Friday, October 28, 2005

Hello Kitty!

I'm alive! Alive and well and in New Jersey, luckily able to get out of the Wilma recovery process on the first plane that was available. I will go back when power is restored or when school reopens, whichever comes first. So it could be Sunday, or it could be November 15th - the date that Florida Power and Light claims that 95% of Floridians will have power restored.

Here is a brief account of my week. This is going to be a bit long. If you don't feel like reading, that's fine. Right now I'm so happy to have had a hot shower this morning and WaWa coffee in front of me that I don't care about much else.

Sunday: Day before storm.
Being the good girl that I am, I wake up bright and early and go out to do the errands that officials told me to do. I fill my gas tank, I go to the grocery store, and I do not pass GO! until I get my $2o0 (from the ATM). P.S. - the ATM, grocery store, and the gas station are completely deserted. It seems that I am one of only about three people in South Fort Lauderdale who thought to prepare for the storm.

I then come home and make sure my hurricane kit is prepared.

Brooke's Hurricane Kit
1. Bottled water
2. Batteries
3. 20 year old Duracell flashlight
4. Blue Princess corded telephone
5. Hello Kitty radio

All set. I then sit in front of the tv to watch the latest episode of "Watching Wilma". By noon I am looking up the numbers of the networks, preparing to threaten all kinds of bodily harm to the various newscasters if they block out football for more images of newscasters standing on the beach saying "Wilma's not here yet!" Fortunately they must have sensed my displeasure and football comes on at the designated time. Unfortunately the Packers lost in the last 2 seconds of the game. Crap.

Sunday Night
It is becoming apparent that the storm is not only beginning early, but is not going to decrease in power. It is going to whomp us as a Category 3. Rain and wind are already lashing at the windows. Not a lot of sleep is happening that night, especially since I am woken up several times by the toot-toot of various appliances being turned on and off as power comes and goes.

Monday Morning
Wake up at 6:00 am to howling wind and pounding rain. The storm is coming from the south at over 100 mph. Guess which direction all of my windows face? I turn on the news to see that one of the networks has already lost its broadcast video and is only showing satellite pictures of a growing Wilma with echoing voices in the background. 20 minutes later the cable goes out. Half an hour later the power goes for good.
It is now 7:00 am.
I bury myself under the covers and try to block out the sound of my windows in their valiant fight against Wilma the Twat-Whore - my new nickname for her.

Late Monday Morning
People in my building are going from condo to condo to check on each other and see the storm from various angles. Several are huddled, terrified, in the stairwells. I go across the hall to look after my neighbor who has emphysema. She is beyond petrified. We watch as tree limbs, signs, and awnings fly through the air and down the street to parts unknown. We go to my condo to watch the normally calm and glassy canal turn into white water rapids. Unidentified flying objects land in the water and are carried out to sea.
The storms subsides for a bit, but it's clear that this is the eye coming over us. I can actually feel the storm shift to the west. We are now on the dirty side of the storm. It is called this for a reason - it fights dirty. The canal now looks like a surfer's paradise - there are actual waves breaking. The wind is literally rocking the building. My neighbor, who had gone back to her place during the calm, bursts through my door in tears. It dawns on me that I need to add alcohol to my hurricane kit.

Monday Afternoon
As scary as the storm was, we are fortunate in two ways. One - it was short. I am here to tell you that if it had lasted all day and into the night they would have found me in the fetal position in my bathtub. Two - the cold front that pushed Wilma towards us settled into South Florida. It was a cool 75 degrees. After Katrina, it was approximately 95 degrees, and I had no power for five days. That pretty much sucked.
We are unfortunate in that not only is there no cable or power - but no water either. I feel positively decadent brushing my teeth and washing my face with bottled water. I then realize that my personal hygiene is not the only issue - there is the matter of the toilet. As soon as it is deemed safe to go outside, I find myself a big bucket (previously used for kitty food - kitties seem to be a recurring theme here) and scamper down to the pool. I will use pool water to fill my tank and flush! I am so clever!!! I arrive at the pool to see nine other residents who are just as clever - and clearly quicker - than I. I spend the rest of Monday staring out the window and talking on the phone. I then go to bed at 8:00 pm. Between hauling water and going to bed the minute it gets dark, I feel like Laura Ingalls.

