Sunday, July 24, 2011

Surviving a heat wave. Or a dirty bomb.

Heat wave hits Washington, DC. Temperatures to reach 103 degrees.

But my apartment is cool. And shady. Mainly because my husband is a master of something he calls, Shade Management. He is so serious about this concept that as I type, he's on the roof blocking our skylight with a blue camping tarp. My son squeals with joy "It's blue in here! Can we leave it like this forever?"

I'm not exaggerating.
Until the heat breaks, I will be living in a bunker-like fortress with a hodgepodge of makeshift window treatments giving my home a certain crack house chic. Or perhaps meth lab circa 1990s. I'll have to ask my decorator friend.

Naked windows let in the view. And the scorching sun. So, he's taped cardboard to one, clipped a beach towel over another and, in the kitchen, stapled one of my favorite sheets to the wall, promising that he didn't put a hole in it. And here I've been living foolishly under the impression that making a hole is integral to the stapling process.

He also rigged the floor ducts with pencils and books to redirect cold air away from the windows where it immediately gets sucked out and burned to a crisp. They look like a snares for trapping small woodland creatures should the take-out grid go down. Which is exactly why I'm a loyal viewer of Dual Survivor. They cover things like that.

Some would complain. But actually, it inspires the survivalist in me.   

Wind-up flashlight? Check. Canned tuna? Lots. Can opener? Got it. (You need only have that nightmare once.) Plenty of candles, bottled water and Zip Car on my speed dial should my attempts at hot wiring an escape vehicle fail.

I go into survival mode very quickly. And becoming a mother has only quickened my response time.

When a tornado warning threatened DC, I packed emergency food supplies before the first raindrop fell. Actually, I was still breast feeding at the time and therefore a Survival Goddess. Not only would I be able to feed my son without modern technologies, but I could also treat wounds because breast milk acts as a topical antiseptic. When choosing teams in a game of Judgement Day, always pick the nursing woman.

So, as much as my aesthetics are assailed by all the barricading, I kind of enjoy temporarily living in a shit-just-hit-the-fan film. As long as it's not the quiet, apocalyptic delight Right at Your Door because nothing goes as expected in that one. Although, I do recommend it. 

And of all the decorating styles out there, Modern Armageddon isn't so bad. The only thing I'm missing is a bad-ass costume which seems to be a necessity when all systems break down.

Though, as great as this full-length leather trench would be for looting a grocery store of all non-perishables while evading armed foreign interlopers, it could be a little hot in a heat wave.