Squishy

And earlier today I was having trouble of thinking of things to post.

Now, I’m sitting behind my desk, barefoot.  For you ladies this may not be a weird thing, but for me it’s downright freaktastic.  My space heater is on in my office.  Likewise, not so weird for you gals – one of my office mates does it every damned day, even in August, while the other manages to eke by with just a sweater – but for me, it’s downright crazy.

So, what the hell?

Answer:  My space heater is drying my shoes and socks, thank you very much.  They may be dry by the end of the day, but I’m not betting on it.  And my pants definitely won’t be.

That…was the most torrential downpour I’ve ever seen in my life.

Early this morning, watching the news and eating my Cheerios, I saw that there was a big badass storm about 40 miles to the north.  Not usually a problem, but this one seemed to have taken a bit of a southern track, and was headed this way.  It looked as though it would still pass to the east of us.  Still, I took the unusual precaution of waking Dys and telling her that I was moving all the easily-blowable stuff outside and to watch the basement.  “It should miss us,” I said, “but just in case.”

Fast forward an hour and a half, and the rain starts coming down at my office.  My office window usually leaks a bit – the building’s 25 years old and this particular office has had issues for at least the last 10 – so I wasn’t surprised to see some water start to pool on my windowsill.  So I grabbed the paper towels and started to lay down an absorbent layer.  After that I went to tell my boss, and since we’re drastically shorthanded today, she manned the front while I walked our entire office area to find any leaks.

When I came back, the water was running down my window like a faucet.  I mean, sure, I want running water in my office, but I’d prefer hot and cold.  Or a drinking-water filter.  Or, at a bare minimum, an “OFF” knob.  Sheesh.

As I sat there, tearing off new sections from a men’s room paper towel roll and sloshing the wet ones into my trash can, dripping across my carpet on the way, my boss came into my office and said that she’s heard third-hand that our storage space across campus was leaking.

I’m the dude in charge of the storage space.  And me without my galoshes.  Or better yet, my Deadliest Catch-esque oilskins.

The administration first sent out an alert that said “Campus is flooding.  If you’re not here, stay away; if you’re here, stay put.”  Then they sent an alert closing the campus, but saying “it’s not safe to leave.  Wait for further instructions.  If your office starts to flood, go to the library or student union.”  But still I had the responsibility for the storage space.  So I grabbed my little umbrella from my bag and stepped outside to cross campus.

I quickly found out that my shoes are a lot more waterproof from the inside than the outside.  Like a roach motel.  The water gets in, but not out.

I walked through water more than ankle-deep – and that was after I altered my route to avoid the DEEP spots, like the one where the golf cart sat with water over the wheel wells.  I cut through the student union, took six steps outside, and turned back around and went back inside.  The street I needed to cross was completely submerged under two feet of water.  And the rain was still pouring down.  I’m pretty sure at one point I saw Kate Winslet and Leo DiCaprio run by, followed closely by Billy Zane brandishing a pistol.

So I got totally soaked, couldn’t even do what I set out to do, and dragged my butt back to my office in failure.  And obscenely squishy shoes.  I was in the men’s room wringing my socks out into the floor drain…when the goddamned fire alarm went off. I shit you not.  So I cleared my floor of the building and hung out in the vestibule with the few employees still around until they cleared the alarm.  Then it was back into the office, so I sat down and started typing this blog entry.

And that’s when the power went out…after I’d started drafting this post.  And stayed out for about two hours, during which point we were still advised not to leave campus.  We were hearing from others (including Dys) about which roads were closed, and pretty much every route out of the U was closed, so we sat around looking at each other and wondering when the next-forecast storm would show up before we finally got the word to go home.

I tried to walk to my storage space again since it had dried off…but the road was even more flooded than before.  No dice – I’ll have to wait until tomorrow morning to see if things are kosher there or not.  I weaseled my way home around flooded roadways spotted with cars covered up to their windows and dodging a couple of fallen trees.

Now I’m home, we’ve had another rainstorm since then, and another one may be possible this evening.  We got six inches of rain during the first two hours.

Anybody got a spare rowboat?  Cheap?

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9 Responses

  1. I would spontaneously combust right at my desk if I had a space heater on under there.

    I’m not one of those girls who is cold all the time. Actaully, I’m quite the opposite. Hahaha!

    Squishy.

    Mmmm-HMMM. I heard that! 😀

  2. I am NEVER cold…ever. But I am a person that has a spare pair of socks and emergency shoes the office and in my vehicle for stuff like this…but I am freak. There may, or may not, be some hidden underwear too…you never know what emergecies pop up.

    We joke that my boss and I together make a good thermometer. When her sweater comes off, it’s HOT. When my heater goes on or my arms aren’t visible, it’s COLD.

    • Leave it to MTAE to be Macgiver (sp?) and have an extra pair of socks and shoes! ha!

      I’m kind of average when it comes to hot/cold. I froze to death every morning in the winter time at my last job though. Our school had heat, but it was confined to the classrooms. When you went into the hallway, it was 50 degrees. Going to the bathroom sucked butt! No hot water…just ice cold…and sitting on the toilet? Those were the days I wished just for bathroom time, that I could be a man.

      Here it’s the opposite. The bathrooms are sweltering in the summertime, whereas half of the building hovers around 65 degrees even in August.

  3. I’m a space heater girl, big-time…but the utility company where I work tends to frown on that…so now I’m a sweater girl.

    What a day (for you)! There are no redeeming qualities about squishy shoes.

    After a few hours under the fan, the shoes appear to have survived.

  4. I normally love some weather excitement, especially this time of year when it seems like every day is the same ol’, same ‘ol. However, this is a little extreme. I’m glad you got home safely, if a little squishily.

    It’s really too bad I couldn’t record the sound my shoes were making when I got back to my office before I wrung my socks out. It was hilarious.

  5. I had those days when you say, Fuck it, I can’t get any wetter.” You know what the sad fact is? You can.

    Yep. The top half of my body could have gotten wetter, in this case.

  6. I never seem to get cold, I’m the girl begging everyone to turn the air up because I’m too hot.

    Anyway, that was kind of a “if it could go wrong then it did go wrong” situation wasn’t it? Glad you finally made it home safely though.

    Yep. A few campus buildings are still closed because apparently some diesel fuel got into the drains, which then backed up and fountained into the lower floors of that corner of campus. Yippee!!

  7. I have been spending way too much time in downpours lately. I am still wet from one I encountered this evening. Oh, and I still had laundry on the line. Extra rinse cycle. Sweet.

    Getting that last bit of detergent out of your delicates, eh?

  8. Please tell me how staying on campus while it is flooding is safer than leaving.

    “The water is past my quads and something just bit my toe, but it’s safer a spot at the mall.”

    Obviously the university president’s house wasn’t leaking.

    In this case, it actually was safer.

    This campus is more or less surrounded by railroad lines. The streets around campus run through viaducts underneath those railroad tracks – and several of those viaducts are prone to flooding during any heavy rain. (They have depth markers painted on the sides for good reason.) In this case, even the viaducts that are normally fine were heavily flooded – the ones that are normally bad? I went by one of them at 7pm, about 8 hours after the rain had stopped, and you still couldn’t see daylight through the TOP of it.

    After some of the water had subsided around 2pm, they not only gave us the all clear to go home, but posted on the main web site which routes out of campus were safe and which were blocked. The university police routed street traffic through an alley and a (usually-closed $50-a-month high muckity-mucks) parking lot to get around one of the problem areas – that’s how I got home.

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