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July 12, 2005

It's hot. And really, compared to where some of y'all live, it's temperate. I'd guess it's about 80 outside, maybe. But in my house, during this my first summer, it's horrid and sticky. Okay, I'm horrid and sticky.

I've been doing this thing for about six months now, the Right to Write Poetry Project. On Monday nights, we go to the San Francisco County Jail and teach poetry (don't laugh - you know I'm a fiction gal and I'm floundering in this poetry stuff) to the female inmates. We read a little bit, talk about the published poem, then we write a little bit and read our poetry to the class. At the end of an eight week cycle, we collect their poems into a book, which we then self-publish and distribute to the women.

Last night we did a Bukowski poem which was about heat. Then we wrote about heat. And while my mind is usually creative and makes personal connections when thinking about heat (if you know what I mean), all I could think about last night was how I live in the wrong climate and I do the wrong things. I should live in Alaska. I thought about Canada, but their cold winters turn to hot summers. Unacceptable. Alaska it is. Or the Antarctic.

Also: I spin yarn from wool. I knit heavy sweaters from wool. I prefer wool and alpaca to all other fibers. I can barely hold wool in my lap without sweating while sitting outside in November, but it's all I really like. I'm almost done with Lara, a big ole piece of woolly knitting, done all in one piece so that the damn thing sits in my lap while I slick my way through it.

This house is muggy. I'm muggy. I'm also cleaning the house and sweating like a pig, so I'm dying here. Wait. I'm going to go kidnap my girl and go get iced coffee and watch little dogs trip people up with their cuteness. Yeah.


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You could always try Seattle...

Maine is nice.

Girl! You shouldda posted the AWESOME poem you wrote last night! You're such a treat to have in the group - a wonderful facilitator and always ready with an insightful question and provocative poem. That's right, POEM! We gotta update the photos on the site, getcha on there....

not like here, where it is 94 degrees and 95% humidity and ready to start storming
again later...
I was just wishing for some area of BAY breezes.

Alaska is nice, but not as cool as you'd think. I just got back from there last week. You'd have to live on the coast...the interior, i.e. Fairbanks, is hot and muggy too. Seriously. Oh, and the mosquitos are AS BIG as the mosquito-eaters here. Again with the Seriously. But I get you're meaning. I work in a bookstore with no A/C and it's just awful.

I was all set to commiserate and then you let the 80-degree thing slip. That's not hot. I'm sorry, it's just not.

(sweaty Brooklyn) MWAH!

I just got home from work, and it's 90-flippin'-degrees inside my house. INSIDE THE HOUSE. No A/C, since we don't need it most of the time, it's just those few days, like today, where it's just ridiculous. So wrong on so many levels.

Teaching poetry inside the jail! Just like the brother on Judging Amy! Was that outloud? It was, wasn't it?

Poetry is great because there are so many kinds for so many different types of people. You can always find your niche. For writing poetry, I personally like the how-to guide written by Ted Kooser called "The Poetry Home Repair Manual." Very basic, but even the experienced poet can learn from it.

Today it was 90 but weather.com says it feels like 100. I would have to agree.

We're also having very hot weather. It's going to be 105. I never thought I'd say it's too hot to knit...but it is:-(

Vancouver -- The temperate Canadian city. It's sunny and 72F right now; not a stitch of humidity.

Kim (can't help but be a cheerleader about the rainy north)

It's steamin' down in LA, but it's not even as bad as San Antonio which was around 100 and humid. Or Pheonix, which was 107 yesterday. I guess that doesn't help, but it could be worse!

Your poetry project sounds very cool. It reminds me of "True Notebooks" by Mark Salzman. It's about a creative writing class he taught in a juvenile hall. It was amazing and heartbreaking.
It gets a little hotter than 80 here in north central BC, but it's usually breezy (if not downright windy!).

There are lots of good Canadian cities where the winters are cold and the summers are temperate. Toronto is not one of them.

It was 100 at 6pm with Amazonian humidty and a "stay inside" smog advisory just for fun.


Today was sticky sweaty all day at work. Yuck. Thank god for AC at home.

Please, please let us read your poem.

Since it's in the 90s here in South Pasadena, I'm currently dreaming of Portland and Seattle in order to try to stay cool.

Usually I dream of the Bay Area, but not in this heatwave!

If you take a cool bath with a cup of baking soda in it, it somehow gives you a personal humidity free zone for the lenghth of time it takes to fall asleep. I'm just sayin.

i will mostly refrain from calling you a wimp about the heat, considering that today temps were in the high 90s with suffocating humidity. ;)

but, having just spent 2 gloriously fabulous weeks in the Juneau area, I would highly recommend it - as long as you bring BUG SPRAY. Seriously, the mosquitos are bigger than cricket, and I think they have formed a union. Or at least a trade association. Oh, and the bald eagles will (i swear i'm not making this up) swoop down and snatch small dogs who aren't well guarded.

But there are over 200 miles of hiking trails in Juneau, and only slightly more than 40 miles of road. My kinda ratio... :)

Huh. Ryan beat me to it. You gotta move to the Seattle area. The weather's perfect. People are built waterproof; a little rain won't hurt us. We're still sleeping under down blankets here, and in shorts during the day.

Plus, Ted Kooser is from Nebraska, too.

Also, honey? Fans. Much nicer than A/C, and just as good so long as you've got some iced tea to go with.

That sounds like a wonderful program you're doing, I wonder if they have it around here at all, that's something I could get into :)

And if it's humid out, it doesn't matter if it's 80 or 100 out, it's miserable. Take a cool bath, that's what I do!
Brings the core temperature right down :)

First, 80 ain't hot. Second, come to Montréal and you won't have to tolerate Really Hot for very long. Four Seasons: AlmostWinter, DeadofWinter, IsWinterOverYet, and Summer. Summer lasts two months, max. Puhlenty of knitting opportunity, plus you could teach me to spin on a wheel...


But at least you don't have a heat index - where it's 85 degrees F but the humidity is so high that it feels like 102.

80 degrees is hot!!! 78 degrees is the low for Austin. Though we are smothered in air conditioning, so it is tolerable.


Iced Coffee....


My summer knitting is still wool, but small. Socks. Lots of socks. Oh, and small scarf/shawl things for wearing in my overly-air-conditioned work. The yarn may still feel sticky in my hands, but it doesn't end up resting in my lap. :)

PS And handspun socks are soooo cushy to wear!

Vancouver is lovely. Boston, my former hometown is pretty nice as well. Good sea breezes except for a day or two in August when it is still still still and hot.

Days like today I wish I still lived in Somerville. DC is just nasty-hot. Today it is in the 90s with 90% humidity. Makes you wish you could just rotate in and out of the shower.

Vancouver, baby. The promised land, as long as you like rain, which I love, and which we don't get as much of as everyone promised... I see I'm not the first to leave this comment. Anyways. The poetry program sounds really excellent. :)

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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