My backpack's got jets

Our power is on. That SOOOOOO TOTALLY RAWKS.

You know in the movie MICHAEL CLAYTON how there is this recurring quote used by a couple of characters -- "I am Shiva, God of Death"?

Nope. Wrong:

Lord Shiva : Shiva is the third deity of the Hindu triad of great gods, the others being Brahma and Vishnu. Shiva is often referred to as the Destroyer, but it might be better to think of him as the God of Transformation, since he is often associated with creation that comes out of destruction.

But Shiva has different aspects that appear at different times. He is often depicted as the destroyer, and will appear as a naked ascetic accompanied by demons, encircled with serpents and necklaces of skulls. Sometimes Shiva wanders into crematoriums, smears his body with ash and dances in the light of the funeral pyres, reminding all about the transitory nature of material things.

Sometimes the creative force of Shiva is depicted, and in particular Shiva is represented by a phallus, known as the linga. Other times Shiva is seen as the god of meditation and asceticism. He will be depicted sitting cross-legged with his eyes half-closed.

Another common form is that of Shiva Nataraja. This is Shiva engaged in a cosmic dance. It is believed that the energy from this dance sustains the cosmos, and when Shiva is finished with this dance, this universe will end and a new one will begin.

Then who the fuck IS the God of Death, you wonder? The Hindu pantheon sports no less than two -- Yama-Dharma and Kali. Or so I understand, from reading Zelazney's LORD OF LIGHT about seventy kabillion times.

A point? I have no point. I rarely have a point. It's part of my charm.

I do, however, want to congratulate myself on my own impeccable taste in music. You know that playlist in the right column of my blog? Well, I have that one, and I have another one you can experience by clicking here, and I have to say this -- when I go out to other people's blogs and they have their own playlists, this is how it always seems to end up -- some of their stuff is good, yes, it is. But some of it, sometimes, much of it, just sucks.

I mean, it's sad, how bad some of the stuff on other people's playlists just sucks.

But on my playlists, EVERY SINGLE SONG IS AWESOME.

This can only mean one thing -- other people have unreliable, and, even, occasionally, appalling and dreadful, taste in music.

But MINE is perfect.

You know it's true. You don't WANT to accept it. You're marshalling arguments even as I type this... well, no, you won't read it until later, so, you're marshalling arguments even as you read this. But deep down inside, you understand on some level you will always deny that this is the irrefutable truth.

But we both know, and I know we both know.

And so do you.

Anyway. Last week, we had no power from early Sunday afternoon on. And it blew. I mean, big moist chunks. But every day I'd think "today the power comes back on". Of course, after the Mayor called a press conference with the governor and all the local honchos from our utility company and said it might be 10 to 14 days before our power came back on, I felt much as if I'd been kicked repeatedly in the nuts by Martin Gramatica wearing giant steel toed clown shoes, but, still, I disregarded that shit and pressed the fuck on. Every day, I hoped the power might come back on. Monday. Tuesday. Wednesday. Thursday. Every day. Because you live in hope, or you sink into a torpor of near suicidal despair, or you fly into a homicidal rage and plot the murderous home invasions of the jackasses in the houses on either side of you who have generators. Or you take turns doing all three. But anyway, every day, I thought to myself, at least at some point, "Today the power will come back on."

And it didn't, and let me tell you, by Friday I was seriously wondering (a) how could I get a loaded shotgun and (b) would I be able to get my whole head in front of the barrel. Well, no, I wasn't, because I have SuperWife and the SuperKids and even in the depths of No Electricity Despair Land, I had way too much to live for. But that 10 to 14 day thing had started to seem very real to me, so, Friday, I did not once think to myself "maybe we'll get the power back today". No, by Friday, I had come to accept that our neighborhood would be the last neighborhood in the city and our street would be the last street in our neighborhood and our house would be the last house on our street to get its power back, and it would take years, and cost millions of lives, and I might as well hunker down and get used to it.