"The Recovery"
Tuesday - was spent talking on the phone, listening to Hello Kitty, eating junk food, and going up and down the four floors of my building with toilet water. I also rearranged my cupboards.
6 million people are out of power in Florida. People are fighting in the streets over gas, ice, and water. My street has utility poles at 45 degree angles. A palm tree is lying on top of a car. Tree limbs are - literally - everywhere. It is announced that most people will not have power until mid-November. I attempt to book my flight out of hurricane hell.

Wednesday - water returned in the morning at a trickle. It was at once the best and the worst shower of my life. My flight, which had been booked for that night, was cancelled. Of the one million people in Broward county that lost power, 12,000 have had their power restored. I was rearranging my closets when a neighbor poked his head in and invited me to a barbecue for that evening. I emptied my freezer and joined my neighbors - many of whom I had never met. Everyone contributed their thawing perishables and favorite alcohol. We even had music and a lamp thanks to one neighbor's generator. It was truly a bright spot in an otherwise dark time.

Thursday - I actually get in my car and drive the five miles to a friend's house, cursing myself all the way for not bringing my camera. Only one traffic light in the five mile journey is working, and many are simply gone. Trees have uprooted sidewalks. Lines are six blocks long at gas stations. There is a Starbucks that has no windows left, and the glass is sprinkled like glitter on the street. I am ecstatic when the reports from the radio state that the airport is open.
I am OUTTA HERE!

And so here I am, in mom's den drinking coffee and looking out over the beautiful view of the beach. I am home. Truly. Yes, I will go back to Florida and work the rest of the school year - I could not possibly think of leaving my kids now. But yes, I will be moving back to Jersey when the school year is over. I will not go through another hurricane season like this. I will not go through another hurricane like Wilma. She made up my mind for me. So I guess I have her to thank for helping me decide my future.

Thanks Wilma - you twat-whore.

72 comments:

Brookelina said...

Thank you all for your hysterical, and thoughtful, comments during my absence! I couldn't wait to get back on to read what you all had to say. I know I'm way behind on blog-reading, and I will do my best to catch up while I'm up here.

ducklet said...

Thank god you're back. Neil keeps asking me to return his emails signed, 'sexually yours, Brooke'

been there. done that.

Neil said...

No joking this time... glad you are OK. That must have been tough not only for you, but especially the older people there. I thought Jews were supposed to be smart -- why didn't they all move to Montana or something nice? Glad to hear about your move back to NJ -- although disappointed that CA wasn't your first choice. Will you need to do anything to get a teaching certificate in another state?

Melanie was here said...

Really glad to hear that you are o.k. and got out of there unscathed. Lo Lo and I were worried about you! When you move back to Jersey we'll come and meet you at the shore!
Hugs and kisses!

Egan said...

Happy to hear you are well. I wonder if my relatives went through a similar story to yours? Thanks for the report on all that happened. It's as if I was there peeing in buckets with you.

NJ here we come! The Garden State will welcome you back with open arms. Good teachers aren't easy to find and I hear they pay pretty well in Jersey. Take care Brooke!

gone said...

Glad the twat-whore didn't turn you Republican. Jeb is charming, I know, but you resisted everything like trained soldier. Good for you. And, after moving to Jersey you have only the occasional noreaster to contend with...do they have those in Jersey?

Brookelina said...

Brando - that is disturbing. And kind of hot.

Neil - I have to take an exam at some point this year, but I'm not too worried about it. I just hope there are jobs available when I get back.

Mel - I would love to have the girls here!

Egan - I'm sure they did. And in all honesty, it was much worse than I made it sound. It's pretty much a disaster down there.

Brookelina said...

Jacob! We absolutely have nor'easters up here. But they rarely cause major damage, power outages, and general mayhem.

And you should know by now that it would take a lot more than a hurricane to make me a republican.

Egan said...

Brooke, maybe I ought to give them another call. They decided against putting up the hurricane shutters. I chatted with them right after the storm passed and they said they were okay, but they live in newer "hurricane proof" housing.

