11 January, 2011

When the Lights Go Out

Last night at about 7:30 we had one of our many power outages. As usual, it came with no warning whatsoever. One minute I'm chillin' out on the couch watching Hitch and the next I'm sitting in the dark. Normally I would take these things as they come. Normally, these don't happen at night; normally my husband is home. As you're about to find out, I didn't take this last one very well. I sat down last night and wrote up this little post for you. I really wanted to blog last night, but I obviously couldn't. So here's the gem I wrote last night. =) Oh, and stick around. There's more to this post. {I apologize in advance for the funky font size. It's not cooperating.}

As I write this, it is currently 2110 and my house is pitch black. Ok, ok, I lit a whole bunch of candles. For the most part, though, my house is dark. Why, you ask? 
Power outage.
One of the countless I’ve endured since moving to the Aloha state. Actually, I think the state of electricity has more to do with the area that I live in more than the state itself. The housing area that I live in apparently does a poor job at keeping up its power... Tonight’s outage has nothing to do with that. 
As I expressed my many frustrations on Facebook about an hour ago, an island friend of mine informed me that a power line is down and sparking down the street from my housing area. Awesomeness. I instantly translated this is as “It’s going to take years for my power to come back.” Sadly, this is probably a fairly accurate assessment. It’s been almost 2 hours. 
The night before Joe deployed, we had a power outage that lasted 5 or 6 hours. I can’t remember now. I do, however, remember being absolutely furious that we had to deal with a power outage the night before he left. I threw a big ‘ole fit which I completely regret now. It was stupid. I remember saying, “All I wanna do is cuddle up on the couch with my husband and watch TV and I can’t even do that!” Like it was that big of a deal to not be able to watch TV. *sigh* I calmed down later and we ended up having a fairly decent night. Right as we were getting ready to go to bed, the power kicked back on. 
Up until around...October, maybe, we’d had a power outage every. single. month. I’d been here. I wish I was kidding about this. The first one after Joe left lasted about 6 hours. It was during the day while I was volunteering at the museum, so I only ended up “roughing it” for 3 hours. That time, I called housing and the MP station. No one knew why the power outages happened. Great. I think the next one happened at night, but it only lasted 2 or 3 hours. I’m pretty sure I’ve blocked out the others.
My first night home after the holidays we had 3 power outages back to back. I went to bed early that night...maybe about 2230. (Yeah, that’s early for me.) Not ten minutes later, the power kicked off. I was almost asleep. Why did it wake me up? I sleep with a fan and the AC (window unit) on. If my fan kicks off for any reason, I’m instantly awake.  I waited about 10 minutes before getting irritated and it kicked back on. I thought all was well and I could be on my merry way to dreamland. Wrong. 15 minutes later, the same thing happened. Power came back on within 2 minutes this time. 30 minutes later the power went out again, but this time it stayed off longer. I retrieved my “noise maker” (spa sound thing) from my suitcase and turned it on. Then it annoyed me and I turned it off and proceeded to play a game on my phone. After about 30 minutes, the power came back on and stayed on. I was not happy though. 
After all of this, I’ve decided that people who move into my neighborhood should receive a warning and power outage package. Here’s what it would include:
Snacks (that don’t ruin)
A Flashlight (or two or three)
Oil/Kerosene lamps
Battery-operated fans (do they make those? if not, someone should invent them)
Those clap-on battery-operated lights everyone had in the ‘90s
Shoot, maybe they should just give us all generators. In fact, I may or may not be going to price one tomorrow. Joe and I actually talked about it once. Maybe after I informed him about one of our entirely too many power outages. After living here for 8 months and having endured just as many power outages (or more), I’m thinking the darn thing could pay for itself in no time. 
I know that this particular outage can’t be helped (unless one of the idiots who lives here rammed the pole, causing the power line to fall), but the rest of them? I just don’t understand why this keeps happening. I know it’s sad that I am so reliant on technology, but my husband is deployed. He either calls me on my cell phone - which needs to be charged - or we Skype, which requires me to have an internet signal...which requires electricity. 
I have never lived in a place that was so prone to power outages as this one. Never. Growing up in Oklahoma, I could probably count on one hand the times we lost power - including severe thunderstorms and ice/snow storms. That is saying something. I don’t ever remember losing power when we were in North Carolina. I won’t even count Georgia because we didn’t live there very long.

Here are some photos from what I like to call "Dark Sunday." =)

Candles in the Bathroom

Ah, the living room.

Obviously, with the flash on. 
Jasper's eyes are pretty creepy...

This is how I passed the time. =)
My Nook and Joe's Army issue flashlight.
Good times.


