Monday, October 29, 2012


This evening marks the landfall of Hurricane Sandy.  I'm sitting in bed, having just finished spending over an hour sending cold-call emails to potential interviewees for an article I'm working on.  Half of the emails have already returned with either "undeliverable" messages or "out of office" messages.  Grr.

However, as I'm working I get the privilege of hearing Hurricane Sandy knocking at my windows.  She's picking up speed and the wind sounds like it's in the process of yanking the siding off.  Downstairs, the husband and visiting dad and brother are watching a Star Trek movie.  Loudly.  So, occasionally I can't tell the difference between ray guns, cosmic explosions, and wind damage.

But we did have an epic dinner earlier of frozen pizza, run 'n coke, and chocolate chip cookies.  During said dinner, we clinked our glasses in a toast to Sandy since she gave us a reason to flush good nutrition down the toilet and the entertainment of watching the meteorologists on the Weather Channel grow more manic by the minute.

Anyway, this relates in no way to veterinary medicine or writing.  I'm actually having a tough time connecting writing or vet med to the topic of hurricanes, which is weird for me, considering I usually have no trouble at all bringing in some random vet med fact into any conversation. ("Oh, the S&P 500 is down today?  Well, that reminds me of this time I lanced a huge abscess on this goat's neck...") In fact, when I cheat and Google "writing during hurricane", I only get hits related to the Bob Dylan song "Hurricane" (which actually is about a boxer, not a meteorological event) and printable hurricane materials for young readers (looks sort of fun, actually).  So.

After a little more searching, I have come across a somewhat fascinating scientific article titled, "Writing on the Plywood: Toward an Analysis of Hurricane Graffiti", by Derek Alderman and Heather Ward, from the Dept of Geography at East Carolina University and Coastal Resources Management Program, both in Greenville, North Carolina in the journal Coastal Management, 35:1-18, 2008.  The authors state in the abstract, "People often paint graffiti-like messages on the plywood used in to cover windows and doors during a hurricane.  The content of these landscape inscriptions ranges from practical information to deeper expressions of emotion and beliefs.  Hurricane graffiti is an under-analyzed yet potentially useful indicator of the range of psychological needs, social tensions, and environmental attitudes circulating within coastal communities."  Well.  Never in my life would I imagine sitting around in my PJs reading an article from Coastal Management.  This calls for more pizza, rum 'n coke, and cookies.

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