Can’t take it with you. Especially in an evacuation zone

September 12th, 2017, 6:05 AM by Goddess

In the mad dash to prepare for Hurricane #Irmagerd, I had the realization early and often …

I have too much stuff.

Not “good” stuff. Mostly lots of clothes and decorations from (C)Ross Dress for Less.

Mom especially has a veritable shitload of decorations from there and every store in Florida that has “Dollar” (Tree, General, Family) in its name.

And a part of me — the one that knew my “hurricane glass” windows would leak (and they did) — was sort of/kind of hoping most of that shit would wash away to sea.

I’m sure that’s what happened to my overpriced storage unit. (I have two — I pay for mine and mom’s down here, and hers up in Pittsburgh. That one is full of … decorations. Ten years’ worth of payments, for decorations. When I’ve bought her everything she’s wanted since then and SO MUCH MORE. She doesn’t understand my resentment.)

In any event, I’m sure my storage unit (here) is a mess. It’s in a low-lying area, and our area got pretty thrashed with rains and uprooted trees and shit. So that’s gonna be a big wet fucking surprise when I get back there.

I found two dresses I hadn’t worn, while I was there. I was so excited about them when I bought them. But they were too small then. So, into the bin they went.

Took them home this weekend and tried them on. They fit fine. Maybe a little loose. But … they looked kind of atrocious on me.

Didn’t find the dress I really wanted. An expensive one. If I’m lucky, the thing is waterlogged. If I’m not lucky, I’ll hate it as much as the other two.

Here’s the thing. I buy things in hopes of wearing or using them SOMEDAY.

Well, guess what. If this hurricane has taught me anything …

It’s that someday is TODAY. Rather, we should treat it that way.

So all my cute Paris stuff … sugar skulls stuff … DRESSES UPON DRESSES that I am saving for outings that haven’t happened yet …

Well, make ’em happen.

When it came down to it, the only things I wanted to save … if I absolutely HAD TO … were things that still had the tags on them.

You know, this shit …

Well, that and six hot-pink storage tubs of hot-pink sugar skull shirts, cookware, rugs, towels, candles and purses.

Know of any hurricane shelters that take pets and a Noah’s Ark of unused shit for your “someday” home?

And it’s not just that. it’s the good Zum Wash patchouli soap from Whole Foods. It’s the Moroccan lotion from fucking Suave of all things that I am absolutely in love with. It’s the “good” Dove Advanced Care deodorant that I save for when my skin is really in need of some TLC. It’s the Lodi wine that I keep holding onto because the place in Ft. Lauderdale that sells it is an absolute pain in the ass to go to.

It’s all the “luxury” shit I save for when I’m feeling worthy of using it … for when I buy a “backup” (Mom makes me buy two of everything. Including towels, rugs, dresses, shirts, and goddamn DECORATIONS. You ALWAYS need a backup, she says. And don’t use “just the one” if that’s all you have). Etc.

So during this hurricane, I wore some of my new T-shirts with tags on them. Drank the wine that I didn’t have “backup” bottles of. Ate the candy from Disney World that I would normally have saved, on the promise to myself that I will get back sooner rather than later to get more.

I know I need to apply this same attitude to many more things. (Career, car, apartment, etc.) But at least I know I need to let go of the shit that isn’t working … or fix what could be working better … to feel much lighter of spirit and, I hope, indebtedness to what’s mostly only holding me back at this point.

And the fact that I’d rather die than do most of it is a sign that I won’t miss it if only I can find something better to replace it with.



9/11 — post-Irma (and post-11/9) edition

September 11th, 2017, 12:35 PM by Goddess

When you spend a week glued to Jim Cantore & Co … a day and a half staring at the destruction unfolding outside your window … and another half-day-ish with no cable/Internet/electric and delusions that your four fully charged phone banks can somehow power your Keurig because you live in an apartment and can’t buy a generator … you have a lot of time to think.

