the hot hot heat of hotness


It is with some hesitancy that I report on the warm temperatures here. Other parts of the country suffer from a lethal heat that dominates local news in Texas and the South, the Southwest is undergoing its usual blast of solar radiation, and via Mexico comes tropical air fed by El BigBoy de Calore, my offering to meteorological moniker mavens everywhere. But the high 90's is all we can muster in my part of California, and when we do the math of humidity it comes out to Simply Don't Wear Nylon. I'm complaining nevertheless.

Fortunately, I am never vexed by nylon -- I'm a 100% cotton man, myself, like you care. T-shirts and shorts are my daily uniform of summer, although I just picked up a pair of the goshdarn niftiest cargo pants. Olive drab utililitarian to the hilt, with velcro straps to provide easy access to deep thigh pockets (oooh, I'm getting hot), they are all the rage among pre-, mid-, and post-adolescents. Their trendiness was brought to my attention at Ross' Birthday Barbecue last week when Matt (Lizzie's eldest boy) said all I needed was a pair of Vans to complete the look. To be seen in my cargo pants and OP t-shirt with my feet so unhiply shod with Nike AirMaxes would somehow chop me low and render me unable to make the scene. But if you know me at all you know that I fly in the face of fashion at every turn. The cut of my jib is away from the prevailing winds.

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Ross' Birthday Barbecue served to reassure me that I am on track when assessing the Party Soul Quotient of Late Boomers. Face it - us old married folks is dull. But not because there's something wrong with us. It's just that focus shifts to the kids. Time and attention go to the offspring. (This is not to say that older party animals of the species that staggered across the plains of yesteryear do not still exist -- they do. It's just that in order to maintain the intensity of the high to which they've become accustomed they also, as a hobby, keep a high factor of unemployability and the credit rating of a Three-Card Monty dealer. Somehow this manages to keep them out of my neighborhood, a place that would most certainly bore them during their fleeting bouts with conciousness).

Of course, for an adequate analysis of the native ennui there would have to be some lengthy review of personal fears fostered by post-war upbringings and Judeo-Christian Pucker Factors, but, by and large, assuming full recognition of The Sweeping Generalization, this is dullsville. It's relatively safe though. And convenience has us completely surrounded.

They say still waters run deep, but sometimes still waters are still because they just ain't goin' nowhere.

Or, still waters may be quite happy in their stillness, seeing stillness as the ultimate state of waters, eschewing the conflict and violence of erosion. This is fine, but I think these folks are in for some serious evaporation -- about as fun as watching somebody stare at somebody staring at something.

But this is where I live just the same. It is a choice, infused with varying options each of which can pose threat or comfort or both. To radically change the trappings of one's life is to invite a crowd of demons and angels to a big fat barbecue where you can dance the dance of selfishness and gnaw on the bones of love. Sure, everybody's got reveries of chucking it all, pulling a Gaugin, and sucking out all the nectar he can get his nose into. But if you think about it long enough, eventually you're gonna want a cd player. Maybe not need one, but hey, a little Mozart at sunset would be nice, eh?

It's a stretch, I know, to suggest that pulling a Gaugin is simply changing the trappings, but he had the same guts and soul as he did when he was a Parisian stockbroker. My guess is Gaugin would say his South Seas trappings were a helluva lot sweeter than what he had before. And sometimes the combination of sweetness and flowers and dark naked ladies just outranks financial portfolio management and brings one's human potential into full bloom.

And what's blooming around here?

Well, for one thing, variable-speed fan sales.


Today's Music:

"The Buzzard Was Their Friend" -- Dan Hicks & His Hot Licks -- WHERE'S THE MONEY?


Wisdom of the Day:

A temperature of 20 degrees Fahrenheit, plus a wind of 20 miles per hour, causes a body heat loss equal to that of minus 10 degrees with no wind.