Friday, April 18, 2008

Totally. Awesome.

The Earth Shakes
"Did you feel the earthquake?" My wonderful friend Anna wrote this morning. "We did!" At this point, my mouth dropped open with realization. I woke this morning around 4, coughing so hard that it hurt and wandered down the hall to the living room. Sometime before I shuffled back to bed at 5, I did frown with confusion.

The clock rattled against the wall and Sprout froze in the middle of the room, dropping to his tummy and sinking his claws into the carpet. His ears went flat and I glanced outside to see if a really loud car was passing by. It lasted mere seconds, but my brain was still sleepy and I didn't really understand what had happened. I did idly wonder if that was how an earthquake felt, but then I went back to bed and slept with Chienne cuddled against my side.

If you hadn't heard, I was south of the actual event, but the shocks did travel relatively far. Anna noted they felt it in Chicago. I read online that even Atlantans (or whatever they call themselves) were aware of the trembling. Now I'll confess that I think this is so cool. But as I was outside mowing my lawn just now (I'll spare you the details), I realized something.

In the Midwest, there are bitterly cold winters and miserably hot summers. We have tornadoes. And now an earthquake. So our new slogan should be something like, "At least we're too far inland for hurricanes!" But then I thought about global warming and wondered how far ocean levels might rise and added to my little blurb, "At least for now!" This amused me as I finished trimming the grass outside.

Did you see this?!
Colbert Report. EdWords. The second awesome thing. Love, love, loved it!

Retired Dad is a Talkative Creature.
"Did you feel the earthquake?" I asked when he picked up the phone this morning.

"I did," he replied. "The sliding doors were rattling like crazy and I thought somebody with a loud car was out by my garage so I got up." Huh, I thought with a smile that I'd also wondered if someone's vehicle was noisy. At least I know where I get it. "But there was nobody out there and the doors kept shaking so I put my hand against them. Then it stopped and I went to wake up your mom to tell her."

"It says there was no major damage online," I told him, reading on my laptop. "I know there was some concern about bridges after an earthquake in our region."

"They're checking them," he said and I nodded with satisfaction.

"Yeah, it's the most exciting thing that's happened to me lately," he said, but then brightened. "Well, except for when the police came! Did your mom tell you?"

"She did," I noted, shaking my head. "You do like to burn stuff."

"Well, to turn in the copper wire, you have to get the insulation off," he defended himself. "So I took all that wire that I had behind the garage and put it on a grate over the fire to burn the outside off. But somebody called the police," he pouted. "And it's not like I can deny it - that stuff makes thick, black smoke." Irritation lost in his apparently love for thick, black smoke, he paused to think about how much he likes burning stuff, I assume.

"The cop said I had to put it out and asked if the hose from the house would reach. But I thought that if I just talked to him for a few minutes and screwed around, then the insulation would finish burning off. So I walked up to the house - real slow - and unrolled some of the house and walked out toward the burn pile. It wasn't enough hose so I slowly walked back to unroll more hose and walked back out the burn pile. Then I had to walk back to turn on the water and I was starting to worry that I was going to have to put the fire out before I was ready, but then there was a kink in the hose!"

"So you finished burning the insulation off," I concluded, trying to hurry this along.

"Well, yeah. Then I took it downtown and got $120 for it. The price of copper is really up. But I don't have any more wire. I guess that's good if the neighbors are going to call the cops when I'm burning it."

"It all worked out, I guess," I noted, trying to conclude the conversation. But then I had to hear about how the neighbors came over to talk to the cop and how they discussed a break-in across the street and how Mom's not doing great at work and how Dad's looking forward to the trip they're taking this weekend with the girls (Brother and his wife are heading to Florida. Mom, Dad, Little and Smallest Ones are going to St. Louis.). This went on and on (and on and on) until I asked to let him go six times. And so calling Dad while he's alone and bored takes a lot of time now. I'll make a mental note of it.

Done and Almost Done (x2).
The Penguin revisions are back in and, I think, put us in a good position to get the paper in press. The reviewers, though plentiful and with various problems, seemed pleased with the responses we carefully crafted. I like it when things work out. Plus, it's fun to work with those guys.

The quality checks for my menial-labor project went relatively well yesterday. I caught enough errors to make the hours of glancing between paper and screen feel worthwhile and it wasn't as painful as I expected. I just have some date-checking to do and I need access to the paper files for that. Good times.

Yet the minor feeling of productivity that lingered from those two tasks has inspired me to finish correcting my paper and I'll likely resubmit it today. Boss still hasn't given me comments (Not Totally Awesome), but I think between co-authors and my text, I have a handle on what I want to say. So I'll just hope I'm cool enough on my own.


PhysioProf said...

So I'll just hope I'm cool enough on my own.

I implore you to get your boss to pay attention to your revisions before you resubmit. Is he an author?

Citronella said...

Each time there's an earthquake here I'm first wondering what the heck this big truck is doing right under my windows. I live in the third floor and it's more shaky than the ground, so I'm feeling more of the small shakes than my friends... I like it. (Well, before I remember that California is long overdue for a major, catastrophic earthquake.)

And yes to productivity!

CAE said...

Imagine my parents' confusion when they were woken by an earthquake recently - in England!

Amelie said...

I like your new Midwest slogan.
Good luck with the paper!

ce4460 said...

We don't like the earthquake thing out here in the west but think the tornado thing is cool. We get those were I am but not often. When we see them we think the are the coolest thing ever. Probably not the case back East.

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