You are on top of this blog today aren't you?

Brookelina said...

You bet - I have power!! And Internet access!! And hot coffee!! Life is good Egan!

Egan said...

Hot tea and the internet is all I need. I honestly don't know what I would do if I couldn't access the internet for a prolonged period of time. I might have my second addiction.

darth said...

hey! glad you are safe :)

Egan said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Egan said...

... my first addiction is porn starring Neil, the lovable blogger. Neil, you and Brooke make my heart flutter.

Egan said...

I love "blog squatting".

Kallun said...

I wish you had've taken your camera too.

yournamehere said...

Brooke, your safety brings joy to my heart. Also, you called a hurricane "twat-whore". I'm ecstatic.

I've been thinking a lot about moving back home, too. Think a hurricane will crash into Vegas anytime soon?

Brookelina said...

Egan - you can squat on my blog anytime.

Darth - thanks baby! Me too!

Kallun - sometimes I'm a big dumbass.

Todd - I knew you would like that. You inspire me to use the word twat as often as possible. And I think it's time for you to make a move too. Click your heels together. There's no place like home...there's no place like home...

MoDigli said...

This was fantastic to read, because I know you are safe and you survived and even managed to get a BBQ and a fun party out of it! How cool are you?!!! :))

I think that is the smartest thing I've heard - to leave the land of hurricanes and return to the jersey shore! You've got plenty of time to plan, and I wouldn't be surprised if you secured a job for next school year before this one is even over! You could even work on it now, while you're there in Jersey!

Lots of love, Brooke! I'm so glad you're back. :)

Neil said...

Day 9 - Brooke-Watch

Can you hear me? Can you hear me? I know it's difficult because I'm standing in a huge crowd, a ticker tape parade actually, right here in the middle of Blogosphere and URL, as the crowd goes wild with the news that Brooke is back, safe and sound. Yes, many questions remain unanswered and many tales left untold, but all is well in the web-world again, as the Princess of Bloggeria has been returned to her rightful throne. This will be the last broadcast as the Brooke-Watch has now officially ended, until the day when she gets lost again (which might happen very soon, because she is lousy with maps).

The real me said...

Mother Nature must still be really pissed at the Bush/Gore fiasco...

Maybe that's why Florida keeps getting pounded!!

So glad you're safe.

Calzone said...

That Viggo is so fucking hot!!

Nick said...

I find it very telling that you didn't prepare for the inevitability of the need for a martini. For shame.

glad you are ok. even though you insult me constantly.

Brookelina said...

MoMo - I am working on it now! I'm going to visit a friend's classroom next week so I can meet her principal. My mama didn't raise no fool.

Neil - you silly man. I am not bad with maps. If I were bad with maps I'd still be wandering around Amsterdam's red light district trying to find my way home.

TRM - don't think we true blue people in the red state haven't thought of that!

Calzone - hands off your horny toad. Oops, I meant hands off YOU horny toad.

Nick - I am ashamed that I did not prepare for the hurricane properly. I deserve 40 lashes with a wet noodle. And since I have insulted you, you may be the one to administer my punishment.

Nick said...

Neil is going to be so jealous.

Also I replied to your comment about Anus Trumpers.

Melliferous Pants said...

Glad you're okay!

Nick said...

Thanks Pants, I'm glad you're okay too.

Marel Lecone said...

Wow--so glad that you are home safe. And, so glad to see you back here.

I'm relatin'--being from Florida and I don't miss the hurricanes, especially after Andrew.

Take care. :)

WhiteBoyBob said...

Wow! My office bound life in the hurricane free UK seems positively pedestrian by comparison. Glad to hear you're OK and safely away from it all.

im here somewhere said...

oh brooke. my friend lived in fort myers for 5 years after his mother passed away. his mother was a very promonent figure in this town and everywhere he went it reminded him of her, so he moved down to florida. he loved it the first couple years and had no problems with the weather but was getting a little homesick. last year was his first hurricane. hurricane jean. he was working on sanibel island and his resteraunt was completely destroyed. he lost power in his house for a really long time so he came to stay with me (in minnesota). im rambling...well, the point of my story is that he moved to florida to get away from everything reminding him of his mother, only to have been hit by a storm that shared her name. he thought that was maybe a hint that he should come home..and he did.

