Summertime Blues

It’s very warm on the second floor of my house. It was hot for several days last week, then it cooled off somewhat, only to have the heat return. The only place it isn’t hot is in the daughter’s room; she has a room air conditioner. The bedrooms have ceiling fans, which circulate but do not cool, the warm air.

The attic is comparable to doing the Bataan death march, after about 10 a.m.

The very good news, so far, is that we have not seen a bat in the living quarters. They seem to usually come in on the second or third day of a run of hot weather. Given the fact that we’ve had bats in 2002-2007 and 2009, I’m guessing that the insulation of the attic had an added effect.

Mowed the lawn Friday night with the reel mower, because weeds that look like miniature pine trees – what ARE those, anyway? – grow faster than the grass. BIG mistake. Even at 7:30 p.m., it was extremely humid. I did not have to worry too much about getting sunburn, but it was still so muggy, I needed to take a shower afterward.

A relative sent me one of those forwarded Very Important!!!! notices:
My car book says to roll down the windows to let out all the hot air before turning on A/C. WHY ???????????
Please do NOT turn on A/C as soon as you enter the car.
Open the windows after you enter your car and then turn ON the AC after a couple of minutes.
It goes on to talk about cancer-causing benzene, at great detail. The Snopes report does not entirely negate the e-mail, though it does challenge some of the specific cause-and-effect mentioned in the e-mail. We’ve been rolling down our windows for years before turning on the a/c, mostly to try to dissipate that OMG hot air.

Speaking of air conditioners, Parade magazine’s Ask Marilyn says running the ceiling fans 24 hours a day will NOT help the air conditioning, so that the electric bills will not go down.

I was watching the Yankees’ tribute to Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner Friday night, and was moved. Sheppard, the voice of the Yankees, who Reggie Jackson dubbed “The voice of God” has been so distinctive in the period he announced for the Yankees (1951-2007), plus the New York Giants for a couple decades, that Yankee captain Derek Jeter had requested Sheppard’s voice be used to introduce him when he comes to bat. Lots of nice articles on ESPN, including this one. The Friday night game had no announcer in his honor.

George Steinbrenner, the man who purchased the Yankees in 1973, in the midst of a fallow period for the team – hadn’t won the World Series since 1962, hadn’t even gotten to the Series since 1964 – was a polarizing character who, I thought, contributed to the zooiness of the Bronx Zoo. Without looking it up, I recall him hiring and firing Billy Martin five different times, and firing Bob Lemon, not for the first time, after his team had won 103 regular season games. He was suspended by baseball twice. I was no fan of George’s, yet felt badly at the passing of such a distinctive character. The Yankees’ 5-4 comeback win over Tampa Bay Friday night seemed somehow appropriate.

Harvey Pekar’s death at the age of 70 did make me sad. The comic book writer who wrote a lot about Harvey Pekar could be self-involved and acerbic, but from the first time I read his material back in the 1980s, I related to his honesty and his struggle to try to figure it all out. I loved the movie American Splendor, and I seriously thought Paul Giamatti – son of the late baseball commissioner Bart Giamatti, BTW – was going to be nominated for an Oscar for playing Harvey. I did NOT enjoy seeing Harvey the one time I saw him on Letterman; seems that Dave treated him like a caricature for its entertainment value. Here’s an appreciation from the LA Times.

The only Jay Leno joke I’ve ever remembered: “It’s so hot [how hot is it?] that even in Cleveland, they can feel the Miami Heat.” I watched The Decision (11.2 million viewers, more than some NBC shows, and came to pretty much agree with what Jaquandor said on the LeBron James issue, though I’d argue that the Cavaliers weren’t going to win an NBA championship any time soon, even if James had stayed. The problem with The Decision – an issue even my wife, who cares nothing about basketball or most sports, tired of the spectacle – is that LJ apparently grossly misunderstood his own press clippings. The only way he could have gotten away with that staged event is if he had stayed in Cleveland.

Wow, this blogpost has a Cleveland feel: LeBron, Pekar, city native Steinbrenner. Makes me want to listen to music from The Band.

Finally, Summer Breeze by the Isley Brothers, a cover of the Seals & Crofts hit.

0 thoughts on “Summertime Blues”

  1. Agreed with the Lebron thing. Though as I wrote on the blog, I’d go further and say what’s even worse is that it perpetuates the very poor image that NBA players have in the mainstream as selfish attention-hungry brats with a God complex.

    “More than some NBC shows” – my blog has more viewers than some NBC shows. That’s not a knock on the ratings The Decision got, I just wanted to take a cheap shot at the Peacock. 😉

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  2. You know, one of my greatest pleasures living outside of the US is that I can say, with complete sincerity, “Lebron WHO?” While we’re at it, who’s this Lindsay Lohan I keep hearing about? In all seriousness, there are English-speaking countries in the world where it’s entirely possible to go an entire day without once hearing about the current celebrity obsession. Almost reason enough to move overseas!

    Oddly, I do miss truly hot summers…

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  3. Arthur -Funny thing about Lindsay Lohan; I DID know who she was BEFORE her insanity, as a competent to good actress in remakes of The Parent Trap and Freaky Friday, then in the Tina Fey-penned Mean Girls. Unlike Paris Hilton, who was famous for no particular reason, LL had promise.

    As for LJ, I suspect there are probably some All Blacks that you know that I have no idea about, so I think that’s a push.

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