Out of Order: Losing power & learning to love life… without AC

June 11th, 2017 – this day will go down in [my] history as “the day the AC died” – as in the entire electrical grid for just my fucking block was destroyed and I was left without power for 28 hours.

What a joke! However, the important thing is that I made it through and was able to teach myself a few things in the process.

7:00 am – Elton is zipping around the apartment – I am usually up this early on weekdays so he likes to be just as jubilant on the weekends. Yay, life. He is really having a blast, playing with all of his jingly cat toys while simultaneously doing his weird Xena: Warrior Princess cry “yeaaaaaaaaaaaaayayayayaaaa”…

It’s too early to wake up – I was up late painting the night before – and I wanted to squish into my pillows and continue dreaming of eating a veggie sandwich. I let out a soft sigh of defeat. I like sleeping. I like weekends. I like not being awake.

I sit up in my bed and stare out at the morning sky, contemplating my next move. Its just a bit too warm for me to shut my door [AC is in the LR (code for Living Room, you wouldn’t understand) but its like, the only good spot for a window unit, I swear!] to block out Elton’s battle cry, buuuut he is *so* annoying and I know it wont stop for at least an hour…

I do the unthinkable.

I shut my door.

7:30 am – Elton is now standing outside the door. I hear him tip over the adorable aqua garbage can and rifle through the plastic. He has tooth issues and chewing plastic is his thing. Apparently he does not have PICA as I had assumed but something much, much worse. Poor baby. I don’t judge him. The sound of shuffling plastic at 7:30 is better than his insane gargled cries.

My bed shakes.

What the turd?

My entire apartment shakes.

Uhnnnnnnmmnnmmnnnnmmnnnn, exsqueeze me?

I get up and peek out the window and the once morning sky is now a mossy green blanket like, literally zooming over the metro. Uh oh! There is a sheet of rain so thick that I can hardly see the cars on the street below.

I love my apartment on the hill. She is a 2nd story unit  – on a hill –  with a lovely view of the western sky and a shitty rail-yard that offers nothing but noise and most likely toxic fumes. Breathtaking sunset views, though, so whatever!

But now, while the whole building threatens to collapse from the wind I am kind of rethinking how much I *just love this place* and wondering why I didn’t go for the sensible ground floor building up the road [I know why, they wanted $950/mo for 500sq ft, street parking, with a $50/mo pet rent – wtf, MPLS?] and save myself this trouble.

Whatever, nothing I can do but watch in horror and prepare for my ultimate destruction.

Elton isn’t happy anymore. Storms scare him. Not like, scare scare, but he finds them unsettling. The way most people feel about Kirstie Alley is the way Elton feels about storms.

He crawls under my bed and I have this irrational fear that the bed frame will collapse while he is under there, crushing him in the process [it’s a new bed frame and completely structurally sound, I have just always had this fear since one time 8 years ago a bed frame DID collapse and while no one was hurt or killed someone COULD HAVE been, that someone being Elton, so we just barricade the bed frame off so he cant go there, and by we I mean me. I do. Alone. Because I am crazy as fuck and single and as I write this I am realizing exactly why I am single. THAT’S BESIDE THE POINT THIS STORY IS ABOUT HOW I ALMOST DIED WITHOUT AC!!] so wait… yea…

I get Elton out from under the bed and I’m all like, ohhh its okay baby just a little storm, we good. And I pet him and cuddle him on the bed while peeking out the window watching the trees flail around like those wild wavy wacky dancing men you see outside of shitty car dealerships.

The storm is getting stronger and stronger and me, being the smarty pants that I am, decide the best thing to do at this point is to go back to sleep. I prep Elton for an emergency basement run by getting him into his harness and hop into bed with him, cuddling him tightly. As in he is rubbing his face into the side of my head while I struggle to keep him away from my eyes and mouth.

I think I closed my eyes for probably 1 minute before the ominous whirring of the AC began. Its like that dying electrical appliance sound. The thing was a struggle bus. I heard my mini bed fan whirring too… hummmmmm… chumm chummm chum hummmm… whiirr whatever the fuck whirring sounds like to you, you know what I am talking about.