( i know, im long-winded today)

im glad you are ok and are going to be getting out of there. hurricanes are wAY WORSE than tornadoes!

Brookelina said...

MP - thanks! Me too!

Nick - Bea Arthur's snatch? That is just so wrong.

Marel - I don't think I will miss Florida in the least bit when I move back here. In fact I'm certain of it.

Bob - that's right! Stop complaining about being bored! And stop thinking about Bea Arthur's snatch!

Lilred - you aren't rambling at all. Hurricanes are vicious random creatures. I think they have made the decision for a lot of people to get the hell out of Florida as well as the Gulf coast.

Melliferous Pants said...

Nick is such a smartass.

Lushy said...

So glad you are safe!

Boot info and ensemble have been posted.

Bill said...

I feel like such an ass. All week I've been thinking, "Viggo? Nice fellow - loved Hidalgo. But when's she going to post something else?" I had a busy week so I just glanced at things, had my head elsewhere, and generally wasn't paying attention.

Now I'm going ... oh yeah. Wilma! Florida! Duh!!!

Well, I'm glad you're in one piece and glad you're online again. (I feel like the dull-witted relative. "You mean it's raining down there? I hope you closed the windows ...")

I can't comment on the choice of New Jersey over Florida except to say, as a hockey fan, I'd feel more ... uh, stable? ... cheering for the Devils as opposed to the Panthers.

Nick said...

my ass is the smartest part of me.

Bea Arthur's snatch? WTF?!

Nick said...

Do you think I am Todd? I am honored but you are mistsken.

Yeah I spelled it wrong but I don't fucking care.

In fact, here's a whole bunch of misspelled words.

Becasue, birmuda, deelite and dawnkey.

Brookelina said...

MP - yes, his ass is quite intelligent...

Lushy - thanks!

Bill - "I hope you closed the windows". LOL! Love that.

Nick - I should have realized that was Todd. It was late, I was a little buzzed, and only Todd comes up with nightmare inducing comments like that on a regular basis.

sunshine said...

One of my closest friends in Florida has already decided to move back home to Alabama... I'm even thinking about moving to Colorado at some point but all my friends and family are here so that's a dilemma....

Anyway, glad to hear you're safe and sound in New Jersey. I heard on the news today that they're talking about Thanksgiving as the date that power will be fully restored in south Florida. Unbelieveable!!! I wonder if this means school will be postponed until then?

Kris said...

This was one hell of a way for the motherland to win you back! :(

My heart was racing just reading about your time in the storm. I know what that's like, and am so glad it made its way over you quickly. Effin storms.

(As an aside, the ONLY upside to any storm is getting to see a little more Jim Cantore on the Weather Channel. :)

Glad you are safe and can continue to allow us (not just Neil!) to be obsessed with you. :)

im here somewhere said...

brooke is my bitch! you are not allowed to be obsessed with her!

Calzone said...

Is this the best you can do for a post? I'm alive? Pathetic.

Brookelina said...

Sunny - as of right now school is closed until Wednesday, and the rest of the week will be announced day by day. They are already talking about taking away vacation and planning days to make up for the time. I can't wait to move back to NJ!

Kris - I have a crush on one of the local weathermen, so my heart belongs to him. During storms anyway.

lilred - you are so hot when you're mad.

Brookelina said...

Read beyond the title you thieving little shoe sniffer.

Calzone said...

There was more than the title??

Brookelina said...

You're not the brightest dragon in the kingdom, are you.

Calzone said...

I just come for the nipples.

Brookelina said...

Are you squating on my blog?

Calzone said...

dude...you're on my blog..are you wasted?

Brookelina said...

Hey! Look at this bod! Do I look like a dude to you?

Don't answer that.

Calzone said...

yeah you look like a dude.. but you look like my dude baby.

okay i'm outtie.

Brookelina said...

Me too. Past my bedtime. Sleep well you sexy beast.

