August 27th, 2011

Hello from the gutter

Roswell and I spent the day sitting on the back porch watching the rain -- it came relatively gently. We read books, Roswell ate a can, I watched an episode of the X-Files on my iPad, and Irene was approaching relatively gingerly, it was just a moderate rain. Imagine my suprise when Mayor Nutter declared a state of emergency in Philly. Really? He had a press conference and suggested that people be prepared to be without power for as long as two weeks.

Then Autumn came up from the Rock Star Hotel saying that there was water coming in at an alarming rate -- and there was -- it was coming through the walls, plaster was falling off in chunks, a huge puddle was spreading across the floor. We were taking on water like the only porta-potty at a folk festival and the storm still had 24 hours to go.

I went outside and saw that the storm drain was full, there was a puddle against the side of the house four inches deep -- pouring into the basement. I pulled the drain cover off and prodded down inside with a pole -- I could feel gravel. The water rushing down the sidewalk had carried enough debris into the drain to clog it.

The rain was coming down very heavily by this point and -- I'm happy to say -- we all worked together like the freaking A-Team. trillian_stars began tarping up the side of the house -- Autumn and I rigged some hosing to a shop vac (using duct tape) and over a period of about half an hour we sucked up about five pounds of stones, a broken light bulb and, incidentally along the way, 140 gallons of water. The drain started gurgling, Autumn ran inside and exploded back out saying "It worked!" -- the Rock Star Hotel stopped flooding, we were drenched and covered in mud but we'd used our little ape minds to solve a problem and that made us feel good.

So as soon as I finish this blog post, we're going to have a hurricane party and watch movies until the power goes and then listen to Victrola records and sip chablis knowing that whatever comes, we'll throw our best at it and hopefully, we'll come out the other end of the tunnel.

See you then. Be safe everyone.

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