Stay Cool

Illustration by Esme.
Illustration by Esme.

Summer is awesome!!! Well, at least it is in our heads during the winter when we’re freezing our butts off. But then it’s here and it’s too hot to move and when we do our thighs stick together and we develop perpetual pit stains and WE START COMPLAINING A LOT. Splashing around in water offers relief, as does consuming large quantities of ice cream, but summer’s around for 93 days; eventually you’ve got to switch things up. Here are some other ways we’d recommend to stay cool:

golfGolf carts
My grandpa used to live with us, and he had a HOT PINK golf cart he sometimes used to get around. He barely drove it, so on hot days my friend Jessie and I would drive it really fast up and down our driveway to cool off. While golf carts (especially those tricked out to Paris Hilton’s standards) aren’t readily available to everyone, this is a pretty easy trick to try at home: Grab a bike and find a big hill to pedal down, and your pits will be aired out in no time! —Lucy

Screen Shot 2015-06-23 at 1.47.53 PMRefrigerators
helo. i Enjoy goingin the cold box becaus AmyRose (terible Woman wholives here to) doesnot Fit in ther with Me. i Like tolook at the Difrent foods such as Eggs and juise. My fur gets colder which i Enjoy for the summers Time refreshmant. Then AmyRose (terible Woman) gets me Out with picking Me up andi hiss at her but Atleast i am Cooler and Hapy all over. —Mrat Spiegel, aka Amy Rose’s cat, who is a surprisingly good typist [Editor’s note: With all due respect to Mrat, it is NOT advisable to put living things, including yourself, in the refrigerator.]

There’s no AC in Seattle like anywhere, and my mom and I lived on the third floor of our building, which was so HOTTT. During heat waves, we’d eat tomatoes ALL THE TIME. Caprese salad is like all I want when it’s over 95 degrees! Tomatoes are peak-fresh and magical-tasting during the hottest months of the year, especially when they’re from the farmers’ market. And they’re so juicy that eating one is kind of like drinking a cup of water. There aren’t many other solid foods more refreshing than a beauteous tomat’! —Dylan

EL1_FFRE1033Q1Reading all day in air-conditioned rooms
Let me tell you, it was not fun growing up in the hot ’n’ humid Midwest as a person with a low tolerance for mugginess. I was constantly looking for some kind of respite involving both something to cool me down and something to keep me entertained. For years, my hot-weather routine was to ride my bike to the library during the cooler morning hours and check out all of the books I could carry. When I got home, I’d prepare myself a spread of all available snack items, which I would take to my parents’ bedroom because that was where our house’s lone air conditioner was installed (um, that was a bit bogus, parents). Then I would camp out reading there ALL DAY LONG. I’d only leave to go to the bathroom or get more sustenance, and when I returned I would melodramatically stand in front of the AC for several minutes until I was cold enough to get back under the covers of my parents’ bed with my books. —Stephanie

movie theaterMovie theaters
When it’s really hot, I’m all about an all-day marathon at the movie theater. Buy one ticket, start with the earliest showing, and then sneak into other movies for the rest of the day. Leave the theater once the sun sets, and you’ve spent hours in the cool embrace of aggressive AC + movie theater snacks. Orrrrr sneak your own snacks in, so you don’t spend 100 bucks on Sour Patch Kids and icees. —Lauren

parking garageAbove-ground parking garages
I really like parking garages in the summer! There’s a really tall one near my house, and if you go to the top floor it’s all windows, with a great view of the city. It’s like a private air-conditioned balcony! Sometimes I just hang out in there with a book or with friends. It also used to be my super-secret dating spot, ’til I noticed I’d been making out in front of the security cameras, so watch out for those! —Tova

nwwuudMoving cars
It was 104 degrees on my 16th birthday, which is in July, and the heat and humidity caused the horn of the car I was using for my driving test to short circuit or something. The DMV dude would not allow me to take the test because the car “did not meet safety standards.” UGH! But I went back a few days later when it was like 15 degrees cooler out and the horn worked, I passed my test, and I then basically usurped my parent’s 1991 Honda Civic wagavan for the rest of the summer. I’d cram all the friends I could into that baby, and we’d ride around with all the windows down. When it was really hot, we blasted the AC while we cruised around. Our destination? Nowhere in particular, though 7-Eleven was always on our route ’cause nothing cools you down like a Slurpee. —Stephanie

band roomBand or orchestra rooms
I had band camp every summer. The rehearsal schedule was rigorous: We had a 9 AM to 1 or 2 PM block, a break, and then another block from 6 PM to 9 PM. It would be so effing hot that I would do anything to avoid sweating any more buckets than I already had, so during breaks I’d find air conditioned solace in the school’s empty orchestra room. Since it was summer, the chairs were all stacked and there was a wide-open space with a really old piano. I’d grab sheet music from the music library and teach myself songs. Sometimes I would skip the classical stuff and just play Top 40 hits from memory—I even gave Rihanna’s “Umbrella” a sick harmony. I think those times spent alone with the piano, beating the heat, helped me with my musicianship more than anything else. —Chanel

mall-33The mall
THE MALL! As a teen mall goth, I spent hot summers in the food court of Polaris Fashion Place, chilling out with slices of Sbarro pizza, sipping on fountain Sunkist, and tugging on my spiked collar from Hot Topic. In the mall, I could still wear my JNCO jeans and fishnet long-sleeve shirts despite it being miserably hot outside. Not even 90-degree weather could stop me from expressing my true torment! —Meagan ♦

Friend Crush

Collage by Emma D.
Collage by Emma D.

Perah and Nick, both 15, couldn’t stop gushing about each other when we talked to them on the phone for this month’s Friend Crush. They share lots of other great loves, too, one of which is educating each other about important topics like feminism, the best Slurpee flavor, and the proper pronunciation of the word banana. They taught US that they’re basically the coolest people on this planet, and we bet you’ll think so too.

