Afternoon Inquisition

AI: Sometimes, I’m not as smart as I think I am.

It’s cold here in Southern California this week.  Yes, I know it’s not cold cold compared to the rest of the Northern Hemisphere, but still cold enough to remind me my house doesn’t have heat. And yes, I know that also sounds ridiculous, but as a matter of practicality, when it’s thirty eight degrees at night, having no heat in the house is a bit overwhelming. It kills my productivity because I just huddle under the blankets. [Also? Yes, I know I can get a space heater. What’s important here is that I don’t have one at the moment.]

Today is laundry and chores day at my house, and with the cold slowing me down, I struck upon a genius idea: every time I went into the garage to swap out laundry, I’d put my fleece pullover in the dryer to warm it up. Ten minutes in, then back on my body. What could possibly be wrong with that?

Motivating me to do moar laundry! GENIUS! Getting me up and down the stairs to the garage a bunch of times! CARDIO GENIUS! Very hot metal of the zipper touching the skin on my throat and burning me. DADGUMMIT!

Since I fancy myself a critical thinker, I should’ve thought things through a bit more, as I know my dryer is flux-capacitor-powered and sometimes overdoes things. I know this. Heck, there’s not even much thinking to it with as many times as I’ve taken clothes out of that dryer that feel like burning. But there was warmingness to be had. Man, was I pleased with myself before the burning started.

Now all I have to show for it is a mark that looks like Japan, or maybe New Jersey.  (that’s me in the featured image, of course. Look! My Japersey mark is also kinda shaped like my pendant!) [Edited to add: Pendant is by the awesome Raven at MadeWithMolecules! I love her stuff so hard!]

Please share similar tales of woe (or maybe woah, as in “woah, that wasn’t smart”) so that I might feel less alone in my clumsy, chilly ways. 


A B Kovacs is the Director of Døøm at Empty Set Entertainment, a publishing company she co-founded with critical thinker and fiction author Scott Sigler. She considers herself a “Creative Adjacent” — helping creative people be more productive and prolific by managing the logistics of Making for the masses. She's a science nerd, a rabid movie geek, and an unrepentantly voracious reader. She doesn't like chocolate all that much.

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  1. Oh, I have some doozies. I’ve also let fleece go too long but it’s the zipper that usually gets me, not the fleece. I tossed a Chico reusable produce bag in there once too. Nylon is NOT happy when heated.

    The better one was trying to heat up coffee in a ceramic / clay coffee mug in the microwave. I don’t know exactly what the material was, but it was bubbling.

    Best part of the story, I didn’t notice and grabbed it anyway. Epic burn.

  2. I was about 17, it was so cold that the car I was driving had actually gotten covered with ice. I really do not remember why I needed to loosen the gas cap, but there was some pressing reason. And I couldn’t get to it because of the ice. But I had a lighter in my pocket, that would melt the ice, right?

    Was very proud of myself for thinking of it. For about 10 seconds. No trauma happened. Randall knocked the lighter out of my hand with a “What are you? Stupid?” and we all went back inside and had some hot cider and a good laugh, and I think someone eventually gave me a ride home.

  3. Heck, yes! As a California transplant who grew up in the Midwest, I always feel silly when I gripe about the cold. But then I remember: In the Midwest, they have good heating and good insulation. When you live and/or work in a drafty, non-insulated building with little or no heat, 45 degrees is pretty freaking cold.

    As for disasters, the one that leaps to mind is the time when I had pneumonia, and was (a) huddled over a home steam-breathing device (i.e., a water-boiler with a face mask), and (b) hopped up and nodding out on codeine cough syrup. Bad combination. The burn scar eventually went away, but it took a while.

    1. Exactly! I have learned not to say too much to my New York and Ireland-based friends and family about me having no heat or insulation, because no one ever really thinks about insulation until they have none, so it just makes it worse.

      Glad to know I do not suffer this alone. :O)

    2. I am also from the Midwest and now live in California. I complain when it is “cold” damnit! I moved here for a reason, and pay a pretty penny to do so, so I feel like I have the right. (And a not-so-small part of me enjoys thinking how good I have it when I complain about 40degree weather.)

  4. I used a Biore pore strip on my nose when I had a peeling sunburn. I am sure y’all can guess how that turned out.

    1. Oh, and there was also the time when the heat went out so I started a fire in the woodstove insert without checking the flue first. Who knew that many, many 32 oz cups of cold water thrown up a chimmney could create enough steam to douse blazing leaves?

      (note: it worked for me but I still recommend calling the fire department instead)

  5. I want to move to Japersey. I don’t know much about it, but what I do know is the Karaoke bars only offer tracks from Bruce Springsteen and Frank Sinatra.

  6. A Real Girl

    No one’s perfect. There are a lot of things I did that I wish I could undo.

