1.14.2005

Putting it in Perspective (or, It's JUST a little RAIN, people!!!)

So, you've heard by now that California is just soaking wet, right? Lots and lots and lots of rain, for about the past 4 weeks or so. Culmination was a landslide in Ventura County (that's the one between Los Angeles and Santa Barbara, for you out-of-staters) that took 10 people with it. All told, about 25 people have died, either buried or drowned or frozen (they had to take to telling people what all to take in their cars if they were going to drive over any mountain passes that might never have seen snow before; you'd have had all these things in your car if you were used to any kind of inclement weather, but Californians, for the most part, are an ill-prepared bunch, it would seem, from the advice being given by every media outlet -- and it still didn't work for everyone).

Now, of course it's sad that 25 people lost their lives untimely, and the story of the 37-year old woman and her three daughters, aged 10, 6 and 2, dying in La Conchita is especially heart-rending (my father-in-law told me yesterday that the house was that of his good friend's stepson, who was also killed when the mud swept it away), but honestly, if I'd heard one more person complain about the rain around here, I might have gone totally mental.

One word: TSUNAMI. Killer wave? 9.0 earthquake? NINE POINT OH!!!!! Having surfed the 7.1 in SF 15 years ago, on the 28th floor of the Spear Street Tower, I can tell you I wouldn't want to even think about what a 9 feels like, since they say that every point is about 10x the magnitude. The devastation, horror, and tragedy of the tsunami's passage cannot even be adequately expressed in words. Close to 160,000 people have lost their lives, and you're telling me it's ok to bitch and moan about a couple of weeks' RAIN?! No, it just isn't. Or, if you do complain, do it with a smile. And then go home and hug your family, call your mom, e-mail your friends, and tell them how much you love them and how much they mean to you and all the reasons they're great, because thank God, you can. Life is precious; use it well.

On a final note about perspective, and California's reputation on the East Coast, I sent this article to my friend Rob today, who's in NY and wondering if I've had enough of this weather. I said, "I hope every single company that sells homeowners' insurance has a file of these articles and a list of people who should NOT get insurance. "Too Stupid To Insure" is what I'd call the file, myself, but I know that's a little judgmental. Still, why should the rest of us pay higher premiums because these numbskulls want to live dangerously???" It's just maddening, is what.

Oh, and lastly, with apologies because it's 3 days late, Happy Birthday Margaret!!!


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