Blackout

[learn_more caption=”What’s New”] The world is a vampire and Bush is a liar. Nothing that we see and hear is true and I am overworked. My mind keeps drifting to the end of the month when I will gain two weeks of freedom. That is what keeps me going at this point. I am burnt from doing the same things everyday, from sitting in the same place and talking to the same people. I am tired of the breakneck pace. How many items can I crank out a day? How efficient am I? Very. I am fast and still I’m struggling to catch up with the loads of work that get dumped on us every day. Going home is the highlight of my day. It shouldn’t be that way but it is. At least home is a sanctuary and it offers a sweet escape from all the work.

DIAMONDS:
I make it a point to learn something new every day. Yesterday I learned that DeBeers is looking at a brave new world especially since two American startups have figured out how to make flawless diamonds (that are impossible to distinguished from mined diamonds) for a fraction of the cost. DeBeers has been exploiting African workers for too long and I hope they feel some pain for all the suffering they have caused in the world. Microprocessors will soon be made out of diamonds and I doubt the technology industry will look kindly on the DeBeer price tag. We are taught that diamonds are rare but the truth of the matter is that they are only rare because DeBeers controls the supply in the marketplace keeping diamonds at an astronomical price. As for myself, I might be looking at owning a flawless diamond at a fraction of the cost of a blood soaked one trafficked from DeBeers.
Read the article in WIRED >>

VACATION:
Our vacation is creeping up on us and I must say that I’m a bit worried about the heat wave sweeping through parts of Europe. It was 96 degrees in Rome yesterday. France has experienced nearly 3000 deaths from heat related causes. Hopefully the temperatures will cool off. Rob already got his international drivers license and everything is set with the exception of our Hotel booking in Naples. I can’t wait. I honestly feel rather burnt out on the job front (as is every one else). The 29th of this month marks our 3 year anniversary and I couldn’t be happier. It definitely doesn’t feel like three years have passed. We have made reservations a an awesome restaurant and the day after we will be off to Italy. I am so in love with Rob…really…it is awesome. Love you baby!

THE RED PLANET:
On August 28th Mars will come closer to the Earth than it has in 60,000 years. With a regular telescope it will be possible to see the surface of the red planet. In case you ever doubted there was anything up there…here’s your chance to see for yourself!

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At around 4:30 PM everything blinked and the UPS unit beneath my desk began its odious shrill. “Save! Save!” I yelled while I hit Apple Key, S. I shut down my Mac and then went around to make sure no one had lost anything. Phones in the office started ringing and we learned that people in different places had lost all power. I called my mom in West New York and she confirmed this. She had already been without electricity for ten minutes. People in Jersey City called too and that’s when I decided to reboot and go online to see if there was any news coverage. 1010Wins and CNN were slow to update but MSNBC was on the ball and had already posted a live broadcast that unfortunately didn’t work on a MAC. There were reports of a fire at Con Ed and this got me nervous. Were we under attack again? “No,” I thought, it was just a blackout, it had to be. I went next door and asked Lori if I could look at the live broadcast on her PC. They were saying that power had gone down in all of NY, parts of NJ as well Michigan and Ohio. This was apparently major. There were speculations that the power outage was caused by a technical glitch in Canada but no one is really certain about what truly happened.

“Pleased to meet you  / Hope you guessed my name,  / oh yeah  / But what’s confusing you  / Is just the nature of my game / Just as every cop is a criminal / And all the sinners saints / As heads is tails / Just call me Lucifer  / ‘Cause I’m in need of some restraint”
Sympathy for the Devil
–M. Jagger/K. Richards

Before I left Rockaway I noticed I was very low on gas and decided to refuel. This was a good thing considering that without electricity, fuel pumps were pretty useless. Earlier I had gone to a traffic website and checked out live cameras along Route 80. Traffic seemed to be moving so I had decided to go home. It was interesting to click along the road and see at which point the roadside cameras had lost power. I figured that 80, 46 and 3 didn’t have any traffic lights so I was hoping for a quick trajectory. Rob called me on the cell and told me I should have stayed at work. I told him that I would rather face a traffic jam than sit in my cubicle. I told him that I would be home soon and that traffic seemed lighter than usual. Signs along 80 signaled that both the Lincoln and Holland Tunnels had been closed and that traffic was being rerouted to the GWB. The radio stations didn’t work at first and all that I got was static but finally 104.3 started broadcasting NBC TV. Bloomberg was on the radio telling people that the blackout wasn’t a terrorist attack. He was giving people basic advice about keeping refrigerators closed, drinking a lot of water, staying calm and letting everyone know that there was a plan being rolled out. Supposedly there were hordes of people walking in the city and there was “pandemonium” on the streets as cars, subways, elevators and everything else came to a halt. I was glad I wasn’t in the city but I thought immediately about my dad and how he was going to get home.

