Tuesday, May 23, 2006

What I remember from those Hurricanes

Hurricane Aubrey - I was 2 years old. I don't remember a thing.

Hurricane Carla - I was 6 years old. Rita was 1 year old and Jesse was a newborn. Our father was in the National Guard. He would be helping with evacuations and storm problems. He drove us in the driving rain to Alice TX along where we picked up his sister, my Tia Elia and other aunts I can't recall. We found shelter in the Alice High School Cafeteria where we prayed the storm wouldn't break the windows. We slept on blankets on the floor. I was thrilled that we got to eat cafeteria food. Mami was preoccupied with the babies - Rita and Jesse. So, as was the usual case around those times, I amused myself. I remember watching a coupla high school boys drawing rockets in the chalk board. I was mesmerized. I was jealous because I wanted to draw rockets, too. For a time after this experience, I practiced drawing rockets. I wanted to be like the big kids. We survived the storm.

Hurricane Beulah - I was 11 years old. We went to San Antonio for this one and stayed with my Tia Minnie on her house on Buffalo. It rained in San Antonio and there was fear of tornados developing. I remember us staring up at the sky at the swirling clouds as they flirted with becoming tornados. We were immediately shuffled inside. I remember someone had a movie camera and we were filmed at some point in this visit and I think it was about this time that I discovered the guitar. One of my boy cousins - either Cesar or Victor - had an acoustic guitar. I remember laying it on my lap and picking out songs. Simple songs. Melodies only. But it was the beginning of a relationship with the guitar that continues to this day. I amused myself for hours and hours. I was in love with that guitar. I remember my Tia Minnie had a loud water cooler air conditioning type thing to cool the house. Her home was decorated in aqua colors and I remember looking forward to playing with her legendary 6 toed cats. This may be the storm that did in our huge mesquite tree in the front yard. It was a really big tree.

Hurricane Celia - I think we rode this one out at home. I remember the howling, scary winds. We did lose power during the storm. Our street didn't flood. I remember Mami saying she and Daddy looked at the property right after a big rain and she was glad they did because that's how they determined the flood risk was low. Anywho, the rest of Kingsville flooded badly. The Tranquitas Creek which runs across 14th Street and Santa Gertrudis was massively flooded. We could then look forward to tons of mosquitos and the loud cacophany of ranas (frogs) for many nights to come. I remember people talking how desks would be hanging out of skyscraper windows in Corpus Christi.

Hurricane Allen - I'd already left Kingsville by 1980. I think I was living in San Antonio already. I have no memory of this storm.

This is the same for all storms that followed that year. I can't remember a thing.

Hurricanes I have lived thru in Texas

Hurricanes I Have Lived Thru in Texas

Text by USAToday

Hurricane Audrey, 1957: Hurricane Audrey made landfall near the Texas-Louisiana border on June 27th with devastating effects. Its central pressure deepened considerably in the last five hours before landfall. There were 390 deaths as the result of a storm surge in excess of 12 feet, which inundated the flat coast of Louisiana as far as 25 miles inland in some places.

Hurricane Carla, 1961: Carla was the largest and most intense Gulf Coast hurricane in decades. On September 8, Carla's center took aim at the Texas coast. By the 9th, Carla's circulation enveloped the entire Gulf of Mexico with fringe effects along all Gulf Coast states.
On the 9th, the largest mass evacuation to that date occurred, as an estimated one-half million residents of low coastal areas and islands off Texas and Louisiana were evacuated to higher ground. As the center approached Texas on the 10th, winds near the center were estimated at 150 mph. Reconnaissance aircraft indicated a central pressure of 931 mb just prior to its striking the coast. Only 46 lost their lives because of early warnings. Severe damage along a wide expanse of the Texas coast was caused by unusually prolonged winds, high tides and flooding from torrential rains.

