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September 4, 2011
Earthquakes and hurricanes, birds and snakes and aeroplanes....
Mood:  accident prone
Now Playing: It's The End Of The World As We Know It

So a couple of weeks ago, at 1:54 PM on an innocent Tuesday afternoon, I was checking out infant bouncy seats at, when suddenly my chair started vigorously swaying and rocking.  It felt like someone was standing behind the chair, pushing it back and forth the way you would if you were trying to rock a baby to sleep.

My first thought was "Huh, they're really making the Internet realistic these days".

My next thought was "Are the twins doing some kind of synchronized swimming routine?"

My third thought was "EARTHQUAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAKE!!!!!!"  Which turned out to be the correct one.  It was the shock wave from the 5.9 Virginia earthquake, rolling up through Maine on its way to the Canadian maritime provinces.  (Yes, yes, Californians, I know you use 5.9 earthquakes to stir your coffee, but we get excited about these things here on the East Coast.  Indulge us.)  The vibrations went on and on, lasting for about a minute.  My co-workers were all atwitter: "Did you feel that? Did YOU?  Wow!  That was weird!  What was that?"  There was no immediate damage from the quake, except a dry-erase marker fell off one of the whiteboard rails in the conference room.

Then a few days later, when the excitement from the tremor had calmed down, we got hit by Hurricane Irene, which churned its way up the eastern US and caused a ton of flooding and power outages.  Vermont and Connecticut look awful - so many roads washed out, huge trees down, major coastal inundation, people still without power.  Portland was on the east side of the storm, which had weakened considerably by the time it arrived, so we got mostly wind and very little rain.  Even so, I sustained $5.00 worth of property damage when a bathroom window got left open by mistake and the wind blew a bottle of contact lens solution into the toilet.



The local Greek restaurant is now offering something called a "King Leonidas Calzone".  It has 5 kinds of meat, 4 kinds of cheese,  weighs close to 2 pounds, and sounds like it should be conveyed to your table on a lubricated sledge pulled by a dozen Helots.  "If you finish our King Leonidas," says the menu, "you will be worthy to call yourself a Spartan, and the calzone is free!"  (Or you could, y'know, not order it, and also not pay anything.  Plus, avoid a lengthy hospital stay).

Oh, what would Dilios do?  I guess he'd snarf it down and sneer at its puniness, but there would be a grave risk to those 6-pack abs.  Better to opt for the wussy, degenerate Athenian salad buffet, and live to fight another day.


The twins are active and growing and kicking up a storm.  It feels like I've got an aquarium full of tarpon in my belly.  Or a lava lamp.  Just about 10 weeks to go until life changes forever - it will be an earthquake of a different kind.  Mr. DC assembled the cribs last weekend, so now they'll have someplace to sleep other than a bureau drawer.  Then we took the ancient 20th century TV over to Best Buy to recycle it.  I was oddly emotional when it came time to say goodbye.  That TV and I have been through many ups and downs together over the years.  Monica Lewinsky.  O.J. Simpson. The Gulf War. September 11th.  Lord of the RingsSeachangeGettin' Square.  Eight years of George W. Bush Tourette's Syndrome.  The lifting of the Curse of the Bambino, as the Red Sox won their first World Series in 86 years.  Van Helsing.  *sniffle*

"Would you like a moment?" the clerk asked.

"No," I quavered, holding back tears.  "It's all right.  It's time to let go." I gave the old girl one last pat and left it on the counter, looking forlorn and outdated.

Speaking of tears, I seem to be crying at anything and everything these days.  I'm sure it's just pregnancy hormones, but even pet food and insurance commercials are making me choke up.  I made the mistake of watching Up the other night.  You'd have to have a heart of stone not to cry at the opening montage of Carl and Ellie's married life, but I was just a melted, teary, blubbery wreck.  Damn you, Pixar!  They always ambush the audience with a tearjerking montage at some point in their films.  How many of you nearly imploded during Sarah McLachlan's rendition of "When Somebody Loved Me" during Toy Story 2?  (And how many of you hear that playing in your heads as you heartlessly abandon your old televison set to the dustbin of history?  Okay, just me.  Never mind.)


The woman in line in front of me at the post office yesterday was mailing an automobile tire.  Not packaged up or anything, just a single naked automobile tire, with an address label and $27 worth of stamps slapped on it.  I would love to know the story behind that.  Is it a family heirloom?   Did her mother-in-law visit and accidentally leave the tire behind in the guest bedroom?  Is there a college student somewhere with a flat tire, waiting impatiently next to a mailbox?

Posted by dessicatedcoconut at 10:44 AM EDT
Updated: September 4, 2011 12:01 PM EDT
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