Archive for August, 2010

hot hot (horrible) heat

Blech summer heat.  Here are a few reasons I don’t care for it.

I work downtown and when it’s hot and humid smells are amplified, especially the offensive ones.  I took a short walk late this afternoon to find a bag of plain Sun Chips, to no avail, alas, and the air outside was ripe with the smell of urine (human and horse), cloying colognes that ought to be reserved for winter, and exhaust from delivery trucks.  Delightful!

All day the sidewalks and buildings had been soaking up sunlight and radiated the heat back at me like a giant’s nasty, dirty breath.  I became claustrophobic and even a bit of breeze (can one honestly call it a breeze?) did nothing to mitigate the feeling.

In the last few years I’ve evolved (devolved?) into a person who can drip sweat standing still.  A rule I’ve adopted is ‘do not run for the subway’.  Never mind that I’m usually running a little late and perhaps catching that train would have gotten me to work on time, I won’t run for it.  I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve had the sweat trickle down my back, through the crack of my ass, and even down the back of my legs; it’s nasty and I feel disgusting.  The only time I want to sweat with that much abandon is when I’m working out.  Maybe it started when I broke my foot last year and gained all this extra weight, I don’t know.  What I do know is ME NO LIKEY.

Add to the above factors the bright-ass sunlight devoid of clouds and shade making me feel like someone is pushing down on me.  It’s a full body assault, a pummeling by the elements.  Sunglasses only do so much and at the times of day I’m usually out, light will find a way to get in through the gap at the top.  A visor would help, certainly, but I just can’t be bothered.  And any sunglasses I wear eventually make my face sweat.

Lastly, but certainly not leastly (ha ha), I’ve never heard of a person dying from exposure to cold in the city.  Nor in the suburbs or rural areas for that matter.  Why?  Because it takes a LOT of cold (as in a severe-ass dip in the temp) to kill a person, but heat and humidity can do the job like that <snap>.   On NPR they were announcing where the “Cooling Centers” in the city were because many don’t have a/c or access to it, therefore they need a place to go to chill, literally. I hear of people attempting to mow their lawns in the middle of the afternoon on a day like today, 90’s and sunny and humid, who drop dead doing it.  How many die shoveling their sidewalks and driveways of snow?  Not many, I’d wager.  They may pull a muscle or have to deal with crippling back pain for the rest of their lives, but it won’t kill them.

And there we are.


So far this week I’ve stayed late at work every night.   Only by an hour, but time is … time.  More valuable than money to some/sum.  ha ha

Tonight I very leisurely made my way to the red line at South Station via the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway.  It’s a public “green space” -slash- park that exists where the old giant ugly green highway overpass once hulked over the city.  It encircles downtown by the harbor and breathes new life into that area, thanks to the Big Dig.  (This really is my city now; I’ve lived here for 22 years!!!)

So I’m walking slowly along the paths because it’s beautiful out and I’m in no hurry as I’ve got no plans.   There’s a lot of green in the Greenway, shocker, and I’m looking at all the grass when I remember a story I heard on NPR a week or so ago about a physicist who has a knack for finding four-leaf clovers.   For whatever reason, she finds them incredibly easily.  Finds them so often she gives them away as gifts, slips them into library books for people to discover, she’s filthy with four-leafs!!

Her story warmed my little heart and I realized I’ve never found one.  Believe me, I’ve searched.  I love clover anyway, and as a child I spent inordinate amounts of time sitting in the grass in my backyard or Vandy campus scanning the clover for a lucky to no avail.  How is it this woman finds them all the time?

Turns out the Greenway has approximately a billion clover patches, so I stopped and hovered and looked.  Three patches.  Full five minutes.  No luck.  But I tried and I’ll keep searching.  At least our physicist shares her finds and pays it forward.