Going Red

thermostatLet’s talk environment conservation for a minute, shall we?  You really have no choice since, well, I get to choose the topic.  Still, in the spirit of cooperation, I’m going to pretend that you are nodding in agreement with me.  Ok.  Here we go.

I am an environmentally-conscious gal, as I have blogged about before.  I recycle (bare minimum, I know).  I keep the heat at 63° during the winter, 60° at night.  I don’t use the dishwasher.  I shower/bathe every other day.  I do the laundry every two or three weeks.  I don’t turn on lights for the most part, and I set the AC at 82° in the summer, 80 ° at night.

In other words, I try very hard to save energy whenever and wherever I can.

Now.  Another thing I’ve blogged about before is that I HATE the heat.  This is not a mild dislike.  This is not an, “Oh, I prefer it colder, thank you very much.”  This is a, “Goddamnsonofaaaaaaaaargh!  I am going to kill this heat!” kind of hatred.  I like to joke that I have reverse-SAD (a joke because SAD stands for Seasonal Affective Disorder, but most people only think of it as a winter thing.  I get the blues, as it were, in the summer), but it’s not a joke.

My comfort zone is -20° to 40°.  40° to 60° is tolerable.  Anything over 60° sucks.  To break down the suckitude, 60° to 70°, I get more irritable, and my shirt starts sticking to my back.  I am aware of the fact that I am sweating, and I don’t enjoy it.  70° to 80°, and I just want to go downstairs where it’s cooler, curl up on the papasan with my boys and sleep.

I get mean when it gets hot.  I mutter uncomplimentary things under my breath, and my temper shortens dramatically.  Now, I am not the nicest person on my best days, so you can only imagine what a bear I am when I’m wilting from the heat.  In addition, strong sunlight hurts my eyes.  People may think I wear shades to be cool, but I don’t.  Any kind of light hurts my eyes, really (thus, the no-light thing I have going on in my home), but sunlight is especially bad.

I was out with my best friend last night, and I was moaning and grumbling about the heat and the mugginess.  She’s from Florida, and she was laughing at me!  Really.  The nerve.  To be fair, I laugh at her when it’s ten below and her spine is scrunching from the cold, but still.  How rude.  It was probably in the seventies last night after being in the eighties during the day, but it was so fucking muggy.  I felt like I was in a vat of sludge.

Side note:  I am planning a trip to Taiwan with my brother and niece this Christmas to visit my parents.  It’s a good thing we’re not going now as it reaches the three digit mark with distressing frequency.  That would simply shatter me.

Side note to the side note:  Damn it.  It’s my niece’s birthday in two weeks.  I need to get her something.

Ok.  Digressions over.  For now.

Heat.  Hate it.  Conservation.  Support it.  However, the two clash in one instance–thermostat in the summer.  Like I said, I had it at 82° last summer (80° at night), but I would turn it on if I exercised or if I got too hot.  Now, as I previously defined too hot as anything over 60°, you can see why I have a dilemma on my hands.

I hate the heat.  I want to conserve energy.  I really fucking hate the heat.  I really want to conserve energy.  I wanna slit someone’s throat it’s so fucking hot–end game right there.  It’s fine and noble for me to want to do what I can to protect our environment, but not at the expense of driving me insane.  I can’t function in the heat (my brain goes on strike), and I’m just miserable if I’m sweating like crazy.  In other words, yes, I have decided to do something that’s bad for the earth, but good for me.  I am going to turn down the setting for the air conditioning so I don’t have to suffer like a martyr every summer (as much as I enjoy wallowing in my own martyrdom, even I have limits).

Besides, as I like to joke, I did not have fourteen kids (eight at one time), so I can turn down the thermostat a few degrees with minimal guilt (I feel guilt about everything, so minimal guilt is the best I can do).  I have even half-convinced myself that it’s ok for me to do this.

Now, you wanna hear the funny thing?  My fucking AC is broken.  I turned it on today, and it doesn’t work.  The repair guy isn’t coming out until Monday at the earliest, Wednesday at the latest.  I will be blogging from my basement, muttering unkind things under my breath.

18 Responses to Going Red

  1. Don’t sweat it, Minna. Just about *anything* we do is bad for the environment, but despite the straw man the global warming denier crowd set up, no one suggests we return to the Stone age to harmonize ourselves with nature. The best place to cut back is what’s a luxury, not a necessity. For you, air conditioning is a necessity. I don’t see why you should be miserable, and anyway, you make up for it by keeping the thermostat low during the winter.

    Sorry to hear about the AC, though.

  2. Your conscientiousness is admirable, but ultimately the fixes need to be made at a larger scale: industry needs to trim back waste and we need to get our energy from cleaner sources. Using energy (versus wasting material resources) is one area where there can be good answers via clean renewable energy.

    So I guess what I’m saying is that I try extremely hard to not waste material resources but I go a little easier on myself in terms of using electricity. The humidity here in Mn lately has been extremely uncomfortable, that’s for sure.

    Taiwan, eh? When I was younger my family and I would go to Hong Kong to visit relatives on my father’s side. We’d always go in the middle of summer and I can tell you going over Christmas sounds very wise indeed.

  3. Thanks, Gregory and gex for chiming in. I also know that what I do matters little, anyway. It’s kinda narcissistic of me to claim that my setting my thermostat at a certain temperature is going to Save The Planet.

    Gregory, yes, cutting back on luxuries. Bringing reusable bags when grocery shopping. Things like that.

    gex, sigh. If we move as slowly on renewable energy as we have on health care and queer rights and really, any other issue, then we’re in for a long wait.