Hurricane Beulah, 1967: The storm developed off the African coast and became a hurricane in the eastern Caribbean Sea on the 8th. From September 10th to 13th it weakened greatly and was downgraded to a tropical storm. However, on the 14th, it regained hurricane status again, turned toward the northwest and headed for the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico. It made landfall at Cozumel on the 16th, and entered the southwestern Gulf of Mexico on the 17th.
On the l9th, it intensified, and reconnaissance aircraft recorded a central pressure of 920 mb or 27.17 inches. It continued moving northwest and made landfall between Brownsville, TX and the mouth of the Rio Grande about daybreak on September 20. A ship at anchor in Port Brownsville reported winds of 136 mph. Beulah's strength was seen in the impact the storm's surge had along Padre Island, Texas.
A total of 31 cuts were observed through the island in the portion extending south from a point 30 miles south of Corpus Christi, TX. A cut is a new channel through a barrier island. The storm surge was found to have reached a height of at least 18 feet. Torrential rains fell in southern Texas, with amounts ranging from 10 to 20 inches. Beulah also spawned an unsurpassed number of tornadoes, but most were small and occurred in rural areas. The death toll from Beulah reached 15 in Texas--5 from tornadoes and 10 from flooding.

Hurricane Celia, 1970: Hurricane Celia was one of the most destructive storms to ever hit Texas, with damages estimated at $1.6 billion (in 1990 dollars). Celia became a hurricane on August 1 in the Gulf of Mexlco and intensified rapidly in 15 hours before it crossed the coast north of Corpus Christi. As it moved over land, spectacular damage occurred from a "cluster of high energy winds of short duration," (also called downbursts or microbursts).
The extreme winds raked across the residential and business areas in less than half an hour. It was estimated that winds reached as high as 160 mph for several seconds. During those disastrous seconds, incredible damage occurred at the airport and an adjacent mobile home park which was completely demolished. Fortunately, only 11 died in the Corpus Christi area due to the state of preparedness by its disaster prevention agencies.

Hurricane Allen, 1980: When it was over the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, and Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Allen was one of the most intense hurricanes ever. Allen reached Category 5 status three times. It obtained a 911 mb (26.89 inches) central pressure in the eastern Caribbean on August 5 while south of Puerto Rico.
After weakening near Haiti and Jamaica, Allen again strengthened and a minimum pressure of 899 mb (26.55 inches) was recorded by a NOAA aircraft on the 7th when it was off the Yucatan Peninsula. Only Hurricane Gilbert with the all time low pressure reading of 888 mb in 1988, and the infamous Labor Day hurricane of 1935 with a central pressure of 892 mb were lower than Allen's 899 mb central pressure.
Allen lost strength again near the Yucatan Peninsula but regained it over the open waters of the Gulf of Mexico with a central pressure of 909 mb (26.84 inches) on 9th. The center of Allen did not cross any land until it moved inland north of Brownsville, on the 9th. Just off the Texas coast, Allen hesitated long enough to weaken to 945 mb (27.91 inches), and then moved inland north of Brownsville bringing highest tides and winds over the least populated section of the Texas coast. Only two deaths were directly attributed to Allen. The strongest measured winds were gusts to 129 mph at Port Mansfield, Texas. A storm surge up to 12 feet along Padre Island caused numerous barrier island cuts and washouts.
Hurricane Alicia, 1983: Alicia was the first hurricane to strike the Continental U.S. since Allen in 1980. It was the longest period in this century that the U.S. mainland had gone without a hurricane landfall (though tropical storms did hit within that time). Alicia was a small to medium size hurricane. It reached a minimal Category 3 status as it hit land. The center of Alicia moved over the Texas coast about 25 miles southwest of Galveston on August 18. Aircraft observations indicated that only a 60 mile section of the coast, extending northeastward from Freeport, Texas, experienced hurricane force winds. Despite its small size, Alicia caused over $2.4 billion in damage (in 1990 dollars).
USATODAY.com: Hurricane Alicia

