As many of you know, I'm from San Diego. And I really appreciate the concern people have shown over the wellness of my parents and their house. (Similar thanks are still owed to those who expressed concern after the landslide, which was much closer to my house than the fires currently are.)
Well I've been pretty concerned myself, particularly after I saw that the evacuation area has now extended down to Del Mar, which is the next coastal town north of mine. Last night I talked to my mom, who said she was just about to call me and ask what I'd like them to be sure to save from the house if evacuation becomes necessary. I'm not really one for possessions (aside from my mac!) so I don't really care much about stuff as long as my family is okay. My mom has been wanting to remodel the house since they bought it anyway... So I just asked that they save the photo albums and the diplomas, since those can't be replaced.
So today I emailed my friend Cody, knowing that he is in La Jolla and, more importantly, could be counted on to give me the truth, albeit a flowery version of it. Hey, the dude has a masters in poetry. He's allowed a bit of creative license.
And so, may I present Cody's response to my request for truth in brush fires:
"Oh my god! My hair's on fire, my books, my skincare products. Everyone here is giddy off the disaster. They've closed down [UCSD] campus for three days now for "air quality emergency". WTF? I'm the last person in this city that finds the hysteria absurd and self-important. Beyond the areas immediately evacuated, I can't say that there's much reason to panic. This is the same impulse that gave us Afghanistan, Iraq, water-boarding, and state secrets. There's this crazy carnival feeling, like all rules are suspended, everyone's tied together in this collective effervescence. There's a slight barbecue smell to the air, and a brownish haze, but not much reason to shut down the city, grab some popcorn, and watch local news for a week. You'd think aliens had attacked. Heaven forbid Mexican terrorists set the fires, it'd be bloodbath. Anyhow, gotta go--I'm deciding whether I should go volunteer at the fireline or take down 600 lbs. of dogfood to the Qualcomm emergency shelter--anything to do my part. Just kidding, I've got to go back out to the jacuzzi, where I'm reading ethnographies and sunning. Ciao bella!"
Ahhh, I love California.