I mean, I mostly thought about all my snacks. And ATE THEM ALL.

Not pictured: Ice cream and wine. Because, in mah belleh. *burp*

Obviously, that I am even typing this means we made it through. At some point I gave up on being annoyed at everybody and their “Sending prayers!” And in fact, when a friend said she fucking hated even writing those stupid words, but felt so helpless having nothing else to offer, I said it was welcome. That it’s not like any of us have our wits about us right now to pray for our safety. Thank you for doing it for me.

I don’t want to say their prayers worked. (But that won’t stop me from thinking it.)

But we got off pretty easy compared to Cudjoe Key (Category 4 impact), Key Largo, Islamorada, Marco Island (Category 3 impact) and the Naples/Fort Myers area. I won’t take that for granted.

I think prayers helped. And I know we got a big assist from Cuba, the Virgin Islands, Barbuda and everyone else who got nailed before us. The destruction outside the U.S., and/or in the U.S. territories (which half the nation seems to forget), helped to curb Hurricane Irma’s impact in a big way.

The storm was called historic because we’d never had two Category 4 storms make landfall in the same year. (Harvey was the other.)

Hurricane Jose also helped us — it pushed Irma westward, and dry winds to the west also helped to tame Irma a bit.

But anyone who wants to keep denying climate change and saying it’s a liberal Chinese hoax can suck my big fat furry cat nuts. The air was hundred-plus-degree soup and the water was even hotter.

This was the first time I breathed yesterday, as the storm moved just north of me … and kept moving:

So yeah, I’m ready to rage on our idiot president again, now that I’m out of danger. (What do you call a flock of assholes? A Trump rally.)

That and that he mumbled through two moments of silence in honor of 9/11 today does not shock me.

And I will maintain till the end of time that 11/9 was a more-devastating day in our country’s history than 9/11.

In any event, it appears Jax is underwater (again — they got the hit from Matthew last year) and Pensacola is a hot, wet mess. Funny how those areas were set to be spared and WE were supposed to meet a watery end right where I am.

That’s one more message (missive) I want to send, If you have something to say, go ahead and send a prayer.

Don’t fucking put me down for my choice of where to evacuate to (or not evacuate at all).

Cribbed from Faceypages:

PLEASE TAKE A LITTLE TIME TO READ THIS….?
Dear Non-Floridians,

Rules when discussing the hurricane with Floridians need to be put in place….

1) Calling people who don’t evacuate “idiots” or saying “they deserve what happens to them” is a judgement statement that without facts, you are not qualified to make.

2) Just go get a plane ticket! (You can’t just fly out.) Don’t make statements or give advice on how we should evacuate. You don’t have the slightest knowledge of what we are up against. There are challenges to leaving. Flights out are being changed, cancelled, delayed. Tickets are $2-3,000 higher than they normally are and that’s one way.

3) Don’t say “Get in your car and drive fast out” A) Gas stations are getting fuel still, but that fuel is gone before the lines are empty.
B. ) There is no driving fast. Cars are moving 5-7 mph on highways trying to get to safety. The lines are long and imagine, with a gas shortage, being stuck on highways in jams for 12-15 hours.

4) Florida has one way out, and that is through the top (Northern) part of the state. There are basically 2 major roads out. Those roads are jammed, backed up, and not expected to change.

5) To post “Florida is about to be wiped off the map” because you are watching the news reports and panicking from 3,000 miles away- is not the most uplifting thing for us to see. Plus, don’t speak your devastation to us. Be positive!

6) “If I lived in Florida, I would have evacuated a week ago.” Well I’m not so sure that you would have. It’s not that simple if you have a heart…not only that, you don’t know until the final days which path the storm is going to take. Homes have to be boarded up. Things have to be done to ensure that if you do leave, you have somewhere to return.

7) Stop saying God is angry and that’s why Texas went through what Texas went through and that Florida is being hit. God isn’t angry. Every person in the path of destruction was created in His image. Every person not in the path of destruction was created in His image. He is not angry. He is not judging us. He is not putting His wrath down. If you believe that, we don’t serve the same God.

