Panic at the (Electricity-Free) Disco

Here I was, calmly going about my day, when I heard someone drop something in the mailbox. Hmmm…the mail is early today, I thought, and if my life was a (admittedly very boring) made-for-TV movie, some kind of ominous music would be playing. The soundtrack would then circle to the crazy-sounding, straight-to-the-asylum middle bars of A Day In The Life when I started reading the piece of paper that had been stuck in my mailbox.

People, the electric company is doing maintenance work on a generator in my neighbourhood, and the power is going to be off between 9 and 4 tomorrow. Seven hours with no electricity or heat; for a person who works from home, this is a nightmare on par with the one I have where I’m endlessly folding laundry and then I turn around and there is another, unfolded pile to be done.

Clearly, I would have been a terrible pioneer or settler, because the slightest hardship or inconvenience gives me a Panic At The Disco feeling. How will I make a smoothie tomorrow, I thought worriedly, like the spoiled princess that I am. Why couldn’t this happen during book fair, I thought, as if maybe the electric company was doing this strictly to inconvenience me.

Oh well. I was very productive today prior to this notice, and I have been utilizing our electrical appliances like crazy. I baked brownies and mini-muffins today, and let me just give a shout-out to my friend and YMC colleague Gwen, over at Delightful Adventures. I had been meaning to try her Vegan Gluten Free Gingerbread Loaf, but with regular gluten-full flour, and today I gave it a go. In addition to changing the flour, I also subbed in brown sugar and grapeseed oil, realized that I didn’t have cloves nor all-spice, and then decided to make it into mini-muffins instead of a loaf. In short, I was like one of those awful recipe commenters who say “This was terrible; I changed everything in the recipe and it didn’t work.” Except, it turned out awesome! I’m sure the original must be delicious too; check out Delightful Adventures if you love recipes and gorgeous food photography.

Like Jake’s class did last month, Mark’s class is on a week-long field trip. Unlike Jake’s class, which toured the Board of Education buildings and got to do thrilling things like discuss community collaboration and education funding and sit in on a school board trustee meeting, Mark’s class is actually doing something fun. They are at the Arts Commons, and they are making Greek masks, writing plays, and learning stage-fighting. Methinks Jake’s class got the short end of the stick. Mark’s “partner class” – the one they collaborate with most often – is on a similar field trip, in which they get to focus on Healthy Living. Games, physical activities, and making pizzas is on their agenda, which made me feel even more sorry for Jake’s class. I mean, the highlight for the entire class was seeing the fish tank in the indoor garden. I should point out that these field trips are assigned to the classes, and are not chosen by the teachers or the school – the school board runs them and it is considered a privilege to go. However. Fish tank viewing is not equal to learning to stage fight or making pizza.

Well. Life, as we know, is not always fair, and meanwhile when the power is out tomorrow I think I’ll take Jake out for lunch. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to go to the mall food court for lunch, which has never happened before in the history of his school experience; the mall food court being the epitome of fine dining for a ten-year-old boy.

Speaking of the mall, my mother was in town yesterday and we had a little visit and quick shopping trip. The trip to the mall reminded me why I almost exclusively shop online. People, the Old Navy is a hellhole. A yard sale set up by Mary Ingalls would be better organized. If I took everything out of my drawers and closet and piled it up on my bed, it would look somewhat like the Old Navy displays. It was a bit soul-sucking, but they had a table of boys’ t-shirts advertised for $5 each – discount taken at register! – and my mother chose one for each boy. Do I even need to tell the punch line to this? The discount was NOT taken at the register, and I left feeling like Old Navy Customer Service Has Gone To The Dogs. This $10 in Old Navy Cash feels like blood money, or at least bloody irritation money.

Well, I’m off to prepare for the coming apocalypse/ power outage, and fret that all our food is going to go bad. Fortunately for my comfort, it’s not going to be terribly cold tomorrow. Unfortunately for my food, if the power is off for longer than anticipated, my giant weekend grocery shop will be all for naught.


  1. Our power goes out a lot, because we have the worst power company, so I can with confidence that if you minimize how many times you open the fridge and freezer doors, they will stay pretty cold inside for seven hours. Your food should be fine.

  2. Good luck with the power situation tomorrow! I laughed when you said “How will I make a smoothie tomorrow” … because that is one of the many thoughts that would have probably ran through my mind too 😉 And I’m so happy the recipe turned out, substitutions and all! That makes me happy. And yeah…I have gotten those comments before. I “substituted a major ingredient even though you said not to and it did not turn out, it was horrible, but thanks for the effort” (that is paraphrasing an actual comment I once got, sigh…)

  3. SEVEN HOURS? I mean, yeah, first world problems and all, but geez. We lost power for a good twelve hours in the big blackout the year Eve was born, and even the freezer was fine, and that was the height of summer, so I think you’ll be okay, otherwise that would be a giant piss-off. Also, I want to buy Jake a puppy or something right now.

  4. I hope you’re surviving the power outage and the trip to the food court for lunch. I did have to giggle at the term “Panic At The Disco feeling.” I’m definitely using that!

  5. I feel like seven hours is borderline for food spoilage. Shouldn’t the city give you a little more warning on that, or maybe a nice Food Basics voucher? SHADY. Plus – how come Mark doesn’t get to go out for lunch? Does he not come home for lunch anymore?

  6. Oh my goodness! This is the *worst*. When I lived in Ottawa we had a construction in the street situation one year that saw day after day of power interruptions and water cut-offs. It is really not a very nice feeling to hear your refrigerator crying “I’m melting. Meeelllllting!” Especially after a BIG Costco shop. 🙁

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