At this point, having attempted Holidailies every single year since its inception, and failed utterly (sometimes, like last year, barely managing to get off the ground), you might wonder why I even bother to keep tilting at this particular windmill. I admit to wondering the same thing. I think it's one part desire to connect, one part nostalgia for the old school OLJ days, and one part my favorite compulsion of setting impossible goals for myself, and feeling like a failure when I don't achieve them. Hey, everyone needs a hobby, right?
But I really do start every year with good intentions, and this year was no exception. Unfortunately, the advent of Holidailies happened to coincide with the last day of my class, a day that sounds as though it should mean winding down, but instead brings its special brand of frenetic energy. There are assignments to collect, students to talk off ledges, last-minute meetings, plans, phone calls, evaluations, stacks and stacks of papers, many of which need to be carefully read and graded.
So, although my yesterday wasn't anywhere near as regimented and packed to the minute as, say, Susan's, it was still a lot of activity. I got home late, grabbed something to eat in front of the computer, and just as I was trying to remember where I'd saved my site files for editing, a colleague called to vent about something that had happened during the day. That call ended around two hours later, when my phone battery died. If I'd been smart, I would've charged it immediately. Sadly, I'm not that smart.
The skies yesterday were leaden, an unusual display of actual weather in this normally weatherless area. When I got to the office in the morning, a colleague paused in my doorway to mention that blizzards were forecast for the nearby mountains. "We might get some rain out of that," he drawled. I nodded absently and thought about how I was going to handle this last day of class, bring the narrative of the semester to a meaningful close, give it some oomph instead of just... ending as students scatter off to the rest of their lives. I couldn't be bothered to consider anything so banal and abstract as the weather.
My colleague wandered back to his own office, and aside from casually wishing that I still owned an umbrella, I hadn't really given the weather any more thought all day. After my evening phone call ended so abruptly, however, I noticed that there seemed to be a lot of wind outside. My new apartment--I've been here since April, but it still feels "new"--faces an internal courtyard with a pool, so even though there are trees, it's unusual for me to notice what's going on beyond the balcony. It's sheltered enough that we had monsoons this summer I wasn't aware of until I saw them on the news or heard people talk about them. (Granted, it was a pretty mild monsoon season, but still.) So the fact that some outdoor goings-on penetrated both architectural barriers and my own quasi-inviolable bulwarks of obliviousness was pretty notable in and of itself.
Around 11:30 pm, the weather upped its game and cut off electricity to the whole complex. And, as I discovered when I called the utility company, a large portion of the state. Since nothing I do is really doable without electricity or at least batteries*, I went to bed. When I woke up this morning? Still no power. Which means that not only did I miss posting for Holidailies, I also paid a fortune in parking so I could carry the most perishable contents of my refrigerator into work, for safe storage. (I took advantage of the opportunity of driving instead of walking to return the eight million library books I had sitting around, including paying yet another fortune in my first-ever library fines. But that's fodder for... well, certainly not for an entry. Maybe for very boring small talk at the next department party.)
I suppose you could say that this post is basically a not-so-original twist on "the dog ate my homework," an excuse for failing to meet a deadline, refusing to take responsibility for my own bad decisions, shifting the blame to the gods of fate and literal ill winds. I did get a teasing DM on Twitter early in the day demanding to know where my entry was, so perhaps I should've taken that as advance warning that things would be going pear-shaped before the day was out. But I've never trusted prophecies and portents, preferring to go with the flow and see where it takes me (or where it makes me take myself). This time, it took me to a very dark place--but only in the most literal sense. I'm still optimistic about posting with some regularity this month. No, really.
It's just that some entries might be a little late, is all.
*I'm talking about a strong flashlight, for reading. What else could I possibly have meant?