Southern California is known for having beautiful weather. More specifically, Santa Monica is notoriously even-keeled when it comes to mother nature's temperament. Mild winters with very little rain lead into warm summers with just enough of an ocean breeze to take the 'edge' off the heat. There are a few days a year, though, when the weather deviates from its near-perfect state and requires an intervention to appease my low tolerance for fluctuating seasonal temperatures. I can count on one hand the number of times I have had to turn my 'wall heater' on during the winter. My wall heater is an archaic 'in-wall' heater, circa 1930's, that actually does a decent job of keeping my one-bedroom apartment toasty warm on those 50 degree nights. During the summer months, I can usually rely on my cheap box fan to cool my apartment down to a tolerable 70 degrees. Sounds perfect, right?
There are those few 'dog days of summer,' however, when the beaches hit 90+ degrees, turning my sun-exposed, 2nd floor apartment into an oven inferno. My mom gave me a Brookstone thermometer a few Christmas' ago and, at the time, I was like, "Thanks, Mom.... I'll, uh, use this for sure." This little thermometer became my nemesis and yet I was obsessed with looking at it multiple times throughout the day, willing the temperature to rise so that I could boast about how roasting hot the inside of my apartment can become. This self-induced temperature contest between myself and the thermometer was all fun-and-games for the summers I was in school because I could escape the sticky heat of my apartment for the air-conditioned comfort of the library or the breezy shores of the Santa Monica beaches. Oh how times have changed!!
Fast-forward a year and I am finished with school and I now work nights.... 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. June is upon us but the temperatures this week have reached July/August proportions. The 'May Gray' and the 'June Gloom' phenomenon that usually haunts the pre-summer months in Santa Monica have yet to show their faces. At sunrise, the East-facing windows of my apartment are assaulted with full-blown sunshine that is usually deflected with the now-absent protective morning marine layer. By the time I got home from work this morning at 8 a.m., my apartment was a comfortable 72 degrees. Much to the chagrin of my cats, I immediately shuttered the blinds to block out the incoming heat, interrupting their morning sunbath. After showering and brushing my teeth, I climbed into bed and dozed off immediately.
I awoke a few hours later from dreams of scalding deserts and hell's fire to the stifling reality that I was, in fact, roasting in my own bed. I pulled off my light-blocking eye cover and stumbled into my living room to council my trusty thermometer to see what un-Godly temperature my apartment had reached. I blinked my eyes in disbelief as I read 92.1 degrees......
NINETY-TWO POINT ONE DEGREES. And this is INSIDE my apartment.
An all-time record. And I was attempting to sleep in it. Fabulous. I positioned two fans directly at my body and sprawled out on my bed, spread eagle style, trying to increase my surface-to-air ratio (if there is such a thing) in the hopes that the muggy, recirculated air would somehow feel cool against my skin. Well, it must've worked because I was able to fall back into a restless and sweaty sleep. Nice visual, I know.
I haven't quite figured out how I am going to remedy this little problem. I've considered buying a mini air-conditioning unit but it goes against my green, fossil fuel-avoiding ways due to the excessive energy needed to power one of those suckers. Maybe I'll try the energy efficient option of cooling off by sleeping in the nude. I think I just need to buck up and grow a more temperature-tolerable skin. And, honestly, there's only about a dozen days over the entire summer that reach those seemingly unbearable temperatures in my apartment.
... Actually, it's looking like this could be my last summer living in Apt. F here in Santa Monica. It seems unreasonable to buy an air-conditioner for only one summer.
Then again, it isn't even June and the official start of summer is still over three weeks away. Here's hoping for some 'June Gloom!'