Saturday, February 27, 2010

Sadness & Feeling Trapped

Multiple sad news/events have slammed into me over the past 36 hours, or so. I am struggling to take it all in, process it, and not put too much effort into making sense of it all. It's just overwhelming at the moment and I am exhausted.

I thank G*d for work today. The bright sun, melting snow, and cheerful diners help take my mind off of darker things. The collective positive energy always lifts me up and for that I am truly grateful.

I need to talk to someone, but there is no one nearby that I trust. Talking to myself is an option, if I don't give myself advice, which I am too tired to do, anyway.

I have nothing more right now.

Be kind to one another and to yourselves.

And so it goes.

Caturday Confidential

Friday, February 26, 2010

Whoa! Giant Iceberg Breaks off Antarctic Glacier

This is happening way too frequently, but there ain't no such thing as "Global Warming" - no, of course not.

An iceberg the size of Luxembourg has broken off from a glacier in Antarctica after being rammed by another giant iceberg, scientists said on Friday, in an event that could affect ocean circulation patterns.

The 2,500 sq km (965 sq mile) iceberg broke off earlier this month from the Mertz Glacier's 160 km (100 miles) floating tongue of ice that sticks out into the Southern Ocean.

The collision has since halved the size of the tongue that drains ice from the vast East Antarctic ice sheet.

"The calving itself hasn't been directly linked to climate change but it is related to the natural processes occurring on the ice sheet," said Rob Massom, a senior scientist at the Australian Antarctic Division and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Center in Hobart, Tasmania.

Both organizations, along with French scientists, have been studying existing giant cracks in the ice tongue and monitored the bumper-car-like collision by the second iceberg, B-9B.

This 97 km long slab of ice is a remnant of an iceberg of more than 5,000 sq km that broke off, or calved, in 1987, making it one of the largest icebergs ever recorded in Antarctica.

The Mertz glacier iceberg is among the largest recorded for several years. In 2002, a iceberg about 200 km long broke off from Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf. In 2007, a iceberg roughly the size of Singapore broke off from the Pine Island Glacier in West Antarctica.

Whole story HERE.

Dealing with stress hasn't been my friend this week. I am tired, running on empty and need some sustained sunshine to cheer me up.

And so it goes.

A Prisoner in Groundhog Day?

Preparing for the worst I showered and shaved before going to bed last night. Filled up the tub, cranked up the heat, just in case, and threw a few necessaries into a bag with the dop kit, also, just in case.

The noise of the high winds coupled with the creaks and moans of the building responding to the pressure of the wind speeds kept me from getting a restful night's sleep. So far, no power loss, but the most brutal is yet to come. Of course, all schools, churches, public programs etc., are already canceled.

No new snowfall overnight, but it's coming down hard now.  Again, it's virtually whiteout conditions for the third time this month. I don't know how much more this area can take being pummeled every few days. It's hard to catch our collective breath.

As far as I know, the restaurant will be open for lunch today and I'll be there if I don't get blown off the road. It's all about the damned wind.

It's not just me, everyone here is feeling pretty beaten up, power outages, nerves on edge, spoiled food, kids home instead of school, parents having to choose between family needs and jobs.  No easy answers. We simply need a break.

I need a break!


Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Life in Segments

Oh, so true.

I have been dancing in celebration since we dodged the first part of the current winter monster, but the back end blows through (literally - 45 to 65 mph winds forecast for tonight) and won't leave us until tomorrow at mid-day.

Found somewhere on the Internets, forgot exactly where.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Not Again! - Just Shoot Me!

When I pulled in to the supermarket parking lot - at 7:45 this morning - I thought they must have been giving stuff away.  The lot was pretty full for a Wednesday morning.

It wasn't until I walked inside that it struck me; I'll bet someone squealed the words "more snow on the way" because everyone seemed in a froth. The bread aisle was bare as were the milk & eggs storage areas.

So I purchased the items on my list and headed back to the apartment. Listening to the radio I learned that there is a 60% chance of snow late tonight with expected accumulation of - - - 2 to 5 inches! What? Seems everyone is in a panic because the forecasters were wrong about the first heavy storm at the beginning of the month, and nobody is going to be caught short of supplies.  So there!

OK, I had supplies for BOTH storms and it didn't do me a lick of good.  Without power and water all is futile. Some people have really short memories, I suppose.  Just shoot me.

No, shoot me later, it's cocktail time.

And so it goes.

What if Sarah Palin Were Black?

