50 ways to beat the heat

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It's definitely time, past time, to update this annual list of heat-beaters. Feel free to clip and save, mix and match, or add your own.

1. Delete all unwanted emails without opening them. Especially if they're from types who are always a bit hot under the collar anyway. If you must open any, under no circumstances reply. Soon you'll be on their heated level. Last year I heard from a Satanist -- no, actually he said he was a pagan -- and, you guessed it, he was hot as hell.

2. Forget talk radio and 24/7 television news. Switch to the classical musical station. Vivaldi is a comfort, Dvorak about as stirring as you need, Beethoven's symphonies a little too bombastic, and Mozart's perfect -- as always. Listening to the well-named Amadeus is like looking up at the clear night sky out in the country and hearing the music of the spheres. Or get out Miles Davis and John Coltrane's classic, "Kind of Blue." (I hereby nominate Miles Davis -- along with Gershwin, of course -- as the greatest American composer of the 20th Century.)

3. Recall the lightest, most elegant, interesting dessert you ever had. Mine is zabaglione over half a perfect peach. Italians know what they're doing in matters of summer style, and hot summers bring out their genius for creating just the right dish.

4. To borrow a line from the late great Robert Benchley, get out of those sweaty clothes and into a dry martini.

5. Think on the pure, crystalline beauty of the Pythagorean Theorem.

6. Don't try to figure out the infield fly rule one more time; just settle back and watch the game. Linger over the replays in slow motion. Move slowly yourself. No sense hurryin.'

7. Avoid watching sit-coms, playing rock 'n' roll, listening to TV shout shows, worrying about the future or regretting the past. "Don't look back. Something might be gaining on you." --Satchel Paige. Epictetus the Stoic might have said something like that, but not half so well.

8. Decorate with cool, green, leafy things, but not kudzu. Turn your back on it for a minute and it'll cover your house.

9. Take siestas; arrange to live in the early morning and after twilight.

10. Don't hurry back, or anywhere. "Nothing can be more useful to a man than a determination not to be hurried." --Henry David Thoreau. He may have been a Massachusetts man, but he had to be a Southerner at heart.

11. Park in the shade.

12. Key lime pie.

13. Wear a hat. With a broad brim.

14. Give the kids a nap. Take one yourself. Or watch an old Mister Rogers show with a small child; it'll soothe both of you.

15. Sit on the front porch. In a swing. Under a fan. Especially if it's glassed-in, air-conditioned, in the shade, and surrounded by cool greenery inside and out. If you must go out in the noonday sun -- like mad dogs and Englishmen -- stick a handkerchief in the back of your collar. Wear sunglasses. Breathe deeply.

16. Read last January's weather reports, with special attention to blizzards and ice storms. Contemplate Iceland and wonder if Eyjafjallajokull will erupt again. But under no circumstances attempt to pronounce it. It takes too much effort.

17. Take a thimble-sized cup of hot soup before supper to whet the appetite.

18. Switch from big band to chamber music, red to white wine, gin to tonic, cornbread to beaten biscuits, humor to wit. Sit back, breathe deeply, and erase from your mind all thoughts of Rand Paul, Eliot Spitzer, Obamacare, Eric Holder and anything else Fast and Furious.

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Editorial Poll


THE EDITORIAL BOARD


Andy Green, the opinion editor, has taken the "know a little bit about everything" approach in his time at The Sun. He was the city/state editor before coming to the editorial board, and prior to that he covered the State House and Baltimore County government.

Tricia Bishop, the deputy editorial page editor, was a reporter in the business and metro sections covering biotechnology, education and city and federal courts prior to joining the board.

Peter Jensen, former State House reporter and features writer, takes the lead on state government, transportation issues and the environment; he is the board's resident funny man and capital schmooze.

Glenn McNatt, who returned to editorial writing after serving as the newspaper's art critic, keeps an eye on the arts, culture, politics and the law for the editorial board.

Selling city garages [Poll]

Should Baltimore sell four of its 17 parking garages to raise money for city recreation centers?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Not sure

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