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November 27, 2002

Redefining Boredom

So, I get up Tuesday morning (okay, so it was 12:20pm, what of it?) and decide that I'll do just a little online whatnot before cutting myself off from the Internet long enough to get all of the non-Internet but very much computer-oriented things done that I must do before my Wednesday at the office and the subsequent dead-days for anyone in any office with whom I need to connect.

I'm in the middle of something pretty dang involved and important (natch) when the power goes out (at 1:22pm). Now, since I elected to pay my student loans this month rather than allocate that money to the purchase of a new battery for the iBook, everything goes bye-bye. I sigh. These things happen. The Santa Ana winds, in addition to raising the temp up above 90 degrees in the last couple of days, have knocked down trees and branches, causing intermittent outages all over town. I am patient. I go outside and chat up the landlady while she waters her plants.

At about 1:50pm, we get power back. For two minutes. Back out again. For the long haul.

I catch up on my reading, and in an hour a stack of "to read later" copies of Daily Variety are read, interesting pieces relating to my world torn out and put aside. I pick up my "Correction Copy" of Casting Qs and resume finding the nit-pickiest corrections to make upon the revised printing (18 months away--but it's never too early to find fault with a product everyone is excited about). I know, by now, Keith is calling me to check in, let me know how well the drop-offs are going, see if I want a Smoothie brought home, etc. Of course, no one can reach me. I have no phone access due to the use of a cordless phone as our only phone-like source and the fact that no cell phone reception exists within a block of my apartment, on my cute little Visorphone. Can't get email, of course, due to the fact that I have no computer battery and... well the DSL box probably requires power too. Unreachable is kind of nice.

By 4pm, I realize there is nothing I'll be able to do in the apartment without creating some sort of light. So, I begin rigging up some flashlights (these cute little ones Keith got from the Saturn commercial he shot this summer...they were used as headlights in that world without cars spot), which--when shone onto the ceiling--do a fair job of lighting up the room. A little later, I will begin lighting candles and making sure there is a flashlight placed in locations I may need light later. I go back out and chat with the neighbors--there are now several of us hanging around, speculating on how far-reaching this particular outage is. One neighbor asks what I write and I tell him about the book. Suddenly, all my neighbors have a copy of the book. Good karma. I don't bake, so that's gotta be the neighborly thing I do, dammit.

As I've opened the screen door to hand over a book or two, Archie decides he needs to run out of the house (for the first time in his life) and bolt under some bushes. I grab him by the tail (I know, I know) and drag him back inside. I go outside and sit with my neighbors. Archie puts his claws into the screen door--stretching as high as he can reach--to let me know something isn't normal about this day.

Keith comes home, running in, out of breath, "Is something wrong with the phone?!?" "Yes, dear. It requires electricity." He looks around and suddenly understands the dark block, the dark apartment building, the dark apartments. Reminds me of that episode of "Roseanne" in which Jackie makes her entire breakfast at Roseanne's with no power, not realizing the blender, the microwave, and the fridge all have something in common until she calls and checks her messages, hearing Roseanne explain why they need candles. Roseanne observes, "Well, we now know the speed of stupid." Tee hee. I giggle and Keith doesn't know why. That's okay. My brain is happy for the laugh.

Keith heads out again to a casting director drop-off, but he'll return to grab a stack of books (to sell at the casting director's class in half an hour) and head out again. He assures me that, when he gets home, he'll cook a casserole for us, as we have one of those kits in the cupboard and our oven is gas. "Cool," I think, realizing that it is now coming up on 7pm and I am going to miss the (east coast feed) season premiere of "The Osbornes." Boo hiss.

I walk through the area with our landlady, lighting a few candles in preparation of neighbors coming home and needing to see their way to their front doors. Keith returns (with another $80 in sales) and we pack up the studio lot drop-offs for mailing, as he's met with little success gaining lot access to drop off copies of the book there. Good use of non-technology enhanced living. It's over too soon and I'm bored.

Keith learns, after taking the oven apart, that it includes a handy electric starter, and therefore protects the pilot light from being, well, lit unless electrically induced. So, he heads out, yet again, for a drive-thru dinner. I think he put the oven back together. I decide not to check. Are you feeling the foreshadowing?

At 9:30pm, we decide it's best just to go to bed. I have to work at the paper in the morning and MUST use the computer for a couple of hours before I leave, meaning I'll have to wake up really early, since we've been told not to expect power before midnight. Asleep quickly, then probably around 11pm, I hear power start back up (the ceiling fan comes on, the phone beeps, the alarm on the computer network sounds to make sure we know it's been using backup reserves). Keith mumbles, "Power's on." "I want to stay asleep." "Me too." So we do. Until 1am, when I'm up, too curious to not head back to the computer--but more than that, REALLY hot. I mean WAY hot. And since the Santa Anas have died down, the temperature is nowhere near the high level of the weekend...so why is it sweltering in here?

I enter the living room, turn on the computer, and head into the kitchen for some water. Ah. There's the source of the heat. Keith has left the oven on 400 degrees, and it has been baking air for at least two hours. Well, I guess it's good to know that the oven, at 400 degrees for two hours, can heat the whole apartment, all the way back to the bedroom.

Insert "good thing I love this man" eye roll here.

So, that's how my day without power went. Did I mention an email inbox filled with, "Where the hell are you?!?" messages? Yeah. That's good fun. I think I'll send folks, as a reply, a link to this here Blog. Yeah, that's an efficient choice.

The Book Is Here!
Free Casting Director Panel Dec. 11th, 7:30pm

"The fact that Susan and Sean were drinking Pepsi leads me to believe that there was at least one person trying to annoy another. On the positive side, it wasn't in Ottawa." - David's brilliance in SpyNotebook, Oct. 2002

Posted by bonnie at November 27, 2002 2:09 AM