9/17/2008 12:43:44 AM permalink
Or alternatively called "Sir Ike, the Tree Hating Devil"
Or how about "How I Sweat for 5 Days and Lived to Tell the Tale"
I'd go with the last title because that's what it feels like. Living in South Houston without air conditioning is akin to being skewered over an open fire. At least that's what it felt like for me.
How mankind survived without air conditioning, I will never know...
Well Maniacs, just a few hours ago, I came back into the wonderful world of air conditioning, refrigerated items and more importantly in this particular magical realm, internet access.
By reading the previous days of Mania-related items, I can see that I wasn't the only Maniac experiencing the woes of Hurricane Ike and his Nasty Wind fetish. SpideyBD, who lives right down the street apparently, is also having a devil of a week thanks to it and Silversurfer is having much the same.
Likely countless others who still don't have power would testify to those hardships as well.
Half of Houston is still in the dark as Wednesday's sun is about to rise so I consider myself very lucky feeling that air flow hitting my head at the moment.
I seriously considered running to the Centerpoint Energy crew who just restored my power and giving them a big ole Texan hug. Or a bottle of whiskey. As I just said to someone else, I'm pretty sure they would veto out the hug and take the whiskey considering the stress that they've been under these past few days. They've been doing a phenomenal job with what was handed to them and I thank them for helping me faster than expected.
As for Ike itself...That bastard was much more than I thought it would be.
Now, being here all my life, I've seen some Hurricanes and some nasty Tropical Storms but it's never been as bad as I expected going into them. It made me somewhat skeptical that these "storms" were really all that bad.
The only one I can't really remember is Alicia hitting Houston in 1983 since I was five at the time. I had no context for it other than the horror stories I had handed to me from parents.
I do remember living in a two story apartment at the time and seeing water hit my upper story apartment door but that's about it. I was too young. I was more worried about what's going to happen to Luke Skywalker after finding out who his daddy was than I was about some wind and rain.
Let's flash forward a few TS and Hurricanes (and 25 years later) to the latest bad boy who blew through my city.
While people were bailing, I was asking..."What's the big deal?"
After all, it was only a Cat 2 storm. Doesn't seem too bad, right?
Needless to say, I was wrong.
Very wrong. Very very very wrong.
I began second guessing my decision to stay around 3:00 a.m on Saturday morning when the wind was howling outside, objects were flying through the air and I placed my hand on the wall.
When that hand touched that wall and I felt the house actually shaking from the ground on up, I began questioning my decision to stay. This was the time that doubt entered and something else, which I have no problems admitting.
"Oh my God, I'm an Idiot" Fear.
I was afraid. I was 25 miles inward in Friendswood so I can only imagine what those poor souls in Galveston, Bolivar and Surfside Beach must have been experiencing around this time. It must have been bad.
Electricity was gone. Water was gone. All we had was the wind and the crashing of trees. No floods. No water. But terrifying wind.
When I walked outside a few sleepless hours later, no words came to mind for me. Looking around the neighborhood, I could only see the ruins of countless property. Trees caving in houses and laying where fences used to be upright. Power poles either hanging or missing. Streets blocked by 45 year old Oaks.
It's pretty much what a Maniac said yesterday on the Tobey Maguire news. It felt like the Autobots and Decepticons did battle in our own backyards. Or perhaps some of Rowling's Giants.
I would say something about the aftermath. For those of you who live or have lived in the South Texas area, you will know how vital it is at times to have:
2. Fresh/Clean Water
Going without both for 5 days is enough to drive anyone around the bend and I was getting close. But I can't really complain here. Even as I went through the streets today, most street lights are dead. A lot of homes and businesses are silent.
It's pretty much a ghost town in some places and it's literally one in Bolivar and Galveston, which is no more and ruined, respectively.
So I have a lot to be thankful for here. And I am thankful. My prayers go out to those who are not as lucky as I am.
Speaking of which, thanks to you Maniacs who have been wishing those same thoughts our direction these past few days. Definitely appreciate the well wishes Wiseguy, Pony, Joey, Hanso and all of you great Maniacs.
I'm back...and it feels great. Literally. Thank you, Mr. Air Conditioning.
In closing:Screw you Ike. Screw you and the waters you blew in on...
hurricane ike experience