So like, I panic, naturally, because all I ever do anymore is panic, stare into space and eat ice cream. So I get up and start unplugging appliances. I am like, not prepared for emergency situations at all. I have always depended on others for this kind of stuff, I have never been on my own! But I am old and clever enough to know that I have to unplug major appliances so there isn’t a rush of electricity to them if the power goes out then comes back on… something, something science.

Any who… this is where my heart breaks.

I am in the kitchen, staring at my lovely, brand new, turquoise Keurig… COFFEE! I NEED COFFEE! And I go into survival mode and I am now moving at the speed of light. I never refill the water to the damn thing so I am rushing to get the water from the fridge [matching turquoise Brita water filter – I went for a turquoise theme in this apartment because it was my first apartment and I decided that I needed a theme and I just LOVE saying TURQUOISE so that’s where I went with all that] – anyway, so yea, I am trying to get this thing up and at em and the one thing I hate about this machine is that it takes *forever* to heat water and make a cup. Like, literally forever. I could die, be reborn as a new person, grow up to be a garbage collector, find an old Keurig model in a dump heap, refurbish it, and make a cup of coffee before this one heats enough water to begin the brewing process. It’s a damn shame. OH MY GOD I am so off track here! So, LIKE I WAS SAYING before I so rudely interrupted myself… I am essentially throwing things around my kitchen because I cant contain myself and desperately want a cup of joe before the day begins and I lose power…. Aaaaand the whirring gets more intense.. and then… it stops.

Lights. Out.

Goodbye, world.

Well… the story ends there for about 10 hours – nothing besides wasted groceries and a trip to the gas station and coffee shop… Well, no, I loaded up some food and headed over to my friends place with laundry as well. My joke is, I text asking if I can store food in their fridge while the power is out – show up with one bag of lettuce and 4 loads of laundry. I brought him a subway sandwich!

Anyway… got home at night after watching American Gods – I strongly recommend it – and I am sitting in the dark hallway, using my phone as a light, trying to conserve battery so I am not using the flashlight option, just the back light. I struggle to get in my door and am greeted instantly by Elton.

Its muggy. Hot. Gross. Stinky. Funny how a bit of heat and humidity can really fuck up the vibe of ones living space. *Mental Note: I need to deep clean like a mofo!!!

I instantly begin lighting candles and I am impressed with myself for having 100 on hand. When I first moved out I was really energy conscious since I was paying utilities on my own and decided I would live by candlelight at night. I did off and on, and this night was an ON night.

I have them all placed now, the candles, lighting up the my apartment, shedding a lovely rusty glow across the walls.

I shower by candle light. I shit by candle light. I shave by candle light.

Just kidding, but the shit shower shave is so standard I went with it. I didn’t shave.

I am sprawled out in bed and I am reminded of the month when I first moved out with my friends like 100 years ago and we decided that we didn’t need to pay the electric bill… well we were cut off for a month until the MN Cold Air Act turned it back on in October… lol but that is a story for another time… just know… this wasn’t my first rodeo. 24 hrs without electricity – NO BIG – I’ve done 38 days.

After some giggling and reminiscing about “good times at The Pines” I tried to get to sleep. Its actually really hard to sleep in a musty, hot apartment with no air circulation and the noise of the city piercing the otherwise quiet night.

I toss and turn.

I try not to use my phone because its my alarm for the AM…

11:30 pm – Roscoe and Angela [neighbors] decide to turn on their generator. YEA they have a gas powered generator that they didn’t even tell me about and were using it to power THEIR unit and not mine!! The nerve!

12:30 am – Roscoe and Angela decide to “crack some cold ones” and have a gay ol’ time out on the front porch chatting about God knows what.

1:00 am – Roscoe and Angela are listening to some music now

2:30 am – I decide to give writing a go. Found my journal, and the idea to come up with a “survival list” during power outages came to me. So, I sat by candlelight and penned this list… I hope you enjoy it, find some use out of it, and that someday you too will have a similar life-altering experience.

