Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hurricane Reads

I survived the hurricane!  Woot!

It was only slightly rainy but oh-so-gusty, and we spent Monday evening watching the trees sway about until around 8:30, when the power went out.  It was the first time we've lost power in this apartment - Irene didn't manage to make us do anything but reset our clocks last year.  So we watched Amelie on the fully-charged laptop and went to bed early.  And then we woke up on Tuesday and it was coooold, because the heat doesn't work without power, and I finally understood the attraction of the snuggie.  And then that night we lost hot water.  And by then it was already far longer than I've ever gone without electricity without it being on purpose (I once went on a 10-day canoe trip without electricity, but that was by choice).  And that morning we went for a walk to see the damage and here are some things we saw.

An enormous tree that was ripped up by the roots:

I have no idea who that guy is, but he provides excellent scale.
That shiny thing in the far distance is the Raritan River.  That line of debris in the foreground is, we think, how high up the river came.  That is far.  And very close behind us is a house.  That must have been terrifying for the occupants.  Good thing that hill is steeper than it looks:

This is the worst damage that we saw to anybody's property in town, and it was mostly ameliorated by an iron fence that is supporting most of the weight of that tree.  There were so many other close calls that it was unbelievable that this is all the damage we saw.  In some places, it was amazing that houses weren't totally crushed (as many were in other parts of the state):

So yeah, several long board games and made-up drives for the purpose of charging cell phones and enjoying heat later, we got power back.  Shortly after finding the only place in the area with HEAT and FOOD and INTERNET.  Which is how it goes.  And I haven't had my internship or class all week which is kind of awesome except for how I'm going to have to make up all of those hours.  Oh well.  Surprise vacation!

So back to the title of this post, Hurricane Reads.  Remember how on Monday I was all, oh, I'm going to get to read so much and it's going to be nice and woot?  Yeah, FAIL.  Between insufficient flashlights at night and poor sunlight during the day and the fact that I've apparently forgotten how to read for pleasure, I got very little reading done.  I did manage to read two short stories: "The Music of Erich Zann" by H.P. Lovecraft and "The Snow Queen" by Karen Brennan (from the anthology My Mother She Killed Me, My Father He Ate Me).  The Lovecraft was okay, but not nearly as disturbing as his normal fare, and the Brennan story was actually one of the better pieces in the collection.  Oddly, both shared themes of cities not seeming as they were and not-so-reliable first-person narrators.  AND THAT'S ALL I READ.

Last night, after getting power back, I started reading A Partial History of Lost Causes by Jennifer Dubois and am still having issues getting into reading.  I've been reading school stuff just fine, so it's something about fiction or checking out from my various responsibilities enough to enjoy reading that's getting to me.  Which makes me sad, because I love to read.  (Apparently I found it necessary to point that out on my book blog.)

Kitty empanada.
But yeah.  Life's not quite back to normal yet - I'm on day 5 of my surprise vacation and may reach 8 days of free time before real life starts up again.  In the mean time, I'm loving electricity and hot water like never before.


  1. Glad you're doing alright after the storm! And you're so right about not getting much reading done. I thought with the power out and nothing else to do I'd get SO MUCH DONE. But balancing a flashlight is a lot more work than I remember...

  2. Glad you & your family are doing well.
    And I love the photo of the cat all snuggled up in the blanket, mine likes doing stuff like that too :)