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Saturday is Sherry's birthday. Sherry will be 30. Sherry is Not. Pleased. about turning 30. In fact, one might say she's dreading it. She plans on skipping town and not telling anyone her plans until the last minute so no one can plan a party for her this weekend.

She didn't count on me and Tara, though.

She didn't remember that a day called "Thursday" existed.

So, Tara and I discussed. We agreed that our decorations for her (we always celebrate peoples' birthdays! <3) would get meaner exponentially the more she complained about turning 30.

Oh, did she ever complain.  )
Apologies for the crappy quality -- had to use my Blackberry because I haven't charged my camera in um, a week. So,  yeah.

Tara is handling the black balloons and eating utensils.

Oh, tomorrow is going to be good. I specifically requested a tombstone. These bakestresses deserve a freaking award for this thing.

Sherry's going to be pissed. I can't wait! Not only is it a great way to celebrate her birthday, but it's also our last day at Norway. ABOUT FREAKING TIME. I feel sorry for my dad because he has been and will continue to be working his butt off this weekend (more than the usual butt-working-off that he does, anyway) and he emailed me earlier today asking me to pick some things up for him and he sounded terribly sorry to have to ask me. But sheesh, I know how hard he's working and he's my daddy. Why wouldn't I help him?

Painting ideas have been finalized: the bathroom will be a cornflowery sort of blue. The sort of blue that can be light blue, medium blue or lavender depending on the light you view it in, with chocolate and white accents. (My accessories are all white ceramic and chrome(<3 antiques) and do you know how expensive that crap is nowadays?)  So, yeah. And then the bedroom is going to be a sort of soft, satiny gray. I have light gray and white bedding and red accents, and white and red are my favorite colors (right now, and yes, white is a color, thanks) so this will be perfect. I hope to make my upholstered headboard in the next few weeks, and that will be gray corduroy, slightly darker than my bedding. Yay for matching!

And finally (I'm sure you're bored by this point), I start class tomorrow. Feelings are...unknown. I'm not nervous, I've done too much school to be nervous but I'm...I don't know what I am. I'll tell you tomorrow.
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Someone has a sign up for free kittens by the vending machine. It's one of those little homemade signs with the tear strips at the bottom and it has one picture of all five (or six?) kittens that are up for adoption.

I emailed a co-worker about them, after I saw this sign. This is the same co-worker who sits next to SHERRY THE TABLE SHAKER, but pah. If you email, then no one can hear you, no matter how close you're sitting!

Last Spring ('07) I got a kitten from this woman's sister's litter and that kitten is Moe. I've posted about Moe before. He's a little crazy bundle of fluff who likes to set himself on fire cause trouble, since he's only a year old. So, it's sort of a running joke between us, whenever someone's cat comes up for adoption. I told her about the sign and emailed: “you should get one! : D” Her response was that her husband would divorce her if she brought home a kitten.

Later, she asked where the picture was and went to look at it and she came back and said something “they are soooooo cute," and how she wanted the calico.

And I said, "Well, if you don’t want a kitten, I have an approximately one year old cat you can have. If you overlook the psychotic tendencies, he’s one of the best cats I’ve ever had.”

And she’s like “Oh, that would be the part where he lights himself on fire?”

and I said “…oh...that part, too.”
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Why. Why are there always thunderstorms? Every night. Boom boom boom. UGH. I am SICK of it! A girl wants to take a bubble bath!
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Um. Because I haven't felt like it? 

The river crested on Friday and it's going down quickly but it is leaving an immense amount of damage. Immense. There's houses off their foundations, we lost a window in our building, there's a bunch of buildings downtown that lost windows and doors, Hwy 150 heading south into Vinton is just...gone. Same with Hwy 1 heading south out of Mt Vernon to Iowa City. Just, washed away. The sidewalks and roads and pretty cobblestone downtown is all torn up.

So, there's going to be major construction going on for quite some time.

And let's not even talk about all the weird and random things they're finding. I have this feeling, when they let us in to clean our building, I'm going to find a dead cat. I don't know why, I just do. 

