Saturday, September 13, 2008
in vino veritas: I (don't) Like Ike!
I've written several blogposts under the influence of the claret stuff. And tonight is no different. Since this seems to be a sporadic trend with me, I've decided to start placing the caveat in the title: "in vino veritas." (Sidebar: a dear friend of mine, who is frakkin' adorable and lovable when she's drunk told me I'll be a good parent and my first child will be a boy. "In vino veritas," she told me. Sweet doll! I don't care what sex my first kid will be but I'd forgotten that phrase. I'm hijacking it now.)
"I (don't) Like Ike!" This must be a post on Dwight Eisenhower's farewell speech to the nation warning against the military-industrial complex! No. I already (kinda) did that. Though, for more on that, you should rent Why We Fight; the 2005 documentary, not the Capra series. I'm sure the latter is good, the former is really great.
Nein. I mean Ike, the hurricane that hit the shores of my homeland, today. I've been busy, pretty much all day, with performances and rehearsals, so I'd been out of touch with what's been going on on the front doorsteps of my family. I talked to my brother and parents yesterday afternoon to make sure they were prepared. (For those of you just tuning in: they live in Houston.)
After evacuating for Rita, during which the normally 4-hour drive to San Antonio became 12 hours with 2 million of their best friends on the road - all fresh with images of their drowned neighbors just a few hours down I-10 - my family discovered that sometimes sheltering in place isn't the worst idea. Granted Rita was predicted to be a Cat-4 or 5 when the evac notices went out. It was a 2 or 3 when it hit Houston. Nonetheless, this time they all decided to hunker down and ride out Ike at home. As Ike was predicted to be a weak 3 (and wound up being a strong 2) when it hit Houston, and as Houston is not built below sea level, surviving at the mercy of levees, I think they made the right choice. Granted, I suppose we'll see in coming days.
My brother had been off of work since Thursday. Mom and my bro's fiancee, both teachers, had Friday off to prep for the storm. My bro filled up a bathtub. Mom and Dad boarded up the most vulnerable windows in their house (the sunroom) and tucked the grill against the house. Apparently, they don't think the wind can smash a grill into a window. Go figure.
Now my family are all without power. They anticipate this will be the case for at least a few days. Pretty much the entire metro area - 5 million people - are without power. Mom texted to say she feels so estranged from the outside world without access to the Net or national TV. Poor things. My cousin emailed to say that her brother - she, a surrogate sister to me, and her brother a surrogate bro to mine own - who happens to live a few blocks from my own Bro, is at home with the dogs while his wife, a young doctor, is a the hospital on call. He's hunkered down with a bag of chips and two packed pistols. Which cracks my shit up as he's as blue-bleeding liberal as we are. (Of course, in Texas, people aren't afraid of guns. Even bleeding libs might pack - they just want the guns regulated and legally obtained.) The worst part of all this is that Houston is a fucking hot and humid place from about February 20 to November 19. I'm specific, because I remember canvassing for the Sierra club in February of 1995 and praying for God to just please drown me in this sky sweat he created to punish the oil-drillers with. Sheer misery. I now agree with "Dad-0f-the-early 90s" who claimed any place east of the Pecos river was too hot and humid to visit. It's true. So true. Give me 120 degrees in a desert with 2% humidity any day over 72 degrees and 72% humidity. My poor family must be sweating away pounds faster than Richard Simmons right now. Ugh.
Anyway, that's what's on my mind tonight: my brother and his fiancee and their bathtub fountain; my parents and their grill; my cousin protecting his dogs with a couple of guns while his sainted wife delivers babies in the ER and no air conditioning anywhere in the god-forsaken Galveston Bay.
... I suppose I can be grateful that they don't live in Galveston. Knowing my parents, they'd've evacuated. Knowing my brother ...? Well, I'm just grateful he lives more inland!
... just got a phone call from Bro. Apparently, he had a job function in Austin on Monday anyway. So he and my future sister-in-law are high-tailing it inland where there is family to stay with and air-conditioning to relax in.