we had a bit of a storm today. ok, that's like saying there was a little leak in the titanic. we had a huge frickin rager of a storm here today in the twin cities. i really WAS going to head to the Y tonight with the fabulous miss jenn, but i was wiped out by the end of the day. i had a second interview for a new job at work. & that is always a bit of an adrenaline rush, going through the interview process, trying to do your best to impress & hoping that it was good enough. along with the fact that i 've been up late most days this week for one reason or another. & the cough is still hanging on like i'm its new best friend (even though i have SO told the cough we're breaking up, it's kinda like when your 3rd cousin twice removed on your dad's side comes to visit for a weekend & three months later he's become one with your couch & your remote control & the local liquor store is sending you thank you notes for the vast amount of natural ice he's buying on a daily basis. extreme measures may need to be taken, for both cousin chuck & the cough).
so i wound up hijacking miss jenn for some mc-crack. & a happy meal. the sky seemed to be getting a little dark as i was eating my cone, but i really didn't think much of it because we've been getting a lot of thunderstorms here lately. & i seemed to recall something during the day about a chance of rain, so i really didn't think much of it. & as we rolled out of mickey d's & headed back to work it started sprinkling a bit, but nothing too extreme. well, for about a minute & a half nothing too extreme. but the closer we got to work the harder the rain started to fall & i knew we were in trouble when the temp dropped ten degrees in the space of a minute & the light poles in the parking lot were swaying wildly as the rain fell sideways in sheets. yup, houston, we had a problem.
i really thought it was one of those flare ups where the rain heightens, beats down, & then just lifts a bit. but it wasn't. by the time jenn was getting into her truck the rain was heavy, hard, & cold. . .first figuratively & then literally. she opened her truck & tossed her purse in, 20 seconds later when she was opening my car door to get her gym bag hail started to fall. like acorn-ish pieces of hail beating the crap out of her, she actually almost fell into my car with the first one slammed into her lower back. after being pelted by mother nature jenn made it safely back into her truck, but she did look kind of like one of those sad little kittens left out in the rain, just completely drenched from head to toe. i felt super bad for making her go get the mc-crack with me.
i was actually worried that i was soon to have a moon roof & a hole in my windshield because the hail was so vicious. i could barely see anything & i was presented with three options: head to the highway & try to get home, drive to the covered parking at work & wait the storm, or find somewhere else to hole up & wait. i drove towards the underground parking thinking that i didn't want to go much farther than that, knowing that i was not going to get on the highway because i somewhat value my health, & i wasn't sure where else i would go. & there was a small part of me that was freaked about my car getting beat to little bits.
jenn pulled up next to me & asked me what i was going to do. almost instantly the tornado sirens went off. since i was raised in minnesota i know not only what a tornado siren sounds like, but that they only sound them when absolutely necessary (& the first wednesday of every month at 1pm). i asked her what she thought i should do & this was her response:
"i've never seen a tornado before, i come from a state that doesn't offer them. i don't know the protocol."
i have to say, even in a potentially life threatening situation jenn is frickin hilarious. if i WAS ever to be in a situation like the titanic where the shit was not only hitting the fan, but being pushed through as a steady stream, i'd like jenn to be there with me because i know that some how she'd make me laugh & make the situation just a little bit better.
now, i do come from a state that offers tornadoes & i've had the protocol drilled into my head ever since i can remember: don't go out chasing them, don't stand near a wall of windows, get to an interior room or a basement, make sure you have a flashlight, & for god's sake stay eff-ing put! so, the smart part of me thought we should park our cars & get into work fast as can be even though we were technically off work & jenn's house was only a mile away, give or take a couple yards. & then there was that OTHER part of me that figured we should just head to jenn's house in the hail & zero visibility because we were only a mile away & we'd both be more comfy, her especially since it's her digs. so, that's what we did, leave the shelter of the parking garage & head out into the storm. awesome. sometimes i'm a frickin genius i tell you what.
with the whole zero visibility thing & the fact that i drive a little saturn sports car it just seemed like a recipe for trouble, & it was. the whole way to jenn's apartment i drove as carefully as i could & just kept praying that i wouldn't stall out or hit any big puddles. & i made it all the way to her complex without doing either one. i did manage to stall out in her parking lot though, which was awesome. jenn was a bit ahead of me in her truck & i didn't see her go through the water because of where i was at, but she said she just barely made it through in her truck. my car, to give him credit, made it most of the way through, & by the time i realized how much water i was actually in, he stalled out. i know jenn has told me in the past that the bottom lot floods with a lot of water or a fast spring melt, but i think i just spaced it.
to her credit jenn did try to call me to warn me, but by the time the call came through to my phone my car was dead in the water, literally. jenn was able to help me push my car out, she waded into the water, shoes & everything to get behind my saturn & help me get it out. now, i was in my interview clothes, if you recall, so i wound up taking off my shoes & socks & trying in vain to roll my pants legs up to get out & push. a little aside, once again, jenn is crazy strong & i wouldn't want to get into a street fight with her. i put my car in neutral & before i was out of my car i realized the car was moving in a forwardly direction & jenn was pushing me in my car out of the water. jesus bobby. i did hop out & do the whole push-on-the-door-frame-of-the-car-with-one-hand-while-steering -the-car-with-the-other schtick. & we had almost cleared the puddle/pond when a guy ran out into the rain to help us get the car out. by then we didn't need any help. but, thank you dude, that was quite kind of you. my car did wind up starting once it was out of the water, but it was not happy with me by any means & kind of gave me a few scares on the way home just as payback. so, lucky i own a small car, eh? it i had something huge like a navigator, well, probably would have cleared the water, but, IF i got stranded & had to push something like a navigator i would just curl up in the backseat & take a nap.
while things turned out ok with me, jenn, our cars & the storm, back home my parents had a few problems of their own. as it turns out, the rain was so fast & so heavy that it flooded the basement, coming in along the walls on the southeast corner so quickly that the water brought silt along with it. yeah, lovely. evidently at one point my brother looked down the stairs & saw actually flowing water. oh, jesus bobby. luckily my brother can be a super awesome person & he went into the basement & got everything up off the floor & got the water up too. which, for those unfamiliar, my parents' basement is where i have some of my stuff still. i have a small room there for when i go home & hang out just to get away from my roommates. so i was a lot not happy when i learned that it was my room was now playing the theme song "i am a rock, i am an island." but, thanks to my brother's quick action nothing of value was ruined. still need to go clean it all up, but he did the hard part.
but, in the end. me, my family, & my friends are all safe & sound, which is the biggest concern. so, just 'cause it's fall in minnesota doesn't mean we've left the severe weather behind. & in the words of the weatherman on the news in regards to storms like this, here is my sage advice: "for your sake, for your next of kin's sake, if you're safe & protected stay there!"