I found this fascinating, even compelling, and being from the American Deep South, it's going to be something most in the "new" South will find difficult to swallow.  From Alternet:

The impenetrable stupidity of Sarah Palin knows no boundaries. She wallows in mediocrity. Palin is the queen bee of a cult of personality where to be anti-intellectual is a trait to be rewarded. Ultimately, she presides over a confederacy of dunces.
People of color have many a shared experience that comes from being racially marked in a White society. One of my favorite examples of this social reality is the moment when a crime is announced on the evening news and we collectively grimace with the thought, "I hope he or she isn't black/brown/yellow/or red." I must also imagine that in a post 9/11 world, my Arab-American brothers and sisters likewise have a similar moment where they hold their collective breath in dread upon the announcement of some act of terrorism (real or imagined, in any part of the world).
Question: Do white people lower their heads in collective shame when they listen to Sarah Palin? Is there a moment where white folks shake their heads in mass and say to themselves, "Lord, I wish she weren't white?"
To be White is to be "normal," "invisible," and quintessentially "American." It is also the freedom to be an individual. When crazy white people bomb buildings, kill cops in the name of radical right wing politics, go on shooting rampages, or more generally just act like fools, it is never framed as a "White" problem. I would suggest that these actions are rarely, if ever, interrogated for what they reveal about Whiteness and/or white folk at large. In short, there is no "I hope that person isn't white" moment. Why? Because a given white person's actions are usually a reflection of their individual shortcomings, not a commentary on white people as a whole.
Efforts to communicate the essence of white privilege in American society are often made difficult because of the denial, fear, and vulnerability that comes from self-reflection about power. Moreover, in a time of economic calamity, white Americans are probably (and quite understandably) resistant to hearing about some "unearned privilege" when they are fighting for their financial lives. Surely, this is a time when conversations about the deep linkages between race, wealth, and white supremacy in the United States are an increasingly hard sell, even in so far as they remain especially true (as the old saying goes, "When White America gets a cold, Black America gets the flu...or worse").
Nevertheless, the need to discuss how race structures life opportunities remains necessary--and perhaps even more so--during our Great Recession. As opposed to the heavy theory and abstractions often favored by academics, scholars, and public intellectuals, I prefer practical common sense examples to prove my point. To that end, Sarah Palin is a perfect object lesson.
So, let's play a game of fill in the blanks. I will start:
If Sarah Palin were black she would have disappeared into obscurity long ago.
 Go read the rest and play the game HERE.

image - h/t WTF.

More later.

Master Card - Priceless Gig: Winner's Story

If you read this space you already know how much I love the Pet Shop Boys, but I just came across this story about a Master Card promo where the lucky winner received a live, personal concert - in their own home - by the Boys.  Sounds like a good time. Wish the winner had been me, but I don't own a MC.  Here's how things went down.
On Thursday evening, Warren Road in Whitton looked much the same as  any other street in the UK. Terraced houses, a few cars and a small green gave no hint whatsoever that just 24 hours later, a BRIT award winner would be knocking on Lorraine Sands' front door, poised to play a personal live gig just feet away from her in her living room.
So it probably came as quite a shock when, at 8am the next morning, a large crew and several lorries casually arrived to transform Lorraine's house from a cosy home in London to the equivalent of the O2. Looking excited but slightly nervous, she gracefully left the production team to their own devices whilst they removed ALL of the furniture from her living room and carried it out through the back door.
Two hours later, the downstairs had been stripped and the floorplans laid out. Case after case of music equipment lined the pavement, with amps, cables and huge mixing desks all stacked up next to each other, waiting to be installed. Rigging and tents appeared at an alarming rate, and the road quickly went from looking like an average London street to a veritable crime scene. Members of the production team glanced at each other nervously, all wondering the same thing - how could an artist who had last played to 16,000 people at the O2 possibly fit all of their tour set into this modestly sized living room in suburban London?
Meanwhile, whilst cars periodically slowed down to see what all the fuss was about, Lorraine and her three friends were safely installed in a room at the Marriott hotel just minutes away from the set. On visiting the winners in their room, we were instantly hit by a blast of hairspray and perfume as the four excited ladies raced round doing their makeup and straightening their hair. Weeks of speculation about who the artist would be had finally boiled down to this one single afternoon.
But at last, after eight hours of solid preparation, it was time for the big moment. Squashed into the living room next door, we all crowded round the monitors to watch our BRIT-winning act casually approach Lorraine's front door and tap the knocker three times. A few seconds passed. We held our breath, watching Lorraine's face as she opened the door and took in the scene before her. For standing on her doorstep, side by side and framed by cameras and soundmen, were none other than The Pet Shop Boys!
 'MR TENNANT AND MR LOWE!!!' she shrieked, looking from one to the other in utter amazement and punching the air. 'OH MY GODDDDDDDD!'
Next door, we all smiled with relief and high-fived each other.
With the initial excitement over, Lorraine and her friends settled themselves on the sofa, staring wide-eyed around the room. Fluorescent lighting had been installed from the ceiling and Chris' huge keyboard was wedged into the corner. Just feet away, The Pet Shop Boys came 'on stage' followed by four sleek dancers sporting coloured tracksuits, blonde punk haircuts and neon makeup.
 Read the rest HERE, then click on the link to view the short video of the concert, too.

