Come on, Irene

Here comes the story of The Hurricane

Finally arriving home in New York from two glorious weeks in Spain Thursday night, the last thing I was hoping to do was wake up jet lagged at 4AM, feeling immediate pressure to fill my bathtub with water, stock up on batteries, and procure actual shelf-stable food for the girls to eat. This doesn’t include the single container of expired sour cream that stood guard in our refrigerator.

Unfortunately, the entire city of New York had the exact same idea, rendering the possibility of battery-buying impossible.

My colleague Jayme bragged about using Amazon Prime to overnight a new flashlight, and I snatched up his brilliant plan immediately as my own. Look how clever I am! Look at me, smarter than all the rubes running from Duane Reade to Duane Reade begging for non-existent flashlights. Lalalalaaaaaa…

Yep, I ordered that fancy Maglight, no problem. What I didn’t do, however, is add batteries to my cart.

So there’s that.

I’m wondering which is more valuable in a blackout, and whether I should just go and trade someone the flashlight for the batteries.

Who wants to write a short story about that?


Priorities, I

Oddly, after racing home early from work to stock up on essentials like hummus, I found the need to spend 3.5 hours furiously cleaning my apartment. Yes, it needed to be cleaned, suitcases unpacked, and illegal contraband KinderEggs from Europe stashed in a safe hiding place–but right before a hurricane?

An unscientific Twitter poll indicated that about 77% of you also felt the need to clean, and 10% of you actually used it as en excuse not to. The other 13% just made fun of me.

Fine. So when our windows all get smashed, and we’ve got fewer wayward game pieces and DVD’s without a case blowing around, we’ll see who’s laughing.


Annoying things happen in fives

I’ve noticed Nate perfectly follow the 5 Kubler-Ross-Sam Champion Stages of Hurricane Acceptance over the last 24 hours.

Denial: I’m not giving into the ridiculous, widespread media-caused panic! Are you kidding me? Have you ever seen a hurricane in New York? I have. Big rain, a couple of trees down, whoopie. In fact, I’m going to work at my new job tomorrow at 11. Restaurants don’t close for anything, trust me. Not blizzards, not blackouts, and certainly not this. We are a breed apart, Liz. You should know that by now.

Anger: I can’t believe you’re making me look for bottled water while you’re at work. I’m jet lagged too, you know. And how can Bloomberg shut down the subways at 12 on Saturday? Doesn’t he know I have to be at work at 11? This is all the media’s fault. 

Bargaining: Fine. I’ll get the bottled water. But I’m still going to work tomorrow. I’ll take the car. 

Depression: I can’t believe it – they actually closed the restaurant. I bought a new knife bag and everything. I think I’ll fall asleep on the couch early. You do the dishes.

Acceptance: “So they closed the restaurant, huh Nate?”


                       “I told you this was a big deal.”

                       “I guess so.”

                       “So once in a while I know what I’m talking about?”

                       “No, not really.”



Yesterday I observed on Twitter that the way dogs act all twitchy and strange before a storm, that’s just the way all of New York seemed to be. Walking through Chelsea Market was somewhat surreal; the chatter was extra nervous, and people seemed determined to buy things they really needed–but they weren’t quite sure what. Judging from the lines, the answer was Amy’s Bread, Jacques Torres chocolate, and lobster salad.

(New Yorkers: they’re not like you and me.)

The city really did feel like those opening scenes of Zombieland or The Stand, only instead of fearing Zombies we were fearing a whole weekend without sushi delivery and Stumptown Roasters. I’m not actually sure which is worse.


Priorities, II

On Facebook, my normally level-headed friends, Julie Pippert and Stephanie Himel-Nelson, were whining that the weather forceasters were only talking about New York and South Carolina and had totally forgotten about Virginia, Maryland and DC. I had to remind them that duh, one New Yorker is worth like twelve southerners.

I have no idea why they were talking about South Carolina though.


Not that there’s anything wrong with it.

My kids are already getting creative with their time stuck indoors. Last night they insisted we “line up for the parade!” Thalia rode a Svan scooter like a float, waving at the crowd, and Sage lead her around by a bathrobe belt in one hand,  a microphone in the other.

Judging from the outfit, the theme was Gay Pride.

Oh Sage

I’m excited to see what’s on their agenda for today. I hear we have a lot more time to kill.


Stealing is the sincerest form of flattery

I have to mention that the headline of this post was written by the always clever Alicia Ybarbo. She told me the New York Post should use it, but then, I thought why should they get all the good puns? Follow her on Twitter. It’s the least I can do for stealing her headline. Maybe she’ll write a good headline for you too, someday.


25 thoughts on “Come on, Irene”

  1. I’m living in Abu Dhabi now and have been watching long distance as the hysteri-cane levels rise on FB and twitter. I’m in Nate’s first stage, still: denial. Remember Hurricane Gloria, which was going to wipe New York right off the map? A total underperformer of a storm. So who knows, maybe Irene has decided to kick Gloria’s ass–it’s like a show-down of early 80s party tunes. Maybe people should spend their hurricane-day getting perms and rediscovering shoulder pads?
    Of course, the alternative is that the end of days is nigh: earthquakes? hurricanes? can locusts and boils be far behind?

