Saturday, September 15, 2012


I don't take well to the heat, these days.  We left Los Angeles in the high nineties yesterday, and found it pretty much the same in Laguna Beach--where it's usually at least ten degrees cooler.  I find it oppressive, equally depleting of energy in both body and mind.  I did manage to find the energy to take George up for his run in the park, but otherwise lay low.  Even the evening, which usually brings in a cool ocean breeze, was sweltering.  We chose to watch a movie.

Well, actually, re-watch.  Ellie has been hankering to see Julie and Julia again.  I find it overrated.  It's entertaining enough, but I tend to nod off in the slow parts.  Meryl Streep's Julia Child is really over the top--a bravura performance that may be, well, just too bravura. If you've not seen the movie, it's about this young woman, Julie, who decides to devote a year to making every recipe in Child's famous book--and to blog about it along the way.  I liked the idea of the cooking and the blogging more than I liked the movie about the cooking and the blogging.  Nora Ephron's script and direction seemed somehow arch, a bit pleased with itself, kind of "Hollywood."  Perhaps I'm being ungenerous...

We went to bed in stultifying heat, then woke at four in the morning feeling blessedly cold.  I had to get up and replace the duvet we had thrown off at bedtime.  This morning is still cool as yet, but my iPhone warns me that we'll be hitting 99 degrees before the day is out.


CHI SPHERE said...

I believe it is our genetic code that regulates our ability to withstand heat. I am of German, Welsh and French decent. I love snow, fog, rain and ice. When we lived at 8,000 feet in New Mexico I was in heaven.

When I served in Vietnam I suffered from three factors. The first was of course Charlie, then the frigging oppressive sweltering heat, and lastly the mosquitos. They make the same noise as they do anywhere but in the Nam they are bigger and very plentiful. It was so humid at 105 degrees and 95% humidity that I felt I was hot breathing liquid air. The first thing I would do when we got off recon was to get a drink in Saigon at the officers club. This was off bounds to noncoms except for Hospital
Corpsman. In the Nam the Doc's were God and could get a drink and blessed air conditioning wherever it was available. Every officer knows that they may be next and it is a life of odds so they treated us with respect.

The downside of being God is that when you fail to save someone, usually someone you know, you have to overcome the guilt and the ire of others who think you didn't do enough to save the soldier and this makes the heat even more oppressive.

I imagine the war fighters returning in large numbers now are feeling relief from the heat of the dry and arid portions of the theaters where they were stationed. I truly wish them the best care and hope we all give them a chance to recover emotionally and physically.

I know that Michelle Obama has spent years tracking their recovery. She told an audience at Virginia Commonwealth University that 105 U.S. medical schools and 25 schools of osteopathic medicine are bolstering their efforts to train students in treating brain injuries, PTSD and other mental-health issues affecting service members.

This is the treatment we did not have after the Nam. Returning Corpsmen like myself had PTSD but their was no phrase for it yet. It was vaguely called "shell shock" but there were few advocates that addressed the need for comprehensive treatment. We formed our own groups and worked it out with a few WWII and Korean War vets who were physicians and felt it needed to be conquered. I thank them here again as I did in person during the years 1968 through 1973 each week when we met at the VFW to hear each others dilemmas regarding sleep apnea, guilt, pain, isolation and rejection by our neighbors and family members who could never really "get it".

Vote for Obama for I'm sure he and Michelle will continue to do all that must be done for our very brave men and women who have placed their lives in harms way and their families who will need support to assist them as they return.

If your a small or large business person reading this I can tell you from my heart that they need jobs that are meaningful, not pity or suspicion.

PeterAtLarge said...

Grim memories, Gary. Sorry to have reawakened them. And you need have no doubt about my own vote--nor, hopefully, those of my readers!

Maria said...

I live in Nebraska. We are of hardy stock because we cook in steamy heat all summer and then freeze all winter with brutal blizzards. But spring and fall are balm for us.

PeterAtLarge said...

And there I was, feeling sorry for myself! Thanks for checking in, Maria, and for the salutary reminder.