Inspiration: It's the night before Hurricane Sandy whacks New York and New Jersey. The wind, which is supposed to rip through the city at 50-70mph, is already rustling heavily through the trees on my street. The bars are as full and loud as ever, though. I can hear the cheers from the sports bar across the street where people are watching football or baseball or whatever. My Mom texted me on Friday, emailed on Saturday and called today to warn me about the storm and to go through her mental checklist of the things I need in order to get through it and the blackout that everyone is expecting to result (yes - I am an adult woman, but try telling that to my Mom). "Okay . . . Go through this with me" she says. Evacuation Zone: Nope. Thank goodness. Flashlight: Yup. Two of them. Batteries: Tons. I usually have lots of them on hand in any event to power my headphones. There were practically none left on store shelves today. Candles: many but only because I am a candle freak anyway. Matches: A jar full because I cannot resist grabbing matchbooks as souvenirs where ever I go. Water: hopefully enough but if not, I have about 9 bottles of Diet Raspberry Snapple -- even better than water, if you ask me. Non-perishable food: just finished stocking up -- sort of (the bodega next door was practically empty - I foraged what I could). Can-opener: just found it. And I ate a hefty dinner at the neighborhood Italian restaurant a few hours ago. I can probably survive without more food for 24 hours. So, I think I'm ready. Doesn't matter, though. Ready or not. . . storm's coming! And from everything I am hearing on the telly and reading on the internet, it is very possible that we can say goodbye to electricity and running water for a while. But after all of the drama last year about Hurricane Irene crushing New York, which turned out to be just another rainy day, it's hard to know whether to take these reports seriously. In any case, for those of you in the path of the storm or the wind gusts resulting from the storm, stay safe.