TO: [email protected]
FROM: Perah
SUBJECT: Friend Crush!!!!!!!!!!

Dear Rookie,

My name is Perah, I am 14 years old, and I live in a suburban town near Los Angeles. I am (majorly [platonically]) crushing on my best friend Nick! He’s probably the single most lovable person I have ever known, prone to generously complimenting people he’s just met, spontaneously bursting into song, and using gigantic hand gestures. Pretty much everyone loves him (which is completely ridiculous, because no one is universally loved, BUT IT’S JUST NOT POSSIBLE NOT TO LIKE HIM).

Even though he’s mostly a loud goofball, he totally gets the more serious stuff. He’s willing to talk about nearly anything, nearly any time. Nick is also my only friend with whom I talk about feminism in all of its great confusing blurry glory at length (on a regular basis, at odd hours) and I appreciate him so so so much more for that.

I love that he always makes me feel safe in my own skin, and he always gives the best advice when I don’t. I would love to say thanks for how wonderful he’s been to me. Honestly, I could totally fangirl over him all day long.

Much love,


ROOKIE: Hey, Perah! What’s up?

Nick and I hung out yesterday and today, and I was really, really happy about that because we don’t get to see each other very often. We try to text a lot. He goes to a boy’s school that’s very far away. Apparently, it involves a train and a bus to get there? He started going there last year, so this is our first year apart. It was kind of rough at the beginning. I was super bummed out. But it’s OK now!

Can you tell me the story of how this holy alliance formed?

In seventh grade, there was this bake sale/movie thing held by the Service Club, and he was selling, I think, cupcakes? One of our friends introduced me, and I remember thinking, “Why don’t I know this kid?” Because we went to a pretty small school, so I was like, “Why don’t I know this kid…I feel so bad!” And then the next time we met, we were in the same P.E. class. Today, he said something about someone, where there just wasn’t a “click” [between them], and as soon as we met the second time, there was a CLICK, and we were friends.

How did the CLICK happen?

We were in P.E. together, and every time we talked, we’d be like, “Hey, this is a really great conversation. Like, my sides are hurting from laughing so much.” But we never really hung out until eighth grade, and then we got really, really, really close, because I think we both came to the realization that we thought in really similar ways. We both have the habit of dropping really serious stuff in conversation, like, “Oh, yeah, whatever…” and I think most people don’t really catch that, but he’s always caught it with me. And I really appreciate that with him, and I think most of the time, I can tell [with him, too]. Well, I hope I can tell!

Do you remember one of the first times that happened, and what he noticed that you were like, “Whoa, you really picked up on that.”

It was in eighth grade. There was this guy who was one of my best friends, and we really liked each other, but he was kind of butthurt because he thought I was leading him on by being friends with him, when I was really like, “Nooooo! I’m a hermit crab! I can’t…feelings…bad!!” I think Nick was the first person who saw how much that really affected me. It made me really sad. It wasn’t even in person—Nick caught it over gchat! I don’t remember what he said—it was in a group chat, and I kind of erased that whole scenario. But, from what Nick said, I was like, “OK, you’re cool, I’m going to stick with you.”

I’m sorry that that happened, but I’m glad that Nick was there for you, and that you were like, “Huh, this is a really quality person.” You mentioned in your letter that you and Nick discuss feminism a lot.

Yeah! I like to think I introduced him to not only, “Oh, yeah, equality,” but actually seeking out feminist media. It was over Facebook. I sent him to a link to an essay about stereotypes that women face, and he saw it and was like, “Ugh, what is this, some preachiness?” And I was like, “No! It’s a really good blog post!” And he was like, “A blog post?” Which is really ironic, because now he’s one of our friends who calls out our other friends, like, “Hey, that’s really not a cool thing to say.” He also runs this super-cool Tumblr. I’m on it too—we both blog every funny thing that we see, but his is really consistent.

What was the essay you introduced him to about?

I don’t remember! But nowadays, we talk about slut-shaming and safe-sex practices and education, especially in schools.

That’s awesome. Do you guys have a lot of other people you talk about this stuff with?

Not really. We have one mutual friend who’s really fun to talk to, but mostly it’ll be me getting really worked up about something in the middle of the night, and I can’t sleep, so I’ll text Nick, like, a really angry, long, all-caps text, and then he’ll respond, and then we talk about it until we fall asleep.

That’s a really cool outlet to have in a friend. What has Nick introduced you to?

Yesterday, we watched Silence of the Lambs, AND! I had my first Slurpee yesterday, which he made me get!


Yeah! It was really, really good. Actually, the whole experience was great because, (a) Slurpee, which, oh my god, so good, but (b) the lady, the cashier, behind the counter was like, “Oh, how old are you guys?” And I was like, “Oh, uh, 15,” because we’re 15. [Both laugh] She told me how much the Slurpee was and I was like, “Oh! Nick! You lied to me!” I was kind of ribbing him, because he had told me it was a lot cheaper than it was. She just started laughing and said, “It seems like you guys are such good friends!” And it was like, “[indescribable growl/pterodactyl noise of pure affection and bliss].”

Well, I think it’s pretty obvious that, even when you’re not writing an email that’s specifically about how much you love each other to Friend Crush, you guys are incredibly close. But wait! Back to the Slurpee! This is very important! How did it compare to your expectations?

It WAY exceeded my expectations. I got lemonade with Coca-Cola on top this time.

That’s a very daring combination for someone who’s never had a Slurpee before!

Well, I was going for lemonade, and he was like, “NO, COCA-COLA, YOU HAVE TO GET COCA-COLA, IT’S A CLASSIC.” It was kind of like an Arnold Palmer!