Current Events · Weather

We Were Lucky

This was the scene when I woke up this morning:

It was very breezy at that time and there were many leaves and small branches down. At that point it was still raining a bit as we were still waiting for the center of circulation to pass over us. Even now, it’s still really windy. We never lost power and are on top of a hill so we don’t worry about flooding here either. But many low-lying areas in my town are flooded and about 30% of people are without power.

There are a lot of people on the internet bitching that this storm got hyped up for no reason. Seriously? I’m sorry it didn’t ruin your day enough, but there are millions of people without power, at least 10 people dead, and countless others whose property has been damaged due to flooding or trees falling on them. If you weren’t affected by this storm much, you were lucky. Now qwityerbitchin’ and count your blessings. It could’ve been a lot worse.

I mean, honestly.

Current Events · life · Weather

Emergency Preparedness, I Has It.

(the red line of the forecasted path passes right over my house)

So yeah. You may have heard that there is an enormous hurricane heading our way. This is my first hurricane and I am excited and nervous so I have been busy getting ready. Yesterday was the epic grocery store run/quest for batteries and flashlights/search for bottled water. Everyone in town had a similar idea, unfortunately, so bottled water was in short supply, as were batteries and flashlights. Luckily I managed to score enough of everything to tide us over until Tuesday at least. Also, I have plenty of knitting. In the meantime, we are watching the news with great interest. Our cell phones are charged up, and I charged my camera battery too. It will be a miracle if the power stays on, but if it does, I’ll be sure to post pictures. Any readers out there in the path of Irene? How have your preparations been going? Are you ready?

Current Events

O HAI Eleven PM!

So yeah, I just realized it’s eleven at night and I haven’t even thought about what to do for a blog post. Right now the Mister and I are streaming season 2 of Eureka on Netflix. I am pondering my knitting and playing the Red Dot game with the cats. Where did the day go? Um… That is a good question.

In other news, WTF, Osama Bin Laden has been killed. Obama is expected to make a speech soon, so I guess that is what I will be doing for the rest of the evening.


Current Events

Apologies to those who really don’t care.

I am up at 4 am to watch the royal nuptials, just like I was 30 years ago. Of course I was a lot younger then, but I still remember sitting with up with my mom in the middle of the night, watching Diana walk down to aisle of West Minster Abbey to marry Prince Charles. I’ve got my boys here with me, although E5 fell back to sleep almost immediately.

I was 7 for the wedding of Charles and Diana and can remember so clearly the grainy images on our TV glowing quietly blue in the quiet dark of the extreme early morning. I remember her long walk up the aisle in her big poofy wedding dress and I remember them kneeling before the bishop(?) at the Abbey. I remember the carriage ride back to Buckingham palace and I remember their kiss on the balcony. Or perhaps I am remembering the now iconic images because they were so ubiquitous in the weeks of news coverage which followed Diana’s death. Well, her walk up the aisle is definitely is part of my hazy memory.

I’m not even sure why I am awake at this ungodly hour to watch this event. I’m honestly, not usually a follower of the British Royal family (do I capitalize that? I don’t even know) except that it is an event, a spectacle which will become a part of American culture. In a way. Mostly I don’t really care about the Royals, and I know there are many other (most?) Americans who could give a flying fig about this wedding, but here I am anyway.

Well, the bells at the Abbey are ringing now and the two Princes have arrived, so I shall close this post now. Are there any among my commentariat up at this hour watching this spectacle?

Current Events · grumble

Dear Spammer:

Not sure what your spam comment “japan is in crisis right now” on yesterday’s post is supposed to mean. Honestly, not every blog post in the blog-o-sphere can be about what is going on in Japan, and yes, I am well aware what is happening there. It’s among the first things I think about when I wake up, and again when I go to sleep. I think about it while I’m doing the dishes or the laundry and when I’m making dinner for my family. I think about how, in spite of technological advances that have extended the human lifespan and made it possible to sprawl over the face of this planet numbering in the billions, human life is so very fragile in the face of grand geological events. I think about how terrifying it must’ve been to be there and I think about all the people who’ve lost someone they love. I think about the Faceless 50 who are risking certain death in an attempt to prevent a full-scale meltdown at the Fukushima Plant. I think about the vastness of the universe and how very insignificant we really are and what queer creatures we are to even ponder our place in the cosmos.

