Tuesday, 18 September 2012
I have entitled this blog "Miscellany," but it's mostly going to be about today and the weather. Because I am boring.
So yesterday was a Jewish holiday and a lot of schools and stuff had off. I don't know which holiday it was because a) I am not Jewish and b) I never had it off when I was in school. The town I grew up in had so few Jewish people that we never had those holidays off. If you happened to be Jewish, you could have it off without being penalized, but they didn't see the point of giving the rest of us off.
Oddly enough, I am now living in a VERY Jewish area, like seriously there are about 100 synagogues within this town and the next. I am pleased with myself that I spelled synagogue right there. Wow. Anyway, that is only a slight exaggeration. Often on Friday evenings I will see many, many, many people walking to one of the approximately six temples I pass on the way home (if I go a certain way, which I usually do on Fridays).
Anyway, since it was a holiday I figured the traffic might be lighter than usual. Since school has reopened, traffic has been heavier, so I have been making an effort to leave a few minutes earlier. I find if I leave at 7:35-7:40, traffic is horrendous, but if I leave at 7:25-7:32, traffic is pretty light. During the summer, I was often leaving as late as 7:45, but not getting to work late. Not so anymore!
I still left by 7:35 or so, which might be good but might be bad. Well, first I got stuck at the freight train stop a block or so from the apartment. Most of the train tracks in this county are level crossings because they are too cheap to build bridges. If you are stuck behind a passenger train it's not so bad because those are, max, six or seven cars, and unless you are at one of the stations, where the train has to block the road to let people off, you're fine. This one, however, is a freight train stop, so the trains are like 100 or so cars long (I counted once, and lost track at like 120 or so, I was getting dizzy) and it can take up to 10-20 minutes for them to pass. Luckily I must have hit the end of the train because I only had to sit there for about 2 minutes.
Then, there was an accident on Highway #1. I have to take three different highways to get to work. Well, I don't have to, I could conceivably take more back roads to get directly to Highway #3, (or back roads all the way, if I had to) but this way has so far seemed to be the most expedient. Unless it's after 7:40. The accident was right near where Highway #1 connects with Highway #2. Thankfully (probably because of the holiday) it wasn't too terrible. The car(s?) had been cleared away, there were just two police cars in the right lane (which is the lane you need to be in to get to Highway #2) and the policemen were standing there talking to someone (a witness?), and there was some debris in the road.
This morning, I woke to find that it was pretty dark out, and looked out to see that it was very gray. Since I only vaguely pay attention to the weather patterns, this was a surprise to me. I think. Maybe? Anyway I knew that rain usually makes drivers stupid, so I dragged my lazy self out of bed and left a little early. Bad news, I left my umbrella in the car (note, again, my lack of attention to weather) but good news it was not raining very hard. Also bad news, I wore socks. :P
Anyway maybe some people still had off today or maybe I left early enough because traffic was pretty light and the line at Starbucks was not terribly long and I got to work early. I like when that happens. :)
La, de, dah, such went the day until about 3:30. I had gone to talk to Coworker Gail about an email I had just sent her, which had just been sent to me and I had forwarded to her, FYI, when the lights went out. They came back on immediately, along with the computers, but of course there were lots of "OH!" type cries going around because some people probably didn't save their work.
About 20 seconds after that, the fire alarm started to go off. I went back to my desk and everyone was gathering sweaters and umbrellas and such, so I did the same, as well as my phone, and we all trudged outside beneath the blaring alarms. An announcement, barely audible over the conversations and the alarms, told us all to evacuate the building.
After last year's Earthquake, which was on Matt's birthday which is also my dad's birthday, they decided they needed a way to figure out how to evacuate the building, and we even did a drill also. Each department was assigned a spot to go to in the parking lot to gather. Ours of course is in the furthest possible spot from the building without leaving the property. Thankfully, it wasn't raining, though it was pretty windy and also humid.
So we stood there messing with our cell phones and making jokes about how Matt looks like George Costanza only with slightly more hair (for now). We heard sirens, and the fire-chief SUV thingie came by but of course being as we were out in the middle of nowhere we had no idea what was going on. There was also this loud, low WHOMWHOM WHOMWHOM type noise. Finally, after about 20 minutes, the fire chief SUV thingie drove away and people started to go back in so we followed.
Well now all the lights were out. The Clueless One had talked to some lady whose husband is in the town Fire Department and she said that a transformer had blown. So there were a few lights, but not really enough to see by, and of course all the computers were off. Also, the AC was out, and having walked back up the stairs (since the elevator wasn't working) it was hot. Some people had to use the bathroom and go down to the second floor (we're on the third) because the lights in the third floor bathroom were out. Some people went to the dark bathrooms anyway. After about five minutes, the VP came by and told Frank he could tell everyone to go home if he felt we weren't going to be productive.
It was about 4:10 by then. So we all left. I saw some other ladies in the building who were scheduled to leave at 4:15, and their boss had wanted them to stay and file. I said, "In the dark?"
So then it took probably 30 minutes to get from the parking lot to the main road because a) everyone was leaving and b) the traffic light was out. I went left instead of right (toward the highway) which probably saved me another 15-20 minutes of waiting, and took the back roads. Whee.
Got home a little after 5. Called the car guy to make an appointment for Saturday. Did some drawing. Played with the cat. Watched Jeopardy. Made dinner - lamb, spaghetti & alfredo sauce with a side of avocado. I like avocados. I think they're good for me, too? Watched some more TV.
That was my evening. It rained pretty heavy about 7:30 to 8, but there wasn't any lightning and the power stayed on. Watched the NJ News and the weather guy said that a lot of places had been reporting problems before the rain started. Like my office, just caused by the wind. Forgot to check the internet for possible news about the power outage. Oh well.
Tomorrow, work as normal, since I imagine the power will be back by then, and then I am off on a LOOONG weekend. :)
That is all.