More later.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Tasty & Torrential Tuesday

And that’s a good thing. It’s only rain and with temps in the mid-40s, it’s helping melt the still-huge snow banks hereabouts.

I don’t care, being home and dry with a hot coffee, Little Jimmy Scott CD playing, and all the ingredients for preparing a dish from a new cookbook given to me at Christmas, titled “Just One Pot.” So I’m good for the entire day. I decided to scrap the Etouffe recipe originally planned when I found this one. It’s a pork and vegetable stew and it sounds delicious. And the pork was on sale.

I successfully suppressed the urge to do a little bar-hopping around Happy Hour this afternoon. Well, it really was decided for me when I opened my wallet and heard an echo from deep inside. Hmm! That urge will have to wait until I've paid what I owe to the state and IRS. The bestids!

These photos were shot yesterday and should give you an idea of what the area looks like.  The top shot is my snow and ice covered steps and porch taken as I left for work. The bottom is Rehoboth Avenue, taken of the restaurant (center) from the post office parking space. Again, before work. (Click to embiggen.) There you have it.

Time for a bit of lunch then to get cooking.

More later.

Why DADT Has Straight Folks So Obsessed?

Yes, that must be it.

More later.

New Gay Theater More About Love Than Politics

While I am sure some will get their panties in a wad over this (I remember the hoopla over the innocent "Boy Meets Boy" musical set in 1920s Europe which played to packed houses in the early 70s Off-Broadway) not being political, but I think it's about time and a breath of fresh air for us all.  After all, when it comes down to it, our lives are pretty similar. That fact alone should be enough to strangle the bigots and teabaggers.
From today's NYT:

A new breed of plays and musicals this season is presenting gay characters in love stories, replacing the direct political messages of 1980s and ‘90s shows like “The Normal Heart” and “Angels in America” with more personal appeals for social progress.
These productions about gay life make little or no mention of H.I.V. or AIDS and keep direct activism at arm’s length, with militant crusading portrayed with ambivalence more than ardor. The politics of these shows — there are seven of them opening in New York in the next several weeks — are subtler, more nuanced: they place the everyday concerns of Americans in a gay context, thereby pressing the case that gay love and gay marriage, gay parenthood and gay adoption are no different from their straight variations.
While persecution remains a reality for most of these gay characters, just as it does in many movies and television shows featuring gay love stories, the widening acceptance of AIDS as a pandemic rather than a gay disease — and the broadening debate on gay marriage and gay soldiers — have led, and have to some extent freed, writers and producers to use a wider lens to explore a broader landscape.
Joe Zellnik, who with his brother, David, created the new Off Broadway musical “Yank!,” about a bittersweet love affair between two men serving in the Army in World War II, said that they deliberately avoided agitprop and were instead trying to advance a message about equality through a gentler portrayal of men “who happened to be gay, fighting in the good war.”
“We weren’t trying to write an overtly political musical about gays in the military, because we came to see that ‘Yank!’ becomes more subversive the more you hew to the old classic Rodgers and Hammerstein models of love stories — just between two men — than having our characters up on soapboxes,” Joe Zellnik said.
In the new Broadway play “Next Fall,” in which sharp religious differences test a gay couple’s romantic bond, it is ultimately a traffic accident — not AIDS — that lands one of the men in critical condition.
“I think we have a better chance of attracting straight and gay audience members with universal emotions, like love and loyalty, that touch the lives of these gay men and show how we are all equal, rather than do it through polarizing arguments,” said Richard Willis, one of the lead producers of “Next Fall,” which began previews on Tuesday.

Read the rest here.

More later.

Monday, February 22, 2010

A New Monday in Gayberry, USA.

Having received an email notice of a special end-of-season sale on all outerwear at Izod, Bass, and Van Heusen I stopped by before heading into work this morning to see what I could find. I found a triple-fused jacket at 75% off. The outer shell is water resistant, middle layer holds body temperature, and the inner layer is soft fabric. Nice feel and comfortable, to boot. Usually these combos are stiff and difficult to wear while driving a vehicle, but this one is soft to the touch and pleasant to wear. Original price = $100.00 Final price = $25.00! And it wasn't made in China. A real win for me.

We weren't very busy for lunch at the restaurant today, but the facebook adverts appear to be taking hold. The first 2 diners were lesbians who are fans of the restaurant. That's promising, at least. Now I have to work with the boss on more interesting ideas for the weekday specials.

