Print Story on a personal foible
Diary
By clock (Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:22:54 AM EST) (all tags)
i have something to admit.  it's a fear of mine.


i'm not one who has a lot of fears.  i allow myself one irrational fear (and i'll keep that to myself, thank you) and very few others.  the fact of the matter is that once we abstract things a bit, fear falls to the side and you're left generally with something that you just don't want to deal with.  that's different from fear.  let's look at spiders in the house.  i don't mind them.  as long as they aren't poisonous (we have a baby now ya know!) they're ok with me.  until they find the shower.  and i get in the shower.  because a spider that sees me naked has broken an ancient covenant and must be dispatched.  there's no fear.  i just don't want to deal with a spider when i'm trying to mellow out in the shower.  so it has to die.  but this is not a product of fear.

sure there are fears of things like the death of a loved one.  or money stuff.  or anything really that i don't want to deal with that is outside of my control.  but i blow those off.  they aren't real.  yet i do have one true fear.

i'm afraid of summer.

let that sink in for a second and i'll tell you a story.  i remember during my time on the prairie a conversation with a coffee dude.  i staked out a particular joint as my safe haven.  i practically lived there.  i spent lunch hours there, at least two nights a week as "creative time" and sometimes an entire saturday.  the owners and i got along very well and i got to know the staff.  one was a guy who was doing what i wished i could do.  he's a painter.  he deals mainly in abstracts and colors.  i'm not a fan of abstract expressionist end products (the process is another story) but his work really has something.  he understands light and i think that goes a long way with me.

anyway, this guy would paint in his off time and earned his living making some of the best cappuccino i've had off of italian soil.  a truly amazing gift.  while he made the espresso and created some fantastic foam we would chat about our creative output, each a little jealous of the living made by the other.  it must have been the month of may when this conversation took place.  there was a humidity that was just starting to gather and hang in the air.  the sun was a little more intense and while everyone was pleased to throw off the constant gale force winter winds, there was a touch of tension in our talk about our "work."

one of the newer coffee kids (clearly a sophomore who had every answer) had been listening in and decided to pipe up.  how excited we must be for the longer days of summer!  what a wonder it is to create when the world is fresh and new!

the painter and i shrugged.  it was then that we each admitted that we did little to no work during those three oppressive months in the greenhouse conditions.  there's a reason a lot of corn grows on those massive expanses.  art is a lot of differt things, but it is not corn.

the peppy sophomore withered and went back to cleaning something and the painter and i resumed our conversation.  it was nice to have someone with whom to commiserate. 

the summer:  it's the feeling of winding down.  the sense that nothing can be done in the face of that miserable heat.  the days are long, but my best work is done at night and when the sun finally sinks, i'm exhausted from fighting the heat of the day.  it's like a reverse hibernation.  all of my energy is sapped and focused on survival.  there is a powerful stasis that sets in until the glory of autumn brings the world back to a place where functioning is possible.

some of my most creative times were the mornings i spent in my "new" coffee shop after my previous life ended.  i can remember walking from the parking lot in the whipping winds with the feeling that my face was actually being cut by the cold.  it fed me.  it brought out every urge to create and live.  i got a taste of that on our vacation to my frozen homeland.  it was a wonderful feeling.

when i step out to go to lunch these days, the air is warmer.  i can feel the water in it.  summer starts earlier here.  well, my idea of summer anyway.  we'll soon be back to the days of 24/7 air conditioning and that bead of sweat that runs down my spine as we walk the dog while the sun sets, its heat still clinging to the earth.  each and every time i step out the door i expect the blast furnace.  part of me is relieved when it isn't there.  another part reminds me that it's only a matter of days.

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on a personal foible | 41 comments (41 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
Let me see if I understand this... by ammoniacal (4.00 / 5) #1 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:44:29 AM EST
You're afraid of summer, yet you're keeping the one irrational fear to yourself?

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

i believe... by clock (4.00 / 2) #3 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:59:01 AM EST
...you've already done the math!


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Tame that fear! by Rogerborg (4.00 / 2) #9 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 06:22:51 AM EST
It's on the left of your keyboard, just below Caps Lock.

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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
<Shift> ? by greyrat (4.00 / 2) #10 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 06:26:12 AM EST


[ Parent ]
I know he's got one, he used "quotes" by Rogerborg (4.00 / 5) #11 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 06:53:42 AM EST


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Metus amatores matrum compescit, non clementia.
[ Parent ]
He told me long ago. . . by nightflameblue (4.00 / 1) #13 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 07:16:42 AM EST
he was going to replace his shift keys once he could afford it. Apparently he still can't afford it.

