Tag Archives: heat

Another heat record?

Boston is headed toward another summer of record-breaking heat.

Four of the five hottest summers [in the US] have now occurred since 2011. The summers of 2021 and 1936 hold the first- and second-place rankings, followed by 2012, 2011 and 2020, respectively. Fox29Philadelphia

One of the most on-point novels about the climate crisis that I’ve read is The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson. Okay, I haven’t read all that many novels on the topic, but here’s why this one is so good. It plausibly and with a lot of detail imagines how rising temperatures will impact us and it plausibly and with a lot of detail posits the solutions.

Of course the solutions are only plausible if climate deniers are removed from power and an extraordinary and unprecedented cooperation occurs across the globe. Maybe far-fetched then?

It’s long and not every reader will want to invest the time. Luckily there are two articles in The New Yorker that might appeal to you instead. The shorter article offers a 19 minute audio and the longer article is accompanied by a 55-minute audio.

The shorter article begins by describing the book’s opening scene: a lethal heat wave descends on India, with vast, horrifying consequences.

A recent news story echoes this premise.

From YaleClimateConnections.com

I laughed when my brother’s partner suggested we plan an upcoming visit to Los Angeles in September instead of July because it’s so hot there then. It’s pretty hot here too, I told her.

When we moved into this house in 1993, for the first many summers there were only a couple of weeks, maybe ten days, that were unbearably hot. You could get by with a window unit easily.

When the boys were little and we had one window AC, we’d all sleep in one bedroom like refugees during those dog days. Afternoons, when we weren’t swimming at Crystal Lake, we’d go to the movies or the mall just for the chilled air. The heat spells were relatively brief and manageable.

And then it changed. The heat started earlier in the season and lasted longer. Much longer. I had to campaign for central air because it’s expensive. We have a supply of window fans to cool us on the borderline days, but it’d be really hard to get through a Boston summer without central air anymore.

I’m planning to write upstairs with AWA friends this morning (via zoom of course) then spend as much time outside as I can stand later. I have a beautiful fresh bundle of dill so maybe a cold cucumber soup is in order!

From prognostications of doom to menu planning? Yeah, that’s me all the way.

Have a great weekend all.

100 yesterday, 97 today

Even mid morning, it was too hot to walk for long. I could’ve kept going, but Finn seemed not into it, which is saying something.

AC cranking, I’ve got the finish line in sight for the reread of Section One of my manuscript. As usual, this puts other reading on hold. I finished Series One of Deb’s Prophets Tango and can’t wait to get to the middle volume. Because I’d read it all before, this read really allowed me to focus on just how good the writing is. The writing is really so good.


stay cool

Stay cool, my Northeast friends. It’s gonna be another hot one!

Off to the South End. This time I am wearing sensible shoes. I had forgotten about the bricked, uneven, heaving sidewalks. And, leaving more time to roam around the neighborhood, because last time it took me 25 minutes to find a place to park.

I took Jack back to the vet yesterday. His panting, lack of appetite, and weakness are not heat-related. When the tech took the leash over to bring him in the back for blood work, Jack stared and stared at me without turning around and actually backed his way to the lab door. Poor boy.

And sleeping, 17 yr. old D? Upstairs. THAT poor guy worked the pizza ovens last night and came home completely wiped. Maybe NOT such a great summer job, afterall. His brother, C., didn’t come home last night. Which probably means he and his friend gamed until 5 or 6:00 a.m. What game? I can’t say.

Which reminds me of a moment, perhaps a year ago, on the release date of a hot, hot game, how weirdly proud I felt about being ‘in the know’ when a supermarket employee strolled down to another supermarket employee who was stocking the shelves (both young men, naturally), leaned in, and said, “Got Black Ops II yet?” – and I knew what he was talking about.

Yesterday, driving around, I started talking outloud (I do this. Sometimes with the phone held near ear to hide the true nature of my speech). I was noting hypocrisy, or let’s call it ‘the flexible nature of judgments’. Mine. How in law school I had written (and passionately written) a paper scorning the legal decisions that allowed the First Amendment to trump the safety of women (we’re talking pornography, here).  ‘How could anybody possibly believe that what we digest visually does not affect how we think, feel and act??!!’  And now, having watched from the sidelines as my boys have played endless hours of first-person-shooter games, I think, ‘Come on! They’re killing Nazi Zombies!!! How could that possibly affect their sensibilties?!”

Not unlike how pretzels came to be viewed as health food in our house.

And so it goes.

And now, it is time to pack up the iron etc. and go!

hot as blazes

Speaking of boats and water, these people have the right idea for a hot, hot day.  This picture was taken from the Old North Bridge in Concord, Mass. last week, but it’s another hot, hot day today.  I’m running a small fan of water from the sprinkler again today, moving it on the hour — mostly for the birds, who have been congregating wherever its moist coolness is being delivered.  Usually we just let our lawn brown out late in the summer, but this year our shrubs and trees seem to be at risk and it’s only mid-July!

[Re: “this is what climate change looks like at the personal level,”  check out  Elizabeth Kolbert in this week’s New Yorker – Talk of the Town section].

Most of the basting on the Ark quilt is done.  This little nursery print (above) was pulled out for auditioning, for obvious reasons.  Maybe I will use a larger piece to cover the back when I am done.  I’m not sure I want all the stitching to be there, on view, even though it will be against the wall.
The hideous 1970’s jacket that provided the bulk of the Ark is wonderful for the suggestion of wooden construction.  I am weaving up some more rectangles for the sides, and decided to introduce more of that lavender.
On another front, my indigo arrived from Dharma Trading, along with some white powders.  If I can stand the heat, my plan is to set up a dye station in the back yard today, under the leafy catalpa.  I will string rope from deck to D.’s mini-ramp (think ‘small half pipe’) to hang fabric from, and cover a folding table with plastic so that it can stay out in all kinds of weather.  A neighbor and former student (she is 16 and will be a junior this year) has agreed to be my intern for a few weeks this summer and she will be helping me – pretty great, right?!!

P.S. A garter snake traveled past me this morning while I was waiting for Jack to complete his business — remarkable enough – I haven’t seen a snake around here in a long time.  But then!  It slithered right between both sets of Jack’s legs, narrowly missing being plopped on.  And, perhaps most remarkable of all?  I don’t think Jack really noticed.

Heat Wave

“The more we open to ourselves, completely and fully, then that much more openness radiates to others.”

Chogyam Trungpa, “Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism”

The heat here is oppressive.  Gardened early and slowly yesterday, with long pauses for icy cold water.  Today I’m taking a pass on dirt and sweat and retreating to the coolness of my cellar.  AAAAAAAAAAhhhhhh.

Took this picture in a backyard on Sunday, while taking the Open House Tour — something I had never done in my 24 years of living in this town.  It was fun… satisfying the nosy self, the curator/designer self, the history buff, and giving the bitchy, bitter self something to complain about.  Kind of covered a lot of the bases.

This statue was in situated in one of the prettiest backyards that we saw.  At Buddha’s feet was a fountain, gurgling up through loosely arranged stones on a single round block of rock.   K. explained to D. how it was done.  “So simple,” he noted.  “I want one,” I exclaimed.