Ernest Hemingway:

As Ernest Hemingway once said...
'All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.'

Thursday, July 27, 2006

give it a rest

I'm so sick and tired of people complaining about and hating Ameren UE. As if it's their fault a huge storm (the biggest in quite a while) hit, then was followed up two nights later by another. Power is bound to go out during big storms. It's just part of life.

There are workers from fourteen states helping to restore people's power. They're working long shifts in hot weather, sometimes all night long. How many of us work that hard? Plus, they're constantly being bothered by people bitching at them and asking when their power is going to be turned on.

How the fuck are they supposed to know? They're out there slaving away so you can have AC back on in your house while you slob around on your couch watching TV. Yes, it sucks to lose food, and to have to sit around in the hot weather. But it's not the end of the world. Believe it or not, people used to live each and every day without AC. Yes! Without TV, radio, computers, and refrigerators. It's true! It can be done!

I'm sick of people complaining that Ameren somehow wronged them. 'Why can't they just tell me when it will be turned back on?' Give it a rest. Seriously - how are they supposed to know that? They're in the field working. They have no idea what they're going to find when they come to your neighborhood to fix your power. Lines could be down, or transformers blown. They have no idea what they're up against until they get there.

Be pissed at yourself because you can't take a breath and quit freaking out. Be pissed at God for sending us a huge storm. Be pissed at Benjamin Franklin for discovering electricity in the first place and enabling us to be softies and lazy. Hell, be pissed at the storm itself. But don't be pissed at those poor people out there working their asses off to restore your power. It's not right.

tara, tara, where for art thou

It seems lately that every time I turn on the news I hear about a war on Tara; or that the US is not going to stand for Tara. We're apparently trying to rid the world of Tara.

Who is this Tara? What did she do to bring so much hate down on her? She really did something to piss off Dubya. He rails on her all the time.

She must be quite a woman to draw this much attention to herself. Tara, Tara,'s all I hear nowadays. In fact, she's been all the rage since 9/11, it seems.

Tara's been hiding out for what, five years now? She's better than Bin Laden! Maybe they're secret lovers.

Apparently I need to do some more reasearch on the elusive Tara. I thought I kept up with the news really well (what with all my free time at work), but somehow I've missed this one. That wily little minx.

Monday, July 24, 2006

no more boredom

We've got power! It finally flipped on yesterday around 1. Four days without power in the middle of summer isn't fun. We lost everything in our fridge, freezer, and deep freeze except what we could save with ice in a cooler. Luckily the temperature dropped on Friday night after yet another storm, so it was really nice in our house the rest of the weekend. For some reason our house didn't get that never does. It topped out at 84, even on the hottest days. Probably because it's small and one story.

It's funny how many times I turned on light switches. I know it happened every time I stepped into the bathroom, and every time I went down to the basement. It's actually pretty eye-opening to live without power for more than a short time. I realized that I watch entirely too much TV (even without cable!), and that when you don't have tons of machines running on electricity and spitting out heat because of it your house isn't actually that hot. I also realized how nice it is to know my neighbors. Yes, they can be annoying at times, but they're a lot of fun, especially when you're all hanging out on a porch, drinking and huddling around a very small TV that runs on batteries to watch the Cardinals beat the Dodgers. It's wonderful how a community pulls together when something like this happens. We check on elderly neighbors, get each other ice, and generally feel more connected.

Though I'm happy to have our power back (I was beginning to have netflix withdrawal), it's also a little bit disappointing. It was like an adventure, and now it's over. We'll slip easily back into a life of convenience, occasionally waving to our neighbors or asking them to pick up mail. There won't be that common bond; that reason to yell across the street simply because you can and you know they'll hear you.

Friday, July 21, 2006

storm from hell

Whew! What a crazy couple of days. I was at home Wednesday evening, cooking dinner (!), when I noticed a little storm map on the bottom corner of the screen. It said there was a severe thunderstorm warning for St. Louis. I thought this was weird, as I had just been outside watering plants, and it was blazingly hot and sunny, without a cloud in the sky. My mom called and said the weather was really bad up north. Still weird. Then I looked out. The sky was suddenly black. Then the wind kicked in. My neighbor's trees were almost bending in half; leaves and branches were flying around violently. I watched for a minute when I heard a small knock on the back porch. I went out there to see my huge wooden market umbrella (that was screwed into a large, heavy metal table and concrete base) dragging the table around my back porch. It had come out of the base and flown up and ripped through one of the screens, but hadn't come out of the table. I watched for a while, then went outside once it headed towards the barbeque. Not the barbeque! I wrestled with it for a while, but had a hard time getting it down because the umbrella part (it was up when the storm started - oops) had completely snapped in half. I debated over whether to just leave it, but the wind was still strong, and half of the umbrella was out, enabling the wind to drag it further. I finally wrestled it down, and managed to drag it and the metal table back over the base and put it back together. It sucked.