So yeah. I know that Japan is in crisis now. As a blogger-not-in-Japan, I don’t necessarily have anything to say about it other than that my thoughts are with the people of Japan. An old friend of mine, who’s mother emigrated from Japan many years ago, still has extended family in Japan, and so my thoughts are with her and her mom too.

Current Events · News

Wherein I Reminisce About Great Earthquakes I Have Known

Before I was CTJen, I was SoCalJen. While I was there, I was in dozens of earthquakes, but 2 quakes stand out in my mind. The first was the Sierra Madre quake for which I had a front row seat, having just moved to Sierra Madre to live my friend (and her parents) so I could attend Pasadena City College. This quake, while just a 5.6, was extremely violent. I remember it felt as though the floor dropped out beneath me. Thankfully, the shaking only lasted for a few seconds. It made a terrible mess though.

The second was the Northridge quake, a 6.7. Luckily we were far enough away from the epicenter of that quake to only feel it as a gentle rolling which lasted for what about 90 seconds or so. Where we lived (in Lancaster) we did not experience first hand any of the awful devastation which the valleys below us suffered greatly. Still, it was pretty scary for us since much of the infrastructure which connected the High Desert with the rest of Southern California was severely damaged.

Both of these earthquakes (well, all of the earthquakes I experienced while living in SoCal) were utterly terrifying and are among the many reasons I no longer live in Southern California, but they pale in comparison to the 8.9 quake which rocked Japan today. The devastation there is just breathtaking. I urge you, if you haven’t already, to go to Peacewinds America (or the aid organization of your choice) and give what you can.

Current Events


HE DID IT! Mubarak finally did it. The video out of Egypt right now is just amazing. One commenter said “I finally feel like anything is possible.” I don’t know what the future may bring for Egypt’s people and how the US will relate to the Middle East going forward, but right now I’m celebrating with them!

Current Events · News · rant

Goddamnit, Mubarak

Dear Mr. Mubarak:

The images and video out of Egypt’s Tahrir square continue to captivate and amaze me. I spent most of the afternoon waiting for the BIG ANNOUNCEMENT, anticipating along with everyone else that you would be stepping down today, only to learn that you are stubbornly remaining in power. Do you not see the thousands upon thousands of people rallying outside your door? Have you not learned the lessons of history and what happens to despots when they are violently deposed? You must know that the longer you wait, the worse it will be for you and for the people of Egypt. I implore you, PLEASE, don’t be a jerk.


Current Events · random

Here’s a silly video.

Egypt watch continues, tensions are escalating. Unable to form complete sentences. Needed something silly.


Current Events

Protest Like an Egyptian

I am completely captivated by what is happening in Egypt right now. Tens of thousands of protesters have gathered in the main square in Cairo, ignoring the curfew imposed by President Mubarak, shouting and waving Egyptian flags. The place is lousy with military personnel, but the protest today is largely peaceful in that the military does not appear to be interested in dispersing the crowd by use of deadly (or otherwise) force. has a wonderful timeline that was originally posted at 1 pm on Tuesday and was updated frequently until about 730 EST last night. This morning I am watching the coverage on Aljazeera. The energy of the crowd is just amazing and I just can’t look away.

The crushing vastness of my ignorance on the matter prevents me from forming an opinion other than to hope for the best for the protesters as night falls and to watch in fascination as people challenge their authoritarian government in an historic uprising.

UPDATE 1:03 pm EST: It looks like the MoJo article was updated this morning and they included a great link to the NYTimes interactive map of the protests. Check it out!