Roast Beef

Because of the broken AC and the fact that we can't open our windows due to allergies and asthma, I didn't get to sleep until well after dawn today. About an hour and a half later I was wakened by the phone. I made a mental note of the message and started to drift back into sleep. Happily, it was reasonably comfortable temperature-wise so early in the morning.

I understand that the two sets of "Mow-Blow-&-Go" gardeners that take care of this little neighborhood haven't been able to do their jobs lately because of all the rain. I also realize that they have to get their work done early in the day to avoid the killer heat, but this was not the morning that I wanted them to spend 30 minutes beneath my bedroom windows. I watched the new guy. He went over every 3' section of grass five or six times. Four tractor mowers, four gas-powered weed-whackers, the dogs across the street barking... There was a lot of work out there and it took them a good couple of hours to get it all done. I know how hard that work is. I spent the spring and summer of 1991 working as a gardener for a friend in Thousand Oaks and Calabassas. Talk about heat! As much as I loved the work and being outdoors, I had to quit.

I got up, realizing that sleep was going to be impossible. At 8:30 I called the property management company (whose office sits in front of our house (click picture to see) and reported the AC problem. About that time, the street crews came back to work with their on-going road construction. Then the city decided to test our newly reconnected tornado sirens. Four times. For over 30 minutes. The pole is less than 100 yards away from my head. (Why do they pitch them in intervals of seconds? It's enough to make me start yowling with the dogs.)

The remote system for our heat and air is in the garage, so I went out and cleared all of the boxes away from the access panel for the promised AC guy. It had to be 100° out there! What I have to do now is, every 15 minutes or so go downstairs to the thermostat, turn it off, wait a minute, then turn it back on. That makes the AC come on --only very slightly-- for about 5 minutes. Let's just say I'm getting my exercise. Problem is, it's so hot and I'm a fair-skinned little Alpine baby. Running up and down the stairs in the heat makes me feel kind of "fainty" for a minute or two. I'm such a wuss. I was the only kid who passed out while waiting in line one summer afternoon to see Spartacus. I also fainted at Magic Mountain while waiting in line for a ride, and I fainted over the sweet potatoes once when I was carrying my first baby. During the summer I embrace the cool tile bathroom floor --a cold washcloth across my forehead-- more than I care to admit. Sheesh.

Back to my story. By this time it was getting good and hot in the house. I closed all of the blinds, made sure the ceiling fans were on high and noticed that the turbine that powers our neighborhood's AC systems had come on. Everyone here is enjoying nice, cool air. Except us.

Added to this is the fact that I got a cluster of 5 mosquito bites on the inside heel of my right foot the other night and I can't find my itch cream anywhere. I've never told you that mosquito bites have a really bad effect on me. They end up as big as a quarter and they bruise. I'm also allergic to bee sting, so I guess that may have something to do with it.

So there it sits. The turbine. The happy sound of people enjoying a comfortable environment.

Okay. Beef over. Nettl called the management company to make sure the work order went in. It did, and my next entry will be a more pleasant one. My desk sits directly beneath the AC vent.


  1. Remember, there's a big difference between Ventura and Santa Barbara counties and this part of the country. We didn't NEED air conditioning there.

  2. This is true. We could always look forward to that cool marine layer to come in every evening after dark.


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