Thursday, June 24, 2010

A few hour's distractions, or such are the mundane moments in the midst of another mass extinction.

1800 hrs, Wednesday, June 23rd: I'm absorbing the evening news re General McChrystal's resignation. Things are  weird, but what is one to expect in  the middle of a mass extinction, an event that only rolls around every 60 or 70 million years?

1701 hrs, (59 minutes earlier): Watching the local evening news, we learn the house is a total loss!

1300 hrs, (4 hours, 1 minute earlier): Standing outside the gutted neighborhood house, Sam is a hit with the children witnessing  the tragedy, one group who may actually live with Sam's sister (!) after viewing a picture their mom shows me on her cell  phone. On the 1.5" screen in bright sunlight, "Baby" looks exactly like Sam, who is lapping up  the attention of firemen wrapping up their hoses.  Dalmations, Sam learns, are just natural matches for firemen,  firetrucks, big horses and beer wagons.

1337 hrs, (37 minutes later): On our walk home, my very hot and exhausted blog editor, Sam, pauses just two houses from home. He lies down on a shady spot on the sidewalk.  Obviously, in our urgency to take this walk on sweltering pavements in 100 degree heat, I forgot to bring water or some kind of foot gear for him.

1341 hrs, (4 minutes later): Safely home, I return to the Germany -- Uganda soccer game of which I've just missed the last 50 minutes or so. The score is still 0-0. I haven't missed anything.  But suddenly, within 10 seconds of resuming where I'd left off, a miracle happens -- Germany scores a goal! After spending nearly two hours earlier this morning in what I decided was the most exciting two hours of boredom I'd spent in my entire life -- watching the USA soccer team defeat Algeria with a *miracle* goal -- I'm beginning to get  the hype of "futbol" -- it's the rare near misses, the far rarer hits, that every four years hoists neighborhood  bars around the world into  profitability from fanatical hystericals swilling beer at 8:00 in the morning hoping to see a miracle -- a soccer goal from "their team."

1230 hrs, (1 hour, 11 minutes earlier): In the middle of the tremendously exciting German -- Ugandan soccer match that has me debating whether to pop the lid on a bottle of beer despite being only 25% German but secretly rooting for the underdog, I glance outside  at the weather for some sign of relief from the seemingly endless 100 degree days and months of long drought. "OMG, we're in for some serious rain, Sam!" I announce to him as I witness the ominous gathering of dark clouds outside our patio window.

1231 hrs, (1 minute later): "OMG, those aren't clouds!" I hear my amazed words, as if slogging over the rim of a beer stein containing them, after slamming it down hard on a bar as if I'd just witnessed a miracle. Instead, I realize the huge storm clouds are those of billowing black smoke. instead  Somewhere, just a couple of blocks over, a house is burning down!

Video frame taken from my rooftop. The spot of orange
amid  foreground trees was the orange of the flames.

1233 hrs, (2 minutes later): I'm standing on my rooftop, watching the billowing smoke of a neighbor's house as Sam howls at the sirens of approaching firetrucks. We must go see  it, I decide.

(Note: In these entire 5 hours, 30 minutes plus, the ongoing mass extinction continued unabated. Thank heaven for little daily distractions!)


D.K. Raed said...

that was very scary, too close for comfort! hope the occupants, incl sam's possible sibling, are all OK.

perhaps the soccer gods, becoming increasingly upset over your boredom, sent a bolt from the blue just to wake you up?

Colbert had a fun moment the other night showing about 10-seconds of soccer. When the camera panned back to him, his head was thrown back on his chair, mouth wide open, snoring loudly. He wakes up and groggily says, "is it 2012 yet?"

ps, I'm just as much a soccer fan as a football fan (which is to say I don't grasp the relevance). I just saw news of a marathon tennis game in wimbledon (11+ hr match) ... which only goes to prove people should turn off the TV, drink a beer, walk their dogs, view a convenient fire, and enjoy what the day holds since none of us knows what the next moment will bring.

Dada said...

House fire update: Dad was preparing French fries in kitchen for kids in backyard pool. Seems he forgot the fries in the kitchen for a minute or two too long. (Daughter pointed out to him smoke coming from the roof.) Fortunately, no one was hurt.

Meanwhile the mass extinction proceeds nicely with Alex, the first potential hurricane of the season brewing out in the Gulf with man's best minds saying they have no idea how this will affect the oil "leak".

Meanwhile, few notice (or care?), as many prepare to don best red, white and blue to their favorite sports bar to swill beer around noon with friends similarly adorned.