so this is what hell feels like.
first of all, i'd like to apologize for being absent from the blogging world for a few days. there has been a LOT going on in the regular world and the truth is that all of my energy has gone into trying to keep myself afloat. this picture of the temperature was taken monday afternoon. in my last blog (which was written at the end of last weekend), the hot temperatures that my mom and i had encountered were mild compared to what was about to hit los angeles. i'm from the south so i'm used to warmer weather. i was even used to humidity so intense that you could barely walk outside thanks to the insanely hot summer the carolinas experienced. BUT despite all of that ridiculous weather, i always had a cold house to walk back into. not only did the heat in los angeles this past week set a RECORD for the hottest day ever calculated in this city's history, but it had effects on me that i had never expected. when i found out that my apartment wasn't air conditioned, i wasn't too worried seeing that los angeles is generally 75 degrees year round, and usually in the 60's after the sun sets. i was not prepared in ANY way for what was coming. let me give you the basic idea of the past week's conditions of my second story, non-air conditioned heat trap of an apartment:
my harwood floors, countertops, and rug in the center of the living room were all hot to the touch; my liquid soap by the sink felt as if it had been microwaved; my granola bars in the cabinet and deoderant in the bathroom were both melted; and my clothes all felt as if they had just come out of the dryer.
so if those were all non-living, non-breathing objects, you can only imagine how it must have felt for me to be in there attempting to sleep, shower, or really do anything at all. the fans only blew the hot air around, so when i saw that the temperatures for the rest of the week were going to be just as unbearable, part of me broke down a little bit.
the truth? i was pissed. i had been in this apartment for less than a week and finally got myself settled and comfortable. sara reminded me that this was a great opportunity to explore the city--and she was right--but the idea of having to avoid my apartment, a place where i would eventually have to come back to sleep at the end of the day, was something that i couldn't stop thinking about. so, the day of the infamous 115 record heat, started very early for me because i spent the entire night tossing and turning in the heat--only to get up at 5:30 AM and take a cold shower and a sleeping pill which knocked me out until 9:30. after a lot of sweating, a quick breakfast, more sweating, a shower, and then more sweating, i grabbed my things and got the f**k out of there. i guess because my body temperature had been way above normal for the past two days, going out into the brutal heat was not the best idea. after driving around for ten minutes, i pulled onto a side street and knew that i immediately needed to find a glass of ice water and an air conditioned place to cool down and gather myself. i took a hard right off of hollywood blvd and found myself on a street of parking meters. as i scrambled through my wallet, i looked up and realized i was steps away from a place called cafe audrey.
little did i know i had stepped into a very cool place that was not only dedicated entirely to audrey hepburn but...
the rest of that day led me to a few more air conditioned places like the coffee commissary where i discovered the greatest iced tea i've ever had (lavender earl grey iced tea) and some delicious housemade granola and yogurt.
after a few more errands, i decided that it was finally time to satisfy my mexican craving. there was only one place i could think of (thank you chelsea handler) and that....was baja fresh. the events that happened after bringing home my baja fresh, i will try to keep as minimal as possible because even though i told you i'd bring you along for the ride, i don't want to relive these things over again. first and foremost, my meal:
the spicy chicken tacos and chips with queso fundido (baja fresh's version of cheese dip) were delicious and definitely comparable to somewhere like moe's (for those of you from the southeast coast). however, when i returned to my apartment that night after the 115 degree weather, it was almost impossible to eat. you know the expression "in hot water"--which means in trouble-- well i was exactly that...except in cold water:
not only was i eating with my feet in a bowl of ice cold water, i was splashing water on myself from another bowl next to the couch. at the time my mom called, my head was under the faucet of my kitchen sink and i was covered head to toe in water and sweat. after a very long conversation with sara who reminded me that "heat is not something you can just suck it up and deal with" and a conversation with my mom who told me "if you don't book yourself a hotel right now, i'm calling dad AND booking you a hotel myself", i checked into a best western where i slept with the air conditioner on 60 degrees the entire night.
the next day, after thinking that my struggles with the heat had hit their worst point, i found myself facedown on a table in another cafe with the owner running to get me juice and ice packs. the heat combined with my blood sugar completely bottoming out resulted in a very scary experience. luckily, the cafe where this took place was a family owned shop (one of the ONLY in the area) and the mom took care of me as if i were her own daughter. scary? absolutely. i spent the next few hours there recovering and looking up portable air conditioner units. which led me to this...
