It *Is* January, Right?

Between the mercury standing at 56 degrees, the thunder this afternoon, and the fact that almost 9000 of us in Olde North are currently without electricity, I would have a hard time believing my calendar.

Since my domicile is currently without power, Susie and I have relocated temporarily to the McDonald’s near the OSU campus, each of us on our respective laptops.  I haven’t eaten all that responsibly today, so the Golden Arches is the last place I need to be, but I’ll pile on some unnecessary calories so that I can use the Wi-Fi here.

There does not seem to be a pattern to the areas affected by this.  I had been reading posts about “Anyone’s lights go out?” on the SoHud News Facebook page.  I wondered what they were talking about, since my lights and my Wi-Fi were working just fine.

I didn’t see this first-hand until I called Susie while she was at Starbucks, and suggested we meet at Kafé Kerouac and decide where we would eat dinner.  As I walked south on N. High St., I saw that most of the houses and businesses on the west side of the street were dark, and the opposite was true of everything on the east side.  This meant that we could not eat at Cazuela’s Grill, but both of us were relieved when we saw the Blue Danube did have power.

I went to American Electric Power‘s Website and clicked the “Storms and Outages” tab.  There was no further information except to say that it was due to “equipment failure.”  While Susie and I were walking here, we did see several AEP trucks in alleys, so I guess they’re working on restoring the lights.

Kafé Kerouac’s bartender passed us as we were walking here, his arms laden with candles he had just bought at CVS.  Susie and I had stopped in the blacked-out café to see how they were dealing with the outage, and there were some real troupers on the small stage.  It was a jazz quartet, playing for the first time in public, and they were plowing along with excellent music, darkness be damned.

The newsroom of The New York Times the night of the July 1977 blackout in New York City.

The newsroom of The New York Times the night of the July 1977 blackout in New York City.

I admit being eager to get online and blog about this experience (not my first blog entry about a power failure, I admit), or otherwise I would have stayed to hear this quartet play a little longer.  The room where they play is tiny, so no one really missed the microphones and the speakers.  I found myself thinking of the video for one of the few rap songs that counts as music, Digable Planets’ “Rebirth of Slick (Cool Like Dat)”.  The setting reminded me of that.

This is a bizarre ending to Susie’s last night in Columbus.  We’re heading out to Port Columbus at 5 a.m. so she can catch an early flight back to Orlando, and this trip, sadly, came and went without a visit to The Florentine, our favorite Italian restaurant, and one we visited quite regularly when we lived in Franklinton.

Today started with a rather mundane errand.  Steph and I decided that it would be less of a pain for all concerned if I took Susie’s paperwork to Ohio with me and had her blood draw at a lab here, rather than try to find an in-network lab in Merritt Island.  So, Susie and I slogged through a cold rain this morning to go to LabCorp way on the west side of Columbus, one of the few labs open on Saturday.  The bus ride was depressing, as we saw how the west side of Columbus has deteriorated in the years since we lived there and I worked there.  Empty storefronts, rent-to-own businesses, check-cashing joints, and day labor establishments seem to dominate.  The site of the former Media Play is now an Ohio Thrift Store, and the Hollywood Casino now stands on the site of what had been Delphi Automotive’s plant when I worked at Merck-Medco.  Susie keeps saying she hopes something is wrong, because otherwise we would have gone all that way in all the cold and rain for no reason.

Reports from SoHud’s Facebook page say that power is back on in our block, although we thought we had dodged that bullet earlier tonight, only to be proven wrong.  Susie and I both have to be up at 4 a.m., so maybe nursing three or four cups of iced tea wasn’t the brightest idea we could have had.  Also, the lights better be on, because Susie needs to pack for the journey, and that won’t be much fun in the dark.

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