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As I returned home from opera practice yesterday, I noticed a few slips of paper stuck to my door. “Oh great, more spam from the real world”, I thought. I check my real world mailbox maybe once a month since I throw out about 98% of what’s in there. Apparantly, those pizza guys selling their 62 topping medium pizzas for only $9.99 figured this out and started paying little kids to put up flyers on my door knob. So in general, chances are good that a piece of paper attached to my door is something I don’t want to read.
Fortunately, it turned out that none of the three pieces of paper on my door is spam. Unfortunately, I wished they were. Two of them were 2nd and final attempt UPS delivery notices. Great! My electric piano has been scheduled for a nice journey back to Amazon! Would have been nice if UPS had informed me of their definition of 2nd attempt though. For some reason, I have this wild notion that 2nd attempts are generally preceded by 1st attempts.
The other piece of paper was Pacific Gas & Electric, kindly informing me that they have shut off my electricity. That and I owe them all of $120. Okay okay! If they really want their buck that badly, I’ll call them up and pay them. Ring ring, hmmmm, apparantly, credit cards cut into their profit margins too much, so that’s out.
Oh awesome! They take debit cards with a PLUS sign on the back! I got two of them right here, so that should work…
Oh wait, ones from Bank of America and Chase Manhattan aren’t acceptable. Of course! Can’t trust those tiny little banks.
Hmmm, I guess I’ll write them an echeck. Let’s see, check #679 sounds good… yeah! If I can just locate one of those in my pitch black room and read them my account number…
Wait a second, I haven’t used a check in like 5 years.
Oh oh, I know! I’ll use my laptop to go online and find it from online banking!! Huh, what? Oh … right, my cable modem doesn’t have power. I guess I’ll take care of it tomorrow.
While this may seem annoying to some people, it was (and still is) an extremely funny and sarcastic situation to me, which gave me a great laugh. Almost kind of wish stuff like this happened more often
To be honest, it was actually quite relaxing to sit around in the dark. There was a lot of stuff going on at work and opera and I hadn’t slept for about 36 hours. Yet, at that particular moment, I couldn’t think of anything that needed to be done. It felt extremely peaceful just to sit there, completely unstressed. It occured to me that with my $100k or so in the bank, I could sit there for a really really long time while my $868/month of rent gets paid automatically. I didn’t really have to do anything at all.
My other thought was whether I could live without electricity at home for a long period of time. While that sounds kind of ridiculous in the modern age, it really doesn’t seem that bad. There is a computer and internet connection at work, so any kind of computer related need is covered. It’s not like it matters whether I am writing an article from home or from work. Food wise, I order out all the time anyway, so I just need to not eat stuff that requires a microwave. That sounded horrible yesterday, but now that I think about it, it sure seems like a much healthier diet.
It actually doesn’t sound that hard or unhealthy to live without electricity at home. I can sleep when it’s dark and wake up when there is light. In the mornings, I’ll have some time to get some wake up exercise done before going to work. At night, I’ll have time to reflect on the day’s events and refocus myself. There are no clocks to tell me it’s time to do something, no instant messages with people who’d like to talk, and no list of stuff that I need to do. My home becomes a sanctuary where I can think about what I want in peace with no distractions. For the first time in years, I am going to sleep without the whirling of a computer fan/disk in the background.
Aside from the occassional important thing I need to look up online during the weekends, this doesn’t sound like a bad lifestyle at all. I think I might try keeping everything off during the weekdays when the power does come back on.
Of course, my bathroom has no windows, so peeing requires some precise aiming skills Taking a shower in complete darkness is an interesting experience too. Surprisingly, it makes almost no difference whether I can see anything during the entire shower process. Must be because we’ve done it so many times that it’s practically instinct by now.
Another interesting thing I noticed while showering is that it felt perfectly natural when I kept my eyes open, even though I couldn’t see anything. However, it felt really weird, like I was going to stumble, when I closed my eyes. That’s a mystery to be solved another day though!
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