Hurricane Gilbert, 1988: Although Gilbert, one of the most powerful hurricanes of the century, did not strike the U.S. Gulf coast, it did affect Texas and Oklahoma. It is often compared to 1969's Hurricane Camille, because like Camille, it was also a Category 5 storm.
Hurricane Gilbert was also a monumental storm, because it had the lowest sea level pressure ever recorded in the Western Hemisphere at 888 mb (26.23 inches). The highest sustained winds recorded were in Jamamica at 116 mph, with gusts to 140 mph. An unofficial report recorded slightly higher readings.
Gilbert's track took it through Jamaica, over the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, through the southwest Gulf of Mexico and made final landfall as a Category 3 hurricane on the northeast Mexican coast on September 16th. Gilbert brought 5 to 10 inches of rain over coastal sections and more in mountainous areas.
The weakening storm passed south of Monterrey, Mexico, bringing massive flooding to the area. The storm then tracked north into western Texas and Oklahoma as a heavy rain storm on the 18th. A total of 318 people were killed; 315 throughout Mexico, Central America, Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic, and 3 in the U.S. Damages in Mexico were estimated between $1-2 billion (1990 dollars), and nearly $2 billion in Jamaica.
The Mexican government reported that more than 60,000 homes were destroyed. The 3 U.S. deaths occurred in San Antonio, from tornadoes spawned from Gilbert's remnants. At least 29 tornadoes were observed across south Texas, and they caused between $40-50 million in damages. In the area of Brownsville, wind gusts from Gilbert of 67 mph to 83 mph were measured by an observer with a truck mounted anemometer, before the storm made landfall in Mexico.
National Hurricane Center: Hurricane Gilbert

Mavericks Win!

Yippee! After being considered the joke of the NBA for so long, it's so gratifying to see the Mavs win over the Spurs. No slight against the Spurs...they are awesome and formidable. How many games have they won at the buzzer when the opponent was ahead all night? Nothing counts when a team is playing the Spurs until that final buzzer.

I am happy for the Mavs. It's been a long, hard road. Rock on!

24 and Jack Bauer

Wow... what a finale. Jack's now on the slow boat to China. I so enjoy this show. Intelligent and action packed and unpredictable. I love it. I can't wait to see what happens to Jack now!

No sleep makes Alma a cranky girl...

Oy...last night, my neighbors dogs which run free, barked ALL NIGHT LONG. I don't know what they were barking at, but, my 4 sea-huahuas were compelled to join in. There are some homeless folks which park a block away in an empty lot and seem to live in their camper truck. Poor things. They have been parking there to sleep for a coupla weeks now. I leave them alone. I don't see how they can sleep in the heat. There was no breeze last night and it was muggy and humid beyond belief. I can only imagine their story. I don't know if the dogs were barking at them.

My dogs were restless all night. Batman in particular. He squeeks like a baby puppy. I don't think I slept more than one hour at a time. So, today, my eyes are very puffy and I feel tired and cranky.

I have mixed feelings about my neighbor's dogs. I like that they patrol my house as well as theirs. I don't like that their barking makes my dogs bark and ends up keeping me up.

I don't like to totally "white noise" the outside dogs. If something really does happen, I want my dogs to wake me and let me be aware of it. But, all night long when there seems to be nothing is too much.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Jumpin Johosephat - Where's my metal detector?

Wow... I just read in some history website that some guy whose last name starts with a Z buried a whole bunch of gold coins somewhere on North Beach! I think I'll invest in a metal detector and try to find me some of those. The history of North Beach fascinates me. There's even a picture of the old Plaza Hotel there. I remember getting my picture taken as a child in the old Casa Ricardo in Kingsville. It's long gone in the name of progress, I guess. I remember the old big building and all the ceiling fans they depended in pre AC days. I remember there were old farts living there. There were screen doors. It was near the railroad depot. The Casa Ricardo... wow.... hadn't thought of it in years.
But, back to those coins. I really need to invest in a metal detecter. I believe they are illegal on Padre Island. This is I think to keep people from finding old Spanish coins from shipwrecks that belong to the State of Texas.
I dunno... I'm starting to believe my inner Pirate lies all too close to the surface of my psyche.

What would I do with those coins....hmmmmm....

If it was truly a fortune, I'd buy a travel home and divide my time between Dallas, Corpus, and NYC. Travel homes are pretty nice now-a-days. They have everything you could possibly need from a washer/dryer even! I'd love to have a travel home. When a hurricane was aiming at CC, I could just unhook all that shit and hit the road inland!