8.) “Go to a safer part of the state.” Yes, we thought of that. No one knows exactly what part that is. If Irma takes a turn it could hit the west coast- if we are all fleeing to the west coast because it says the east coast is the most dangerous, then that could be costly. We know what we need to do and we are monitoring the situation.

Feel Free to pray for us!

Feel Free to check on us, text us, call us. But, don’t text your fears of our demise. Don’t call us crying because you are scared for us.

We have a storm to conquer and we need to be healthy, mentally and physically.

When your son or daughter or friend gets ready to go play in a competitive sport … before the game, do you call them and say ….
“you are going to lose”
“don’t show up for the game”
“The odds are against you”

I would hope not… well we are preparing to overcome this storm. Send us some prayers and encouragement! We welcome it! If you are going to do anything less than that, turn your TV or radio off and keep your mouth shut!

God bless all, stay safe, love and help your neighbors.

If I had time/money, I would have taken up my friends’ offers for North Carolina, Baltimore and D.C. If I could have gotten a flight or a hotel or GAS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, there were many possibilities. If I didn’t fear NOT being able to return home (there are downed power lines everywhere and roads blocked by trees and roads that are totally underwater), money wouldn’t even have been a factor.

Not many people were stupid enough to snark to me. They did however tell my mom that I was dumb deciding to go back home.

But if there’s something I know about hurricanes, it’s that they change their mind a thousand times before landfall. And even then, they can pivot.

I asked my guides and the stars what to do. At first my gut said “Orlando. You have to be in Orlando.” Then when I got home I felt like, “OMG, this was the best decision I could make.” And that was before the weather proved me RIGHT.

Speaking of consulting one’s gut on all sorts of things, that’s a blog entry I want to tackle next. Stay tuned …



#irmagerd

September 10th, 2017, 12:24 PM by Goddess

The cunt formerly known as Hurricane Irma — who is also bringing tornadoes, flooding and crazy-ass winds — is almost here.

Key West? Wiped out. Naples/Fort Myers/Tampa? Next up.

Speaking of wipeouts, check out this joker taking a selfie at Southernmost Point.

Link: https://qz.com/1073601/webcam-watch-people-take-selfies-as-theyre-engulfed-by-hurricane-irma-in-key-west/

Meanwhile, a disaster (Rick Scott) called up a disaster (that Trump dude) to declare Florida a disaster area. Sounds about right.

Here in PBC, the winds are now 55 mph. My lone screen (bedroom) is about to fly into the great unknown. The “hurricane glass” in the living room is leaking from the rains. Irma hit Key West as a Category 4 and even though PBC is out of the “cone of destruction,” I am not hopeful that this apartment will stay dry-ish. Nor my storage unit with my entire life’s history (and writings) in cardboard boxes. Or that they will even be there now with tornadoes ripping through the southeast portion of the county.

I do have a bug-out bag, though. Filled with pink tank tops from my favorite underwater towns, a pink phone charger and Pink! (Rinaldi) wine. Because, this Florida girl color-coordinates her shit, even when she is LOSING her shit.

The cat is nuts. The bathtub in this 11-year-old apartment does not hold water. My bathroom, previously designated as the “safe room,” sounds like an airplane hangar because of the winds hitting the concrete. (Did you know a Category 2 storm can snap concrete in half? I didn’t. TILL NOW.)

I’ve eaten two pints of Halo Tops (chocolate and chocolate-banana. Mmmmm). And we have some good loot from Disney. (OMG churro popcorn holy shit get me back there nooowwwwww.)

Not sure what else to say about this storm. Here is a loose collection of thoughts.

