in Daily Life, FS Best Of, Rosings Park, Stories


I can’t get warm.

“I’m cold,” I said last night at the dinner table. Kris and I were eating take out pizza: mine pepperoni and pineapple, hers barbecue chicken and skanky black olives. (Why can’t pizza places buy good black olives?)

“This house is going to get cold this winter,” Kris said, munching on a slice.

“You think?” I asked.

“Yes, I do,” she said.

She may be right.

We recently had a high-efficiency gas furnace installed. It takes a while for it to do its thing, but once the house is warm, it seems to maintain the temperature fairly well. Still, we have to figure out how to program the thermostat so the house is warm when we need it to be warm, but is cool when we need it to be cool.

This morning was bad.

Last night Kris decided to fiddle with the thermostat. She delayed the morning heat by half an hour. It’s not tremendously cold outside yet — no lower than the mid-40s — but when I got up this morning it felt colder than it has been so far this fall. I was decidedly cool. In the old house I would have warmed my inner core with a nice bath. That’s no longer possible, of course, and a shower just doesn’t provide the same warmth.

Nevertheless, I had it in my mind that a hot shower would be just the thing. Only a hot shower was not to be had. There was no hot water. Kris had used it all. So, not only was my inner core not warmed, it was actually cooled.

I reacted by sulking and pouting, of course.

“Stop it,” Kris said. “It’s not worth being grouchy.”

You’re not the one who’s cold,” I said. “You had a hot shower.”

She just shook her head and ignored me. I went upstairs to the computer. There I performed an iTunes filter on the word “cold”. I played the resulting songlist.

“Very funny,” said Kris over Foreigner’s “Cold as Ice”. When I left the house, Hank Williams’ “Cold Cold Heart” was playing.

On the drive to work, I cranked the heat as I listened to my Patrick O’Brian. I’m sure the car was an inferno by the time I reached work, but I still felt cold.

At work, in my skunky office, I turned on the space heater full blast. I zipped my sweatshirt. I tried to think warm thoughts. I listened to the Beach Boys.

José came in for some orders. “Ay-yi,” he said. “Es muy caliente!”

I still think it’s cold.

I can’t get warm.


On 21 October 2004 (09:54 AM),
Kris said:

We’re having temperature issues here in our new laboratory, as well. The chemistry rooms have been warm. Even for me, 84 degrees when I’m wearing a fall sweater and lab coat is too hot. Today we learned the reason: the thermostatic sensor that controls the chemistry lab, instrument room and offices is (wisely) located in the trace evidence microscope room, located on an outer wall right by a large window. As a result, the thermostat thinks it’s cold, and heat is pumped out in chemistry. The heat never reaches the sensor, of course, because the heat and the sensor are separated by two air-seal doors. Lovely.

This morning, we are finally getting our bulletin boards mounted on the walls. Why, you may ask, did it take three weeks? Because, dear reader, we were not allowed to hang them ourselves. No, sir! Instead, a state (DAS)employee had to do the job. Now, there are state employees and there are state employees. Our particular DAS representative is about 6-foot-two and hugely obese. He moves in slow motion, taking frequent rests. As you can imagine, in the heat, he was sweating profusely, using his already-sodden bandana to wipe the sweat from his bald head.

As the DAS guy was laboring with drill and screws, my co-worker Rob had put in a CD mix of mine that ended with Coolio’s “Gangsta’s Paradise”. This engendered a discussion of the Weird Al version, “Amish Paradise”. So, the next CD had to be Weird Al’s Greatest Hits. Too late did we guiltily realize that the first two songs are “Fat” and “Eat it”. Boy, did we feel like jerks.

On 21 October 2004 (10:06 AM),
Denise said:

Hmm…and Kris doesn’t have her own weblog because of ????? 😉

I just think it would be very intersting to hear of all the testing and other coolio activities she does during the day.

Ok – bad pun, but I couldn’t resist.

On 21 October 2004 (10:31 AM),
AmJo said:

I too can’t seem to get warm. I forgot how much colder it feels when it is damp. The winter temps. in DC are lower than here and the wind can be a real bitch, but it is dry. I warmed up much easier there than I do here. I can’t get my feet and hands to stay warm, especially at night. I think Paul may have even felt sorry for me last night–he wrapped his ever-warm hands around my cold, cold feet while we were watching the West Wing.

On 21 October 2004 (10:33 AM),
Pam said:

J.D. – First your interest in clothes shopping raised some eyebrows and now you are cold – Welcome to the world of ice “queens.”

On 21 October 2004 (01:54 PM),
Joel said:

I bet a nice hot enema would warm your core!

They turned on the heat in our classrooms. Now instead of bundling up in a sweater and a ski cap for class we all strip down in the heat. And doze.

On 21 October 2004 (01:59 PM),
Lynn said:

Funny, I’ve been colder this fall than normal. I even stocked up on longjohns at the Target sale for sleeping.

On 21 October 2004 (02:12 PM),
Denise said:

Hmm…maybe we are all just getting old.

On 21 October 2004 (03:16 PM),
Semi-sequitur Tangent Man said:

I too wonder if olives can taste good on pizza. I like olives on my pizza but they almost always turn out rubbery. (These are your run-of-the-mill black olives BTW.)

On 21 October 2004 (03:42 PM),
J.D. Roth said:

Greetings, Mr. Tangent Man. It’s good to have you back. 🙂

I am very particular about olives. I love olives, or at least the good ones. I had never tried non-black olives until a couple of years ago, and now I’m an addict, especially in the spring and summer. Black olives have their place, of course, and I eat them especially in the fall. However, I prefer meat olives, and above all they must be *firm*, especially if I am to eat them by themselves.

Too often I find that food service olives in general, and pizza olives in particular, are of some strange degenerate variety: limp and rubbery, possessing a dull, metallic taste. If I wanted metallic olives I’d, well…I’ll never want metallic olives. And yet those were the sort on Kris’ pizza last night.


(p.s. I am particularly fond of Black Pearl Jumbos, which have long ago been renamed Black Peral Extra Large or some such. The MNF women take pleasure in trying to test my ability to detect Black Pearl Jumbos. I’ve got a fairly good — though not perfect — track record. The key is the olives must be of quality; they need not always be Black Pearl Jumbos.)

On 21 October 2004 (07:25 PM),
John said:

Try this…
Snuggle-up together in a warm blanket with a good novel, take turns reading. It warms the body, heart and soull

On 22 October 2004 (09:41 AM),
Jon said:

We put in a gas water heater when we remodeled the basement. I’ve never noticed that we run out of hot water.