Body Heat

4C3009FF-8542-444F-A8F6-95EF89511A19San Francisco has been unusually cool and wet this month. Daily high temperatures have sometimes not even reached the 50s and lows have occasionally dipped down to the upper 30s.

Yeah, yeah, I know. You folks in the Midwest and Northeast, with your polar vortexes and nor’easters and blizzards, are probably thinking I have a lot of nerve complaining about temperatures in the 40s and 50s. Fair enough. I get it. Please don’t hate me, okay?

One of the great things about living in San Francisco is the climate. It rarely gets into the 80s during the summer. In fact, we don’t even have air conditioning in our house. And in the winter, it almost never drops into the 30s. We do have a furnace, but hardly ever have to turn it on. If there’s a chill in the house, we fire up the gas fireplace for a little while to make it toasty.

Last night, when I went to bed, our bedroom felt a bit chillier than usual. I have this little ambient temperature gauge on the chest of drawers, and when I looked at it last night, it read 59.5°F.34A2E4F7-2E2F-40A4-87CC-28F3427F9358My wife was already in bed, so I joined her, pulled the quilt snuggly up to my neck, and went to sleep.

Now as everyone knows, temperatures usually reach their lowest just before dawn. That’s science. So I was kind of surprised when, at 6:30 this morning, I glanced at that temperature thingie and saw this:605BAD5B-BA95-47AE-A86D-A3326D3C6A8FThe ambient temperature in the bedroom was five degrees warmer than it was when I got in bed last night!

My wife was already in the kitchen when I joined her a few minutes later and I remarked that I was surprised at how much warmer our room was this morning than it was when I came to bed last night.

She looked at me and said, “Your body puts off a lot of heat at night and you sweat a lot. That’s why the sheets on your side of the bed are sort of yellowish.”

“Really?” I said.

“Yeah,” she said. “It’s your body heat. Either that or you’re incontinent.”

His Checkered Life

7209511B-A1D8-4BD5-A9AD-4096D16BD019His kids were running around the house like chickens without their heads. His wife was bitching and moaning about all of the “things” she said she wanted but couldn’t afford to have. Albert had no choice but to seek sanctuary in his garage.

Last year Albert bought an old, yellow Checker taxi. He had it towed to their home, parked it in their garage, and began the process of refurbishing it. With the pressures of his regular job and the chaos always swirling around his family, working on that old Checker was nutrition for his soul.

He couldn’t begin to count the times he had gone out to the garage, his sanctuary, to take a break from everything and to focus on bringing that baby back to life.

And on bringing himself back to life.

Written for these daily prompts: Ragtag Daily Prompt (sanctuary), Fandango’s One-Word Challenge (garage), Word of the Day Challenge (taxi), Your Daily Word Prompt (nutrition), and Swimmers (count).

SoCS — Adverbs

D565E643-654E-4772-8799-BCA48E331BC7Interestingly, Linda G. Hill’s Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt this week asks us to start our post with any adverb that ends in “-ly.” She even offers us bonus points if we end our post in an adverb, as well.

First of all, let’s define the word adverb. “An adverb is a part of speech used to describe a verb, adjective, clause, or another adverb. It simply tells the readers how, where, when, or the degree at which something was done.”

Apparently, the biggest issue with adverbs is that people tend to overuse them. Some say that of all of the parts of speech, adverbs are the most likely to clutter your sentences pointlessly. Therefore, it is often suggested that writers should use adverbs sparingly.

(Hey wait. Aren’t “apparently,” pointlessly,” and “sparingly” adverbs? Oh crap. I just cluttered up my last paragraph by using three adverbs in just three sentences.)

I remember reading Stephen King’s book, On Writing, where he goes on and on about how he feels about adverbs. I was surprised by his strong feelings. He admonishes writers to minimize, if not eliminate, their use of adverbs by suggesting that “adverbs, like the passive voice, seem to have been created with the timid writer in mind.”

King famously wrote:

“I believe the road to hell is paved with adverbs, and I will shout it from the rooftops. To put it another way, they’re like dandelions. If you have one in your lawn, it looks pretty and unique. If you fail to root it out, however, you find five the next day…fifty the day after that…and then, my brothers and sisters, your lawn is totally, completely, and profligately covered with dandelions. By then you see them for the weeds they really are, but by then it’s — GASP!! — too late.”

Personally, I think Stephen King overuses ellipses…as do I.

I have nothing against adverbs. I don’t use them often, but I do use them in my writing. And I don’t think of myself as a timid writer.

But I’m not a best-selling author, like Stephen King. In fact, I’m not an author at all. I’m not even sure I’d call myself a writer. I’m just a blogger who writes posts on my personal blog.

So, as the old song goes, it’s my blog and I’ll adverb if I want to, despite how Stephen King feels.

And now I need to end my post with an adverb ending in “-ly” in order to earn my bonus points. I will write my last sentence excitedly.