The Q&A Hole: How Do You Beat the Heat?
Well, sure it has, Wikipedia. But that doesn't mean summer is really over. Especially – if you live in Austin – that whole high-temperature part of it. That part where carelessly grabbing a car's unshaded steering wheel can leave you whimpering for aloe vera and a Vicodin martini. That part where the rays of our adorable G-type star slam down like a million burning fists and batter this section of our planet's dayside until grackles ignite and the DOT's favorite stretches of asphalt begin to bubble like an exceptionally dark molé.
Which is why, even though we're already into the first week of September, for this latest installment of The Q&A Hole we asked a few canny locals what they do to make the inferno a little more bearable. "How," we asked them, "do you beat the heat of a Texas summer?"
Hilah Johnson of Hilah Cooking: Oh lord, I stay inside.
Bob Khosravi, Stand-Up Comedian: I try to get over to Casey's at least once a week, buy their largest snowball serving, and climb in it. (Pro tip: the Wedding Cake flavor is surprisingly good for the skin.)
C. Denby Swanson, Playwright: If at all possible, I go somewhere else. If not possible, I make gazpacho. And hibernate. Actually, I once had a conversation on a plane with a woman moving her family from Boulder to Austin. She was concerned about her small kids facing their first Texas summer. I said she should be. She blanched, asked what I do. I told her that I go to Colorado. She didn't speak to me for the rest of the flight.
Clay Towery, EMS Medic: I immerse myself in cold water as often as possible. Alas, being that my vampiric days are over and I must into the daylight upon occasion, I try to inhabit as many dark, cool dens for myself as are practical.
Jane Ellison of Balcones Frame Supply: Since my old age has rendered me overly glossy in any warmth over 72 degrees, I seek out places that are air-conditioned to within an inch of my life. In lieu of that, I enjoy a thermal container of iced water within arm's reach at all times and a damp bandanna around my neck. I grew up without air conditioning in the Rio Grande valley, for goodness' sake. There's no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing and improper hydration.
Robert Fisher of Audio Art & Science: By adjusting myself to the temp changes and making the mean temperature I live in less of a drastic shift. In the spring, I drive around with my windows down as long as I can stand it. I slowly adjust my home AC so that we can comfortably leave it at 78 degrees when home and feel almost too cold. Taking warmer showers in the summer and colder showers in the winter. Making lemonade.
Chris Nicholas of STAPLE!: If I am indeed alive and not just a cinder that thinks it lives, it's probably due to some of these must-dos and pro tips:
1. LOTS of iced tea.
2. Stay in the AC and read lots of good books and awesome indie comics like one might find at STAPLE! The Independent Media Expo (10th annual show: March 1 & 2, 2014).
3. When driving, try to stay on the shady side of a semi-trailer.
4. More tea, please.
5. Spicy food.
6. Disrobe. Stand in front of a fan. (An electric fan, not an admirer.) (The latter is OK, if everyone is consenting, but it will probably not help you cool off.) So, stand there. With a spray bottle, spray water at the fan. A cooling mist will blow back at you. It is pleasant. (Learned while living in an un-AC'd co-op long ago).
7. Reading. Tea. Do it.
8. Think about Halloween.