Tips, Tricks, and Things: What I learned during an Electricity Crisis

[because this was a crisis]

  1. Battery operated everything. I wish I had a fan right now. Cory has a fan, battery operated. I should have asked to use it. There is a battery operated lantern in my car right now. I don’t need it, I have candles.
    1. Buy a flashlight or two
      1. Don’t lose either of them
    2. Have extra batteries
  2. Candlelight is my friend
    1. I should take more selfies by candlelight – it is incredibly flattering lighting and I feel really good about my life choices right now
    2. While burning the hibiscus, orange blossom, Tahitian sunset and bergamont scents intoxicate the senses… unscented is the way to go for emergency situations. Burning together is basically an unholy nightmare, second only to a day in Bath & Bodyworks.
      1. Buy one or two packs of unscented tea lights and some pillars
    3. Its fucking hot
    4. Thank God for gas water heaters. I only wish I had a tub. Don’t get me wrong, showering by candlelight was awesome but like, a tub would have been an escape from reality. People often take candlelit baths to relax and enjoy themselves… my candlelit shower felt more like… squatter chic than anything.
    5. I need a big ass cooler – buy a big ass cooler
    6. Don’t sweat the small stuff
      1. Sure, I will have to throw away hundreds of dollars  worth of food that I JUST bought but at least I didn’t get any hail damage to my car! Did I really need all that ice cream anyway? I bought milk & cookies on accident thinking I picked up two pints of Ben & Jerrys Half Baked. Bummer.
    7. Elton is happiest around 60 – 70 Fahrenheit
    8. I too, am happiest around 60 – 70 Fahrenheit
    9. Back up chargers are GOLD
    10. Keep a spray bottle of full of water* at your bedside table for: a) Misting yourself as you lay sleepless and sweating in the stagnant dead of nighTo drink from when your Poweraid [purple] is in the other room and you’re too tired to go get it but too awake to just fall asleep
      1. Turn on “jet” mode and spray your cat when he decides to wander around meowing about dumb stuff that NO ONE cares about

*In this order: smartwater, Aquafina, Dasani – just don’t use sparkling water!

  1. Take more selfies by candlelight – you can never have too many flattering photos of yourself!!
  2. Make sure you have medical [vet] documents handy so when you need to call 4 boarding facilities at 7:00am you are set to answer all their vaccination questions.
    1. Also – make sure your pets are vaccinated
  3. Don’t hide chocolate all over your apartment as “surprises for your future self” because they will fucking melt at 80 degrees FOR SURE & you will have to clean it up
  4. Own some light-airy sheets
  5. Make sure that said sheets are clean for a cozy/hot as fuck but still clean & airy sleeping extravaganza!
  6. Turn the power outage into a true test of friendship & see who is willing to come to your aid … thank you, friends!
  7. Don’t have a big sweaty piece of shit boyfriend who is a mouth breather/snorer & hogs the bed – this is very important if you are a light sleeper like me – no amount of melatonin or ear plugs will save you from the horror of an obnoxious asshole who says you aren’t a normal person because you sleep with a fan and refuses to let you use one in his presence… SLEEP AT YOUR OWN FUCKING PLACE, ever think of that?!?! You fucking pig… [is what I could have said if I were still dating said turd]
  8. Use this time to reflect on past relationships & work through your anger * resentments with nothing but the sound of your Pentel Arts Sign Pen gliding effortlessly over your paper – or the clickly clack of your laptop if you’re smart and keep the bad-boy charged
    1. Its important to reflect on life – figure out where you went wrong, make a mental note of it, put it in your back pocket and MOVE THE FUCK ON!
  9. Pick out your outfit for the next day… for real. You want to do this. Doing this saves time in the morning, and you will know already that you will SLAY the day. Just do it, it’s a general “best practice” and I typically always do it anyway. Mainly because I am lazy and dislike thinking and doing in the morning. Waking up at the butt crack of dawn, while its still dark out butt crack, you will NOT want to be rummaging through closets and drawers for socks with a cellphone flashlight.
  10. Just don’t wear socks if at all possible – unless of course it is necessary.
  11. Be happy – be comfortable in your own skin.
  12. Try not to judge your neighbors for being *so fucking loud* all the time
  13. Appreciate the times you did have electricity & reflect fondly on those memories.

