It Got Hot

Kage Baker always said hot weather was movie weather.

That meant it was a good time to go spend 2 or 3 hours in a dark, air conditioned building. We saw some films I am sure we would never have watched otherwise, because Kage wanted to go to ground somewhere cool. Most of them turned out pretty well, especially as we were in a better mood once we were no longer melting. But one cannot always find a movie when one needs one, and one still has to survive at home somehow.

I am a weenie in the heat. Thank goodness, humidity rarely happens here – I would be dead, else, or mutated into the sort of gilled, goggle-eyed and fin-fingered recluse that inhabited H.P. Lovecraft’s New England. Kage loved the heat, but only if she could hide from it and just bask in it like a salamander. She required silk pajamas, fans and cold Coke for proper basking.

Yestreday, the heat that has been at the throat of the rest of the country found its way finally to California. When I drove through Simi Valley midafternoon, on my way home, it was 105 degrees there. It was in the 80’s when I made it all the way to Griffith Park – a vast improvement.

Today we skimmed the 90’s. Even so, we were blessed by a breeze; and the sun traverses the side of the house that is mostly uninhabited during daylight – so life in the living room was bearable, with the fans going and windows and doors open to the air. I hate air conditioners because they are usually noisy. So did Kage.

We usually resorted to wearing very little, aiming fans directly at our chairs, and praying for the wind to rise. Activity was reserved for emergencies – for instance, running out of ice cream – and after dark. Which is why I am writing this blog entry so late at night, and have so little to actually say. I spent the hot hours of the day asleep or reading, imbibing a steady stream of ice water and cold cherries …

This is weather where ice cream is the logical choice for every meal. When we were little, Momma used to put scoops of ice cream in our bowls of cereal. I highly recommend Rice Crispies with strawberry ice cream and cold milk. Root beer floats are also very fine, and we usually made them by the pitcherful.

Fudgesickles. Bomb Pops. Dibs: a worthy successor to the Ice Cream Bon Bons of our youth, which I can no longer find.  Most of the flavours of Ben & Jerry – but especially Bailey’s and Cherry Garcia. The 7-11 in Pismo always carried at least those two flavours, which made a lot of hot evenings survivable. And luckily, Gelson’s – the local fancy market – always carries them, too.

Far off to the East, thunderheads as faint and transparent as a morning moon have been hovering over the mountains. Way out there, the desert is exhaling – there might be lightning on the heights, but no rain. At least here in the Basin, a little fog is creeping slowly in from the sea – the hot air has risen in a column all day, and the subsequent movement of the middle air is sucking the sea inland a little. It’ll all burn off in tomorrow’s incandescent eredawn. but the night will profit first.

It’ll make sleeping easier. I can shift the cats who like to lie on my bed under the ceiling fan, and take my own turn there. Eventually. Right now, the first faint energy of the day is stirring in me, and it’s time to write. By candlelight and screen light, and the green glow of friendly tapetums over my shoulder, where the little black cat is absorbing all the cool output of the fan on her happy tummy. Her eyes gleam like faience emeralds in the dark.

Time for a Fudgesickle, too. Life by night in the hot weather … sleep well, all.

About Kate

I am Kage Baker's sister. Kage was/is a well-known science fiction writer, who died on January 31, 2010. She told me to keep her work going - I'm doing that. This blog will document the process.
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2 Responses to It Got Hot

  1. Tom B. says:

    An excellent plan. The bagfull of cherries is in the fridge, next to the filtered reservoir of water.
    The readiness is all.


  2. PJ says:

    You can still buy old fashion bonbons at Bristol Farms. At least as late as last fall, you could. They aren’t cheap, but if you’re in a nostalgic frame of mind, they’re just the thing. Also, Dublin Dr. Pepper for those of us who need a pure cane sugar rush of nostalgic imbibing.


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