Saturday, August 25, 2007

[The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind] Saturday Normalcy.

Now, I know there was something I really wanted to write about today, but for the life of me, I can't even imagine what it is. Hopefully, you're all considerably less befuddled than I am this morning. Don't worry, though, I've got a bucket of coffee, and eventually, it will work its way into my system to jar my still-sleeping noggin into a somewhat more awake state.

Anyway, yesterday, I spent most of the day with a mop in my hand trying in vain to keep Mother Nature's mess out of my basement. Wisconsin's flooded, don't cha know, der hey! We've had nothing but rain all week, and though the house is on a hill, I still get a considerable amount of water in the basement. So, I turned on the news and swabbed the decks and watched the footage of the helicopters buzzing around an area considerably worse off than here.

The news showed one house that had burned down in the middle of the flood. It just seemed to sort of sit there burning wildly in the center of a lake, and it looked something like a bizarre modern day viking funeral. And, roughly, a hundred yards away, a mob of firemen stood shrugging as if to say "What the...?"

I think floods are the worst. They can destroy everything without destroying anything. The house will stand, but the lives inside and all the kitsch and whatever memories we like to fill our worlds with so as to feel comfortable and safe will be gone. And, ironically, in the footage I saw, some places were flooded to the point where only the rooftops were visible, and realized that the only memories that will survive in that house will be whatever crap they stuffed into the attic, and if they're like me, they crammed it up there in order to forget about those transient little things that are too precious to throw away, but too much of an eyesore or an annoyance to keep around in plain sight.

Fires, on the other hand, are personal. They don't usually destroy an entire community. A house burns down, and you can discover the kindness of your neighbors. And, there's a lot of comfort in that. However, when an entire neighborhood is flooded, you quickly learn your entire neighborhood is just as screwed as you, and finding that much-needed sympathy is almost impossible.

I suppose that's the weird thing about floods. They can rip a world apart, but also pull a community together, I guess.

In other news, it's been a dreadful week on this end. I am notentirely thrilled with this book I've been writing. And, it's not that I'm a perfectionist, per se. I just have certain expectations, and it's almost as though what seemed like a good idea at the time has turned into something somewhat flat and generic. So, I've spent heaps of time rattling around inside my head trying to breathe life into a story that seems to need a little more. Eventually, I'm sure I'll figure it out, and what tends to work for me is to just walk away and let my ideas stew like an old chicken.

Aside from that, it's pretty much been the usual nonsense. The ex-girlfriend/girlfriend has been up to her usual puzzling antics, and I'm thinking she's once again returned to the "just friends" stage without really letting me know. At this point in our long, difficult and exceptionally weird relationship, I tend to approach her in much the same way a behavioral psychologist approaches a shotgun-wielding lab-monkey. In other words: One false move, and there's a pretty good chance I could wind up with a gaping hole in my chest.

On the other hand, it's definitely not a boring relationship. Perhaps I'll whine more about that later. Right now, it's just sort of one of those "eh" things.

Fortunately, the weather here today is supposed to be like San Diego in winter. In other words, it's going to be sunny and seventy degrees. That's kind of odd for August in Wisconsin since the usual temperature is somewhere around a billion, and the humidity is like some sort of South American equatorial rain forest. But, today? It's normal. It's not normal for Wisconsin, but it's normal weather for normal people in those normal parts of the world, and I will probably spend a lot of time outside today being normal. I may even drink a normal beer or two this afternoon beneath a normal sun.

Of course, before I start drinking beer and living my normal life, I really need to get some coffee into my system. Chemical dependency is a bitch!

Posted By Dan to The Wisdom of a Distracted Mind at 8/25/2007 08:12:00 AM


  1.     I feel for you. Flooding has got to be the worst mess ever.  I live in fire country, and like you say, if the fire skips your house, then you are okay ... although you do have a rather lonely existance for a while, which some people might even enjoy.  Anyway, water ruins everything it touches, and I can't imagine the clean up from it.  Good luck to you ... I hope that the rains cease.  By the way, maybe you could push some of that moisture over this way, because I am waiting for the hills surrounding my home to come alive with the sound of burning.  Tina

  2. I've seen on the news it hasn't flooded in Kenosha like this in something like 30 years. I'm guessing most don't have flood insurance. Then of course, there's the issue of mold. The folks who lost their home to fire, may be the lucky ones.

  3. We have had our fare share of floods this year......... No more, please, no more!