Friday, February 10, 2006

I ♥ Energy Efficiency. (Also, This Girl Has Issues.)

I love my house. Really, I do. It's super cute, with its high ceilings and hardwood floors and built-in china cabinet thing. Nice neighborhood, wonderful neighbors, etc. It's plenty spacious – 1000 square feet. A Thousand Square Feet! One. Thou. Sand. I'll never be able to afford that much space in DC! My best shot will be to win that contest they have every four years to see who gets to live in the pretty white mansion on Pennsylvania Ave. (I think it's put on by the people at Publisher's Clearinghouse, but I'll have to get back to you on that.) At any rate, my house is lovely. But, much of the loveliness is due to the fact that it was built in the 1940s, back in the days before "double-paned windows" and "insulation" were invented. Thus, my abode has the heat retention properties of mosquito netting.

Despite all the TV news reports about increased energy costs this winter and don't use your oven to heat the house and blah, blah, blah, that January natural gas bill came as quite a surprise. $589,236.74 and my firstborn child? What, are you going to have him shoveling coal into the furnace? Are children the alternative fuel of the future?

Being the control freak that I am, I decided to take matters into my own hands. First, I turned down the thermostat, which had previously been set at a very tropical 64 degrees. Then, I went to Lowe's in search of this plastic wrap for one's windows that my grandma used to have. Like in 1987. (Yes, I know. I've skipped becoming my mother and turned directly into my grandmother. Scary indeed.) Did anyone offer me assistance? No. Because I am a girl in a hardware store, so clearly I am just looking for my husband who is busy picking out whatever home improvement things we need. (Husband? Hah! Owning a home? Double hah!)

As it turns out, they still make this plastic window sheeting stuff. (It is located at the end of the insulation aisle, should you be wondering.) And all you need to install it is a hairdryer, along with the plastic sheeting and special tape that comes in the little box. I can totally handle home improvement projects whose entire tool needs are a hairdryer! And the package promises to increase the R-rating of my windows by up to 90%. Which, according to my calculations, is better than zero. I thought about purchasing every package in the display, but decided that six would do – I've got to leave a couple packages for the rest of the Northern California customers taking it up the arse from PG&E.

So, to re-cap, all by myself I (a) found the plastic window sheeting, (b) purchased said plastic window sheeting at the little "Self-Check" station, which I was going to bypass, but the lone checker appeared to be in over his head with this couple and their truckload of 2x4s, so I decided to do the dirty work by my damn self, despite the fact that I know this plastic window sheeting is marked up to cover the cost of Lowe's labor, of which I have made zero use and (c) installed said plastic window sheeting.

And the February natural gas bill? $50 cheaper, thanks to my $12 trip to Lowe's. See? I don't need you, PG&E. I don't need you, Lowe's checker-outer-boy and other non-speaking staff members. I don't need you, friends/family/Internet strangers. I don't need any of you. (Only I really do. Need each and every one fo you in such a deep and profound way that it scares teh crap out of me to think about it, so I just don't.)

(Wow, I can't believe I just said that out loud. My mom would pay good money to hear me say that. As would my therapist. Wait, maybe Mom can pay the therapist... No, I don't really have a therapist. But I probably should. But why bother, when I can prattle on about my issues to the whole Internet for free?)

(And seriously? I typed that Very Scary Sentence with my eyes squeezed shut and my head turned away from the monitor, cuz just reading the words freaks me out, so I hope there aren't any major typos.)

Anyway, back to my normal level of lunacy. According to the additional information from PG&E, my February bill would have been significantly higher than January because rates went up and the weather was colder. So, really, I have only me and my plastic window sheeting to thank. Oh, joyous day of reduced energy costs! I feel warm all over! Though it's probably because I've got six sweaters on under this sweatshirt. And I may very well blow that $50 on a new pair of shoes. But no matter, it'll keep me from noticing how blue my toes are.


At Fri Feb 10, 11:57:00 PM PST, Anonymous Clueless said...

There you go with the shoes again. Fess up - how many pairs are lurking in your closet already?

At Sat Feb 11, 01:46:00 AM PST, Anonymous america has a **fun** addiction! said...

the fact that nobody at the hardware store helped you has little to nothing to do with your gender, and everything to do with the fact that you were at a LOWE'S!!! need i remind you that had you gone to your locally-owned neighborhood true value store, help would have been just around the corner?

and what's with all the parentheses and the word "teh"? did you celebrate your victory over the cold miser with six[teen] beers?

anyway, congrats on sealing up.

At Sat Feb 11, 06:35:00 AM PST, Blogger Daily Tragedies said...

I tried! My locally-owned neighborhood hardware store closes at 5:00 pm. 5!!!! I can count on zero hands the number of times I've left my office before five this year. So, Lowe's it was.

Clueless--that may need to be the subject of a whole post. I don't think I've got enough space here...

At Sat Feb 11, 06:46:00 PM PST, Anonymous Clueless said...

You may not have seen the cold war advertisements for military fighter jets, but they used to have photos of the jet with the bombs and rockets and bullets they could carry lined up in on the flight line in front of the jet. Perhaps you could line up all your shoes in the living room of your thousand square foot house and post a photo of them. Then we would know the truth about you.


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