"Do I contradict myself? Very well, I contradict myself. I am vast. I contain multitudes." -Walt Whitman

:malicious user:

Friday, August 15, 2003

the power has been out for five and a half hours now. this is the largest blackout in new york in 25 years. according to mayor bloomberg via the transistor radio, power is coming back on, and should be restored by morning. it's been a very understated affair. the nine mile drive home from work (the work day ended abruptly with a kind of phhhzzztttzzzing sound) took an hour and a half, but there was no horn blowing, no sense of aggression.

i cooked dinner on the kettle grill outside. that was interesting. i had plain charcoal and no lighter fluid. i first borrowed some quick lighting charcoal from a neighbor, who was already dining on grilled chicken; when that proved fruitless, i drove down to the bodega for lighter fluid. i believe this stuff was older than dirt; it certainly had all the combustible characteristics of soil. eventually i sacrified my right thumb to the god of first degree burns, and was rewarded with a tray of grey ash suitable for cooking five burgers.

mouse had slowly been going through civilization withdrawal, with no tv and gasp no computer. she has deteriorated since the last daylong outage in virginia (thanks to hurrican bonnie), when she read an entire book by candlelight. this time she didn't fare so well. eating by candlelight in a very hot livingroom, she degenerated into giggles as the entire contents of the ketchup bottle leapt over her burger onto her plate. after a brief period of rocking back and forth with her arms wrapped around her knees, she managed to choke down dinner.

the lack of power has had the benefit of removing virtually all of the light pollution from the burbs. i spent a while outside enjoying the rare sight of stars and planets - finally, i get to see mars - it's been overcast all month. then a bat chased me inside.

i read mouse and j a tale from an ambrose bierce anthology, which would have been creepier had the ice cream truck not gone jingling by in the middle of storytime. according to the radio, 15 percent of long island has had power restored, and the rest should be done by morning.

i feel bad for d, who was supposed to meet a ladyfriend flying in from texas for the weekend. i have no idea if the flight was cancelled or not. they've been talking by phone, and this was to be the first time they'd met in person. guess i'll find out tomorrow.
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i used to be disgusted. now i try to be amused.
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