Friday, May 16, 2008
Stormy Weather and Friday's Feast
I wanted to write yesterday, but I caught up with my tarot blog instead. Lee did a nice post in his blog, though, about the storms we went through on Wednesday night. We had three waves of very severe weather come through the northern and central Austin area. Beccano and I drove into a tornado warning unwittingly because I turned off the radio on the way home from choir to chat with him (he has really enjoyed the math tutoring he is getting from a fellow choir members' daughter). We saw green lightning, then a friend of his called to say, "Where are you?" because he wasn't on AIM. Then we knew we had to boogie home. By the time we got there, a funnel cloud had been sighted. I was sorta freaked out because, well, I have been through more tornado warnings than I'd prefer, and seen way too much horrible damage to people I know. I have tried SO hard to not convey that, but Beccano is also freaked out because we had a bad tornado warning 11 years ago (the tornado leveled a town north of here and damaged the grocery store and neighborhood the next city up from us) when we were in a third-floor apartment and had nowhere to hide. He still remembers.
So, we huddled as long as we could in the very stuffy laundry room with Buddy the dog panting nervously and exuding heat, Beccano shaking or sobbing, me knitting nervously, and Lee wishing he could go be with his precious dogs, who mostly were in their kennels because they would not come in the tiny room. Tuba Boy was at work, huddled in the locker room (he works in a huge, mostly glass gym). Then he went to the New Asian Girlfriend's nearby house until it was safe to drive home, between surges. After the first surge, which delivered hail and a lot of rain, we watched the radar on the second one, which just brought sideways rain (which caused some damage to our bedroom ceiling). The third surge was after we went to bed, though not much sleep was had by anyone, and Gwynneth woke me up pacing and panting in our room at 5 am, because the dogs were locked in the house.
Our neighborhood got by OK, though as Lee reports, he did find a tiny beautiful warbler who was a storm victim. Central Austin was a MESS. You could see it get worse and worse as the bus got closer to campus. There was really bad hail, some of which lingered until morning. The roads and ground were carpeted in oak leaves and branches. There were many downed trees, many broken windows, and such. Our building lost some windows, and the poor old greenhouse next to us looks real bad. A coworker's brand-new house they haven't even moved into yet got a lot of water damage. Much of the day was spent sharing tales of damage and where people huddled. At least it was a time for bonding. And no people were hurt, other than Beccano's friend who got hit by hail while trying to cover his car. Beccano said he had a VERY bad bruise.
Oh yeah, and as mentioned above, Tuba Boy is on the third girlfriend in the past month or two. I guess hormones have settled in. This one seems nice, too. Of course, he would only pick nice ones. But he is following my trend of consoling someone who just got dumped. I may need to have a chat with him on how that can backfire.
Appetizer: What is the nearest big city to your home?
There are well over a million people in the greater Austin area, so I'd say that's it. I am also near the fairly large suburbs of Round Rock and Cedar Park, Texas.
Soup: On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being highest, how well do you keep secrets?
To be honest, I'd say an 8. Sometimes there are things that concern me so much that I talk to Lee or a very close friend about them.
Salad: Describe your hair (color, texture, length).
Hmm. My hair is medium-dark brown, with fine texture. It is very thick, so there are a lot of fine hairs. It is also curly/wavy. It doesn't make ringlets like the kids' hair does, but when dried properly, it has nice waves. It can also be dried fairly straight. I am getting some gray in it, more in the front. My family grays slowly, so it isn't too bad. However, for the past few years I have been playing with hair color, so my avatar picture has it when it was a reddish blonde. Right now it is a dark red. I will probably let it grow out after the wedding, since my new income precludes spending a lot of money on hair coloring.
Main Course: What kind of driver are you? Courteous? Aggressive? Slow?
I like to drive legally and politely. But, I am not slow. I think the thing I aim for is efficient driving, taking the quickest route in the smoothest, least stressful way possible. I don't think I am in a race. I want to, as they used to say on Florida license plates "arrive alive." I once heard an interview on the radio with Jackie Stewart, the former race-car driver. He explained that when driving on the road, he didn't try to get there the fastest. He wanted it as smooth as possible. So he left space for easy lane changes, made smooth stops, did gradual accelerations. He pointed out that there was more than one challenge to driving, so speed is not everything. Both I and my ex have remembered that for years.
Dessert: When was the last time you had a really bad week?
I believe that most of April consisted of bad weeks. The time between when the boss said I sucked and no one liked me and the time when she said I actually didn't suck and people were happier with me was incredibly, numbingly stressful.