Window Air Conditioning + Macbeth + Unproductivity
May I recommend
A window air conditioning unit
I am not a summer person. I do not appreciate the tyranny of a large pulsing mass of space energy beating upon my head; making the sweat trickle down my neck; and causing rashes to erupt as as one sweaty body part rubs against another sweaty body part. I don’t like butter turning into greasy liquid on my counter. I don’t appreciate fruit flies in my compost bin. I don’t like waking up with a sweaty pillow after a hot night. I certainly don’t appreciate the enforced sauna that is entering a hot car.
As a thin-skinned, enfreckled redhead with a tendency to sunburn to a shade similar to a freshly boiled lobster, summer is distasteful. I come by this distaste honestly. My ancestors were a Northern European people, a mix of ancient, berserking Scandinavians, generic weak-chinned English and dull-eyed, over-awed Irish peasants. We are a people of low skies, biting North Atlantic squalls and grim, potato-related drudgery enlivened only by the occasional Viking raid. Not for us the joyful twirls through Provencal fields of sunflowers; we gravitate to a rainy day, a thick knit Aran sweater, a cup of hot tea and the uneasy knowledge that our ancestors, and their years of frankly inexplicable world dominance, are to blame for much of the earth’s current problems.
Ottawa, though the second coldest world capital in the world (after Ulan Bator, Mongolia) is also surprisingly, disgustingly hot. There is always a ten day stretch in the summer when the heat comes, and with it the kind of sweaty, revolting humidity that reminds you about underboob sweat and makes swimming at a high faecal count beach seem like a risk worth taking.
We live in a house without central air conditioning. It is an old house (nearing 100 years). It is made of brick and its floors are creaky and it is filled with awkward corners and occasionally one of those fucking terrifying millipedes. For many years I have advocated for get central air, but my husband always said that that we’d only need it for two weeks - four weeks tops - of the summer.
He argued that the one air conditioning unit we had in our bedroom window, with a few strategically placed fans, would be sufficient to cool our whole house. I scoffed at this idea for ten years. One AC unit in the window could do that? What nonsense! What poppycock. What BALDERDASH (yeah, I dropped the B word).
Inevitably, every summer we would have the above conversation and I’d decide to get central air installed but then by the time I got around to looking at contractors, the heat wave would have passed and I figured I could put it off until next year.
My husband’s resistance came mostly from environmental concerns, but also because he is the most stoical person I’ve ever met. He could be getting slapped in the face by poison ivy while a failed American Idol scream-sang Feliz Navidad into his ear, and he wouldn’t utter a peep. You could nail each of his fingers to the dinner table while whacking him with a two by four and he might complain of a slight unpleasantness. The heat doesn’t affect him, is what I’m saying.
Well, this year, the second summer of Working from Home, I was determined to get central air. The husband slowed me down. Let’s try his frankly RIDICULOUS idea before calling in the contractors. Fine, I said, but this year we ARE getting central air.
Friends, I am not afraid to admit I was wrong. That one little air conditioning unit in our bedroom, combined with a ceiling fan and another fan, has kept our house coolish throughout a solid week of truly revolting 40C/104F humidity. We slept under duvets! We didn’t stick to our wooden dining chairs when we tried to stand! The butter remained firm! Nothing chafed!
I loved this article
It appealed to my English degree nerd AND it has a highly unexpected twist because the word will not be the word you expect.
But fans of Macbeth often say its freaky qualities are deeper than just the plot devices and characters. For centuries, people been unsettled by the very language of the play.
Actors and critics have long remarked that when you read Macbeth out loud, it feels like your voice and mouth and brain are doing something ever so slightly wrong. There’s something subconsciously off about the sound of the play, and it spooks people. It’s as if Shakespeare somehow wove a tiny bit of creepiness into every single line. The literary scholar George Walton Williams described the “continuous sense of menace” and “horror” that pervades even seemingly innocuous scenes.
Not maximizing work time
I hate the pursuit of perceived busy
ness that exists in many work cultures. This article spoke to me.
To me, this is about wanting to be perceived as essential. The pandemic showed many of us, non-essential, knowledge workers who told ourselves we were changing the world, that we weren’t. Some of us began to worry and this took a variety of forms. Some googled how to make bread and baked while doing all the other things the news said to do, which stupidly included leaving your groceries outdoors for hours. Others, armed with the privileges of the media, took to the op-ed machine and started to spin narratives of productivity, the “new normal”, and the like as reassurance that their place in this new world was not as precarious as it seemed. Seeing how the use of technology has changed the way companies and organizations work, we will never return to a workplace environment that rewards hours worked in the same way that it used to prior to the pandemic
This one made me cry
When placing your life in someone’s hands, you want to know that they are particularly skilled hands. You want the best surgeon that exists in the universe. But beyond skill, beyond technology, medicine and state-of-the-art equipment, the thing you remember long after you’ve healed is human compassion.
A low key decluttering strategy
Getting rid of the mugs and the books spoke to me.
Set aside a little time to let go of the following 120 items. The faster the better so you don’t overthink and convince yourself to hold on. Fun music will help. Challenging a friend to join will make it more fun.
Do it to make space. Do it for more light. Do it to smile. Do it because things are too heavy and too much right now. When excuses pop up, turn up the music.
Andy Ryan @ItsAndyRyanTwo elderly British ladies greeting each other https://t.co/4SKjRhLj6j
NHC Eastern Pacific @NHC_PacificTropical Storm #Kevin Advisory 10: Poorly Organized Kevin Continues to Struggle. https://t.co/mbw53QNBXE
This was quite helpful
Another cute dog one
Best use of this sound clip?
Not a teddy bear
Whomst amongst us could withstand this?
The most important story
This was fun
Very good giggling
The pause is what sells it
Thanks for reading my weekly newsletter.
Amy Tector, The Honeybee Emeralds (March 2022)