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August 2004
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October 2004

Rick Spence Is BACK!!

One of my favorite shows on HGTV USED to be 'Curb Appeal' with Rick Spence. While it was always interesting to see how each client's front yard was transformed, most of the time my attention was on Rick.

Genuinely nice, funny, witty, incredibly hot in a wholesome kind of way...he made me laugh with each episode.

Then, Rick left. Boo. Hiss. Wah.

I did some research once his place was taken by a geeky, if nice, not-Rick-replacement. Googled Rick and what do you know??? Rick lived in San Jose when I lived in San Jose. I wonder if our paths ever crossed. Maybe....maybe not...I was married when I lived in San Jose and was never one to really check out other guys....ya know...being MARRIED and all.

So here I sit...sick and ouchy and stuffy and feverish and my voice is almost gone... and I'm watching that total cutie-pie Rick Spence and he's just making my night and melting my heart!

Welcome Back, Rick. I missed you!


Hurricane List

I've been a listmaker since day one. My mom always loves telling the story of a list I wrote while in college. #1 was Wake Up. #2 was Kill Kelly. Kelly is my sister...obviously I never killed her but there were times when I considered it to be a priority. Anyway, I digress.

Here's what I came up with last night while sitting in front of the only window in the house that had any type of breeze blowing thru it.

Hurricane Prep List

* 10 Bags of Ice (minimum)

* Another Cooler (5 Days Cold Keeper)

* Battery Powered TV

* Battery Powered Fans (3)

* Camping Stove -or- BBQ / Hibachi

* More Tea Lights

* 3 Bags of M&M’s (minimum)

* Battery-Powered Laterns (3)

* Battery Charger (for before the hurricane hits)

* Spare Cell Battery

* Info Board (with insurer's name, my name, policy # and my contact info)

* Vodka, Gin, Gentleman's Jack, The Capt and those cute little Corona's that are really girly-looking.

* Solar Shower Kit (had one in my CA earthquake readiness kit)

* Chocolate Black-Out Cake

* Lots of Milk - 2% and Chocolate (gotta have ice cold milk with cake)


My buddy Howard thinks I should break down and get a propane grill. Makes sense I suppose, but I don't want anything too big that I have to leave out all the time...and everytime I hear the word 'propane' I think of Hank Hill on 'King of the Hill'. Enough said.

Am I forgetting anything else??


Back in Business!

Came home after work...power still out.

Bummer.

So I headed over to Panera to eat and chill and blog. Eating part was great...turns out my neighbor is the manager and I got a free dinner...woohoo! The Panera Wi-Fi didn't work so I decided not to stress...something I've learned well from the last 3 hurricanes...and headed home resigned to a sticky, humid night sitting on the patio gazing at the moon above and the lake behind my house.

As I came around the corner into my development, I noticed light after light on...inside the houses! POWER! The closer I got to my house the more I told myself not to get my hopes up. But when I saw the lights on in MY house, well, I lost it!

Talk about gratitude!!

Electricity = A/C+working fridge+working garbage disposal+HOT WATER = someone who is beyond thrilled and incredibly thankful.

Ever since we lost power early Sunday am (1:34 to be exact) I kept telling myself how easy we have it compared to the people in Haiti...or Stuart...or Hutchinson Island...and Alabama from Hurricane Ivan. Not to sound Pollyannish, but we've got it oh-so-easy.

Come 30 November, I propose FL have a party to end all parties in celebrating the end of hurricane season. Do I hear a second???


Hurricane Jeanne - Update #2

Luckily we still have power...according to the Palm Beach Post 12,000 are already without power.

According to the Post "Jeanne was aiming for almost the same part of Florida that Frances slammed Labor Day weekend. What Jeanne did not do early Saturday is turn, at least not as significantly as forecasters had hoped, which meant a Palm Beach-to Fort Pierce landfall, further south than the Stuart-to-Cape Canaveral scenario forecasters had suggested Friday night. Hurricane force winds, which extended some 70 miles, were now likely to reach south of Boca Raton".

