Friday, July 21, 2006

Still no power

So there's talk of trying to get St. Louis declared a disaster area to get the federal bucks.

For my part, I still have no electricity. Ameren said yesterday that it would take 3 days to get service restored. I've been hearing 3 to 5 days today. My parents are also out of power, tho I think the rest of the family is ok.

The Walgreens down the street from me is running off of a small gas generator, I think. It's an eerie experience shopping there. All the lights in the parking lot are out. They've cut the power to the automatic doors. Taped to the doors is a handwritten sign instructing you to open them manually and close them behind you. Which you do, it's a little sliding door. When you walk inside, you realize that they've only got maybe one of ten fluorescent fixtures running, creating odd pockets of darkness throughout the store. The air conditioning is on, but they're restraining it - it's not its usual ultra-frigid self. The muzak is still playing, though, and loudly.

I was there to buy supplies to fix my rearview mirror - the adhesive had failed in the heat the day before and it fell off my front windshield. I drove across to the Schnucks across the street from me to install it. They've got full power, so I parked under a street fixture, rolled down my windows, and fixed my rearview under the lamp. There was a guy parked next to me in a jeep, and he was just hanging out in his car, snacking on something that I assume he'd just bought.

I then drove over to White Castle to get some food. People in there were talking about how they don't have any power. As I was waiting for my order to come up, a dude came in and his t-shirt was drenched in sweat. I took the food over to the law school, which I knew still had power, and I hung out for a while there. Watched a little Letterman, though his first guest was Martin Short. When I heard that, I knew that god had truly forsaken me. Did some web surfing. Basically, trying to come up with any legitimate excuse to be anywhere other than my apartment.

Because my apartment was hot. I'd step out of these air conditioned buildings and think to myself, "Geez, it's pretty warm out" and then I'd realize that it's going to be even worse in my apartment, which it is. Trying to get to sleep isn't all that much fun, even if you follow the reddit-linked list of suggestions for surviving without air conditioning.

But the worst of it is supposed to be over - the upcoming forecasts show lows in the high 60's and low 70's, so sleeping shouldn't be as bad as it's been. I've been eating out all this time, because I didn't want to open my fridge, and I didn't really want to cook. Apart from the heat issue, what the hell do I do with the leftovers? It could be mid-week next week before I get any electricity back.

It's a stone bummer, let me tell you.

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