Tuesday, September 30, 2008

spamming

I wasn't going to post this on here. Trying to keep it a surprise. But then I thought, what if they don't win? Could they still read the nice things people are saying? Could they see how many folks took the time to vote for them?

So if you haven't already gotten an e-mail from me (or from someone who knows me), consider yourself spammed.

Go here. Vote. Doesn't matter if your a Republican or a Democrat. Thank you.

Monday, September 29, 2008

brain dump: post-ike edition

Over the last two weeks I've had tons of thoughts that should have been written here. I just haven't had the right combination of time and internet access and energy to get it down. So this should be some brain dumping. Using bullets means I don't need any kind of flow, right?

  • When evacuating from a hurricane where there's a real possibility someone you are close to will have damage occur to their home, load up on bug spray, trash bags, rubber gloves, masks, bleach.
  • Remember you may not have power. For a long time. Even if it's hot outside, the people you stay with may keep the house a little cooler than you'd like. Pack some seemingly inappropriate cool weather gear. And bring your pillow.
  • If your family photos are in a flood (and you, like millions of others, haven't backed them up in some electronic form), get them into a freezer. I know, I know...who has power? Someone out-of-town. Apparently this stops the mold process and you can figure out the rest up to a year later. Believe me, even with help, it seems like there's so much to do that you'll need that year.
  • It is very hard to see my town go through something like this. It's hard to see all the debris piles in front of every house on every street in many neighborhoods. It is hard to see the places we shop and eat and live with indefinitely closed doors.
  • Even though the sadness is all around, it took till yesterday for me to be able to cry about it. Sometimes you don't even have it in you to do that. But I feel better now.
  • People are exceedingly nice.
  • Bad stuff can really bring people together. I'm not sure what's nicer--the actual acts of kindness or the willingness to be kind.
  • Remember that long after even the local media has stopped its coverage, people will be far from recovered.
  • Living without power when you work from home is hard. It is not as hard as losing your house.
  • It would be nice if everyone could keep perspective.
  • Lately, I have had little tolerance for people complaining when so many people have it worse. And people always have it worse. Everyday. Perhaps there should be no complaining.
  • I also know that everyone has their own stuff to deal with and sometimes even smallish problems can seem huge.
  • I like the line in that John Mayer song: "Take all your so-called problems Better put 'em in quotations."
  • John Mayer's personal life has made me embarrassed to have been such a fan. However, I can't help but like his music.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

announcement

I'd just like to say that for the first time since the evening of September 12th, I have power. That is all.

If you need me, I'll be in my house with all lights and fans on, radio and tv blaring, staring at my open (yet empty) refrigerator.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

spent

I feel like I should be posting something. Anything. Like maybe how things are going. Or that I probably won't have electricity until late this week at the earliest. Or how disasters are worse when they happen in your town. Or the things we've thought of doing differently next time around. Or how I have a ton of emotion just below the surface. But I'm just spent. And I'm in California for work so I really should be doing that.

But I did, thankfully, finally have some good sleep last night. Did include a dream about my old apartment with all the destruction that really occurred to it. My actual apartment was missing an entire wall. Did I mention you can't get renter's insurance there?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

news

The computer tells me it's Thursday. I can't really argue with that. Things have been a blur since the storm came in. We finally got into Matthew's house and it had over four feet of water in it. You know what's worse? I know, you're thinking, "What could be worse?" The sewage treatment plant in their town sustained damage and it was poo water. When we got there, all the water had drained. (You know, except from storage boxes that contained childhood photographs and bowls in the kitchen and books in the library and clothes hanging on even the high racks and carpet and and and...)

I think you can check out my SIL's blog (NDH over there on the side) for a few pics.

Since then, we've drug every last item out of the house, town out all the carpet and most of the tile, found a contractor (thank you, neighbors), and had the contractors rip out some drywall and kitchen cabinets. There's been a lot of progress physically and even a little emotionally. And friends and family have been really super and helpful.

That's about all I have time for today. If you feel compelled to help in any way, let me know.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

mixed news

All our people are fine. My house is good. The Brother's in-law's even have power restored (thus the internet access). The Brother has yet to be able to get a visual on his place, however. It's very frustrating. Somehow even if things are bad, you'd just like to know how bad. So send the good thoughts to his place. I'll update when possible. Lots of power outages around here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

tap tap twiddle twiddle

Just sitting here at The Boyfriend's waiting for this all to be over. Probably won't be for another 16 hours or so. It's just starting to get windy up here. Nothing terrible. I wish the same could be said for the island and the area by the bay.

Don't get me wrong. I want us, our persons, to make it through safely. But it's making me insane to just sit and wait to see how bad things are at home. And with the situation with the storm surge, we may not be able to make it down there until late tomorrow or maybe even Sunday. That will make me insane.

Please let my house be ok. Please let all those irreplaceables be fine.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

this is sucky

So not going out of town for work. Going to be making frantic last-minute decisions instead...

(depressing map courtesy of http://www.nhc.noaa.gov)

Update (~8am, 9/11): The Brother, SIL and I will be under mandatory evacuation as of noon today. We're cleaning up the yard, packing up our stuff and getting the heck out of here. Not sure where yet. I'll head to The Boyfriend's and go from there. Good thoughts our way would be super.