The storm only lasted an hour or so, but afterwards it seemed as though a hurricane had hit. At least in the city of STL. I was in Key West last year after the hurricane, and it's very similar. There is debris everywhere (leaves, sticks, branches), and every other house has a tree down or a fence smashed in. The winds got up to 80+. Three buildings collapsed. There were 500K people without power, the most ever, and 1/3 of the city's streetlights were either gone completely or off. Which made travel very difficult, since people don't seem to get how to behave at a four way stops, though they see them every day. It's amazing.

We happen to be one of the houses without power, as well as my older sister. So, yesterday, I got a call from work saying power was out, but we were expected to be there, in casual clothes (this is a HUGE deal, as we're NEVER allowed to wear casual clothes, even business casual). We got there and sat around in the dark for a half hour, then the power came on. Huge disappointment. Though I don't know why, as I didn't want to go home to my hot-as-hell house. It only stayed on for an hour though, then went off for good. We sat some more, gabbing, then left at noon. I went shopping then went home to nap in the heat with my poor hound. There wasn't anything else to do. I'm pathetic.

Q and I had to pack up our entire deep freeze and fridge in coolers with ice. Hopefully it'll stay good. Ameren says power may not be on until next week. Suck! We then had to pack ourselves and the hound up to stay with my parents. They stayed upstairs with their dog (who doesn't get along with my dog) and my sister and niece. Her two cats stayed downstairs in the laundry room, and we stayed in the rest of downstairs. Quite an odd situation. But nice and cool. How did people survive before AC???

Power's back at work today (huge bummer), but the AC isn't. I'm not sure how that works. This building is a moron. Our power still isn't on, so it might be off to Q's hometown to stay with his parents for the weekend. My poor hound has to roast in my house all day today, though. Poor baby.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

paying for evacuation

I read a story yesterday on CNN about the US asking the Lebanon evacuees to pay $300 for their evacuation. I didn't have an opinion either way (shocker, right?), but did think it was odd.

Should the evacuees help cover the costs (there's around 25,000 American civilians there right now), or should we, the taxpayers, cover it? It's an interesting question. Really, $300 isn't a huge amount. I'm sure it costs well over that to fly to Lebanon, especially nowadays with fuel costs being out of control.

I can see both sides. On one hand, they had no idea this was going to happen, and it happened FAST. On the other hand, though, they are there at their own risk. Hezbollah isn't a new thing. You're taking at least a little bit of risk being over there. Plus, the US doesn't technically have to evacuate them at all.

I still don't know where I stand. I'm curious to hear thoughts on this, though. Let 'em rip.

Monday, July 17, 2006

to have the admiration of hoosiers

I went to happy hour Friday night with some kids from work. I enjoy happy hours, but this one was especially good, since I haven't ever been to one with this group in particular. I'm so different socially than I am at work (not fundamentally, of course), so it's fun to shock people. I'm usually fun when I go out with friends. I'm silly, and sometimes even outgoing. I'm generally miserable at work, though I hide it well. I just don't like working; being on someone else's schedule. It sucks. I am happy with my job, happier with my place of employment, but of course, I'd prefer to work for myself. Now if I can just figure out how to make that work...

Anyway, we went to this bar called The Hive. It was a total dump with expensive beer prices ($18 for a pitcher of AB's Hefe...ouch), but we had a blast anyway. The best part of the evening occurred when one of the girls went downstairs to the bathroom. I'll preface this by saying that when we walked in the entire place went quiet and stared...okay, not that drastic, but you get the idea. It was full of regulars, and we were outcasts immediately. She finished in the bathroom and made her way towards the stairs, which was an open stairwell leading to the second level. A guy tapped her on the shoulder right before she got there and asked her if she could go up slowly so they could watch her. Ick! I mean she is tall and thin and blonde (model-esque), so it makes sense. But it's creepy nonetheless.

But as much as I said it was creepy, it did make me a little jealous. If it had happened to me I would have been so grossed out, yet also oddly complimented. I just don't experience outward catcalling like this. I get my fair share of turned heads (or maybe I make this up in my head, I don't know), but nothing like this. She probably hates it. She probably gets it all the time.

Sad, yes. But true.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

why can't i think of this stuff???

This guy traded one red paperclip for a house in Canada. A nice house, at that. It's old, but who cares? He got it for free (or more specifically for the price of one red paperclip, whatever that might cost).

A free house. For one red paperclip. Well, there were a few steps in between, but basically, it all boils down to that. Lucky sonofabitch. When am I going to stumble into one of these great ideas?

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

ann coulter = skinny ass beatch

The other day Ann Coulter was supposed to be on Adam Carolla's radio show. She called in late, and he basically hung up on her (after she was a bitch - big surprise there). Listen to the clip here. Oh, how I wish we got his show here instead of that moron Rover.

More to come about my fantastic vacation.