I'm back bitches.
After a two week hiatus from my Bills previews that saw Apologist and Barrister step up and kill it, I was all ready to bring the mediocre back for a fun-filled, error laden post of shitty takes! However, as I started typing an intro about my hurricane experience, it started to be sort of cathartic, so I just rolled with it. I'm hoping to be back next week with some disturbing football analysis.
I had quite the adventure during Hurricane Sandy. As you may or may not know, I live in Hoboken, New Jersey, which is small town on just the other side of the Hudson River opposite lower Manhattan. It is also known for flooding after only heavy rainstorms, which as you may have seen on the news, made it quite the interesting place after an actual hurricane touched down. (Picture above was the day AFTER the hurricane. That white car was underwater around 1 am.)
Either way, as bad as my little town of Hobken looks right now after the flooding and wind damage, it in no way compares to the devastation that has hit Staten Island and the Rockaways, so whether you have helped out already or not, I urge you to continue on or start now. If you live in the area, donate your time to volunteering (so worth the time, trust me) and if you live far away, consider donating to the Red Cross or perhaps a smaller charity like Team Rubicon, which has done absolutely amazing work in Staten Island thus far. Or just donate supplies and clothes if possible. The Pants, as some may call my fiancee, is dropping another four bags off to local shelters tomorrow, and they are always welcome with open arms. Do your thing, people!
So onto my experience, which again I want to point out, is nothing compared to so many others, but I figured while I have this forum I may as well use it to vent since the last two weeks have sucked hard. I could also use this spot to talk about how going through a hurricane is like watching a Bills/Patriots game, but that's fucking stupid and my name isn't Rick Reilly. So here is a look into the world of the Scizz starting on October 29th.
5pm - First beers are cracked. We know this will be a long night, so you might as well start drinking. Bottoms up.
7:00pm - The wind is really starting to pick up and we see pictures on twitter of Hoboken riverfront completely under water. Also, we finish watching Cabin in the Woods. I don't care if this hurts my nerd card, but that movie sucked. Yeah yeah, I get the over-arching metaphor for film and the satire it was going for, but it still sucked. I'm letting this one slide, Whedon.
7:30pm - Like a moron, I run downstairs to snap this picture of water quickly moving up the street from both directions. As I get back upstairs, the water had already filled the street and is quickly rising.
8:30pm - We witness a fairly large tree get ripped in half. It was crazy. That was the first moment for me that shit was real. Scared the living hell out of me.
8:40pm - Fire trucks show up outside the apartment building across the street and firemen run inside through the water. Moments later they are back in the truck announcing over loud speakers that the building must evacuate because of a fire in the basement. People quickly leave and huddle onto neighboring stoops until other buildings start inviting them inside
9:30pm - As water continues to rise, I hang up with my parents saying everything is alright so far and we even still have power.
9:35pm - Power goes out.
9:45pm - The loudest fire alarm I have ever head starts going off in the building. We are in the dark and have no clue what to do. Everyone puts on shoes and we go downstairs where the lobby has been completely flooded and is already at the 3rd stair to the second floor. The smell of oil is very strong which of course, panicking people mistake for gas, myself included. We can't go out front because the water is too high and there may be electrical wires down and we can't go out the back because it is a walled in yard with no roof and the wind is blowing debris everywhere. Everyone decides the stairwell is best for now until we reach 911.
9:55pm - I reach 911. They ask if we see flames or smoke. I say no. They basically say there is nothing they can do. At this point we all hope for the best.
10:10pm - By now it has pretty much been assumed that the smell is from the elevator and there is no gas leak or risk of any kind. The neighbors work together to figure out who has keys to the alarm room and they shut it down. It would have been impossible to sleep or even stay sane with that alarm going off all night. I can't imagine how other buildings dealt with it (and they did, as you heard alarms going off all over the town all night and into the morning).
10:30pm - We are now all back inside and in the apartment. The trees and branches that have fallen in front of the building are gone. Completely washed away as the street looks like a river. I look across the street and notice the fire hydrant is completely under.