I got onto 46 and traffic was moving quickly along. Route three was an equal breeze. I took the 17 service road and faced the first traffic light at Polito which was unmanned. After a couple of minutes I crossed the busy intersection and I came to the second light which fortunately had a traffic cop. All in all I got home at around 6:15 PM which is pretty early considering that I left Rockaway at 5:20 PM. I found the door open so I assumed that Rob was next door at his mom’s. The house was dark and the AC was off. I dropped off my bag and rang the bell next door. The neighbors had the right idea and they were in their pool. I found Rob sitting at his mom’s kitchen table comparing his tax returns. I suggested we party and grill. Rob’s mom was telling us about ’65 and ’77. A quart of melting vanilla ice cream was making a puddle on the table and Rosemary put it in the fridge. Blackouts are really commonplace everywhere else in the world so I wasn’t too worried. I went back home, lit some candles and took a cool shower. It felt good not to check Email.

I could hear Rob talking to his clients downstairs. Apparently all the fail over sites for these Fortune 500 companies are across the river in Jersey City. It makes you wonder if they ever truly anticipated a blackout. What made them think that if for some reason the power went out in Manhattan it wouldn’t go out in Secaucus? The servers are down! The servers are down! What will we do without these servers, without Wall Street for a day! As far as I’m concerned the stock market is pretty much useless. It’s all gambling to me and I don’t quite understand its importance especially when most of it seems to be based on analysts’ idiotic, often wrong predictions.

I came downstairs in my long skirt and skimpy shirt and sat outside on the deck. I must say I was having a good time. I put my feet up and sat for a while under the flowering plants looking at the sky–so blue, about to become black, really black in a long, long time. NYC lights up the sky every night preventing us from seeing the stars. The planes overhead stopped their diurnal pattern and it was, for the most part quiet. Rob came out a little while later and let the cats roam around. We turned on a battery powered radio and listened to the news. Basically no one knew when power was going to return. Rosemary was standing on her side smoking a cigarette. She mentioned earlier that she had bought hot dogs and I readily volunteered her dogs for grilling. Before we knew it we had a folding table laid out with chips, salsa, sour kraut, mustard and the most amazing Melon Balls (thanks to Rob who made excellent use of a can of pineapple Jason left over our house). We lit the torches on our deck and some candles and I must say it was really good to just chill. A meal never tasted so good!

At around 9:30 I went to put something in the fridge and noticed that the light came on. Then I heard the fountains begin spewing water. The power had returned! We wouldn’t have to face the heat after all. We continued our outdoor festivities regardless. In my opinion blackouts should happen more often. It felt good to just talk and gather and be close. I know that it can be a harrowing experience if you are stuck in an elevator or in a subway, but I also think people’s tendency to panic doesn’t agree with me. People need to make the best of every situation. I am glad that no rioting broke out like in ’77. It just goes to show that maybe we have evolved (at least slightly). The hospitals had power so that was encouraging. Even now only a fraction of the city is back up.

I called Robert this morning and he assured me that he had taken pictures across the river. The NYC skyline was a black silhouette against the moonlight, which was bright and yellow in the sky. As soon as I get those pictures I will post them. Maybe this blackout will prove to george W. that his energy bill is flawed and that he needs to reconsider what he is about to sign. We don’t need to build any more nuclear power plants in 2003. What we really need to do is put the money where it counts: Into renewable energy sources such as hydrogen. Achieving hydrogen via nuclear power is definitely a mockery of everything that is environmentally sane. It has been proven that nuclear power is not all that it’s cracked up to be. It’s not really very efficient and the bi product is depleted uranium, a substance that remains active for millions of years and which we haven’t found a way to safely dispose of. Honestly George W. must be stopped for so many reasons. I mean this man is talking about thinning our forests, mining for oil in our national parks and building more nuclear power plants which he plans to subsidize with tax payer money. Uh, what is not clear about what needs to be done with this guy?

I hope he chokes on a pretzel. Call me whatever you like, a communist, an un American, unpatriotic wench, I really don’t give a crap. This president signifies the opposite of every value this country was built upon. He has lied to us to justify a useless war in which we have already killed 7000 Iraqis, many of them civilians and hundreds of Americans. It’s very easy to stand there and boast, “Bring ’em on!” when you are surrounded by armed troops in the relative safety of your ranch, but what about the lives of our people. How is it that one president gets impeached for getting his dick sucked but one doesn’t even after telling us massive lies! Since this man has taken power we have seen nothing but suffering.

The TV tells only half truths. Yes there was a man arrested with a shoulder rocket launcher in Newark, but what they don’t tell you is that it was the American government who contacted him and tried to sell this to him. It wasn’t even a real rocket launcher…it was a mock-up of one. I’m not saying this guy isn’t dangerous but what you have to wonder is this: If this guy didn’t have any previous ties to any terrorist organization prior to this offer, than it stands to reason that had the offer never been made, he probably wouldn’t have pursued this course of action. I think it is un American to not question and to blindly follow everything we are told. It is un American to mislead and manipulate the masses with lies and broad statements. It is un American to create systems that override the checks and balances put in place by the US Constitution. It is un American to destroy civil liberties under the guise of “Homeland Security”. It is un American to hold prisoners without trial and under military juries. It is un American to favor the interests of the corporations over the interest of the people for a few campaign dollars. It is un American to wage pre-emptive war just because we can.

Gore recently gave a speech at NYU that I really think hits the nail on the head when it comes down to the Bush Regime’s misinformation game. We were told so many things would change and have they? Yes, for the worse. We are spending 4 billion a month in tax payer money in Iraq alone as more and more jobs continue to disappear on the home front. This man will have us eating out of cans in the dark before he admits that he made a mistake in going to war.