    Yes, Taiwan. We decided Christmas because my niece has school break then. There is no way in hell I would go in the summer.

  4. It’s kinda narcissistic of me to claim that my setting my thermostat at a certain temperature is going to Save The Planet.

    Yeah, maybe, but we do what we must, because we can. A whole bunch of little decisions add up. And it’s good karma, or however you want to view it, not to waste. Reusable grocery bags is one example. I’m on the road a lot, so I keep a travel mug in the care for coffee. Running the AC as necessary for your comfort isn’t a waste.

    And y’all are making me jealous. The closest I’ve been to Asia is watching movies by guys like John Woo and Kinji Fukusaku.

  5. Gregory, you are right, of course. Every time I despair because my little bit is doing fuck all, I try to remind myself that if we all felt that way, it would be so much worse. Other times, though, I feel like I’m spitting in the ocean.

    If you ever can make it to Asia, DO go. I did a semester abroad in Japan, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and Thailand. It was amazing.

  6. I feel like I’m spitting in the ocean.

    Every little bit helps. 🙂

    If you ever can make it to Asia, DO go. I did a semester abroad in Japan, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong, and Thailand. It was amazing.

    I’m jealous again.

    I have few regrets in life, but a big one is not having just gone to Japan right after college — no, I told myself I should get a job, save some money…and, of course, never made it. Of course, if I’d gone, I might never have come back. And one of the joys of the Internet is how accessible it makes other cultures.

    But you’re right, and one of my goals for the next few years if to take the family to Japan, with, hopefully, a stopover in Hong Kong on the way back. I’ll let you know when I post the pictures on Facebook.

  7. “Now, I am not the nicest person on my best days…”

    What? You may not be a classic ‘nice’ girl (I’m gagging here), but you’re definitely not mean. Except possibly to assholes. And in that case, I’m right behind you.

    Hope that AC gets fixed today. And since you cannot save the planet single-handed, I give you permission to save your sanity by turning up that AC a little. You’re otherwise setting a great example for all of us.

  8. Gregory, not to get all travel agent-y on your ass, but if you can do it–go. If you go to Japan, try to make it to Kyoto, the old city. It’ll take your breath away.

    Choolie, grrl, I am so glad you’re back. I was being half-sarcastic with that sentence as I was thinking of Minnesota nice. I don’t care to be that way. AC did not get fixed today. Diagnosed, but not cured. Hopefully, tomorrow. Yeah, I have to cut myself some slack. Martyrdom doesn’t sit well on me.

  9. Gregory, not to get all travel agent-y on your ass, but if you can do it–go.

    As Jules said in Pulp Fiction, I’m going. That’s all there is to it, I’m f***ing going.

    If you go to Japan, try to make it to Kyoto, the old city. It’ll take your breath away.

    Of course we’ll go to Kyoto (once I’m all shopped out in Akihibara). I’d be a fool not to.

    I hope your AC is repaired pronto, Minna.

  10. My comfort zone is -20° to 40°. 40° to 60° is tolerable. Anything over 60° sucks. To break down the suckitude, 60° to 70°, I get more irritable, and my shirt starts sticking to my back. I am aware of the fact that I am sweating, and I don’t enjoy it. 70° to 80°, and I just want to go downstairs where it’s cooler, curl up on the papasan with my boys and sleep.

    Wow, I thought I was bad. I’m generally good up to about 80, as long as it isn’t humid. The humidity actually causes me more problems than the heat; my fibromyalgia acts up. It’s been a long time since I felt as pain free as I did when we took a trip to Las Vegas in August about five years ago.

    I keep the AC on high, too. I can’t sleep if I don’t, and I have enough trouble sleeping as it is. It makes Ringling upset, since the AC only covers the back, so she barely sees me when it’s really hot. She’s used to having me sleep up there, but it just isn’t happening during the summer.

  11. J. Michael Neal, I would actually prefer fifty below than a hundred above. I’m with you on the sleep, though. I tossed and turned last night, more so than usual, acutely aware of the sweat sticking to the sheet. I am thinking of sleeping downstairs, even if that means sleeping with the cats. I am allergic, so I keep them out of my bedroom.

    Ringling only stays in the front?

  12. Ringling only stays in the front?

    Yeah. The girls are both territorial, and they don’t get along. It might work itself out, except that Ringling won’t stand up for herself. She hisses, and runs and hides. Then she starts peeing on stuff. So, they have to remain separated. It’s like Cold War Berlin in here.

  13. J. Michael, I have heard that girls have a harder time getting along than do boys, but I have no empirical evidence to back up that claim. Poor Ringling. How long have you had your cats?

  14. I got Monster in 1994, when a friend pulled her out of a tree. She fit in my hand then.

    Ringling started wandering around our yard in 1998.

    We found Dirk huddled under one of our car’s tires when it was 5 below in February 1999.

    I got Eddie at PetSmart as a birthday present for my now former wife in either 2004 or 2005.

    On a different topic, how do I add an avatar? I set up a profile, but I can’t find it.

  15. J. Michael, so Monster is the oldest? No wonder she’s territorial! Aw, so you take in the strays. Good for you!

    As for the avatar, I have no clue. I use gravatar.com, so my avatar is the same for whatever blog I frequent. I will ask my bro as he set up the site for me.

  16. Monster is the oldest, though I think she’s using Eddie as her personal picture of Dorian Gray. She’s hardly aged at all, while he keeps losing body parts.

  17. J.Michael, poor, poor Eddie. Sigh. He’s my fave of your bunch, but don’t tell the others.