the past couple of weeks have been reeeeediculous. the widget had midterms, so the household crap piled higher than usual... recyclables, calls to the vice principal, doctor appointment making, bad teacher commentary, dishes, dog hair, etcetera.
of course i know when someone asks, what have you been up to? the answer is generally, i am just waiting for a shoe to drop. one always does. i can't really fathom why, but my life is seriously ridiculous. there is no reason for it. i just can't seem to ever make plans. really, what is the point? something always creeps into my reality to mess with any sense of harmony.
for example, our local gas company is owned by some british conglomerate. they run it by some absolutely irrational set of rules. a few months ago, our service was shut-off. we could not enjoy hot food or hot showers. it was during the deeply disturbing period where we were trying to figure out why our 15 year old daughter was throwing up every day(since august '12). that is a lot of discomfort to experience on top of the inexplicable crapfest that is high school. they shut our service off because we owed them $241and change. now in my mind, that is again just so silly, i have no response to it.
so my husband chose to deal with his life by his now annual trip to the woods to go camping. his dream is to sit around a campfire to read and commune with nature. he has been reading "the last of the mohicans" for about 8 years now. not what i would say, a good reader. he is tenacious perhaps, but not progressive. so i said, GO! you are bugging the bejeebers out of me. just deal with the gas company before you go.
so he paid the bill, scheduled his jaunt to the outer wilds of western Massachusetts and left me to stay home one morning to meet the gas rep who would hook the furnace back up and the water heater and the stove and the oven and the clothes dryer.
well they called me to say, that they would be at my house to reinstate service in about half an hour. nothing. more nothing and finally at 5 pm, i called to find out where they had been all day. i truly was angry about the irresponsibility of this. turns out that they had been calling my husband's phone in the woods, where there was no reception. i didn't understand why, because i had gotten the original call to make sure i would be home to let the workman in.
so while i was hoping a yeti would visit my husband in the woods, make his life a little more inconvenient, and validate my frustration with him playing chicken with our bills... nothing happened.
through another series of phone calls, i was able to determine that we were not considered a high priority of anyone at the gas company. the long story bores the snot out of me... the short version is that it took 3 more appointments with them to ascertain that they still were using the wrong phone number and were for magical reasons, constantly canceling our rehook-up of service. the child underwent an upper and lower GI series to determine that she was well enough. this took place during "Super-Storm Sandy". the gnarly hurricane with a cape. our daughter is healthy with no apparent issues, she is just stressed out beyond reason. seriously, who wouldn't be?
the end result was that we got our service returned to us. the cause of the mishap was not that our bill was overdue, in fact someone from the gas company had read our meter wrong. they reported to the company that we owed $4000 which represented a two year period of non-payment.
my not having had service, a hot shower or a non- microwaved meal for a month made me more taciturn than i want to be. i was able to catch them in this stupendous failure to serve us legally and rightfully. not that anyone or any commission could advocate for us, but we were allowed a credit on our bill of $25.oo. that is not a big gift, especially for nearly a month of significant inconvenience.
i think i did groan and grumble rather loudly.
so why is this being reported? well after my daughter had her midterms and a series of totally unreasonable things happen to her in school, at least one of which was illegal... the gas company came to visit us again. it is kind of like a bad fairy or the wicked witch of the west rolling in with her flying monkeys just to torture us.
they were here to shut-off our service all over again.
only rarely, but more frequently do the weather forecasters get the weather systems right. they reported that we would be having a severe storm last week. it was blizzard grade. NO-one disputed the authenticity of these reports. YET the gas company was going around the neighborhood telling at least half of us, that our service would be turned off.
shockingly, THE BLIZZARD HIT.
it was perfectly on time and as intense as it was reported that it would be.naturally, the power went out. this act of nature intervening with regular domestic services caused our heat to go with it. the furnace is somehow electrically driven. i got a tutorial on this, but it was so Rube Goldbergian, that i glazed over during a portion of the lecture naturally, i will need to ask for another explanation of this.
so no heat, no electricity, no light, no patience, and gratefully, no daughter. in a move that was sensible against all odds, she chose to wait out the storm with her best friend and her family. none of this shit ever happens to them. there is NEVER any service interruption or inconvenience in their cute little world. also they are very mellow people. so the entire blizzard was kind of a kick for them. they ate well, sledded, played in the snow, drank hot chocolate, at spaghetti and meatballs, ordered take-out pizza... like any other weekend in winter.
i cooked by flashlight after 4 pm and daylight before that. working hours were short due to lighting issues. we were fine, the ole yeti repeller hubby and me. it was kind of beautiful and serenely quiet. i enjoyed it mostly. i dug out the car and the front walk too. the dog couldn't find a spot to pee or poop for days, unless i walked him for that purpose. eventually his neurotic spirit was overwhelmed by his biology. it was kind of relaxing since i had no ability to make things go the way i wanted them to. so i fantasized that i was on a frontier and could deal with things. i had to go with the flow.
fantasizing this way was the operating sensibility that got me through it all.
so after not needing to go to the emergency room, nor deal with a teacher-related issue, nor console the girl over the unexpected, inconclusive break-up with the first boyfriend, i returned home after picking the child up from school. i thought i could have a cup of tea and work. nope. only days after the blizzard, the gas company was waiting at my door to shut our service off AGAIN. they are relentless and driven by irrational behavior. they do not serve their customers well, nor do they treat their employees nicely.
i am perplexed by their way of doing business. the fact that they have no competition to force better service is a loss to our community.
i chose to delve back into my fantasy world; the one that is all clean and puffy and white. i wrote a check to keep my gas service intact, just a litttle longer. i was told that things would be fine, at least until they sent out another agent to shut us off in a couple of days, as the computer would instruct them to do.
this reality shows the load of snow on my street, bridging my fantasy with the crazy reality that continues to insert itself. the skies were so very soft, romantic, pretty and cotton candy colored. it was a much nicer version than the one i was to experience only a couple of days later. it bridged the crap-fest that is the gas company visits with a little bit of natural beauty.
sunset over the post-blizzard treated street
i baked scones in preparation
for the snowfall, iciness of the power lines and wild 60 mile an hour winds.
these are just basic currant with vanilla ... so good i may have eaten most of them myself.
messing with my blood sugar levels unpleasingly.
i have too little personal control when it comes to any buttery treat.
and i made a stab at a graphic that i photoshopped text onto to become my valentine's day card.
i believe it is possible that my epitaph shall include a record of my implosion
due to photoshop illiteracy.
and a bunch of nice earrings were constructed finally from my painted flowers.
these were accomplished in small spurts during and after the storm.
this palette reminded me of my daughter's christmas cactus
and the color of its blossoms.
the contradiction of the blues and oranges,
reminded me of hot and cold water running into a bathtub.
opposites, but so great blended together.
and finally, for this rant about nothing..
the happy snow loving dog.
the one who still can't quite get the hang of running in the ice crusted snow
without sinking and getting stuck or slipping.
just for reference, this was last summer
and this was last week.
yup, i got nothing to say.
and i am waiting for the other shoe to drop.