Lizard weather, online shopping, and I finally get a TV

So… greetings from Hell week:

That’s how hot it was in the master bedroom at 5:15pm today.

And outside:

Monday will be even worse: 41 degrees Celsius (yes, I know I mix Fahrenheit and Celsius. I actually like Fahrenheit better, though.)

This seems appropriate:

Well, at least it’s a relatively dry heat. I remember when I lived in Vancouver there would be hot summer days when I would be sweating buckets and thinking “my God, it must be 33!” and finding it was actually more like 26 or 27. Then when I moved here, the first summer was very hot and I often thought “my God, it’s warm, I bet it’s 27!” and then it would actually be 33.

Similarly this morning it was certainly warm in my room when I woke up, but I assumed it would be in the 80s. Instead, the gauge showed 90.1 F at that point.

I do have central air so I could use A/C, but I hate A/C. Not just because I’m cheap, but because I can never seem to get it right: too warm and then suddenly shift it one degree and it becomes far too cold.

Come Monday when it’s supposed to be 41C/108F, we’ll see if I still feel that way.

One thing’s for sure, this is a time to implement lessons I learned from my late iguana, who was, of course, genetically optimized for dealing with the heat:

  • Never come up to a human if you can just turn around to stare at them.
  • Never turn around to stare at them if you can merely turn your head.
  • Never turn your head if you can simply roll an eye in their direction.
  • Never roll an eye in their direction if you can simply give them a dismissive snort.
  • Whenever possible, make (other) humans fetch things for you.

She was right, of course: the key to beating the heat is to minimize movement. (Of course, while iguanas like it hot, it’s currently too hot even for iguanas. They prefer things right in the 88F sweet spot.)

There’s another tip I also learned from animals, albeit via a documentary: kangaroos lick their forearms in hot weather. The skin is extra thin there and so as the moisture evaporates, it cools the skin, which cools the blood passing through the veins just underneath. Last night I filled my bathroom sink with cold water and every few minutes as I was trying to adjust to the temperature upstairs I would head in, dip my hands in the cold water, and wipe some water onto my face, chest, and arms and then lie down again (I had a fan running all night too.)

My neighbor has a variation on this theme: a cool wet facecloth that she’ll lay around the back of her neck in the heat. Same sort of thing, really.

Part of my problem lies in the loss of my giant old magnolia tree at Christmas 2019 – it had a large dense canopy which kept the north side of the front yard nice and shady, but it had to be removed when the roots found a weakness in the sewer line and blocked it under the sidewalk.

I quickly replaced it with a then-8′-tall redbud, which has added 2′ in height and probably 3′ in width, but it’ll be years before it gives even half the cooling shade that the magnolia gave.

At least the continued presence of the giant mulch pile in my driveway means I’m parking in the street underneath the shade of my neighbor’s huge old cherry tree.

I have actually made a dent in the mulch pile this week – taking 3 wheelbarrows’ full out on one day and 6 the next. The rest will wait at least a week.

What else… About Thursday’s post: the whole skirts thing is on hold for a week. Too hot and sticky for just skirts and too hot and sticky to wear skirts as a layer over leggings or bike shorts.

But hey, I’m not wearing jeans or any other actual pants right now either. Sloppy hippie pajama-style cotton pants and leggings for the win! (I started out in shorts today and decided it’s too hot and sticky for bare thighs.)

An update from last week’s Saturday blog: my brother’s replacement tests came back negative late yesterday afternoon, so he is now free from quarantine. And seething over the extra week in Karen house arrest.

Oh well. Time to get planning that move to Mexico.

Speaking of my brother, I’ve now got a TV courtesy of him. He had a 40″ flat screen he’s not using and not planning to take to Mexico, and we both got sick of watching South Park and Married with Children on my teeny portable DVD player, so the 40″ is now mine.

I still refuse to get cable, but I will be able to hook it up to my little DVD player and watch movies and TVs and concerts on a 40″ screen instead of a 6″ one.

I still have to figure out what size wall mount to order, and so far that has proven difficult. I know what kind I want and where it will go, but in order to know which version of it I should order, I need to figure out how far apart my studs are in this 120 year old house that’s been messed around with and reno’d several times.

We tried to figure it out with his stud finder and found one stud for sure, but the damn thing wouldn’t show any other studs in the same wall. Which is ridiculous.