The temperatures rose into the 40s again today and as I made my way back to the apartment a light rain began to fall which will (hopefully) melt more of the snow still on the ground and in mounds everywhere you look. Hung around for an after-shift cocktail this evening, but when "Bad Romance" by Ga Ga came on the XM feed, I hit the ground running and got to the car before having to bear the first "ga ga ou la-la"...

Arrived at the apartment, shed the work drag, made a martini and prepped a light stir fry with rice noodles for supper.

I have the next 2 days off and tomorrow plan to do as little as I can get away with and not feel guilty. And Wednesday will be an activity day. Laundry, grocery shopping, and cooking up a big chicken/sausage Etouffe, 'cause I have a craving, that's why.

And so it goes.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Olympian Sven Kramer vs. the NBC Stoopid

Ah, if only more athletes were this bold and outspoken maybe, just maybe reporters would learn how to do their jobs and we'd all be better served. Watch as Sven smacks down an NBC hack. (With subtitles.)
The Dutch interviewer is clearly having a great time with this whole episode. I must admit, I did too.

More later.

Taxing Caturday

Doing my tax returns left me severely depressed this week. But the sun has been out for 4 days melting the mounds of snow and revealing spots of grass that were all but forgotten.  The weekend promises more of the same. That's cheered me up.

More later.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday & Forward

Bracing myself for a crazy Friday. With the temperatures remaining in the 40s the snow banks continue to melt and that's a very good thing. Parking spaces once buried appear almost daily.

Must check and double check my tax returns. There is no way I can owe that much money. I must have done something wrong.

Must fight my way through snow banks to get to the recycling center - haven't been able to get there for 3 weeks.

Today I work with all straight servers - the testosterone level will be quite high.

To counter that, I work with a lesbian and gay bartender, and two lesbians in the kitchen. Turn about is fair-play.

Reservations for two large parties promise to make lunch shift busier than usual. As more and more people get dug out of their homes, they tend to join us to relieve their cabin fever.  Margaritas have a way of helping cope.

Special "Fridays for Lent" dinner menus are ready to accompany our regular menus this evening.

Friend is down for the weekend and will be dining with me on Alaskan King Crab legs this evening.  Always a fun time leaving us with happy tummies and lots of laughs.  Doesn't happen often enough.

Things are looking good weather-wise, for the weekend. However, there is a chance of more s**w on Monday.  Let's not think about that, OK?

More later.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Windows LIVE Movie Maker

A New Toy, and it was FREE! That's a very good price...

I've been searching out movie editing software for a while and most are expensive and do most of the work rather than stirring ones own creative juices. Then I stumbled upon this program. Yes, it is a bit clunky and amateurish, but that's me all over.

To be honest, all previous versions of Windows included a simple movie editing program, but not Windows 7. Of course, not. The Gates giveth and the Gates taketh away.

I visited the MS website and downloaded the correct version for Windows 7 which was easier than such downloads of yesteryear. I plan to spend some free time putting together slideshows of still pics and movies shot with the little FLIP digital video camera received as a gift.

And if the damned groundhog was right, I'll have plenty of cold days and nights to play and share. At the very least this activity will keep the brain cells from freezing up. Stand back DeMille, Stevens, and Capra, your days are numbered.  They're all dead?  Ow! Sorry.

Hey! It really and truly is 5 o'clock here. OLIVES!

As a blogger friend always ends - "that's a wrap!"

And so it goes.

Pandemonium: Pet Shop Boys Concert DVD

Oh, I cannot wait to see this.

Recorded live at the O2 Arena in London last December, the DVD is to be released next month and I hope to scrape up enough money to purchase it later in the spring. Here is the extended trailer of the concert.
I love the Pet Shop Boys for their intelligent, insightful lyrics and I especially like Chris' Mirror Jacket.

It doesn't take much to get me distracted anymore, does it? The Taxman? What Taxman?

More later.

Yeah, Yeah! The Taxman...

That'll teach me. No good deed (or intention) goes unpunished.

Having received my final W-2 from the previous employer yesterday, I decided to do the taxes and get them out of the way. Maybe, just maybe, I would get a small refund for my efforts.

So, after a coffee, juice, and an egg sandwich I settled in and did the deed. Then I did it again. Triple checked, even. OK, unless I did something remarkably stupid and TurboTax didn't catch it, I owe a lot to the Fed and State. This is only the second time in my life that this has been the case. And it happens when I can least afford it. At least the other time I was making really good money and had fewer expenses. Not so this time.

And I thought things were looking up for 2010. Ha!

Ok, ok, so I think the culprit may be the withholding by the restaurant last year. I worked so few hours weekly that there was hardly anything taken out of each paycheck.  That has to be the culprit. I'll have to make changes to my status so this doesn't happen again next year. 

