October 28, 2012
September 26, 2005
Houston and Rita
Yeah! Reports are that we will miss the bulk of the hurricane. There is still the real threat of tropical forces winds and heavy rain. We expect some of Houston to be without power.
The hospital is like a summer camp. With so many doctors and staff, and almost NO patients, we’re sitting around playing cards and watching television. I go to bed when someone breaks out the Taboo board.
I am given an air-mattress, pillow, and blanket. My choices are to sleep in my office (an interior room with no windows!) or in a large room with cots lined end-to-end. Most people choose their offices.
John and our friends call me to tell me what a party they’re having! They made sloppy joes, watched movies, and are playing spades. Everyone is relieved that the hurricane has by-passed us, but they plan to remain together to monitor the rain and wind damage.
Pretty anti-climactic. There are strong wind gusts, but only slight rain. We are under a tropical storm advisory until 4pm.
My biggest plan for the morning is to figure our where to shower and get a cup of coffee. Everything is closed, but they say they will provide breakfast at 8:30am. I don’t know when they’ll send me home, but hopefully later this afternoon.
Thanks for riding out the storm with me! I feel very lucky to have such a wonderful family.
P.S. Fill up your gas tanks now, because many oil refineries were destroyed and gas prices are expected to rise.
September 23, 2005
Hurricane email from Houston hospital
I don’t have access to the rest of my email list, but this server is still up and running. Could you forward this to the whole family?
HURRICANE UPDATE - THURSDAY
John and I spent the past two days weather-proofing our house. Houston has been crazy: there is no bottled water, plywood, batteries, or gasoline. When shipments come in, there are 3-5 hour lines to get supplies, and you’re not guaranteed to get anything before they run out.
We managed to find a handy-man to board up some of our more exposed windows. We have some pretty strong storm windows on the rest of the house.
The roads have been jammed for the past 24 hours. People have been sitting in their cars on the freeways for over 12 hours. With no gas and food, people are forced to turn around and return home or sit by the side of the road and wait for emergency services to provide some gas or direct them to hastily-erected relief shelters. The mayor announced if you have not left by last night, you should be prepared to weather the storm.
John decided to invited some friends to our house. We made a central shelter in our living room, which can be blocked off from any windows, and moved all of our bottled water, food, and cat supplies. We filled lots of buckets with water for sanitary purposes. The weather service announced the first thunderstorms would move in around noon, and the bulk of the storm will hit sometime between 2am-6am.
I reported to work for a 72 hour shift. Fearing the total devastation of the city, Texas Children’s organized all available staff into two shifts: the “riders” who will remain in the hospital for 72 hours and the “relief team” who will report on Sunday (if possible.) I arrived at noon to find all the parking lots had been filled up. I managed to find one of the last spots in the outermost garage (on the fifth floor, thank goodness). The hospital told me to bring enough food and water to last myself three days. They have set up dormitory-style air mattresses for people when they are not working. Most people are sitting around, resting, waiting for their shifts to start.
We don’t anticipate any power loss or structural damage in the hospital itself, although we’re pretty much ready for anything. The biggest concern is after the hurricane has passed, when people seeking medical care and shelter could quickly overwhelm our capacity.
I send out another update when I can.
Thank you for all your love and support.
August 01, 2005
NASA finds new planet further than Pluto, can I name it?
Read more at NASA.
Artist recreation of the new planet (left) and the sun (bright thing to the right). Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
July 29, 2005
Battlestar Galactica bullet wound to the stomach
The season finale aired on network TV two weeks ago — which you can see here, thanks to SCIFI — and since then I've seen it twice. Per day. It's. That. Good.
Episodes air on Friday night at 10/9 central. Great — now I've got to get TiVo 'cause I ain't staying home on a Friday night.
PS My birthday is on Thursday, August 4. The eight days and eight nights of celebrating me has already begun! I feel like myself again — self-centered and shallow — no more of that nerdy sci-fi crap. Until 10pm tonight of course.
July 28, 2005
"Friendster" of the Rich and Famous: aSmallworld.net
You can only be invited for the most part, but man having access to party, festival, exclusive sporting events, and the worlds most popular, well-connected, and most wealthy has got to be awesome.
