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.
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]
- 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.
- Buy a flashlight or two
- Don’t lose either of them
- Have extra batteries
- Buy a flashlight or two
- Candlelight is my friend
- I should take more selfies by candlelight – it is incredibly flattering lighting and I feel really good about my life choices right now
- 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.
- Buy one or two packs of unscented tea lights and some pillars
- Its fucking hot
- 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.
- I need a big ass cooler – buy a big ass cooler
- Don’t sweat the small stuff
- 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.
- Elton is happiest around 60 – 70 Fahrenheit
- I too, am happiest around 60 – 70 Fahrenheit
- Back up chargers are GOLD
- 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
- 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!
- Take more selfies by candlelight – you can never have too many flattering photos of yourself!!
- 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.
- Also – make sure your pets are vaccinated
- 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
- Own some light-airy sheets
- Make sure that said sheets are clean for a cozy/hot as fuck but still clean & airy sleeping extravaganza!
- Turn the power outage into a true test of friendship & see who is willing to come to your aid … thank you, friends!
- 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]
- 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
- 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!
- 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.
- Just don’t wear socks if at all possible – unless of course it is necessary.
- Be happy – be comfortable in your own skin.
- Try not to judge your neighbors for being *so fucking loud* all the time
- Appreciate the times you did have electricity & reflect fondly on those memories.