Well, any thoughts of putting a few bucks aside for a holiday this year are out of the question. Bother!

Anyway, I printed out the returns, signed them, and they are now in addressed envelopes on the desk where they will remain until the last possible moment to be mailed.

What a great way to ruin an otherwise lovely day off. Sunshine instead of snow had me ready for a day outdoors. Now, not so much. Like they say, "whether the pitcher hits the stone, or the stone hits the pitcher - it's going to be bad for the pitcher." Hello stone. Meet pitcher.

I hope your tax news is better than mine.

Maybe I'll watch a movie and wait for 5 o'clock to roll around to drown my sorrow in olives.

More later.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

It's Carnival, Y'all!

Professor Longhair and two friends rehearsing a NOLA boogie. Unfortunately, he died before they could do it live.
Only the best memories of Mardi Gras past.

A little boogie and an appearance by the sun...yeah!

More later.

For Haiti: "We Are The World 25"

Hard to believe it's been a quarter century since the first "We are the World" recording and fundraiser. This one features some old, as well as new faces.  Enjoy.

Sun is finally out - snow has ended - I am going to run a few errands.
More later.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Something has Changed Within Me...

The parade of never-ending snowstorms (and blizzards) left me feeling out of sorts this past week. Kinda like "Defying Gravity" from WICKED - something had changed within me. something was not the same - a melancholy had crept into every fiber of my being. Things that used to make me laugh, didn't anymore. A few frequently read blogs seemed trite, obvious, even petty. People seemed distant and aloof.  Nothing took on the air of importance as before enduring the endless barrage of bad weather.

I couldn't put my finger on it, but I instinctively knew I WAS different. Detached. Television, as bad as it was before, now unwatchable for more than  5 minutes. The only activities I've enjoyed are work and reading. While snowbound, I reread "Chaplin" Charlie Chaplin's autobiography and found it exciting and refreshing as if taking it on for the very first time. Chaplin loved words (being illiterate as a child) and had a lovely, challenging way with them which, when I first read the book 40 years ago sent me flipping through the dictionary every few pages. Well, I suppose age is good for something; no dictionary this time round.

Then a few things happened yesterday and today that offered the key to what was missing.

A hug.
A kind word.
A thoughtful letter of recognition.

I am used to being outgoing and giving with no expectations in return. I guess I was running on empty and needed replenishment of my own. Four years ago I learned the hard way to take nothing for granted in life . It can all go away in a flash - and did.

This weekend out of the blue, 3 diners (perfect strangers) asked if they could give me a hug. They seemed to think that I went over and above the call of duty on their behalf, making them comfortable and showering them with attention. I didn't. I just did what I do and it was infectious, I suppose.

All that said, something HAS changed within me and will never be the same. Not necessarily a bad thing.

 A new, different me. Now I need a whole new wardrobe for this different me...Um, maybe not.

And so it goes.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Gayest Cook-top Ever!

Arriving from work today I noticed that the clocks were blinking again, so we lost power for a time today, as well.  Kinda freaked me out, but never mind.

When the power went down during Part 1 of the Blizzards of 2010 I thought it would be for a few hours - at most.  Never dreamed it would be out for days. Anyway, while suffering through extreme cold temperatures for two nights I had to rig up some way to make a warm meal. No camp stove or even a fondue set, but I had an idea, and this is the final solution to my problem.

Crystal wine glasses, an oven rack, a large candle, and small saucepan.  Heated stew, soup, and leftover chicken and mushrooms which were devoured with copious amounts of bread, salad, and crackers on the side.

Yes, it's probably the GAYEST cook-top, but it sustained me by providing 4 hot meals in a very cold apartment. So there!

More later.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Blizzards (so far) of 2010 - Part 2

Feb. 11.2010 - Still no electricity at the apartment and no plow has touched the road, so no way to get back, anyway.  House mother takes me to work then a server friend drives me back to her house as she arrives as my replacement for the dinner crowd. Restaurant opens at regular time as the phone rings off the hook with folks grateful to know we are open. This is more than cabin fever; more like a nightmare pneumonia and everyone wants out. Very busy lunch crowd and everyone with a troubling story regarding these recent storms. Attempted to dig out my car, but that was futile. Got stuck in the middle of the road at one point, saved only by neighbors who helped push me back into the icy spot. Fell twice and hurt my heel, but thankfully no further damage to the back. Too tired to cook, so a sandwich is supper followed by a shower and bed. Peanut butter and jelly is our friend!

