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Archive for the ‘Hurricanes’ Category

Charleston is the biggest city I’ve ever lived in, besides the summer I spent in Rome, Italy (I also spent a summer in Rome, Georgia, but that is entirely beside the point). When I go home to Augusta, I am impressed by the breadth of the sidewalks and the dampness of the dirt, and the abundance of organic material. It makes me realize that there are not a ton of trees in charleston, shade and yards are scarce, and the sidewalks are narrow. It makes me feel like Charleston is a city, a real city!

Right now, I’m drinking a glass of red wine, a Tempranillo, at the Sofitel in downtown DC, waiting for Bizzy to get off work. I’m reading a copy of High Fidelity that I swiped from Bizzy’s house (I accidentally left my nook at home, buried somewhere in my covers). I went to lunch with Cybil, and all in all, this visit has capped off a month of excellent friend contact and quality time.

My plan was to go to New York tomorrow via bus, and watch Libby run in the New York marathon. Hurricane Sandy (superstorm sandy? Dr. Sandy? Professor Sandy? Judge Sandy? Dean Sandy?) has interrupted these plans.

I called US airways to request a rebooking under the travel advisory on Wednesday, as Laguardia was indefinitely closed, and traveling to New York seemed ill advised. I wanted to fly home Sunday from DCA. They said they would be happy to change my return flight for $175. This seemed ridiculous to me.

On Heather’s advice, I took to twitter, and very nicely requested help from the US airlines twitter people. They were unable to rebook me completely, but my original Monday flight from LGA to CHS had a layover in DC, and they were able to delete the first leg of my return trip, preserving my DCA>CHS flight. So, yay twitter! And yay for an extra long weekend in DC.

DC is a stark reminder that Charleston is less of a real city, and move of the movie set of a city. Charleston downtown is so compact, and quiet, and quaint. As a side note, apparently only Europeans stay at the Sofitel. I’m picking up fashion trends from the European teenagers. Braids and big neck scarves, leather jackets and fur cuffs.

Last night, we went to the drag queen race in DuPont circle. It was amazing. This bar has the perfect pitched conversational murmur, in a dim lit red and stained wood setting. Outside, the overcast sky and the wind gusts down the streets shake the trees, and the huddled figures with scarfs and mittens, boots and long jackets, bring on an element of late fall, November, and the cusp of winter that is not yet available in my southern coastal movie set.

Libby will still be running on Sunday – I wish I could be there, and I’m so proud of her training and dedication and fundraising.

I hope you all have a spectacular weekend full of ethnic food, old friends, cozy dark bars, an international community, drag queens, roof tops, bodegas, craft beer, red blends, sweaters, leather jackets, deep conversations about life and love, tall boots, hot coffee, yoga, falling leaves, and good music (with soul! With feeling! With funk! Chasing that old time feeling). I think that is enough for one weekend.

XOXO

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Is the Palmetto Bug.  A.K.A. The Flying Roach. 

I can deal with a whole lot of things, and flying roaches are not on that list.  They make me die a little inside every time one gets close to me.  Which is unfortunate, since I come in close contact with them on a regular basis these days.  I have the Orkin man on speed dial and he told me today that it was a battle we were going to have to fight together.  They live outside, these are not the sort of roaches that inhabit the inside of your walls.  These are the kind of roaches who might fly off with your dog if you leave her in the backyard for too long. 

Although, I do have to say that these roaches have nothing on this sucker that lives in maggie’s parents pond.  I swear to the heat of the South Georgia summer that thing in the water is a giant catfish.  Who Maggie swears wants to eat her dog. 

This train of thought is going to spin off in two different directions – one – animals around here that want to eat your dog – over in Aiken they have collected 7 monster pythons – man-eating pythons as they are called – and placed them in a big pit to see how they survive.  Sweet.  This sounds like a HORRIBLE experiment.  Apparently a bunch of pet shops carried these man eating pythons in Florida back in the ’90s and a lot of the snakes escaped in the destruction of Hurricane Andrew.   (side note – Florida is like another country.  When you enter Florida on I-95 the big trucks have to go through a customs like check point.  How weird is that?)

A direct quote from the article –

While pythons don’t make a habit of attacking people and most aren’t large enough to eat a person, Gibbons called the possibility a “nightmare.”

“What about the first kitty cat they eat? Or the first little poodle? They’d love poodles, I imagine,” he said.

Mike Dorcas, a professor at Davidson College in North Carolina, has sliced open pythons in Florida to find the remains of white-tailed deer, bobcats and large birds.

Then this last part – 

Pythons are masters of disguise — slippery and quick — and all but one of the serpents was invisible within minutes of being deposited into the pit.

