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Sandy: the Grinch who Stole Halloween

(You can read my initial post regarding Sandy here.)

This morning I was mourning the loss of Halloween… I know it’s a minuscule loss compared to what so many others are missing, but I’m grieving the sense of normalcy I associate with the holiday. For those of you not in affected areas, please be grateful for what you have.

I was lucky enough to have celebrated my favorite holiday on Friday and Saturday nights, before Sandy hit. I usually go all out for Halloween, and this year was no exception. I dressed up as Miss Frizzle from the Magic School Bus.

On Friday, I had a wonderful time at a party hosted by friends. Then on Saturday I went to my new favorite dive bar. It was a mix of Coyote Ugly meets Cheers meets karaoke. I actually won the costume contest there, and it was a ton of fun.

me and my big winnings! I also won a cup filled with prizes.

Halloween is such an important holiday in my life. I’ve had homemade costumes almost every year since I was 10 (per my own doing, not my parents’!), and I get reeeeally into being ridiculous.

I was Bea Arthur my sophomore year of college….

Colonel Sanders my Junior year of college (my then-gf was a giant chicken!)…

Eden Wood and her mom Mickie last year…

and then The Frizz this year.

I know today is Halloween, but it doesn’t feel like it. The annual NYC Halloween Parade has been CANCELED for the first time ever. Many towns have postponed Halloween. Some have canceled trick or treating altogether.

I’m seriously bummed out, and I’m not even a kid. I understand why the postponements are necessary, but canceling Halloween? That’s just cruel.

I actually have a cauldron of bracelets I got for my students for Halloween. (We’re not allowed to give out candy as per new healthy eating guidelines.) They say “Wicked,” “Spooky,” and “Freaky.” I purchased them last week, and, oddly enough, they describe how I feel about Sandy.

I spent most of the morning trying to decide what the point of dressing up was, and if it was worth it. There are evacuees staying in the lounge of my apartment, and I felt like I’d be a huge asshole if I dressed in my cheery Miss Frizzle garb. However, even if Governor Christie did move Halloween to November 5th, it felt like I’d be going against everything I believe in if I didn’t recognize the holiday.

So, I dressed like Miss Frizzle after a hurricane.

giving Liz the Lizard a kiss to reassure her we’ll go on a field trip soon

My family is currently visiting in my apartment. Pumpkin bread is baking. Coffee is brewing. Above all, we’re together, and they’re enjoying the warmth, electricity, and internet connectivity of my apartment, something I’ve taken for granted in this post-Sandy world.

Stay safe wherever you are, and remember to be grateful for what you have.

Happy Halloween?


The American Red Cross is in desperate need of donations to help fund Hurricane Sandy relief. You can either donate by clicking here or texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Donate blood and blood platelets. There are many hospitals losing what little power they have left, and people need your help. Find out more about donating blood through the Red Cross by clicking here, or to find out more about donating blood in the New York/ New Jersey area through the New York Blood Center click here.

Any and all forms of help are appreciated!!!

mixed emotions about Sandy

I’ve spent the past 36 hours reassuring people that I am fine. So, here’s a rambling update of a post for those of you who were wondering about my status in central NJ.

No, I am not injured.

Yes, I have food.

No, my car was not damaged.

Yes, I still have some power and my cell phone is charged up.

No, my family was not hurt or injured.

Yes, I did stay on campus, but my campus has turned into a refugee camp for evacuees from across the state and for evacuees from other campuses, including the one I lived on for three years.

I’m just unsure of how to react to it all. I’m mixed between grieving/guilt and feeling thankful/lucky. I’m surrounded by refugees who may have lost everything, whereas I’ve lost nothing, so it’s an emotional rollercoaster.

My family is without power and I feel really guilty. They’re coming over tomorrow, and my mom wants to watch the news. I don’t think anyone realizes how bad it was until you see the images on tv/ on the computer. It’s chilling. This morning, I felt really guilty about NOT going home by my family, especially when I realized I was better off than they were. Buttttt I felt like I needed to be here for my RAs and whoever else needed me. It’s in my blood to continuously help others, and I think I would’ve gone crazy if I weren’t helping others today.

I couldn’t help but feel incredibly guilty and privileged even more today. If I wasn’t blessed with the opportunity to go to grad school and live on the campus I live on, who knows where I’d be? In a weird twist of fate, I also accidentally live in a handicap-accessible apartment on campus. Due to its handicap-accessible status, there was a generator connected to my room and I had minimal power throughout last night and today before the building’s backup power finally kicked in tonight. If I weren’t in the handicapped apartment, I would’ve suffered like the rest of people on campus. However, the fluke in this system allowed me to take the duty phones from my RAs on one campus and charge them in my room on another so that they wouldn’t be disconnected in case of emergency once the power ran out. My “handicap” privilege was extremely useful here.

Before the storm really picked up, I baked hurricane cookies for my RAs to calm my nerves. Baking is soothing to me.

Also…is it weird that I’m excited to see all the entirely different columns and blog posts that will be posted these next few days? I have so much to say, but none of the words to say it. I’m hoping someone else will be able to find the words for the emotions I’m feeling.

A lot of the individuals being shown on the news have lost their vacation homes, even though a lot of the people living on the Jersey Shore are of lower socio-economic status. How will the world react to this natural disaster upon seeing the media’s interpretation of it? How does this disaster compare to Katrina? Will people make accurate comparisons, or will they be blindsided by the media?

I have so many memories that have made me who I am on the Jersey shore… Some of them suck, but they still made me who I am. Some are even memories I tried to forget, but when I saw the coverage of The Beach Bar being destroyed, or of AC, I started crying. It was so odd to be grieving the loss of memories that have caused me heartache in the past.

I’m feeling like part of my identity died, even if I’m more of a Central Jersey gal than a Jersey Shore Gal.

This is such an emotionally conflicting situation. Oy.

What are you feeling? How has Sandy affected you?