Tag Archives: hurricane irene

Lame Adventure 225: Impulse Purchase

If I were inclined to access my inner weasel, I would blame Hurricane Irene holding me hostage in my apartment for almost the entirety of last weekend combined with the public transit shut down for my subsequent erratic behavior this week.  What did I do that was erratic?  I impulsively purchased a three pack of goat’s milk soap for $5.79 (excluding sales tax).  Every so often I walk into a store and it’s my turn to be bitten by that nasty little money-sucker, the impulse-shopping bug.  I’ll admit it, I don’t think Irene was a factor at all.

I had purposely gone to my grocer’s (Fairway on the Upper West Side) organic food department to purchase a tube of desperately needed toothpaste.  My preferred brand is Tom’s of Maine Whole Care Peppermint Gel.  Fairway sells this toothpaste for $3.99, a very good price for this product with its ever-inflating cost off-setting its ever-shrinking tube size (one of my pet peeves along with the announcement “new packaging” since that almost always means the consumer is paying more for less).  Before I entered the toothpaste aisle my eye caught the site of the friendly-faced goat on the soap’s wrapper.  If a three pack of soap could talk, I could almost hear it calling me by name.

Hi Chump!

This soap mesmerized me as much as porn surely intrigues a prison inmate.  I simply could not stop staring at that goat.  To fellow shoppers I must have looked either hypnotized or stoned, but I was neither (I like to think).

Quickly, I snapped out of my trance, went to the toothpaste aisle, and grabbed a tube, but before I could take my place in the checkout line, I could not control the urge to return to the goat’s milk soap section.  Possibly I was considering how much I enjoy eating goat milk cheese.  Being extremely lactose intolerant, I avoid cheeses made with cow’s milk unless they’re so sharp they taste like barbed wire.

This soap is so special it even impairs judgment.

When I noticed that this soap is available in my favorite fragrance, unscented, for people like me with extra sensitive pelts; that sealed the deal.  I entered the store only intending to buy just a single tube of toothpaste at the cheapest price I can find and exited with both that toothpaste and a three pack of soap made from the milk of a barnyard animal selling to the tune of almost $6.

I just hope this soap will be kinder to me than the juicer I impulsively purchased seven years ago, five years before I was diagnosed with esophagitis, gastritis and a hiatal hernia, prompting my gastroenterologist to advise me to delete all citrus beverages from my diet immediately since they were searing a hole the size of a dinner plate through my guts.

I did that to you?

Eventually, I will pass the juicer onto one of my friends.  Do I have any takers amongst the three most likely candidates – Martini Max, my sidekick, Greg, or you, Albee?  I might even toss in a bar of goat’s milk soap to sweeten the deal if one of you agrees to haul that suicide machine out of my sanctum sanctorum.

Lame Adventure 224: Post Hurricane Irene BOREDOM

I slept soundly as Hurricane Irene took Manhattan or did she?  It seems that all 5,912 skyscrapers are continuing to stand tall, nor did Irene knock the Empire State Building off its axis.

Downed leaves and two twigs on the Upper West Side.

Coco, who resides near the lower Manhattan evacuation zone, told me that she got up several times during the night to look out the window, all the while wondering:

Coco:  Where the hell’s Irene?

Coco told me that she never once had to make use of a single glow stick.  She does not believe in flashlights.  I suggested that she light one in her bathroom:

Me:  It’s pretty dark in there.

I once had an issue with finding the light switch.

When I woke eleven-ish this morning, I turned on my TV.  The reporters who had been on air since Saturday sounded a bit hoarse, especially channel 7’s Jim Dolan.  They were reporting about flooding in the outer boroughs and New Jersey, but nothing sounded monumentally catastrophic to me.  Of course, if I owned a house without flood insurance, and it got flooded, I’d be completely out of my mind.  Instead, what has me most upset is that mass transit remains out of service, so in many respects the city is paralyzed.  Businesses remain shut down, there’s no place to go, and not much to do.  New York must be taking a bath economically this weekend.

Salumeria Rosi closed -- a restaurant that's normally packed.

MTA is not up and running.

Coco:  This weekend’s a total bust!

Me:  No kidding.  No one can get anywhere.

Car-less and bus-less Upper Broadway.

Since I’m the cash-poor half of our equation, I considered suggesting she find a taxi and get to the Upper West Side to hang out with me, but what are we going to do?  We’re two feral creatures, we don’t sip tea, we don’t do embroidery, we don’t play cards, even though a few years ago, a very cool arty acquaintance gave me a pack of Frida Kahlo playing cards.  Yet, I’m not in the mood to let Coco kick my ass playing poker with my Frida Kahlo playing cards.

Frida playing cards -- have yet to open pack.

Movie theaters are closed, and so are the restaurants we like, including the Magnolia bakery.  Coco suggested that if her boyfriend were in Magnolia at the same time as Milton, and there was only a single slice of Hummingbird cake left, she could envision them fighting it out.  Apparently, her guy is as insane as Milton over that cake.  Coco reported that our favorite watering hole in her hood (I am forbidden to reveal its name) was boarded up and The White Horse, a tavern we like, is also closed.

No greeting card purchases today!