So counting pythons in the wild is a daunting task. Scientists don’t have an accurate estimate of how many pythons are in Florida.

“It’s certainly in the thousands, or tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands,” said Gibbons. 

The other train of thought is the safety of the fish you catch in the Central Savannah River Area.  I thought it was interesting that the parts of the river that do have advisories say – one meal per week.  Is that one fish per week?  Because, my meal is not the same as some other people’s meal.  Some people could eat four fish. 

So, we do a lot of quiet title actions around here, which is how you clear title to a piece of property that has been sold at a sheriff’s sale when the property taxes haven’t been paid.  Although quiet title actions do not normally involve any particularly complicated legal principles, the difficulty lies in finding all the people who have ever had a claim of title to the property and serving them, which often time includes adjacent land owners or the heirs of an estate.  Which means I spend a lot of time trying to find people and figuring out how to serve them in Jamaica, New York, or Erie, Indiana, or, as the case was today – Denver, Colorado. 

The process server I found in Denver is a fleet of bike couriers.  How cool is that?  This time my petition to quiet title is going to be delivered by bike!  This really made my day.  And the guy I talked to on the phone was so nice and friendly and it made me really wish I was in Colorado.  I got really Colorado Home Sick.  Or maybe I’m just, IT IS REALLY HOT HERE SICK. 

Last night at tennis clinic I got to play singles with Jane.  AGGHH.  I LOVE singles.  I love singles so much more than doubles.  In doubles I feel like I’m in the way, or the wrong place, or I should have made that shot because I’m letting my partner down.  In singles, I know where I’m suppose to be the whole time.  Maybe I’m not always there, but the knowing is much more instinctive.  It’s been so much fun getting back into a sport.  I haven’t played a game in a really long time and I didn’t even know how much I missed it. 

Briscoe has been sleeping in the new big bed with me recently and every morning I wake up I feel the need to grab her toe and sing to her about catching a tiger by the toe.  She fails to see the humor and normally either tries to bite me or kick me.

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Digging through drawers

When I was young, I used to love to go through my grandparents drawers and closets looking for treasure.  The adults in my life would tell me to stop plundering. 

I love the word plunder.  Especially as applied to digging through junk drawers.  Oh, you don't have junk drawers?  I don't believe you, mostly because if you are telling the truth we probably won't be able to be friends.  People who don't have a single junk drawer in their house kind of frighten me.  I have quite a few junk drawers and I love them. 

Last night I was digging through my mom's desk drawer trying to find the password for my parents wireless, and I came across a greeting card I'd given my parents for Easter when I was in high school.  It was an Edward Monkton card.  I used to LOVE these cards.  And I'd totally forgotten about them.  I was so happy to be reintroduced to this quirky hilarious artist.  I felt like I'd found a treasure. 

I'm still watching the hurricanes compulsively, mostly because if my coastal friends have to evacuate for Hanna they can come to Augusta and we can have a big party.  And I'm tired of reading about people complaining about not being able to get back into New Orleans.  It sucks to have to evacuate.  It sucks to not know how your stuff it doing and whether your house is still standing.  And I'm sure there were lots of problems involved with the evacuation.  But last time I checked, New Orleans is in the United States, which is on the planet earth, a place full of uncontrollable destructive weather which is populated by humans who are not perfect.  Let's try to appreciate the work that was done to prevent another Katrina. 

Also, I love the google quote of the day – "An idealist is person who helps other people to prosper." – Henry Ford. 

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Rain Rain go away

I'm tired of hurricane Fay.  I like it when it rains, and I enjoy weather in general.  But it's been cloudy since thursday and raining since yesterday morning.  It is suppose to continue raining until wednesday.  Blah.  I drove through some terrible rain today.  I can't remember the last time I was in such torrential downpour weather.  I-20 was a river.  It was no fun.  I'm glad to be home. 

It was a wonderful weekend, Katie was a beautiful bride and I got to see a lot of old friends.  Jessica and Jamie have an amazing house and Birmingham is a cool town.  I felt like I was in the mountains all weekend.  I wish it wasn't such a long drive to get to so many great friends.  But I guess you can't be close to everyone. 

Tomorrow is my second Monday at my new job.  I'm excited.  I have a lot of things to work on and I'm looking forward to getting settled.  I'm going to try to go to sleep early tonight and wake up early in the morning.  I went shopping on Friday and got some new work clothes.  I hate shopping for work clothes, but I love waking up every morning and having clothes to wear that I like.  There is nothing exciting about anything I bought, but I'll be glad about it in the morning. 

Hurricanes cause me to become obsessed with the weather channel.  Even more so than usual. 

Whose excited about football season!  I AM!  YAYAYAYAYAYAY!  Can't wait.  I need to get some sleep this week and get ready. 

