Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Nobody’s Opinion; Last Thursday night, I was getting ready to upload my post (which was about my anticipating the television program, 24…) Here is the last part of it:

-----“Anyway, I have more than 24 hours before the first episode of 2007, and the electric just went off again.

They are telling us here in St. Louis that ONCE again due to the upcoming “ice” storms this weekend we should be expecting more power outages.

Watch--- just about the time, on Sunday night, when I will be all excited, and ready for the show, the electric will go off.

That’s when I will be having a real Jack Bauer moment. I might have to go and buy a generator.”

You guessed it, minutes after I wrote that, we lost our electric again for …days.

This was the third time in St. Louis in less than six months. Unbelievable.

But this isn’t going to be about the horrible conditions of America’s electrical grid, and the continuing poor service from a utility company that in years past, one never lost power for more than four hours, ever. This is not going to be about the fact half the continent of America is covered in ice due to some strange phenomenon of moisture floating up from South America, or about the fact that thousands of elderly were trapped miserably inside homes, hiding under mountains of blankets, in the dark, using their gas stoves as their only heat because they are paying such high property taxes and living off their social security and they can’t afford to buy generators or firewood. It’s not going to be about the fact that, not only is our utility company still charging everyone for the week we had no electricity, but they plan on raising their rates: or that President Bush is going to mention global warming in his upcoming State of the Union Speech.

It isn’t going to be about the National Guard setting up camp in many American cities so we can get use to them, or the millions of dollars of damage to cars, property, and electronic equipment due to surges. (including mine.)

I am NOT going to talk about how now, every American home is going to have to have generators due to the fact that our infrastructure is starting to resemble Iraq’s.

No, this is going to be about a bird named Sunny.

Sunny is my adorable yellow parakeet. (In parakeet terms, she is a Lupino, which was probably thought up by a lupy Mexican.)

I got her as a present four years ago for my birthday from my son. Actually, I got her and her “brother” who died when he was three…just one day. There he was, dead.

I cried so much at the Vet’s I’m sure he thought I was on his “permanently deranged wacko customers” list.

So, when Sunny got sick, I took her to a bird expert (I didn’t want to cry again in front of my local vet.) who said, “Take her home, give her this water to drink, and come back in two weeks. Be sure to keep her warm. Put her by a lamp. DO NOT TURN THE LAMP OFF.”

“Oh, and that will be $150.00.”

Okay, not wanting Sunny to end up like her poor brother, I went out and spent more big bucks on a new cage and all the stuff in it, and put her next to a cozy lamp.

Still, Sunny did not improve much. Maybe I was slowly cooking her.

So I took her back…and then they said, “Oops, so sorry, we missed this the first time, because we did learn this in school--- that it’s very hard to see and to catch, but we know no… Sunny has mega-bacteria. Take her home, keep her warm, birds body temperatures are around 106, so 86 degrees would be good. Give her this medicine for a month. Oh, and that will be $156.00.”

The extra six dollars was for their genius guess work.

“Will she live?” I asked. No answer.

There goes that dental work that my dentist said I should get so as not to lose a back molar. Maybe I can glue it.

So, the next day, the house was still…okay. But, by nighttime, it was getting really cold.

But…we’re AMERICANS! We’re tough! We were going to light a fire, cover all the windows with huge blankets. I Tuck-taped open doorways with plastic to seal off the only room that had a fireplace. Why, this would not last long…not after the two times we had already been through it, surely they had gotten the bugs worked out.

I was feeling rather ingenious in putting up all grandmas’old blankets over all the windows for extra insulation.

“See honey!” I told my husband, “ I knew I would use them someday!”

Nice idea, but it didn’t work. This house is so old; somewhere in its forty year history it has more open leaks than Congress. Just stand in front of any window, and you might as well be outside.

And the fool that designed the house put the fireplace right next to the big back door window leading into the backyard.

What an idiot. Of course, we know nothing much about fire places since the last time we used it was last November 30th, but Sunny wasn’t sick then.

