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Column: Hot times at home and at work

Last Friday the air conditioning went out in the Town Pages offices. As the thermostat climbed to 80 degrees and above, things got a little bit uncomfortable. It was the most you'll see modern journalists sweat in a situation that didn't involve either a deadline or the words "about those circulation numbers."

We toughed it out, though. And at the end of the day I left my non-air conditioned office, climbed into my car, in which the air conditioning has been out of commission since spring, and drove to my home, which hasn't had air conditioning in the nearly three years I've lived there.

Ordinarily this wouldn't be a problem. Since moving out on my own I've rarely had air conditioning. And with the exception of a few sweltering days each year I've never felt like I needed it. I have a fan. I have windows. That's usually enough.

I also have a home with two distinct climate zones. The upstairs is hot. It doesn't take much more than a sunny day to make things a little comfortable up there. But the house is shaded enough that even when it gets hot outside the lower level feels air conditioned. Raking is a pain. There's always a tradeoff, I guess. But I'll happily trade cool summer nights for some temporary lower-back pain in the fall.

I'd also trade sarcastic writing for cash, food or faint praise. Just so you know.

Even nature's air conditioning couldn't keep up this weekend, though. It got hot and humid enough on both levels of my house I might as well have been living in SpongeBob's square pants. I was sweaty when I went to bed. I was sweaty when I got up in the morning. I could hardly make toast for breakfast without rivers of sweat running down my brow.

It was hot. That's what I'm saying. It was uncomfortable. It was one of those rare times each summer when I wonder if maybe air conditioning isn't a pretty good idea after all.

Even if I didn't buy anything, the comparison shopping was a convenient excuse for spending time in large, air-conditioned stores. The freezer section at the grocery store is never more appealing. Although I'm not sure what I'm going to do with all of these popsicles they made me buy..

How bad was it? I woke from an uncomfortable sleep in the middle of the night Sunday and in my presumably heat-induced delirium I had the Miley Cyrus song "Party in the USA" stuck in my head. A glass of water seemed to get things back to normal, but it's hard to go back to sleep knowing something like that could happen again.

Things have gotten a better since then. Monday's rains cooled things down a bit. My main floor is once again cool enough that I can perch a laptop computer on my legs to write this column without fear of heat stroke.

I'll be better prepared for the next heat wave. I'm going to cut all potential sources of Miley Cyrus music out of my life.