Friday, November 08, 2002

Ramblings of a powerless man
So the rain, which I whined about earlier, was pretty desultory from when it started yesterday up until I left for office hours at 3ish today ("today" being Thursday, despite what the header might tell you). This kind of rain is arguably my least favorite; it's heavy enough that I can't just ignore it, so I still have to carry around an umbrella, but it doesn't have the nice, cleansing effect that a good, heavy rain will. Consequently, the world looks (and smells!) like it's just come out of a dryer which doesn't work so well. Anyway, sometime between when I left for office hours and when I left campus to swing by home before quizbowl, the rain became a lot less perfunctory and a lot more torrential, to the point where I (or at least my jacket, since I hadn't brought an umbrella) got completely soaked walking from LeConte back to my car on Hearst.

So, when driving back after quizbowl, I went to drop Seth off, and we noticed that the power on his block was out. This wasn't terribly surprising, since it was the first heavy rain of the season, and there were tons of downed branches and such all over the place. I thought to myself, "Well, better him than me," and went on my way. But I soon would be punished for my hubris, since after dropping everyone else off and arriving home, I noticed that the power on *my* block was also out. It was a very narrow blackout, too; it extended no further than a block north, south, and east (though it did go as far as my eye could see to the west). As I got home, they were just setting up flares at the intersection, but I heard the screech of people quickly braking more than once when I was home.

I was eminently miserable on getting home. All of the things I would normally do were impossible, of course, and despite having a flashlight and a couple of candles (the latter courtesy of Mike), I could pretty much only unhappily read. I felt so oppressed by the darkness, and that my weapons were quite inadequate against it. (Yes, that's intended to sound as if it were metaphorical. But it's quite literal in this case.) I had even lighted a candle, but I was still cursing the darkness. In fact, though I had been planning to return to campus anyway, I felt so enervated that I just fell asleep. Upon my waking at 3am, the power was still out. I was more than a little annoyed at PG&E, of course; on the one hand, it was the first heavy rain, so they probably had a lot to deal with, but still, it was frustrating.

Returning to campus, though, cheered me up considerably (if you haven't figured it out yet, that's where I'm writing this from). Unlike inside, where it just felt dark, oppressive, and lifeless, outside the world was in the perfect post-rain state: nice, fresh, and well-lit, and I had it all to myself! I actually really like being out in hours like this, since the world doesn't feel like a scary place at all -- it's just completely quiet. In fact, I enjoyed the environment so much that I found myself strongly wishing that I had walked to campus instead of driving (though I changed my mind about that when it started raining again as I was walking back from my car). I'm almost tempted to try to make this part of my regular schedule, but somehow I doubt that would actually end up being a good idea.

Now, to see if I can drag myself away from this in order to actually get some work done.

(Meta-commentary: I suppose this is the closest thing to the canonical "what happened to me today" blog post I've posted so far, unless you count the ants, which are kind of a special case. I'm not sure whether I'll continue to do this kind of thing or not.)

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