Saturday, September 17, 2011

Rock Paper Scissors - Unraveled

An excellent insight into the childhood game (courtesy of ifunny):

I understand that scissors can beat paper, and I get how rock can beat scissors, but there's no way paper can beat rock. Paper is supposed to magically wrap around rock leaving it immobile? Why can't paper do this to scissors? Screw scissors, why can't paper do this to people? Why aren't sheets of college ruled notebook paper constantly suffocating students as they attempt to take notes in class? I'll tell you why, because paper can't beat anybody. A rock would tear it up in two seconds. When I play rock paper scissor, I always choose rock. Then when somebody claims to have beaten me with their paper I can punch them in the face with my already clenched fist and say, "Oh sorry, I thought paper would protect you."

Monday, September 12, 2011

My First Hurricane

I've never before lived in an area that was susceptible to natural disasters. I've never experienced a hurricane, flood, earthquake, or tornado. In that way, I guess I was lucky growing up in Pennsylavania. That changed when I moved to Lincoln Park NJ two years ago. I've been through two floods so far and I thought they were bad. We had a couple of feet of water in the garages and almost every road in and out of town closed. Then Hurricane Irene hit.

The hurricane itself wasn't the bad. It was a tropical storm by the time it got here so there was a lot of wind and rain, but 12 hours later it was over with minimal damage. And then the rivers started rising.  I'm fortunate enough to live in a town surrounded by three rivers: the Pompton River, the Passiac River, and the Rockaway River. I've never seen the rivers here rise so fast. I had gotten bottled water, cans of soup, flashlights, and candles so I was all set to wait it out. At 10pm on Sunday night Duke and I went out for his walk... except that the sidewalks were covered. That meant that all the roads within my complex were completely underwater and my garage had 5-6 feet of water in it. At that point there was no way to leave except maybe to swim, so I went to bed. I was woken up by a fireman knocking on my door at 3am. The water had risen another 1-2 feet; we were being evacuated. Two hours later, with the help of the fire department and army, a boat and a very large truck, I was out. After a three day hotel stay, I was allowed to return. Thankfully the apartments are raised up half a floor, so the water never got inside (and I'm on the second floor anyways). However, almost everything in my garage was saturated with flood water. We also didn't have electricity. The transformers for almost all the buildings had flooded as well and were ruined.  The power company, apartment management, and town officials responded quickly; however the fastest solution was to replace everything. They put in new power lines and moved our transformers up telephone poles. Ten days after we lost power, we got it back. Now two weeks later, two of the rivers are still above flood stage, I still have no hot water, and I've registered for FEMA assistance.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Never Forget

A brief moment to pause and reflect on how our world has changed in the last 10 years.

There was no Ground Zero. No one knew who al Qaeda was. Acronyms such as WMDs didn't exist. Until 10 years ago, September 11th was just another fall day.

I was in my junior year of high school in my second period class, American History. The class lesson for the day was on terrorism. At the end of the class, we turned on the news and watched the Twin Towers fall - live.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

It's a Lake Kind of Summer

My parent's have a beautiful new lake house....

...on a beautiful private, quiet lake....

...and they stated this summer they were not going anywhere. They would stay at the lake and let everyone come visit them. Thus, I have spent pretty much every free weekend I've had this summer at the lake.

It is awesomely beautiful. First thing in the morning, the lake is so quiet it looks like glass. The temperature here in the hills of the Poconos is a little cooler; during the day hits the 80's but at night (even mid summer) it drops to the 60's. There are few things in the world better than a morning cup of coffee on the deck as the day is just starting to warm up. After that, I pretty much live in a bathing suit. It's been an entirely new experience for me as I've never had a lake or pool or beach at my house before. You use a lot less clothing. We have this amazing float called The Caribbean Island that fits up to 6 people and is perfect for laying out in the sun and reading.  My parents have also invested in a new (beautiful) boat that has been in constant use this summer for tubing and even more so water skiing.

I love water skiing. My sister was home from college all summer and my brother came to visit very frequently like me, so we have had lots of family fun on the lake. The entire family's water skiing skills have greatly improved this summer, as at least 1 or 2 people are skiing every day, multiple times a day. The 3 kids can all slalom water ski (only 1 ski is used), and my mom can as well! In true Emanuelson style though, this did not occur without much comedy and a few injuries. Most injuries have been bumps and bruises (some very large), but most notably we have broken 2 ski ropes and 4 ribs. The most common phrase used at the local boat store when we walk in is, "Have you ever seen this before?". This mainly relates to the 2 destroyed water skiing tow ropes we have brought in. Apparently it is very hard to break a handle in half or completely tear the rubber handle lining off, however we have managed to do both in one summer. The 4 broken ribs would belong to my mother following a very rough fall. Who new water could break bones? Not to worry though, she is recovering well and has stopped golfing and lifting heavy things after seeing the x-ray.

Most importantly though, this should entice you to come visit. The only way to truly understand the lake house experience is to come, have a margarita at noon, and try your hand at tubing or water skiing. So everyone start making plans for next summer...