Feb. 12. 2010 - House mother takes server to her daytime gig at 5 am, then carts me to the restaurant at 10:30. Primary streets are pretty clear so diners pounce on the warmth and glowing colours of the place - decorated for Mardi Gras - and the margaritas flow like the waters of spring. Remember Spring?
The sun shines in a clear sky and the winds mercifully die down. I get a call telling me that the electricity is back on and one lane of my road has been plowed.  My car (with the help of another friend) is miraculously freed from the icy prison. I can go home.
The single lane is scary, flanked by walls of snow and ice over 6 feet high. I have never seen this before. Driveway is not clear, so parking on the road is the only option. Walking through snow and ice 2 feet high is not pleasant especially with the damaged foot, but I make it only to find the steps to the apartment are sheets of ice, half inch thick.  Slow going. Once inside there is such relief I can cry and I do.
Bring in and restore frozen food in ice chest from deck. Take hot shower and make calls to let folks know I've survived and have arrived back at the apartment.
Unpack and while enjoying a martini make list of necessities to pick up tomorrow before and after work. The next day off isn't until next Tuesday and yes, that means 2 weeks without a day off.
Yet another PB & J for supper and it's off to bed.

Feb 13. 2010 - Grabbed a few essentials before heading in to work. Sky is gray and threatening - looks and feels like snow - but the forecast last evening called for highs in the upper 30s.  Radio forecast this morning calls for a 40% chance of snow today. I almost drive into a snowbank from the shock.
Side roads and many developments remain un-plowed making it impossible for residents to get to and from jobs, store, etc. Some folks have not left their homes for over a week. This is just nuts and unacceptable in my book.
Busy day at work with more people suffering from cabin fever as the reservations were pouring in for tonight and tomorrow. I had a great staff working lunch today so all went smoothly; not that anyone much cared, being grateful to be out among the living was enough. Anyway, it all kept my mind off the possibility of more white stuff.
Stayed for an after-shift cocktail before heading back to the apartment. Very relaxing. Decided to cook up a ginger, beef  and veggie stir-fry for supper then settle in to watch some of the Olympics before crashing.
Valentine's Day is going to be an extremely hectic day and (G*d knows) I need more rest.

And so it goes.

Caturday Love

Happy Valentines Day to all of you who have one, as well as those of us who do not.

More later. 

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Blizzards (so far) of 2010 - Part 1

I may edit this later, but just grateful to be back in my own space, with my own bed, and just too tired right now.

Feb. 05. 2010 - See previous post below.

Feb. 06. 2010 - Lost electric power at 3:20 am meaning no heat or water - hot or cold - so I hunkered down. By daybreak, such as it was, there was that dreaded "winter mix" of precipitation which changed to all snow as the day wore on. By Evening the gusting winds sounded like freight trains rumbling through. Snowed in, nowhere to go, and listening to a small radio for updates - - there are 36,000 homes without power with more expected as the heavy mix brings down power lines. Flying snow and ice clumps crash into the outer walls of the building, scaring the crap out of me.
Living with beaucoup lighted candles (thanks Martha Stewart, I think!) and closing off the other rooms kept the main room above freezing, at least.
Constructed a festive single burner cook top that only a gay man could conceive.  I' ll add pictures later.  Heated soup and stew. You had to be here.  Well, no actually, glad you were not here.

Feb. 07.2010 - Slept under layers of blankets and comforters and woke to sunshine, less wind; thereby expecting the apartment to warm up as the sun always does. It did, but not enough. I was unable to dig out and work that day so I dug as much as I could - careful not to damage my back anymore than it already is and waited for a plow out which, when it came was not from the state or county, but from a neighbor with a frontloader.
Tired, sore, cold, hungry, and feeling very alone I heated an evening meal, grabbed more covers and went to sleep.

Feb.08. 2010 - The apartment is literally freezing.  The snow I scooped into a pitcher last evening to use for washing and toothbrushing remains snow and ice.  I am in trouble!
 I telephone the boss explaining my situation - that I can work my shift but need a place to warm up and sleep until the power is restored. He tells me to get the hell out of there, and meet him for breakfast at the other restaurant and we'll figure it out from there.
The hot coffee, eggs, bacon, and toast were like manna. To suddenly be warm was a shock for my body. It took hours to stop shaking, to take deep breaths, to feel my toes again.
During my shift it was determined that I would be staying at the home of another employee and that there would be 3 of us rooming together. The house mother is another host at the restaurant and the other roomie is a server, who just as I, had no utilities or water.  Though we don't know one another well, we got along as old friends.  Thanks be to G*d for that!

Feb. 09.2010 - Covered for the other host who couldn't get dug out to work the shift. Bracing for a duplicate of last weekend. And, sure enough it comes. Snow falls heavily all evening as the winds shift into high gear. Almost white-out conditions finally force the issue state-wide.