FIN

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Woah!

Holy Moses it’s 2014, and you know what that means…?! It means I will be writing “2013” on everything for another 4 months because I always forget year changes like that. It’s my gift!

Had a swell NYE – awkward, stressful, silly, KISSY <3, dancy, smoky, flannely, and funny! Kissed my boo at midnight (and all throughout the night) and had a funky after party.

Snuggled in bed with the boyfriend, the cat & the dog. So comfortable.

Now I'm waiting for the gang to wake up because I want BRUNCH!!! Need. Needs me somes brunches!!

My New Years resolution:

Take dog on more walks

xoxoxo

Contemplations..

The internet… the world wide web… the one place you can be completely anonymous [unless someone tracks you down via ip address and what-not] and do/see/say whatever it is that your twisted little heart may desire.

Elton is doing this thing where he doesn’t realize that I am not trying to cuddle with him. I think he is so cute and I giggle as I write this but I really do want to pick him up and play “launch kitty” where he soars onto the floor from the bed… after I toss him. He is adorable and I love him yet I am terribly allergic, so if I don’t pay attention to where he is going [like near my face] I tend to end up with hives. Not breathing really isn’t fun. Him walking on my laptop isn’t fun either.

I tend to overreact. I don’t know if I have ever mentioned that before. I guess I am very sensitive, delicate and temperamental. It has always been a joke that if I were a dog I would be a poodle. Ill take that. Poodles are alright. They do stuff in the circus which has kind of been a dream of mine for a long while now.

 look at how classy and sassy that poodle is! Definitely diggin’ it!

I’d be a poodle. If Reed were a dog he’d be a lab for sure. Elton would be a German Shepard. I think Rocky would be something like… himself since he is a dog but if he were a CAT Rocky would have to be something liiiike a Savannah cat… big, wild, jump, loyal and loud!

So I totally overate tonight. It was epic and disgusting. I do it every so often. More often that I would care to admit actually but I am admitting it. I ate about 3-4 servings of waffle fries [exact quantity unknown] with MAYO and hot sauce… goodness I KNOW, I KNOW! DONT’ JUDGE ME! But you can judge me… I feel sick to my stomach just thinking about it. Anyways.. of course as soon as I finish stuffing my face we decided to go on a walk…?

Why did I go? Why did I do it? Between the horrible lung capacity from smoking [slowly cutting back, on my way to QUITTING] the obnoxiously full belly and the sore ass body from sleeping like a log I can honestly say that tonight I experienced the worst walk of my life. So far because I am sure I will have worse in the future, but this was the worst so far. Oh God, I was dry heaving and begging for mercy, begging for Reed to slow down, begging to sit on stoops belonging to strangers in our neighborhood, begging Reed to leave me, return home to grab the car and come get me… HA! How pathetic! It was a good 45 minute BRISK walk so I shouldn’t have been so close to death like I was. I blame it mostly on the fact that I gorged myself before moving. What a dumb idea. Why didn’t we wait? It’s not like we were on a time limit, or had a curfew or anything. Just in a rush to live!

So now I am in bed. With my sleepy time tea, loaded up on Melatonin, waiting for the computer to die so I can slink down further into bed and dream that I am laying on a beautiful white sandy beach near the ocean. With my  first deep breath in I will imagine the tide rolling up to my toes, with each breath out the tide will roll back out, with the next breath in the tide will roll further up my legs, then back out, further up my body and so on\, ebb and flow of the tide onto myself until I have fallen asleep or the tide has come so far up that the ocean has consumed me and I turn into a mermaid which is usually a sign that I am sleeping.

BYE

Sleepy Time

I am all about rituals. From burning card-stock with the names of past lovers dripped in wax to “rid myself of their negative energy”, filling silk pouches with my cats hair & whiskers then burying them in the back yard with flowers to “keep him safe”, to the way I get ready for bed every night. 

