Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I Don't Like Ike

In no particular order:

Thanks to Ike...

- My best-laid plans were shot to hell. But at least I didn't go before it hit (which I was planning to). Camping out sans power in Houston summer does not especially appeal; nor the 6-8 hours of howling winds and ensuing inconveniences.

- I have no more freezer food. I actually no longer remember the contents of my freezer, so I don't know yet what I've lost. But I will. Possibly some refrigerator contents as well, depending on the state of things.

- I did not get to go back before my next gig. Therefore, I have all summer-like clothes with me. All my fall/winter-like clothes are in Houston... as well as any coats that would be appropriate. Oh well.

- I still don't have power, which caused me not to be able to go home. Since I'm not there to use the internet/tv, I'm not crying rivers. I would have liked to have not lost any food however.

- Many of my friends were greatly inconvenienced by being included in the 1.2 million without power, the countless without water pressure, and fighting the masses for something as simple as gasoline for their cars or drinking water that doesn't have to be boiled.

- I have to ask favors of friends/family so my apartment isn't a cesspit when I return and I don't piss off the USPS too much.

- I will have to continue guessing at some of my apartment-controlled utility payments and pay rent from afar. Something that just thrills me and my management company.

- By the time I see my apartment again, six months will have passed. I should have just moved into a storage unit. This is ridiculous.

- My apartment complex continues to not answer their phone, further endearing themselves to me after their actions this summer.

- I never got to see the Kemah Boardwalk - and it might be a very long time before I do.

On the upshot:

- My apartment is preliminarily fine. No broken windows, but no telling the water damage from the not-so-weathertight door. Or the decomposing food in my freezer. Sorry, CC, and thank you.

- I got to catch up with a good friend who is doing me a big favor. She was the one who reported to me on the state of my apartment, since no one related with the complex did.

- I get to hang out with my dogs and my family for just a little longer and enjoy an early arrival of fall in St. Louis.

- I now get to vote in the next election 'in-person' (albeit early) and therefore do not have to jump through the multiple hoops required for an absentee ballot.

- I get to drive to my November gig, which allows me greater flexibility, less hassle and chances to visit B-town and Chi-town if I should so desire.


The greatest irony of Ike, despite the personal inconveniences and curveballs to plans, is that a majority of the deaths attributed to said storm occurred outside Houston, or even the state of Texas. Two or three of them occurred not very far from my house in St. Louis. Apparently, I just couldn't escape Ike.

Ike may have been just a Cat 2 storm, but it sure packed a wallop due to its size and its slow-moving action. I suspect there would have been a lot less destruction and mayhem even if it had been a higher category storm. But I'm no meteorologist.

By the time I make it back, most of the physical signs of the Hurricane's impact in my neck of the woods will be gone. But the memories of my friends, and my own from afar, will linger. It is always an eerie feeling to see the places and paths you frequent on the news: damaged, underwater or otherwise. I'd like not to repeat that experience again.

I'm lucky to have survived Ike, albeit in a different way than my friends who were physically present in Houston. And I'd really like it if no more hurricanes came near that region during the remainder of the hurricane season. We were lucky enough to have misses last year with Edward (or whatever it was), and this year with Gustav. Now that we've had our version of Katrina, can we just be left along to lick our wounds in peace? I look forward to revisiting a revitalized Galveston.

Up next: A return to the East Coast Adventure Recaps, and more. Hopefully I'll be able to catch up sooner rather than later, with all this unexpected free time here.

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