Donald Trump is a racist. Period.
He’s also an idiot who tweets petty, childish things on a daily basis.
This weekend, his tweets were aimed at Maryland Representative Elijah Cummings of Baltimore City (and parts of Howard/Ann Arundel Counties). They were vile, unconscionable… and, sadly, correct.
This isn’t to say I agree with his attacks on Cumming[s], but that my former home city (2008-2014) has a lot of problems that have nothing to do with the 11 year representative (whose office on the bottom floor of The Symphony Center Apartments was only 10 blocks from my shitty, overpriced apartment in Bolton Hill) as any money he manages to bring into the city is promptly wasted on kickbacks to shady developers or outright corruption (funneling money for the poor into luxury gift cards, vanity publishing children’s books, lavish trips to Vegas, etc.).
It IS vile, rat infested (there was even a documentary about it released in 2017) with high crime, poor transit, block upon block of vacant rowhomes, and literally crumbling infrastructure– and, yes, I hated living there… but I’m not the first person to notice this (and neither was Trump):
“Anyone who took the walk that we took around this neighborhood would not think you’re in a wealthy nation,” [Vermont Senator/Perennial presidential candidate Bernie] Sanders told The Baltimore Sun during a 2015 tour of the city. “You would think that you were in a Third World Country.”
However, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the city’s vibrant arts and theatre scene (which, full disclosure, I used to write about for the now shuttered Baltimore Guardian), it’s lively waterfront jogging trail, stunning aquarium, world-class sports teams (though 10-time national champions Baltimore Blast now play out of Towson), and famously cheap housing (which was part of the reason I moved there in the first place).
Sure, Baltimore isn’t perfect (far from it actually), but that doesn’t mean it deserves to have it’s already sullied name dragged through the political swamp for cheap, racist, political points. No, it deserves politicians – both local and national – who give a damn about the city and it’s people… even when it’s not an election year.
This weekend (Saturday – tomorrow as you read this) marks one year since I was hit by a car trying to cross International Drive in Orlando. I got off the I-Ride trolley, made sure there was no traffic coming (which isn’t easy given the slight turn in the road) and then watched from the opposite side of the street as a black SUV comes out of nowhere knocking the human beach ball to the ground in slow motion before… you can read the rest here, here and here.
A lot has changed in that time, I still have moderate (but persistent) pain in my arm (and despite having no meaningful physical therapy, I can move my arm about almost normally – almost) and occasional tingling in my left leg. Plus, I have mysterious headaches and minor short-term memory issues (as the left side of my head hit the hood rather hard). On the plus side, at least the bills have stopped.
Did I mention that I get anxious crossing streets in Orlando? I do, and it makes getting around without a car a lot more nerve racking – if I never saw that car coming, how am I going to see the next one? It’s a question I don’t want to think about – especially since I lost my ID about 10 days ago, so they’d never identify me (note: I would want someone to continue editing my novel, and possibly collect some or all of these posts into a nonfiction book… which I haven’t come up with a proper title for yet). If you want to why I didn’t replace it, see above. Short-term memory loss is a bitch at times… but it’s weird because only some things like paying bills, collecting mail, taking out the trash, etc. are effected and not others.
As if I didn’t have enough to occupy my enfeebled mind, this past Monday marked three months since my mom’s death and NEXT weekend marks the third (probably closer to 19 or 20th) Father’s Day without the supposed celebrant… which is an odd occasion to mark given how he usually “celebrated” things like this. Yes, I’m expecting angry comments on that last sentence, but sharing feelings is what blogs like this are for, right?
Two days later is Autistic Pride Day (June 18th), a day I’m honestly conflicted about given the content of this blog. Yes, I think people have a right to celebrate their differences and how far we’ve come in the last 70 years, but it feels almost hypocritical given how much hurt, stress and turmoil it has caused my life… or lack thereof as I type sitting alone in my bedroom on a Thursday night wondering how to celebrate Pride Month (especially without a proper ID).
The fact that I can even type that last shows how far we’ve come in 50 years – especially since we not only have Presidential candidates twisting themselves into knots trying to pander to us whereas their nonexistent platforms on Disability Rights is rather appalling, but, at least, NYPD has apologized for their 1969 raid on the Stonewall Inn.
So, yeah, there’s a lot on my mind this month, but, on the plus side, today (Thursday) is my nephew’s sixth birthday. Happy birthday, Greyson, and thanks for reading this. Servus.
9:32am – Woken up by an automated call from my doctor’s office. At least, it isn’t “Rachel from Cardholder Services.”
10am – Tropical Storm/Surge Watches are now in effect for Coastal North Carolina… but have been lifted for the Alabama/Mississippi border region.
