Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Liveblogging Hurricane Sandy, Part 4

Well friends, we've survived another night. My parents don't have any power, and I'm sure my mom is crawling up the walls, fiending for coffee. Sis and her family in Brooklyn are doing okay, as is my uncle and all them on the Upper East Side. My badass volunteer firefighter cousin (he's 17!) spent the night at the firehouse he works at, and otherwise everybody is regular. New York and assorted regional neighbors have some fixing to do, so I will continue sending love and vignettes from the City that Care Forgot.

We'll pick up this liveblog from around 6:23pm last night, when I popped into my neighborhood corner store for the finest box wine they had available.

"What do you do again?" the clerk asked me.

"Oh, uh, I work at rehab," I said.

"Rehab? Really? But you buy a lot to drink!"

Yes, great thank you.

At 6:45pm, I realized I had gotten approximately nine text messages, all from hurricane-affected friends and family, responding to my earlier lasagna inquiry. The consensus was sauce on the bottom, then noodles, cheese, other stuff, and so on. To my immense surprise, a broccoli spinach concoction emerged from the oven looking quite a bit like lasagna. Thanks for the support, team!

Anyway, how's that hurricane treating you? My grandma told me around 6:52pm that she can't vote for Romney because "he's so rich, he doesn't know how to care about poor people." Well said, Grandma!

Which takes us to about 7:06pm, when the pumpkin carving party began in earnest. I don't know who ate all the mini Milky Ways (or where all that box wine disappeared to), but let's just say that Slappy "Mel" Jackson III is a true pumpkiny vision of loveliness.

Family portrait: Guess which one is Slappy "Mel" Jackson III?

I can't really recall many details beyond that, but at 8:38am I e-received an adorable photo of my baby niece surveying the wind damage in Prospect Park, an 10:55am email from my mom confirming that she was able to get her some coffee this morning, and a 9:41am conversation with my uncle in which we covered affirmative action, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and the Negev Desert.
So it is now 11:12am in the Crescent City, and they are having some kind of loud screamy meeting in the room next door, in addition to the internet guys banging heavy things in the office directly upstairs from mine. All told, East Coast, I am feeling a little bit of your pain.

Hang in there, and don't take any wooden nickels. Love, Arielle

Monday, October 29, 2012

Liveblogging Hurricane Sandy, Part 3

Living far away from home, I find it is often difficult to know what's going on with my family, especially in times of national emergency. My younger sister, E., lives even farther away, in London, so we try to share family news whenever we come across it.

The following is our latest text exchange, edited for capitalizations and clarity:

Me: Hey not sure how in touch you are but everything seems to be fine so far with Mom, Dad, et al

Sister: Hah I am VERY in touch. Britain is very interested in everything that happens in America so it's pretty much taken over every single news channel. And our offices in New York have been shut so we get emails about that. But thank you for letting me know!

Me: Wow. That is so global. I am also liveblogging. For no reason. Call me a storm chaser.

Sister: Yeah I was gonna ask about that...

Me: My friend asked me to. But I have nothing to say. So I am talking about how boring my day is.

Sister: That's the beauty of Britain - they're very into global news. So I think I know more about what's going on in the world than I did in America.

Me: Yeah I think that's true of most places outside the U.S..

Sister: Dad's like "some bars are still open" and I'm like "are you at a bar..??"

Me: Haha that's the way to do it. Mom just said "status quo."

Sister: Hahah the BBC lady goes "Our weather is a little more straightforward: It is raining, and it is foggy. That's all!"

Me: Ha. Hey do you know how to make lasagna?

Sister: Sort of.

Me: Like what's the order of noodles, sauce, cheese and stuff? Noodles on bottom then sauce? Stuff then cheese? Cheese then stuff? So many options.

Sister: I think sauce, then pasta sheet, then meat. Argh confused now haha

Me: No definitely noodle on bottom. Like a crust. Otherwise it will be too soggy.

Sister: No. Becasue the noodle needs something to smush on. So you press it onto the sauce. ay who knows

Me: Not us. So I ran a half-marathon this weekend.

