Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Sep 22nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Rock Me Like a False Alarm

Kim_Luke2(Note: Writing humorous essays involving hurricanes during hurricane season is insensitive, reckless and ill-advised. The author recognizes this. She is currently planning a series of pieces on drunk Santas, so clearly has no perception of social boundaries. She feels awful about this.) 

September is underway, another school year has begun, and I, along with legions of my writing peers, had planned an annual ritual dripping with nostalgia: a poignant, amusing column on the back-to-school miracle affecting anyone past the age of … back-to-school, waxing poetic about sharpened pencils and fresh lined paper. I had even undertaken a project to empathize with my kids’ hours of mind-numbing boredom during less than interesting academic subjects. (FYI, I intended to study a topic about which I have absolutely no curiosity whatsoever, find chillingly dull, and causes my eyeballs to melt from lack of interest: What to Expect When I’m Expecting. This took much consideration. My list also included Other People’s Drug Trips and Hedge Funds. Also note— it’s very difficult to think of things about which one doesn’t give a hoot. It’s elementally counterintuitive.)

In any case, my crisp autumn-lust metaphors were ready to flow when the impossible happened. I was swept into the path of a hurricane, literally and figuratively, and any trite observations on saddle shoes took a back seat to trite observations on fate.

Bermuda is a slice of paradise in the North Atlantic, 640 miles from Cape Hatteras, N.C. I’d heard tales of Bermuda and both its natural beauty and man-made luxuries. I found myself headed for the island(s) for a lavish family wedding along with 40 or so of my favorite relatives. Also headed for the area, with the same estimated arrival time: Hurricane Danielle.

Let’s cut right to the chase here. If I were sitting on my couch watching CNN coverage of a hurricane-ravaged resort community, following the plight of tourists who had flown in for the event, I would utilize colorful language to describe their sanity and/or intelligence.  Counter that with the guarantee that to forego the trip because of “a little weather,” as my extended family members were describing it, would invite public mocking for the foreseeable future, to my face, and in the case of divorce or death—behind my back, with continued gusto. Apparently I was the only person involved who gave the then-category 2 storm a second thought. Apparently I was the only fan of 1970s-era disaster movies, because I immediately cast myself in Hurricane Wedding! with Charleton Heston and Shelley Winters. And apparently, due to my hysterics, I would perish first as the twitchy in-law, swept away to the strains of “Celebration.”

Forging ahead, I prepared in every way I could: re-filling all legally available prescription relaxants, obsessing over Internet storm updates, and crying at stop signs. I thought, “They can’t make me go!” stomped my feet and slammed doors. But picturing the people meeting us in Bermuda, their blanket dismissal of Mother Nature’s alleged ability to crash the party, and the respect I have for their hardy and unstoppable demeanor in general, I considered that for once maybe I was wrong and everyone else was right. (This led to more crying, because while I may have been wrong once or twice in my life, I certainly never admitted it before.) Little did I know how wrong I could be.

The flight to Bermuda was problem-free. The weather there was perfect, with minimal wind and rain. I discovered an untapped talent that had lain dormant for lo these thirty years—standing in a pool drinking Piña Coladas (it turns out I am quite gifted in this regard and willing to tutor others). The flight home was equally uneventful. Danielle was a bust and I emerged unscathed, tanned, and proven wrong. The only tragedy I suffered were the nachos at the Fox Sports Bar at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport.

How is this an observation on fate? How can this non-story possibly sideline what surely would have been a fantastic swipe at soppy bookish reminiscences? In addition to confirming my melodramatic nature, I learned something about myself: I do not take chances. This might be a shock to those who know me, or know of me. From all outward appearances I seem like a real nut, but there you have it. I am outing myself as a non-risktaker, and won’t take it sitting down (as would best befit my former non-risktaking self). I will stand and fling myself into all oncoming hurricanes (albeit figuratively from now on) because that’s where the Piña Coladas are. And by the way, don’t expect anything when you’re expecting—it’ll probably just be a baby.


Kim Luke is currently enjoying sharpened pencils and dry land. To cast dispersions or affirmations, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Send comments on this article to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.