Yeah...THAT Boca Raton :-)

Oh well, at this point what else can we do but pray and sleep and once sundown rolls around, eat and drink!

Nami and Quinn have a festive post-Yom Kippur dinner planned, then after that who knows?

Truth or Dare, anyone??


Yom Kippur and Hurricane Jeanne

Yom Kippur started at sundown Friday and goes until sundown tonite. Yom Kippur is the Jewish Day of Atonement and during this time many Jews (including myself) fast (no food and drink) and refrain from watching TV, internet, radio, etc. It is time spent in meditation and prayer.

Seeing that Jewish law says you put Jewish requirements aside if there is any danger, I just checked the internet to see what was up with Jeanne.

GREAT...she's now a level 3 Hurricane. Frances was a 2. Here we go again.

I think (hope?) God will forgive me when I break Yom Kippur by standing in line at Publix for hurricane supplies.

As with last time, it'll be a full house during this hurricane.

Quinn's girlfriend Nami arrived from New York on Thursday. Not sure if Jacob will go stay in a shelter again with his girlfriend Giselle and her family. After Frances, Jacob said he'd never again stay in a shelter...it was a really gross experience.

Please cross your fingers for us and I'll keep ya posted when/if I can.


Do Trees Feel Pain?

I had that thought as I drove thru my development this evening.

So many trees were lost during Frances...big, beautiful green banyans that provided shade to humans and homes to wildlife...and were just gorgeous as can be to admire and appreciate.

The winds caused by Frances were absolutely terrifying and most of the damage occured from 11p to 2 am, during the darkest part of the night. I can't imagine watching all those stately trees ripped from the earth. It would have been horrific.

If the trees could have screamed, would we have heard them over the wind??


Hurricane Ivan

It's physically upsetting to watch Ivan advance towards LA,MS,AL and FL.

Not less than two weeks ago I was going thru the same thing...and I'm reliving it tonite. It sucked then and it sucks now.

Called my buddies in LA...spoke with Steve and Jillian earlier today...they were stocking up for their hurricane party (poor Jillian...two hurricanes within two weeks!) and tried Chris twice this morning...circuits busy both times...was finally able to leave a msg for him tonite.

Stay safe guys and enjoy your parties...I'll expect full reports (with pix!) by the time I'm back in FL.

And one more thing...would somebody please tell Anderson Cooper and the rest of the CNN reporters to get the HELL inside and stay there!


Cold Turkey Internet

Packed my iBook for my vacation with the knowledge that while my parents computer wasn't working, their internet access was fine...or so I was told.

Sigh....

They were wrong. And I have been going thru withdrawal BIG TIME! Tried to figure out why their computer wasn't working...calling NetZero Tech Support was worthless...they want you to PAY before even talking with tech support...which totally sucks.

So as I visit family and friends here and there, I manage to work into the conversation that I am going thru internet withdrawal and could I PLEASE borrow their computer so I can get my daily fix? I don't care if they think I am a hopeless internet junkie...I AM...I admit it.

Thank the internet gods I am now staying with Diane and Mike...and my wonderful, awesome, fantastic brother-in-law Mike is an IT guru who OF COURSE has wireless thruout the house (YAY!!) and so from now until Thursday night (when I make my next move) I will have internet access...yes!

And my sad, pathetic addiction will be sated...for now.

Thanks Mike... I owe you big time!


Leaving On a Jet Plane...

I'm going home. To CA. The first home I ever had.

Leaving behind hurricanes, work, Florida, politics, work, humidity and a whole 6 days of work.

Can't leave soon enough.

Halfway finished with laundry, will take me less than 1/2 hour to pack. Being a minimilist comes in handy at times.

Juicing up the iPod and my laptop.

As soon as I get comfy in my window seat, the headsets go on over the baseball cap, the hoodie goes on top of that, and I'll be happily listening to music and reading my Billl Clinton book (and sipping on Coke and Gentlemen's Jack D) as I head towards CA. I'll be soundproofed, smug and beyond thrilled to be on my way.