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(I got this as an email from my rad COOL AND AWESOME friend Rivers 
Davis Powell, who supports my blog.  Dave got it from someone in
the goverment or something, Department of State.  I found it
interesting that none of the European actually gave cash.  But I
love Greece's contribution.  I thought the Netherland's
contribution was a little haughty.  But Sri Lanka
brought tears to my eyes, and I was impressed with Qutar).

U.S. Department of State Summary of Foreign
  Assistance Received or Expected to Date



Afghanistan                $100,000 cash

Albania                    Pledge of $300,000

Armenia                    Pledge of $200,000

Australia                  $7.6 million cash

Austria                    Tarps, camp beds

Azerbaijan                 $500,000 cash

Bahamas                    Pledge of $50,000

Bahrain                    Pledge of $5 million

Bangladesh                 Pledge of $1 million

Belgium                    Operations teams, generators, water
                           pumps, logistical teams of 9 working
                           with Red Cross since September 7.

Bosnia/Herzegovina         Pledge $6,414

Canada                     Pledge of $5 million to the Bush-Clinton
                           hurricane relief fund 2 Griffin helos,
                           search and rescue teams, Air Canada
                           evacuation flights, supplies, security
                           teams, Three Canadian force ships(1
                           Destroyer, 2 Frigates, and 1 CG ship)
                           with 3 Sea King Helicopters and other
                           donations in kind

China                      $5.1 million cash, relief supplise,
                           relief teams, 1000 tent, 600 generators,
                           bedsheets, children's clothes.

Cyprus                     $50,000 cash

Djibouti                   Pledge of $50,000

European Commission        Has activated its Civil Protection
                           Cooperative Mechanism

France                     600 tents and relief supplies. 

Gabon                      Pledge $500,000

Georgia                    $50,000 cash

Germany                    High-speed pumps and other supplies

Greece                     2 cruise ships

Hungary                    $5,000 cash

Iceland                    Pledge of $500,000 to the Bush-Clinton
                           hurricane relief fund

ICRC                       Web-Based tracking system for displaced
                           persons

India                      $5 million cash, 3000 personal hygiene
                           kits, 3000 blankets, 3000 sheets, 150
                           tarps

Iraq                       Pledge of $1 million cash to the Red
                           Cross, via the Red Crescent

Ireland                    EU $1 million cash

Italy                      Generators, water pumps/purifiers,
                           tents, supplies

Japan                      $200,000 cash & $844,000 in relief
                           supplies, private pledges over
                           $1 million

Kenya                      $100,000 cash donation

Kuwait                     $400 million in oil products &
                           $100 million cash

Maldives                   $25,000 to the Red Cross

Mexico                     45 truckloads of supplies,
                           transport vehicles, 2 field
                           kitchens, 2 helos

Mongolia    Pledge of $25,000

Nepal                      Pledge of $25,000

Netherlands                Levee inspection team to
                           assist Army Corp of Engineers,
                           water pumps

New Zealand                $1.4 million cash to Red Cross

Nigeria                    Pledge of $1 million cash

Norway                     $1.54 million in relief
                           supplies/cash

Organization of            Created a fund for donations
American States            from Member States to the ICRC
                           and donated $25,000 cash from
                           its emergency fund

Palau                      Pledge of $50,000, additional $50,000
                           donor drive

Qatar                      Pledge of $100 million cash

Republic of Korea          $30 million in cash and various
                           in-kind relief supplies

Russia                     Air transport, generators, tents,
                           blankets, water, water pumps,
                           relief supplies

Sao Tome and Principe      Pledge of $18,000

Saudi Arabia               $5 million from Aramco, $250,000
                           from Agfund

Singapore                  3 Helicopters

Spain                      65,000 barrels of oil for 60 days,
                           relief supplies

Sri Lanka                  $25,000 cash to the Red Cross

Sweden                     telecommunications equipment

Taiwan                     $2 million cash, relief supplies

Thailand                   Blankets, relief supplies

UAE                        Pledge of $100 million cash

Uganda                     Pledge of $200,000 dollars

UK                         Water and water purification assets,
                           field kitchens, 500 person tent city,
                           blankets, camp beds

Venezuela                  Up to $1 million to Red Cross and
                           state government

Vietnam                    $100,000 donations to victims

Yemen                      $100,000 donation to Red Cross

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Katrina

My mom is in town helping me fix my apartment up.  She came in town last night, which was great timing – she was going to come today or tomorrow – but as it turns out rain is going to be a problem in the next 48 hours.  Any of you who know my mother don’t have to ask what we did last night – Accu-Kate and I drank wine and watched the weather channel.  Accu-Kate has been at Loch Laurel all weekend where there is no tv and had not had seen enough hurricane coverage – so we had to make up for lost time.  She woke me up at 8 this morning because the only tv that is set up at my apartment right now is in my room. 

