Friday, April 19, 2013

Stunning Tragedy

I have good news to post but I feel it would be reprehensible to not comment on the events of the last few days. The bombing at the Boston Marathon and the subsequent lock down of Boston and other Mass. cities is horrific and terrifying. The bombing itself made everything for the rest of the day worse. The fire in the JFK Library. The fire and explosion of the West, Texas fertilizer plant. But the lock down of cities? I cannot even imagine. You see stories on the news about towns, villages, and cities in the Middle East where people live this carnage, destruction, and horror on a daily basis. Not here. Not since 9/11 and we bounced back rather quickly. But a whole portion of a state on lock down for hours? Gun fights in suburban neighborhoods?

The media, as always, has stories about how to talk to your children about this tragedy. If they aren't going to remember it, don't bring it up. Of course, I'm not a parent but I just can't fathom talking about this with a child who doesn't get it because it won't do them good. I can hardly read about it whilst remembering that it is reality, in my own country, without worrying that any industrial accident, any suspicious activity at all, isn't part of a bigger scheme.

The victims of the Marathon and their families are suffering so much. Those who weren't directly affected are suffering. A woman I work with is stranded in LA because her sister was supposed to fly in to help take care of their mother but her sister is in Boston and so, obviously, she cannot get out.

The explosion at the fertilizer plant was and is a nightmare and I cannot imagine what the people of West are feeling. They still don't know body counts or casualty counts. One thing I thought whilst listening to the news was "how you can be a first responder I do not know but my hat goes off to you because you run towards what we run from." To die because you are the first to respond to something like this, to take care of others, to put your life at that risk, is noble and brave and beyond what I have in me.

And the stories of the marathon runners who kept running to donate blood, or who turned around and ran towards the blast to help the victims.

I am disgusted by mankind but I'm also in awe of mankind. And I have nothing profound or intelligent to say so I shan't continue on this theme. I'm just amazed in good and bad ways, by these tragedies. And my heart goes out to all those affected.

My good news can fucking well wait. 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Achey Breaky Back - Texas Style

I am in Mesquite, Texas, my new home town. Mom flew in on Saturday, treated Tits and me to a Chinese dinner, and promptly started giving me orders and watching me work when she got up Sunday morning. Once the movers did their thing, I threw some more stuff out, dropped off my keys, and we set out for our 16 hour drive with a packed car and a guinea pig in the back seat (in a brand spanking new cage I might add).

The drive went way better than I thought. Mom makes for good company what with letting me listen to a neuroscience program on NPR* and chatting with me about this and that. We made a few stops but never turned the car off for fear it wouldn't start again. We also discovered that my AC is broken. But we made it through the 100+ miles of Ohio and entered Kentucky with its lovely scenery and rolling hills (which the Saturn did NOT like). We didn't switch drivers until I'd gone about 600 miles and we were lost in Nashville, our GPS dying (turns out my lighter doesn't work either) and Siri crapping out because the battery was dying. Mom drove us to a little hotel that took pets and we put puffy on a luggage cart, threw our crap in the room, and had dinner at O'Charlies, complete with hushpuppies, a steak for her, and country friend chicken for me. I literally asked the waiter "What do people in Tennessee eat" because we wanted to eat culturally.**

The next day I drove through Tennessee and most of Arkansas before Mom took over again so I could call and set up an account with an electric company (longest fucking call ever because she kept telling me about how they save on energy and carbon footprints and blah blah) and a renter's insurance policy, both of which I needed in order to sign my lease (Jeff, the leasing agent, very kindly stayed after hours to wait for us). I also ordered internet but not cable, to mom's dismay, and then sat back and ate my Wendy's cheeseburger.

And we arrived! My back still hurts so bad that I feel like I'm going to break in two and I don't have much in the way of furniture but the hard stuff is over. I have an air mattress that Hunter has loaned me (his wife didn't want my mom sleeping on the floor) and a little patio set that momma bought me, which I'm presently using indoors until I get my furniture next Saturday. Then I will place it on my balcony. That's right, I have a balcony so I feel like I've arrived in some way. The apartment is small but perfect for a single girl and her pig. There is a deep red accent wall and the counter tops and cabinetry in the kitchen and bathroom are new, complete with brushed nickle hardware. Lots of cabinet space in the kitchen and a good size cabinet in the bathroom with a drawer so woo to the hoo. No linen or coat closets but my bedroom closet is a walk in with drawers and I bought some furniture from Hunter and his missus, including a chest of drawers, something I've not had in ages. I also have storage space off of my balcony should I need it for anything or if I ever grow up enough to buy a washer and dryer. It's a one bedroom because I always regretted going for two bedrooms at my last place and it is just perfect. Third floor (top level) so I'm well pleased I won't be moving my furniture in. Hunter and some of his friends will move it for me, including the love seat, chest of drawers, dining table, chairs, and nightstand we bought from him.

We met Hunter's wife, Gatherer, when we went to look at the furniture and she is super nice and welcoming. She showed us the cow they have (one is on loan to a neighbor) who just gave birth. It was fun watching the baby run after and around the mother and Gatherer told me all about how it had been a twin birth but one died and that the baby that survived looked so different than the mother because of her father who was a different breed. I also met their llama, who was perfectly nice but scared me nonetheless. Llamas are fucking big.

Mom and I also went to Walmart where we got two carts worth of stuff. I have a bathroom that looks appropriate and various home items that you need (you know, like dishes). So I have the essentials and will have the rest of my garbage next week. Right now I'm doing the laundry that I brought with me and drinking a Blue Moon seasonal. All in all, not a bad Sunday.

*That makes me sound brainier than I am. I just like NPR and they have interesting stories on. The fact that it was neuroscience hour was just a coincidence. 

**Mom and I have grand plans to travel the world so that we can eat the food. France for frog's legs and escargot (which we've already done), Italy for, you know, Italian, and so on and so forth.