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my life is crazy surreal - Terrafactive Armageddon

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December 16th, 2006

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02:38 pm - my life is crazy surreal
After several days of camping in my living room with my 80 year old mother, the power is still out at my house. So faintheart came over and dragged us off to his apartment - except that the coffee shop across from his building, C&P Coffee is open. Their sign said free wifi, plus I haven't had a hot cup of coffee in three days, so I defected. (I'd brought along my laptop out of hoping I could at least play solitaire/bejeweled/Myst IV at Ted's place for awhile.) I'm mildly worried about Xiombarg, but we left her curled up under a blanket on my bed, with lots of food and water and cat-box access. Other than being confused about why we want to keep the doors closed and why her heating pad isn't heating, she is weathering this about the best of the three of us, I think.

Things seem insanely normal here at C&P, which only reinforces how strange and isolated I was starting to feel at home. No paper yesterday, no cell phone as my handset ran slowly down, no landline since we are on that three service deal from Comcast, no computer... also no vacuum cleaner, no vent fan, no hall light, no hot water, and no electric heat. Here the coffee is flowing, the laptops are humming, and my heavy wool sweater and hat (which I am not removing for the sake of my fellow patrons) seem bizarrely out of place in contrast with the Hawaiian tunes.

So when I say camping in my living room, I'm talking burning the deadfall from the storm that piled up in the backyard and cardboard boxes and back issues of Vogue for heat, before Ted was able to get us firewood. Thankfully we had a fireplace to burn it in. Also the 72-hour emergency kit got used, especially the transistor radio. KOMO 1000 AM has been most helpful in terms of announcements and taking calls from people "in the field" for their Listener to Listener/Driver to Driver coverage. That was a pretty cool piece of distributed engineering - people phoning in with questions or information (stores that look closed but are open on emergency power, for example) and the station sort of coordinating and collating.

I learned I better put in some food supplies in my jump kit that aren't MRE/HRF since something in them doesn't agree with my system, and losing essential liquid in an emergency situation is debilitating, messy, and counterproductive. I learned that while I'm fine at taking care of myself, adding another (elderly) person to the mix is a little more than my current capacity can handle. I'm doing a little better - ok, I'm doing a LOT better sitting here in the coffee shop, I was doing a little better after my freaked out phone call to faintheart this morning at 4 a.m. when he showed up with the car and the ability to get firewood.

I'm not quite sure what the next step is - the whimpering child in me wants to stay here and not think about anything. About 3pm yesterday afternoon I was thinking "Ok, done playing camp-out, time for the power to come back on ANY TIME NOW." cjot and uly stopped by and chatted for a bit around dusk, and I spoke with grouchychris and faintheart on the phone a couple of times during the day, but the isolation and feeling responsible for making sure my mom was okay was making me crazy, and at this point it still doesn't take much to destroy my equilibrium such that I don't think terribly clearly.

So that's what's going on right now, not sure how my future access will go.
Current Music: hawaiian music on local radio KBCS

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