Speaking of hurricanes

Everyone keeps asking if I’ve made friends yet.

Facebook says no. Facebook is just being smart, I think.

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Fall is an apprehensive time around here.  Everyone is obsessed with weather, and rightly so.  I overhear ten-thousand conversations a day about active weather off the coast of Africa that might turn into a tropical system. Lucky for all of us, I am obsessed with weather, too.

I watch the weather channel 24 hours a day and have the local radar widget on my computer, phone and ipod.  I wake up to Jim Cantore and fall asleep to Jennifer Lopez (the meteorologist, not the singer).   I love local on the eights and the tropical update at 50 past the hour. I have the music memorized and I watch storm stories late at night. When I was little and my family returned from vacations, I couldn’t WAIT to run inside to see what I missed on the Weather Channel while we were gone. My family can attest to this.  It’s true.

I also love tracking storms.  In another life I would have been a tornado chaser.  People give me tornado mousepads and buttons and books, and when there are hurricanes, they call me with questions about why the storm is taking a certain track versus another knowing I have been briefed by the Weather Channel itself.  I explain about the high and low pressure systems and feel giddy.  It’s just all so delicious to me.  I think, in reality, I am a nervous person and I enjoy something that updates me every 8 minutes.  Whatever.  I fit right in here is what I’m saying.

When I first arrived, we had to fill out a personal evacuation plan and sign up for text or email alerts.  We got an alert today about Gustav. Just an alert to be on the lookout for an alert.  I like how they think.

Katrina hit on the first day of school in 05. Orientation is Thursday, the storm is supposed to hit on Monday, and the first day of class is Tuesday. Everyone here is very concerned about the first day of school. All my friends (from the bookstore) are locals who go to Loyola or Tulane. They spent the first day of school in 05 evacuating, and spent the first semester of the 05-06 school year as strangers at other schools in Texas and Alabama and Georgia.

This says it all.

I really hope we have a first day of school here.  (I already have an outfit and all.)

My motherboard, myself

Macbook is home.

The motherboard was defective, whatever that means. I thanked the guy and said, “Yeah, my mom has been acting funny too lately, can you do anything about her?”  He would have laughed, I’m sure, but my phone rang. It was my mom. See? She knows.

Which brings me to my next topic: Adult Children of Active Facebook Users.

When did it become normal for parents start creeping onto Facebook? I realize my parents are just extra-technological with finding internet spouses and all, but honestly you guys, as a group, we really dropped the ball on this one. Parents should be confined to the geriatric network (as opposed to the Indianapolis or FW network)—which could be visited, but, for the love of God, not flung wide open for all of them to just run loose. Don’t even get me started on grandparents hanging around—there goes my whole new blog idea: Conversations with Crazy Grammy.

Brookie?
Hey grandma.
Are you working?
No.
Are you busy?
No.
Well, I didn’t think you’d ever call me back.
Grandma, I’ve been calling you all week. I left three messages.
No, you didn’t.
Yes, I did. Check your messages.
Nope. My phone makes a little noise when there’s a message.
Well, I left one. Maybe its broken or something.
No, it always makes a little noise. You must have called someone else.
Grandma, it was your voicemail. Your number is on speed dial. It was you.
No. Huh-uh. It didn’t make that little noise.
Why don’t you just check your messages. Just in case. I’ll wait.
No, Brookie. It always makes that little noise, but—Oh! (laugh) Isn’t that funny? (laugh) I have three messages. (laugh) It always makes that little noise. (laugh) Isn’t that funny, darlin? (laugh)
See? I told you.
Well, I just hadn’t heard from you in a while. I thought I might get a thank-you card or something for the pajamas I gave you last spring.
Oh, well, yeah, I love those pajamas. I thought we covered that at the house. Sorry.
Well, you’ve been busy. You’ve got a lot going on up there. Are you running around with Sprinky today?
No, she is in South Carolina
Oh! She is? What’s she doing there?
Visiting our other friends, Bethany and Mike.
Oh! Bethany and Mike live in South Carolina?
Yeah.
You never told me that.
They’ve lived there for a year and a half.
Well, you never told me.
They moved last April.
You didn’t tell me they moved.

I didn’t know you knew them.

You didn’t tell me.
Grandma, I didn’t know you wanted to know.
That’s okay. You never tell me anything about your friends. You’re just too busy. Too busy for your grandma.

Hmmm.

In other news, I started working this week. I got a job at the Tulane bookstore. I basically hang Tulane clothes all day and refold everything when waves of freshmen or cheerleaders or foreign golf players come in and try everything on in front of the mirror. My favorite is when the owner comes through, stands in front of a certain display and says, “Y’all’s folds are bad.”

I also love watching at all the bossy mothers in east coast accents holding up 80 different-colored sweatshirts to a nervous, eye-rolling new freshman while the little sister tries on $90 hoodies and the dad just moseys behind, whistling. I can’t help but imagine my little brothers being interested in a sweatshirt or a Taylor hat. It just never happened. If my brothers had been there, we would have ended the day in Allen County lockup for minor consumption, especially now that Brandon has taken to running around town with a can of Budlight in his hand pawning other people’s books. They were just never really into things like college hats or college sweatshirts or traditional college at all, really.

Moving on.

I made three friends in three days. They work with me in the bookstore, and all three wanted to know if I had gotten a daiquiri yet and where. They are serious about their daiquiris. By the third day, I was directing new students and worried mothers all over campus or to the nearest Wal-greens or Whole Foods or daiquiri stand like a good little local…

PS- I thought about this all day. Nine years ago today my aunt was killed in a car accident. It was awful and heartbreaking and felt like, at the time, someone had taken all the color out of the world. Whenever I think of her, besides crepes and laughing and hideous hand-me-down purple zip-up bathing suits, I think of Mr. Gay and what he wrote on a little piece of paper in the guestbook at her funeral: Bonne nuit joli petit oiseau – Goodnight pretty little bird.