Thursday, March 31, 2011

Talk Thursday: Weird Stuff I Dream About

This is going to be an extremely short post. I don’t have dreams. Well really I must, doesn’t everyone dream? I don’t remember my dreams… or often even the sensation of dreaming. And don’t you have to be asleep for more than four hours to have REM (the sleep not Michael Stipes and gang) to get deep into your dreams? I never sleep more than two… and a half hours without waking up. And yes, this is very frustrating…

…I am sleep deprived. I’m sure I’ve expounded on this before, it all started with the pre-menopausal thing at age 42… while is a good 12 years after the night sweats. Suddenly with hot flashes I couldn’t sleep and we all know why premenopausal women are bitchy… it’s because they don’t get any sleep, so let me reiterate for all to read again – With the first hot flash find yourself some…

1) Evening Primrose oil
2) Heavy duty calcium
3) A really good sleep aide
4) And your own fan for your own side of the bed
5) (plus if you sleep with a cuddler you might consider the reinvention of the bungle board

A survival list of the most basic needs for any premenopausal woman.

Back to the sleeping thingie… or lack of sleeping thingie… it means I get no sleep and ergo don’t dream. When I was a child I would dream, wonderful – fantastical dreams of flying with the kites and pots and pans (I have no clue – it’s just what I remembered) and being able to breathe underwater.

About six months after my father passed I had a very vivid dream that I was driving down 18th street and stopped to turn on to Highway 101. There on the curb stood my father with a big grin on his face, he walked up to my car (the one he gave me at Cutlass Supreme) knocked on the window and told me he was okay. My heart sang. And he was gone.

I don’t have dreams, but when I am visited, it rocks.


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Talk Thursday: Who, Me? Already?

Who is me and do I even really know? Personally, I think not, because me is ever changing, ever learning, and ever seeing things anew. Really, shouldn’t this journey be just like that? And epic adventure of change and growth? I’ve said it more than once, "The day I quit wanting to learn should be the day I die" (I oft just say, "The day I quit learning just shoot me.")

Once upon a time I use to love, even relish change. Now I am enamored of routine and that schedule which I know, but it wasn’t always that way. Once moving to a new place, meeting new people were met head on with the tingling excitement of a new adventure. Now the thought of packing up boxes makes me think I should move out the family pictures and china and strike a match. But I couldn’t do that, my home is my nest. My place of rest, healing, and health, my place of comfort and comforting. I still love to roam, explore the new and unknown, but return to my nest.

So, me? No I’m not ready, for I’m not done. I’ve not yet seen all I want, to say all I have to say, and do all I am here to accomplish. But even more so than all that, I have not learned all the lessons I am here to learn.

Who, Me? Yeah, me, and you too.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Talk Thursday: The Long Way Home (a week late)

You know how you store those special moments in your life and take them out in your old age to pet them dearly? Wait, you’ll get there so take your Ginko. Some of my fondest memories revolve around music or involve music – crap in this case what’s the difference? I love music, I love my daughter, and some of my dearest adult memories are in the car singing with her.

Once upon a time I had this kewl 200SX. I loved it, bought it used and took the best care of it I could… which is to say, I wasn’t very good to it at all. When I married ex-number two we traded it in for a Chevy Luv 4by4 (the exact sequence of events is pretty fuzzy in my memory.) Music in the 200SX was pure Pat Benetar, Thin Lizzy, and Blondie… that much I remember. In the long run, because what woman ends up with the better vehicle, I ended up with a faded white VW Bug that we bought in a storage unit sale for $283 – note there was also a chest of drawers and a bureau in the unit, the Bug was in need of an engine and love.

Before you could say Chevy Luv I was driving a mildewy faded VW Bug that had definitely seen better days. Psam hated that car, I’m fairly certain it was the aromatic combination of oil and mildew that lovingly wafted through the small vehicle (I really tried to not use the heater for this very reason, but have you ever tried to NOT use the heater in a VW – yeah you understand.) Music in the VW was pure KZEL and well I and Psam were past Blondie, she wasn’t hot on Thin Lizzy, and I had a copied cassette of Supertramp.

