Tornado alert

Sirens just went off. Neighbor said tornado spotted. According to weather reports, we’re in the path.

Maybe the tornado will chase me…


The storm hit. The alarm went off twice. The neighbors ducked into their bathrooms.

But me and Zoe were brave. We faced the storm. We stood our ground, even when the lightning blasted through the complex and waters rushed through. When the birds flocked away, and the wind chimes rang out. Even when I was soaked to the skin, and then became truly wet. Just to get photos for you, dear readers. Just to get photos for you.

By the way, I’m mobloging this from Oz. The Wiz says hi. She gave me a new pair of ruby sneakers, so I guess pink is the new black. However, she said I can click my heels together till my feet are bruised and bloody, but I can damn well get my own butt home.

And would I please move the house from on top of Dave Winer?


Ghosts in the machine

Two long time friends from this world have decided to fold up their blogs, at least for now. Possibly even permanently.

The first is our friend from South Africa, Farrago. As she writes:

This was fun, but the fun eventually ran out.

The second is our friend from the UK, Gary Turner, who writes:

What’s brought this sudden change of heart? Frankly, and I’m not sure if I’m 100% on the ball with this, it’s an identity crisis that was quietly baked in from the very beginning but which lately, has been surfaced and exacerbated by my recent spate of meetings. In short, my blog self is not my entire self and I must say that I’ve been cool with that as long as both of those two selves never happen to appear together in the same room. When that happens, it shines a spotlight right on top of that partial disclosure or split identity issue and this is something I’m finding uncomfortable to reconcile.

This isn’t a profound real life personal identity crisis thing, it’s just something that I’ve recently come to notice and realise is a conflict in my blogging terms of reference, and it’s a conflict which seems to have mortally wounded my blogging self.

Farrago brought us Charlie and penguins and beer bottle art. And I remember when Gary and Mike Golby used to back and forth about ‘porridgeboy’. Lately, though, everyone is all serious. Iraq. War. Bush. Outsourcing. Patriot Act. Social Software. Politics. Copyright. Rape. Starvation. Aids. People being hurt and hurting others. Technorati 100, and A listers. Journal versus weblog. Nosy news people crashing the party. Making the Money, baby.

But you know something? We had all this back ‘then’, too. It’s hard to go back to ‘porridgeboy’ and penguin games, when whatever we had then, we don’t have now; and we’re not even sure what it was that we once had.

I’ve been having a conversation, if conversation is the right word for email exchanges, with a long-distance friend about the reality of this environment, and that split between our real selves, and the people we create online. Dave Rogers’ captures this best with:

As authors, we’re too clever by half. We seduce ourselves with the beauty of our writing, until our attention becomes focused on the words and not on the existence. This is ego. We can, and usually do, become trapped in our narratives. Our choices constrained by the character we’ve constructed, by the plot holes we wish to avoid, or ignore. And it’s not just individuals, entire communities, countries, religions, political parties, families, any group of human beings that share a common set of beliefs and goals, all of them can become trapped in their own narratives as well. There’s a lot of that going around these days.

I think it’s truer to say that we’re not “writing ourselves into existence.” Rather, we’re writing ourselves out of existence. We cease to be people, and instead become characters and plot devices.

We’re writing ourselves out of existence, whether we continue to weblog or not. True ghosts in the machine. Or poppies, hidden behind the larger, showier flowers until one day we notice they’re gone.

So we stand in the doorway waving good-bye and cry out, “Good luck Gary and Lynette”, before shutting the door; knowing that if they happen to miss us someday, or miss this funny, bizarre, sad, lonely, non-existent existence we all share, no door can stop a ghost from returning. And anyone can reinvent themselves online, if they wish.

As Dave Rogers says, Don’t believe everything you read. Least of all, what you read here.


Third major storm in four days

We just got another major thunderstorm alert–the third in four days; plus flooding and an occasional tornado warning. I’ll take pictures of any funnel clouds heading this way. Really. Honest. I’m not going to be a scaredy baby diving for shelter when I can have a chance to take a tornado picture for you all.

The thunderstorms have been the worst I’ve seen, before or after moving to Missouri. Yesterday afternoon the sound was so bad, and everything was shaking so much, that all I wanted to do was join Zoe hiding under the bed. The hail hit the roof and the windows so hard that at one point, I thought one of the windows was cracked. I expect hail damage to Golden Girl this year, because all indications are, it’s going to be a long, stormy summer.

Speaking of which, I’ve traded cars with my roommate for the summer. I get better gas mileage, and this helps with his longish commute. He has an eleven year old van that’s been through the wars, and I’m looking to do a little tornado chasing this year.

I’ve been studying the meteorology on tornadoes for two years, in addition to the behavior of storms in Missuori, and I’m ready to give it a shot; at least, locally. I’ve always loved weather, and I need a little adventure in my life.

Scratch that–I need a lot of adventure in my life.

Of course, we have to discount the fact that yesterday I was ready to hide under the bed with my cat.