Storm Watch 2011

The best/worst thing about being sort of, kind of, maybe somewhere along the path of a hurricane is that every time you turn around someone is telling you to Be Prepared! Which translates in my brain to stock-up! buy lots of food! and stuff!

Which is both awesome and horrible. Because you see, there is a tiny, little chipmunk part of my brain that always really, really wants to stock up and squirrel away supplies, many, many supplies. For what? I have no idea. Winter I guess.

It is very affirming to have the world in general encourage you in your deep, dark desires. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure that the tiny little chipmunk part of my brain is crazy.

The truth is that we really don’t need to stock up because I already keep plenty of food around. I am quite sure that on any given day we could easily eat for a few weeks on the contents of my pantry alone.

We might have to get creative with flavor combinations, but seriously, I did can 35 lbs of tomatoes, 10 lbs of peaches, an couple of different jams and pickles this summer. Not to mention the various panty staples like pasta, rice, soup, canned tuna, oils, flours, etc. that we keep around. And it’s not like the fridge and freezer are empty either.

We are so not going to starve.

Most of my brain believes this, but not the squirrely, crazy little chipmunk part. That part is really excited about Stocking Up. Which I did today, but just a little because the sane part of my brain realizes that the best weather models predict that Irene will have about the same effect as a strong summer thunderstorm here in Durham.

We do get some impressive thunder storms around here. And, small areas do frequently loose power for a little while when it gets windy. There are tree everywhere around here. Turns out that trees + wind + power lines = flashlights. But, the occasion down branch is really more of an annoyance level than catastrophic level problem.

And, speaking of highly annoying problems, my car was broken into this week. Someone smashed a window to steal my inexpensive gps unit. The car was in the driveway, and the gps way in the center console compartment out of sight. Repairing the window cost twice what we paid for the gps, and that was only because the thief “thoughtfully” smashed the small triangular window instead of one of the larger windows.

David said he was surprised I was taking it so well, and I guess I am pretty nonplussed about it. I think it’s because I’ve been expecting something like this, or much worse, for years. I mean I used to live in not the best part of Chicago, a city where you could read reports of bodies in dumpsters and children killed in drivebys pretty much every day.

I parked my car on the street, and I lived in a ground floor apartment with a poorly secured window ac. I walked around by myself after dark. The worst thing that ever happened was a few scratches on my bumper from incompetent parallel parkers.

People got stabbed in that neighborhood semi-regularly. Robbery at gunpoint was not uncommon and knife point was even more popular. I have two grad school friends who went to the University of Chicago and lived in Hyde Park at the same time I did. They both had people try to break into their apartments while they were home.

Our neighborhood in Durham is really pretty nice, lots of young families and couples/single in their first house. But, two of our immediate neighbors were burgled last fall, and I get an email from Duke at least every few months about an assault or robbery in the area around the campus.

I generally try to avoid he old “it could have been worse” line. It can pretty much always be worse. That’s not comforting, and it doesn’t mean the current situation doesn’t fucking suck.

And, it does suck that someone broke into my car, but mostly I feel lucky. I feel like I have evaded much worse for no discernible reason. I can deal with a little petty theft and vandalism.



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