You just can’t civilize the weather. Doesn’t matter if you have heated toliet seats, unless you want to sit on the pot all day, the weather’s always going to win.
I have a totem pole and a half on fire in order to type this. They’re candles my friend RoseAnne gave me ages ago. I used half of one for a party once. Now I am a party of one without light or heat on a cold Alaskan night. It’s about – 10 F out, not so bad as some places, but then the sun just went down so it’s not going to get warmer. When things get cold here, they break.
It started the other morning when I unplugged my car from the heater and the plug broke off. I wasn’t yanking it. The cold was just too much for the stupid thin plug they put on the car. The winter extension cords we use to plug in cars are especially thick and cold resistant but that does no good whatsoever when you have to attach it to a car plug that looks like it came from a vintage appliance shop.
I’ll be bussing to work for the next few weeks. No point in getting a jump when the battery is going to die again every night. The tow trucks are filling up autoshops with ill prepared vehicles. Anchorage is just about out of batteries and snow blowers. A friend went looking for a snow blower this afternoon and all they could find was a mini one, like one a kid might use to help out daddy/mommy. This is probably the same kid who has their own four wheeler they drive without a helmet after they’ve had their first beer at age four.
Another friend told me to pour Coca Cola over the car’s battery terminal which is all fuzzy with electrical acid mold. I might do that, when it warms up to zero so the Coke doesn’t freeze. Then there‘s the electrical box in my apartment. The combination of the furnace, bathroom fan, water heater and refrigerator motor became too much for it to bear in the cold weather. First we had some brown outs which are not so scary if you make yourself believe that the entire neighborhood has turned a charming sepia tone. Then the lights started blinking like we were in a strip show, followed by a nasty beeping of the microwave in protest. Finally, there was a popping sound and the smell of electrical smoldering. One of my power strips got fried as did my old clock radio, my roommate’s alarm clock and our answering machine. Only the power strip gave off the smell of death, perhaps because it was proud to have saved my tiny television, dvd player and vcr. Thank you oh courageous appliance for laying down your life for your fellow electronics.
My landlord and his electrician are outside in the chill trying to remedy our complaints. I suppose that’s the price they have to pay for owning property. My roommates have baled to their girlfriends/relatives. I’ll stay here. That’s the price I have to pay for being picky about the company I keep. I have enough blankets. People used to live like this didn’t they? The pipes will burst sooner or later. But right now, my little totem poles are burning. I’ll have to put on gloves because no matter how fast I type, the cold is only one letter behind me. I can’t even eat any more cookies because they are too cold. I never thought I would hear myself say that. I don’t have to worry about anything in the fridge or freezer, it will only get colder.
But lo, I hear the furnace firing up. I don’t think they’ve fixed everything but probably given up trying to for the night. Time for a grilled cheese, and a hot shower. The oven seems to be the latest casualty of the electricity wars. Luckily I made and ate brownies the other day so I can survive until we resolve this issue, or at least until I can get myself to a decent bakery.