August Dog Days of Sweat

See the face up there in the header? The one with the gaping mouth. That would be me. Me dealing with — or half-assed trying to deal with and summarily failing to deal with the heat. And the humidity. OH MY GAWD.

I knew I never liked this kind of weather. But now I know I really detest it. Completely. And one might think that one might lose some poundage since she’s sweating rivers all day. But no. Instead, I make like a dirigible, or something. Oh, that I could float away on a summer breeze to a place far, far away.

So if you’ve been taking notes, don’t ever plan a vacation here in August. Ever. Or September. Or October. It’s too freaking hot. And I don’t want to hear it from you guys from the Right Coast. Okay? You’re so done with the sucky weather about now, aren’t you? Plus, you get rain. We never get rain. Well, at least we haven’t had any this year. Okay, I know Texas is floating away and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone, truly, but do you have any idea when the last time it rained here? Huh? My glasses are sliding off my nose. The inside of my elbows (is that an anatomically correct description?) are sticky, and the back of my knees (see parenthetical insertion earlier in this sentence) are beginning to drip. Hell, my fingers are sweating. Is that even possible? I’m beginning to feel like a braised dumpling.

It’s Sunday evening. I’ve just finished making yet another knock down drag out pasta dish. (Check out the lips in the side bar….swagger, wink) And a salad I’ll have to try again all by itself just to savor the interesting flavors. And where do you suppose everyone else is? Downstairs. They’re watching 300. A couple of them for the umteenth time. They’ve eaten, and now they’re going to wallow, yet again, in surround sound, chest thumping, guts and glory. No thanks.

I’ll just bitch and moan all by myself. (Insert fingers in ears at this point.)

I haven’t been cranky all day. I did get to slide into the Pacific a bit after 8:00 this morning, the sea grass no longer grossing me out to the degree it used to. The water a soothing 75 degrees. The water smooth as glass with barely a swell to disturb the surface. If only I could get my fins on gracefully. But no. No matter how regally I stride into the water, and then lower my body in to slip on my fins, even the most gentle swell pushes me back into the sea grass, knocking me on my ass, scooping copious amounts of heavily grained sand into the crotch of my conservative black Ralph Lauren one piece suit. The one that’s three years old. The one that if I suck in my gut, I don’t look quite so bad. Well, to me, anyway. Like that matters, since what I’m there for is to swim. I’ve developed a bit of the buff attitude since I’ve figured out that quite a number of people are less than comfortable with the idea of swimming in the ocean. Interesting. (This is another swagger opportunity.)

Today, I decided again to try the snorkel and mask so can swim differently, pick up more speed, and if I gird my loins, take a peek at any fish that may be swimming near by. Do I need to tell you what a pain in the ass the whole mask and snorkel are? Yes, the fish are great — well, the small ones — but the little black gizmo that keeps my snorkel pipe attached to my mask broke while I was already out some distance, so I had to find a different way to keep the stoopid pipe in the air. That would be the whole purpose of wearing it — so I could breathe while I was swimming, right? But then all was fine, and I was able to look at what little I could see under the surface of the water.

Long golden strands of kelp still attached to the sea bed swayed in the current, the water a slightly cloudy and pale aqua hue. A shadow here and there — perhaps my own or that of my friends — caught my eye occasionally. And there were columns of bubbles rising heavily to the surface, released by scuba divers far below. Occasionally a fish would leap from the water and then quickly back flop back in. And if I wasn’t paying attention, I found myself swimming in circles with my friends far ahead, calling, “Where are you going?” like it was some kind of a plan on my part. Yes, a plan to put one arm and then the other into the water and stroke, stroke, stroke to shore where by 9:00, the small sandy beach was already packed with people, their towels and blankets spread on the damp sand, ready to bake themselves in the already sweltering heat.

I’d like to be there right now, floating in the briny water. Letting the gentle swells lift me up, then leave me behind to wait for the next. It was lovely.

But now it’s hot. And it’s nearly 10 PM.