We have an employee hotline now, so I called that and it's the same as ever -- your supervisor will contact you when we know more. The only thing that worries me is that other branch that works out of our home office and the IS departments have both already met. So I don't know what my department is waiting for but oh well. Nothing I can do about it. My boss has...quite literally, all of my numbers, except for Dave's...and I'm in contact with two of my closest friends from the department, so there's no way I won't know. One of us will find out, damn it.

So today, after I get ready, I'm off to get a tetanus shot (joy of joys. I don't remember and can't find medical records of when I had my last one so I have to get one, in case I get called into clean and I hate them DAMN IT) and then I'm off to get Janet Evanovich's new book today (yes, we may be in the middle of a major natural disaster but I've been waiting a year for this book, goddamn it), maybe with a little Starbucks thrown in and then I'm coming home and...reading. I might hang out in town a bit longer with one of my friends because THE HOUSE IS KILLING ME. Last week, Thursday, Friday, if I hadn't been so freaked out, having a couple days off of work was nice. It's only gone downhill since Saturday. I have no gumption to do anything. 

Don't get me wrong, I've done stuff. The normal around the house stuff, laundry, cleaning, mowing, the garbage yesterday. But I'm getting bored. And me bored is not a good thing. I get very tired and cranky when I'm bored for too long  because when I'm bored I tend to just lay somewhere and stare at the ceiling.

So, today I will read my book. And yes, I'll read the whole thing today. I do that. And then I'll probably read the 16 other books I still need to read that I haven't been able to because I've been busy with work. And again, I will keep my cell phone by my side, waiting to hear from my supervisor. Because I'm a good employee like that.

Plus, anyone else wanna call? Because damn it, I'm bored. Did I mention that?

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NWS confirmed today that it was an EF5 (winds in excess of 200mph). A friend of mine sent me a video that her cousin had shot from his front yard. This is facing Parkersburg, so this is right as it's forming before it heads for the town. It takes a long while to load and make sure you have your volume on.

Here's some still pictures:

You can see the dichotomy...and I think that's what I'm struggling with most...seeing one of these aerial shots, seeing it on Monday, and seeing how just...utterly devastated one part of town is...and then you go three blocks and you would never have known there was ever a storm. It's awe-inspiring. Just makes you utterly speechless. I mean...I've lived in the Midwest nearly all my life. I've seen funnel clouds, I've seen tornadoes, I've seen the resulting damage. But never anything like this before.

All it does is make me more freaked out, living out in the country. In fact, the town I live in is about 300 people smaller than Parkersburg, surrounded by open corn and bean fields. Greeeeat.

Anyway, I went down to New Orleans after Katrina to help a bit with the relief effort (I'm a Red Cross volunteer, if you couldn't tell?) but even, you know, two or three days of sustained damage, flooding... this is...this is a force of nature that was on the ground for less than ten minutes as it went through Parkersburg and wiped out homes...and I mean that quite literally; some homes were wiped clean down to the foundation, with not a single thing left in the yard. So scary to think how quickly it can all change.
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So, I had an interesting Memorial Day. Well, I should say, Memorial Day weekend. We've been watching these storms come through Oklahoma and Nebraska and moving their way toward us. so I can't say I was terribly surprised, but that doesn't make it any better.

Parkersburg, IA, which isn't all that far away from me at all, was hit by "at least an EF3," but what they're assuming will turn into an EF4 after they study it a bit more. About half the town was decimated. Destroyed, gone, kaput. Thankfully...if thankfully is the right word...only 6 people died in Parkersburg and nearby New Hartford. The residents had more than 5 minutes of warning to get into their basements, which is what saved most of their lives. According to the news, anyway, although the news also said that 4 of the people killed were in their basements. Go figure.

And then yesterday, D and I headed up to Parkersburg to help with the cleanup and search and rescue. A couple of people were still missing (who were found alive, thankfully) and the Red Cross always needs volunteers.

It was weird. Weird's a good word. Also: I hope I never have to see anything like that again, knock on wood. When they say it's like a war zone, they're not kidding. This part of IA is pretty hilly, pretty grassy, lots of trees and the like...but it was just...not. There were hardly any trees and what trees were there were bare. And there were weird things in weird places. Pieces of a playground from a few blocks over were in one person's yard, where a house three houses down the road hadn't suffered any damage at all. Just weird.

Truth be told, all this has done is solidify my desire to never live in a town ending in -burg.


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December 2011

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