To put it bluntly, Mother Nature pretty much stepped on my dick this weekend... while wearing cleats. One of the big news stories locally has been the monster snowstorm which hit much of the northeastern seaboard of the United States. Locally, we got about four inches of slushy stuff near my home and my workplace, but some areas of the New York Metro Area got slammed by a foot and a half of wet snow.
Of course, this snowstorm hit on the biggest fundraising weekend of the not-for-profit for which I work. We had three major events scheduled for Saturday and Sunday, all of which had to be cancelled. I started off Saturday as I typically do, taking the subway down to midtown Manhattan for my volunteer coaching gig. We had two classes, and then (instead of our noon to one P.M. Class) the kids had a Halloween party. It started snowing around eleven o'clock, and the snow had started accumulating on the sidewalks. Right outside Central Park, I made eye contact with a young woman, and we instantly started chatting about the snow. She was visiting from Australia, and was unused to seeing snow in such quantities. She said, “I've never seen snow like this.” I had to laugh, and said, “I haven't either- not in October!” Yeah, green leafy deciduous trees should not have snow on their boughs... it's just wrong, wronger than a soup sandwich (although pretty).
After an uneventful subway ride, I had a few hours to kill before I had to show up at work, so I decided to hit a really good Indian restaurant on the way to work and descend upon their buffet lunch like an avatara of gluttony. I hadn't had breakfast, and I didn't know when I'd be able to leave work, so I gorged myself, leaving the owner silently weeping, and cursing the cruel fate which allowed me to be able, uncharacteristically, to arrive at his place before 2:30 in the afternoon.
Not having anything else to do, and not wanting to drive on messy, messy roads, I decided to head to work early. I knew our fundraising events were cancelled, and I knew that the sheer foulness of the weather would work in my favor. I thought I'd be standing in the parking lot with my dick in my hands, telling people to go away, that they'd automatically get a refund. Needless to say, nobody even showed up looking to attend an event.
Shortly after I arrived, the power died. The heavy snow, combined with the weight of the leaves still on the trees, caused a lot of tree limbs to come down, many of them on the electric wires which our bass-ackwards municipalities have not buried in the ground. My dreams of being able to surf the web during lulls in the job, maybe put up a post, were dashed. I did, though, get a nice picture of a tree on the site which, because of its orange-and-white color scheme, reminded me of mah prehshuss kittehs:
For a few hours, things were a little scary- I could hear the crashing of falling branches, so many that I was reminded of boyhood days spent on Bronxtucket, listening to the fusillade of shots coming from the NYPD firing range on Rodman's (and not the one you're thinking of ) Neck. Yeah, it was pretty ugly, especially considering that I'd have to do a couple of walkabouts throughout the night to assess any potential damage on-site.
Things actually got better, weatherwise, as the night progressed- the snow was less heavy, the wind less fierce. Inside, though, it was a different story- I basically sat watching the emergency lights slowly dying as the backup battery power bled out, listening to the various quacks and beeps of different alarm systems (which eventually died out as the power completely went kaput). Thankfully, I knew where I could find some candle stubs (the grounds staff often puts out candles during nighttime events to lend a certain atmosphere to the sites), and was able to find a widemouthed jar in which to stick them (my relief took my cue, and now I have a fat, four-wicked votive candle sitting on my desk.
Not being able to surf the net, and not having much juice left in the laptop, I did something very appropriate to the season, I busted out a copy of Dracula and started reading it in the candlelight, in the rapidly cooling building (I'm on a bit of a Transylvania kick, having just read **FUTURE BLOG POST**). I got as far as the bit with the three **SPOILER** hot vampire chicks **END SPOILER** part before my relief came.
Thankfully, when I got home, the power was on. Yay, light and heat! Of course, I was so beat, I crawled into bed within twenty minutes of getting home.
I arrived at work not knowing what to expect. When I got here, the power was still off. The day was characterized by beautiful weather, though the roads were a mess due to the prevalence of downed limbs. Having no power on site, we had to cancel the fundraiser yet again, though this time, I had to stand in the parking lot giving the “No event, you'll get your refund. So sorry, go away” routine, along with the site director and an assistant manager. Everybody was pretty cool, even though some people were upset to be missing the event. Telling people there's no light or heat, and the road to the parking lot is closed due to a downed electrical wire tends to put things in perspective, though. Yeah, you don't even want to stop in and use the bathroom, people... you'd be more comfortable pissing on a shrub.
It's late enough now that people have stopped coming, and I am sitting in the candlelit office, typing this out (the light and scant amount of heat provided by the laptop help make the room more comfortable. I warned my relief that the power was still off, so he should bring batteries for the radio if he wanted to listen to anything other than the ticking of the battery powered wall clock (or, if he were to step outside, the sound of the generator that the good people of Consolidated Edison are using to run their worklights). I just received a call on the company cell phone from the site director, directing whoever is on-site to call him as soon as the power comes on (I am sure my relief will be thrilled at the prospect of calling the site director at home at four in the morning). It's been a bit of a downer, having the marquee weekend of our fall fundraising events stomped by snowstorms. As hectic as the events are, I actually enjoy working them- I see people I haven't seen in a while, co-workers, contractors, and repeat visitors who I have come to like. I even enjoy running around for the better part of a night, though the all-day Saturdays kick my not-as-young-as-it-used-to-be ass hard. I'd take the hustle-and-bustle over the silent dark anytime.
While a White Christmas is something that many people look forward to, a white Halloween just flat-out sucks worse than candy corn (I'm expecting some dissent from outraged candy corn lovers, but really, you candy-cornballs need to get your heads checked, and this is coming from a guy who eats spleen sandwiches). White Halloween has been on my mind so much this weekend that it manifested itself as a couplet:
Nobody Dreams, of a White Halloween
The Very Concept itself, is striking me as obscene
Of course, not being the sort of person to let a joke go to waste, even when up to his ass in suckitude, I have to say this about our snowy Halloween... this whole weekend kinda feels like The Nightmare Before Christmas 2: Santa's Revenge:
MESS WITH SANTA, GET THE CLAWS!