20 December 2004

Baby, it's cold outside

And inside, too.

My condo is on the ground floor, on the cement slab foundation and when the temperature drops, it drops like brick in my place. Cold radiates up from the "cheapest we could find in bulk" padding and carpets (one day I will replace them. I will replace them with padding so thick that people will believe that I have 5-foot ceilings. Maybe 4-foot.) and whistles in and rattles past (literally) the "I don't have to live there, so I don't care" windows. David, God bless him, gave me a little black space heater that a. works and b. is quiet. I think I love it more than many members of my family. It's set in the hall and it points into my bedroom, thus warming the hallway, the bedroom, and (kind of) the bathrooms by several degrees.

On the other hand, I hate the heat pump. Not mine specifically, just heat pumps in general. The idea behind a heat pump is that there is always some warmth to be found in the air, so the heat pump finds that warmth and pumps it into the house. Yes. There is some warmth to be found. But it's to be found in, like, parts per billion, which is not enough to keep my fingers and feet from stiffening up. Anywhere north of South Carolina, heat pumps blow cold air. And if you want to live a. in Maryland and b. in a home that doesn't feel like a meat locker, you can opt for whatever they call it: accessory heat or additional heat. I call it "Oh, I didn't need groceries this month" heat. And it doesn't feel warm anyway!! The wretched heat pump makes me feel like a minor character from a Dickens novel.

So I got up this morning and it's about 8 degrees outside. 8! And that's in Fahrenheit! (Do I want to know the temperature in Celsius? No! Any temperature with a minus sign in front of it feels even colder.) The condo is reasonably temperate (thank you again, David!), but I was dreading going outside. Especially (and this is my own fault, I agree) as I don't normally wear my coat to and from the car. I hate driving while feel like I wearing a straight jacket, so I just throw the coat into the back seat and sprint from house to car and from car to destination. And if I put the coat on when I got to the car I would be even colder because the coat had all night in the unheated car to really chill. So I knew I'd be sprinting to the car, jumping in, and driving the first several blocks while using the sleeves of my sweater as pseudo driving gloves.

Hey! Guess whose car locks were frozen this morning! It had warmed up to 9 or 10 degrees (it's now 20 according to weather.com) by the time I left for work and I was able to convince the door to open within only 2 or 3 minutes, but they were a long 2 or 3 minutes and I was sort of regreting my outerwear policy.

Enough stuff had a delayed opening today that I was able to get to work in 25 minutes - not quite enough time, as it turned out, for the windows to unfreeze. I nearly had to get out of the car to put the garage card into the card reader. But I managed to get the window down (and back up, thank goodness) and got into the garage.

So naturally the timer on the furnace at our building wasn't set to come on until 6:00, so at 8:25 it was 60 degrees in here. Yes, technically, that is a temperature at which humans can function, but it's cold. Tanya hasn't taken her coat off yet and coffee/hot chocolate consumption is at a record level. Laura, my boss, gave me a lovely pair of slipper socks for Christmas - and with excellent timing she had brought our gifts into give us today - and I'm considering wearing mine instead of my shoes. It's warmed up to 64, so I'm still thinking of reasons to go hang out near the copier, which is warm. Later today we may organize a bon fire of all the paper here. After they're gone, we're emptying out and burning the contents of the safes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey... at least you had electricity. Ours went out last night and didn't go on until 20 minutes ago; I swear, I could practically watch the molecules slowing down as the heat blew carelessly away through the windows.

But the person I really feel sorry for is my roommate. Her room (henceforth to be known as Hell's Freezer) was at LEAST 5 degrees colder than the rest of the house... and when the rest of the house is slowly dropping from 65...to 62... to 58... well, BRRRRRRR. (And yet she closed the door while she was sleeping so she wouldn't make the rest of the house colder! She officially gets the Debbie award for Altruism in the Face of Extreme Hardship Due to Unexpected Chilliness.)

But as of 20 minutes ago, we got our heat (and electricity, and stove, and hot water-- oooh, a SHOWER) back, so life is very rosy, you know, as long as we promise not to look at this month's heating bills.