|Sans le Nom: Cookery, Rhetoric, and Other Forms of Pandering|
"Now I call this sort of thing pandering, and I declare that it is dishonorable."—Plato
"When a name comes, it immediately says more than the name." —Derrida
September 14, 2008: Weather Report
A Blog Post Alternatively Titled: "In 'Artford, 'Ereford, and Arkansas, 'Urricanes Constantly 'Appen" *
Or "If I Had Forgotten My ABCs, I'm Relearning Them Now"
Yes, Hurricane Ike whipped through Arkansas last night, a couple weeks after Gustav wore out his welcome and finally moved to another state. Here's what I've learned about hurricanes:
They are windy. But not like a thunderstorm. So often in a thunderstorm, you get those scary straight-line winds that peel off roofs and knock trees onto cars. Hurricane winds swirl and boil up. It's a whole other kind of scary watching the trees dance like their roots are on fire, as if they were straining to yank their burning feet out of the ground to run away.
They are rainy. But the rain doesn't come in gusts or sheets as in a thunderstorm; it falls as a constant force, as if it will never run out.
They are maddening. They supercharge the air. Navigating the crosswalks onto campus during Hurricane Gustav, I remembered the atmosphere of a late night frat party: frenetic, intemperate, like a fight could break out at any minute: Bodies in motion, moving collectively toward no where, otherwise known as "Just-Get-Me-out-of-the-Rain-Ville," have a bad habit of staying in motion: colliding and sometimes exploding. I wondered who would be the camel and which straw, which drop of rain, would do the trick. Everyone, surprisingly, remained calm, although their Facebook statuses indicated the deepening underlying tension. I think I have an inkling now of what it must be like to live in Seattle.
They are quiet. Stealthy. I kept expecting a lot of thunder and lightning, but with Gustav there was none and, with Ike, only a couple of low rumbles. No warning. So when the sirens went off yesterday afternoon, I wasn't sure what I was hearing and had to turn off the fans to understand. And there was that multi-directional sound blaring all over western Conway like searchlights in the dark. I turned on the police scanner to hear the spotters say one tornado was crossing Sturgis Road and the other was headed up Highway 65 near Wal-Mart. And not even a single drop of rain had fallen on us in eastern Conway.
They are hot. I remember seeing the movie Key Largo and thinking all the handkerchiefs and brow-mopping and glowing and sweat were a bit melodramatic. Last night, two transformers in our neighborhood put up the good fight and finally won, but not without a struggle. Because the power went off and on in short bursts about twenty times, the air conditioner and fans didn't stay on long enough to cool the house down. At 3:00 a.m., I found myself wishing desperately for a handkerchief. Or a tall glass of iced tea. Or a cool shower.
They are messy. I never got around to cleaning up after Gustav, so when I looked outside this morning at all the leaves, twigs, branches, and limbs, I decided I'd rather clean a little after each one instead of a whole lot after all of them.
Here's hoping we don't make it to Z.**
*Paraphrased from My Fair Lady.
**Yes, I know the names end at W.
I teach; cook; write; hike; read; dally; canoe; eat; write; rock 'n roll; eat some more; tumble and fall; dawdle; complain; bento; write; organize; watch movies; ignore e-mail; renovate; write; curse computers; brew my tea dark and bitter; herd cats; live in Arkansas; Plato, Derrida, and rhetoric (yes, those are verbs); remain overly cautious; persuade; imbibe; GTD; and oh, yeah, I write a little.
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2004-2008 by Jennifer Deering. All rights