, are fantasizing about trips to Alaska.

Me? I quail thinking about what they’re going through. And I’m getting ready for a trip to Alaska. Literally.

*Seriously: any yummy food recommendations along the ALCAN/Alaska Highway? Or should we stock our cooler really well in Vancouver and keep strictly to our cooler all the way up to Alaska?

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Filed under Alphabet: A History, Memes

8 responses to “H is for Heat

  1. Anna

    You write beautifully. You and my grandmother would get alone – she likes the cold too…. 🙂

  2. Nate

    East Bay = some of the best year-round weather in the world –dreams DO come true!!!

    No AK dreamin’ here, this time of year I’ll take Maine (lobster pounds, wild blueberries, smaller bears, & less-irritating accents.) Who am I kidding though, I have AC, plenty of dough for the electric bill, and a climate-controlled office job (damn, it feels GOOD to be a grownup!)

    My only food suggestion is that you hunt down and eat (or at least photo) some giant Alaskan vegetables.

  3. Enjoy your cool holidays! I loved BC when I went there for our honeymoon but we didn’t venture this north. I do suggest to stock well anyway, shops are few and far in between.

  4. I’m with you on heat. Hate the stuff. Seattle is terrific about 49 weeks out of the year for temperate weather, so most homes don’t have a/c — this week is a bit less comfortable, though.

  5. Sargasm

    I too hate the heat. I moved from Cali to Beaumont, TX to be near my family. Big mistake. It is hot and Humid, like the devil’s armpit. My mood turns sour every time I have to venture outside. At night the temperature doesn’t lessen much either. I have been plotting my escape. Fort Collins, Co is on the top of my list.

  6. Hey! It’s about time you update this site, no? 😉

    I…I is for I should totally be blogging here more often. =P

  7. Pingback: I is for I | Writing Under a Pseudonym

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