  • Miami forced homeless into shelters against their will.
  • Everywhere else turned away anyone without proof of address.
  • A prison on Stock Island is now Noah’s Ark. Wildlife of all sizes have a place to ride out this historic storm.
  • Prisoners all over the state got transferred to higher ground. But my police department and most others said don’t call them if you are in danger and couldn’t evacuate (due to lack of money and/or lack of anyplace to go).
  • The cone shifted west thanks to Category-4 Jose to our east. PBC is fucking lucky.
  • Special thanks to Chris & Mandy in Jersey, Kelly & Sarah in NC and Laura in Baltimore for begging me to bring mom and Kadie to safety. And to my dear Trevor who, from New Orleans, got me an offer in Asheville. I am overwhelmed by their kindness. And if it weren’t such a clusterfuck to find gas, I might have chanced taking Stewie out of state.
  • The Turnpike and stations just off 95 got gas regularly, though. I heard the 7-11 at my 95 exit got shipments every morning at 7 am through yesterday. I fueled up there, ran some errands (sans A/C) and parked Stewie’s butt for the duration.
  • Tornadoes right now heading for Boca/Rey, as I call it. Or as I also call it, home. PSL got them last night, as did Laudy. Ft. Pierce is flooded. Construction cranes fell down in Miami. (Read: crashed into a high-rise. Because it takes two weeks to take down a crane and they “only” had one week to prepare.) We (PBC) ain’t seen nothing yet.

I think that’s all for now. Gotta keep things charged up. Maybe grab a nap. At least I can barely hear the fuckheads upstairs with the current 55 mph winds.

See you on the flipside. Here’s to hoping there is one …



‘If this is it …’

September 8th, 2017, 6:42 PM by Goddess

I’m wondering whether my life has been reduced to a Huey Lewis and the News song lyric.

Hurricane Irma was supposed to be a Category 3 hurricane by the time it came to my hood. Then it was 5. Then 4. Now it’s back up to 5.

God doesn’t like Mar-a-Lago. Or any other Trump properties, judging by the locations this storm has hit. But why take us good-hearted Hillary voters out with his gaudy decor that the government will probably pay to restore?

Maybe he’ll come out and sell his shitty $40 hats like he did to Hurricane Harvey victims …

I don’t feel like we’ll be all right. That’s probably from Mom the Psychic saying “we’re done for” every hour.

We had a great week in Orlando. I drove us back a day early (last night) though. The hotel couldn’t extend our stay. And every other hotel that had rooms faced water slides and volcanoes and other bizarre shit. Besides, yesterday Irma was projected to whack Orlando directly.

In any event, I was just about the only car driving south as the whole state heads north to Georgia and the Carolinas and beyond. So I’m either the smart one or the dumb one. Not real sure at this point.

We have a curfew starting at 3 p.m. tomorrow in my county. Wal-Mart closed at noon today. (I was there before 7 a.m.) Publix closed at noon, as did my storage unit place. (Whose general manager’s name, I learned today, is Irma.)

There’s only gas to be found on the turnpike and the stations just off 95. You’re shit out of luck if you try anyplace else.

Got some pizza at my favorite joint tonight and a cheeseburger from McDonald’s for the cat.

It’s 7:30 p.m. now and it’s already a ghost town. Pretty sure Target is the last game in town, although the cashier at Mickey D’s said they will be open till curfew time tomorrow.

I have to say I’m impressed that just about everything else is closed. I did my preparing in Orlando. (As much as I could do without being able to buy plywood, metal shutters or a generator. Or ice. Gah my ice maker is broken and damn landlord won’t pay to fix it.)

Got a boatload of cat litter and all her favorite foods. Don’t have much hoomin food beyond lentil chips, chocolate animal crackers, wine and tea.

And the HOA has zero fucks to give about it all …

It’s Friday night and we expect this shit to hit Sunday morning through Monday at midnight. On the early side. FPL already warned us we WILL be without power, for perhaps weeks.

I worry because I’m on a middle floor. And also parked on the middle floor in our garage.

* Good: No flooding from the lake and bordering canal below. And not the top floor so no worries about my roof blowing off.

