Tues. Feb. 12, 2013: Home Safely, but Lots To Do

Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Waxing Moon
Sunny and cold

Greta van der Rol has a wonderful article up on A Biblio Paradise about “Series and Sequels.” Check it out!

Exhausted. The blizzard hit on Friday. As of noon, there was a travel ban in MA (lifted late Saturday), and mass transit shut down by 3:30. We all hunkered down and let it snow. The trip to CT was postponed, thank goodness.

I managed to get as much work done as possible on Friday, while we still had power. The power went out about midnight-ish Friday into Saturday. Temperatures dropped pretty rapidly. The gas stove still worked, but the gas heat is run by an electric switch — which is crap, if you ask me, but no one did. We kept the house liveable by cooking on the stove and using the fireplace, and wrapping up in layers. We could have warm drinks and warm meals, which was a big help. We read all day, and went to bed early.

Saturday morning, a neighbor came over with the snowblower to help clear the driveway of the 15 inches or so of heavy snow that fell overnight. I couldn’t have done it on my own.

By Sunday morning, we could see our breath in the house. NStar was both rude and unhelpful. I got up early and got the stove going again, and the fireplace on, and we got the temperature up to a bearable level. I went out and shoveled the additional 8 or so inches of snow — this was light and fluffy, so it wasn’t bad. Then, I went and helped neighbors dig out, and they said I could have some of their firewood if I ran out. In other words, we all looked after each other.

The weather was clear up here, and our destination in CT had power, so I stocked up the feeders and waterers, had boosted the temperature up to comfortable, and left hot water bottles and down comforters for the cats. We loaded up the car and left just before 2, with the neighbors keeping an eye on house and cats.

The drive in MA and RI was fine. It was CT that was a disaster. On good days, CT’s DOT’s incompetence is astonishing to behold. This was out of control. The roads were barely plowed — the fucking idiots had let the plows get snowed in. How much brainpower does it take to place your shovels inside garages or warehouses so they can actually go out and do their jobs? Only a moron leaves them outside to be snowed under. On top of that, the plows weren’t shovelling the snow — they dragged on the pavement, sending sparks towards the gas tanks for the cars on the road. Add the glare of the descending sun, and it was a miracle we weren’t killed.

I was so stressed out I had McDonald’s for dinner. Was miserable three hours later, but it was good while I ate it!

Set up the computer, connected, and got some basics done that needed to be done — namely, cancelling yesterday’s auditions. If we have to cancel tomorrow’s, I don’t know how the hell we’re going to cast this piece. But I’m certainly not going to ask people to come out in dangerous conditions to audition in a building with no power.

Collapsed in exhaustion fairly early Sunday night. Up early on Monday. Managed to get out a deadlined piece before shutting everything down and getting back on the road, in rain and fog. Another nightmare of a trip home — I couldn’t make any time, CT was still a mess, and I had trouble getting gas in RI. Buzzards Bay was still in the dark, but I found a gas station and could refill before going over the bridge and heading home. Then, there was a problem on 6, so I had to take 130 & 28.

But I got home, and there was power. I unpacked, fed the cats, cleaned the litter boxes, let everyone know I arrived safely, and collapsed on the couch with wine and mac ‘n cheese. I was incapable of coherent sentences by then. The power was intermittent, going out a couple of times overnight, but this morning, I hope to catch up with everything, especially my students.

I had a good morning’s writing session the Dickensian steampunk, thank goodness, and I’m trying to reshuffle the projects to get everything done.

The cats won’t let me out of their sight.

What irritates me about days getting power back on is not the line crews — they are working their butts off. But management KNOWS there will be problems, yet doesn’t do anything to create ways to prevent problems. Their solution is to clear cut and get rid of all trees, which is total bullshit. Why aren’t they coming up with de-icing coatings that can be sprayed on power lines, or new technologies to prevent outages in the first place? Because there aren’t any consequences for long power outages and suffering, and their fat cat executives still get to collect huge paychecks, while the people who actually do the work are put in the same poor situations over and over again. The contract the power company has with the population is to provide power — not just when it’s easy or convenient. But to provide it ALWAYS. They should be innovating better ways of doing that, but as long as the top brass can collect their inflated salaries while regular people freeze and suffer, there’s no incentive.

I am in contact with my congressman’s office, because I have some ideas on restructuring.

Overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done, but all I can do is work bit by bit.


Stay tuned for information on audition updates for MURDER SEALS THE DEAL.

Sign up for “Prolonged Engagement”, the class on how to develop a series, March 4-8, here.


  1. I hate being without Power. HATE IT. We have a wood stove and a lot of camping gear so we are fine, but I start to unravel after a bit. And you are right about the electric companies needing to do something. We are starting to get a lot of underground power lines here, which helps, but the tree trimming thing is a joke.

    And I also understand overwhelmed. One task at a time. That’s what I am trying to do. Also, if it makes me uncomfortable and I keep putting it off, it probably means I will feel a gazillion times better if I get that one done and cross it off the list.

    • Yup, just trying to eat the elephant, bite by bite.

  2. The companies make money off of leasing the poles for other cablew-internet, TV…
    They wait till someone runs into a pole so that they can charge the car owner for the replacement, or get premium disaster aid from the state to do repairs. Leaches. And they keep laying off full time workers, planning to use a common pool of repair crews from all over the nation. Who are going to keel over from exhaustion if the current weather challenges continue.
    I’ve been saying for years that the lines should be buried. At least Governor Patrick today called for the same thing.
    I kept my gas stove running all day for heat -occasional opening of a window so I didn’t get gassed.

    • If we’re all supposed to run our own generators, why have a power company? There have to be consequences for breaking the contract with people. I have eco-friendly everything and turn my lights off all the time, but my electric bill has TRIPLED since I’ve moved here.

  3. Sorry to hear you’re feeling overwhelmed honey 😦


  4. We lost power six years ago for over a week due to ice on the lines outside of our neighborhood. (Our neighborhood lines are underground.) I can truly understand feeling overwhelmed. I hope you are able to take care of everything necessary without too much stress.

  5. Over here we’re obsessed by our weather – we do a lot more moaning about it than really suffering any hardships because of it though. Hope things improve for you soon.

    • I actually like winter — I just don’t like companies that don’t provide the services for which we pay!

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