Late Friday the Hydro (electricity) guys dropped a note at the daycare saying they'd cut the electricity Tuesday between noon and three. Oh goody gumdrops. We called the authorities Monday and were told that yes, we can still keep the daycare open: but if the temperature drops too far or the interruption goes on too long we have to close and call parents to come get their kids, supposing the phones work which in the blackout of '03 they didn't. Gloom: Tuesday is forecast as cold, grey and rainy, and our emergency lights are pretty grim as well. Cook changes menu to no-plate no-cook sandwiches. I go buy D-cell batteries on my way home, so our naproom white noise maker can continue to make white noise. But even so-- if this stops the chronic power outages we experience, *especially* on hot afternoons in July, we'll put up with three hours' inconvenience.
I come home and pick up my mail from the box. In which is a note from the electricity people saying they'll cut power to my block from 9am to 1 pm tomorrow, Tuesday 21. Why, thank you for the advance notice, guys. I might have been having my ducts cleaned or my garage reroofed or any number of things which can't be cancelled on short notice. As it is, all I have is a 10 am shift tomorrow.
Under the note is an envelope from the property tax people. We've had a three year freeze on assessments while the bug-ridden system was overhauled, and here's my new assessment. 'Your house has increased $126,000 in value and as of January 2008 is assessed at $515,000.' Heart attack time. Oh you bet I'm going to appeal-- once I can get through to the offices to request an appeal form. I doubt that even last January anyone would have been so mad as to pay half a million for my place, and *now*... Fifteen percent drop in prices, guys, did you hear about those? (Yes, long after the stats were compiled and the letters sent, is my guess.) But the appeal process is such high stress time and such *work*, my heart faints within me. (Really Mike, why am I supposed to be happy about this?) If I'd had alcohol in the house I'd have drunk it. Instead I forced out part of a sex scene and went to bed early.
And up betimes, and in to work. At 11 the doorbell rings and I have to let a guy in carrying a heavy box of tools. 'You have a window here that's broken?' We do? Our windows are just fine. 'Been broken for a while, they said--' Dear god. You mean the one openable window in the toddler room, which has been unopenable for a matter of 18 months. You're going to fix it **now**? Why yes, yes he is. He's going to take it out of its frame and fix the catches at each side while letting all the lovely cold air in to a room that's hard to heat at the best of times (three outside walls) that will have no heat at all in an hour.
And precisely at 12 the lights went out and we carried on in the gloom, while the pre-school staff came downstairs and said We don't even *have* emergency lights!!! Our nappers were too tired to wake up even for the sudden access of light in our normally pitch-black naproom. The toddlers changed their many many diapers down the hall in shadowy darkness. And precisely at 12:45 the lights came back on. We looked at each other. We looked at the official announcement. It did not say 'For a period between 12 and 3.' It said 'Between 12 and 3.' What *do* they teach them in these schools?
Whatever. I bicycle home at 6 in ferocious winds and increasing sleet, and cars are coming the wrong way down two one-way streets, the egregious twits. I swing onto Follis and realize why-- Follis is closed and the intersection at the foot of my block is occupied by two Hydro trucks clearly still in the process of replacing a hydro pole. Gevalt. But the lights are on on my block so I can see that the mail includes a large envelope from my stock broker. This time I *do* have alcohol, bought en route to help me with that sex scene; but some things are alcohol-proof, if you'll pardon the expression, and reports from stock brokers after a month like the last one are one of them. I used to file my reports unread because they always depressed me, but with the courage of despair I read this one cold-stone sober.
'Expecting a downturn in the market I invested in a number of blue-chip stocks for you and guaranteed a good supply of liquid capital on hand. Your portfolio survived the recent meltdown without extensive damage. When the extreme fluctuations let up I'm more inclined to buy than to sell. Do call if you have any questions or just want to chat.'
At this point I'm inclined to send him a dozen red roses. But maybe I'll call to chat and see if my portfolio can be made to yield enough to pay a hefty increase in property tax.