    1. It must be kind of frustrating seeing it from afar; I know watching earthquake reports from Spain was very conflicting.

      I’m at the rare point of anxiety now where a underperformer will be a relief, not an annoyance. It seems like the flooding is what’s going to mess up the city at this point, not so much the winds. We’ll see… or at least you will, Deborah. Who knows if we’ll have power!

  2. I’m in Philly and I’m going thru the same stages of hurricane acceptance as Nate. I was so not getting into the hype. Then I was pissed, I had to cancel my SEO workshop dammit. Now I’m in the depression stage. I guess I’ll accept it when I see it. It’s so quiet out there right now. I guess this is the calm before the storm?

    Anyway, stay safe and dry up there!

    1. I’m depressed that I cannot fulfill my two-week long plans to get a pedicure today. So I’m feeling you. Stay safe Jo-Lynne!

  3. I’ve been singing Come On, Irene for 2 days. And my husband has been correcting me, but I probably because he dated an Eileen all through college and is planning on leaving me for her.

    Stay safe.

    We’re in the Catskills with a high risk of losing WiFi. So obviously I’m the primary victim here.

  4. I always have the urge to clean like crazy when we’re under tornado watch here in The Lou. Which, considering how often we have tornado-y weather, means my house gets thoroughly cleaned by a temporarily crazy woman fairly often. Bonus!

    I actually have a rational justification for this behavior, though: If the power goes out, it is REALLY NICE to have all your dishes and clothes already washed, and your floor clean enough that you can walk on it barefoot in the dark without fear of Lego injury, and all your stuff where it actually belongs so you can find things without difficulty.

  5. Yes, stay safe! Did you put big masking tape Xs over your windows? That’s the only Gloria-related thing I remember doing, apart from going birdwatching while the eye of the hurricane was passing over Larchmont! Oh my God, I was in Larchmont for Gloria. We were probably mere blocks apart.

    1. If you do put the big Xs on your windows, don’t be the assholes who leave the tape up too long then have to scrape off the glue, but don’t actually, thus leaving behind glue in the shape of Xs.

      They’re also the people who keep up Xmas lights through Easter, so I’m thinking that’s probably not you.

      1. We have yet to X. We are armed and ready with duct tape, but hoping to avoid any more frantic cleaning than I’ve already done.

        Or wait, maybe that’s backwards logic.

        I hate hurricanes.

    2. Oh my God, we probably were! We probably passed each other on the Post Road, driving around looking for an open diner.

  6. I can’t believe you didn’t stay in Spain. Can’t miss an adventure, huh? My dogs are super twitchy and on the verge of nervous breakdownage. Perhaps because the mayor evacuated Hoboken and we escaped. To Weehawken. And are housed with a fluffy cat that they are too worked up to eat. In other news, we send you good wishes from across the (mini) pond.

  7. I’m with you and Jaelithe. I’ve been doing laundry and cleaning all weekend, perhaps because Jamie’s parents keep talking about the last hurricane to hit Mass, which left them without power or running water for EIGHT DAYS. Blech. I was filling every pot and bottle in the house with drinking water and then remembered to calm the heck down– we friggin’ live on a reservoir.

    Stay safe. And sane.

  8. A little off-topic, but I’m feeling all clever and cosmopolitan because I’ve been to New York and I know what a Duane Reade is and just how many there are over there – I’ve even been in one! I bought a bag of Goldfish! I still have some of them! Yay!

    1. Sarah, that is a true accomplishment! Hope you saved the receipts for your special keepsake box. Ha.

  9. I’m glad to see that thus far, Irene seems to have petered out and not done nearly so much damage as everyone feared. Of course, 11 people were killed, lots of trees down, and I’m sure flooding is going to cause a lot of damage. But I’m glad the doomsday predictions were overblown. (HA! Overblown…because…it’s a hurricane….anyone?)

    I like to clean and cook when preparing for a disaster. Of course, I live in California, so the disasters are generally fires, earthquakes, and mudslides, none of which give much warning. Which means my house has to be PERFECT AT ALL TIMES. If you believe that, I’ve got some batteries to sell you…

  10. Lobster salad? Heh.

    I’ve only lived through one major blizzard, yet it made me do some of these odd things. (California doesn’t get warning of earthquakes, so we always just dealt with it as it came.) Cleaning house though…not sure I’d do that. Laundry yes, because I knew it could be days without electricity.

    I did buy extra propane for my grill though. Which funny enough, no one wants to stand outside in 4 feet of snow to grill when there’s no heat to come back into. Oops.

  11. I enjoyed this as I am a New Yorker myself. Of course, I had the opposite experience, as I watched it all from Florida, unable to fly home as planned. True to my New York roots, I gave in to the media neuroses and gave up delicious sun and pool time in favor of obsessing over the tv and internet and important things, such as the drama of a hypothetical 30 foot surge in Manhattan, and what the whole thing would do to real estate prices.

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