We are both quite upset about this hurricane – here are some points of interest I’ve found:

Free Parking in Houston if you have a LA license plate
This really touched me.  I’ve never been to Houston, but everyone has such terrible things to say about it as a city, but right now it is my favorite city. 

There is no air conditioning in the Super Dome and two holes in the roof. 
Really?  No air conditioning?  Obviously this was a foreseeable problem, but not one that I thought about.  Marshall Seese just told me that there are between 9 to 10 thousand people in the Dome right now.  There IS electricity – from generators, but the generators can’t support the air conditioning. 

Speaking of generators, Governor Jeb just got on television to tell the morons in his state not to use generators inside.  He said this would be like driving your car into your house and turning it one.  Apparently a couple of people have already died from carbon monoxide poisoning. 

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close calls

I almost died today. I mean, it wasn’t that big of a deal, lets put it this way, I could have died this morning. When I woke up this morning, I was confused about what was making the noise on my roof. Then I realized it was the torrential downpour of rain from Hurricane Jeanne. Once I came to this conclusion, I vacillated between whether it was worth it to wash and dry my hair, considering that the weather would just cause it to freak out on me later in the day. I decided to go with the decision to be clean. When dressed, I determined that I needed something to eat, and, even though I could not find my umbrella, I went to Kroger for some Chick Fil A instead of opting for something that didn’t involve getting out of the car. When I tried to get out of my car in the Kroger parking lot, the wind caught my door and tried to blow it off the hinges. I kinda take this personally, because I am rather attached to my car.

It made me contemplate how even if I could have a new car tomorrow, I would prefer my old car (except that if someone was going to give me new car, I would take it because who knows if any one will ever offer me a new car ever again). I’ve never had a brand new car, and this might be cool, but the bottom line is I’m attached to this one, and they don’t make the style that I have now anymore. Certain cars are better old. Not that I think my car model is one of them (because it isn’t), but you know how you loved your uncle’s old wagoneer? And how your friends in high school all had Bronco’s? Other cars that are still made, but were better in the old version are, Troopers, 4-runners, and those old mercedes convertibles that came in cool colors like metallic blue.

Back to how I almost died. Okay, after going to Kroger I stopped off at home to try to find the hood to my ski jacket I was wearing because I can’t find my rain jacket, and I found an umbrella. So the ski jacket was abandoned for a fleece with a hood. I’m feeling much better about the rain, equipped with my folding umbrella; and once safely parked in the deck, I set out for school, umbrella up, hoping to not blow away.

As it happens, what you worry about is not what happens. I was distressed that my little umbrella might blow inside out in the gale force winds. As I trapse across the quad, careful to stay on the sidewalk (because the tree gods get mad when you don’t stay on the path during storms, I’ve seen people barely miss limbs thrown at them), I am thinking about what I need to get out of my locker when I am startled out of my thought by a noise like, "whoooosh-thump", as about 30 feet in front of me a huge limb falls from the sky and lands directly across my trajectory. I mean, if I hadn’t taken the time to open my umbrella, or if I hadn’t stopped to listen to the end of that song on the radio, the limb would have gotten me. Although the chances of another limb falling on the same path are not good, I decided not to risk it. I doubled back, and went all the way around the quad, trying to avoid trees at all cost. I think Megan is right, the trees are out to get us.

My mom is always worried about the hackberry trees in our backyard. But she isn’t worried that they are going to drop a limb on us. She is worried they are going to topple over on top of us (or, more importantly, one of the dogs). I think she should worry about the oaks throwing things. I learned yesterday on television that the oak is America’s national tree. I just hope that no one gets hurt on north campus.

Last night was fun. I went to the girls high school and middle school bible study I am helping with, and I really enjoyed it. It is nice to see what Athens is like from a family standpoint, and it is refreshing to be around. After that I went to Theta, to catch the end of that bible study, and I liked this even more. I love Theta, and I know that on some levels I should just move on, but I think I have moved on, and now I can serve Theta in a different capacity. The girls there last night are girls that I care a lot about, girls that I rushed, and girls that I lived in the house with. I know it will be different when those girls are gone, but for now, I am glad they are still there. That house means a lot to me. I also really appreciate Julie Powell, who leads the bible study. She doesn’t have to do that, and she does it strictly out of the goodness of her heart and her love of God. She doesn’t have any ties to Theta, but she is very much needed. She was sick last night and came anyways. I hope she feels better. It was good to be there last night, sometimes I think i have had some of the most important conversations of my life in the parking lot of that house. This entry was not suppose to be this long, I have to go read for workers comp.

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