On ice water

It doesn’t run through my veins, but during summers in Waco, Texas, I wish it did. I like to chug ice water until my teeth hurt, until I get a brain freeze. It’s the only way to counteract the blistering heat that assails central Texas in August and September. The sun beats down, the temps go over a hundred, and we suffer. I try to minimize my suffering by parking in a parking garage at work, but parking almost anywhere else in Waco means facing temperatures in your car that are over a hundred and forty degrees. Imagine, if you will, a crystal glass full of ice water, sweating and dripping in the humid afternoon heat of mid-August. This will quench your thirst. I need an ice water cooling suit to wear under my clothes as if I were an astronaut. Isn’t it fascinating that water can co-exist with itself in different forms–solid, liquid, vapor? Sitting in ice water is rather unpleasant unless your butt is on fire. Ice water takes the sting out of a burn, but it also helps ease the pain of bumps and bruises, sore joints, or an aching head. A huge glass of ice water is balm to a sweaty soul this time of year (summer). You can make Kool-Aid with ice water if you are old enough to know what Kool-Aid is. I one time jumped into a river of ice water after exiting a sauna in northern Minnesota in January. It was a strange, if not bracing, experience. As a drink, ice water is underrated by those who make lemonade or ice tea out of it. Our relationship to water and ice is both intimate and enduring. Before refrigeration we built ice houses to store ice in the summer, cut ice out of our lakes and rivers in the dead of winter, and carried on an entire industry of selling ice to keep our food cool in summer. Ice water is a natural byproduct of melting ice, forming a small pool around itself. Ice water is ubiquitous if you live in a hot climate. It is a final refuge against the raging torrent of heat that bathes the landscape with its persistent flames. The contrast between the cool soothing wetness of ice water and the blinding white light that sears our lawns, homes, skin, cars is so extreme that it boggles the mind that they should inhabit the same space. Ice water perfectly accompanies any meal. The clear, cold liquid is the taste of winter and a reminder that summer might end at some point. The iciness is a reminder that we don’t have to live in unrelenting heat, and that cool rain may again fall some day. For now, I drink ice water and ignore my dusty lawn, the blazing temperatures, and the unrelenting sun. Yet, ice water by itself is also deadly especially if you have to swim it as the victims of the Titanic found. So our strange relationship with ice water continues, can swim it, can’t get through the summer without it.

On ice water

It doesn’t run through my veins, but during summers in Waco, Texas, I wish it did. I like to chug ice water until my teeth hurt, until I get a brain freeze. It’s the only way to counteract the blistering heat that assails central Texas in August and September. The sun beats down, the temps go over a hundred, and we suffer. I try to minimize my suffering by parking in a parking garage at work, but parking almost anywhere else in Waco means facing temperatures in your car that are over a hundred and forty degrees. Imagine, if you will, a crystal glass full of ice water, sweating and dripping in the humid afternoon heat of mid-August. This will quench your thirst. I need an ice water cooling suit to wear under my clothes as if I were an astronaut. Isn’t it fascinating that water can co-exist with itself in different forms–solid, liquid, vapor? Sitting in ice water is rather unpleasant unless your butt is on fire. Ice water takes the sting out of a burn, but it also helps ease the pain of bumps and bruises, sore joints, or an aching head. A huge glass of ice water is balm to a sweaty soul this time of year (summer). You can make Kool-Aid with ice water if you are old enough to know what Kool-Aid is. I one time jumped into a river of ice water after exiting a sauna in northern Minnesota in January. It was a strange, if not bracing, experience. As a drink, ice water is underrated by those who make lemonade or ice tea out of it. Our relationship to water and ice is both intimate and enduring. Before refrigeration we built ice houses to store ice in the summer, cut ice out of our lakes and rivers in the dead of winter, and carried on an entire industry of selling ice to keep our food cool in summer. Ice water is a natural byproduct of melting ice, forming a small pool around itself. Ice water is ubiquitous if you live in a hot climate. It is a final refuge against the raging torrent of heat that bathes the landscape with its persistent flames. The contrast between the cool soothing wetness of ice water and the blinding white light that sears our lawns, homes, skin, cars is so extreme that it boggles the mind that they should inhabit the same space. Ice water perfectly accompanies any meal. The clear, cold liquid is the taste of winter and a reminder that summer might end at some point. The iciness is a reminder that we don’t have to live in unrelenting heat, and that cool rain may again fall some day. For now, I drink ice water and ignore my dusty lawn, the blazing temperatures, and the unrelenting sun. Yet, ice water by itself is also deadly especially if you have to swim it as the victims of the Titanic found. So our strange relationship with ice water continues, can swim it, can’t get through the summer without it.