    One of things that helps me make better decision is to calm down. People tend to make more rational decisions when they’re not stressed.

  7. “Yes, I know it’s not cold cold compared to the rest of the Northern Hemisphere…”

    Why stop there?
    Try comparing to temperatures in the Saturn system (like Dave Bowman did in the book version of “2001”)!

    Far part of it all is that by the time we become used to the cold, the heat waves will arrive.

    After reading our tales of woe, do you think you later might read tales of Poe? *rimshot*

    A somewhat recent tale of woe was pissing off Rebecca with a dumb post in which I thought I was trying to be helpful. I really wish I could take that moment back.

    A great woe was when I was probably 12 years old.
    I had a notion to introduce one of our new hamsters to our cat. Result? One dead hamster and one scared 12 year old.
    At least the cat lived, though he was probably dissapointed in not having a new sort of dinner.

  8. I once tossed a bean can lid in the trash, then a few bags on top, and I later pushed the garbage down and sliced my hand on the lid. I then freaked out and whipped my hand up and around, splattering blood all over our white apartment kitchen.

    I know, I know. Should have recycled.

    I also frequently flail around, almost breaking things or hurting myself. Then I make fun of myself, and in the reenactment, I actually break things or hurt myself. And I NEVER LEARN?

  9. A couple of years ago, I went out to grab the mail from our apartment complex’s mailbox. Walk back to the apartment, reading the mail as I go. Open the door, hear music, realize it’s totally not my apartment. Have a weird, panicked moment, thinking I must have attempted to enter on the second floor when we lived on the third. Run quickly down the stairs, thinking I will get in my car to calm down (?). It’s not there. Realize that I was in the completely wrong block of apartments. Ponder how I reached adulthood.

    My husband once thought he would really give his plastic framed glasses a good cleaning by soaking them in boiling water. I’m sure you can imagine how that turned out. Incidentally, he has a Ph.D. in physics.

  10. When I was about ten, I turned on the gas to the broiler / griddle section of a large restaurant size stove at a camp my family and I were at. Then I went looking for a match…

    Luckily I threw my hand up in front of my face before the fireball hit me. Just a lot of singed hair and a hand that looked like a pizza for a while.

    I still grab pot handles that have been in the oven for several hours.

  11. What is 38 degrees in grown up temperatures? :P

    I was unusually warm here yesterday was 9 degrees! I have no idea what that is in imperial. But we were almost the warmest place in Canada. Very interesting weather temperature map yesterday. I’m so canadian the first thing I do is talk about the weather. Lol

    I do stupid things everyday. Like this morning I broke my glasses. They were under something and ‘snap’!

    I have a burn scar on my forearm from it coming in contact with exposed lamp bulb.
    The scariest close call with stupidity was when I had my portable stereo radio/tape player on the floor listening to the radio. The broken antenna straight up. I hastily bent down to change the station. I was centimeters from poking my eye out. I have been freaked out about eye stuff ever since.

    1. What’s 38 degrees in grow up temps? I think the scientific phrase is “effing cold” but I will have to check my journals.

      Also, I’m so glad you still have both eyes. That’s horrifying and now *I’m* freaked out about eye stuff.

  12. The one I keep doing to myself is to get a plate full of food, place it on a table/desk in such a way that part of it is over the edge (because said table/desk is mostly covered with junk) and then in the course of eating push down with cutlery on the overhanging bit of the plate, dumping the meal into my lap.

    1. Oy! That is a double down of density! I have done this myself, and the suckitude is strong in this case. Solidarity!

  13. So, people, I can’t lie. I love y’all for making me feel like one of the gang here, with this kind of non-thinking thing thinking people sometimes do.

    That said, please be careful out there. Especially all of y’all with the food and the drama. Boiling, and slicing and pomegranates, OH MY!

  14. Glad you feel better. I think generally speaking the kitchen is the most dangerous place in the house.

    For those who haven’t looked it up 38F is 3C and 9C is 48F.

    If it makes you feel any better we will be -15C on the weekend. Thats 5F. That’s freaking cold! But that’s why I have a furnace. :)

  15. Love your pendant! I have had burn marks in the shapes of molecules on my hands when I forget that soldering makes things hot… um, I kind of like the way that looks. (But not how it feels, of course.)

    1. OOOOOH! I forgot to add the link to your wonderful jewelry! I’ll make an edit! I love, love, love that one so much!

  16. I once had a little dog that liked to try and set herself on fire. She would try to jump in the oven (its warm AND had food) and couldn’t be trusted around a space heater because she would stick her tail in it. She was sweet, but a few fries short of a happy meal.

  17. Now all I have to show for it is a mark that looks like Japan, or maybe New Jersey.

    I once dropped some batman spaghetti on my thigh (yeah, I was about 30 and eating batman spaghetti in my underpants) and had a perfect bat-shaped burn.

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