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Hotter Than Hell & 20 More Diversions: Everyday Magic, Day 606

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

When you step outside at 9 a.m., and it’s already too hot to be out, it’s hard to sink into weather-induced self-pity, punctuated by calculating whether it would be worth it to drive nine hours to the Rockies for one night before returning home. It doesn’t help to look at the weather forecast and see estimates of 106 t0 109 degrees.

It would be different if this were an occasion, but it’s on the menu, or something just like this with three digits, as far as the eye can see: hotter than hell until autumn. With all this in mind, I offer a new list of 20 things to do when it’s above 100 degrees, to add to last year’s list.

  1. Watch the Olympics, and remind yourself that sitting in a chair next to the air-conditioner is a lot more peaceful and easy than doing a perfect dismount with three full body twists from the high bars.

  2. Do yoga. Slowly and in air-conditioning while blasting the soundtrack from “Westside Story.”

  3. Make a smoothie out of spinach, ground flaxseed, fruit, ice, almond milk and whatever else you have, and drink it. Then pour the best into ice trays and later, while watching more of the Olympics, eat a bowl of your complete meal ice cubes.

  4. Go to a local joint and eat breakfast for dinner (too much heat and trouble to cook at home).

  5. Sit outside (remember the grass is relatively safe in Kansas because most of the $%&# chiggers are now uncharacteristically dead) at 2 a.m., maybe with a flashlight so you can read a book.

  6. Watch the video of the queen parachuting into the Olympics with James Bond. The corgies alone are worth the watch.

  7. Buy a watermelon. Get out some cookie cutters. Go to town on it!

  8. Clean out a drawer or the linen closet with a fan blowing on you.

  9. Go see “Moonrise Kingdom” or see it again (great movie, lots of ocean, lakes and rivers, and rain too).

  10. Drive down the alleyways in Lawrence, Kansas or any college town where rental housing turns over Aug. 1, and enjoy Christmas in July (brand new trash containers! big throw pillows! stereo equipment!).

  11. Watch Stephen Locke’s spectacular weather videos or visit his gallery.

  12. In a well-air-conditioned bedroom, try on all the clothes you hardly wear to decide what to keep and what to give away.

  13. Lie on a cool floor for a while.

  14. Clean out the freezer, and if you find that forgotten bottle of vodka, limit yourself to 1/2 of one shot. Stick to ice cubes instead as much as possible.

  15. Research best lodging options for a trip to New York, San Francisco or Santa Fe, whether or not you plan to go.

  16. Write a letter, pretending you are 10 or 40 or more years into the future, to your great-great-grandchildren about the summer of ’12 (although you might begin worrying about how the summers ahead will be worth).

  17. Research the weather in every place you ever traveled to confirm yourself that you are in the hottest place you’ve ever been.

  18. Watch videos and view photographs of Antarctica or watch that penguin movie Morgan Freeman narrates.

  19. Soak your feet in ice water for 30 seconds.

  20. Get a big block of ice and a large fan, and set them up on your porch with the fan blowing at the ice and then you. Enjoy outdoor a.c.

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