Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone? That’s exactly what happened when Hurricane Sandy struck the east coast this Monday, depriving millions of power — and severely limiting their entertainment options. (Of course, boredom is nothing compared with a destroyed house or a submerged car — visit RedCross.org to learn more about hurricane relief efforts.)
My hurricane boredom story: After Lower Manhattan’s power went out on Monday night, I devoured a YA book about a girl whose mom is a hoarder. Then, haunted by visions of yellowing newspapers stacked on top of piles of maggots — seriously, that book is visceral — I spent Tuesday furiously cleaning my apartment with my roommate. The last time I devoted this many hours to scrubbing was… last year, when Hurricane Irene hit the East Coast. Doesn’t Hurricane Cleaners sound like an upcoming reality show?
Of course, I wasn’t the only one driven to desperation after losing electricity (and heat, and my cell phone service). Read on to find out how EW staffers weathered the storm — and feel free to add your own story in the comments! Don’t worry if it has nothing to do with a hurricane; any extreme weather, power outage, or debilitating sickness that left you cooped up will do fine.
Denise Warner: “I watched all of the Twilight movies. Actually… I was going to do that anyway.”
Sandra Gonzalez: “I spent the hurricane sharing my studio apartment with someone who was displaced by the storm, so I had to find quiet things to do early in the mornings when she was sleeping. One morning, bored out of my mind, I watched an entire repeat of Supernatural on mute without closed captions as a challenge. Shockingly (not at all), I was able to fill in most of the dialogue by myself, with probably 95 percent accuracy. Despite my victory, I felt like a sad, sad person afterward…”
Lanford Beard: “Let’s just say I’ve been watching a lot of Z-grade reality TV (Breaking Amish, Four Weddings, and My Shopping Addiction, to name a few).”
Chris Nashawaty: “I’ve been without power since Monday at 5 p.m. I’m keeping my laptop charged with an adapter that I’ve plugged into my car lighter. I wish I could say I’ve used this meager amount of power for good, but the only thing I have to show for it is watching whatever DVDs I have lying around the house. So far, Downton Abbey season 2 in its entirety and the Katy Perry movie — surprisingly not bad at all.”
Darren Franich: “After the blackout, I first lit a candle and read Vasily Grossman’s Russian epic Life and Fate. The next day, overwhelmed with the cruelty of Stalinism, I put my Xbox 360 into a suitcase and walked fifty blocks uptown to the Light Zone, where I found a friend-with-power and we played Metal Slug 3. So I cheated, just like James T. Kirk in the Kobayashi Maru, except with more walking.”
Josh Stillman: “I watched Dog Day Afternoon, Dexter, and Summer Heights High. Then I killed a couple hours with an impromptu photo shoot courtesy of one of my roommates, who’s a photographer. On Tuesday we biked through downtown Manhattan to check out the damage, and that night we went out drinking in our neighborhood. I’ll be honest, it kinda felt like a snow day. We even made brownies.”
Breia Brissey: “This isn’t really that crazy or desperate. But I did stay up on Monday — the night the power went out — because I really wanted to finish the book I was reading. So I poured a bowl of cereal and sat next to a candle to read. It was all very romantic. And by that I mean kinda pathetic. The book wasn’t that good. It really could have waited.”
Mandi Bierly: “I live in Hoboken, so I’m crashing with a friend in Brooklyn. We never lost power, but we lost cable and Internet Monday night. I should have prepared for that scenario and brought DVDs. Our pick from her collection: Noah’s Arc season 2.”
Adam B. Vary: “I live in Los Angeles, so I fortunately have no hurricane tales of woe. But the last time I was felled with a serious bout of the flu, I spent my days marathoning episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, and then falling asleep and dreaming of a time when Dr. Crusher could cure my ailment with a hypospray and a stern-but-caring look.”
Stephan Lee: “Luckily I never lost power during Hurricane Sandy — but I was cooped up last year when I came down with what I’m pretty sure was tuberculosis and/or West Nile. I asked my friend to come by with a Gatorade and an US Weekly, but instead he brought me a Casper the Friendly Ghost-themed Mad Libs that he bought for a nickel from some terrible stoop sale. He thought it was hilarious. After I kicked my useless friend out, I filled out the Mad Libs. Seriously, Mad Libs. By myself, in bed. ‘Casper GAVE BIRTH right through the SILLY wall and gave LATOYA JACKSON a SMELLY fright.'”