On Mae West

She was clearly ahead of her time. Mae West was a liberated woman who loved sex and didn’t give a damn who knew it. Unshackled by the bonds of matrimony (although officially married twice), she had as many boyfriends as she cared to have and was completely unapologetic about any of it. Feared by many, despised by some, men wanted to be with her (and so did a few women) and women secretly wanted to be like her. Her blond hair and hourglass figure were her luxurious trademarks, and she made no bones about being an actress or that her acting was any good. She was just herself and that was enough. What gave her freedom from the repressive American society out of which she grew was her debonaire attitude of sophisticated charm, her sexy double entendres, and that shape. She was an original and that is what made her special. She was unashamedly and unabashedly herself regardless to whom she was talking. Hounded by groups who would censor her act, she never feigned decency or politically correct behavior because she didn’t care what the world thought of her. She knew that men desired her open and blatant sexuality, and she also knew that women feared her independence and liberation from the shackles of a repressive society that normally did not allow her kind of lifestyle. She rejected the hypocrisy of puritanical America, shunned monogamy as anachronistic and limiting, had sex with whom she wanted. What is so remarkable about her as a person and an entertainer is her charismatic ability to charm, entice, seduce just about everyone in the room. She was dead sure of herself as a woman, and she wasn’t going to let anyone around her forget who was in charge. The Hayes Bureau tried, often, to censor both her language and actions, and they often succeeded, but having watched her movies, I realize that it was her personae as the independent, liberated, sexual being that they could not contain, hold or censor. Her famous tag line, “Why don’t you come up and see me sometime” is loaded with sexual innuendo and bravado: she is the sexually active predator looking for some new action. This is her pick-up line. She says, “Honey, when I’m good, I’m good, but when I’m bad, I’m very good.” Implicit in her double entendre is a flawless reference to her own raw sexuality. When a young lady sees Mae for the first time, she exclaims, “Goodness,” to which Mae responds, “Darling, goodness had nothing to do with it.” The liberated sexuality of Mae West lies in stark contrast to the repressed Victorianism of the early Thirties that was just recovering from flappers and the wide-open partying of the Roaring Twenties. No one could contain Mae West, and she could steal a scene from heavyweights such as W. C. Fields or Cary Grant simply because she was so outrageously open about who she was. Contemporary performers such as Madonna or Cher could only wish they had the energy of this all-star diva.

On Mae West

She was clearly ahead of her time. Mae West was a liberated woman who loved sex and didn’t give a damn who knew it. Unshackled by the bonds of matrimony (although officially married twice), she had as many boyfriends as she cared to have and was completely unapologetic about any of it. Feared by many, despised by some, men wanted to be with her (and so did a few women) and women secretly wanted to be like her. Her blond hair and hourglass figure were her luxurious trademarks, and she made no bones about being an actress or that her acting was any good. She was just herself and that was enough. What gave her freedom from the repressive American society out of which she grew was her debonaire attitude of sophisticated charm, her sexy double entendres, and that shape. She was an original and that is what made her special. She was unashamedly and unabashedly herself regardless to whom she was talking. Hounded by groups who would censor her act, she never feigned decency or politically correct behavior because she didn’t care what the world thought of her. She knew that men desired her open and blatant sexuality, and she also knew that women feared her independence and liberation from the shackles of a repressive society that normally did not allow her kind of lifestyle. She rejected the hypocrisy of puritanical America, shunned monogamy as anachronistic and limiting, had sex with whom she wanted. What is so remarkable about her as a person and an entertainer is her charismatic ability to charm, entice, seduce just about everyone in the room. She was dead sure of herself as a woman, and she wasn’t going to let anyone around her forget who was in charge. The Hayes Bureau tried, often, to censor both her language and actions, and they often succeeded, but having watched her movies, I realize that it was her personae as the independent, liberated, sexual being that they could not contain, hold or censor. Her famous tag line, “Why don’t you come up and see me sometime” is loaded with sexual innuendo and bravado: she is the sexually active predator looking for some new action. This is her pick-up line. She says, “Honey, when I’m good, I’m good, but when I’m bad, I’m very good.” Implicit in her double entendre is a flawless reference to her own raw sexuality. When a young lady sees Mae for the first time, she exclaims, “Goodness,” to which Mae responds, “Darling, goodness had nothing to do with it.” The liberated sexuality of Mae West lies in stark contrast to the repressed Victorianism of the early Thirties that was just recovering from flappers and the wide-open partying of the Roaring Twenties. No one could contain Mae West, and she could steal a scene from heavyweights such as W. C. Fields or Cary Grant simply because she was so outrageously open about who she was. Contemporary performers such as Madonna or Cher could only wish they had the energy of this all-star diva.