Posted by: GeekHiker | May 10, 2007

You’d think a day off…

…would be a good thing.  Especially one that is, essentially, forced on you.

But you’d be wrong.

At about 3:00 last night, I was woken up by… something.  I don’t know what.  Maybe a noise, I really don’t remember.  What I do know is that I opened my eyes to see two bright flashes, like lightening, outside my window.

And I knew immediately that the power was out.  All the little things that make noise in a house, like the refrigerator, the things that make up that background noise we all instinctively tune out, disappeared, replaced by silence.

“Eh,” I sleepily figured, “maybe they’ll have it back up by morning.”  So, I set the alarm on my watch as a backup, rolled over, and went back to sleep.

By morning, of course, nothing was fixed.

My neighbor walked down the block to where the men were working and chatted them up.  Evidently, the whole top of the pole had, well, broken off somehow.  Taking out the transformer and all of the lines under it.  It would, of course, take the whole day to fix.  He then hopped in a cab to go to work, which is only a few blocks away.

Unfortunately, the garage behind my place has no entrance.  There’s no way to open the garage door from the outside without electricity as my landlord never installed the remote door release.

In short, my car was stuck in the garage.  No one at work lives near me.  A taxi would cost $50 each way.  And public transportation… you did remember I live in LA, right?

So I was stuck at home for the day.

You’d think this would be a good thing, to be “forced” to take a day off of work.  But without any real plans for the day, and no electricity to play on the computer or bomb out on a movie, I was kind of stuck.

Plus, I didn’t want to open the refrigerator door, since (of course) I’d just been to the grocery store the previous weekend and didn’t want all those nice groceries to rot away.  So no cooking, either.

At least, I figured, I could go out in the backyard with a book, enjoy the sunshine, relax.  Nope, for the first time this week: overcast, windy and chilly.


So I spent most of the morning cleaning.  Mainly my desk, which was a bit wobbly from the mound of paperwork I’d been ignoring on it.  I’m not kidding, one more paperclip on top and it would have given way, quite possibly creating a large impact crater and killing everyone in the surrounding 10 blocks in the process.

In which case I’d never get my damn power back on.

In the afternoon, I walked the five blocks downtown to get lunch, and after an indecisive 10 minutes, decided to go a few more blocks to the sandwich shop.

Unfortunately, my route past the high school was blocked.  By a film crew.  They day was just getting better and better.

I have no idea what they were shooting, all I know is that there were dozens of high-schoolers lined up in front of the school… and the grim reaper standing in the middle of the street.


Now, even I know that a lowly pedestrian can’t stop the juggernaut that is a film shoot, but dammit, I wanted my sandwich.  It was starting to be an obsession.  So I started to walk the ten block detour around the shoot.

And promptly ran into a construction crew blocking the street.

By now, of course, the sandwich was beyond obsession, it was a matter of pride.  So, I detoured again, an additional four blocks, finally ending up at the sandwich shop after 40 minutes of extra walking.

At least I earned the sandwich.

I got my sandwich.  I sat at the park at the top of the hill eating it, with the wind cutting through me like a knife through butter.

Then, I went back home and did more cleaning.  And figured this is technology’s revenge for my last post about being a Luddite.

Sometime around 5:00, my power came back on.

I can’t believe I’m saying this: I’m actually looking forward to going back to work tomorrow.  I’m sure, of course, it will be sunny and beautiful, because that’s how life works.

But at least my desk is clean.


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