Update 2 (5:45pm, 9/11): Both of our houses are boarded up. We've taken only the most important items--insurance papers, jewelry, journals, photos, some clothes. Did the best we could to prepare. How do you really prepare for the possibility of 100 mph winds and a 15, maybe 18 ft storm surge? And the most recent track is putting it in even closer to us. Blech. I'm at The Boyfriend's, waiting for him to get home for work. Then we'll figure out the rest. The Brother and SIL are on their way to the Dallas area. I repeat, this is sucky.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

motivation

Last week after we got back from the long weekend I was very unmotivated. It took everything I had to get real work done those first few days. I don't know what changed after that, but I suddenly was in the zone. On Wednesday I went to my lady doctor for my annual poke and prod. I finally found someone I like, two years after being abandoned by my last OBGYN. This one seems good and actually listened to me when I complained about my crazy bad monthly headaches. We're switching things up and we'll see if that works. Praise tiny baby Jesus.

I've also made long-overdue appointments for the eye doctor and to get my hair cut. The Boyfriend (mostly) and I got yardwork done. I finished one art project and threw in another little one just for fun. We finally took in the mounds of recycling. I cleaned up the junk sunroom. We had folks over for dinner. There are actually some groceries in the kitchen. I've been to the gym multiple times this month. My house is clean. My office is even cleaner. I'm somewhat organized with work.

Don't get me wrong, the To Do list is still quite lengthy but at least a few things are getting marked off. I can't wait for cooler weather. Then the real yardwork/revamping can get done. And after that? Maybe a party.

Monday, September 08, 2008

timing

While we were on vacation we had to keep an eye on the impending hurricane that was going to make landfall about the time we were getting back home. Turned out that it headed elsewhere. Thank goodness.

Now it's the beginning of a new week and there's yet another storm allegedly headed right for us. That would be making landfall at about the time I'm getting back home from a work thing.

We all know what we're getting into when we live on the Gulf Coast. Hurricanes are part of it. Every place has their potential for natural disaster. This doesn't keep us from getting frustrated over the media coverage. Or wishing the storm would head someplace else. Sometimes I feel bad about effectively wishing ill on our neighboring towns and states but then I bet they do the same to us. So it goes...

Let's just hope this one turns like the others. Sure would be more convenient for me. :o)

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

west texas

The Boyfriend and I planned a long weekend in west Texas over Labor Day. Why west Texas you ask? I'm not quite sure but I think we could stand to go back.


We flew to Midland on Thursday because it was slightly cheaper than flying to El Paso and we could spend a little less time on the plane. Because of all sorts of festivals allegedly taking place over the weekend, we ended up booking a hotel in downtown Midland for Thursday night. Downtown Midland? Not that exciting. Things do not appear to be bustling there. But we had some good barbecue, drove by Dubya's childhood home (modest, cute), wandered through the local college's art gallery, played some miniature golf, and crossed "see a drive-in movie" off my Life List. That was really fun and something I would totally do again.

On Friday we milled around town a little bit. The tourist spots in Midland are a bit of a stretch. We ended up visiting this one office building that had the strangest atrium. These guys were being pulled by a stuffed zebra.
Then we meandered through a little nature (lots of mesquite, sandy soil, grasses, oil derricks). Finally headed to Ft. Davis. Along the way we stopped at the meteor crater in Odessa. While I would have never been able to pick it out as a crater on a map, it was interesting to think that a big hunk of space smashed into our planet. Right there.


The weather was dreary and rainy during the drive. West Texas is a pretty dry place so we were just lucky I guess. The clouds were getting so low and the ground so high that it seemed like they touched. The scenery really was amazing though.
Ft. Davis is a sleepy little town. The Boyfriend secured very fun lodging--the 1903 home of the local doctor at the time. It's now owned by one of the hotels, and we had the entire second floor. It was very fun. Yea for The Boyfriend knowing how much I enjoy places like that. This was our view from the sitting area. Can I go back there right now?

We did a little napping and then made it to Marfa, our real destination. It was the Marfa Lights Festival weekend. The lights are a mystery and they remain so as we didn't see them Friday or Saturday nights. A lot of other folks went home to tell their friends and family that they saw them but they were really looking at headlights in the distance. Oh well. Maybe one day. We went to the little festival, had some good carnival-type food, and toured some of the little shops.

The weather was even worse on Saturday. We drove up to the McDonald Observatory and toured their indoor exhibit. It was too cloudy up there to see much outside so we headed back into town and toured Ft. Davis' little local museum.


That night we went back to Marfa hoping we'd have better luck with the lights. We didn't--even after hitting the local winery beforehand.

We finally had beautiful weather on Sunday. Don't get me wrong, the temperatures were pleasantly cool during the preceding days. Such a nice change from home. But now there was sun! And you could actually see the tops of the mountains!
We went to Balmorhea State Park where they have a natural spring-fed pool to swim in and glorious views to take in. Then we grabbed some good Mexican food in Ft. Stockton on our way to Monahans Sandhills State Park. YEA for that! You can rent these big frisbees and sled down the sand dunes. You should do that if given the opportunity. Even though it was warm and sunny (with blessedly low humidity!), we could still walk barefoot on the sand since it had been cooled by all the rain earlier in the week. I could have sled down those dunes all day. Well, I could have if they had a lift...it was exhausting climbing up that sand.


We ended up back in Midland for some napping and dinner. On Monday we made it to the Permian Basin Petroleum Museum. I had actually been before but The Boyfriend hadn't. It was more interesting this time around. Then we rushed to the airport only to find that our flight was delayed about an hour. Overall it was a pretty good trip. Definitely did some things I'd never done before. And incorporated plenty of napping. Now I'm having a terrible time trying to get back to work. Sigh...but work I must.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

under construction

Yeah, so things may look a little weird around here. I getting a little bored with the old look... Bear with me.

Vacation update soon but you can see which item got marked off on the Life List.