Keep in mind that Florence is a whole five miles from Siuslaw River Bridge to Heceta Beach Road and at the time Highway 101 was just two lanes in most places. In my defense I must remind you that Supertramps’ Take The Long Way Home is the better part of five minutes, so if you wanted to hear the whole song, you took Rhododendron drive, past the dump, along the Siuslaw River and up 35th street, ergo we took the long way home. Hey it could have been worse, I could have played all 8 minutes and 52 seconds of American Pie, then we could have drove the che… VW past… crap it loses a lot in the translation…. Oh oh, I know she loves Alice’s Restaurant… I mean it’s only eighteen and a half minutes long – we could have driven all the way to Mapleton – and Psam loves all those
eight-by-ten colour glossy pictures with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one
and Arlo was driving a VW microbus, red not faded white.
But no, I had Supertramp and a oil soaked mildewy wafting faded white VW – Psam had to hold her breath or puke, and really I’m glad she has good lung power.

BTW, did you know that March is Sing With Your Child Month? No lie, some of my happiest times of parenthood were singing in the car with my daughter… we had a very special sound track that started with Nino Tempo and April Steven’s Deep Purple, included Sonny and Cher’s The Beat Goes On, Gladys Knight and the Pip’s Midnight Train To Georgia. Those were some of the best days of my life.


Saturday, March 12, 2011

March 11th - Or A Day In The Wake Of A Disaster

My world goes round, my family is safe, my home is whole –dry – stable, and there is food on my table. My heart goes out to the Japanese people.

In total ignorance of the growing crisis in Japan (I was watching cable not network TV – so no information crawler) I took two sleeping tabs and went to bed at about 10:30. At 11:30, Beady Dee Dee called me. We are on Tsunami watch, after we checked out CNN together and her husband the Chief gave me some info through her I got dressed and was at work by Midnight. Yes, she chatted with me that long.

The National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration or NOAA has an amazing array of informational sites for professionals and the public. KCST began disseminating information and Tsunami watch information. Phone calls began coming in. CENS (Community Emergency Notification System – or reverse 911) called me at the station (WTF) at 2:30AM or 3 o’clock to let me know I needed to be at the newly opened EOC (Emergency Operations Center – aka the Siuslaw Valley Rural Fire District’s main station.)

Thirty minutes later I was called by incident command that they were going to sound the Tsunami siren in 15 minutes.
This gave me enough time to write up and record a new dissemination and air it. It went something like this….

The National Weather Service has issued a Tsunami Warning for the coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest.

At approximately 9:36pm PST an earthquake registering an estimated 8.9 struck the eastern coast of Japan. A Tsunami wave is expected to hit the Northern California and Oregon coast at approximately 7am (7:15 – 7:20 – 7:25 – sometime between 9 and 10am [seriously it changed that much.)

The Tsunami siren has sounded – please do not call 911.

Residents living near the beach and those in the Tsunami inundation zone are advised to evacuate to higher ground. The Florence Events Center has been opened as a relocation center (as was Three Rivers Casino, the Florence BiMart and Fred Meyer’s parking lots.)

Please do not call 911, do not go to the beach

Again, the National Weather Service has issued a Tsunami warning for the coastal areas of the Pacific Northwest. Stay tuned for further information and updates, you’re tuned to FM 106.9 KCST.


And the phone calls began. I don’t call it the headless chicken republic for nothing. Excerpts from actual phone calls I answered (and for a while I was the only one at the station – so I answered them all) –

“What’s that siren? Can they turn it off I’m trying to sleep?”

“What’s that siren?”
“The NWS has issued a Tsunami Warning ma'am.”
“What should I do?”
“Well ma’am where do you live?”
“On Siano loop.”
“You need to evacuate ma’am. They have opened the Florence Events Center as a relocation center. That or higher ground would be where you need to go.”
“But how do I get there?”
“You drive ma’am” (Siano loop is just over the dune from my house – which is not in the Tsunami inundation zone and take my word this woman could hear the siren it’s less than a block from her house.)
“But I don’t have a car.”
“Ma’am, I suggest you call a taxi then.”