 Feb 10. 2010 - State of Emergency in place making travel by anyone other than emergency personnel subject to a heavy fine. Many unsure whether to believe the histrionics from the weather casters. Still, the decision was made to open the restaurant and so there we were. Two hours later, the city decided (thanks to someone wise rather than someone greedy) to close down in order to clear as much snow off the Avenue as possible - - preparing for the big 3-holiday weekend.
Meanwhile back at the apartment, we celebrated with Bombay Sapphire Gin, roasted chicken breasts in a creamy mushroom sauce, salad, and garlic bread.  Not bad.
This was followed by copious amounts of wine as we giggled and laughed as the weather morons continued to tap dance they're way through the mess as the snow mounted and roads were impassible.

That will do for now. Part two will follow soon.  It's great to be on my own space, my own bed, enjoying my own crazy. Can I get an Amen.

Thanks to all who have been concerned, commented, and offered prayers. I am very blessed.

And so it goes.

Friday, February 5, 2010

State of Emergency Declared

It's official.
February 5, 2010

Markell Declares Statewide State of Emergency Effective at 8:00 PM

Motor Vehicles Are Restricted On Roads Starting At 10 pm
Wilmington, DE - Governor Jack Markell declared a State of Emergency covering the entire state of Delaware effective at 8:00 pm today, with vehicles ordered off the roads as of 10 p.m.
Conditions are expected to intensify with heavy snowfall and strong winds that will make driving exceptionally dangerous. Given the anticipated strength of this storm, DelDOT crews are expected to concentrate on major arteries for plowing, initially leaving many secondary roads unattended.
As of 10 p.m. tonight and until further notice, the emergency declaration allows only emergency vehicles and essential personnel on the roads until further notice. The Governor will evaluate the conditions of the roads after the storm passes on Saturday morning to determine how long this restriction will remain in place. Private sector businesses are strongly urged to consider the safety of their employees and the restriction of travel during the storm when deciding whether to remain operating. Abandoned vehicles will be towed at the owner’s expense.
“For your safety, the safety of our emergency personnel, and the safety of all Delawareans, drivers should stay off the roads once this storm begins and intensifies,” Markell said. “Our state agencies have been working together to prepare for and combat the effects of this storm. Remaining off the roads helps them in this effort and is important to public safety.”
Well, that's out of the way... No work tomorrow.
Read the official document HERE.

And so it goes.

Calm and now, the Storm

All was eerily calm as I made my way to work this morning. Little traffic, a pale sun behind gray clouds straining to make its presence known, an uneasy quiet, not even a breeze. Most odd, being on the ocean there is always at least a light breeze.

Very little in the way of human activity in town today. The lunch customers were few and subdued; everyone anxious for the shoe to drop, for this monster to arrive, already. The snow began to fall at the end of my work day, accompanied by a 10 mph wind. The severe weather warning went into gear at 4 pm, the Blizzard warning went into effect at 7 tonight and continues until 6 tomorrow evening, so batten down the hatches.

Everyone at work was joking that "wouldn't it be funny if this whole thing fizzled out in the end?" and I said YES, I'll take that instead of what is coming our way.

To top things off, unless a State of Emergency is declared, I will be expected at work tomorrow morning. A telephone chain has been implemented, so I will not know until the morning.

I have food, coffee, tea, wine, gin, and Sazerac ingredients, of course.

Time for a cocktail and supper. Cheers!

More later.

Raging Grannies to CBS for Tebow Ad

Go, grannies, go!
There are allegations that CBS had a hand in scripting the offensive ad. Not good form.

More later.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Blizzard in Coastal Delaware?

Afraid so...That's what the forecasters are predicting.  Anyone who has been to DE during or following a "snow event" of any kind knows that the state sucks at anything snow-related. Main highways are kinda-sorta cleared, but forget side roads and those in the beach towns and surrounding communities.

When I got to work this morning the forecasters were calling for up to 12" of snow beginning tomorrow and through Saturday night. As I left this evening it's now up to 24" and blizzard conditions with 40 mph winds. Not looking good. As I made my way back to the apartment I noticed that supermarket parking lots were pretty full, as were the gas stations.

Mind you we've already seen 10" last weekend, another 3" yesterday, and plenty of that is still on the ground, which is saturated from all the recent rains.

Virginia is already under a state of emergency with first-responders already getting into place.

I'm sure I'll be able to get to work tomorrow, but all bets are off for Saturday. The only fear is that we lose electric power. Everything in the apartment runs on electricity.  EVERYTHING!

Well, at least I have plenty of food, filled a container of water (we're on a well) and all ingredients for a Sazerac, so I'm good.

And so it goes.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Is It Spring, Yet?

