Saturday, August 27, 2011

Notes from Irene (Day 1)

Irene approaches and the fun's just begun.

1) Batteries (Friday 6 p.m.)   Two days before landfall and the slots for Cs and Ds are bare in all stores visited along Broadway.  Realize about this time that I don't actually own a flashlight and that I'm not actually going to find one of those anywhere in this city, either.  Briefly consider going door-to-door to see who in the hood is hoarding.

2) Running (Saturday, 11 a.m.)  Sky benignly covered in low clouds, as if in sympathy for our neighbors in North Carolina currently enjoying the eye of the storm. Amazingly, since wind damage is set to be biggest adversary, the air is lifeless, thick and muggy; running on Day Boulevard, notice Carson and M Street beaches fully-staffed with lifeguards and absolutely zero beachgoers. Even though not in the mood for a 16-mile training run, know running in a downpour later in the day is less appealing. Glad for the opening.

3) Highway Driving (Saturday, 3 p.m.)  Heading north on 93 for errand in Wilmington; combination of haze and downpour and kicked-up spray is good for a summer-variety white-out. Drive over Zakim Bridge and don't even realize it's a bridge because side cables are fogged out. What a great idea to run this errand on this day.

4) Friends to the South (Saturday, 4 p.m.)    Text Justin in coastal New Jersey, who had said yesterday he and wife and newborn son were most likely evacuating rather than waiting for potential power outages. Reply:  "Just made it to our hotel in Harrisburg, PA....Long 24 hrs. :-)"   Does not seem like a conversation he and I should ever realistically be having.

5) Neighborly  (Saturday, 5 p.m.)  Rain continues, but less so.  Decide to use the slowdown to stash the plastic chairs and table, along with the impatiens, basil and mint plants from on top of the patio to underneath.  On last trip up for last pot, step in puddle with slippery boots and go ass-over-teakettle and back onto ass.   Before a "S@#$!" even emerges, hear someone from 4 patios over yell, "My God, you OK?" Might be a more effective way to greet neighbors for the first time, but today this is it.

6) Power Outage Etiquette  (Saturday, 8 p.m.)  Talking with a friend, who explains how to treat a freezer and refrigerator in case of loss of electricity.  Learn that I should stock a cooler (note: don't own one) with ice and the fridge food I'm most likely to need, fill the freezer with bowls of water, and don't, in any instance, open either door once the power goes, if it does.   Stuff in the freezer should last 48 hours; stuff in the fridge 24 hours long as the doors aren't opened.  This seems both less and more complicated than possibly imaginable.

7) Drinking  (Saturday, 11 p.m.)  Peruse Facebook.  Note that any friend along the North Atlantic Coast has a status that involves alcohol.   Concoctions at The Foundry in Davis, waiting, with friends. Drinking wine, and waiting.  Photos of bleary-eyed women with tequila nearly pouring out their eyes, waiting. Peach, sour mix and soda in a cartoon-character glass, waiting.   Trying to figure out why I have no desire to drink my way through this.

7) Anticipating Tomorrow  (Saturday, 11:30 p.m.)  Church cancelled -- yay.  T shutting down at noon -- oh my.   Gym closing at noon, and am I going to drag butt out of bed, losing current rock-star parking spot, to go there before that hour for the Sunday training run I can't possibly do outside? -- eh, know I should and somehow can't imagine it.   Fantasy about how nice it would be to have a warm body other than a cat to spend a day inside with? -- sadly, just a fantasy.   Fantasy about sleeping in, walking to corner for DD coffee, coming back with Sunday Times for a day of chillness marred by concern that with New York shutting down for the day, will there even be a Sunday Times tomorrow? -- another question both unrealistic and totally relevant.  

8)  Seriously?  (Saturday, 11:45 p.m.)  Have always known that by being at the end of Irene's path, Massachusetts will get the storm at its least vigorous.  Realize that by being at the end of Irene's path, the wait for if this is really going to kick our asses or not is all the more excruciating.  Sixteen hours to potential impact, and still can't decide how seriously to take this. Kind of wish I could go somewhere and watch waves. Don't know how or where.

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