I was going to do another book review, but decided not to for two reasons: 1) my only two finished books at the moment are Seth's "It's a Good Life if You Don't Weaken" and Douglas Coupland's "Generation A." One I'm not entirely sure how I feel about, and one I hated a great deal while grudgingly acknowledging its value. Either way, the review required a weekend post, because it's going to take a while. 2) Since returning from hiatus, I've dipped into the Book Review well pretty deeply.
That's largely because I'm not doing a lot else at the moment. I won't be teaching again till January or so, my course work is over, my studying is over, there's no conference on the horizon, and there's not much to report on the running front. (For the record, I've been taking some time off after pulling a muscle in my foot. Lame, I know, but when walking causes you to scream-slash-swear in pain, it's time for a fortnight break.) The reading is the majority of my time--reading for my dissertation, and reading for myself. I mean, I could talk about how the comps went, or how the move went, or how the trip to Montreal went, and I will, at some point, but for the moment...
For the moment, it's too damn hot.
Understand that I have spent most of my adult life--from about seventeen on--living in basements. My last year at home, I moved into the basement bedroom. My second year at rez I lived in a basement dorm room. My first two years living with my brother, I lived in a basement apartment. My final year in Saskatchewan (to date), we moved into a house, and I got the basement bedroom. And then I moved to Ontario, and got a basement apartment that I lived in for nearly two years. And then I moved in with two lovely fellows and suddenly I'm not in a basement anymore.
There are some disadvantages to a basement dwelling. It's easy to slide into hermitism, for example. If there's flood damage, you're the first to get the worst. But what I never appreciated until I left mine was that it also protects you from one of the most horrible truths that humanity does its best to ignore: Summer is the worst.
Don't get me wrong. Generally speaking, I like the heat. I like summer outfits, and ball games, and sitting on the patio, and the summer sports. After a childhood of complaining very loudly, I'm even starting to see the appeal of the summer camping trip. But when you don't have a basement dwelling place to retreat to, you start to realize the awful truth: summer is frickin' hot.
And my room seems to be the hottest of all summer locale. It is significantly hotter than anywhere else in the house. I've tried everything to cool it down: a fan for circulation, keeping the doors and windows open during the night, and the window closed during the day. Operating on the theory that my computer hard drive was the culprit, I even turned off the machine for hours and hours yesterday. Nothing makes a difference. On average, I'm consuming at least half a liter of water every night because I wake up every few hours sans blankets, covered in sweat, and severely dehydrated. It's not entirely unbearable, because, well, I'm bearing it. But it does make me think that maybe all those cave-dwelling dwarves from Lord of the Rings were onto something. Until they hit that Nazgûl, anyway.