August 14th 2003

I don't feel very brave just at this moment.  No work till end of September.

And then the lights all went out!.... Strange night... what is it with me and this city?!   Power is now back on, but everywhere is messed up.  No trains or subways.  There goes the city's budget balancing act!

Last night everyone just sat out in the street lit up by candles and flashlights.  Someone had a radio turned up and allowed the street to listen to the latest news. My landlord, Abdulla, returned from a three week trip home to Lebanon.  I said welcome home, but what a welcome.  He was pleased that his children had looked after his plants including the Bazil, and very thoughtfully put candles in the hallways.  He offered a candle for the apartment, but I assured him I was okay. I had spent a very lazy day and was feeling guilty that I hadn't gone out looking for jobs.  One I was interested in was working at Barnes @ Noble for very little an hour, but it is the biggest bookshop chain in the country.  However I didn't and this was very fortuitous. My room-mate Dave had to walk home from Manhattan.  An hour's walk in 90 degree heat is no fun at all. 
Last night we could see the stars for the first time over Manhattan.  It was hot and humid, but not as humid as it could have been.  The power came back on around 4am and we are now not feeling guilty at all staying at home and reading and lazing about, as the subways and trains are hardly operating.  I will do a bit more work in learning Excel and Word, programmes needed for temping, and then may be a DVD for later.

Anyway reassuringly the air-conditioner is on and worth every penny and I have survived the big blackout of 2003.