Saturday, August 27, 2005

Still Dark, But Getting Lighter

The good news is that I finished Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix last night before it got dark.

Neither rain nor snow nor hurricane will keep me from my Friday night routine of having dinner out, so last night around six I strolled up to Miracle Mile to see what was open. Burger King was closed, as was the Denny’s on the corner of Douglas and Miracle Mile. But the fancy-schmancy Tarpon Bay or whatever the hell the name is of the $5-for-a-nosh place with the hunky valet boys was open. Pass. So was Houston’s, another trendy $10-a-drink joint on the corner of Miracle Mile and Ponce de Leon. Again, pass. So I went on back down to a little pizza and sub shop called Pomodoro’s on Galiano and had two slices of pepperoni and a Diet Coke. No attitude, they were open, and they had A/C. Sold.

By the time it got dark I was ready to sleep anyway. During the afternoon I explored the back yard and, with the help of a woman who was picking her way through the alley collecting storm-tossed avocados (those little suckers are heavy – they could take out a window), I removed several of the largest limbs from my across-the-alley neighbors avocado tree. My neighbors to the east lost their huge mango tree, falling neatly between the back of their house, their picnic table, and their fence — but taking their power line with it. One of the branches came down in my yard, also taking a power line, but it wasn’t the main line — the other tree took care of that — and it wasn’t the phone line. That took about an hour, and I was completely schvitzed by the time I got done. I’ve been taking a lot of cold showers, but never for the right reason; more’s the pity.

All the people I’ve talked to have been taking this in stride, and from what I’m hearing on the radio, so are most of the people who were really afffected by the flooding and the high winds. There’s no one to blame, it’s part of life here, and they’re grateful for any help that they get from anyone. They’re also mindful of the needs of others, too.

According to the Miami Herald, Miami-Dade County Schools plan to open again on Monday, which means I report to the office. I also may trek to some friends’ house where they have power and do some things like laundry and recharge the battery in this laptop — I’m down to 52% power reserve now, and I don’t want to waste it.

I had a screeching headache most of yesterday, and figured out that it was caffeine withdrawal. That will be easily cured today — warm Diet Pepsi for breakfast. Just like after an all-nighter in college.

As soon as there’s good daylight, though, I start on Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. After that it’s One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night by Christopher Brookmyre.

Thanks again for the notes.