Wrecked Web

I’d go out on the patio to cool down since every window that can be opened is opened, and the air is thick, damp, and still. But I can’t. It’s that time of the year, and the orb weavers are back. They have a tendency to build their webs very near the patio door, and across the patio, so when one of us tries to venture out to get the cats in for the night, or to look up at the stars or the moon, we snap the web across our faces and run screaming back into the house. Well, not quite, but we’d like to. It’s pretty disgusting imagining whether the spider is in my hair or not.


The white blob in the center is the spider. If it’s this large already, I can’t wait to see how big it grows this season. Perhaps I’ll give them names this year. Gus. Or Barney. Maybe Eddie. Why not?

And it’s a bit sad to see the damage we cause after they’ve worked so hard all evening to create their webs. I’m sure they’re disgusted by us and our nighttime fumblings. But they get right back to business after we’ve gone, and by morning, they’ve taken the whole web down and are no where to be seen.

Just. Like. That.





11 responses to “August Dog Days of Sweat”

  1. I am conflicted between feeling in awe of the amazing engineering marvel of the web (the spider’s version, not our intertubes) and now imagining that every twitch or itch is that huge freaking spider crawling around on me.

    Welcome, Scott. Along with also being amazed and the engineering marvel of the web (and being pissed off that I wrecked it) I can tell you crawling around aspect of your comment is something I’ve had happen. I have to routinely ask — “Is it on my head?” And for some strange reason, the center of their webs are usually at my eye level, and since that’s where they sit, it’s a bit shocking to feel the snap and then a tickle before I dance about frantically brushing at my hair….YUCK.

  2. Earlene

    I could see it all while reading. You are so funny. You make my morning with your blog. I sit in my little home in the basement and laugh my ass off. Keep it up.

    Hey Momzer…remember the olive crock at our old house? That was a great spider story!

  3. Ahhh, yes… The spiders are getting quite busy here in Texas as well. And it’s HOT, too. it’ll be high 90’s and very humid today herein Texoma. (Very near the Oklahoma Texas Line) Twice as humid as is usual, since it rained (and tornado-ed and thundered) over the weekend (we’re fine, thanks, it didn’t hit anything that I’m aware of).

    I feel yer pain… I do. I wish I could find the beach, but it’s a darned long walk in any direction from here!

    Hey Jerry, We’re fascinated with weather. Any kind. We’re starved for it. Hell, even a windy day gets our attention. And I’m sure you’ve got us beat on the heat. I shouldn’t be whining…

  4. Ugh The HEAT kills me too. I hate the spring = allergies. I hate the summer= HEAT. I really hate the winter = driving in snow = scary. But the FALL … OH the FALL is the most wonderful time of the year. (Not to mention the KIDS GO BACK TO SCHOOL) wheee!

    Meleah, I forgot the joy of kids going back to school — especially enjoyable for me this year, as I’ll not be amongst the masses as I have been for the past 20 years. It’s going to be the autumn I’ve always wondered about. Can’t wait! But the snow sounds WONDERFUL. I know. I’d think differently if I had to deal with it.

  5. Ritzy

    Seems as if that humidity we had here in the Great Midwest for weeks upon weeks has made its way West. At least you have the ocean… here, we have lakes… not as fantastic or jaw dropping… and now we have had days upon days of rain that was very much needed.

    You’d think Paradise would come equipped with AC! 🙂
    Hang in there… stay cool.

  6. I’ll deal with the heat if the hurricanes will just stay away this year!

  7. girl… that spider is way tooooo much for me… i live in the country and i have spiders… but if i EVER saw one that big,,,, and white,,, i would freak out…. yuck!!!!!!!!!

    stay inside at night!!!!!!!!

  8. It’s been strangely cool here and rainy for the last couple of days. The orb weavers return here soon as well. Insidious yes, but oh so lovely.

  9. I’m partial to Shelob as a spider name, and it seems appropriate for your patio beast(s).

    And “braised dumpling” would make a fine blog and/or band name.

  10. Holy shit! If ever i ran into one of those i think i’d be carried away on a stretcher! Although i think it’s amazing that they are gone by morning… how nice of them!

  11. I am rather envious after reading of your sweltering…
    On this side of the world it is cold and sodden and miserable.
    I am even lured by the concept of reaching sea grass and sandy crotch…
    Your hellish conditions sound heavenly to me…sigh..

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