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Stuck [Aug. 24th, 2019|11:59 pm]
A surprise ride to Safeway today resulted in more stuff to stuff into the cupboards and refrigerator. There was also a great bargain on some cleaning supplies, and a luxury bottle of high-end vodka (Stolichnaya, which does not come in a plastic bottle.) Aside from milk, which I could run out of around the middle of next week, and maybe a couple of items of produce, I'm set for the rest of the month. I will need fresh donuts before the end of the heat wave, but Grocery Outlet is only about a quarter of a mile away, and I can probably bring myself to endure one more evening of walking in horrible heat to get there. The milk will have to come from Trader Joe's, which is slightly closer. Beer is already taken care of for the next week, as I went to CVS after Safeway today.

So now comes the test of endurance. Maybe as long as two weeks stuck in this apartment, except for two or three essential nearby outings, just feeling myself gradually disintegrate. It's going to be boring and tedious, and frustrating, I'm sure, unless something unexpected happens, and I have a hard time imagining anything unexpected happening that isn't disastrous, like one of those planes that flies over the neighborhood crashing on us, for example.

But then I suppose the Rapture might take place, and all my righteous neighbors will fall down dead and the rest of us run amok, looting their stuff, though given the heat we probably won't run very fast. We'd probably just run amok-ish, then find some shade to rest in until we got our strength back. But, honestly, I think the Rapture is even less likely than one of those planes crashing. Too bad, since I'd really like to nab a big screen TV from one o the dead neighbors and watch English people murdering one another. In my opinion the end of the world would not be too high a price to pay for that. I find that I really miss television, a lot. Especially when I'm stuck in the apartment.
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The Evil Sun [Aug. 24th, 2019|12:52 am]
I am assuming that Chico still exists, and its population has not yet expired from the heat or fled to cooler places. My block is still here, and at least one building in North Valley Plaza, the top of which I can see from my mailbox. But the main indicator is that I have been hearing traffic all day, including a great deal of it on the freeway. Now it's true that Chico could have been entirely depopulated and there could still be traffic on the freeway, since it connects to other places, but if Chico has been deserted then they left their lights on, as I still can't see any stars tonight for the glare of city lights obscuring them.

Of course I can't prove that Chico is still here, since I haven't seen any of the rest of it since Wednesday, and now that the traffic has diminished for the night I don't hear it either. But I'm guessing it is still here. Whether or not it will still be here when I next leave this apartment I can't say, as it currently looks like that won't be for a long time. The long range forecast is still predicting highs in the nineties and above through September 6. That will be a Friday, and it will be only 91, so maybe I'll be able to go out then. But I'm going to be so out of shape from lack of exercise by then. You can't get much walking done in a one-bedroom apartment with a tiny back yard.

Right now it's still 80 degrees outside. I don't open the windows and turn on the fan until it gets down to about 75. Had I not been burned out of Paradise that's probably the temperature I'd be enjoying now, as it's usually at least five degrees cooler than Chico up there all summer long. The ridge is probably done with triple-digits for the year, and the first week of September would be unlikely to rise out of the eighties. What luxury!

The latest PG&E bill came today, and it's the highest I've had since moving here, but not devastating. At just under sixty bucks it's considerably less than I'd have been paying in that large, poorly-insulated house on the ridge, despite the cooler climate at that elevation. I don't know what I'll do with those extra bucks, though, since I can't get out to spend them. Maybe I should order a pizza, and let somebody else get out in the heat to deliver it to me. Not tonight, though. I've been feeling too lousy to enjoy pizza. Maybe I'll microwave some popcorn and put lots of butter on it. Maybe I can clog my arteries enough to get a fatal heart attack and not have to go through a second summer in Chico.
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Wave [Aug. 23rd, 2019|01:38 am]
The first of what will probably be several all-indoor (except for the back yard) days is over, and I have survived. It is actually cooling off a bit faster tonight than it did last night, and I've been able to open the windows and turn on the fan. The apartment might get somewhere close to comfortable before dawn. Tomorrow should be slightly worse than today, then there will be little change for a few days, but I'll be closer to the breaking point with each passing day.

The most exciting thing that happened today was watering the plant in the back yard. There are very few of them, so it doesn't take very long, but I do enjoy listening to the water splashing for a little while. Right now I'm going to make some whipped cream for strawberry shortcake (or strawberry angel food cake, more accurately) which is one of the distractions I'm using during the heat wave. A few luxuries can make enduring the doldrum of confinement and the misery of heat easier. At least I hope they can.

Thank goodness I can afford to air condition this small space. 78 degrees is so much easier to put up with than 100+.
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Back to Super Sweltering [Aug. 22nd, 2019|12:18 am]
A bunch of clouds spilled over from a northern Pacific weather system today, but they brought no cooling that I could notice. It was ungodly hot again, but as it will get ungodlier hotter starting tomorrow I made an evening trip to the Plaza— probably the last such I'll make for some time. The Goodwill store provided me with an interesting book published by The Onion, The Onion Book of Known Knowledge (183rd Imperial Edition) which, I am sure, once read will make me one of the most knowledgeable people to possess this book. Quite a coup, if I say so myself.

