Honolulu (and the island of Oahu) is lights out

It’s not like I didn’t warn you. What did I say just a few days ago? (We know, Brenda, you told us HECO was completely incapable and that it is a completely useless electric company). I guess, in anticipation of the storm that is coming, someone at HECO really messed up and now the entire ISLAND (yes, that’s what I said, the entire island of Oahu) is out of power and we’ve been that way for four hours and counting.

I had a whole Friday evening planned out for myself. I was all ready to paint the town red and attend the 5th annual Head Gear Party, hosted by my high school classmates. (I was going to be a very stylin’ Chinese cowgirl, by the way). Instead, I found myself sitting by candlelight for the second time in a week! While I do really enjoy feeling like I’m in the back woods of Maine all over again, I have to tell you I would much prefer having a gin and tonic with my high school friends and catching up on old (and embarrassing) times way back when we were teenagers.
I guess, instead, it’s really time to dig up my list of things to do when things go bad. That really comes in handy right about now. So, as follow up to my list, here’s some commentary:

  1. Be creative: Does driving around in the dark, with no stoplights telling people when to go count? There is bumper-to-bumper traffic on Pensacola Street (just one block away from me) right now, and people are irate. I can hear sirens blaring, dogs barking, and people yelling. It is not a happy scene here this Friday evening at 11 pm. If I could make a slight amendment to my tip, I would say you might be better off walking around in the dark, because DRIVING around in a blackout is just plain dangerous.
  2. Letter to a loved one: I would still support this activity. It really helped me calm down as I texted the heck out of every one of my friends who are across town (maybe in traffic or playing Scrabble with each other by candlelight).
  3. Conversation with a stranger: Sorry, I’m too scared to invite a stranger into my home and make small talk by candlelight. Maybe next time…
  4. Indulge in food: I was cutting eggplant and almost ready to fry it on the stove when the electricity cut out. I am really wishing I’d stocked up on that Peanut Butter ‘n Chocolate ice cream I spoke of, but I didn’t. I haven’t had dinner yet, I can’t bear to open my fridge for fear of letting the cold air out, I’m hungry, and I’m grumpy.
  5. Sleep: This is my only alternative. Yes, I think sleep would be good for me right about now.

… but thank goodness for Hele Wireless internet! With traffic, newspaper presses, and regular internet at a complete standstill, Gadling might just be one of the first sites with really pertinent news that, if we were smart enough, we probably would’ve already known:

  • The Hawaiian Electric Company has no business being Hawaii’s electric company.
  • There are over a million very unhappy Honolulu residents right now.
  • Cell phone companies likely made BANK between the hours of 7-9 pm this evening, when the entire island of Oahu went black and people had nothing better to do but call their loved ones (see #2 on my list) and complain about how this situation is really, really bad.
  • At least we are thankful for it not being less than 70 degrees outside.
  • Even more Hawaii residents are thinking about getting off the grid – not just me (thanks, Marilyn, for the link!).
  • It’s a Friday night, but at least there’s always Saturday night!

[This photograph was taken at 10:53 p.m. Hawaii Standard Time. If you look really closely, you’ll see my very unamused pug Iris by my chin.]