bunt sign

Saturday, August 2, 2003

It's easy to say, on Thursday or Friday, that I'll work all weekend to catch up. Then comes Saturday, and it's not so easy after all. I did enough work today to make up for what I didn't feel like doing yesterday, and I think I'm ready for the auditor, but there's always so much left to do that I never feel I've done enough.

The paperwork for the audit is ready. The house isn't really ready for visitors. Every time I know a stranger will be coming in, I start noticing the dust and clutter and cobwebs again. The rest of the time I just live with it, and it's okay. When I see it the way someone else might, it isn't pretty.

I'll worry about cleaning tomorrow, or some other day. Today was just too disjointed. The power was out all morning, and the gardener came with all his noisy equipment late in the afternoon. When I think about how little time there was in between, I should be happy with how much I accomplished.

"All morning" might be stretching it a little. I slept most of the morning away anyway, and I didn't even call the utility company until just before noon. The recorded announcement told me that they were aware of my outage (but not necessarily my outrage), that it was caused by a downed power line, that a crew was on the scene assessing the damage, and that they couldn't tell me when power would be restored.

Two minutes later, the electricity came back on. I really can't blame PG&E for any work I could have done while the power was out, because I very likely wouldn't have done any. But I felt a little too isolated, up a creek without an inner tube, disconnected from everyone (even though I rarely connect with anyone on Saturday mornings anyway).

I also couldn't make coffee, couldn't watch the ballgame, and couldn't catch up on email. All that had to be done after the lights came on, so it did cut into my work time after all.

Another problem I have when there's no electricity is that the well pump runs on it, and I don't have running water. I can't shave or shower or brush my teeth, and the toilet is only good for one or two flushes before it stops working. This happens often enough that I'm familiar with the sacrifices I have to make, but just because I live in the country doesn't mean I want to live like the pioneers.

So after the power came on and I'd had my shower and made some coffee and turned on the Giants game (eck!), I got down to the last few spreadsheets I wanted to tweak for the auditor. If there's anything she needs that I haven't already printed and collated and bound in a three-ring notebook, I can't imagine what it would be. I need another day to clean the house before she shows up, though.

Then at 4:15 this afternoon, after I'd completely given up on him, I heard the gardener drive up in his truck. He and a helper started mowing and whacking at the weeds all around the house, and I closed the doors and windows, not to keep the noise out as much as to keep my allergies from flaring up. They were wearing dust masks and surrounded by clouds of dry, finely-chopped flying compost, so I know I did the right thing.

Besides, let's face it. I'm just not used to having people around my house, close enough to see in or hear what music I'm playing or know what I'm thinking. It doesn't really matter if it's the gardener, the pope, Oprah or Dr. Phil. What if I suddenly took a notion to start dancing around the room? Couldn't do it.

I feel invaded when people I don't really know get too close. Shutting myself inside is a coping mechanism. At least they were finished by 6:45 and I still had some of the evening left to let the air flow through the house. And the yard looks much better.

2 August 2003

Sunset (almost).

One other thing I can't do without electricity is open the garage door. Oh, I could, I suppose, but it's such a chore that I usually don't. I just wait until the door opener will do it for me. So even though I could have used my car to get away, I felt trapped. Even though I could have gone through the side door, I didn't think I could take the garbage out. And suddenly, for no good reason, I had the urge to do just that. Did I do it after the power came back on? No, by the oddest of coincidences the urge went away at exactly the same time.

previousbunt signemailnext


Some of my favorite movies have been Spike Lee joints, from the jagged intensity of Do the Right Thing to the unsentimental nostalgia of Crooklyn. Now I can add 25th Hour to that list. It's visually interesting, compelling, quirky, episodic without rambling. The major characters are interesting people with a lot going on beneath the surface, and the dialog ranges from gritty to poetic. It's everything an epic picture should be, with an absolutely riveting ending that ends (for once) on exactly the right beat.

Recent recommendations can always be found on the links page.

One year ago: Haunted
"The movie had some nice moments, and an eerily romantic feel to it, and some spectacular scenery. Maybe that should be enough, but to me it all added up to a lightweight flick without much substance or any compelling reason to watch."

Subscribe to the notify list to be advised when this site is updated.