The Yin Yang Fandango and The Tango Tearoom

Whoo-hoooo! Joy of joys! After emailing with Irene, I will be playing there this Saturday. Okay...here's the blurb..

Alma
will be singing at the Yin Yang Fandango / Tango Tearoom
Opening for the band
Will sing from about 7pm to 8pm on May 27, 2006
The venue is located at Water at Broadway behind the Coloseum.
in Corpus Christi TX

I love this place. There they teach yoga there, sell groovy hip threads, Nag Champa incense, essential oils, give massages, discuss Buddism, sell coffees and teas and good food, have poetry slams, and sell "world music" CDs...this place is important to Corpus Christi for the simple sake of diversity!

Support diversity and a totally local business, it's not corporate there...

Hope to see you there....

peace

Monday May 22, 2006 and The Da Vinci Code

Well, here I am waiting for the phone to ring at TAMU CC so I decided to update the blog real quick. Nora was under the weather so after my call at 9am, I got showered and dressed and got there at 10:30am. Everybody here in this department is so nice.

Yesterday, I saw the Da Vinci Code. I enjoyed the movie. I think it's been so hyped up that maybe folks expect Satan himself to pop off the screen!

I read the book. I thought then it was much ado about very little. I mean, if you have faith, how could a book OF FICTION even touch that? I have heard much worse in movies and read in books that I just don't even understand what everybody's all worked up about... I mean... so what if his companion was Mary Magdalene....so what if they had kids...so what about it all.
It doesn't change the teachings of the Christ? And even so, how can you even trust those teachings when they have been edited by the Council of Nicea. And then there's all those other religion's interpretations... I mean...what is a Christ Scientist. I don't recall gospels of Jesus in a lab in a white lab coat surrounded by steaming beakers.... geesh... how confusing.

Yippee! I got in on the bargain matinee price. So, I found a good seat, I got my popcorn and took my 2 cokes and candy bars out of my purse. The not so great popcorn was $4. I refuse to spend $3 for a $1 bottle of Coke or spend $3 for a 50 cent candy bar. Nope... I will sneek those puppies in. I settled in and really enjoyed the movie. I'm a big Tom Hanks and Ron Howard fan. That Paul Ben-whatever guy was really good as the killer albino monk. I liked the movie. I especially liked getting to see all those historical landmarks that I may never see in this lifetime. I like that I saw the movie alone. I'm getting to like seeing movies alone. No one distracts me. I barely felt that the movie was about 2.5 hours long. I hated Tom Hanks hair. Eek. Looks like he needed a good shampoo though-out the movie. The actress was soooo skinny! Very pretty, but soooo skinny. I thought her little twig legs would break! But, I digress. I liked the flick. I'll prolly see it again when it comes out on DVD. I really don't get all the fuss by the religious fanatics. They really should get a grip. To tell you the truth, I enjoyed Dan Brown's subsequent book - Angels and Demons ... or is it Demons and Angels... I dunno... I liked his book after Code better. I think it was a better read. I hope they make that one into a movie.

So, here I am. Monday, Monday... Tonight is the season finale of 24. Will definitely watch that. I hope to hook up the VCR and tape the Alias show finale. I hope they have the Spurs/Mavs playoffs on regular TV so I can toggle to that on commercial breaks.

so, it's another Monday....

Thursday, May 18, 2006

More talk of birds.... the pelicans, this time.

I go to Portland these days to do my shopping. Everywhere I need to go is close by. I can hit the Walmart, HEB, Family Dollar, and General Dollar stores where they sit all in a row down Hwy 181.

It has a decidedly UN-Corpus feel. It's about 9 miles away as the crow flies, but I like the ambience of this little town of 16,000 population. On my drive there, I always look for pelicans. They are so goofy and clumsy looking out of the air and water. Kinda ugly when on land.

But when they fly, they are awesome. Graceful and majestic in the air. They are big birds. I see them when I drive the bridges to and from Portland.

