Japan, so tragic, has our attention, and is a reminder that not every day will unfold according to schedule, that we cannot dictate serenity and happiness, that we are all to some degree at the mercy of forces and events beyond our control. Thus we need to get ready for the unexpected. We need a plan. We need emergency contact numbers and disaster protocols. We need to know what each of us in the family will be doing if something really bad happens (but what bad thing could possibly happen to us here in Washington, D.C.???). It’s all about readiness, and flexibility, and adaptability, and survivability.

But first I need to do my taxes.

Also, the Aetna stuff.

Also, the FAFSA and the DC TAG and these other things with acronyms.

I have already, in my long and industrious life, lost more usernames and passwords than I have pennies in my loose-change bowl.

My disaster preparation right now consists of extra batteries. We will fight over who gets the flashlight. Hey, we have sleeping bags! We’re accomplished campers.

I’d keep a full tank of gas in my car but gas costs WAY too much. The way I save on gas is, I just put about 20 bucks in the tank each time I go to the filling station. No filling for me at the filling station. Naysayers abuse me with derisive insinuations that this does not, in fact, save money on gas, because — I dunno, they have some elaborate rationale for why it all comes out the same. All I know is, my way is cheaper.

[The blogging software says “Add Widget code here.” But I don’t want to. I’m standing up to the vicious dictates of the blogging software. I’m in charge here.]

[Also it says “Write your blog story here,” over and over again. As in: “Write your blog story here. Write your blog story here. Writer your blog story here.” And so on. It makes me wonder if I’m supposed to write the same sentence again and again and again. Normally I like to write the same sentence at intervals of, like, six months, so that only the most discerning readers know that I’m repeating myself.]

Herewith the bigger issue: How do we become the organized people who are ready for the Big One when the ordinary tasks of daily life — the mundane stuff — the tedious grind of being a taxpaying citizen — are already overwhelming us?

I got nothing left in the tank.

I would make my emergency plan once I finish making my non-emergency plan, which I really, really need to do. The absence of a non-emergency plan is turning into its own emergency. A disaster is something I don’t need at this point, what with having my hands already full with the acronyms and the widget codes.