15 September 2004

new phone number

I've been thinking a lot recently about the change of season. . . . As a kid, the difference between summer and fall was drastic: one day you're staying up late watching zombie movies, and then next day you become the zombie facing the harsh reality of 1st period pre-algebra and that teacher you hoped you wouldn't get. As an adult, the weather helped mark the transition to a new part of the year. After three months of fun in the sun and staying up late, you have a "farewell to the sun" BBQ with your friends, then you all put sweaters on and go inside for nine months and runminate.

Unfortunately, that kind of thing doesn't happen down here in California. While the rest of the country swings into a season of introspection and heavy eating, those of us in the southwestern U.S. are entering the warmest part of the year.

Last week, people at work complained it was too hot to sleep even with the air conditioning on. I've heard they close schools sometimes because it's too hot outside. On the more disturbing front, I picked up a flyer at the grocery store about why you shouldn't lock your children in your car while shopping because they could die of heat stroke. You'd think this would go without saying. I carry a hot pad in my glove box so I don't get "1,2,3,5, Reverse" grilled into my palm from my gear shift.

I was told that the season that follows summer isn't called "fall" it's called "fire." No joke, I was in San Diego over the weekend and the cheery "Enjoy San Diego" banners adorning the light posts in the Gaslamp had been changed to "Saving your home from wildfire isn't an accident."

Also on the natural disaster front, I've been experiencing the depressing side of working for an international company these past few weeks. The series of hurricanes, Ivan especially, has devistated many of the dive centers in Florida and the caribbean. On Grand Cayman, 75-90% of homes have been destroyed or damaged. One of only two grocery stores on the island was leveled, and the other one "looks like a bomb went off in it." The island is literaly split in half due to flooding, and phone service is non-existant aside from whatever battery power some have remaining on their cell and satellite phones.

Driving around Orange County (where they build grocery stores accross the street from each other so drivers won't be troubled to make a left turn) it occured to me how soft and fragile this place is. I don't think these people would know what to do if Whole Foods was knocked over. They turn on the emergency broadcast system every time it rains for chrissakes. Oh well, survival of the fittest, I guess. Maybe we will finally get to move into that ocean view mansion in Laguna Beach and have the best surfing waves all to ourselves.

If you've read this far, thanks! Here is my new phone number: XXX-XXX-XXXX.
If you just skipped to the end, well, you missed out! I wrote about you in paragraph three.

Also, Barry and I will be up in Portland from Friday September 24 through Sunday evening September 26. Hope to see some of you!

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