Wisconsin in the damn summer

I was driving home with my father from work today and we were talking about how hot it is. It’s roughly hot as balls. Which is an expression I don’t really use, but it’s really the only way to describe this weather. My previously clean-feeling skin took on a sticky residue not unlike the back of a post-it. (Poetic, huh? Can you tell I work in an office?)

“It’s frickin’ hot,” I said, wiping my forehead with the back of my hand.

“Well the other option is freezin’ your ass off in a blizzard.”

“Well…” I paused, thinking of how to back my claim that a sticky heatwave is worse than a blizzard. Then I realized his logic was off. “No, I have many other options,” I said. “I could sit in air conditioning. I could go to the pool. I could go to a beach. I could drink some cold beer. I could go workout in an air conditioned gym. I have plenty of other options.”

I don’t think he had a retort. Probably because I was right.

Anyway, we have a heat advisory for the rest of the week, so I’m going to have to find some ways to cool off. After I dropped my father off at home, I continued on to my apartment, thinking of ways to stay cool.

[why not just say “hot as balls until Friday?”]

[for any of my southern friends, I’m sure 90s sound refreshing and cool. Probably because you’re not taking the hellish Wisconsin humidity into consideration.]

Go to the pool/beach

A public pool is about a two minute walk from my apartment. I’ve found this is a great way to cool off. I have mixed feelings about public pools – more negative than positive. But when the weather is hot enough I don’t really care. On the one hand, it’s a pool available to me to use whenever I want. On the other hand, a lot of kids see it as a a big toilet. There’s a ton of chemicals in the water to dillute the children’s urine. There is almost always too many people there, and there is always a person or two who really shouldn’t be wearing a bikini. I  feel on display at pools or beaches.  I’m convinced that when I take off my cover up, everyone is looking at me, thinking that my thighs are huge and that I should probably just go ahead and leave that thing on. Then when I wade into the water, I’m paranoid that somebody is going to go into my bag, take my wallet or worse – my journal or Kindle. When I finally dip underwater, I feel refreshed for a few seconds, only to resurface, fully convinced that my waterproof mascara is not actually waterproof. In order to avoid looking like a black-eyed sea creature emerging from what must be pure chlorine, I wipe under my eyes about a dozen times before I feel okay. I quickly return to my seat, check my bag for the essentials, crack open my Nalgene bottle of lemonade and settle in with my book until I overheat again and have to go through the whole submerging process all over again.

This is what I opted to do today. It was bright and sunny when I got home. I immediately changed into my suit and walked over to the pool, only to be there for about 20 minutes before this happened the sky started getting darker and people started talking about the pool closing. Another twenty minutes passed before lightning was spotted and everyone had to get out of the pool. I sat reading until I was sufficiently creeped out by the guy with the North Carolina logo tattoed on his chest who kept staring at me.

Sit in air conditioning 

This is by far the easiest of the options, since all I need to do is flip a switch and sit. This does require a television, Netflix, and possibly some snacks. If I’m looking to make it a more productive evening, I’ll grab a book or a notebook and actually accomplish something. This also has the potential to be the most soul-crushing. Usually when air conditioning is called for, it looks absolutely gorgeous outside, so I feel guilty for being inside. Typically, sitting in air conditioing doesn’t last more than an hour or two before I get sick of my living room and decide to do something else.

Drink cold beer

This is nice if you have some good microbrews. Few things are as satisfying as opening an ice cold beer and drinking it before the condensation soaks through the label. I don’t drink more than two or three, because then I get the genius idea of making inappropriate phone calls or texting people I have no business talking to. That usually results in a lot of blushing, which makes me feel warm, thus defeating the purpose of cooling off. Though I’ve only drank wine on my patio, I suspect it’s an excellent place to drink cold microbrews as well.

Work out at an air conditioned gym

This is funny, I know. Ten minutes into a workout, it no longer matters that the gym is air conditioned. This is just silly. It’s really just a half-hearted attempt to encourage myself to workout since I haven’t done anything since Saturday. I’m going to the spinning class again tomorrow night, and I’m sure I’ll return to my apartment fresh-faced and not at all sweaty. On a related note, I’m signed up for a heated yoga class on Thursday. The room is heated to 90 degrees with a 50% humidity so I should probably bring a parka in case I get a chill.

Demanding someone (most likely my dad) take me out on boat

Think about it. You’re on water, skipping over waves  with your hair flying back from the wind. This feels amazing. Then if the boat is anchored, there’s swimming without the public submerging dilemma.

Standing in front of the freezer while eating popsicles

Do I really need to say more?

Window shopping at the mall

With this,  I can kill a few birds with a single stone: I can finally find bedding for my adult-sized mattress, cool off, and conveniently have my paycheck pre-spent upon direct deposit. It’s all winning, all the time. Probably the smartest of my ideas so far.

I’m sure I’ll survive as long as there is shade, moving air, water, or ice cubes nearby. If none of those things are around, I’ll probably just pass out from heat exhaustion.

Five Shockingly Boring Confessions

My writer’s group has a fascination with lists. Since most of the group is composed of men, they usually don’t pertain to me. (Last month, somebody shared “Five Signs You’re Ready for Fatherhood”.) Usually they’re written with the perfect balance of intelligence and self-deprecation. I’ve been trying to find that balance in my own lists, but I’m all about self-deprecation and no intelligence, apparently. My mind has been operating in lists for the last week or so. I learned it’s not exclusive to my sober mind either. After an ER visit the other night, I walked away with a diagnosis of “Abdominal Pain, Right upper quadrant” and a prescription for vicoden. This is what I came up with while on vicoden. (Just a head’s up, my sober-minded lists aren’t much better. )

1. When my nail polish chips, I peel the rest off.

I’ll take great pride in completing a beautiful manicure only to deliberately ruin it as soon as it chips. I like how my nail feels when it takes in air after by suffocated by three layers of polish and I get an unnatural sense of satisfaction from peeling a chunk bigger than an pencil eraser. It reminds me of being in grade school, getting Elmer’s Glue on my hands, and peeling it off after it dried. A normal, self-respecting young woman would simply use remover to take off the thing when it starts looking like crap. Not me. I’d rather peel the stuff off and look like a thirteen year old who doesn’t take notes in algebra class.

2. I have no idea how to wear lipstick.

I genuinely envy women who can wear lipstick. I have no idea how to apply it. As a former Mary Kay lady, I’m probably supposed to know how to do this. I know that the “proper” way involves liner, lipstick, and tissue, but I’ve never been able to figure it out. Whenever I use liner, I’m never able to figure out where exactly my lip ends and where my skin begins. You’d think the color difference would be enough, but no matter where I trace the line, it never seems to be right. Also, if I’m trying to wear a shade other than red, I’m convinced that my liner is too dark and my lipstick is too light. There’s some comedian who has a joke about the dark liner/light lipstick; he says that it’s the most hideous look ever and it looks like a butthole. I’ve never been able to get that visual out of my head.

3. I have watched Say Yes to the Dress for more than two consecutive hours.

When I had my own television, I genuinely enjoyed Friday nights alone. TLC plays wedding shows from about 4pm until 11pm. I often used this as an opportunity to shut my door, hang out in my underwear and drink too much moscato by myself. The show isn’t exactly compelling. It’s just women trying on wedding dresses. Where’s the appeal? I don’t like half the dresses they show, and about 95% cost far more than I would ever consider spending.

4. I don’t know the words to Rich Girl but I insist on singing along anyway.

After creating a Bee Gees Pandora station (Bill used to play in a disco band and I was a supportive girlfriend), I came upon the realization that I genuinely enjoy music made before I was born. This includes, but is not limited to, the Bee Gees, Simon & Garfunkel, Earth Wind & Fire, and Hall & Oates. The last time I heard Rich Girl, I told my friend, “This is my jam!” before rocking out and attempting to sing along. As long as I catch the “it’s a bitch, girl” parts, I consider it a success.

5. I own a piggy bank. 

And it’s currently empty. There is literally no reason for me to own a piggy bank. I used it for a few months before I took a trip to California and collected about $70 worth of latte-making tips. Since then, it has not held more than $13. I know that because I used the last $13 as my bar money for Halloween. But it’s cute, isn’t it? I bought it because it looks exactly like a piggy bank you see in a cartoon. Did I mention I’ve been known to spend my money irresponsibly?