I am very ritualistic. I have yet to sacrifice a goat/lamb/my first born, however I never say never. Something my mother taught me about not making a promise I couldn’t keep… well that is another story altogether. 

ANYWAYS. My bed time ritual. Nothing crazy, just a gal stuck in her ways.

I am a PM shower kinda gal. I loooove nothing more than a hot shower to loosen my muscles before bed. It’s my time to stand in the steam and just let all my worry swoooosh down the drain. Sure, I wake up with some pretty radical bed-head hair but other than that it’s worth it. I end my sessions with slathering coconut oil face to toe. NOW – coconut oil isn’t for everyone and it took me a really long time to find the brand that worked for me but it is now my ultimate HOLY GRAIL of beauty products. It makes my skin so soft and supple. Not to mention it heals the evil psoriasis I have. GAG. 

WELL THE WHOLE POINT of this blog: Sleepy Time Tea: Extra + Melatonin = my newest bed time ritual. After hopping out of the shower I turn on a pot of water and make myself a mug of tea. I pop a melatonin and grab my mug and crawl into bed with whatever dirty romance novel I happen to be reading and sip sip sup on some delicious herbal goodness. After about a half hour my usually insomniac ass is heavy-lidded and melting into bed. How glorious! Where has this been all my life?! 

I have known of Sleepy Time tea only from Mandi [the bfffl] and all I knew up until a month ago was that it apparently made her puke. So, naturally, I stayed as far away from it as possible. About 3.5 weeks ago I saw it on sale at my local supermarket and it was being sold with an adorable little tin box thing. I cant turn away from adorable or little for that matter! So I BOUGHT IT. AND I LOVE IT! The melatonin was only introduced to me about a week ago by Reed [the lover] who had been using it to help him sleep since his accident. WELLZZZZzzzzzzz I am in sleep heaven. The only side affect I have experienced so far is simply more vivid dreams. 

I am a dreamer so I don’t give much of a care. Actually I enjoy it. My dreams are vivid enough on my own but adding the combination of the tea & melatonin has me waking up with a “what the fuck” attitude and brilliant new entries to my dream dictionary. Why, just the other day Reed woke me up right as I was dreaming about a litter of puppies. In my dream I had decided to foster litters of puppies [I know – a dream is a wish your heart makes] and so I had this litter of pups in a house I have never seen before but in the dream knew was mine. Blah blah blah cuteness ensues etc. etc. and then, right before waking up, one of the little guys scrunches up and starts to poo! Ha! I remember thinking it was cute in my dream? I don’t know, I just remember the thing looking at me and almost smiling and having the warm feeling of smiling back. Then, I woke up.

This blog makes no sense. 

Did I mention that I completed my sleepy time ritual about an hour ago? I have that heavy-lidded thing going on right now. There is something entirely captivating about the sound of a keyboards “click click click click” under my nails at 10pm. I don’t want to stop! It makes me wish that I had something as equally captivating to write about! LIke LOVE! WAR! JUICE! DRESSERS ON SALE FR 50% OFF RETAIL PRICE AT UNIQUE THRIFT STORES! MY FRIEND CORY NEVER WANTING TO HANG OUT! MY LOVE/HATE RELATIONSHIP WITH MY CURRENT JOB! MY DESIRE TO CREATE. MY DEEP HATRED FOR BUTTERFLY’S…

Goodnight, never land. 

Blue Collar

Today I celebrate a personal/professional milestone. As of today I have received 2,390 customer reviews on our Listen 360 survey program. I am currently at a 70% satisfaction rate. That is the most in our entire franchise! Now, I know 70% doesn’t sound too fabulous but let me explain: the survey rates the booking CSR as well as the cleaning technician, so my percentage is shared with whoever actually did the work. I am very proud of myself!

