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Last night my neighborhood experienced not ONE, but TWO power outages, each within minutes of each other. Normally, power outages don’t bother me. They are often annoying inconveniences, but last night I had a minor scare. It wasn’t really the outage itself that scared me, nor was it the darkness, but it was the timing of the power outage that freaked me out because I was utterly caught off guard at an especially awkward time.

It was late last night, not 1am late, but still late for what I was doing. I was taking a bath after everyone in my household had already gone to bed. I had my bath set up perfectly: Soothing hot water? Check. Charged up iPad? Check. Netflix movie queued up & ready to go? Also check! No interruptions? Check, check, check. Until it had happened. I was lounging comfortably in my bathtub in the middle of watching a Netflix movie. I had already completed the cleansing & washing part of my bath, the business end. So, next came the leisure part of my bath routine, my favorite part of taking a bath. More than soaking in the hot water, I like playing games or watching a Netflix movie on my iPad “Richard” while lounging in the bathtub.

Last night I was particularly relaxed because nobody was up & about with any opportunities to interrupt my relaxing bath. That’s when the power outage decided to rear its ugly & inconvenient head. I was two-thirds in to watching my movie, & all of a sudden I heard a noise, one close to a power source shutting down, then all the lights went out. Barely five seconds later, the power returned. However, I was already feeling alarmed. I jumped out of the bath, grabbed my towel, & woke Jian up to ask him to check the home’s circuit breaker panel. Everything seemed to be in order since the power had come back. The Internet connection had been rebooted, so I had to wait a few minutes to continue watching my movie. Needless to say, I didn’t take this first mini outage as any cue to finish up my bath & go to bed. I hopped right back into my bath, which was still warm, & continued to watch Netflix.

Ten minutes later, I was really becoming engrossed in the movie, & the power goes out again. This time I was a little more on the scared side. The entire neighborhood was covered in pitch black darkness. I’m not afraid of the dark in my own home, mostly because my 90-year old next door neighbor always keeps his kitchen lights on, & it creates a glow that shines all the way to my house. I live on a hill, & my elderly neighbor’s house is on the higher side of the slope (I’m on the lower side of the slope). Our adjoining property-line fence sits lower than most fences because he complains about it blocking his non-existent view. Therefore, his kitchen light shines into my bedroom at night, creating a nice nightlight effect. This helps me to see in the dark, especially if I have to get up in the middle of the night to pee.

This time I was sitting in the bathtub, & all of a sudden everything goes black & the house is eerily quiet (probably because the bathroom ceiling fan went out as well as my movie). The bathroom was so dark I couldn’t even see the door. I got out of the tub again, & woke Jian up yet again to check the house once more. This time the power stayed out for over twenty minutes, & I finally decided to finish my bath. I couldn’t watch anything on Netflix anyway, so I had no interest in sitting in a pool of water bathed in darkness (haha, no pun intended). It felt weird, cleaning up & getting ready for bed by the light of a flashlight & backlight from my smartphone. There was nothing romantic about it, no soft glow, no ambience. It was all shadows & creepy beams of light dancing along the cold walls. I did end up finishing my Netflix movie. The power came back on. More than anything, I felt grateful that though we have many clocks around our house, most of them run on batteries, so the only clocks I had to reset this morning were the ones on the kitchen stove & microwave. Who decides to take a bath late at night in the middle of a power outage? This guy. [Points to myself] Cheers.

Today’s song of the day:

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Baths aren’t just for little kids, ladies who want to unwind with a glass of Chardonnay & aromatherapy candles, or newlyweds making Le Sexy Time in the honeymoon suite with a heart-shaped tub. They’re not just for old timers in need of a sponge bath either. Baths are for everyone.

I like to take baths every now & again. About once a week I will swap one of my showers with taking a bath. I think baths are great, even though sometimes they can be a chore to set up (i.e. pre & post tub clean up, adding bubbles, oils or scents (optional), putting on music (also optional), adjusting the desired water temperature). Even at my age, I do not find anything childish or cheesy about taking baths. I am part Japanese, & taking baths is a huge part of Japanese culture. I also grew up taking lots of baths as a child. My grandmother always told me that when I was born, I was so tiny she would often give me baths in the bathroom sink. I didn’t believe it until I saw photo evidence in an old photo album.

I thoroughly enjoy baths. I find taking baths to be quite relaxing. Sometimes I will listen to music while taking a bath, but mostly I will play games on my smartphone or read an e-book on my tablet. I used to enjoy adding aromatherapy bubble bath solution to my bath water, but it always made a residue ring in my tub at the end of my baths, & I would have to scrub the tub afterwards, which was a hassle after I’ve just spent time trying to relax. Also, the brand of bubble solution I liked (which had a eucalyptus scent) was quite pricey, so I stopped buying it to save money.

Between my teenage years & my twenties, I used to think baths were cheesy; taken by sexy single ladies & housewives who like to put an ungodly amount of candles around the tub, turn the lights down low, suds up the bubbles & pour themselves a glass of wine, all while reading romance novels with hunky, beefcake heroes who sweep them off their feet. Now that that silly idea has been scrubbed from my mind, I have become an advocate of taking a bath from time-to-time.

It actually is relaxing. I like to keep the bathroom lights off, letting only the light from the small window illuminate the space. It’s not quite dark, but not very sunny & bright. If I’m in the mood, I will put on some music from my iPod. I usually like to read a magazine or a book, maybe even play a puzzle game on my smartphone. However, I mostly like to close my eyes, shut off my mind, clear all of my thoughts, & just let myself float in the water. Of course I will eventually get to the actual washing part, but I like to let my tired muscles soak in the hot water. I’d like to add that I like my bath water really, really hot. Ok, maybe not scalding hot…I don’t want to come out looking like a boiled lobster, but I like it hot enough that I have to dip my feet in a couple of times before I lower my derrière straight into the tub.

If you ever get a chance to take a bath, even if it’s just for 10 minutes, I’d say do it. It is like a little slice of privacy & a small escape from everything going on outside the bathroom. Hey, you can even imagine that you’re a kid again & pretend you’re a captain of your own pirate ship. Or perhaps you’re an explorer in a submarine. Either way, enjoy yourself…in the bath. Cheers!

Today’s song of the day:

It seems the weather is becoming cooler, & Mother Nature is getting ready for the Autumn/Winter seasons.  So here I bring you a list of things that bring me joy in the Autumn/Winter time:

  • the feeling after taking a hot shower
  • hot chocolate with whipped cream (& marshmallows if you like them)
  • a big bowl of hearty beef stew
  • wearing thick socks
  • sitting next to a crackling fireplace
  • wearing slipper booties (WOoT for Isotoners!)
  • flannel pajamas (especially the ones w/ the feet)
  • a hot bubble bath with rich bubbles
  • a steaming bowl of Chinese soup noodles (or rice porridge)
  • a fresh, hot cup of coffee in a ceramic mug
  • watching the rain thru the window while you are warm & dry indoors
  • sitting under a warm kotatsu, eating snacks & drinking beer while watching sports on TV
  • having post-MLB / World Series / NFL tailgate parties at home
  • listening to the sound of the rain before falling asleep
  • a warm towel straight from the dryer
  • the toasty feeling of clean clothes straight from the dryer
  • movie marathons while sitting under a blanket & eating freshly popped popcorn

 

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