The only diner in my neighborhood that is open gave me such extreme stomach issues the one time I ate there sixteen years ago, I remain convinced that if we ate there now we’d both be signing our death warrants.


We could hang in my apartment; I have hundreds of DVD’s but a crummy TV.  Coco has a great TV, but no DVD player.  My place is cramped and my bathroom light won’t shut off.  It’s been on non-stop since Saturday.  Coco asked me

Coco:  What’s going on with your bathroom light?

Me:  It still won’t shut off and it will probably stay on until Tuesday since no one can probably get here to fix it until then.

Of course, I would rather it not shut off than not turn on.

Perpetully burning bathroom light.

So I’m doing what many cabin fever suffering New Yorkers are doing right now – walking around their neighborhoods and shooting several post-Irene pictures.  Later, I’ll probably take a nap.

Unhappy pigeon away from the flock.

The flock hanging out in Riverside Park.

Riverside Park closed (but not to pigeons).

Eleanor Roosevelt statue pondering the Hurricane Irene hubbub, or maybe not.

Fallen branch outside Riverside Park.

Fallen branch closer (crossed street after taking that shot).

Trash left by neighborhood moron atop upturned trash can.

Fallen tree branch stuffed into trash can by neighborhood saint.

Delivery bike that survived Irene.

Unimpressed 4-month-old Paco, the neighborhood Norwich Terrier, wondering, "What's the big deal?"

Lame Adventure 223: Anticipating Hurricane Irene

Hurricane Irene has yet to arrive, it is getting breezy outside my apartment’s window, but most people seem to have gotten the memo – streets are quiet and roads are empty.  My core group of dearest friends and I are predominantly safe (for now).

Tree outside my window that could possibly kill me if it uproots, crashes through my window and I fail to dive into my bathroom fast enough.

Even though we all share a degree of cynicism about Irene taking on Gotham City and the tristate area, no one seems too inclined to do anything too ridiculous.  This excludes my cabin fever suffering Friend From Jersey, Martini Max, who has already made an impulse purchase, specifically this poster of Theda Bara circa 1915.

Theda Bara tearing her hair out for Max. Still from her lost film called "Sin."

He intends to hang it over his TV.  Did I mention that Max is divorced?

Milton is nestled in his Upper East Side apartment with plenty of staples and some massive dessert he waxed about poetically.  While waiting for Irene we discussed our New York Film Festival ticket buying strategy for an hour.  We’re very dull that way.

My sidekick, Greg, is housebound in Brooklyn.  From his texts I’m under the impression that he’s feeling a tad grumpy.

Lola, who also resides in Brooklyn, was evacuated, but she’s made the best of a bad situation.  She’s with her boyfriend in Manhattan, taking it easy.  When I last spoke to her she said he was cooking.  What a guy.

Albee has extended his visit to California until Tuesday.

Ling texted me that she is about three hours away from the city.  On Friday Coco asked me:

Coco:  Where’s Ling?

Me:  At a wedding in Toronto.

Coco:  Oh!  Who got married?

Me:  Lowell’s [editorial comment: Ling’s guy] parents next-door neighbors’ brother’s son.

In response to that response Coco’s eyes glazed over.  Hopefully, Ling will make it back before the heavy rain starts to fall and the wind picks up.

This morning, I took some pictures of unusual sites on the Upper West Side.  Both Fairway and Trader Joe’s closed early.

Eerie site: empty fruit bins outside the Upper West Side's Fairway.

Eerier site: the store that is open every day, closed.

A Guy About My Age (GAMA or JERK) with the physique of a noodle tossed an out of body fit at the burly-direct-descendant-of-Thor-bouncer standing guard outside Fairway’s closed doors.

GAMA or JERK: Why close the store?  This is ridiculous!  The subways are running until noon!

Note:  It’s after 11 am.

Burly Bouncer:  You should have gotten here earlier.  The store’s closed.

GAMA or JERK sneers at the Bouncer, a sneer about as threatening as a Chihuahua’s sneeze.  The Bouncer returns the gaze that I translated as:

Bouncer’s Gaze:  Sucks to be you fool.

I took these other pictures in my neighborhood.

Closed Trader Joe's at 72nd Street and Broadway.

Typical TJ's cheeriness. Why I prefer to shop at jaded Fairway.

Baffled tourists trying to figure out how to escape the city reading a subway map.

MTA poster announcing mass transit closing.

One of the last 1 local subway trains entering 72nd Street station.

FedEx making deliveries.

Time Warner cable is there; but when I need them, they're always nowhere to be found. Grrrrr.

My sister, Dovima, has texted me that our 84-year-old father out on the West Coast would rather talk to me on Sunday, during the heart of Irene possibly pummeling Manhattan into oblivion and knocking out my cell phone service.  He is busy watching sports on TV tonight.   I texted her back to tell him to call me next week.

I was supposed to usher an off-Broadway play today, but all theaters on and off-Broadway are dark.

Coco lives in the meatpacking district in lower Manhattan, near, but not in an evacuation zone.  The intrepid type, in lieu of a flashlight, she has glow sticks.

Coco's glow sticks.

Donning her Lame Adventures journey(wo)man photographer hat Coco has also emailed me these pictures from downtown.

Brilliant time to be on a cruise in the Hudson River.

Apocalypse approaching?