Eight years ago, I took a five week trip out of the country. It was an excellent trip, but a no frills one, without many of the comforts of home. While it goes without saying that I missed my family, my dog, and my apartment, what I was most looking forward to on the plane trip home was a tall glass of 7up over ice. When I finally got to drink it, I felt I must know what it felt like to emerge from the wilderness.
Two weeks ago, in the wake of Hurricane Ike, I had that experience again. It didn't get much national play, but after the hurricane left the gulf coast, it brought its rains and wind to the midwest. Here in Cincinnati, we were victims of the wind, knocking power out across the entire city. Many people got power back after a day or so, but here at the Small World, we were powerless for nearly six days.
While this surely was not a hardship on the scale of those hit hardest by natural disaster, and we were fortunate to not have any actual property damage, it was still a week we were pretty unprepared to endure. The rechargeable light I have on hand for emergencies was not fully charged, we had no backup D batteries for the flashlights, and though I have a full pantry and fridge, I really had nothing that could constitute a meal without electricity. We got a little gamey after a week without hot water for baths and showers, and learned to be creative with our grill. (ie: scrambled eggs and bacon, boiled water for Folgers crystals and tea)
But what did we miss most?
For J, it was the coffee. One morning, once the grocery store was back on line, he waited 15 minutes for Starbucks along with the rest of the town. Oh, and he had to watch the Browns/Steelers game on a 2x2 inch battery powered televsion he has had since grade school.
For O, it was his nightlight. J. had to lay with him until he fell asleep three nights in a row. Then I found a rechargeable camping lantern in stock at a store once it seemed that we were the only ones on earth without power. We weren't, it just seemed that way. We charged it up with the generator J. bought on day five. (so, we're pretty much ready for Armageddon now).
N. didn't seem to be fazed by a thing, but perhaps that is because my proposed weaning project was postponed, given our lack of resources to keep milk safe and cold. (even when we finally located some ice, I was a little wary of my makeshift cooler-fridge.)
Myself, I am ashamed to admit it was the television that I missed the most. I got a little panicky every time I realized I was not only missing a show, there was no DVR to catch it for later. I feared I would never see the season premiere of House or the season finale of The Closer, and started to even get concerned the power would not come on in time to catch one of Bravo's ten thousand replayings of Project Runway and Top Design.
To make things worse, once power was restored, I had to spend the entire weekend preparing to go back to teaching for a week (more details on that to come), so the shows I was able to capture on the DVR started piling up. They continued to do so last week as I was at work all day, and the wave of new fall episodes commenced. J. thought I was being a tiny bit crazy when I refused to watch the second episode of House without seeing the first one, and he wouldn't sit around my laptop with me to watch it once it went online. So, bonus from the power outage, he figured out how to hook his ipod up to our big screen!
But, the real hurricane aftermath for me? Not to make light of natural disaster, but I am kind of dealing with a flood of television programming. I'll come up for air again when I decide which are worth watching. So far, looks like 90210 is going to be a loser, The Mentalist is on the bubble, and Fringe is definitely a winner. Cheesy? Yes, but creepy and weird too, with Pacey to boot!
Other fall season reports:
I'm a little disappointed by How I Met Your Mother -- I cannot get on board with Stella, but I have to admit I like Barney's soft side.
The Office? Solidly wonderful, of course. I still think the bit about Holly thinking Kevin is "special" is priceless, and the appearance of Michael's goatee for seven scenes without comment was beautiful, knocked out of the park when Ryan appeared with his.
Not a fall newcomer, but Project Runway is finally starting to do it for me. I just wasn't into it much, and I think the editors kind of got that. How they convinced Kenley to go crazy is beyond me, but crazy she has become. I mean, you just don't mess with Tim, right? If I were Suede, I'd be camping out with a protest sign outside the judges' houses. And how in the world did Jerrell win with that trashy minidress??
Amazing Race? No clear teams to love yet, but I was surprised to see Terrence show so much jerk in episode one, as they looked like they could be cute. I'm always sad to see the old couple leave so early, even though it's pretty much a given. I wanted Anita to be able to get out the "save the bees" message via t-shirt a little longer.
I still haven't gotten through Grey's Anatomy, Heroes, Without a Trace, and already Pushing Daisies and Dirty Sexy Money are coming back to double the volume of saved shows. I'll just have to bite the bullet and stay up an hour later until I get caught up.
Have any fall tv insight to share? I'm already drowning in shows, so what's one more to try out? Or, how did the hurricane affect your life?