Friday, August 26, 2011

Smashed Medicinal Boobs and Other Annoyances

As if preparing for the first major northeast hurricane hit of a lifetime didn't keep me busy enough today, I also had to keep a doctor appointment I made four months ago and they sent me to a nearby radiological center for a mammogram, which is where they stick your boob into a machine that smashes it down to roughly one-tenth of its actual size, then the machine goes WHAM WHAM WHAM WHAM against the smashed boob before repeating the process with the other boob, which somehow confers medical benefits. It also left interesting red marks on my skin, which is much better than the purple-and-blue bruising I expected. A non-medical version of the machine is found in Mexican restaurants, where it converts dough balls into nice flat tortillas.

Hurricane Irene is still threatening to pound my section of Connecticut almost as flat (don't attempt segues like that unless you're a Professional Writer, like me), so after my medical pounding today I went shopping again, bought more bottled water and some six-packs of small juice bottles at prices that made my frugal soul scream, because I'm used to giant economy sizes with much lower unit costs. But there's a difference between being thrifty and being cheap, and the whole point of living frugally and setting aside every dollar you can is so you can afford what you need at times like this.

The freezer's stuffed with about four gallons of water frozen in big plastic bottles or boxes, and several smaller Ziploc bags filled with ice cubes. Once the storm hits, while the power's still on, I'll move the ice into my two coolers, leaving the chemical freezer-packs in the freezer to maybe save the food there. I also have small Ziploc bags of ice cubes to keep in the smaller cooler along with pre-chilled juices, so without power I should still have cold or at least cool drinks for three days, and hopefully won't be without power any longer than that. (Hopefully, the storm turns or weakens enough to ultimately make this post much ado about nothing.)

I've got lanterns, radios, a camera and a fan, and batteries to power them all. I've got food that requires no cooking at all, and small aluminum baking dishes to serve as disposable cooking pots for foods requiring only a little heat over a Sterno setup. I'm too high up and too far inland for storm surge to be any concern, though I do live at the bottom of a valley surrounded by hills, so flash flooding is always a possibility. At least I'm on the second floor of a sturdy building with high ceilings. I've got enough plastic containers to store another eight gallons of tapwater on the countertop, in case any of my neighbors neglected to plan ahead. (Not that I'm turning into a softy; I just figure lacking power and water will be annoying enough, without having to hear kids whine "Mommy, I'm thirsty.")

I'd rather face the hurricane here than in my childhood stomping grounds in Virginia, which has been featured on the Weather Channel all day. At least here, I don't live two inches above and six blocks inland from the Chesapeake Bay.

I still have ridiculous amounts of work to do before the storm hits. Wish me luck, if you don't hear from me in awhile.


Anonymous smartass sob said...

Hurricane Tracker at forecasts the center of the storm passing right through Hartford, Connecticut about the middle of Sunday afternoon with 74 mph winds. You know, if you have some place well west of there that you could be on Sunday and then come back on Monday, I don't think anyone would blame you. Just sayin'.

10:25 PM  
Blogger Jennifer Abel said...

I am west of Hartford, though I'm not sure if I'm "well" west of Hartford. Maybe 15 or 20 miles as the crow flies. It's raining here now -- I think an independent rainstorm, not the outskirts of Irene.

Finishing my damn articles would be a lot easier if I weren't distracted by all the hurricane porn on TV.

Just-in-case, I spent almost two hours moving my super-fragile Swarovski crystal collection out of its glass display case in the window; the crystals are back in their heavily padded boxes, which in turn are in a big plastic storage box well away from any windows. IF the winds get bad and te windows start rattling, I'll also move certain other fragile things away from the windows. Fortunately this is an old building, with windows that are relatively small and narrow compared to the walls.

8:23 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

It's raining here now -- I think an independent rainstorm, not the outskirts of Irene.

I looked at a radar map at of the storm and the eastern seaboard; that rainstorm is actually one of the northernmost rain bands of the hurricane. There will be intermittent spells of rain as the system approaches your location. It is amazing that you are getting the effects of something so far away, isn't it? It is a very large, very wet storm system even though the winds are not as strong as tighter, higher category hurricanes.

Hopefully the winds will weaken even more by the time the main body reaches you. As the eye begins to pass the wind will abruptly change direction. Stay away from windows during the storm. In fact, you should close your drapes or blinds, if you have them, to protect from broken, flying glass. If you have larger sheets of glass in your window sashes instead of small individual panes, you can criss-cross them over with masking tape several times, if you don't have drapes. That won't protect them from a direct hit of debris, but it might keep the wind from blowing them out if they are not boarded up. Do they still use storm windows or shutters where you are? They would be useful.

It will be interesting to see what happens to New York and the other cities with tall buildings. When Alicia hit Houston in 1983 it rained plate glass in the downtown area - not just little pieces either but whole sheets.

I'll leave you be now, so you can get your work done. Update us when you can.

9:25 AM  
Blogger Charles Pergiel said...

I thank the God of Holy Rattlesnakes that you are a professional writer. You might want to thank him (her?) also.

10:48 AM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

FREE hit counter and Internet traffic statistics from