Or, at least, I couldn't feasibly expect power back before, like, Monday, at the earliest, which sucked, because SuperWife's birthday was Sunday. But I embraced the notion of taking her out to dinner with the kids and coming home to yet another night in a dark, cold, quiet house. I hated it, but, you know, it was the way things were.

Now, we had done certain arcane rituals throughout the week meant to propitiate the gods of darkness and get our power turned back on. On Wednesday, when we heard that the SuperKids' Bio-Dad had regained power over at his house, we called him up and asked if the kids could come over there, and he said sure, so we packed them all off. We figured if we sent the kids away, then our power would come back on, because then we'd have to enter into complicated negotiations with the Bio-Dad as to when we'd get them back, as they were supposed to go over to his house on Saturday for a week, and, y'know, we figured he'd figure he might as well keep them.

Yet in spite of our sacrifice, our power stayed resolutely off.

Thursday, unable to put it off any longer, I cleaned out both our upstairs and downstairs refrigerators and freezers. It was a horrifying, horrifying job about which I will say as little as I possibly can, other than, I do not know what it is modern science finds difficult about creating artificial life in a laboratory setting, as we ourselves in this household created several strange mutations simply by leaving food in tupperware in the back of the fridge for several months. And a few of them nearly got me.

But, eventually, they were all out in the trash and then I had only to take each fridge down to its component pieces and scrub them until one could do open heart surgery with and/or on any of them, after which I reassembled them, after which I was done.

I was morally certain that once I had cleaned out each fridge, thrown away all the contents, scrubbed each separate part to a blinding shine, and put everything back together again, that THEN the power would come back on.

But it did not.

So then, Friday morning, SuperWife and I couldn't put it off any longer. We got up early and rolled out to a local laundromat with a huge bucket of dirty laundry. We went at the crack o' dawn hoping to beat the line of 300,000 other people who didn't have power, and in fact, we did, mostly -- there were only five people ahead of us in line. Eight more showed up to get in line behind us in the fifteen minutes between when we got there and 8 am, when the laundromat opened.

So we did our laundry, and rolled it home, and put it away, and still the power did not come back on, and, as I said above, by this time, I was not expecting it to come back on any time soon. I figured it would at least be out all weekend.

So, Friday, after doing laundry, SuperWife and I went out to see a movie and the theater we went to was closed because there wasn't any power in that area of River City and we would have known that if we could have checked on the Internet but we didn't have power so we couldn't. And then a little SERVICE ENGINE SOON light on the dashboard came on and that was crappy, so we spent the afternoon at a Pep Boys, where they said it was a transmission thing, and then at an AAMCO, where they said it probably wasn't much of anything to worry about, and they 'cleared the fault' out of the onboard computer system so the light would go out, and said to drive the vehicle over the weekend and if the light came back on, to bring it back on Monday. SuperWife was morally certain they were only doing that because it was 3:30 on Friday by the time we got there and they didn't want to fuck with it, and she was probably right, but that has nothing to do with the story of our Friday.

So we decided that we'd go down to ROLE OF THE DIE, a new gaming shop that has opened up about a mile from our house, and play Magic or something, because it beat sitting around in a house with no power thinking dark, bloody thoughts about the neighbors with generators. We like ROLE OF THE DIE because we were the very first customers who ever walked into the place, and the owner is always happy to see us, and he'll talk to us and play Magic with us, as opposed to the owner/proprietors of places like THE GREAT ESCAPE or BOOK AND MUSIC EXCHANGE or COMIC BOOK WORLD, the other geek shops we occasionally patronize.