* Bad: It rains sideways in Florida. And 180 mph winds hitting a building that was constructed AFTER the last major hurricane to blow through. So, untested. And not sure the car won’t blow away or that I won’t get impaled with idiot neighbors’ unsecured furniture.

Anyway. More bad than good and I’m not done yet.

There aren’t a lot of positive scenarios in my mind out of this. I love my mom and kitty but I get stir-crazy. Also I see work piling up in my inbox (but I’m on vacation, as if THAT were a thing) and it’s making me nuts. I did try to secure my storage unit but I didn’t do a good job in the hour I had because I didn’t know it was closing. (Also, it’s 100 degrees here and there’s no a/c in that thing. Much like the state of my apartment come Sunday afternoon, no doubt.)

What if mom is right and we ARE done for? Have I done enough? Had enough fun? Seen enough of this world? I honestly would not have come back but she insisted we needed her “PAPERS.” If I’m going to die for that, I’ll cry.

She said we aren’t fighters. If this is the end, we won’t make it, she says. And I think I’ve had just enough togetherness (and working for a living. Hell, i finally got promoted. I can die happy, right?) to open the sliding glass door at peak wind velocity and throw myself into the overflowing swamp-cancer lake.

I always say an open door is an invitation. If this is it, indeed … why fight it?



Goodbye, cruel world? (Hurricane Irma edition)

September 6th, 2017, 9:07 AM by Goddess

I don’t normally like to write that I’m traveling when I’m actually traveling.

That said, I am not at home … and Hurricane Irma is barreling up the spine of Florida, ready to bowl a perfect strike in the next couple of days.

St. Martin is wiped out. The Keys have been evacuated. I’m in the center of the state on a long (long) awaited vacation that I cannot even enjoy.

Mom is convinced this is it … we aren’t going to live through this one.

I know my apartment building couldn’t withstand a gust of dog flatulence. But even if this Category-5 mess does manage to get downgraded to a Cat-3 by the time it hits the happiest place on earth, we’ll still be foo-kay-ayed.

So do I spend my last days on the planet preparing for this shit, or do I just enjoy my vacation and go into the great beyond without worrying about my money and jewelry?

That’s the thing. Do I stay here and hope my house isn’t a pile of rubble … and hope that there are still roads to DRIVE HOME ON because this cunt Irma is set to roll straight up the Turnpike …

Or do I go home and be inside the not-boarded-up building because my landlord doesn’t care and I can’t do it my damn self … and die in the apartment I hate most?

And I can’t believe I’m going to say this … but I wish I hadn’t gotten promoted. I have a department to go back and run on Monday. This shit is going to hit anywhere from Saturday to Monday.

I’d really rather not be in charge right now. The guys we let go (the body count keeps rising, too) are probably like “Deuces, bitch.” They are probably in the Carolinas by now. Not FIGHTING TO GO BACK into the heart of the storm like I have to in a couple days.

Seems a fitting end for me, though. The job will kill you one way or another. Who would have ever predicted this particular “another,” though?

I know I need to be positive. But there are two other named storms forming — Katia to the left of us and Jose to the right. (And I’m stuck in the middle with Irma. Sing along!) And Jose looks like a mean motherfucker, too.

I mean at least it isn’t the wildfires in California, right? Combine all this shit with Harvey in Texas, all the terrorist attacks in Europe, and that North Korean nutcake playing chicken with OUR pussy-grabbing Kim Jong Un, and maybe this is the apocalypse. And we’re all gonna die one way or another anyway and mine is just a watery, electric-less end.

Hard to be hopeful today. And it’s mom’s 60th birthday, too, and I am so thrilled she made it. So thrilled. And Kadie is here too. I don’t think she’s long of this world, either, and I just want to be happy for one goddamned minute with my family still safe, dry and intact.

Fuck it. I’m gonna take momma to feed some swans and we’re going to eat a big fat fucking steak for dinner. Why count Weight Watchers points when you’re instead counting your days?