Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Jessica's lack-of-power struggle, Friday night

NOTE: This harrowing tale was originally written using the ancient methods of a pencil and paper. It was transcribed Monday night in a format easily readable by others (because no one can read my handwriting) and set to autopost throughout the week.

Translation: Jessica was unable to watch “My Name is Earl” reruns on Netflix after a nasty windstorm knocked out power for several days, so she continued to blog on paper. She watches too many apocalyptic movies, so the second she has access to Netflix you will find her motionless on the couch rewatching “The Stand”, because that’s what she’s been comparing her experiences to all weekend (even though they didn’t have smart phones or iPods). Oh, and also the #Anniesmove episode of Community.

Storm damage on Church Street.
FRIDAY, 9 p.m.: Earlier tonight I was in a New Albany Panera Bread, picking at a strawberry salad and writing two stories, and BAM! The sky turns dark, thunder claps and the wind starts howling. It seems all the trees are about to topple over in a domino effect. I had been up since 6 covering the tea party convention in Columbus. This happens at about 4:45 p.m.

The lights flicker, then Hamilton Road goes dark.

There begins a harrowing tale where I’m thrust back to the stone ages, yet the technology-dependent me manages to turn in two stories and plop down on my couch with a bottle of wine in my hand.

Not long after the lights go out while I’m sitting in Panera, it’s pouring rain and I realize my other set of notes are in my car. I check in with the bosses in Newark. Storm of the Century hasn’t hit there yet.

The rain stops 15 minutes later. All is dark. Panera is closing, so once I’ve written all I could from the notes I did have I followed the rain clouds down 161.

Sidenote: Ohioans – When a stoplight goes out it becomes a four-way stop. I wouldn’t have seen so many ambulances had ya’ll known this.

I get back to the Advocate and all is pitch black. I haven’t seen a light the entire trip. Half the copy desk is gathered around the back door wondering what was next. The editors were upstairs trying to figure out what to do.

Through my little remaining laptop battery power, a flash drive and a mobile hotspot I manage to file my stories. The night desk is packing up computers, heading to the sister office in Mansfield, and the editor lays down the hammer: “We’re preparing to be without power for a few days.” My day is ending. Theirs is just beginning.

Let’s just say that by the time I get out of there I’m thirsty, the kind of thirst water won’t quench. It’s been a long day and there are no adult beverages in my apartment. I strike out at the first convenience store I check, and as I’m driving I see a woman walking with a case of Busch Light. “Where did you get that?” I holler out my window.

As it turned out, there was a good reason why she was walking. Block after block is closed because trees are down. I momentarily give up on Thirsty Jake’s and go the wrong way down a one-way street to get home.

The house across the street.
My apartment is sweltering. My new herb plants are destroyed. All the windows are open and the block is noisy. I’m really happy Lizzie is with my parents.

I sit down on a plastic chair outside, and I really want a glass of Yellowtail Shiraz.

So, despite growing up and going to college in Ohio, then coming back and living here for almost three years, I had my first experience at a drive-through liquor store that night.

And I went through on a bicycle.

As you’re conjuring up that image in your head, figure this in: I wasn’t the only one.

So here I am, a digital girl, and the power is out for who-knows-how-long. My cell phone is charging in my car. I have a phone signal, but no data.

“Hi dad… hey… hey… listen I can’t talk gotta save battery… the power’s out but I’m fine… hanging up to conserve battery now, I’ll call tomorrow… Lizzie is fine right? Yea, yea, if she’s scared of thunder give her Benedryl bye!!!”

This is when Facebook withdrawal hits: I have an awesome status update: “I just went though a drive-thru liquor store on a bicycle!!! :-P”, but no way to post it. And I’m dying to know if anyone retweeted my earlier rant about Ohio drivers…

I could never be Amish.

Friday, 11 p.m. – I was actually a little proud of myself. I pulled out all the candles before it got dark. I took my bread out of the freezer to defrost. I made sure my almond butter and jelly are in reach. Ok, I can survive tonight.

Part 2 will autopost at 8 a.m. tomorrow! 

No comments:

Post a Comment