California here I come. And not a moment too soon!


Cold Bitch Pays Nothing!

That statement was written on my salon bill this evening.

A year ago my colorist Mike made me a bet that I couldn't go a whole year without adopting at least one of the Foster Puppies I have fostered over the last year. If I won the bet, I would get a free visit at the salon. If Mike won the bet, well, he would have won the bet and I would have had a new pet.

To quote Mike "Cold hearted bitch that you are, with ice water coarsing thru your veins" is how he greeted me tonite...since tonite was the payoff for the bet!

I WON!! Woohoo!!

Yeah, it was totally hard not to keep all of my little adorable fuzzbusters....but from the get go I knew I wasn't ready for the long-term committment having a puppy would mean. So I turned each and every one of my critters back into the Humane Society to be adopted out to a permanent loving home. It was hard, but I did it.

Thanks Mike, for making a bet that you always secretly knew I would win!

You rock!


The Final Post of Hurricane Frances

(Wrote this post in bits and pieces from Sunday until right now, early Weds am...the names mentioned in this post are fictitious...or at least that's what I promised I'd say)

8:37 pm EDT

That’s when the power (electricity and landline phone) was restored. Cable access and cell access still down.

We have ELECTRICITY!! YES! Thanks FPL...you totally rock!

Don’t really know where to start or what to say.

This Hurricane Frances was not fun at all...not one bit.

We did manage to have fun, tho.

Quinn and Kevin and Jillian are the very best people you can ever hope to be cooped up with in a natural disaster. Very innovative, creative, and ever so slightly wacked. It also helped that we had plenty of ice, Coke, M&M’s and alcohol. Thank Goodness For ALCOHOL!

So far, we’ve killed off the Maker’s Mark, Johnny Walker Red (the really tall bottle), Jack Daniels, Capt Morgan, Skye Vodka, half way thru Ketel One, all the beer, most of the root beer, and we had just started on the Powerade and Ketel One.

We’ve played TONS of card games....Poker, Go Fish, President, Bullshit (which we renamed ‘W’). I also learned I cannot lie worth a damn, so playing Bullshit/W was not very fun for me.

The not lying part did come in handy when we played Truth or Dare. Learned some very interesting things about my roomies. Let’s just leave things at that. What happens at Kathy’s stays at Kathy’s...words to live by!

Like I mentioned earlier, the hurricane part in and of itself was not fun at all. It took forever to get here and with the power out , there was a lot of ‘is it here yet’? combined with edgyness and frustration. And once it got here...whoa.....it was a monster. Frances howled all night. It scared the crap out of me...Jillian too. I crashed on the couch, too scared to sleep in my room. Jillian did the same on the floor next to the couch.

Never have I ever (hmmm, that was another one of the games we played) seen or heard winds like this. It was unreal...more like surreal. And it didn’t let up....it just didn’t stop. I kept praying it would, but no, it took its sweet time to leave. As someone who fled CA after the Loma Prieta Earthquake to come to FL, the irony of being terrified in a hurricane had me making comparison’s thru-out the night. And the conclusion I reached? I am a wimp...and don’t like natural disasters. And as Kevin says, Vermont is looking better and better with each passing day.

Once the night passed and daylight finally arrived, we were out the door as soon as we woke. The temperature inside the house was in the mid-90’s all night and we were about to pass out.

Walking outside, I knew how Dorothy must have felt after the tornado. The 40+ foot tree that graced the greenbelt outside my house was uprooted...and the two taller trees off to the right side of the driveway were uprooted as well.

We took a walk half-way around my complex before being forced back inside by the rain...almost all the larger trees were destroyed. Incredibly surreal. It made us realize how lucky we’d been.

