Blueprints After Irma

Hurricane Irma has everyone’s rapt attention. Her wrath on the state of Florida is consuming my every waking moment. It’s tough to look away when the wind and rain is hurdling debris, trees and parts of buildings down the streets. The newscasters are out in full force attempting to stand upright while the wind and rain try to beat them senseless. It’s all devastating and awful and makes our little bit of rain bearable in comparison. There’s always someone who knows someone who lives in Florida, and even way up here in Newfoundland, the lives of those we know are touched by this storm. The people who chose to take refuge on their boats seem odd and careless to us, seemingly neglectful and much too cavalier for such a huge storm that is barrelling towards them, but that was their choice to make. Cross your fingers and hope for the best.  
Now that the cleanup has begun in several parts of Florida, the devastation of the hurricane is impossible to ignore. Boats are strewn about like miniature toys a child has grown bored with; in places where there should be water there is now only barren mud and soil, and where there should be dry streets, there are floodwaters impersonating rivers. The people who had hunkered down in their boats to ‘wait out’ the storm, are hopefully still alive to tell a terrifying and horrific tale. We still wait to hear about them.
Let’s not forget the first responders who risked their lives to help others who were caught in the midst of a raging storm. Two responders killed while trying to assist a shelter and the other merely trying to get to his job. The storm has taken more than just ‘things’.
The destruction of Irma not only shows us how fleeting our existence really is, but also how vulnerable we are to nature and all of its whims. We have witnessed the decimation of cities and towns across Florida and the Caribbean and the destruction of lives this hurricane has brought. Our survival remains on a precarious ledge between having everything and existing with nothing. How we take advantage of the simplest things like electricity, the ability to shower, clean drinking water and waste management systems. Things we thought we could not live without now seem insignificant in the wake of such destruction. Our cherished belongings seem not so cherished. Our perspective has changed from needing that rare piece of art or that hot pair of shoes, to holding on to our loved ones with fervent desperation. And so it should.
This hurricane, by all accounts, was ferocious and left devastation in its wake that will take time to overcome. It will not be the last ‘monster storm’ or devastating event, on the contrary, it will be one of many. How we choose to respond to such extreme weather events determines our resolve and strength as communities. We rely on each other for kindness, compassion and assistance, not looting, maiming and taking advantage of others when the chips are down.
Pulling together in times of strife and seeking new ways to live with nature in this evolving ever-changing environment has become the new blueprint for our way forward.  
Take care of each other…

 

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Mother Teresa Died in 1997 And I Feel Kinda Guilty About That Now

The warm weather is hanging around making me believe summer is not yet over, but I know better.  The Weather Gods are just lulling me into a false sense of security with all of this warmth, only to blast me with cold weather in a few days or so.  Then I’ll be shocked and appalled and lighting the fireplace and lamenting the summer.  I’ll be shaking and quivering with the chill, rummaging through drawers looking for warmer sweaters and the Snuggie I bought daughter for Christmas, one year.

Trying to de-clutter my environment is like trying to set water on fire.  I just get one thing away and two new things pop up.  I have so many things I want to do, that doing one thing at a time seems wasteful and boring and not at all accomplishing anything, when really, it would be so much better than spinning my wheels.

Maybe I should get my attention span checked out.  Can someone do that?  I just don’t think I can sit still long enough to take all the tests that are probably required to determine that shit.  Maybe there’s an online version, but then I would get distracted with the other stuff happening online, then one of the adult/children would need me to rescue them from the new devil-printer that seems to be possessed and prints whatever the hell it wants, or Hubby will need me to figure out the phantom pain he has in the back of his neck that’s really not the back of his neck but more like the back of his head that maybe some bug bit him while he on his walk because it really hurts….

Maybe it’s not my attention span at all.  Huh.

It’s a good thing I have hobbies and you people to walk this journey with me and tolerate all of my nonsense.  And wine.

