Went to See the Wizard … and Turned Right Back Around

Back when I was still with Ginormocorp and my plans of moving to Orlando were well known, I often joked that if I lost my mind and decided to go back to work, I’d only work for one of the theme parks.

You know where this is going, right?

It’s late October and I am BORED. I’m bored mainly because I can’t establish a writing routine. Mr. Mandalay, still on the Eternal Quest for a Job, busts into my office regularly asking if I thought he should apply to this job or go to that job fair, and it’s hard to write when constant calls of “Honey!” float up the stairs. I have attempted to establish boundaries, but short of locking the door–and don’t think that I haven’t considered it–they’re cheerfully ignored. Continue reading “Went to See the Wizard … and Turned Right Back Around”

The Ginormocorp Survivors Page

I have a like/dislike thing with Facebook (see what I did there?).  Most of the time, it annoys me.  Yes, I know you love dogs; that doesn’t mean you have to share every single freakin’ meme about loving dogs that you find.  Sorry, your child/grandchild isn’t all that cute.  Shut up about politics, already (no favoritism, both sides piss me off).  The only reason I don’t say “screw it” and delete it is because I know that without it, I’d never hear from some people. Continue reading “The Ginormocorp Survivors Page”

Time of the Season

Before we moved here, I estimate that I’ve traveled to Florida at least thirty times in my life.  When I was a kid, probably until I was fifteen or so, we went every year, mostly in the summer, although we did spend a couple of Christmases and Easters down here.  When I was in my mid-twenties in the early nineties, I talked my then-boyfriend into going to Disney World on President’s Day weekend.  After that I was poor for a while, but Mr. Mandalay and I have come down a few times during our marriage, always in the summer.

It occurred to me recently that I have never been here in the autumn.  It’s … kind of strange actually.  It’s still pretty warm, but the humidity has plummeted and there’s an almost continuous breeze.  For the last couple of days, however, high daytime temperatures have been in the mid-sixties, going down into the upper forties at night.  In other words, the kind of late October weather to which I’m accustomed and that I thought wouldn’t get down here until maybe January.  I am delighting in pulling out my sweatshirts and sweater slippers and drinking the occasional fall-flavored latte.  I also chuckle at people who are bundling up like Nanook of the North on days when the temperature is at the bottom range of “room.”  I’ve shut off the air conditioning and thrown open the windows.  It’s glorious.

I have a lot of things going on, including an ongoing battle with Ginormocorp over the payment of my COBRA coverage.  It didn’t help that Mr. Mandalay thought he was being helpful and instead messed things up even more, but that’s another entry.  I’m still trying to put myself on some sort of schedule as far as posting and writing, but with Mr. Mandalay still up in the air that’s been difficult.

But at least there are fall-flavored lattes.

Riders On The Storm

“I think we should pick up some bottled water and stuff,” I said to Mr. Mandalay the Saturday before Labor Day as we were out and about on errands.  The news at the time was dominated by Hurricane Harvey 1, Houston 0, but another storm named Irma was just starting to rear her head in the Atlantic.  “Just to be on the safe side.”

So we got a case of bottled water and some canned goods.  Go, proactive Mandalays.

One thing I heard a lot while preparing to come to Florida was “but aren’t you scared of hurricanes?”  I found this amusing, considering Richmond is very much not immune to hurricanes (or earthquakes, or fires, or the occasional plague of locusts).  In fact, my worst weather-related experience was in 2003, when Hurricane Isabel came to town.  Although it was “only” a tropical storm by the time it got to Richmond, it ripped things up, killed a couple of people, and knocked out our power for eight of the longest days of my life.  It was late September so it was still brutally hot and humid, and I was very grateful to our local gym for badly-needed showering purposes.  It could have been worse–several people on our street got the gift of trees in their living rooms.

Now we live in a house literally made of concrete, with a tiled roof and sealed eaves.  We have plenty of bottled water, seltzer and nonperishable food.  Our cars have full gas tanks, and both our bathtubs are filled as well.  I have a battery-operated radio that has USB ports so we can charge our phones.  My loved ones on both sides of Florida are in safe places, although my oldest sister and her family were in the evacuation zones in Pinellas and Pasco counties (north and west of Tampa).  I’ve been joking with Mr. Mandalay that he’s getting a hurricane for his birthday, which is today.  As of now (12:45 p.m.) people are still moving around a little bit and wondering online if we’ll get to see football rather than the breathless continuous storm coverage–seriously, it’s been all Irma all the time since Wednesday.  Many are awaiting a local meteorologist’s ritual of removing his suit jacket and rolling up his shirtsleeves on air, his sign that Weather Shit’s Getting Real in Orlando™.

The only thing that scares me about hurricanes is that they like to spawn tornadoes.  Technically all of our walls are interior walls, but our downstairs half bath is big enough to fit both of us and Poe comfortably should it come to that, which is why we’ll probably spend the night in the living room.

It’s been raining all morning, but it’s getting heavier and the wind’s beginning to pick up.

Welcome to September in Florida.


The Accidental Fashion Plate

The sun and I have never been friends.  As a child I once got third degree sunburn (yes, it exists) and I’ve had second degree sunburns a couple of very painful times.  I’ve gotten sunburned at a football game in Canada and on the top of a double decker bus in London.  Several of my Floridian-born cousins, cursed with our family’s super-fair Celtic/German skin, have had small skin cancers removed as they’ve moved into their fifties and sixties.  At fifty, looking at permanent Florida residency, I knew I needed a sun hat. Continue reading “The Accidental Fashion Plate”