Saturday, September 27, 2008

Bryce in action

video

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Various Updates

First off, the post-apocalyptic wasteland (only a handful of disasters can actually provide an apocalypse, and a hurricane is one of them) of Seabrook:

















Highway 146 through Seabrook, 9/14

Several neighbors managed to go by the house, and reports are encouraging. Very little external damage, although there is mud inside, indicating that the storm surge did enter, perhaps even flow through the house. And that's it, that's all we know for now. No power in Seabrook yet, all water is of the boil-before-you-drink-it variety, and the smell of dead fish, raw sewage and seeping gasoline fills the air. My mother's workplace, St. Joseph's Hospital, will not be opening for at least 4 weeks, so she'll continue to live in New Mexico until then.

Update: there is a hungry tiger roaming loose in Galveston County. Update 2: Also a lion.

Otherwise- I got the page proofs for my book in the mail yesterday. They look... awesome. Official publication date- January 29th.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Interpretation is Everything II

Disaster preparations are based on what you expect the disaster to entail. What did this man expect?

Hometown Blues II

Shitty little town...

Seabrook's sewer system 'critical,' residents should stay away


SEABROOK, Texas – The city of Seabrook is urging its residents to hold off from returning home.

City Manager Chuck Pinto said that not only is the city without electricity, but that its sewer system is in critical condition. He said the entire system failed and worries about the potential health hazard because floodwaters have deluged the sewer lines.

Pinto worries that the city may have to build a temporary sewer plant just to get the system up and running again.

For that reason, Pinto said they want residents who fled the city in advance of the storm to stay away until the city can get the sewer issue resolved.

Hometown Blues

This flickr set shows the destruction wrought by Ike.

My hometown of Seabrook, Texas was one of the hardest hit communities. My childhood home, still owned by my mother, is almost certainly flooded and possibly worse. We won't know the extent of the damage for a few weeks. Fortunately, my mother, her boyfriend, and Courtney's father and his girlfriend all made it out safely (some quicker than others.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Interpretation is Everything

Offered with no further comment:

People may ask themselves, why would there be faces in the smoke, and also, why so many? I believe I know the answer to that question.

Demons can feel and experience things like we can. Consider that picture of the demon below that has its head sticking up like it is on some kind of rollercoaster ride...Most acts of violence are not as huge as this one, or last as long, or kill this many people, so this was DisneyLand for demons. There was the planes impacting and exploding and people jumping, and then the buildings falling down and killing over 2,000 people in the process. This was a dream come true for demons.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Waking up to the Misery

So, in the morning I listen to NPR as I complete my tasks of shuffling Bryce from the crib to the swing to the mat with the toys to the crib, etc. Oddly, in Albuquerque we have two NPR stations, KUNM, which is the local university station, and KANW, which is an odd hybrid beast. KANW is funded, apparently, by Albuquerque Public Schools, and divides its programming between typical NPR news/interview fare like Morning Edition and Terry Gross and the like, and loud top-40 style "New Mexico Music", which apparently consists of classic 1950s rock sung in Spanish.

Anyway, I like KANW a bit better in the morning because they play Morning Edition in full, and Fresh Air comes on at 10 when the other station is polluting the airwaves with Performance Today (gugh), but there's a two hour block between ME and FA that's something of a crap-shoot of various oddities, including overly dramatic readings of New Mexico's political news, New Mexico trivia, and, my favorite, the Radio Reader.

For those not in the know, the Radio Reader is a hundred year old gnome named Dick Estell (the spitting image of Hans Moleman, in fact), apparently a man who built the first NPR station out of bakelite and Indian Head nickels or somesuch and long since retired to slowly succumb to mortality. Except, of course, for the Radio Reader show, which he records in his basement studio.











What is the Radio Reader show, you ask? Well, it's Dick, reading things. On the radio. Primarily pop-lit novels, authors like John Grisham and Nicholas Sparks show up repeatedly on his program, as well as such less seemly fare as Ann Rule. His voice is strangely prosaic, I don't think I've ever heard him emote past a "slightly-annoyed" level, and his enunciation is as precise as you'd expect from an old radio man like himself.

It's usually the kind of thing I can happily listen to without listening to at all, just sort of go about my routines while his lulling voice drones on in a comforting way about characters and machinations I don't care about at all. Every once in a while there may be a sex scene that crops up, which is terribly disconcerting. Just look at that picture again. Imagine that man talking about pert breasts. Now stop and seek therapy.

Lately, however, the elderly Mr. Estell has been reading a book called Desperate Passage, which chronicles the tragic trek of the Donner Party. This is much harder to ignore. Starving, freezing, screaming children, endless wandering and despair. And, of course, pulling frozen bodies from shallow graves and hacking the flesh from withered arms and eating it. All of this, described in ridiculous detail by Estell's passionless, precise diction, droning on and on about the worst of human desperation as I dangle plastic keys in front of Bryce, as I take him in the back to change his diaper...

Somehow this all seems terribly appropriate, though I'm challenged to explain exactly why. Little Brycey, all smiles and babyish optimism. Dick Estell, slowly shrinking into death somehwere in Michigan. The Donner Party shrieking and crying and dying in the snow over a century ago. I'm not sure how this all fits together, but surely it must? Somebody figure out the meaning of my mornings.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Settling

I'm not entirely sure what my life is supposed to be right now. Obviously, the baby is the priority, but all extra-baby time has been unpredictable to the degree that I haven't been able to make anything of it. Courtney's work has had her traveling to the various far corners of New Mexico for long, post-work hours on most days, so my time away from Bryce has mainly been a desperate attempt to take time for myself and waste it in as efficient a manner as possible. All well and good on a day-to-day basis, but I've been feeling hollow without anything constructive in my life.

I think I'm the kind of person that *needs* a project. Up until the first week of August, I had one. Or rather, a couple. Getting the book done and recovering from the wee touch of cancer pretty well took all my free time, and although I was feeling frantic toward the end of both, I didn't have to worry about what I was going to do with my time. Now, I have to figure it out again. Fortunately, Courtney's schedule should be stabilizing soon, so I'll have a better feel for what I'm working with when it comes to free time. It's a strange feeling, like I have to build all the non-baby aspects of my life back. Fortunately, I've always found autumn's good for new beginnings.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

I Enjoy Talking About the Weather

Shared human experience, ain't nothing wrong with that.

Cool autumn breezes in the morning and the light is just-so.

Boring Life

As has been noted by... certain commenters, it's been a while since the last update. No good excuse for that, except to say that after the many excitements of the summer, life has lately been... boring. More or less. And thank god for it.