Ps.  I just wrote this on the front of my agenda because at the time, I thought it was funny but now my Catholic conscience is getting the better of me and I feel guilty about the whole ‘dead’ thing.  I’ll be over here saying ten Hail Marys…

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And hoping my water will turn into wine because, Jesus.

 

The Fall of Summer

The_Shining_Sun_by_edsousa

Summer is coming to a close and I can’t help but feel a little sad.  It seemed so fleeting, so brief a season.  I can’t seem to remember long days or hot evenings. (Probably because they were few and far between)  I hate the thoughts of putting away the outdoor furniture and my pretty colourful cushions that adorn my porch chairs.  My flowers are dying at the front garden and the strawberries have all been picked and eaten.  I’m starting to eye my sweaters and long pants and the search for matching socks has taken on a desperate tone.  The kids in the ‘hood are getting ready for the whole back to school thing and that means at work I’m going to be flat out running around busy with exams and shattered nerves right up until Christmas break.

There are also changes around the house.  The kid will be starting Uni, the two girls are working full-time jobs and Hubby is going back to work.  Will there be any reprieve from the busy-ness of the fall?

I am looking forward to warm fires and homemade bread.  Spice candles and trick-or-treaters.  Colourful leaves and bright frosty mornings.

I’ll miss the easy-ness of summer.  The slow moving work schedule, the comfort of getting home a little earlier and walks around the lake in the warmth.  The barbeques and days we could sit out with a few drinks with friends.  The days I could run in the sun or rain and not worry about catching a death of a cold or slipping on icy asphalt.

I lamented a few days ago about the beach and how I thought becoming an alcoholic beach bum seemed a perfect fit and to some degree, heading to the warmth and sunshine still greatly appeals to me.  But there is something to be said for the change of seasons.  A new beginning, a new endeavor, a shift of consciousness from easy to busy, from warm to cool, from ending a project to looking forward to the start of a new one.  To keep motivated and always looking ahead to the next big adventure or the next little task is what keeps life from getting too mundane.  The change of seasons brings with it another chance at regaining some perspective, or beginning something new or moving around something that just wasn’t working.  Taking stock and reviewing the ending season allows for ample room to implement some new plan or goal for the future.

Take the opportunity to look forward to the changes that lie ahead with another season and set a challenge.

A little step outside the box can make a big difference in one’s perspective.

An Interview With A Legend, Mr. Buzz Phone

Today at Kayjai.com, we (really I mean ‘I’. ‘We’ sounds more professional and like I have a team of peeps working for me like Microsoft or Google or something.   Really, it’s just me..’I’…’me’, ‘myself’ and ‘I’.  So, technically the three ‘mes’. As long as we’re clear) so ‘I’ would like to introduce my first interview ever!  I know, right?  Exciting.  Joining us today is the irreverent and highly entertaining author of everybody’s favorite book, Mr. Buzz Phone.  

That’s right.  He is the author of the telephone book. The King of numbers. The Wizard of all things numbery.    It takes exhaustive research and analysis to come up with every single person listed in your area and Mr. Phone works tirelessly to deliver a top-notch albeit predictable, product.  He was able to extract himself from his life’s work for a short time to sit down with yours truly for a little heart-to-heart.  Sorta like Al Capone’s vault only minus Geraldo.  Yeah.

telephone-book

Kayjai:  Thanks for taking the time to sit and speak with me today, Mr. Phone. Much appreciated.

Mr. Phone:  Please, call me Mr. T, everybody does.  But don’t confuse me with the other Mr. T.  I don’t have a Mohawk and say ‘I pity the fool’.  That’s his gig.  Mine is a whole other ballgame, sweetheart.

Kayjai: Yes, I bet it is. The illustrious and ever-changing telephone directory has been in existence since, well since the invention of the telephone, so-

Mr. T: Don’t hurt yourself, lady.  The telephone directory or the TD as I like to refer to it, has been around since the late 1800’s when the very first book, if you can call it that, was made in Connecticut.  It was just a piece of cardboard then listing about fifty businesses that had telephones and-

Kayjai:  Yeah, anyway.  It must take countless hours of research and painstaking exact census grabbing to get all of those phone numbers and extensions and names down pat.  How do you do it?