and then this...
and then this...
which of course resulted in this.
although i spent hour after hour after HOUR putting this thing together with my own two hands, a thank you is required to my best friend who stayed on the phone with me the entire time listening to me talk to myself and scream out long strings of profanity. sara, i apologize that you were brought to the point of saying, "fanny, you're scaring me", but thank you for being there with me through all of the bad language and frustration i dealt with that night. i know you would have been right there screaming at the manual and scotch taping things together with me if you could have. at the present moment, a massive amount of duct tape is holding together this odd contraption known as a portable air conditioner, but the road which led me to that solution included macgyvering the machine together with scotch tape, socks, and a curtain.
let's just say you have to be pretty crafty to live by yourself.
other than a few mishaps around the apartment where i've found myself playing mechanic (what did we do without duct tape?), the completely unattractive air conditioner, the fan in the window, and one on the ground have finally started to bring a cool breeze into my little home. well..at least from 9 PM to 9 AM. speaking of my little home, here are a few things you haven't seen yet:
another wall pop. i really needed some peace in here.
a letter that sara wrote to me right before i left telling me that i was meant to be here but also reminding me how much she misses me.
i would LOVE to have an actual raleigh street sign hanging above this doorway, but i settled for a picture of one that i took a few years ago. the picture says "a house is made of walls and beams, a home is built with love and dreams" so true <3
so now that the temperature in here is slightly less mild and my body is starting to feel somewhat back to normal, i wanted to update you on this past week. the truth is that i feel like someone has been testing me. once this heat wave came, it was one thing after the next. aside from dealing with the constant sauna-like weather, my shower curtain fell, my bathroom has flooded every time i've taken a shower, i burnt my finger on a crappy lean cuisine french bread pizza (which you can actually see in the picture of my middle finger..), i've dropped an entire bottle of my miscellaneous vitamins on the side of a busy street, i almost passed out in a sandwich shop, and i bought a DVD player and three movies and then realized that i don't have any hook ups on my TV for any sort of movie-playing device.
in short. FML.
HOWEVER (there's always a however), i've learned a few lessons out of all of this. the night that i finally broke down and stayed at a best western, i realized that there are some situations where you can't try to act tough and just suck it up. heat exhaustion is a VERY serious thing and when you're the type of person who already has blood sugar issues, you need to take every precaution to take care of yourself first. the irony of this entire blog is that my previous rambling before this, was all about laughing at life's little mishaps. i've learned in the past few days that "not everything is a funny blog" (thank you sara). sometimes, it's okay to be pissed off and say to yourself "this SUCKS." i've done a lot of that the past few days and every time the shower rod has fallen on my head or one of my pictures has gone crashing to the ground or the duct tape on my air conditioner has come undone, as much as i've tried to laugh it off, sometimes the f-bombs just come flying out. you can't go through life cursing at every bad thing that happens, but when you're the type of person who is known for always radiating positivity and being in a great mood, you need the world to know that sometimes, you just need to break down.
from the second the VERY first cool blast of air i had ever felt in the apartment came through one of my fans, it was almost as if there was a tiny break in the clouds telling me that things were going to be okay. although i was dealing with impossible parking and dragging suitcases and grocery bags across the street and up the stairs by myself, my first few days here felt as if they were going really well. honestly, part of me was waiting for the bottom to fall out. now, i realize that much worse things could have happened, but i do feel like the past few days have given me a taste of my first real life experiences of living on my own.
the day that i brought wilbur home from the vet and realized the severity of his sickness and that he wouldn't be coming with me, i felt that from that point on, i've taken a lot of blows. when something bad happens, my mom always tells me that instead of looking at it as a crappy situation, think of it as the universe's way of giving you an opportunity to change. change how you react to it, change unhealthy patterns, change your perspective so that you learn from the experience. especially in this past week, i've been forced to do just that. so, after all of the sweat, all of the profanity, and all of the broken appliances, i have realized this: things are going to suck sometimes. you are going to feel broken. you're going to feel tested. you're going to scream at objects that can't yell back at you. and you're going to cry. and that's okay. as long as eventually, you can tape yourself back together and move on.