Around 2300 last night, I gave in and went to bed. Luckily, my handy dandy noise maker was nearby so I used that as a stand-in for my fan. I also drugged myself with Melatonin. =) Then at 0130, I heard a glorious sound. My fan! I also heard the microwave beep, but I wasn't excited about that too much. I turned on the AC, walked around the house to turn off any lights I'd left on and went back to bed. Sleep was heavenly. I sort of woke up around 0700, quickly checked my phone and silently thanked God that the power was still on and that I was able to sleep. I then proceeded to sleep for another hour and a half. =P What woke me up? My fan went off... Which means the power was out again. GRRRRR!

What a way to start the day! I had breakfast... I quickly opened the fridge, pulled out the milk and then put it in the freezer, hoping it would stay good. I sat down on the couch and at my breakfast as usual... Breakfast is so boring without the Today Show! ;-) Basically, I laid around and whined for a couple hours. I called my mom and griped. I texted a friend and griped... 

Right as I was going to call maintenance a lady who lives in my housing area posted on Facebook that she had called them questioning about the power. The answer she got? The power was out in our housing area, the next housing area AND the town closest to us. And, no, they had no idea when it would be fixed. GREAT! I decided that I was sick of sitting in the dark and that I would get ready, head to WalMart and buy some oil lamps. 

I was really going to attempt to take a shower by candlelight. Really. I was not about to go anywhere without a shower. No way. If you follow me on Twitter (and you should! ;-)), you might have seen my discussion with Miranda about the shower in the dark. =) She encouraged me to do it. There I was in the bathroom, lighting candles and hoping that I'd be able to sort of see something.... 

Beep, beep!

Ba, ding!

The power was back on!!! It was a miracle! Really. We may never know if I could have taken a shower in the dark. And I am ok with that. =)

 I did make that trip to WalMart, though. Who am I to trust the Hawaiian Electric Company again? I did NOT want to be sitting in the dark again! I bought the oil lamps and a couple other things while I was there.

(Ok, you got me. I already had the tea and Pringles. =P}
I am now prepared for an apocalypse. Or at least the next power outage.

I had to try them out!!

But then I disaster struck. =(

I broke one of the shades!!

Epic, epic fail. In reality, though, it was only a matter of time before this happened. I would have preferred it if it happened like a week or a month later, but... Oh well. Now I have the challenge of finding another shade thingy. *shakes head* Only I could pull off something like that. 

On the plus side, the rest of my day has been pretty good. I watched the game, I opened that bottle of wine and relaxed with my Jasper. =)

I hope you guys had a much better start to your week than I did!


The Mrs. said...

Oh goodness, I hope your week starts to look up! That would be so annoying, I have had to take a shower in the dark, it's not easy but definitely better than no shower :D

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Wow! I wonder why the power goes out so much there! I'd be getting highly annoyed at the fact that it goes out so often and for such long periods of time!

JG said...

Oh my goodness. I would be flipping. So incredibly ridiculous. I'm sorry you're having to deal with all of this on your own. It would still stink if Joe was there, but it's different alone.

And I can't lie, I laughed when you broke the lampshade thing. Not because I was enjoying your misfortune, but because it sounds like something that would happen to me. Perfect! JUST perfect!

Chantal said...

They DO make fans with batteries! We have one that I might give you. :P We've had it for years and have never opened it. It's a little table fan, but it's better than nothing.

Amanda said...

Poor girl, I have so been in your shoes! When we bought our first home out in the country no one told us they had frequent Power Outages when you have Wind/rain storms. Well we live in WA it rains ALL the TIME!!
Our first Power Outage lasted 24 hours, then the next week about 3 hours. thank goodness for flashlights!! The worst was Christmas of 2006- Huge snow & Ice storm knocked out Power for 5 days!! It was so cold we had to go to a friends house to sleep & have USAA cover our lost groceries!
We went and got a generator PRONTO & have been very happy ever since!! So I highly recommend buying them- they are great!! You will never be Powerless again!

Miranda said...

SO sorry you keep getting those stupid power outages! You're so clever with the oil lamps.. I can't help but think of the "Oregon Trail" or something like that when I see them though..LoL

Ya gotta laugh or you'll cry! ;-)

Elizabeth said...

I left you an award on my blog!! Hope everything is going alright. Sorry to hear about the power outage :( The candle light looks a little fun!

McDancer said...

Power outages make me so grumpus!
And just F.Y.I. they do in fact make battery powered fans. My husband needs one to sleep and when he was first in Afghanistan he didn't have a power source near his bed. Apparently the batteries die after like a night, but, better than nothing?

Wife on the Roller Coaster said...

Oh my goodness, I can't believe how your week started! And what's with all the power outages?! Well, at least you're prepared! (BTW, love the Nook with flashlight pic. That's totally what I would have been doing.)

Chelle said...

I can't stop giggling not at your misfortune but that we've had power go out the past 2 days and each time we've said we need to stock up but instead we put the kids down for a nap, and we all fall asleep on the couch to sleep it out. Unfortunately today the house dropped to 60 and then took forever to warm back up once the power came back on. I really need to get some oil lamps though, thanks for reminding me.