In those shops, we're lucky to get a 'hi, how you doin' from anyone when we go in; their attitude clearly is, they are businessmen, we are customers, we are there to provide them with cash and they are there to take it from us and there will be no fucking socialization under any circumstances while that necessary business is taking place, buddy. (I will say that this kind of snootiness is typical of many geek shops, but it does vary in intensity from one to another. The older guy who owns COMIC BOOK WORLD is always friendly when we go in, but he pretty much sticks to business, as do the folks at BOOK AND MUSIC EXCHANGE. The people who own and/or administrate GREAT ESCAPE, on the other hand -- well, if I walked into their store, stuck a gun in my mouth, and blew most of the back of my head off, their only concern would be how much damage any back splatter might do to the resale value of their merchandise. They have a large staff of 20 something geeks who are always busily engaged ignoring the customers while talking to each other about whatever trendy RPG it is they're playing in now online, or SMALLVILLE or BATTLESTAR: GALACTICA or whatever, and if you try to edge into a conversation with any of them by making any sort of comment as regards any of these subjects, or any related subject, they will either (a) continue to talk to each other as if you did not actually exist, which, presumably, to them, you do not until you walk up to a cash register waving currency or a bank card in your hand, or, (b), they will stop talking, stare at you as if you are a particularly odiferous, fetid, and thoroughly repellent but otherwise entirely unintriguing specimen of cheese mold they just found growing on a slice of pizza they were planning to eat, say "May I help you" in tones drenched with the utmost contempt imaginable, and then, when you mutter something indistinct and slink back into some shadowy corner, continue to talk to each other as if you did not actually exist.)

So, y'know, we like ROLE OF THE DIE, where the owner actually talks to us as if we are people and fellow geeks before, while, and after taking money from us, although, I admit, I do occasionally indulge in fantasies where I am hired by Marvel or DC to write AVENGERS or JLA or IRON MAN or DETECTIVE COMICS or something like that, and the staff of THE GREAT ESCAPE becomes aware of my new stature, and how they would then react should I venture into their store again... but I admit, such things are (a) beneath me and (b) never going to fucking happen, so, never mind.

So we decided we'd see if Nate wanted to go to ROTD with us. We parked on the street in front of his apartment building and walked in and we were going up his stairs and I said to myself, "Self, this building feels far too cool for a building without air conditioning in September in River City." And my self responded "It's not that hot out right now and don't get your hopes up because there is no hope there is only despair and when are we going to kill the assholes with the generators?" So I wisely allowed my Self to lapse back into its preferred apathetic coma and then we knocked on Nate's door and there was no answer but I noticed a light switch on the wall and a bare bulb screwed into a fixture on the ceiling. So I reached for the switch and SuperWife said to me, she said, "Don't flip that switch it could go to some light in someone's apartment!" And I said, "No, it goes to that light right there," and I flipped it, and THE LIGHT CAME ON.

For me, this was a transformative experience, and I danced a little jig, and SuperWife gave me a 'wtf' look, not realizing for that crucial instant what it all meant, so I pointed to the glowing light bulb and said "Look! Look!" And then she said "Oh my god THE POWER IS ON!!!!!" and we danced and we danced and we danced.

There on Nate's landing.

Then we rushed back to our house and THE POWER WAS ON!!!!! And we screamed and shrieked and ran around hysterically turning on lights and going "HUZZAH!" and turning them off again and opening the refrigerator and going "HUZZAH!" and shutting it again and turning on the TV and going "HUZZAH!" and turning it off again and powering up the computer and going "HUZZAH!" and, you know, not shutting it off again, and like that.

And then we went to ROLE OF THE DIE and told them our power was on and later we went to Mark's Feed Store and got barbecue and told everyone there that our power was on. Which was probably aggravating to the people at the table next to ours whose power hadn't come back on yet, and I feel bad for them, I do, as well as the 3,000 households still in River City that don't have power. But OUR power was on and I had to huzzah. I HAD to.

And on Sunday, I actually got to watch the Bucs play, because they were playing against Chicago and around here sometimes they televise Chicago games. And the Bucs even won, although, as they were inconsiderate enough to go into overtime and we had to get the kids and go out to dinner at Tumbleweed's to celebrate SuperWife's birthday, I did not get to watch their actual moment of victory. But it doesn't matter; if I'd been watching, then Chicago would have won.

And, you know, that is all.

For now.

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