After buying the book I stopped at Trader Joe's to pick up a pint of whipping cream. I bought some strawberries and angel food cake Tuesday, which might be the last I will buy this season. The berries are not looking as good as they did earlier. Strawberry shortcake with whipped cream will be one of the things which I hope will make my upcoming confinement to the apartment by the horrendous heat endurable.

The windows are still closed tonight, and though I've got the thermostat set to a fairly warm 77 degrees it still feels considerably hotter outdoors than it does in here. It feels about eighty out there, and it most likely won't cool off enough to open the windows for at least a couple more hours. I'm going to drink icy drinks and read until then, but I'm not expecting to sleep well. The long range forecast has highs of 96 (which it was today) and above for the next ten straight days, with six days of triple digits. Even after that the highs will remain in the nineties. Most of the nights will be unpleasantly warm as well. I don't think we're going to get a break this summer at all.
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Consumer News [Aug. 21st, 2019|01:34 am]
The shopping trip went well, and I'm now stocked up on a number of items that will last for quite some time, so the seventy bucks I spent today doesn't seem extravagant. Well, a bit of it was extravagant, but an extravagant bargain, as I got a couple of luxury items at considerably less than half their regular price. They will serve as a reward for having endured the recent appalling weather, and be a help in enduring the appalling weather still to come.

Tonight will be the last reasonably cool night for quite a while, so I'm letting as much of the fresh air in through the windows as I can get. Tomorrow's temperature is expected to get up to 96, and on Thursday we will start getting those triple-digit highs again. Still, I hope to get out tomorrow evening to check the Goodwill store's book selection again, and then pick up a couple of things at Trader Joe's. After that I might get trapped here for several days.

These nights I'm feeling very out of touch with the sky. I totally forgot about the Perseid meteor shower earlier this month, though this year it coincided with a nearly full moon so I wouldn't have been able to see much even had I still been up on the ridge. I do remember seeing the full (or nearly full or just past full) moon rising a few nights ago when I went out to check the mailbox after one of those days I didn't go out because of the heat. I was a very bright orange, and looked at first looked like it was sitting right on the roof of the house across the street. It was a bit startling to see it, as I notice it (or even think about it) so seldom anymore.

There are still dishes to be done tonight. Everything seems to take longer these days, and so everything happens later. Maybe things will speed up when the weather gets cool again, If it ever does.
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Between [Aug. 20th, 2019|12:27 am]
There were no interesting new books a the Goodwill store this evening, but I did find one at Dollar Tree. Dollar Tree's book selection is quite odd, consisting as it does entirely of remaindered titles, most of them being by writers I've never heard of. But once in a while they have something that looks interesting. Today I found a memoir by Alan Lightman, who has written a few articles published in magazines I read regularly. He has also written six novels and a few books on science, having a degree in theoretical physics. I haven't read any of his books, though.

The thing about the book I bought today that caught my attention is that it is centered around the career of M. A. Lightman, who was the author's grandfather, and whose name I immediately recognized from research I've done for the web site Cinema Treasures. The elder Lightman was a theater owner, running a good-sized chain of movie houses in and around Memphis and later expanding throughout the south as the Malco circuit. I've seen his name dozens of times in the theater industry trade journals I use for research, and have written about several of his theaters. This book is unlikely to be of much interest to most people (thus its appearance on the remainder rack at Dollar Tree,) but given my long-time interest in old movie theaters I'm really looking forward to reading it.

It looks very much like I'll be getting a ride to Safeway tomorrow, which is just in time, that being the last day of this week's sale. I'll be able to stock up on several things I'm going to be needing soon. Since the imminent heat wave is likely to keep me sequestered for several days, it's a good thing I'll be able to make this trip now. If I do make it. Plans do do sometimes fall through. If that happens I'm going to have to be going out to the nearby stores during the heat to pickup essential items, though all I could get for some of them would be poor substitutes.

It's supposed to be tolerably cool tonight, though this apartment has a hard time letting enough cool air in to make it as comfortable as I'd like. The windows just aren't big enough, and the insulation in the flat roof takes a long time to give up the heat that has accumulated from days on end of relentless sunlight, so it radiates that heat down into the apartment almost as fast as it radiates it up into the outdoor air. I actually had the same problem with the house in Paradise, so I guess I'm no worse off in that respect.

