I have had enough of the SOB that was Hurricane Ike. I am Ike'd the fuck out. This may be incredibly insensitive of me since I came home to a trailer that was still standing, usable water, the power working and no fallen trees strewn across my property, but I have had enough.
Since last Monday, we in the Houston area have been warned on every news cast about the possibility of Hurricane Ike hitting us. As of Wednesday, they were sure of it, even if the exact location of landfall was uncertain, with the size of the storm, we were sure to get some Ike. As of Thursday, all regular programming in the area was preempted to bring 24 hour coverage of Ike... the school closings, the mandatory evacuations, the voluntary evacuations, the people with special needs--like medical conditions or no vehicles to evacuate in--being evacuated by bus to Austin or Dallas or San Antonio... On and on it went. We boarded windows, taped kitchen cabinets closed, moved all electronics to the living room floor where they were bagged in plastic and cushioned to sustain blows from falling walls or ceilings. We disconnected gas lines and areal antennas and moved all heavy possible projectiles from shelves to the kitchen floor. We went around the yard moving and securing as best as possible. All the while listening to the continuous Ike coverage of where and when and how strong.
We left at 2pm on Friday, and after 8 tries, we found a hotel room an hour and a half away, where we hunkered down with our kid and our cat and ate pizza from the only open store or restaurant in town. Everywhere we went, the windows were boarded up. Even in the town where we wound up, because Ike was supposed to hit farther down the coastline in the earlier projections. It's an odd site to see all the windows boarded in what is usually a vibrant town. It's surreal and somewhat eerie. We watched a movie to take our minds off of Ike. Then, we watched more Ike coverage, with those poor reporters standing in the rain with their legs splayed to keep their balance against the mounting ferocity of the wind. Finally, Ike made landfall and we fell into a short, but coma-like sleep that comes from several sleepless nights in a row combined with the stress of not knowing if you're going to have a home tomorrow and having to pack your important belongings and your entire family unit with the thought in mind that you are never coming back; into one of the smallest cars ever mass produced, a Toyota Echo--the forerunner of the Toyota Yaris.
Saturday morning, with our continental breakfast, we tuned in to see what Ike had done in our absence. We returned home about 3pm to find that God had spared us almost any discomfort, and we began the long process of un-bracing, and unpacking, and putting the little-trailer-that-could back to right. Hubby went to visit his friends that 'sheltered in place' and they had shot video of the first two rounds of Ike to hit over here; for the third round, they were all huddled in the middle room, wondering with every second if the house was going to withstand the 80+ mile an hour winds without damage. And, wondering when the power was going to go out because all the news people had said to expect that--it never did.
By Sunday the home front was livable and we watched movies to make sure the sound system got re-hooked up properly (you know that hubby of mine!) interlaced with Ike coverage. The images of the 15 foot deep by 10 foot high debris pile on Seawall Blvd in Galveston taking center stage, but with other footage filtering in along with stats of power outages, warnings to boil water, reports of flood and storm-surge data, and of course, no coverage would have been complete without the requisite fatality count.
Monday, it was reports of FEMA and the Salvation Army and their distribution centers. Where there was still gas to be had, and that everywhere was out of ice as over 2 million people were still without power. More video came in as reporters spoke by satellite phones about the devastation they were witnessing on the ground. Trudging through the 6 inches of sand, silt and mud only to realize that they were on a main highway. The power poles at 45 degree angles to the ground. The homes off their pilings and foundations. Not just in Crystal Beach where they are currently showing, but in Baytown where the next reporter has footage from, and Kemah's new destruction video, and on and on.
I was on overload. I had been served a non-stop daily diet of Ike for 5 days. First the fear, then the destruction and chaotic aftermath. We were so tired of seeing it and hearing it, that we watched Finding Nemo followed by The Road To El Dorado so we didn't have to see the devastation anymore. Hubby went to bed, and I went back to network TV only to be bombarded again. I watched Cheaters (a show specifically geared for the Jerry Springer set, something I'd rather have a root canal than be subjected to!) for the first time ever simply because it wasn't news.
Not a single speck of un-Ike, non-Houston area news is being broadcast at all. If it weren't for my ex, I wouldn't have even known about the SoCal train crash. For the first time in my life, I'm desperate to know what Brittney Spears is up to. Isn't that why movies were so popular during 1940's wartime, so that people could take their minds off of the war? Give me a break already! Let me see what Rachael Ray is cooking, let me cry with Oprah, or dance with Ellen. Anything, anything at all, please, besides that motherfucker Ike! I tried to watch PBS last night because they are normally my salvation when there is nothing but garbage on TV. Even they let me down. Not more Ike coverage, but a special on the earthquakes in China. I want to go cold turkey--No More Destruction Input.
So now, it's Tuesday morning, and again... all Ike news all the time. I want to know what color Matt Lauer's tie is today. I want to see Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts. I miss Ann Curry. I want to know what is going on in the world beyond the 80 miles to my east. I want to return to the land of the living. I want to smile and laugh, and not feel guilty about it because of all the Ike victims in my figurative back yard. Sustaining this kind of negative input makes a person loopy... So loopy, that I'm considering watching Barney this morning just to escape.
Yeah, I am that Ike'd out.