Hanging With Irene: 8 Reasons Why I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Hurricane

Hurricanes can really suck. Before Irene stopped by, I was in a state of panic, braving long lines at the grocery store, desperately seeking flashlights, taping up my windows, and generally hunkering down for the worst case scenario. For Irene’s visit to New York City, many people had to evacuate their homes. Some lost power and experienced serious flooding, and I’m truly sorry for them. [And, of course, our thoughts are also with those families who lost loved ones as a result of the hurricane. — Editor]

But once Irene hit my ‘hood, I realized she wasn’t all that bad once you got to know her. It just so happened that I had fun with her. Is that wrong of me to say? After the jump, eight reasons why I loved Irene.

  1. Dancing my way through the storm. The moment the storm started to surge, a dance move was born from deep within my soul. The Irene. It has to be danced to the tune of “Come on Eileen” by Dexys Midnight Runners substituted with the lyric “Come on Irene.” Sometimes there are no words to express your feelings, just a dance. Luckily my roommate caught it on film, left. Hint: It’s all in the elbows and the knees.
  2. Learning to make carpaccio. What was on my agenda during a 48-hour lock down? Cooking shows! Lots and lots of cooking shows. I learned that you can slice anything really thin and call it “carpaccio.” Who wants to try my banana carpaccio? That’s what I’m having for breakfast today. During the next hurricane, I hope to learn how to poach.
  3. Chocolate, chocolate, and more chocolate. Speaking of banana carpaccio. “Top Chef: Just Desserts” inspired me to break out the giant chocolate bar I was hoarding. Just for the record, any chocolate that you consume during a hurricane doesn’t count. Emotional eating is encouraged.
  4. The Muppets. In between cooking shows, there was music. The record of choice during the worst of the storm was “The Muppet Movie” soundtrack. We listened to it five times in succession. Its sense of optimism went really well with potentially dangerous storm. When in doubt, let The Muppets lead the way.
  5. Learning to love the live doppler. Have you ever sat around looking at a live doppler on your laptop screen? I hadn’t before this weekend. At first I was resistant. I thought it was pointless. But then the time-lapse feature got me. Before I knew it, I was plotting the coordinates of Irene’s eye.
  6. Amazing status updates. If you scrolled through your Facebook and Twitter feeds during the storm, it was like the who’s who of comedy. I was even inspired to make an Irene funny or two. The best I came up with was: “Any hot guys who live in Zone A are welcome to evacuate to my place.” Sadly, no one took me up on the offer. Sigh, I guess dudes don’t like to sit around and watch cooking shows for 48 hours straight.
  7. A new crop of psychedelic mushrooms are on the way. According to an article on the Huffington Post, Irene will encourage the growth of magic mushrooms. “The moisture, humidity, the wind and the temperature during hurricanes is the perfect climate for mushrooms … Also, both hurricanes and mushroom growth are associated with new or full moons, so there may be a lunar element as well.” Well, I’ll be damned. These are obviously to be harvested and saved for the next natural disaster.
  8. A great excuse not to do anything. My problem most weekends is that I try to do too much and by the end of the weekend, I’m exhausted. Irene gave me the excuse I needed to hole up on my couch with my roommate for three days, not have to go anywhere, not have to answer or return phone calls, or fulfill any obligations. This was a blessing. For that, and everything else, thank you, Irene. You will stay in my heart.

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