It snowed yet again overnight, only about 3 inches, but a heavy snow compared to last weekend's dump of 9 inches of powder that was easy to remove.

OK I cleaned off the car - more difficult this time thanks to the heavier, wetter snow - and my back was killing me afterward. Seems I can't do anything without causing excruciating pain since fracturing 3 vertabrae last year. Took a couple of Ibuprofen and rested til it kicked in.

Was going to do a bit of grocery shopping, but decided not to drive anywhere today after all.  I have plenty of food in the freezer and a few leftovers as well.

Visited a few blogs, read the NYT, WaPo, and the Guardian while listening to Eva Cassidy. Usually I have trouble listening to her because she died so young.  What a great talent lost to us all. I was in the right mood for her today. No tears.

I broke out the BIG Dutch oven and settled on a big stew because it freezes better and will be good supper on cold nights after work.

Began working on my taxes, but without the W2 from the previous job there's not much to do.  Besides, it was depressing to see the numbers - and this year may be even leaner than last.

Thinking about selling my Nikon D70 since it hardly gets used anymore.  I mean, where do I go to shoot?  Nowhere. A friend sent a 4 question meme to me yesterday and one question was "Name 4 places you go regularly" - my answers were Work, Rehoboth, Lewes, Supermarket.  Sad, ain't it?

Tomorrow it's back to work to gear up for the Super Bowl weekend. It should be a lot of fun. The place will be pure insanity on Sunday and I will enjoy the excitement - if not the game - with everyone else. I will be wearing festive Carnival beads in honour of the Saints.

At this moment there is a beautiful red fox walking through the new snow in the back.

And so it goes.

Westboro Gets Rick-Rolled!

Now that's funny! Just wanted to share.

Snow? More?

Aaack!  Three more inches - thick, wet stuff this time. Go away, I'm tired of this, already. Damn that groundhog!

Just visited Lemuel  at his place.  Seems he got the same out his way.

More later.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


It is always those who have a lot who call for sacrifices to be made. And when they do, they are usually talking to those who they have made sure have nothing to sacrifice in the first place.

Visit OCICBW - if you dare. He can be great fun, for a madpriest.

More later.

Best Picture Oscar Nominations

Best Picture
"The Blind Side"
"District 9"
"An Education"
"The Hurt Locker"
"Inglorious Bastards"
"A Serious Man"
"Up in the Air"

This is depressing. I have not seen ANY of them, and not even heard of three. Do I live in a "dead zone" - of what?  Slim pickings at the multiplex in these here parts. I'm surprised that Avatar is still playing, though doubt I'll get to see it.

More later, maybe.

Who Dat Nation Writes to Miami

This pretty much sums up the energy, love, passion, and humour of Saints fans.

Dear Miami,

The Saints are coming. And so are we, their loyal, long-suffering and slightly discombobulated Super Bowl-bound fans.

While there's still time to prepare -- although a few hard-core Who Dats will begin trickling in Monday, most of us won't arrive until Thursday or Friday -- we thought we'd give you a heads-up about what you should expect.

First things first: You need more beer.

Yeah, we know. You ordered extra. You think you have more than any group of humans could possibly consume in one week. Trust us. You don't.

New Orleans was a drinking town long before the Saints drove us to drink. But it turns out beer tastes better when you're winning. (Who knew?) So let's just say we're thirsty for more than a championship; adjust your stockpiles accordingly.

And look. When we ask you for a go-cup, be nice to us. We don't even know what "open container law" means. Is that anything like "last call"?

It's Carnival season in New Orleans (that's Mardi Gras to you), and we'll be taking the celebration on the road. So don't be startled if you walk past us and we throw stuff at you; that's just our way of saying hello.

Oh, and sorry in advance about those beads we leave dangling from your palm trees. We just can't help ourselves.

February is also crawfish season, and you can be sure that more than one enterprising tailgater will figure out a way to transport a couple sacks of live mudbugs and a boiling pot to Miami.

When the dude in the 'Who Dat' T-shirt asks if you want to suck da head and pinch da tail, resist the urge to punch him. He's not propositioning you. He's inviting you to dinner.

And if you see a big Cajun guy who looks exactly like an old Saints quarterback walking around town in a dress ... don't ask. It's a long story.

We know that crowd control is a major concern for any Super Bowl host city. Our advice? Put away the riot gear.

Reason No. 1: Indianapolis is going to lose, and their fans are way too dull to start a riot.

Reason No. 2: New Orleans showed the world on Sunday that we know how to throw a victory party. We don't burn cars. We dance on them.

Reason No. 3: Even if we did lose, which we won't, leaving the stadium would be like leaving a funeral, and our typical response to that is to have a parade.

Read it all HERE.

More later.
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