Clever Me

AP excerpt: “Some of the worst damage was in downtown Fort Lauderdale, where Wilma was the strongest hurricane to strike since 1950.”

Before we departed the Keys for a seventeen-day return to Chicago, I took extensive pains to prepare our stuff to weather a hurricane. I painstakingly moved the clothes from the boxes on the floor to high closet shelves. I moved the golf clubs to a windowless area on the second floor. I put all the stuff in the office up on tables and chairs. I put the Dell Schiavo right by the broken door, so I could say it was ruined by the hurricane and file a lavish wet-laptop claim. I put the TiVo on a circuit separate from the other electronics, so it could autoreboot and return to work without complication if the power went off for a bit. I ate all the perishable food, even the sour cream, and I locked all the loose stuff in a steamer trunk, so it wouldn’t float away. Then, satisfied, I drove the Tundra to Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport Remote Economy Discount Parking, where I parked it in the shade under a big tree.

The Fog Is Lifted

First of all: It is mighty kind of you to worry about evacuation. I am in Chicago, for a wedding and a Halloween party, and will not technically be a refugee until I have not returned to the island by 10/31.

Second of all: I have just completed my longest time without regular computer access since 1997, coinciding with my longest period without regularly scheduled employment since that same time. This stretch led to a minor realization:

With the exception of a half-dozen coworkers, I do not miss the office at all. I am actively glad to be past a lot of it. But not my four hours a day of IM meetings, and the brilliant and entertaining traffic from a certain mailing list/associated blogosphere. Those were my train to San Anton’ for a long, long time, and I miss their lonesome whistle very much. I didn’t realize how much until I was cut off entirely for seventeen days. I will not let this happen again.

Third of all: The new baby. I know the geeks are dying to coo over her. She’s a Gateway MX6028, from Costco, brought into this world by American Express and the Wizard Dave. (Much more about wireless internet another day.)

Fourth of all: Pete tagged me on this about two hours before my old Dell Schiavo went down for the count:

You’re stuck inside Fahrenheit 451. Which book do you want to be saved?
Moby Dick, Herman Melville.

Have you ever had a crush on a fictional character?
I cannot shake the idea that Nymphadora Tonks would be a hell of a weekend. Her and Rita Fiore. Ooo. Maybe the same weekend. Yeeha. Praise the Lord and pass the Gatorade.

The last book you bought was…?
If you count the airport: In A Sunburned Country, Bill Bryson
If you don’t: Wow. Been a long-ass time since I bought a book. (We been on a moving-related anticlutter campaign for months.) The last three books from the library: School Days, Robert B. Parker; The Art of Eating, M. F. K. Fisher; and The Raw and the Cooked, Jim Harrison, the last of which you should all stop reading this and go find a copy of posthaste.

The last book you read was…?
Nonfiction: Anthony Bourdain’s Les Halles Cookbook.
Fiction: Dylan Schaffer, I Right The Wrongs. Best new mystery writer I’ve discovered since Kinky Friedman.

What are you currently reading?
The Outlaw Cook, John Thorne
Next: Mick Foley’s new book, Scooter, and the M. F. K. Fisher mentioned above.

Five books you would take to a desert island…

Predictable jokes about survival guides and books useful in constructing a signal fire aside,
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Hunter S. Thompson;
Moby Dick, Herman Melville;
The Old Man and the Sea, Ernest Hemingway;
The Complete Prose of Woody Allen;
and The French Laundry Cookbook.

Who are you passing this stick on to and why?
I’m passing it to anyone who notes below that they have taken it, because more than three people who’ll be miffed if they don’t get it are going to read this…