They seem to hang out on the pier by the fancy condos on the North side of North Beach before the long bridges to Portland. Around dusk, about 8-9 of them fly all in a row near that pier. They fly across the highway bridge and back the other way as they head home to roost. I love watching these huge, graceful birds command the sky. Sometimres, they fly parallel to my car as I cruise at 65 MPH. Suffice it to say, they can fly pretty fast!

Today, at my Temp job at TAMU, I was standing by the stairs with Ms. Lehman looking out the 2 story window towards the Bay. We watched as a brown pelican dive-bombed into the water to snag a fish. He did this several times. We were mesmerized by him as he did a free-fall from about 40-50 feet in the air and with a big splash hit the water. So graceful and probably accurate as hell.

I'm going to have to come back to this shallow, sandy beach across Ocean Drive from this office to just hang out and watch the birds. It is a glorious, clear, bright blue day. There are about 5-6 kayakers paddling around the sandy beach. I'm sure glad I don't have a window by my desk. Surely, I would get nothing done.

Speaking of birds....

About 1 week into my new life on North Beach, I let the dogs out (Okay... you can sing the song if you want - Who let the dogs out?) to do their business after I got home from work at TAMU CC.

They ran out so they could look thru the fence to see what the other neighborhood dogs were up to and indulge themselves in their favorite past-time besides eating, sleeping with me, and chewing their rawhide pencils, of barking at other dogs that dare to exist. I stood there at the door under the palm tree that shades the steps. Out of the sea pine on the other side of the tiny yard, came a hawk! I guess, it was a sea hawk. It swooped from side to side of my yard. It was a baby. I could tell by looking at it's oversized "baby" head. It was checking out my sea-huahuas. It came towards me in the doorway and almost touched my face with it's wings. It was beautiful! With striking markings of brown, black, copper, orange, and yellow in it's feathers. I wanted to reach out and catch it but quickly changed my mind when I considered what those baby talons could do to my hands and face.

Then a thought hit me. Where's mama?

I called my dogs indoors after the baby hawk flew up to the pine tree and eventually left my little yard. Slowly, my sea-huahuas grudgingly obliged and one by one climbed the wooden steps and came inside.

Now, I don't let my sea-huahas out without my watchful eye. I'm almost always in a hurry with many things to do, so they don't get as long outside as they used to before the baby hawk made it's appearance.

I guess it was a sea hawk. I don't really know. It was a hawk any way you slice it and I respect that.

Belle and Sebastian - Come Into My Office Baby

I was listening to KCRW (my favorite radio station on the net located in Santa Monica) and caught a listen of Belle and Sebastian. I've only heard one song, but can tell I totally love them! I heard this little song called "Come Into My Office Baby" from Dear Devastation Waitress. I love it! A driving little beat with some killer flute. It's lighthearted fun! I hope to find the CD here in CC, but I have a feeling I'll have to order it online since I don't even know what "record" stores they have here.

Fleas - Corpus Christi is held captive!

Those fleas just won't go away! My poor dog, Bubba, is suffering. Vets interviewed on TV say this is the worst flea season EVER. I believe it!

I was watching the tube one day when this old guy came on to hawk his book about natural solutions to problems.

He mentioned that lavender oil is one way to get rid of fleas. So there I go. I made my way to the Yin Yan Fandango - my newest coffee shop discovery. They sell hippee type clothes and have a groovy cafe. They have yoga lessons, drum circles, live music, and sell essential oils. I bought a teeny little bottle of lavender oil for all of $2.35. While I was there, this old cowboy told that if you put brewer's yeast in the dog's food it will help, too. He said that when the fleas feed on the dog's blood, they will expand and blow up! I try to be non-violent but exploding fleas really appeals to me!

I went back to my sea-shack in North Beach to put some lavender oil on my sea-huahuas.