Crickets chirping now, but I can hardly hear them indoors with the fan on. I'm going to go out and listen for a while before I do some reading, and hopefully get to sleep before three o'clock. I managed to get up about one o'clock this afternoon, after sleeping about ten hours. I think I'm caught up on sleep after the few terrible nights (and days) I had during the last very hot spell. Maybe the next very hot spell won't be quite as bad. The latest forecast has only five days of triple-digit highs instead of the seven it had last night. We might get lucky and lose a couple more. I certainly hope so.
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Outside Again At Last [Aug. 18th, 2019|11:28 pm]
A surpassingly weird day. After Saturday evening's unintentional nap I found it impossible to get back to sleep this morning. My brain wouldn't shut up for hours, no matter how I tried to distract it and calm it down. Not even a relaxing shower helped. I finally got a few cat naps between nine o'clock in the morning and noon, but after that it just made no sense to try to sleep anymore, so I decided to go out before the day's heat reached its peak. I went to the Grocery Outlet for a few things, then stopped on the way home to pick up a lunch at the Mexican Restaurant across from the Plaza.

The lunch is a couple of bucks cheaper than the dinner, and a bit smaller by not much. I was able to finish it this time, but just barely. After so large a meal there will be no dinner tonight, just alight snack. I'm feeling quite tired now, so I don't think there will be any trouble sleeping tonight. The terribly bad news is that it starts getting hotter again tomorrow, and the forecast currently has no fewer than seven triple-digit-high days in a row starting Thursday. I was hoping that August would turnout to be a bit cooler than July, which was above normal this year, but so far no such luck. It's safe to say that so far this is the worst summer I've ever experienced.

I'm really hoping to get a ride to Safeway tomorrow or Tuesday, as there are things I'm running low on, and given the upcoming heat it's very unlikely I'll be getting to either of the bus-accessible stores this week, and maybe not even next week. I did manage to get to CVS this evening to replenish the beer supply, so at least there's that one thing I don't have to worry about.

One of the nearby crickets is back tonight, after having gone missing all last night. Since it's a bit cooler tonight I might be able to get the windows open before I go to sleep, and then the cricket can provide a soundtrack to my dreams for me. Not that I'm likely to remember any dreams, since I seldom do, but I do like the idea of hearing crickets chirp as I sleep.

Sunday VerseCollapse )
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Unintentional Nap [Aug. 18th, 2019|02:28 am]
Saturday made four days in a row that I didn't get out of this apartment. I thought about it, but come seven o'clock in the evening it was still just too damned hot. Two things I do not understand: Why people live in the Central Valley at all, but since they do, why they do not spend the summer naked but for shoes (the pavement gets blistering hot,) slathered in sunscreen and carrying parasols. Nothing about this place makes any sense!

So I made tuna sandwiches for dinner, then about eight o'clock felt so crappy I decided to lie down for a while, and next thing I knew I woke up and it was after midnight. Now what do I do? Well, I try looking at pictures of cats on the Internet until my brain starts to function, only my brain doesn't start to function— not properly, anyway. Maybe its charge is low. A couple of nights ago I lost the Internet because I forgot to charge my phone again. Maybe my brain needs to be plugged in to something, but what? The only thing I can think of is chocolate, so now I'm eating chocolate. It might work.

Tonight is supposed to get down to 62 degrees, but it's nowhere near that low yet. The outdoors is quite balmy. It would be perfect for a very pleasant afternoon at the beach. Not so good for the night before a 90-degree day. I'd really like to get this place cooled down before I try to go back to sleep, but both the cooling and the sleep might be impossible. I think I might make a malted. All the ingredients are here. There are even a couple of straws I snagged last time I was at Taco Bell. A malt is always better through a straw.

Oh, the nearby crickets have both fallen silent tonight. I hear one cricket, though very faintly, so he must be some distance off. I guess I didn't hear him before because the nearby crickets drowned him out. Both of these things are making me feel very sad.
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Oy [Aug. 17th, 2019|01:59 am]
So I've totally lost track of time again. That's not surprising considering how badly I slept last (meaning Thursday) night, and that I didn't wake up until after two o'clock this (Friday) afternoon. It's a good thing I had no plans to go shopping or to the bank on the bus, since I have to be out of here by 2:10 for that to work. The slightly less but still horrendously hot day would have prohibited any such venture in any case, but I still feel like crap when my sleep schedule goes so utterly haywire.

Right now I'm microwaving a belated dinner. After that I'll probably read some more, and see if I can get to sleep at a more reasonable hour, meaning before dawn. It's supposed to get down to 69 tonight, but then get up to 97 tomorrow, so its not looking good for going out even late in the evening. But then tomorrow (Saturday) night it's supposed to drop down to 61, and Sunday is to be a mere 89. A respite! Sadly, it starts getting bad again after that. I'm so ready for this summer to be over.
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Disapprove [Aug. 15th, 2019|11:56 pm]
Hiding out all day. Stepping into the back yard was like entering an oven. Even now it is 85 degrees out there, which is so ho that I can't enjoy sitting and listening to the crickets. I ate a bit of cheese for lunch, and didn't make any dinner. I just had the last slice of banana cream pie, with a bit of heavily iced Kahlua and milk. If I get hungry later I might fix a cup of instant noodles. The misery has been intense. Tomorrow is supposed to be only a few degrees cooler, but still have triple digit high. Unless I catch a ride I probably won't go anywhere until Saturday at the earliest.

I strongly disapprove of this summer.
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