I had several phone calls in the same vein. One lady wanted to know if they would let her take her pets - see has dogs, cats, and birds. I really didn’t know the answer to that one. Several phone calls, and I mean several wanted to know if their house was safe. They lived at least a mile outside the Tsunami zone.

What frustrates me, and I imagine the EOC too, is that since the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami that killed tens of thousands, the City of Florence and other communities along the Oregon coast have been neck deep in educating residents in disaster prevention and preparation. You can not drive anywhere in Florence west of Highway 101 and not see signs that either tell you you’re in a Tsunami Inundation Zone or that road you are driving is
designated as a “Tsunami Evacuation Route”.

Monthly free workshops teach residents how to be ready in the event of a multitude of disasters – but they all focus on earthquakes and tsunamis. So how can you be in Florence for any amount of time and not know 1) If your house is in an inundation zone 2) what you should do 3) what emergency supplies and equipment you should have on hand in preparation 4) HAVE A FUCKING PLAN!

We kept our listeners up on where they could go, what schools were closed for the day or just on two hour delays. Sadly, at least one of the valley TV stations reported that Siuslaw schools were closed for the day, when in truth, until 8am they were just on two hour delay with morning kindergarten canceled. But of course at TV station 65 miles away would know better (according to phone calls) than KCST, even thought we get phone calls directly from the 97J Superintendent of Schools. Yes, they did finally cancel school for the day – the “I told you so” phone calls were delightful.

Then finally they called us at 10:30 to say in 15 minutes they would ring the all clear. It was a delight for me to make that announcement – Being a mile away from a Tsunami siren inside a building I didn’t get to hear the chimes. Several times before my airshift was over I made sure to invite people to openly say thank you to the officers, firefighters, city and county employees who made their Friday safer. Being a Friday, I still had a full day of work to do (I hate Fridays) and didn’t get to go home from work until 6:30 – over 18 hours after I arrived. But it was a fulfilling day.

I demanded pizza for dinner, ate three pieces, brushed my teeth and was in bed by 8:45. I didn’t get out of bed until 9:30 this morning. Yes, I did not go to yoga.

This afternoon I went and had to settle for kelp with 400mcg’s of iodine, because the two pharmacies I checked didn’t have potassium iodide (my friend got a bottle but it was expired) I need to go buy some potassium to go with it – no bananas won’t work, Ducky hates bananas. One pharmacist looked at me and the guy who asked for the potassium iodide like we were idiots. Do I have to worry about fall out from the Fukashima Meltdown? You betcha – check out the Unisys satellite image. Be safe, be educated, be smart.

Now I’m going to go have ice cream (Umpqua Dairy's Chocolate Brownie Thunder,) read the high wind warning one more time, say a prayer for the people of Japan, and go back to bed.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Talk Thursday: Guilty Pleasures

It took me a week to figure this out and then, “Bam!” as Emeril would say (and no I don’t watch Emeril.) Chocolate, decadent, melt in your mouth chocolate. I’m on a diet, but I’ve learned a piece of good chocolate at night goes an extremely long way. And while I would prefer to melt that chocolate on my tongue while savoring a fine French roast it is at night that I indulge. In the deep dark night.

I’m on a diet, so chocolate isn’t in my daily diet. And I’ve learned cheap ass, sugary chocolate doesn’t cut it. In fact, cheap ass, sugary chocolate is kind of addictive because it satisfies nothing. Don’t’ give me Palmers – I want Dove. Even some types of Hershey’s doesn’t cut it. Give me a hand dipped truffle or yumm yumm Cadbury’s Crunch – friggin’ HEAVEN.

My other guilty pleasure, peanut butter, by the spoon right out of the tub. Don’t give me Jiff, I want the chunky store brand in the three pound tub. Heaping tablespoons full.

Heathen, I know, but that’s how I roll. No wonder I’m on a diet.