I put some on my palms and rubbed them the length of Bubba's little fat body. Man! You could see those fleas just jumping off! I went crazy putting lavender oil on EVERYTHING! Mmmmm my place smells great! The smell must be strong to their little extra-sensitive doggie noses, because now, they scatter when I simply take the stopper of the larger bottle I went back to buy. Now, the effect doesn't last all that long, maybe 1 day, but it is a natural solution. Unfortunately, the infestation is sooooo bad, I had to go to the Walmart in Portland and buy some *gasp* poison. I think if the infestation wasn't so severe that the lavender oil would prolly be enuf.

That did the trick. It stopped Bubba from chewing on himself. He was chewing himself bloody. Now his skin looks unirritated and white instead of bloody and red. The other dogs didn't have it as bad as he did, but they all were sprayed and seem to be more at peace. This weekend, I'm washing all the bedding, sweeping and then vacuuming the wood floors and futon, spraying the snot out of everything, dipping the dogs, and hope that it's enuf.

My poor babies.

Jarhead, History of Violence, Walk the Line

Walk the Line - absolutely wonderful. Phoenix and Witherspoon are convincing in their roles and Joaquin should've gotten an award. He was great. I enjoyed the music and even learned Walk the Line to sing at gigs. I loved it.

History of Violence - the movie was good. It had some sex scenes which were unnecessary to the plot which could've been left out. Viggo was great. Ed Harris was great. It was kind of predictable to me. I enjoyed it but was not as memorable as Walk the Line or Jarhead.

Jarhead - my favorite of the 3 films. Jake Gillynhall was wonderful. As was the guy that was the little boy in Swingblade. I thoroughly enjoyed Jake's nude scenes. Gawd, he's a beautiful man. The story kept my attention all the way thru and some of the cinetography was stunning. I highly recommend this film for adult viewing. I do so love the Marines. Oh, yea... Jamie Foxx as great as usual.

Hmmm...improvement?

Wow...It's been far too long since my last post and so much has happened.

Right now, I'm temping at TAMU CC. What a great campus! So beautiful! But since my last post, so much has happened.

I've moved. I was living off of McArdle and Kostoryz. Now, I live in lovely, glamorous North Beath!

I was earning $7 per hour working for Awesomenet. Those people just don't know how to value their employees and consider everyone expendable. At that wage, I guess they're right. I mean, who can survive on those wages of poverty. It was a horrible place to work.
From rubberband shooting managers who loudly ask a co-worker if she's on her period, to hovering management, to rough-housing managers who loudly laugh as they play and then have the balls to "ride" the employees who are actually working, to Nazi attitudes of punctuality..well, it just plain sucked. They have NONONO people skills. They would not allow us EVER to work more than 40 hours. If we got close to even approaching 40 hours, they sent us home. All this in an attempt to let NO ONE be considered full-time. That way, they would not have to provide benefits. Even tho their manual stated after 90 days we'd become permanenet, this NEVER happened. There were temps that were still temp after a year. There is NO future at Awesomenet. And management hovered. Boy did they hover. Gawd forbid we actually took 5 minutes to catch our breath. Management that gossiped with the employees about the inner workings of the temp agency they used. This is a company flirting with many lawsuits. We got all that for $7 per hour. At that wage it was either pay the rent or pay the car and I chose the car. You see, I could live in my car if I absolutely had to. But, finding a job and getting around without a car is impossible in this little town of Corpus Christi.

My landlady was understandably not very prone to kindness with my late rent. And in March, I just couldn't make rent at all. So, she sent me some little notarized note asking me to move. I couldn've dragged it out and made her evict me, but, I was never out to rip her off and moved out March 16, 2006. She came down from Austin to clean the place and prepare it for the next renter. She was awful. I moved everything into the garage so that she could more easily clean. Between my trips to my "new" place in North Beach, she was going thru my stuff and stealing what appealed to her. This, even when I gave her a small carpet shampoo-er, an electric drill, AND my good china. She was putting my stuff in the trash. People in the neighborhood were swooping down and taking things before I noticed she'd trashed my stuff. I have to believe she'll get hers. While I was not out to rip her off, she thought nothing of stealing from me. I was just an unfortunate soul who had just the worst luck finding employment in this burg. She was just a thief.