11:20am – A still graphic from TWC shows Tampa Bay is out of immediate danger, though strong outlying bands are still expected throughout the day into Thursday.
11:57am – However, NWC office in Tampa says that while most of Central Florida will be “uneffected” by Michael, Tampa Bay can still get “high storm surge, extensive coastal flooding and severe damage to docks, marinas and coastal dunes.”
12:04pm – Eyewall of Michael coming ashore along the coast of the Florida Panhandle…life threatening storm surge and catastrophic winds moving onshore.
12:37pm – Thank you to people calling/texting me, but as I said above, “Central Florida is under no immediate threat due to this storm” (I’m just bored, lol)
1pm – Hurricane Michael intensifies (cat 4) as it makes landfall near Mexico Beach Florida (nowhere near me) with life-threatening storm surge, hurricane force winds and heavy rainfall occurring over the Florida panhandle…
1:09pm – Duke Energy is predicting that at least 100k customers will lose power due to the storm.
1:13pm – Gov. Rick Scott activated the Florida Disaster Fund to help with the aftermath of the storm
1:37pm – Unfortunately, all the news stories I’m seeing now are “live coverage” (which do me exactly zero good, lol) so, I may have to end today’s live blog a bit early…
10am: While Central Florida is not expected to see a direct hit (aside from periphery rain/wind), the governor warned that the Panhandle, Big Bend and Gulf Coast cities as far south as Tampa could see dangerous storm surges of 8-12’ as the storm approaches.
Noon: Yahoo News is reporting that Michael is now a category 2 storm.
1:04pm – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that Georgia has declared a “State of Emergency”
1:45pm – Governor Rick Scott orders mandatory evacuations for 11 Floridian counties.
1:50pm – The Orlando Sentinel is reporting that, with winds of 110mph, Michael is “nearing a category 3 storm” with winds tomorrow topping 125mph.
2:14pm – United Airlines has canceled flights scheduled for Tuesday evening through Wednesday afternoon to three airports in Florida — Pensacola, Panama City and Destin.
2:21pm – Radar on TWC shows small bands of moderate rain are moving through southern Orlando. The sky over SeaWorld is dark, but the steady winds seem relatively calm… for now anyway.
2:39pm – Orlando Weekly is reporting that Florida Democrats are suing to extend the voter registration deadlines due to the hurricane.
3:12pm – The Washington Examiner is reporting that Hurricane Michael could cause “13 billion in property damages”
4pm – Tropical Storm Warnings are in effect for Eastern/Southern Georgia with Tropical Storm Watches in effect for both North and South Carolina (neither of which need this after the pounding they took from Florence).
4:08pm – USA Today is saying Michael could be one of the worst storms on record to hit the Florida Panhandle.
4:28pm – A larger swath of heavy rain has just descended upon Orange County, but Central Florida is still slated to get less than 3” of rain out of this storm (a change from their previous estimate of 1-2”)
5:19pm – The rain band from the previous line appears to have moved offshore as sunlight barely pokes its way through the clouds. Yet, landfall in Northern Florida is still a day away…
1:12pm – Phone is charged, so I check the forecast on TWC app: Rain chance is negligible, but the winds have strengthen a bit, so I grab a light windbreaker and my hat and go downstairs to wait for the bus. As I’m waiting, a light rain begins to fall…
1:33pm – arrive at the bus stop outside the Publix at Regency Center. The rain has now stopped, and I am able to take some pictures of some ibis feeding in the wet ground near the pond before going inside the nearby McDonalds. Oh, and the new mystery store they just built next to Freddy’s is another Starbucks so yah… I guess.
2:19pm – leave Publix to find it is once again raining lightly, but, as I am waiting there, it slowly gets heavier and is a full-fledged downpour by the time we reach SeaWorld.
2:45pm – Did I mention, my umbrella was back at the unit? Because it was, and I’m now soaking wet… and so are my groceries, but at least, we’re inside as the rain slowly winds down outside. Not sure if standard a summer storm or an early “feeder band” (landfall in Florida is still 2 days away).
4pm – National Hurricane Center is reporting that Storm Surge/Hurricane warnings have been issued for Florida’s Gulf Coast stretching to the Alabama border (from there west is a Tropical Storm Warning). Rainfall totals along the Northern Gulf Coast are expected to be between 4-8” (whereas Orlando, which is not expected to be hit directly, will get 2-3”)
4:30pm – FSU closes its Tallahassee and Panama City campuses in advance of the storm.
7pm – No new warnings/watches, and rainfall is still predicted to be between 4-8” in Northern Florida/Southern Georgia with heavier hit areas could get as much as 12”.
9:05pm – moderate rain is back, but it’s expected to stop again by midnight. You’ll forgive me if I don’t feel like staying up to confirm this… right?