I walked into work around 12:00 today, slouch shouldered and bummed.
"How's it going?" asked CoworkerKristi.
"@#$% my life," I replied.
You see, Austin has not experienced much weather other than Arrakis-like heat and the occasional Degobah-like humidity for about, oh, two years.
Not so long ago, in May, the sky tried this thing called "raining" again, and at first we were overjoyed. And then one night I was about to go to bed when I noticed a large puddle had formed on our dining room floor. I immediately blamed Lucy, but even her mighty bladder wouldn't have held that much, and besides, she hasn't had an accident in years. So I looked up and a chunk of plaster was missing from the ceiling where we had a drip.
Not a drip from a pipe, but from the roof. I live in a two story place, and so this was a surprise. You see, the drip managed to form in the roof directly above where a wall sits in our upstairs, between the guest bath and the laundry room, wide enough to accommodate piping. So we were managing to leak through two floors of the house.
The fix required roofers (cheaper and easier than I'd expected), then "The Steam Team" to arrive and clean up the mess, then repaint three rooms, including the ceiling of not just the dining room but the adjoining kitchen and living room. @#$%ing open floor plans.
About that same time, our air conditioner conked out, and we had to have it fixed. Not cheap.
Last Tuesday Jamie and I were enjoying some unseasonably wet and stormy weather when SHAZAM! Lightning came down and smacked our street, setting off the burglar alarm for a second and rebooting the TV. No big deal. But an hour later, Jamie noticed that "hey, the AC isn't blowing and it's warm up here".
The board on the "damper" of the AC didn't just fry at our house, the lightning seemed to get every house within 5 houses that I know, of, possibly 6. In addition, my neighbor suffered a busted gas line, a melted microwave and the loss of a few other appliances. We only lost a $15 phone.
I suppose the story is that our houses don't have the AC on a breaker or behind a surge protector.
While I was in Ohio, Jamie dealt with Michael the repairman and got all of that fixed up, so when I returned, we were living like 21st Century humans once again.
Sunday I was chatting with some neighbors about the lightning strike when it began to rain once again. This story ends with me standing in the hallway upstairs and saying to myself "my, but that lightning sounded close" and, once again, we lost the AC.
I am now the proud owner of yet another new board and a surge protector on the outside of my house.
And I am very, very poor.
So if anyone wants to start a Kickstarter for my performance art piece "Ryan Gets Struck Twice by Lightning", go nuts. We don't need much.