A wee update


I’m not dead! Obviously! Have survived an earthquake, hurricane, and some crazy business at work that meant I didn’t leave the office before 7pm all week.

Earthquake was a complete non-event for me – was on the metro at the time and had no idea anything was wrong until I got to work and the whole office was standing outside our building after evacuating. My train had been held at a station for a couple of minutes for “schedule adjustments” but I hadn’t felt anything at all. Bit of a let-down, really. “Surviving an earthquake” is always a good travel story – last time I was in London I was woken up by one, because apparently I only experience earthquakes in cities where they are definitely not typical occurrences (was once woken up by one in Tasmania, as well).

I was slightly worried that the Kennedy Center might have closed that night and I wouldn’t get to see Cate Blanchett, Richard Roxburgh, Hugo Weaving, and many other awesome Australians in Uncle Vanya, but all was well. Guys, it was amazing. It’s actually slightly weird to see “big names” like that in live theatre; there’s this strange sense of knowing them already. Although seeing them live does confirm why they are big names to begin with – Blanchett, Roxburgh and Weaving all had such incredible and powerful stage presence. Fabulous night. And the venue didn’t hurt, either: The Kennedy Center’s so beautiful at dusk/night.

The view from the Kennedy Center terrace, looking towards the Lincoln Memorial.

The lower Kennedy Center terrace at night.

The hurricane was also a bit of a non-event, at least where I was, anyway. Lots of rain, sure, and the wind on Saturday night was pretty impressive (was woken by some incredible gusts about 1am), but all in all it was just a relatively bad storm. Don’t believe anything you read though about it being over-hyped, all an overreaction though – 50 people died, and there was (and still is) serious flooding in some areas, particularly in New England. I was actually really impressed by the government preparations. Clearly (and thankfully) lessons have been learned since Katrina.

Taken the day after the hurricane hit: the Apple store in Bethesda was clearly taking no chances, and had boarded up all its windows just in case.

While we’re on the topic of earthquakes and hurricanes, can we just take a moment to tally all the batshit crazy natural phenomena I’ve lived through since arriving here?!:

  • Thundersnow (which resulted in us being without power for 5 days);
  • The hottest July on record in the DC area;
  • Magnitude 5.8 earthquake, the biggest in Virginia since records began;
  • Hurricane Irene; and
  • A swamp fire on the border of Virginia and North Carolina that caused poor air quality in the DC area (at least the hurricane put this out).

And hurricane season doesn’t end until November. People over here are always talking about how dangerous Australia is, with its sharks and its spiders and harsh wilderness. Well, I say the extreme Australian environment has nothing on the US. This continent is scary.

So yeah, apart from surviving extreme weather I haven’t been doing much more than working like a mad woman, and then coming home in the dark to crash and watch Star Trek: Voyager like a zombie on the couch. Guys, this show is awesome! Seriously! TNG will always hold Number One (little pun there) place in my heart, but Voyager is a close second, and not just because I am fascinated by the physics of Janeway’s hair. Just watched a great episode where Tuvok has to care for three children after his shuttle crashes, and it was hilarious. Throughout the show Tuvok frequently makes a look that can best be described as “bitch, please”, and it was on frequent display in this episode.

Wow, this has been a pretty random update. From earthquakes to Tuvok. Sorry about that. I’m hoping to get back into the habit of daily posts, but probably not until next week – work will be similarly insane in the coming days (conference living!) but after that things will hopefully calm down to a manageable level of manic.

To finish: have a rather nice photo of Connecticut Avenue, looking north away from Dupont Circle. Took it one night this week after a long day at the office.


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