As of 11pm Saturday night, the apartment was filled with warmth and the scent of pork shoulder seasoned with Herbs de Provence roasting in the oven filled the air. It is bound for a pulled pork application in Sunday's dinner. I am having a glass of red wine while struggling through a film treatment. More on that later.
24 hour News Idiocy
According to the eleven o'clock local news on Saturday night, the tsunami warning has been lifted on the west coast. Those warnings, what they mean and how the national media covers them became both extremely important and profoundly irritating since the wee small hours of Friday morning. As I have written in a blog of yore, Jon and I live at the edge of a tsunami zone. According to the map we got in a disaster prevention brochure, if we crossed the street, we would be out of the tsunami zone. The brochure implied that there was some magical barrier running between one side of Culver Blvd and the other. Humans could cross, but water and mud could not. That edition of the disaster brochure was very specific in detailing the government response to a tsunami. [Incidentally, this year's edition of disaster brochure covered killer bees, fire ants and deadly mosquitoes. I am not kidding.]
Where was I? Oh, yes. There would be an Emergency Broadcast System (EBS) tsunami warning to the area in general. Those within a mile or so of the ocean would hear the horn sound. I've actually seen two such EBS warnings of tsunami on TV. Each time, friends who lived nearby would call to ask if I, too, saw the warning and if we were evacuating. One friend lived in the Venice canals. I told him that he was likely boned, because he'd never get out of the bottleneck in time. The other lives up a 200 foot cliff in the Palisades. If a tsunami could hit him, we were all done. In neither case did we hear the horn sound. But we know that the EBS does work.
Thus, at 2:30 am when CNN and other cable outlets announced that the west coast of the US was included in the Tsunami warning in the wake of the earthquake in Japan, I wasn't that concerned. We'd know if it was a real problem if the EBS warning came up. But the anchors were whipped up into a frenzy about the waves hitting California that I wondered if they knew something local authorities didn't. Still, no warning came up and the local outlets didn't start their morning coverage early. I began to worry about my relatives seeing the broadcasts. Craig's girlfriend's mother called their place at 3am in hysterics. According to Google maps, they were right next to the ocean and the news was saying it could hit Southern California. She tried to explain to her mother that they were 200 feet above sea level, but the poor woman was about to have a fit. There was no call from back East at our place nor had EBS sounded a warning by 8:30 am when the first wave was to hit. Some beaches and piers were closed mainly to keep idiots from going into the water or getting too far out over it. Even if a big wave didn't come, the currents were unpredictable and a rogue wave was possible. None of the local news outlets ever seemed to think we were in any kind of danger. You'd never know that by the coverage on cable. I called my father just ahead of him calling me. He was getting worried because of the continuing coverage of worst case scenarios. That really ticked me off.
I have drifted from watching cable news coverage of anything but emergencies because of how bad it has become. Maybe it's all the airtime that they have to fill that makes them sound like idiots trying to make more of a story than is necessary. The earthquake was a horrific tragedy on it's own without trying to make the US part of the peril as well. Between the hysteria and the really stupid statements during broadcasts, I think I'd be better off getting my news from Twitter.
The Next Phase
On Tuesday, I find out if I am truly clear of tumors and free to call myself a cancer survivor. I spent a lot of last week giving blood and getting various parts of my body scanned in advance of the appointment. Naturally, I've been worrying myself what ifs. I've actually managed to worry about what would happen if I get the all clear. How on earth would that be a problem? What can I say? I am an expert on worrying. The key is pressing forward despite being wigged out most of the time. Thus, while worrying, I've been making sure to get the exercise suggested to blunt the side effects from Chemo. And I've been eating a diet to correct the deficiencies in my blood. And I am researching the possible day jobs I may take along with the shoots I want to accomplish. I've always thrived on planning and making lists. Such activities naturally force one to focus on the future. And I have a whole lot of lists involving spending time in France. Yes, I am a worry wart, but I have a whole lot of things I plan on doing.
None for this week. There is a lot going on with the various film projects. And I have some interesting reflections on problems the novels have brought up. And then there is the morning Jon and I spent with Craig en route to hospital tests and dealing with potential tsunamis. It seems that Ray Liotta is the least of his problems with celebrities.