Sounds like the title to some fantasy narrative, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. This story is one hundred and seventy-four percent true. But, first, a little update since last night’s post.
I went to bed shortly after the last post was published. Like I said, I was tired from the week, and I could hardly keep my eyes open to study for today’s exam. So, I decided to study for today, today. Remember all that? Good. Well, every night, I set two alarms on my cell phone. One goes off an hour before class, and another goes off five minutes before that (so, the latter goes first). Both alarms went off as they should, at 6:55 and 7:00, but I couldn’t get out of bed. I hadn’t slept that much, and I wanted just a few more minutes.
Turns out, I fell asleep again! I think I even dreamt a bit in that short period. Since I couldn’t get that test out of my mind, and I certainly couldn’t miss it, I got up in a hurry and looked at the clock on the cable box. 7:42! That sure made my eyes go wide open, as I rushed to the shower, got dressed (picked the first things I saw when I opened the closet and went with that), and ran to class — well, it was more of a power walk. I should’ve used public transport, but I need my walk to make me feel fully awake. Just like last Saturday, I got there just in time. Everyone was there, including the teacher, but the classroom was locked (lucky me!), so we had to wait until someone opened it for us. Before the exam, and as I crammed the four pages (not five, as I had previously thought), the teacher asked everyone in class for the meaning of intermittent transition. No one knew, and a few took some good guesses … but, as it turns out, and unlike last time he did that, there was no such thing as an intermittent transition, and he made it up to lighten the mood (and make us forget what we studied). I went through those pages a few times, and filled the exam, providing what I hope are the right answers. Nothing more, nothing less. I was the fourth or fifth to finish, and I got home before 9:00. I was early enough to have some breakfast, which I did. Not long after, the day took a bad turn: power outage! And so, I begin to explain the title of this post. Brace yourself, it’s a very long explanation, pictures and everything! As usual, place the mouse cursor over the image thumbnails to see a description, and click on them to see a bigger version.
As is usual here, the holiday season starts early. Very early. So early that Christmas commercials and offers start airing in mid-to-late September, without much regard for the semi-adopted Halloween. I say semi-adopted, because it’s not a national holiday, and it’s only celebrated in a few places by the young folk who think it’s fun (well, it is!). No trick-or-treating or anything like that, though. With the crime rate, the hectic traffic and the power outage problems, it’s just not a good idea.
Anyway, the tree. My mother and my sister decided to put up the Christmas tree (or seasonal monochromatic ornamented cone-shaped display, as Mr. O’Brien called it a few years back). The power was still out, and there was nothing much to do in the house apartment.
Because of the dogs, we had no tree last year (no presents, either, but that’s just our lousy economy acting up). This year, they had the idea of putting it in the balcony, as opposed to the living room, so the dogs don’t have access to it and/or use it to go potty.
I didn’t help much with the tree, as I was in my room, reading. I can’t believe I’m still not done with The Magic Mountain. It’s just that I’ve only been reading it in college, while waiting for class, but today I got through a good thirty pages, and hope to repeat this (or outdo it) tomorrow. On a side note, as I was reading, I heard out the window as my mother greeted a former neighbor of ours, who is moving back to the building after some 15 years of having moved out. Talk about a blast from the past! It’s like a piece of the early ’90s got thrown back at this place (and I do miss the ’90s).
The tree turned out quite well, don’t you think? There was a small problem with the lights later in the day, but I used my smarts to get it fixed (by plugging them to where they’d actually light up). I got the camera, of which I had its batteries charged last night, and snapped a few pictures of the tree, but only after going to the back patio and taking a few pictures of …
That’s right. The stump! I mentioned it in a previous post, an avocado tree stump that now served as home and support for various plants, including orchids. The avocado tree had been planted shortly after we moved to this building back in 1988 (I was just a baby!). The tree barely survived hurricane Georges, back in ’98, when it was torn, but it grew back, stronger than before.
It ultimately had to be cut down a few years back, because its roots were growing into the foundation of the building. It wasn’t completely cut down, though. A tall stump remains, both to remind ourselves of the tree, and for purposes of gardening. Various things now grow from/on it. Some, like the orchids, are intentionally there. Others … are not.
I took my time to take some pictures of things that grow on the stump, and other things in the patio that are worth looking at, including a traditional ceramic figure that’s very often sold here.
I also managed to capture some shots of the evening sky. I think these turned out well. Don’t you?
Like I said at the beginning, I was met with a nice power outage. It’s starting to see that every Saturday is Blackout Day or something, because the power was out from 9:30 a.m. or so, until around 6:40 p.m. I was planning on taking a well-deserved rest from the week, but the heat became unbearable once the backup power from the inverter ran out and we were forced to turn everything off, including the fans. Ack!
As I already said, I did quite a bit of reading today (well, yesterday … it’s already past midnight as I type this), so it wasn’t all bad. Apparently, a lot of places in the city were also completely blacked out, and the power company wouldn’t put the power back on because of some payment problem. These are rumors, so I don’t know if it’s true or not. What is true is that the more blackouts we go through, the higher the power bill seems to be! Good thing it didn’t last longer than it did, because muggers would take advantage of the utter darkness.
Towards the end of it, we resorted to candles. Yeah, sure. Romantic. But when you take the heat, the darkness and everything that’s happenened in the day and what could happen in the night into account, it’s not very fun.
And so, all in a day. What a day! I was planning on practicing my Blender skills a bit and learning something new, but I didn’t get my rest and I can barely stay awake now, because of the early start I got. I’ll probably go to bed right after publishing this, which seems to be the new record holder for longest post (in this blog, at least).
So, almost 1:00. Hopefully, we won’t get the same treatment from the power company, and I’ll be able to rest for the whole day. I don’t have any work for Monday. Only some postage stamp designs for Tuesday, but that can’t take very long, can it?
If you managed to read all the way to here, congratulations! Good night.