[ Parent ]
gotta pay the bitch tax by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #27 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:46:15 PM EST
until Jan 2010, yo

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HOLY CRAP! by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #30 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:26:29 PM EST
That's a long time to be stuck paying someone for being a bitch.  But, at least it's finite.

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the amount by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #32 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:34:08 PM EST
will make you freak out even more: $1k/month

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Doesn't she live in the midwest? by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #34 Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 02:41:38 AM EST
A single person could live quite well on a grand a month around here.  Not like luxury apartment life, but comfortable.  What, was she proven incapable of providing even the slightest bit for herself?

[ Parent ]
Dang you missed a lot by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #35 Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 06:28:00 AM EST
it's bad, bad.


[ Parent ]
Yeah, I did miss a lot. by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #36 Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 06:33:47 AM EST
But thought I'd popped in often enough to catch most of that particular story thread. Must not have though.

[ Parent ]
not exactly sure why the judge ruled it so by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #39 Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:16:02 AM EST
because it makes squat for sense.

my personal feeling is: what do you expect from a state that just got electricity last year?

[ Parent ]
Hey now, as someone who's lived in that state I by nightflameblue (2.00 / 0) #40 Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:27:16 AM EST
um, huh. You're actually not that far off.

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I can't resist by notafurry (4.00 / 1) #37 Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 07:45:28 AM EST
Mine is the same amount... but in just THREE MONTHS, I'm DONE! DONE! FREEEEEEEEEEEEE!

Of course, there's the judgment on the debt in her name that she managed to get me tangled in, and the car I apparently still own because she hasn't completed the transfer, and...

Ah, who cares, FREEEEEEEEEEE!

[ Parent ]
cool! by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #38 Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 10:14:59 AM EST
clock and i look forward to the day we're free

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Clearly, he's NOT a Republican. by greyrat (4.00 / 2) #5 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:02:53 AM EST


[ Parent ]
fear? by Merekat (4.00 / 4) #2 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:51:25 AM EST
Or dread?

FWIW, I am not afraid of spiders either. I am just afraid they will crawl into my ears, nose or mouth while I am sleeping and die there in some unspecified manner that will cause me to feel their death throes.

ew. by clock (4.00 / 2) #4 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:59:30 AM EST
and again.

ew.


I agree with clock entirely --Kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Summer here by blixco (4.00 / 3) #6 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:05:00 AM EST
is a living thing, an evil oven intent on baking the very soul out of you, a slow drowning in scalding wet wool blankets under the milky sun.

Searing heat, mindless humidity, and you're in Houston, which is the worst, ever.  Ever.  San Antonio is bad, heat-wise, but they don't have the air quality issues.

I've often equated being in Houston to existing between the folds of a fat man's stomach as he rots in hell.

Not that I'm ambivalent about it.  Just...passionate.
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"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

I lived in College Station for a year by greyrat (4.00 / 3) #8 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 06:17:52 AM EST
when I was eight, and in Houston with a few weekends in San Marcos for eight months (Jan - Aug) when I was 23. And I vacationed across the state a few times as a teenager. It may just be my Midwestern upbringing, but I really didn't think Tejas was much worse for heat and humidity than Kansas or Missouri, It just lasts a few weeks longer.

[ Parent ]
You know nothing! by blixco (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 07:38:03 AM EST
Your sample set is not large enough; pls correct k thx.

The first two years I lived here, I was like "man, I don't know what everyone is so down on the heat about."

Then I realized, when it hit 102 on a day in November, and 90 on a day in January, that it was the ten months of days above 85 degrees + 80 percent humidity that does it.  And it is a cumulative thing, over the years.  The two reasons I would like to live anywhere else:

  1. Allergies (we're the worst in the States, apparently) and
  2. The Heat.
(A close third is the traffic, which is the worst for any city our size)

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"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin
[ Parent ]
what's stopping ya ? by sasquatchan (4.00 / 1) #15 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 07:43:58 AM EST
Laurea got her fud, and you've got marketable talent (plus clearance..)... Find a nice post-doc place.

[ Parent ]
She's not done with her by blixco (4.00 / 1) #16 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 07:48:27 AM EST
post doc, so we can't leave yet.

Plus there's a lot about this place that I love.  Like any place, there are plusses and sinuses.

Er...minuses.
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"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
Ummm... Forty years in Kansas, Missouri, by greyrat (4.00 / 2) #17 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 07:58:56 AM EST
Oklahoma, Texas, and Southern Indiana is a statistically significant sample set.

[ Parent ]
Uh, by blixco (4.00 / 2) #20 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 08:26:49 AM EST
your post stated that you lived in Texas a veryr small period of time.