Of course, some of the other walls in this house have shiplap underneath the drywall, which I assume probably screws up the stud finder. I’ll get Dad to come with his fancier stud finder this week to find the damn things so I can order that wall mount.

Other updates: I mentioned before about taking clarinet lessons. A month in, I’m regularly making sounds that are actually pleasant. Sometimes I even manage to string them together for up to a minute before the screeching returns.

So… slowly but surely I’m getting there.

Last week I talked about the eBay mix-up that swallowed a U2 tour program I’d bought and I mentioned how I’d been worried about not getting the signed copy of U2 by U2 that I’d ordered at the same time.

It showed up just fine this week:

And the signatures, which appear to have been done with gel pens.

I got a sweet deal on this – other copies that were signed are on eBay for hundreds, I got this one for a fraction of that with one of those special seller offers for 56% off because I’d left it in my watch list for a while waiting to squeeze it into the budget at full price, so I leapt at it when I got the offer email.

My guess (without having bothered to look into it too much) is that they probably signed a bunch of copies for sale to fan club members or something like that, because there seem to be several of these books available on eBay, all with signatures on the same page, but all with the signatures in slightly different spots on the page.

This would be consistent with what I’ve seen some authors do on livestreams, particularly Brandon Sanderson (whose videos on novel writing I watched a ton of this spring): get a few tables lined up end to end, stack up a couple or a few thousand copies all along them, usually 5-10 copies high, and the author walks along the table signing them as an assistant takes the signed ones off the pile as he goes.

Something like this:

I’m assuming that’s the history of this U2 by U2 copy. The signatures all check out, and are consistent with several other listings of the book from different sellers, whereas there’s a couple other signed copies for sale that were signed with different markers on different pages.

Anyway, always fun to have a new addition to my autograph collection, and even aside from that, I find the big hardcover copy a lot easier to read and hand than the paperback version I got on Amazon months ago. Maybe I’m being nitpicky, but if it’s gonna weigh a ton, I’d rather have it be hardcover and big enough to just have it open in my lap to read rather than holding it up and trying to read into the inner gutter/spine, unlike the paperback here with the teeny photos:

That said, I had no issue with the paperback copy til I saw how much nicer and easier to hand the big hardcover copy was, lol… but the paperback copy is getting donated with my next purging trip to Value Village, no need to have 2 of the same text.

Other shopping news: the Facebook ads seem to have figured out how to separate me from my money on the new/old secret account that I only have 20 of my favorite people (and their various alts) on. I’ve been getting ads for shoes, boho dresses, retro-style clothes, and make-up.

And I gave in to two so far. One was Shoe Freaks’ Canadian site, which mostly shows ridiculous stompy goth boots that I might have loved 10-20 years ago but wouldn’t be caught dead in today, but on one evening I was bored enough to browse and found they also had cute (normal-looking) heels, so I bought these as a test order:

They fit perfectly and are comfortable. 4″ heel with a slight platform up front. I shall indeed be buying more, though probably not for a few months.

The other order will be arriving this week, so I’ll leave that tale for next week’s blog. And I might be buying some dresses from a third ad site.

Now for the all-important Barbie updates. Three of the 4 frumps have now arrived, with the 4th arriving in a week or so, plus of course I’ve found a couple others along the way to make my main characters’ lives into living hells.

Not among the original 4 frumps is Eleanor Roosevelt, who I re-imagined as Pam, the soon-to-be-ex-wife of a mix engineer named Dickhead, er, Richard.

Two of the frumps who will be on annoying middle-aged groupie/stalker duty for my main character Nick:

I haven’t decided on their names yet, but these are the Sally Ride and Billie Jean King Barbies (after being redressed, of course).

Lastly for collectibles and shopping, my Endora Funko Pop that I think I ordered back in March is now here:

I guess this is a long-winded way to sort of say I didn’t write much this week, but that’s actually not true. I made some edits to the script of an episode of the web series called “Ring Toss,” I outlined another episode called “Career Daze,” I wrote that long rant/ramble about wearing dresses for Thursday’s blog, and I’ve been brainstorming for livestream show ideas as well as re-reading a book called Comedy Writing For Late-Night TV that I will be using to develop said livestream ideas into an actual show.

Well, let’s wrap things up with some garden pics from this week:

Everyone else’s lupins in this town bloomed 2 months ago. Just when I’d given up on mine, they condescended themselves to bloom.