Maybe the best $80 we've ever spent

At ten o'clock last night, we threw in the towel. We gave up. We had returned to our house after spending seven straight hours at Espresso Royale -- bless them for their liberal "hang out" policies -- to find the air thick with heat. It was still 91 degrees outside and maybe a few degrees cooler inside. I sat under the fan and suddenly understood what it would be like to live in a clothes dryer. Bless you, too, Priceline. A few minutes and 80 smackers later, we'd wisely booked ourselves two nights at the delightful Hampton Inn right by Briarwood Mall. While the "friendly service" promised by the plaque at the front desk was only fulfilled with a large stretch of the imagination, the room was equipped with two things we lack at our house: AC and CABLE TV!!!

What a glorious evening it was. We watched The Daily Show and The Colbert Report! We each claimed one of the double beds, turned the AC up to max and crawled under the covers.

And then we slept. The cool, unruffled sleep of those enjoying a brief respite from the heat.

Today fares not much better. I spoke with Charles Eisendrath this morning, Director of the Knight-Wallace Fellows and native of St. Louis. He's summering at his farm up North right now, although the heat isn't any better there. (They do have a lake, however, to cool off in.)

He said he reminds himself this time each year that he grew up with this heat but, that said, the heat seems far more oppressive in Ann Arbor than it ever did in St. Louis. Not because it's hotter. It isn't. But because it seems so unreasonable that it be hot here. It seems uncontrary to the very nature of Michigan and, therefore, somehow crueler.

And to that, Mr. Eisendrath, I say simply, "Word."