Wednesday, January 7, 2009

High Voltage

I blow out light bulbs. I don't mean to do it, it just happens. Usually it's when I am stressed out, and sometimes I don't even realize I'm stressed until a bulb pops. It's a nice little reminder to take a deep breath and relax. One time I blew out a whole room. Another time the whole house went out. I swear I am not making this up. Anyway, the reason I'm sharing is that my power went out today. I was sitting here, getting ready to motivate for the day and *poof* everything turned off. Crap. Not like I can't clean in the semi-darkness of a dismal day (thank god for skylights), but suddenly I just didn't feel like it as in: "What? The vacuum won't work? Well then, neither will I!" I cleaned anyway...the vacuum strike would end eventually, I had to be prepared.

So, back to the light bulb thing…this is an actual phenomenon that affects more people than just me, kind of like those people who can't wear watches because of their body chemistry or whatever. There's even a name for people who affect lights and other electrical equipment…Sliders or something. I blogged about this once a couple of years ago in another myspace incarnation, but now I can't remember what Sliders stands for, it's some kind of acronym.

I have been blowing out light bulbs in every place I've lived since the age of 11. For the longest time I didn't know light bulbs were supposed to last more than a couple of months. I thought it was normal to look for light bulb sales and stock up like you're preparing for the apocalypse.

My kids have seen me do it. This one time I went to turn on a lamp in the living room and the bulb popped. It wasn't any big deal to me but they thought it was pretty cool because a flash of blue light went from the lamp over to the TV and then the TV went out too. "Do it again, Mom!" Unfortunately, I haven't learned to control it like that…yet. Sometimes when I see Elle on the show "Heroes" I wistfully think, "If only." *sigh* but I would use my powers for good…most of the time.

I blew out the living room another time when I was steam cleaning the carpet. I was really angry about some thing or another and suddenly everything electrical within a 10-15 foot radius shut down. Lights, TV, steam-cleaner…all of it. At first I didn't think it was me.  I thought it was a regular black-out but when I went into the kitchen and all the lights were on I knew I had to chill the fuck out for a minute or two.

When I blew the whole house out I didn't think it was me either at first. I was blogging about something stupid my X had done and wham-o, black-out! It was pretty late at the time so I thought some drunken idiot hit a pole and knocked out the power to the neighborhood. I went to the fuse box in the garage just to make sure and realized that I'd left the door open after cutting the grass…and that the rest of the neighborhood was lit up just fine. Then I got kind of panicked thinking that some freak had walked in and cut the power like in some horror movie and that I was about to be shredded to ribbons. I started flipping fuses and eventually everything came back on. Whew! But…yikes…I'd never blown out a whole house before! From where I was sitting at the computer, the fuse box was about 8 feet away on the other side of the wall…that was pretty crazy.

I have been able to keep the bulb blowing to just lamps and wall fixtures for a while, but I go through DVD players like crazy and I can't have microwaves anymore because they refuse to cooperate. There are only two bulbs in my house that I haven't affected. Every other bulb gets replaced every few months and none of them just burn out on their own, they all pop when I flip the switch. Even those supposedly "long-lasting" bulbs are no match for my particular gift.

So, the power went out in my house and the rest of the court next to me. The power company didn't know what the problem was from the main office but they sent people out to check on it. Everything is up and running again thankgoodness; I just hope they don't ultimately determine that I personally am Ground Zero and haul me off to a lab for testing.

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