And then the world almost ended.

9 09 2011

This week is stupid. Here’s an excerpt from an email I sent earlier this week entitled “My Path is Winding and Annoying” and all about how I’m having issues in getting certain things accomplished in my mom’s house. Things which will bore and/or disgust you so on to the funny/whiny bits enhanced with gratuitous cursing.

Tuesday morning I woke up and things were difficult from the start. The kids were being kids which is always rude of them. I was grumpy and every little thing was getting to me. And then I saw the hummingbird. It was hovering over the bush outside the window and I felt its magic envelop me and I instantly began to relax into happiness. And then it took a shit. And I nodded and said, “yep” and went back to being grumpy. (And I tweeted it.)

And then coffee helped me relax b/c coffee is reliable unlike asshole shitting hummingbirds so things actually did turn around and I sat here listening to the rain and enjoying the weird weather. Muggy isn’t too bad when it’s rainy. It was warm, but not impossibly so. And then the rain dried up and the sun looked down upon San Diego and was all, “Fuck you, little town, I shall SMITE YOU TO THE BOWELS OF HELL!!!!! MuahahahahaHAHAHAHAHA!” And the temperature rose like 26 degrees in approximately 4 and a half minutes and the a/c in my van was all, “I cannot take another moment of this cruel world!” and then it committed suicide.

And that was Tuesday.

And Wednesday was such that I honestly cannot remember it except that my landlord decided that now is the moment in time when my kitchen cabinets have to be revarnished and since it’s been so long coming (like, since the moment we moved in here six years ago) and so many false starts you better believe I said yes.

So on Thursday we had to be out of the house while they did the work. We packed a lunch, left for the Children’s Museum (which turned out to be a really sweaty idea), had lunch at Seaport Village and generally had a really lovely morning.

And then it took a shit.

Naturally, on such a hot day, I assumed it was the extra a/c that crashed the power. And since my kitchen was torn apart and it was damn hot I didn’t feel like trying to fight a lack of electricity to make dinner, so we left to head across town and find some place to eat. Only when we got outside and heard all the sirens and saw the traffic backed up, I started to wonder exactly how large this blackout was. The radio stations were even down and it took me awhile to find one working, but once I did we learned it wasn’t just my block, or my city, or even San Diego county, but pretty much all the southwest.

So we headed home and had Pantry Dinner, trying not to open the fridge more than we had to since they were saying it might be days without power. After the kids went home with their dad, I headed to my aunt and uncle’s (for the second time, since I missed them earlier that afternoon) to try to borrow a radio or batteries or something. We ended up sitting outside for hours enjoying the kind of cool night air that only comes after the sun has smited us all to the bowels of Hell all day long. And there were stars! We don’t get that in the city. Only the brightest ones show. And last night the nearly full moon was blocking many of them, but oh what we did get to see was pretty amazing. I even saw a shooting star. Which makes the fifth this month. The first I saw while camping, the next three one night when Summer and I went to the beach and sat and talked for hours. I am grateful to The Universe for sending me this gift in such a hard time. I cherish those shooting stars. (And they totally did NOT take a shit. Take note, hummingbird. Take note.)

All night long life was weird. Gas stations were down or had lines up the block, most stores were closed, people were lining up at the few left for ice and water and batteries. There were car accidents (which baffle me, honestly) and ambulances and police cars zooming around with sirens blaring. Traffic was backed up for blocks, the freeways were at standstills. Everyone was out – walking or bicycling, or barbecuing with neighbors. It was bizarre. It was surreal. It was disaster. Although, thankfully, one of little consequence in the end. But, of course, at this point we didn’t know how long it would all be.

After we got cold (and yet, still sticky) and went inside the power was restored. Way ahead of schedule! It was only about 6 hours, not the days they’d talked about. The whole neighborhood cheered, like when the Chargers win, only this time I could cheer along with them. I stayed awhile longer and then headed home. And then it took a shit. As I got closer, things got darker. It was spotty the power grids that were coming back up, and mine clearly was not. On the news they were talking about boil water orders and, when they mentioned a region near to me, I wasn’t sure if I was included or not. After all, we share the same water processing plant. The moonlight made a flashlight unnecessary to walk through the parking lot to my apartment. In the house, I climbed into bed, tried to get online, eventually fell asleep.

Happy Thing: Moonlight and Stars

3:00am I woke up. I wondered to myself what I was waiting for. And then, at 3:02, the hall light blinded me and the fan powered up. Naturally, I tweeted that. And then, after awhile, I got up to plug the freezer and fridge back in, try to catch some news (painfully unhelpful about the boil water orders) and eventually forced myself back to bed so I could function the following day.

And here we are. It’s ridiculous how silly and scary that all was. I always felt that having a disaster kit (since I lack space and often money) could be bypassed by driving to my dad in Illinois if I had to, but I learned last night that gas stations need electricity and there’s no way I could have made it to Arizona and beyond on a third of a tank. Lesson learned. Not painfully, thank goodness.

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8 responses

9 09 2011
Corey

Thanks for posting. I was wondering! Sorry, I don’t Twit or whatever you call it.

9 09 2011
bethany actually

You know, here yesterday it was raining BUCKETS and I tried to get gas using a credit card, and I couldn’t because their machines or systems or something were down because of the rain. Isn’t it interesting how every once in a while Nature likes to remind us how powerless we really are against her?

I’m glad that in the end, the power outage was not scary and of short duration. Also, I laughed out loud at “Take note, hummingbird. Take note.” Mostly because I could totally hear you saying it. 🙂

9 09 2011
ZebraBelly

Right I’ve heard of flooding on the east coast, but since San Diego is maybe a little self-absorbed I never heard why. Is there another hurricane? Hoping that (real) disaster… um… goes as smoothly as disasters go? I’m sending good wishes, that is.

10 09 2011
bethany actually

No hurricane, just heavy rain for days on end. We live on top of a hill so we didn’t have to worry about flooding, but some areas around here got crazy flooding. Three people in Alexandria (quite near us) drowned, and a road in Southern MD (where I used to live) had sinkholes and was partly washed away. Nutso.

11 09 2011
ZebraBelly

How horrible about the drownings. I’ve been to Alexandria. The old part anyway.

9 09 2011
Sarah

Two things:
– Email sounds on videos confuse me because: wait, I have no new email, so why did my computer go ping? What’s happening?!
– Your camerawoman is clearly union. Nobody would put up with such logic otherwise.

All hail the gods of electricity. For they maketh the world run.

11 09 2011
Corey

Oh man, I was totally not calling you a twit. I guess that makes ME the twit. D’oh! I only came back to comment ’cause the cloud cover this morning gives our neighborhood this weird glow from the surrounding electric light. I was missing the stars. Made me think of you and your stars. I not-so-secretly wish the entire world would black-out for a few, only maybe on schedule so it’s not so traumatic.

11 09 2011
ZebraBelly

I didn’t think you were calling me a twit! 🙂

And I could totally get on board with a scheduled worldwide outage.

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