So despite the fact that there was a tropical storm/hurricane/cluster f*$# of not goodness brewing in the Gulf of Mexico and heading right for us, everyone still had to go to work yesterday like it was any other day. Talk about a case of the Mondays. Not only was this about to be the worst Monday in the history of Mondays, there was also a 476% chance of it being the least productive work day ever.
So, with my usual work day routine I made my way to work across the Causeway bridge along with the Yankee Loving Fiancee. I dropped her off and made it there with relative ease. Thanks in part to the majority of schools being closed until after the storm blows through, traffic was about half as bad as it normally it. It also helped that we were about 15 mins ahead of schedule thanks in large part to some lingering nervousness from watching the Jim “Harbinger of Doom” Cantore weather reports all night long.
Once I made it to work, two things happened. First of all, half of my network systems and drives didn’t work or didn’t even bothering showing up, so even if I wanted to work (which I didn’t) I wouldn’t really be able to. In a way, they were the first casualties of Hurricane Isaac… Never forget. Second, I didn’t do a damn thing. What would have been the point. We knew going in that we weren’t going to be there the entire day so why bother getting into anything?
Sure enough, we received the email around 10 AM letting us know that the office would close at 1 PM and be closed through Tuesday. Naturally, because most Fortune 100 companies are pure evil, they were operating under the idea that we might actually be able to report to work on Wednesday. Since the storm is supposed to hang around until Thursday, it’s probably a safe bet that isn’t happening. So, with work officially closed it was time for the office hurricane preparations. That meant clearing desks off and utilizing the most state of the art technology in office hurricane defense.
There is also an issue with what to do about all of the windows. This is kind of a big deal because that’s basically what my office building is made of; window, upon window, upon window. During Hurricane Katrina every single window was shattered thanks in large part to the high winds and the pressure associated with the storm. Naturally, lessons were learned and we were told to utilize any hurricane’s ultimate weakness in order to combat broken windows.
Yes, in order to combat 100 MPH winds and shattered glass we were instructed to lower and close our office’s cheap, flimsy blinds. Something tells me that if this storm decides to bust out the windows those blinds aren’t going to do a whole hell of a lot of good. Then again, I’m a rookie at this hurricane nonsense so perhaps these southerners are on to something I’m not aware of. I mean who am I to say?
Meanwhile, as I was defending my office from the apocalypse with Venetian blinds, the Yankee Loving Fiancee was rescuing her wedding dress. She had taken it to a small Honduran woman to be fitted and altered two or three weekends ago and the thought of possibly abandoning it on the South Shore of Lake Pontchartrain and having it either dragged out to sea or blown to Arkansas wasn’t something she was willing to risk. Having paid for said dress, I wasn’t a fan of that either so along with a co-worker, The Yankee Loving Fiance successfully traveled into Kenner and successfully completed operation wedding dress recovery and evacuation. The real disaster was truly averted…. thank God. Last thing I wanted to do was scour the Mississippi River basin for a shredded wedding dress. You think I’m joking about that…
As for me, with my desk properly prepared I peaced out of work around 12:30. I had bought gas on Saturday, but thanks to a bit of driving around on Sunday and the drive to and from work that day, I knew I was going to be down to about 3/4 of a tank by the time I got home. Not wanting to risk NOT finding gas back home on the North Shore, I drove around a bit trying to find a gas station that wasn’t: 1. Complete and total chaos and 2. Out of gas.
Mission not so accomplished. There was seemingly no gas to be found anywhere on the South Shore without venturing into parts of the city that I wasn’t 100% comfortable being in. What good would a full tank of gas be if I were going to the hospital with a gun shot wound? I also didn’t want to waste more gas than I needed to because we still didn’t know if we were evacuating or not. I did however find something else while driving around.
I have no clue what the hell those things are, but I do know they are ugly and were swaying like crazy and the wind was hardly blowing. By the time the storm rolls through those things are going to be the newest addition to the Lakeview shopping mall two blocks over. Who thought these were a good idea and why did they decide to put them up during hurricane season? I’m surrounded by geniuses.
Anyways, it was at this point I knew my best bet for finding gas was on the other side of the lake closer to home. I made my way across the bridge driving with the windows down and wondering what the hell people did back in the day before early warning systems like radar and the presence of Jim “Harbinger of Doom” Cantore to let them know a hurricane is coming. Seriously, Monday was a gorgeous 90 degree day and in about 36 hours it was going to be chaos.
Once I got back home, I was surprised to find that the gas station across the street from my apartment complex wasn’t that busy. Once I pulled in I figured out why. They were out of regular grade gas… and plus grade gas. Looks like the fine piece of automotive machinery we own more commonly known as a Toyota Carrolla was getting premium grade gas. Nothing but the best for my baby! Luckily I had saved up about 40 cents off per gallon so it ended up being cheaper than the regular priced regular grade gas. Take that Shell! I also got free popcorn from the guy whose sole purpose is to hand out free popcorn so double win for me.
Once the Yankee Loving Fiancee got home we made the executive decision that we were staying put. Everything that we were hearing from the 75 different weather services available indicated that Isaac was only going to reach category 2 status, if even. Knowing that and knowing exactly where we’re located there really was no reason to leave. The worst we’ll have to worry about is losing power and all connections to modern society, but we’ve been watching a lot of shows about the Amish in TLC so we should be good.
We live in a second floor apartment so if for some strange reason Lake Pontchartrain should happen to over flow to the north, (highly unlikely and even if it did we’re too far away), there’s no reason for us to worry. Speaking of our apartment, they left us with instructions saying that we basically shouldn’t do anything in order to prepare for the storm. Apparently, they’re just fine with us losing everything we own in the event of a disaster. Meanwhile, all of the management is gone, no one of authority can be found, and even better… those god damn think for themselfers boarded up their office and left all of us on our own. What a bunch of assholes.
Other fun things to note from Monday’s hurricane prep festivities: we started making ice in mass quantities, including filling up zip lock bags and freezing them thus making some pretty bitchin’ ice packs should we need them. The Yankee Loving Fiancee gets credit for that one. We went up to Walgreens to stock up on different medicines and to get a few last-minute items that we hadn’t thought of during our 37 other shopping trips. Speaking of which, I got bit by a fire ant on the walk back. I choose to blame Hurricane Isaac. DAMN YOU, ISAAC! Thanks to this stupid storm I had to deal with an itchy toe for a whopping 8 minutes… 8 MINUTES!!! Luckily we didn’t have to amputate. Even more alarming though is the fact that wild animals are apparently developing a taste for human blood.
With everything in order we settled in for the night and tuned in to everyone’s favorite national meteorologist and the man we held responsible for our impending doom, Jim Cantore. Between him and local weather man and part-time Keebler Elf, Bob Breck, we waited in anticipation for the storm to start rolling in.
I eventually went to bed sometime around 2 AM looking forward to what the official first day of Hurrication 2012 (hurricane vacation) would have in store for us. We expected the storm to start rolling in sometime in the early afternoon with the wind beginning to pick up gradually and then rain starting sometime around mid-afternoon or dinner time. At least that was the plan. The question is whether or not Tropical Storm Isaac, as it was at the time, would cooperate or not. Fun times ahead.