Friday, June 27, 2008


Being both energy-conscious and short-sided, I somehow have gotten in the habit of turning off the heat in my living room before I go to bed. I feel that this is a pretty decent thing to do, except that by the time I get up in the morning, my condo is roughly the same temperature as it is outside. Because of this, I have had to add a new task to my morning routine, so that now it looks like this:
  1. Hit snooze button
  2. Hit snooze button
  3. Hit snooze button
  4. Listen to NPR for a couple minutes
  5. Hit snooze button
  6. Complain about temperature
  7. Run to bathroom so fast that the cold can't catch me
  8. Damn, it's cold in the bathroom, too
  9. Shave, brush teeth, shower
  10. Get dressed
  11. Forget to grab lunch
  12. Go to work
I had this routine finely tuned until I began my ill-advised, one-sided war with my thermostat. Now that I added step 6, I am almost always five minutes late to work. The worse part is, I refuse to add another step that could greatly affect my comfort later. This step would be "11a. Turn on the damn heat a little." As a result of my stubbornness and miserly tendencies, by the time I get home from work, it is even colder in my apartment than it is outside.

You may be thinking "even colder than it is outside? Are you crazy?" The answers are both yes. To visualize how this works, imagine my condo as a thermos, a thermos filled with groundscore furniture, empty beer bottles, and love. You see, a thermos claims to keep both hot things hot and cold things cold, and does so by providing insulation from the outside environment. What this insulating ability does is slow the transfer of heat from the inside, where your chai tea or cocoa is, to the outside (or vice versa if you want ice-cold lemonade later on). Now, suppose you've started an experiment wherein you have made some delicious soup for lunch, but left it in your car under the pretense of "forgetting" it. The next morning your soup is pretty cold because it's been in your car all night. Later that afternoon, even though it is a lot warmer than it was in the morning, that soup it's still freaking cold because the insulating property of the thermos has slowed the propogation of heat from the environment into your Campbell's Hearty Beef soup.

My condo is like that soup.

Well, it's been really, really cold outside, so it's been really, really cold in my condo when I get home from work. How cold, you might ask if my use of multiple "really's" does not convince you? How about some made-up anecdotal evidence:

The other day I came home and it was so cold that my apartment was infested with snowmen! They were little, maybe a foot high, but they were large in mischief. They were running amok throughout my home, wetting stuff up with their little bite-size carrot noses. At first I thought they were cute, but then one of those little buggers bit my ankle and the rest started laughing and choking up little ice cubes that they probably pinched from my freezer. I called one of them "Frosty", thinking that maybe that was it's name, but I guess this really offends these little bastards because they started going all berserker on me. Soon, it was an all-out war. I started kicking the little shits hither and thither, but there were so many that I was having trouble keeping up with them. I managed to throw a couple in the dryer, and crunched some with my feet so that I could make some snowballs to throw at the others. This naturally seemed to disgust them, and hopefully taught them a lesson about respecting other people's property. Being pelted with the remains of their friends was disheartening, and some of the littler ones started to cry. Here is a valuable lesson about snowmen: Their tears are little icicles that shoot from their coalish eyes like tommy guns. Soon, the sobbing snowmen were shooting each other with icicles, and I seized this opportunity to stroll nonchalantly up to the thermostat and crank this war up to "70".

Soon, most of the snowmen lay dead on the floor, some by my ferocious Green River Community College 1-credit Karate Class skillz, others with icy snowmen tears dimpling their backs as they had tried to flee their distraught colleagues. One was tangled up in the blinds of my dining room window, right above my baseboard heater. I walked up to this one, and plucked his carrot nose off and ate it right in front of him. It just kept swearing and cursing little snowmen curses until his unseen mandibles must have melted and started dripping onto my floor. "I'll see you in snowman hell, you bastard," I said, trying to look as badass as I could while talking to a little minature snowman. After I went and made some victory cocoa, I thought of another one-liner I could use on the snowman that wouldn't imply that I was somehow going to snowman hell, but he was gone, just a puddle on the floor under my dining room window.

Okay, so it turns out that the actual reason why I had a puddle under my dining room window is that my stupid window leaks. The previous owner had these new double-paned (or double-pain, as I like to call them) windows installed, but evidently did not pay too much attention to the flashing on the exterior siding. As a result, water has been collecting on the top of the window frame and slowly soaking into my drywall. It finally collected enough to start leaking through the paint and running down my wall onto my floor. Sigh.

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