|Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 08:26 am: |
I grew up in North Miami Beach, Florida, now pretty much in the bulls-eye of Hurricane Frances, a Category Four hurricane packing 145 mph winds. I'd just like to send my hopes and prayers, in this small way, down to my friends and family in South Florida. I remember when Hurricane Andrew (no relation) hit both Miami-Dade County and South Louisiana back in 1992; I was part of a team that brought ready-to-feed infant formula to families made homeless by Andrew in the coastal parishes surrounding State Road 90, and the devastation we drove past was awful and frightening. Best of luck, South Floridians. And get the hell out of Dodge before the storm arrives.
I was supposed to be heading down there this weekend for a reading and signing of Bride of the Fat White Vampire Friday night at Books and Books in Coral Gables, not far from the Venetian Pool, where my father used to take me swimming every summer. I was planning reunions with cousins I haven't seen in years and good friends from high school. My good friend Larry's dad was planning to put me up at his house, right next to Biscayne Bay. I just talked to Marvin, and he's busy boarding up his windows.
I'll try to reschedule the trip for October or November. I just hope the storm makes landfall somewhere that's not thickly inhabited. . . although considering that Frances is making a beeline for the Gold Coast, which is ribboned with a couple of hundred miles' worth of continuous cities and suburbs, that's not a particularly realistic wish, I'm afraid.
|Posted on Thursday, September 02, 2004 - 06:39 pm: |
I wish them all the best. It makes earthquakes seem trivial...
|Posted on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 04:42 am: |
Me, too. This is a strange place to wish you, belatedly, welcome to this board, Andrew, but I do, and like Kage Baker and many, many others, including yourself, I hope this storm doesn't do as much damage as it's predicted to. We're supposed to get fallout from it, in the form of heavy, heavy rains, even here in Georgia, which is reminiscent of the swath that Hurricane Opal cut in 1994 or so, a storm that actually uprooted a pecan tree in our backyard and many others as far north as Atlanta.
By the way, Kage (if I may), those are absolutely beautiful book covers that you've posted on your board. Hope you make it safely to WorldCon and back.
|Posted on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 05:43 am: |
I was born in Daytona, so I can relate, I was down immediately after Andrew, doing a magazine piece, and it was surreal.. The roofing wars, the shelters...one of my favorite motels, the Glades, in Homestead, had lost its sign and replaced it with one that read ENTER AND DIE! The huge trash fires burning at night...
Good luck, Florida!
|Posted on Friday, September 03, 2004 - 07:38 am: |
Hi, Mike! Thanks so much for the welcome and good wishes. Always great to hear from Kage and Lucius, too. I just checked the www.noaa.org site for a storm update, and, thank heavens, the storm has lessened in intensity somewhat. It is still a Category 3 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, so it is still certainly capable of considerable devastation. Unfortunately, it has slowed its forward momentum, too, which is actually a bad thing. A fast-moving hurricane has less time to dump rain. One of the worst storms to hit Louisiana was Hurricane Hugo, a relatively weak Category 1 storm; what made Hugo such a menace was that it hung around, and hung around, and hung around, and its continual rains caused horrendous flooding. So the best thing for Frances to do would be to both weaken and hurry up. . . if that's possible.
Looks like I'll most likely be making it down to South Florida next the weekend of November 12 for the Miami Book Fest. A Del Ray Beach store called Murder on the Beach wants to host me at their booth. I hope I'll still be able to reschedule some kind of event at Books and Books, either in Coral Gables or Miami Beach, since I've heard both are beautiful stores (undoubtedly both boarded up by now, at least for this weekend).
For those of you traveling to Boston for WorldCon, I hope you all have a wonderful, fun, and profitable weekend. Say "hi" to Bob Sheckley for me while you're there; he's just returned from a four-month-long trip to Europe, where he was getting some of his older works back in print and maneuvering some Italian movie deals. I would've loved to be able to meet William Tenn/Phillip Klass, too, the G.O.H., and hear his speech. Guess I'll just have to buy NESFA's collection of Phil's non-fiction, which will include the text of his G.O.H. speech. Enjoy, all! And best of luck, Florida!!!
|Posted on Monday, September 06, 2004 - 06:24 am: |
The wife and I were hoping to drop by Books and Books, as we live half an hour away, but endured Hurricane Snail instead. (It ambled.)
|Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 05:22 am: |
And when you typed that, "Bandwidth Eater", just what negligible feeling of triumphant affirmation tingled through an atrophied pleasure center that to date knew only your shaky conquest of toilet training and the third-grade joys of burning ants through magnifying glasses? Is there some sentient, sane part of you that watches your choice of leisure activity and mourns the loss of a soul withered, a character undeveloped, a noble purpose unfound? Or have you so debased yourself that this is your highest possible calling?
As it happens, you paleolithic throwback, there is another hurricane headed our way even as I type. Ivan, it's called. It may miss us by a thousand miles. It may hit us dead on. It may be a week or so before we even know. But even if it hits with the force of a major disaster, and kills us, I feel confident in the prediction that my wife and I will live a more joyous and relevant existence in that week than you, in your sad friendless purgatory, will if you live to a hundred.
Fling more crap if you want; I will ignore any other comments from you, allowing others to take up the gauntlet from this point.
In the meantime, enjoy your internet porn from your mother's basement.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 09:52 am: |
I'm sorry I missed getting to meet you and your wife this past weekend. I'm glad the storm (apparently) didn't do you much damage. We'll all be keeping an eye on Ivan, since there's a possibility that storm could end up in the Gulf, in which case I may get involved in disaster relief/food assistance, depending on where the storm hits and how bad it is. Best of luck to you and your family.
I'll let you know on this board when I'm able to reschedule my trip down to South Florida. As I mention above, I might be down for the Miami Book Fest the weekend of November 12, or I might make it down earlier than that.
|Posted on Tuesday, September 07, 2004 - 05:57 pm: |
Alas, we will be away two long weekends in November, but keep in touch as the opportunity draws near.
|Posted on Friday, October 08, 2004 - 11:03 am: |
Sorry to say, my trip to South Florida and Books and Books in Coral Gables won't be rescheduled for early November, as I'd hoped. I may not be Ballantine's favorite writer on earth right now, so I think they've decided to conserve their pennies where I'm concerned. However, maybe I can swing a trip down to my old stomping grounds sometime in 2005 (if my two infants boys and my wife will let me).