It is a cumulative effect.
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"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

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Pish! I've seen how the salt fog in spring by greyrat (4.00 / 2) #21 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 08:41:56 AM EST
(well any time, really) breaks so many of the stop lights in Houston. I've come back to my apartment in the sweltering heat at 3:00 AM and seen the courtyard of my complex covered with "Palmetto bugs". I've driven at a leisurely 85 MPH on I-10 with the windows down and felt like I was sitting in front of a blast furnace.

But if you want to land me a job down there, I'll go for cumulative!

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Oh, and you live in that that lEEbral city of by greyrat (4.00 / 2) #18 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 08:02:37 AM EST
Austin, don't you? Up in the hills. You've got it easy up there weenie!

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I am beginning to feel this way about winter by georgeha (4.00 / 3) #19 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 08:18:33 AM EST



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first trip to Vegas by MillMan (4.00 / 1) #24 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:32:38 PM EST
Early July. 120 degrees on the strip. Never experienced anything like it before. Don't plan to again.

When I'm imprisoned as an enemy combatant, will you blog about it?

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My dad lived by blixco (4.00 / 1) #25 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:34:37 PM EST
in Vegas for a few years.  I once played tennis with a court temp of 130, just to say that I had.  The pool right next door was 95 degrees and felt like ice.

Anything over 110, it's crazy.  Even a "dry" heat is fucking can't breathe crazy at 110+.
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"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
As someone who has built fences. . . by nightflameblue (4.00 / 1) #31 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:29:03 PM EST
and bailed hay at 120+, with Iowa style humidity, it's hot, but it's not can't breathe hot at 110+.  125+?  OK, now we can start talking crazy.  There does come a point where all you can do is sit down and hope you remember to put that salt pill in your pocket to have with your water.

[ Parent ]
You want hot? by blixco (2.00 / 0) #33 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 07:40:33 PM EST
I actually lived under the surface of the sun for ten years.

125?  Try 125 million.
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"You bring the weasel, I'll bring the whiskey." - kellnerin

[ Parent ]
i will take 120F by StackyMcRacky (4.00 / 1) #28 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:48:10 PM EST
with no humidity any day of the week over the shit here.

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Midwestern summers are teh awes0m3 by greyrat (4.00 / 3) #7 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 05:54:21 AM EST
It's how you know for sure it's not winter...

I love summer. by nightflameblue (4.00 / 2) #12 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 07:14:59 AM EST
Winter is the time of hate in my world. In the summer I have my choice between being creative, or going out and doing shit. It recharges me to jump on the bike and ride myself into a sweaty, deathly tired relaxation in some way. In the winter, I'm stuck. I tend to tap out quickly on the creative side because the balance between quiet solitude and getting out there is lost. There's no good exercise in winter, just shovels and snowstorms that come at the wrong time of day to give me any sense of good from the workout.

Give me a choice and I'd live in a hot weather area year 'round. My best rides and walks were on days the temp was over a hundred and the humidity was in the eighty and above percent area. I may be insane, but I enjoy my insanity.

Mrs. NFB loves winter. Locked in the house, nothing to do, it's perfect for her. It drives me nuts.

Spider murderer. by MohammedNiyalSayeed (4.00 / 2) #22 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 09:08:15 AM EST

I understand, though. Ancient covenants are ancient covenants.


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You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
I only vaguely understand by spacejack (4.00 / 1) #23 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 09:55:26 AM EST
Because I try to get through our summers without A/C, and that gets pretty nasty some years. Can't complain too much about the past few years though, as it hasn't been too bad.

We've got a real winter for a change this year, with the most snow on record I believe. Too bad we can't send some of it your way.

last week by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #29 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 04:49:24 PM EST
there were snow flurries in Galveston!

[ Parent ]
Been here going on two years now by MillMan (4.00 / 2) #26 Wed Mar 12, 2008 at 12:36:42 PM EST
I can't handle the emotional rollercoaster of "real" seasons anymore. Boston's climate, maybe, but not Minnesota. Spring in Minnesota was always a revelation, true euphoria; sadly, it's the same sort of euphoria you get after tossing the last shovelful of dirt on the hole in the forest you just buried your abusive husband of ten years in.

When I'm imprisoned as an enemy combatant, will you blog about it?

I don't fear summer... by Metatone (4.00 / 1) #41 Thu Mar 13, 2008 at 12:37:23 PM EST
but it has never been a productive time for me.

I put this down to too much association with academia over the years. Somehow, some part of me still thinks that the year runs, Sept-Sept. Sure I go to parties on Jan 1, but most of my "new resolutions in life" get made in the fall.

Anyway, I think that's some of it, summer is just a time when the brain goes to sleep...

on a personal foible | 41 comments (41 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback