Today it's raining cats, dogs, and dinosaurs.
Sane people are at home, snuggled under the covers reading a book. Sane people who must pay rent are at work, getting ready to brave the elements with the help of umbrellas, rain boots, and parkas.
Insane people are sitting in a Starbucks in Walnut Creek, a faraway suburb of San Francisco, with jeans soaked to the knees, wet socks, and a computer.
Yessirree, nothing like a good old hurricane to make Jeff and me jump out of bed at 6 a.m. (which is, like, painfully early for us) and head an hour East of the city. Why the adventure? Because Jeff's disability insurance company -- you remember, the ones who think that he should be able to work full-time since he can, you know, unload the dishwasher once a week -- needs him to be evaluated by an independent neuropsychologist. For 9 hours. On the day the worst storm of the last 2 years hit the Bay Area.
We've known about the appointment for a few weeks, and I've been planning to drive him to and fro all along. The plan was to plant myself in a Starbucks -- hey, they are warm, dry, and they have a bathroom and Wi-Fi -- and work remotely while he worked his traumatized brain at word tests. But when I heard about the storm system moving in yesterday, I started to have second thoughts. A quick Google search proved that my co-workers weren't being alarmists -- there really was reason for concern. The city of SF was handing out sandbags and advising that residents stay indoors. Highway Patrol was predicting they'd be closing certain stretches of road, and the line at the Safeway last night at 7 p.m. was 30 people deep. In each lane.
Fearing the worst, I spent most of yesterday trying to convince our attorney that we should play it safe and cancel today's appointment.
Attorney 1, Catherine 0. Hey, if she's on a winning streak, I guess I shouldn't complain.
We made it over here safe and sound, thanks to our Lincoln Towncar driver. And boy was I glad it was him driving, not me; at 8:45 a.m. parts of the highway were already flooded, and the air was so gray with moisture that visibility sucked. Plus, I don't know where the hell Walnut Creek is.
Because I firmly believe that a worry-free existence is over-rated, I fretted all day and all night about the trip. I spent most of my grocery expedition crying crazy tears of fear -- what if we got into an accident? -- and frustraton -- without a car, what would I do in Walnut Creek for 9 hours? It's the burbs, so it's not like they have a great taxi system. Should I just stay home?
I wanted to, I really did. But I just couldn't. I was afraid that worsening conditions could mean Jeff would be stuck here overnight in a hotel, and as horrible as sitting in a windowless doctor's office lobby for 9 hours would be, not to mention spending the night in a hotel with no supplies, I figured it would be even worse to be home, safe and warm with loads of food and candles while Jeff had to fend for himself in the slanting rain.
(Wait. Did I really think that? How uncharacteristically selfless of me.)
So here I am. The day has been hellish in some ways (see also: wet, moldy, and cold pant legs) but nice in others. I met a super friendly cab driver lady who's become my constant companion, I managed to find a power chord for my laptop at the Radio Shack two blocks away so I could continue to work (and blog) all day, and the rain seems to be slowing down. With luck, we'll get home tonight.
But just in case, I packed a change of underwear.