10:40pm - Everyone decides to go to bed and attempt to get some sleep despite the storm raging. I can't and stay up, just looking out the front window until about 1am. By the time I go to bed, the two cars left on the street are almost completely underwater and all of Hoboken is dark. I didn't sleep well.
Tuesday, October 30th: Obviously the next day we were simply trapped in the apartment with nowhere to go. Occasionally a person in high-waders would pass and give us info from the rest of the town. Mostly just telling us that the town is underwater and it only gets deeper the closer you get to where I live. That, and that firemen and police are telling people to not leave their homes under any circumstances. We continue to hang out and drink all day/night since we have no power or even radio to figure out what is happening, and honestly, I think it was the only thing that calmed us all down since we had no idea when we could even leave or where we would go to if we could. Cell phones were also all dead or without signal. We also realize that we can go to the roof, which was like something out of a movie when you got up there; No power throughout the whole town, every street looks like a river, cars sitting aimlessly in the middle of streets having been carried there by flood water, and other people on every roof surveying the damage.
During late afternoon I also attempted to wade through the water to get back to our apartment to see how bad it was, but by the time I got to the corner the water was already mid thigh and a passerby said it was up to his chest by our street. I turned back quickly after that. The whole place smelled of oil and sewage, and thank god we still had running water so I could shower after that dumb trip. We also started seeing people bring their dogs outside to use the bathroom, but of course most were too scared or confused to go, even on the few clear landings they could find. I met one woman whose Weimaraner hadn't gone in almost 30 hours. Poor little guy was still shaking.
Wednesday, October 31st: We got up early to find the street half cleared of water. The lobby was absolutely trashed and people had started to gather outside to discuss the storm's adventures. There were trees were ripped apart, doors off hinges, and countless other debris scattered everywhere. When the garage downstairs was checked, it turned out that my future brother-in-law's JEEP Liberty was the only car that would start, as every other car had taken on way too much damage. Even the floor of the Liberty was soaked through from the flood, but thank god that sucker started up because that was our ticket out.
Once there, the amazing Yachtsman rescued us from midtown and took us to his new Brooklyn apartment where we slept on his floor on a twin air mattress and shared his meat and mead. We then couch hopped to one of Jess' friends in Greenpoint where we stayed with her for a few nights until Sunday where I headed back to Yachter's while Jess made the brave three hour trek back to Hoboken. Yachstman said I looked like a Sherpa carrying my four bags with me everywhere I went. Luckily, we got power back on Monday night and I thank the Barrister for bringing me safely back at 11pm so I could share a warm bed with my fiancee.
Of course, then just a couple days later we lost all hot water and heat, and then eventually all water, which left us scrambling for showers at the gym and the place where this all started, Jess' brothers. Yet as I write this, all seems to be well. Unless of course you count this vicious sinus infection I have that has kept me in bed for the past 24 hours. Yeah, I'm chalking that one up to Sandy as well. Fuck her. Oh yeah, and the two hour commute (each way) to work every day until the Path trains are fixed. Double fuck her.
Either way, I've missed writing here and spending time on twitter with all of you mongrels. I'm sure by Thanksgiving I'll be back to normal, but honestly, this whole thing has taken a lot out of me. In no way have I been through anything compared to others, only inconvenienced really, but it is still more than I ever expected. I wouldn't wish this on anyone....well maybe a few, but this is not the time nor place for that post of hate.
With that lovely note, I do want to thank all of you out there who wished us well via this blog, facebook, or twitter during the chaos. It absolutely blew my mind on Wednesday afternoon when I finally checked my phone and saw the messages from everybody. Some of you DM'd me, some of you texted me if you had my number, and even people I didn't know were followers showed real concern. This Buffalo blogosphere might be filled with a bunch of drunken, half-witted basement dwellers, but god damn you're all good people in my eyes. God bless you all and hopefully I'll be back to my old self very soon.
Doplhins 38 - Bills 5
Fuck you, CHAN!
See! There I am!
(And bonus points if you know what T.V. show the title of this post references)