Sister: I'm 90% sure you put sauce on the bottom.

Me: Haha

Sister: It keeps the noodles from sticking. Then noodles then sauce then cheese then noodle, sauce, cheese, reapeat.

Me: Damn I don't want to ask Mom because there's a hurricane and that's kinda inconsiderate. But where does the stuff go

Sister: What stuff

Me: Spinach. "Beef"

Sister: Judgment call

Me: Like a pizza, after the cheese. I'm putting all this on my blog.

Sister: Sure!

Me: For posterity.

Liveblogging Hurricane Sandy, Part 2

Liveblogging Hurricane Sandy, Part 1 HERE

The clock in my office is stuck on 10:16am. This must be why I keep eating breakfast.

10:16am (again)
I was mad when I ran out of breakfast, but then I realized it's almost 4pm and I'm not even hungry.

I am strangely fascinated by this article detailing what just might be the final blow to America as we know it.

Checked in with some Eastern Seaboard friends. They seem bored. I'd offer them breakfast but I don't have any.

Supposedly the storm is worse than they expected. My level of concern has also risen, except my level of being able to do anything about it remains the same. They haven't evacuated Rikers Island, even though they should.

I am having a pumpkin-carving party tonight. You should totally come by.

Liveblogging Hurricane Sandy, Part 1

Friends of the Shtetl may be aware that when there is an extreme weather event, I usually have some shit to say about it, at least when it's convenient for me.

Today I received a request from a Philadelphia-based fan (hi Kristin!! miss you!) who wanted me to liveblog Frankenstorm/Superstorm/Hurricane Sandy for her personal entertainment while she's stuck at home awaiting the doom and glory that is a natural disaster.

Although I don't live in the geographically affected regions, I do have loved ones in the storm's path, and I am happy to impose my interpretation of events on them and the rest of the Internet.

So here goes - Liveblogging Hurricane Sandy, Part 1

I am at work. Nobody else is here. I think I will sing Joan Baez songs to myself, loudly.

Oh wait, there is someone here. Upstairs. I hope he likes Joan Baez.

Got a text from my mom: "So far just rain and littke [sic] wind but i think the water from the Hudson is coming into Battery City."

I wrote back: "Ok stay dry!"

As you can see, I am a true model of filial piety.

My friend L. is stuck in New Jersey because her flight home to New Orleans has been cancelled. She can't get an airline representative on the phone and the airline website keeps crashing. This is what you get for going to New Jersey in the first place.

I thought about eating a burrito.

I ate a burrito, which just goes to show you that when you will it, there is a way.

The internet is out again at work, possibly because the City of New Orleans is acting in solidarity with its northeastern brethren who will surely lose power soon. Either that, or shit is just wack as usual.

I texted some NYC/DC friends to make sure they had enough to drink. I am disappointed in their lack of preparation. Newbies.

Checked in with Mom. She is knitting. The dog is safe. All is good so far.

I called my sister who is being docked a vacation day for not going into work today, even though public transportation is shut down and parts of Lower Manhattan (where she works) are under a mandatory evacuation order. Shit's bogus.

My coworker asked me to take a walk with her. Doesn't she know I'm documenting important historical analysis here?

Okay, friends, til next time, I remain your faithful correspondent.

Monday, October 8, 2012

They have different words for things in the South

I've been teaching Hebrew School to fourth graders, and in a quasi-culturally dissonant "kids say the darndest things" episode yesterday, the following exchange took place:

Me: The Torah is very important to the Jewish people. It is so important that Jews have risked their lives to preserve it over time. There are stories about Jews that smuggled parts of the Torah scroll in their clothing while they tried to escape the Holocaust.

Student: Did your family escape the Holocaust?

Me: No, they came over earlier. They were from Russia and they were running away from the pogroms. Does anyone know what pogroms were?

Students: [Blank stares]

Me: Pogroms were when the soldiers and people came and burned Jewish synagogues and businesses and homes and told the Jews they had to leave or else.

Student: Oh, like the Yankees?

Me: The Yankees? ...Oh, those Yankees. Um, yes, kind of.