This move took place while I was on my first assignment at TAMU CC. It was so stressful. I was running out of insulin so cut my dosage in half to make it last. That caused my BG to rise. I just felt awful. All the stress was causing insomnia even tho I was bone tired from packing and the stress I was feeling from my landlady's harassment. There was stress from having only about $15 to buy food for me, my 4 dogs, and 2 cats per week. I survived on tuna, chicken wings, eggs, tortillas, coffee, cheap Hill Country sodas, rice, and peanut butter! I survived on HEBs Hill Country brand foods. Let me tell you, the tuna just sucks. I think they just grind up tuna gills and can it. The dog food was causing skin problems in my chihuahuas. Gasoline was hit and miss. I ran out of gas THREE TIMES and Mr. Rescue from Verizon's Roadside Assistance had to help me out. My car was always on empty. Still, I survived. If it wasn't for my gigs at Joe's Crab Shack, I think I would've lost my mind.

That last Sunday before I moved, I rode around Corpus Christi looking for a cheap place to live that could accomodate me and my dogs. I drove on Leopard. That sucked. Very run down places too close together. I kept thinking of drunk refinery workers on weekends barbequing and playing their Tejano music loudly and everybody all too aware of my comings and goings.
That wouldn't do.

I had always wondered about North Beach so I made my way over the Harbor Bridge. I cruised the small 2 lane streets near Corpus Christi Beach and fell in love with it's quirkiness. There is nothing fancy about North Beach except some expensive condos and some hotels. Otherwise, there's the run-down little houses that have survived hurricanes. Most are wood framed. There are sidewalks that come from and lead to nowhere. More survivors of the big storms. A coupla RV parks. There's concrete foundations of the buildings that didn't make it. There's a few State Historical marker placques. The Lexington Aircraft Carrier. The Texas State Aquarium. The Harbor Bridge. The Sea Lab. A minerals company. Some business by the Harbor. And the beach.

I found a very run down little complex 1 block from the sea. I called the realtor's number and she gave me the owner's number and I called. This place was rented. It was a 2 bedroom and the rent was way more than I ever intended to pay for something so rundown. Apparently, it was all bills paid, but still.... I asked if he had another place. He did. I went and saw the little house and deemed it acceptable. It was very reasonably priced. It was a one bedroom with a teeny back yard. Perfect. We made arrangements to meet and it was mine. I pay rent weekly for now. Dan the landlord met me at Knuckleheads (a biker bar), we exchanged money and receipts and I was off. I've been there 2 months now! It, too, is run-down, but my dogs are happy and so am I. I don't need anything fancy to be happy. It's 2 blocks from the beach and I can look out my window at traffic on the Harbor Bridge. When I go to get in my car, I can see the Lexington 2 blocks away. It's helping me to get back on my feet. It's helping me to regain my sanity.

My neighbors are a family that's down on their luck. A family of 5. The Dad works as a waiter at Pier 99. The mom stays at home and cares for 2 babies. They have a 13 year old girl whose school bus comes by every day at 6:50am. They have 2 labs that bark all through the night and scare the mailman. Sometimes, I give them a ride to Walmart to buy groceries. They get visits from CPS and I just know there's more to their story than they're saying, but I really don't want or need to know more. They have no AC and I wonder how they sleep at night in this heat. I had to break down and buy a $100 AC from Walmart so I could sleep at night. That's all I need.

I'm temping again at TAMU. I'm in their Temporary Employee Pool. I really love working here on campus but seem to be having a time getting them to hire me permanently. I've been to a few interviews, but had no luck in getting hired. It's okay now because I'm drawing unemployment benefits.

Generally speaking, the Latinas in power I have met here are defensive, vicious, and territorial. They will not risk hiring me. They easily feel threatened. It's too energy consuming for me to deal with, frankly. As hard as good jobs are to come by here, I guess it's understandable. That doesn't however, help me any.

I am hoping to find a good job or will be forced to save up these benefits and move back to Dallas. I may have to anyway. The going wage is half of what I was making in Dallas. It would take me twice as long to replace my retirement if I stay here in CC. Oy.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'll think of more to post soon.