Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween

In honor of last week's crazy events, for Halloween this year I'm dressing as the scariest thing I (well, it was actually Matt's idea) could think of:


For those of you hiding in a cave last week, the Witch Fire was the largest and most ferocious of the Southern California fires that burned through the area. I sewed on my shirt "10% contained." I hope I don't get rotten tomatoes thrown at me today.

Here are a couple of my co-workers dressed in their Halloween garb:

Road-Kill Raccon (Misty) and Slash (Ashley)

What did you all dress up as this year?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


We spent the evening at Jamie's house (Matt's new biz partner's girlfriend) with our eyes peeled to the TV. Her family was awaiting evacuation orders and we were there for moral support and stuff transport, should the need arise. So far they are fine and still at home, but every phone call makes them nervous as the Sheriff's Dept. is making "reverse 911" calls to households immediately affected by the blazes.

Just a mile or so down the road, we stopped and snapped a few pictures at the local Target parking lot. There are hundreds of people, cars, RVs, dogs, and horses stationed there and at the baseball diamond just behind the building. We passed a couple of pick-up trucks blaring fire-themed country music which helped to set the mood. Everyone was just walking around in a daze with their eyes towards the hills, staring at the approaching fire. It's mesmerizing. And huge. We took the above photos and though it's a little hard to see exactly what's going on, there are flames just pouring down the hills in the background. Y0u have to see it to believe it.

But as I've mentioned several times already, Matt and I are fine. Our neighborhood is in no danger at present, and unlikely to be so anytime soon.

Some Stats

Peggy Peattie/San Diego Union-Tribune/ZUMA Press

In the San Diego Area:

500,000 people have been evacuated
241,000 acres of land have burned
1,250 homes have been destroyed
Of the 4 main fires, 3 are less than 10% contained



It was a little unnerving last night trying to fall asleep knowing full-well that fires burning just outside the city were creeping inwards. The Santa Ana winds have been completely erratic, reaching hurricane speed winds at times. This makes the fires relatively unpredictable in turn.

The salon is closed today, as all SD residents have been asked to stay home (those that still have a home and/or haven't been evacuated to safer ground), stay off the highways, conserve energy and not use their cellphones. Yes, sir. I have a sneaking suspicion, though, that if they make us all stay home today, we'll all decide it's a good time to get some laundry done, sending the last drops of the already tight water resources down the drain, and then we'll all be screwed.

We really will all have to dive into the ocean then. And there aren't shark nets on SD beaches. Ok, I'm getting ahead of myself here. I think it might be time for me to conserve energy and climb back into bed. I'll let you know if I start on fire.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Fires Still Raging

Photo from

OK, folks, this is getting serious. Today's my day off and I've spent the whole morning with my face glued to google maps and my ears glued to the local public radio station. There are fires to the north, south and east of SD and most are less than 10% contained. That pretty much just leaves the ocean for an escape route and the flames are expected to reach the coastline before too long. Anyone got a spare boat they could stick in the mail for me? The winds are only expected to worsen over the next 24 hours. It's nuts. Totally nuts. If you try to call, I probably won't answer. Officials are asking people to reduce cell phone usage. Matt and I are completely safe, though. No worries about it reaching our neighborhood.

San Diego on Fire

Photo of the 2003 San Diego blazes

More than half a dozen fires are blazing on the outskirts of San Diego right now. The hot, dry Santa Ana winds blew in a couple of days ago and brought with it FIRE! Apparently wild fires are rather common this time of year and as SD is in a drought (and has been for some time) it's ripe for a natural disaster. More than 250,000 residents have already been evacuated and many of the schools and universities are closed today because of air quality. The skies are smoky and anywhere you drive in the city, it smells like you've got a campfire in the trunk. It's nuts.

You can find more information here.

My neighborhood is quite safe from the fires, but on the off chance that things get out of hand, I'll jump in the pool.

Thursday, October 18, 2007


Working full-time is sure cramping my crabby style. And it's not for a lack of stories that's keeping me from blogging, but rather the exhaustion! I'm just dog-gone tired by the time I get home every night. So lame, I know.

I think I might have to start a regular feature about all the little adventures I have on the bus. Matt and I are trying our darndest (and so far, so good) to live in the suburbs, own only 1 car, and even then rarely use it. I'm intimately learning the finer points of the SD transit system. Well, at least the route I take to get to work. And the people that ride the bus are ALWAYS fascinating. It's like getting to peek in on a really bizarre and exciting sociology experiment. I mean that in the best possible way. Yesterday an older guy started to chat with me at the bus stop and then when the bus arrived, insisted I sit near him. I generally like people and am always curious to hear their stories, so I obliged. Amid the friendly chit-chat he revealed that he originally came to Southern California in 1979 to get on a game show. He never got his 15 minutes of fame, but ended up relocating to SD permanently. He doesn't own a car, he likes to work out before eating dinner, and on and on. It's amazing what people will tell you if you just give them a listening ear. Last week two Morman evangelists became the unsuspecting victims of a homeless guy who went into a tirade regarding his own opinions about religion. My favorite bit was his theory that as global warming increased, God would slowly change days to include 25 hours a day, rather than only 24. Fascinating stuff. The bus is certain to be fodder for some interesting experiences.

And there's more...I want to tell you all about our family vacation to Santa Barbara, where we spent every day in the ocean and saw dolphins swimming just a mere 20 feet away from us (they are robots, of course, but that's beside the point). Last week I was in Kansas for my friend Jane's wedding and I had a fabulous time doing the flowers--My best work yet. And I've got lots of pictures from our apartment and neighborhood to share with you all. Oh, and yesterday I got my second haircut since starting my job and it's kind of awesome, but kind of terrible.

So much to tell, so much exhaustion. I miss you all.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

All Aboard

There's something strangely satisfying about being the last person to board a plane. Everyone is waiting on YOU and they won't take off until YOU have your seatbelt safely clicked into place. It's rather liberating. On my most recent trip to Kansas, I was actually the second-to-last person on board but the guy behind me was so drunk he almost didn't count. He stumbled on, rather than boarded, the plane. I heard him mumble something about this being "his first time on this sh*t." I took that to mean he was a first time flyer. That might explain the wobbly foot work and the empty Bud Light clutched in his sweaty grip. Shortly after finding his way to his seat, he was promptly escorted off the plane. I heard a few cheers coming from the back, which must've come from his seatmates. Guess you're supposed to wait until the flight begins before you get completely smashed. He was probably just relieved to have his first flight postponed a little while longer.

Speaking of flights and booted passengers, a couple of weeks ago I got a letter in the mail from a private investigator looking for some details regarding an incident that occurred on board a flight to Hong Kong last spring. Apparently I was a witness and the DA in Anchorage, Alaska has a few questions to ask me. I'm hoping for an all expenses paid subpoena to Anchorage to come out of of this. I hear Alaska is lovely in the winter. Although perhaps I just ruined my chances by discussing this matter in public on my blog. We'll see...

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Vacation and More

I spent the last 5 days in Santa Barbara, CA holed up in a cozy bunker on the beach with my mom, sisters, brother-in-laws, and all 5 grandkids (including the little one in my sister's tummy). Now I'm in Dallas at my oldest sister's house and tonight I fly to Lawrence to do the flowers for my lovely friend Jane's wedding this weekend. I've got some beautiful photos from my adventures thus far. I can't promise much this week, as I'll be knee deep in flower blossoms. I return to San Diego on Sunday. To all my lovely Lawrence friends, I won't have much time to goof-off, but give me a call and I'll find time to squeeze in some catch-up time.