Mr. T:  Well, first off honey, all those names, numbers and addresses are collected by the government.  All I do is take what they hand me and reprint.  Now, with the invention of the computer, I copy and paste and send it out.  My workload has drastically been reduced.  Kinda frees me up for other ‘enterprises’ if you know what I mean.  *winks and grins a toothless grin*

Kayjai:  Mmm-hmm, okay.  Speaking of computers how has the internet and the rise of smart phones and desktops impacted your work other than giving you ‘enterprise’ time?

Mr. T:  Are you fucking joking??!!  The ‘internet’ has been a royal pain in my ass since Gates first went all ‘Microsoft is fucking awesome’ all over the place.  Fuck him!   It has practically ruined my little corner of the universe, thank you very much.  All you people think ‘Google’ is God-like and fucking necessary to even function during the day!  What’s wrong with opening a nice legible LOGICAL book and finding everything at your fingertips?  I remember back in the day when the arrival of the phone book was synonymous with getting your first lay!  Come on, what happened with society?!   Ah, I need a drink.  Got any vodka around here?

Kayjai:  Umm…I see. Uh, no.  No vodka, sorry.  Some critics would assert that since the rise in technology and instant messaging that a need for such a large wad of paper listing names, numbers and addresses would become a bit unnecessary. 

Mr. T: LARGE WAD OF PAPER??!!  Has that what my work has been reduced to?!  I’ve spent my entire life looking over phone numbers, going through listings, writing down addresses.  My eyes have gone permanently crosseyed!   DO YOU KNOW HOW MANY PEOPLE NAMED SMITH THERE ARE??!!  Fuck me…seriously.  Know the old joke ‘that lady has more Chins than a Chinese phone book” ?!  WHO DO YOU THINK CAME UP WITH THAT LINE, LADY?!!   That book has more uses than simply a cache for EVERY PHONE NUMBER IN THE FUCKING WORLD.  Some kids used the book as a seat stuffer in the car so they can reach the gas pedal on mom and dad’s Lexus.  Remember Guiness and when ripping phone books in half was considered a feat of strength?  What about that, huh?  AND,  I seem to remember somebody used to carry a copy of my book with her in her car when she first moved to a new area, since I implemented a map of the city…hmm…ring any bells, sweetheart? 

Kayjai: What?!  How did you know- ?! I mean, yes, I heard that some people enjoyed your map addition to the pages, however, with the economy the way it is, global warming, the calls for a greener environment, don’t you think the telephone book is soon to be extinct?  What job prospects are you hoping for if or when this happens?

Mr. T: I’m like goddamned Santa Claus, baby.  I see all!  AND, I don’t expect to be booted out of my job so soon into the future.  There will always be the phonebook diehards, as I like to call ‘em.  You know, the peeps with no computers, or smartiephones.  They need to have something to hang on the hook in the phone booths! 

Kayjai:  Yeah, there are virtually no phone booths around anymore either.  In fact, according to my research, areas such as Seattle and San Francisco are moving to ban the phone book.  They say it is irrelevant and a ‘waste’.

Mr. T:  Damned hippies!!  They always want ‘save the planet’ this and ‘recycle’ that.  Bullshit!  My phone book is the only fabric that is holding this society together!  Get rid of it and there ain’t nothin’ stoppin’ the Commies from comin’ in and takin’ over!  *stands and rips off microphone*  THIS INTERVIEW IS OVER!  I AIN’T NO COMMIE AND I AIN’T GONNA TAKE THIS SHIT ANYMORE!  I HAVE RIGHTS!  I’M VALUABLE, DAMMIT!  I MATTER!  THIS IS BULLSHIT!  I’M OUTTA HERE!  *stalks out of the door, slamming it behind him.  A tattered phone book falls to the floor*

Kayjai:  Umm…thanks??