Calzone said...

you too sugar

Nick said...

That was like reading really boring erotica.

Calzone said...

I have to sink to the level of my competition.

Brookelina said...

Next time just picture everyone in their underwear.

Egan said...

And I thought I was the only one with the patience to blog squat. I see the Pasta Dragon is rather good at this skill too. Sunday nights will never be the same.

Sofi said...

Hi Brooke - glad you stayed safe. Leaving Florida, permanently, is seeming more ad more like a good idea.

You were smart to fly on out of here. Have fun in NJ.

Cactus Prick said...

Hmmmm, hurricane battered Florida or New Jersey... That's a tough call.

You should consider the desert. We just have scorpions, rattlesnakes, and hot horny rock-god attorneys, each of which can be summarily dispatched with a solid shoe heel.

Brookelina said...

Egan - Once school starts again I won't be staying up past my bedtime - which is approximately 9:00 these days.

Amy - and still no power in Fort Lauderdale! The urge to stay here is growing stronger by the hour.

Prick - are you dissin' New Jersey! Some nerve! But I can't move to Arid-zona - it would definitely dry out my hair.

JJ said...

By the way, I don't want to start another argument or anything because nothing's ever anyone's fault and stuff but if you want to know why your SMB didn't come galloping in to check on you after the himmacane, you might check the post prior to this one. I don't think that's SMB's picture you put up there.

I'm just saying, is all.

Calzone said...

Dude...check out my blog..Clog hater is pissed at you

Brookelina said...

JJ - I was just commenting on his political views, that's all.

Calzone - a clog hating freak is pissed at me. There's a sentence I never thought I'd utter.

im here somewhere said...

um, duh.

Monkey said...

My heart was warmed by your post and I was going to ask if you had received the bananas I sent, but then I read through the comments. I choked on my own spit from laughing so hard and I need a maneuver done to me so that I can recover my speech.

Thank you.

Übermilf said...

I thought I commented on this post. I didn't?

Oh.

I guess it sounds pretty pathetic to say "I'm glad you're safe" now, huh.

Um.

So. Have you had any pumpkin ice cream? it's pretty good.

Neil said...

Brooke-Watch Day 14

Special Report:

Brooke Watch is back as Brooke appears missing. Although supposedly holed up in her "safe house" in suburban New Jersey, reports of her whereabouts are sketchy, to say the least. We here at Brooke Watch have been monitoring the phones as calls come in saying that "appearances" of Brooke have been seen in such unlikely locations as the Trump Casion in Atlantic City (drunk and losing at blackjack), wearing a hooker costume at the East Village Halloween Parade, and stalking Viggo Mortensen outside of his Connecticut home.

The only thing that the authorites can agree on is the last words heard spoken by Brooke, "Hello Kitty," which ironically is fellow blogger Neil's favorite expression to say to Brooke when he dreams about being naked in bed with her.

Brookelina said...

1. I do not go to the Trump Casinos for fear of running into the Donald and attacking his eyebrows with tweezers.

2. I haven't been to the East Village in years.

3. Viggo has a house in Connecticut??? Where??

4. Hello Kitty will never sound the same to me.

5. I will post when I am damn good and ready!

OK I'll post tomorrow.

Ooooooh....my word verification is givgo. It's Viggo!! It's Viggo!

Brookelina said...

lilred - duh squared.

Monkey - thank you for the bananas. I'm glad that we both manage to induce fits of hysterics reading each other's blogs.

Ubie - I have not had pumpkin ice cream. But I'm sure you have made some that beats any store's - being the ubermilf that you are.
P.S. Nick said that you said you were made at me. But I don't know if he said that you said that to be a butthead, or if he said that you said that because you really said that. Who said that?
Say that three times fast.

Übermilf said...

You're asking me if Nick is a butthead? No, really, you want me to confirm your suspicion that Nick is a butthead?

Sigh.

I don't have an ice cream maker. We bought said ice cream. It was lovely.

gone said...

Your a brave woman. I would never be able to handle a hurricane.

Never ever ever.

Anthony said...

Well I got myself over here, and that is half the battle. So sorry you thought I was ignoring you.

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