Sunday, May 29, 2011

A Tornado Outbreak Makes For a Crazy Week

This has been one hell of a week. 

Last Sunday evening, an F5 tornado hit the city of Joplin, Missouri.  This is the town that one of my friends, CG, lives in with her husband and daughter, and several of my friends have friends and family there.  There are 139 confirmed dead already, and they haven’t even found everyone yet.  Joplin isn’t exactly a small town, its population numbers somewhere around 50,000, and there’s a six-block section of the city, cut from west to east, that is just flattened.  CG was barely missed, she lives two blocks north of where the really bad damage starts, and they came out of it with just some trees that needed to be removed, not even any broken windows.  I know she’s lost at least three coworkers and some friends, I’m not too sure how many because it’s not like she’s got a counter up on her Facebook profile, and she’s been pretty quiet about it.  I feel really terrible for her, I can’t imagine what that’s like, to lose so many people at once, to see your entire hometown ripped to shreds - I’ve been in a few close calls and one small tornado, which I think was an F2, when I was a toddler, but I’ve never witnessed firsthand that kind of destruction on that scale, or known I’d lost everything, that almost everyone I know has as well.  Today is CG’s daughter’s second birthday.  I was invited to the birthday party, but there’s no way I could get down there now, and I don’t think she could have made it all the way up here to pick me up, now that all this has happened.

I don’t really remember what happened on Monday.  I think there was probably some stuff that happened, but damned if I can remember what occurred.  It obviously wasn’t important.  Apparently Monday was a void.

We bought a weather radio on Tuesday (the 24th), and got it all set up in time for us to have some lovely severe thunderstorms come in while I was babysitting the kids.  I kept The Weather Channel on the whole night and watched as tornado after tornado hit Texas and Oklahoma and Arkansas, and another one just scraped by Joplin.  The weather radio freaked out regularly about every 10 minutes or so because S didn’t get it programmed for our county until the next morning.

On Wednesday, there was an F0 tornado that went straight through the middle of Overland Park.  It was actually a very large, wedge-shaped tornado, but it just didn’t have any oomph behind it, which was why there was almost no damage (some light tree damage was the extent, I believe), because it was large and slow-moving... We got so lucky.  If it had had more power behind it, it would have completely destroyed Overland Park, more than likely.  It passed by less than two miles from home, and S and I had to get J out of bed and downstairs and woke M up in the process and spent a good twenty minutes in the basement, and then stayed upstairs for the second set of sirens because it wasn’t going to pass remotely close to the house, or at least not close enough to worry about.  (S could seriously be a meteorologist.)

Thursday was Girl Child’s last day of school.  She did fantastically, as always, though her hair was... special.  She and S teased it up that morning and made it crazy and … well, crazy, because she wanted to make a statement for the last day of school.

J brought AB home with him from work Thursday night, so she was there Friday when we all woke up.  She’s a nice enough girl, but after awhile she’s a bit grating.  Probably because she’s consistently a teenager in her behavior.  She actually ended up irritating the crap out of me just by being there all day.  I can see why S gets so sick of me sometimes.  Anyway, we ended up taking her with us on our errands, most of which involved them staying in the car while I took the Toddler in with me wherever I was going because he cried when I left him in the car.  I got the yarn I needed to finish my afghan, and pillow inserts for the matching pillows I’m making, and made a stop at Micro Center, and Wal-Mart - we were out of the house for about five hours and did not stop all day.  Friday was exhausting.

Friday night, we started to start a new game of D&D, but it was taking forever for character creation because J was too busy playing Minecraft to remember that he was supposed to be explaining all this to AB, so S and I ended up going to bed once we got too tired to stay up any longer.  I’m pretty sure AB isn’t smart enough to play D&D anyway, she can’t even spell charisma.  I have generally found that most people who play D&D and are good at it are ridiculously smart.  I hope I become a good player, though I have no illusions about my intelligence.  I am not as smart as I was when I was in high school.  I mean, I could still out-think most of the people I had the misfortune of attending high school with, but a potato could out-think some of those people.  Anyway, W, S, and J are all ridiculously smart, and they are all good at D&D.  I’m not sure AB will even be able to figure out what J is talking about half the time, unless he dumbs his explanation down a lot.

Yesterday was okay, W and A showed up on time, but then W went back to their apartment for an hour to look for A’s dice, so we still didn’t start until after 10:00, but we got the story advanced a little bit, at least.  I’m finally starting to consistently remember how to do everything and am needing less and less help knowing what kind of die I need for a roll (though I have enough dice at this point that it is difficult to find the right kind just by them being camouflaged by all the other ones), and I’m getting pretty good at levelling my character up without any help.  I imagine other stuff besides game-related stuff happened, but once again, the rest of the day is a blank. 

Today hasn’t been very eventful.  I was woken up by S asking me where the hell I put the Wheat Thins, but they were under J’s window for unknown reasons, which I knew but had no part in causing.  Anyway, nothing important has happened today.  I made cornbread so J could have lunch at work, I acquired some new music that I’m sorting through, and I baby-sat the Toddler for awhile this evening for about an hour and a half.  He cried the entire time until I stripped him naked and let him lay on me and eat peaches.  Toddlers are so freaking strange.  The morning of the Overland Park tornado, he rubbed an entire handful of cottage cheese into his eye.

I’ve been incredibly cranky for most of the day, though apparently you wouldn’t know it.  I am short on patience and I just want to bite off the head of whoever is foolhardy enough to bother me.  I don’t even know why I feel this way.  Probably a combination of not having any coffee this morning and we ran out of cigarettes this morning and because J has an e-cig, they’ve decided to stop buying them altogether, which leaves me quitting cold turkey and I am very unhappy about this because I don’t currently want to quit at all.  I know it’s not really my choice - it’s not my money, if they don’t want to buy them, I can’t change that.  Anyway, I’m irrationally and disproportionately angry about the whole thing in addition to feeling rubbed completely raw by being completely without cigarettes for almost the whole day.  I’m actually really glad Girl Child is staying over at a friend’s house tonight, so I won’t randomly start yelling at her for absolutely no reason.  That would suck, and she wouldn’t deserve it.  At least I recognize this, which is why I've put in the earbuds and am not talking to anyone, because anytime I talk to anybody, I don't sound very nice.

I think another part of my problem is that I abstractly stopped writing this week, and I probably shouldn’t have.  I don’t really have another outlet to just get some of this stuff out of my head, I don’t talk to anyone, ever, so it just gets internalized if I don’t write about it.  Fun.

Anyway, tomorrow is Monday, we’ll see what happens then.  Probably nothing.  Tonight, my plans are to finish off this bag I’m making to keep my scrap yarn in and then move on to working on the squares for the afghan as soon as possible.  I’m going to see if I can watch Orphan while crocheting, but I’ve never seen it, so I’m not sure I’ll be able to.  I don’t generally do horror very well.

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