What we found out is that there is only so many logs you can put on, and then about 20 minutes later, you have to put two more on. And sleeping on the floor or on a sofa…face it, is no fun. Not when you have to get up every 20 minutes to light the fire so you don’t freeze to death.

And going into the bathroom was almost torture.

I had the bright idea to burn old bowling pins, which actually burned better than the logs.
(What, you mean you don’t collect old bowling pins?)

But as you can guess, keeping a bird who is suppose to be kept at an even 86% in a room about 32 degrees, for days on end, is like trying to chew gum and eat a Snickers Candy Bar at the same time.

The first night I got Sunny about as close to the fire as I could, until I looked down and noticed that the wooden legs of the furniture that his cage was sitting on, were buckling from the heat.


Once, during the night, my husband in his delusional state of “no-sleep, damn it’s cold,” looked up into the cage and thought he saw a dead bird, when it really was the water bottle.

That did it.

I wasn’t about to spend a fortune on a fifteen dollar bird, only to lose it because my local electric company was more worried about it’s stock holders, thereby eliminating the yearly tree trimming off the lines that they USED to do…

The next morning we checked into a “pet” friendly hotel.

Heat, glorious heat.

Of course, being true to my gender, I took half the house with me. Our room was on the sixth floor, and we were lucky to get it, because over 200,000 were out here.

Sunny and his friends were set in front of a huge mirror, right by the heater, which they enjoyed immensely. And I got to see 24, which I would have missed had I stayed at home.

And even though I missed blogging, our dogs were real entertaining. They decided to fight each other like the bull dogs that they aren’t..and I ended up with one dog on one bed, and my husband with the Eskimo on the other.

Dog fights in hotel rooms? What would the neighbors think?

And going down six flights at all hours, hoping that your dog will find the 2x2 foot of grass appealing somehow, is not exactly as fun as opening the back door.

One dog we had to CARRY down because she freaks out whenever you put a lease on her. Dog whisperers we are not.

All in all, the hotel was great. I met lots of people, sat in a hot tub full of mysterious bubbles which could have been contaminated by SARS for all I knew, and got to have a wonderfully hot bath, in a pretty nice tub.

So, there you go. The reason nobody has heard from me.

You might say that I ran to a hotel, because of my concern about Sunny, but you would be wrong.

I am, like most Americans, am spoiled rotten. My x-navy seal husband is just as spoiled, if not more so. We like the heat, our cells phones, our televisions, our computers, and food that is not spoiled.

Three strikes to St. Louis and we have finally learned our lesson…we are going to buy a “gas” fireplace and put it in our bedroom, so when the next outage comes, as it seems to be getting to be the norm here in St. Louis, we can stay in bed, and just move the birds.

We might not come out.

What other lesson did I learn?

I’ve been thinking. I think that the very rich and spoiled bin Laden is not in some cave. You can’t tell me he is sitting night after night in a cold and damp cave.

No, don’t you believe it. He is in a hotel room somewhere in Dubai, where he has all the comforts a man could want. Those silly pictures of him walking through the sand are propaganda. And IF they are not, then he is a very stupid man.

Now, just watch. I’ll post this tonight and tomorrow the New Madrid will produce a 8.5 earthquake, and once again we will be in the cold, but this time without plumbing.

Now, that’s when I will be having a real Jack Bauer moment. The first time, I was just kidding.

Nobody’s Perfect: Have you ever noticed that when people’s houses are burning down the very first thing they want to save is their pets? I’d go back inside probably for a pet turtle. This is about as illogical as it gets.

Having said that I would probably also add, “Well good, at least we got rid of that rat.”

Nobody Knows; Just how many people are suffering tonight in this bitter cold, or when our leaders will stop worrying about Iraq’s infrastructure and electric, and fix the electrical grids here. Get some of these lines underground, for a start.

Nobody Cares; Sunny is still kicking. She is sitting right behind me, next to her lamp, sleeping. She was worth every penny. There is nothing like waking to the sound of birds singing at the top of their happy lungs, just happy to be alive. We could take a lesson from them all.


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