The Nerdy Survival Guide to Hurricane Sandy!

I am writing, racing really, against the clock. By clock I mean a hurricane that is currently turning west and about to break landfall and beat most of New England with winds up to seventy-five miles per hour. That kind of clock.

Classes here at Berklee college of show-and-tell were cancelled, meaning I don’t have to go critique my friend’s performance of two Swedish traditional folk songs this morning, or play a bunch of Joni Mitchell music later this afternoon- I’m fine with that for right now, but I know by about noon hour I will be egregiously bored within the confines of my Boston apartment. So, I’ve pieced together an itinerary for my windy day off which I’ve come to affectionately refer to as…

Mike’s Nerdy Survival Guide to Hurricane Sandy!

To distinguish itself from other more useful survival guides, I’ve listed here all the supplies I’ll need to make it through, caged up in the south end of Boston, while still feeding my ever demanding need to devour the arts- so definitely more of a pointless list of things I think any urban recluse can spend their cooped up time on, but survival guide has a great overdramatic, CNN kind of ring to it.


While electricity still courses through my forty year old townhouse, I’m going to try and squeeze in some quality moving pictures.

  • Bond movies. There are some deep dark holes in that back-catalog, but plenty of great filmmaking, one liners, and mixed drinks to make up for George Lazenby.
  • 8 ½. Federico Fellini’s critically name-dropped masterpiece. I want to say I’ll come out on the other side unscathed, but I can only take so much Sicilian anything.
  • No Reservations. Television, almost more so than movies, is really great at taking up an insane amount of time; and there’s nothing I like wasting my time watching more than Anthony Bourdain tell me about places I can only dream of going.


I’m someone who tries to give every new album I come across a serious, critical listen. This process is made much simpler when you have nothing else to do.

  • The Wood Brothers. I have three albums, Smoke Ring Halo, Ways Not to Lose, and Loaded- almost spanning their entire bluesy folk career. The Wood Brothers have a sound reminiscent of some alternate universe where Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan co-wrote the soundtrack to O Brother, Where Art Thou with Jimi Hendrix and the Grateful Dead. I think they do all their recording in rainstorms and high winds. I’ve got them on my fully charged iPhone too just incase the unspeakable happens.


To really eat up the hours that I’m not spending studying for my conducting or political thought midterms, I can always turn to books. While I continue to tunnel through the mountainside that is George R.R. Martin’s a Song of Ice and Fire series, I’d rather read something with a greater sense of accomplishing any progress. I’ve picked a couple short book options that are excellent one-day-reads.

  • For Your Eyes Only. Fleming’s collection of shorter Bond adventures, an exquisite writer no matter how many times the evil genius gets eaten by piranhas.
  • Psycho. If Fleming isn’t striking any fancies, Robert Bloch’s 1959 super-short suspense should do the trick. This is a really scary novel. Actually, maybe it’s not the best choice for a dark, dreary, day alone.
  • Power and the Glory.Graham Greene’s really short and really incredible novel set in a religious-feuding turn of the century Mexico, paints an amazing picture.


That’s it for now. I can easily see this day spiraling into a series of dissatisfying naps and hot dogs, but for now I have high hopes to do some good critical watching, listening, and reading. If you ever find yourself in a position of low-risk this close to a hurricane, I suggest you put together your own survival guide of absorbing and taking in. In all seriousness, be careful out there, but I think the smarter thing to do is not go out at all.

– Mike Kerr, Beloved Staff Writer



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