Image

I LOVE COFFEE! I recently moved my Mr. Coffee coffee maker into my work “pen” so that I can drink it 24/7. Let me just say “EFFF YEA!” It’s probably the greatest thing I’ve done in my 3 years here at ZEROREZ. A few people have complained about this move but I really do not care. I still share my coffee, it’s just closer to me now! YAY! Now I can live out my fantasy of being a barista. In the past I applied for 3 different barista jobs, two corporate coffee shops and one local, and was turned down at each for being “over-qualified”…. AS IF!!! I have absolutely no experience whatsoever. I was in this phase where I thought that I really wanted a part-time job to supplement my shopping habits. So to me I figured the best place to hold a PT job would be a coffee shop since I love customer service and delicious, sensual and aromatic coffee. Well, that phase did not last too long. I am now looking to supplement my shopping habits by becoming employed as a Tattoo Shop manager. That would be fun too! Interesting and fun. Busy busy busy.

Can I just say that I am somewhat upset that we’ve been having a couple almost too warm days here in Minneapolis? Not that I hate summer with a wild passion and wish to live in a frozen tundra, I am just a fall person. I enjoy the summer and the warmer temperatures when I have free time to sit at a beach or in the shade… or in my living room with nothing but my underwear on and an ice pack on my neck. I tend to over-heat. A lot. I am also a sweaty gal. Very sweaty. Warm temperatures and I just do not mix very well. It is very hard for me to dress comfortably in the summer as well. I love the fall. I love not having to worry about melting at my work-station or while out and about at the dog park or grocery store. I love being able to drink hot tea out on my patio while watching Elton pounce around the yard. I guess I am just saying I am ready for the leaves to change and for a nice bonfire. That is all I want right now. I do not feel that its too much to ask.

Thank you.

Fin.

On Going Back

I am not the kind of person to hold on to regrets. Anger, resentments, grudges, any slight grievance… those things I will generally bottle up and hold on to longer than the average person.

At this time I do wish I could go back. I’d say it was just over three hours ago, so I’d like to go back 3 hours and 15 seconds in time. I would tell past Maria, “no, put that down, you don’t really want it” and I would save myself from my current troubles.

About four cups of “Handful of Everything” trail mix [thanks Target] I am ready to explode. I would say I ate about three cups more than any single person should in a sitting. But I did. And while I’m not necessarily proud of it, I am somewhat shocked that I actually managed to eat that much trail mix. So now I sit, hunched over in agony while what feels like a fifty pound boulder is slowly tearing a path from my intestines to my freaking chute.

I am somewhat uncomfortable, to say the least.

My kitty Elton is laying at the end of the bed pawing playfully at the dog. Rocky [dog] is circling the bed almost like a vulture would looking for the quickest way onto the bed without be caught by the sharp claws of Mr. Snuggle Bum. Rocky is at the door now pretending to sniff the ground while obviously staring at Elton. Elton is just staring back. A DUEL! It is pretty safe to say that Elton is King of the Bed at this point. They get along just fine, this is just play time for the boys. Naturally Elton is hyphy – it’s 11:30! His nocturnal instincts are telling him to go wild and to attack the dog, but his insatiable desire to cuddle has won him over and now he is reduced to nothing more than a cuddle bear.

So, this is my life right now.

Today I spent another glorious day in paradise at work and put myself to the task of finding my favorite coffee mug. I do this thing where I compulsively purchase coffee mugs and bring them with me, well, everywhere. So, I have mugs for coffee or tea wherever I may end up. I brought one of my most prized Monopoly themed mugs to work and haven’t seen it for a good 2 weeks now. SUSPICION! I have had mug thievery at work in the past and typically get over it real quick by replacing any missing mug with one of the 30 I have floating around central MN. Well this one is different! It is super cute with a pair of dice on the inner ring with “LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL” printed there as well. Uhm… FUN! Love that mug. Definitely brings a smile to my face in the am when I’m all droopy eyed and practically hung over from my crazy nights watching NEXGEN and drinking Sleepy Time tea. ANYWAYS – my secret mission while allllll the managers are out of the office for the next two days is to stalk the entire premises, leaving no desk completely ransacked and upturned until I find my precious.