Passed the day doing what we’d been doing all along...drinking, playing cards, Kevin and Quinn playing the guitar, drinking some more, telling stories, discussing politics and sustainable, renewal energy resources and how all homes should have BBQ’s, especially when they encounter a hurricane. Yeah Quinn...I got the message. BBQ is now on my list of must-have’s for the next hurricane.

It was still pouring outside, but at least we were able to sit on the back patio, which was maybe 3 degrees cooler than the 96 degrees it was inside....you think I’m kidding?? Ask Jillian...I’m not!

Around 6 the need for warm food led Kevin to put 4 cans of soup on his engine block for several hours...and at 8:10 we had a very hot gourmet meal of soup in a plastic cup, with chocolate blackout cake and ice cold milk for dessert.

And right in the middle of Kevin’s impression of Bill Cosby feeding his kids chocolate cake for breakfast, the power came back on.

We screamed. Then cheered. Then screamed some more....USA USA USA...don’t ask me why...it was spontaneous. Kevin attempted to throw Quinn the in lake behind my house. Jillian and I blew out all the candles. And we heated food up in the microwave just because we could.

We were happy and it was over.

Baruch Ata Adonai...thank God!

Now, several days after the fact, I am still amazed by just how lucky we were. Many Floridians are still without power. Incredible damage to homes, boats, trees. Estimates for damages are between 8-13 billion.

This was huge.

Thanks Quinn, Kevin and Jillian for helping me get thru this. I hope when you look back on the summer of 2004, you will recall your initiation into the Hurricane Club with more happy memories than anything else.

Too bad we never took any pictures, huh???



Is it Saturday yet?

This has really been a day from hell.

Stupid-ass South Florida drivers who cannot grasp the concept of a simple 4-way stop....almost got killed twice on the way to work and three times at lunch. Hey assholes....no light = 4 way stop...one..at..a..time...it's really simple when you think about it.

Insane amount of clients called in today...some were asking how we were (thanks Jen and Tom for calling over the weekend!!) and some just irate that we had to close down Friday (sorry...hurricane was coming...something we have no control over) and then we had the AUDACITY to be closed on Monday...a holiday...go figure.

So rather than work overtime returning the 150+ calls I have to now return, I am just walking away from it all. It can wait cause I am outta here. And I have to stop at Publix on the way home. And we still have a curfew. And I am in a beyond horrible mood.

Not really complaining...we all have alot to be thankful for...I just want it to be Saturday in the worst way so I can get on a plane and fly home and see my family and friends and JUST FORGET about work and hurricanes and all things political for a solid 10 days.

Saturday can't come soon enough.

Thanks Jen, John and Steve (go LSU) for making my day :-)


Quick Update

It's over.

No structural damage, however lots of trees uprooted. No landline, sporadic cell, no cable internet.

Posting from work....it's weird being back. Some of my friends are still without power and quite a few weren't able to make it into work today. Palm Beach Co is still under curfew from 8pm-6am.

Bottomline...we're alive and incredibly lucky.

Will write more when I can post from home...not sure when that will be.

Thanks for all your calls and well-wishes.


Hurricane Update #5

This is scary.

Windier, noisier, lots more rain since the last post. It's basically gonna be this way for the next 12 hours at least. Landline still working....power still off.

We're all fine...have my radio going (battery-powered) so we have an idea of what's going on.

Best to check www.sun-sentinel.com for more up-to-date info...don't want to post anything here that isn't 100% accurate. Hearing reports of lots of damage nearby.

Will keep ya posted closer to 6-7 pm EDT tonite if I can.

:-)


Hurricane Update #3

Things are starting to look better.

Winds are slower...100 as opposed to 145..Frances is targeted to hit farther north of us...better for us, sad news for those now in her path.

We've had no measureable rain or wind since update #2.

Have spent the day cleaning, doing laundry, blogging, internetting, hanging out with Quinn, Kevin and Jillian with a J...not a G.

Am really tired...maybe getting to bed after 3am for the last 2 days has something to do with that...anyway, am calling it a nite.

Will fill ya in first thing Saturday am.

nnsd for now.