Welcome to aSmallWorld.net.
Wired reports that there are 68,000 socialites, princes and barons, on aSmallWorld's database, including Paris Hilton. They all share the same social circles, hang-outs, and resorts. aSmallWorld wants to become the leading "global social networking community."
So where's my invite, bitches?
Buying "Cummings" at Sephora in Scottsdale, Arizona
I walked in with my friend Gavin, just to see if they had it. It was more of a dare, but really, I had to do it. We walked all the way in, and towards the back. I've only been to the entrance of Sephora before, the store is laid out in a long gauntlet of aromatic shelves and the most absurd amount of make-up I've ever seen which is a lot because I know a few drag queens. We probably were not the first guys to walk in because I was attacked by sales women trying to sell me shit I didn't need. Seriously, I don't need Sean Paul Gautier perfume — I really don't.
I scurried into the back shelves, where the thankfully, the men's products were organized. Quickly I realized I was going to have to ask someone for help.
I found a girl who didn't look intimating while Gavin conveniently hid behind some counter and played with cotton balls unbeknown to me.
"Excuse me, do you have Alan Cummings, new fragrance: Cummings?" I asked in my most friendly voice.
"Huh? HEY GIRLS, THIS GUY wants to know if WE HAVE a PERFUME called CUMMINGS?" she shouted across the store. I looked behind me, couldn't see Gavin and realized I was all alone with 10 women staring at me plus all the customers in the area.
I think I muttered a stream of profanities under my breath. I tried to control the situation a bit by saying I saw it online and that they did have it. But really, she just wanted to yell out "THIS GUY WANTS CUMMINGS" across the room. There wasn't anything I could have done to ease my pain.
Gavin reappeared a few moments later with a fuck'n amused smile on his face.
I forgave him soon after, he's a cute bastard. And the Sephora lady and I laughed for a while, too, before she confessed that her favorite part of the job is helping someone find a perfume called "Banged."
Check out the Cumming commercial, but maybe not at work.
June 17, 2005
HOW Design Conference photo booth
The HOW Design Conference in Chicago had a photo booth this year. I convinced my friends Cody and Laurie to cram themselves into the booth with me. Here's our story:
Photo #1: Laurie, Cody, and I sit in the booth. I'm jealous that Cody got the sombrero and I got the viking helmet.
Photo #2: (sigh) Yes, I'm the one in the viking helmet.
Photo #3: And damnit, I LOVE MY VIKING HELMET.
Photo #4: Laurie's leaves too early and will forever be known as breast woman. Cody seems amused that her book is bigger than his face.
Later that weekend I dragged Amanda into the booth with me. God, I love taking photos.
Photo #1: We are so fuck'n pretty. God it hurts.
Photo #2: Just kidding, we're not that vain!
Photo #3: In fact, we're dorks ... dorks who are fuck'n pretty!
Photo #4: And we'll eat you if you don't agree.
HOW not to piss off your idol
Stefan Sagmeister is the Elvis of the graphic design world. He's a graphic design rock star and his popularity is only equal to this brilliant talent. He once carved the text for an invitation into his skin (think bloody chest and visible pubes) and promoted a fashion boutique with text made out of toilet paper. His commercial work is in high demand yet he took a year sabbatical to just ... think.
At the HOW Design Conference this weekend I got the chance to meet him — I knew this was a one in a lifetime opportunity and I only had a few seconds to make the best impression possible.
From a few feet away, I could tell he had an accent. I was talking with a Swiss friend prior to meeting Sagmeister, she asked me to find out if he, too was either Swiss or maybe German.
Me: Hi! How's it going?
Sagmeister: Great? How are you?
(Sagmeister signs my book.)
M: Oh, fine. Thanks! So are you Swiss? Or German?
S: (quickly) Niether! I'm Austrian.
M: (thinking: you pissed him off, dumbass) Oh, well what's in your iPod right now?
S: (annoyed) My iPod just got stolen on the way here.
M: (thinking: change the subject!) Can I take a picture with you?
S: Sure — ah
I bolted away from him and got out of site as quickly as possible. Later that weekend I saw him standing up — he's massive. He's like six and half feet tall. Like all rock stars.