Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Last night I took Frick 'n Frack ice skating in Prospect Park; of course yours truly had no plans to get on the ice but I enjoyed watching the babies enjoy themselves.

On our way home the snow began to fall and all I could think about was WARM COUCH + NETFLIX so I put some pep in my step all the way to Minna Street.

Except, when we walked in, K informs me that the lights were out. As in NO ELECTRICITY. I struggled to come to terms with that for about 30 seconds because no one else in the house or on the block was in the dark, just us. So of course my first thought is: ConEd shut me down.

After months of regretting the purchase of my Blackberry, I found its purpose. I was able to go online and get a number for ConEd to call and curse them out for cutting my power without notice. As I'm gathering the information and K & N struggled to make our one measly flashlight work, it also dawned on me that:

1- I never received a phone call or letter with a "Final Shutdown" notice and
2- My account was not in arrears because ConEd is paid via my bank account automatically every month. As a daughter of the earth, I have paperless billing with all my utilities, and I'd already received the alert from BOA that payment was sent.

So the ConEd rep confirmed what I already knew- they hadn't done anything to my service; the problem was most likely internal. "Have your landlord check the fuse box," he suggested. Great. You mean the same landlord to whom I still owe the rent? Awesome. How was that going to look? "Hey I know I still owe you a heaping sum of money but can you check the fuse box for me? Thanks!"

But I needed electricity. I had perishable food I needed to save; babies who were kinda scared; and a newsletter I was supposed to be editing for work. I sucked it up, got the landlord and wouldn't you know it? The lights came back on ON THEIR OWN before he even came upstairs. Everything except the outlet where my computer was plugged into was operational again.

After it was all said and done (and I had a tiny conversation with my landlord in which he waved me off with a "don't worry, I understand, it's okay") I assessed that I am ill-prepared for emergencies. I mean, there's only so much one can do with a machete and birthday candles! We had no non-perishable/canned goods (I stopped buying them because of the sodium content), bottled water (I have a Brita pitcher- who needs bottled water?), extra batteries for my other flashlights (have you SEEN how much batteries cost these days?) emergency candles, a first-aid kit, extra blankets, a transistor radio (do they still make those?) nor a plan of action.

What kind of mother am I?

Then this morning K wakes up with the same tummy bug I had on Monday and again- I have no type of meds or foods to help her along. Of course Mami did not miss a beat in reminding me I should always have something in the house with which to make soup...YES, thank you for that after-the-fact advice. But who thinks like that? "Oh let me buy some celery, onions, vegetable stock, etc, in case I need to make soup." HUH? I never think there's a reason for me to make soup! If I want soup I BUY soup- see how that works? I want, I buy...except, I suppose in the middle of an emergency, like, say, a snowstorm when I can't get to a store and my kid needs soup...OH SHUT UP! I get it!

No, really, I get it.

I need to finally put batteries in the smoke detector. Or, you know, BUY a smoke detector. I need to buy one of those "ladders" they sell for people on upper floors to escape a fire via a window. I need at least 2 more fire extinguishers (I do have ONE in the kitchen; bought it when I started teaching N how to cook JUST IN CASE) and an entire trunk o' stuff for blackouts, snowstorms, floods, earthquakes, etc.

So do me a favor, all you cub scout graduates that know about this stuff- in the comments, please let me know what it is I need to have in my apartment in order to be ready for certain emergencies that would likely occur in Brooklyn/NYC. Or leave me a link to a site that has such a list. Because I'm great at many, many things, but apparently emergency preparedness is not one of them.

*smooches...kinda scared to turn any lights on right now*
yeah I switched the lights off! Only thing on is the fridge & this here desktop. I'm SCARED, OK? I've never had to deal with this on my own before, HMPH!