Monday, April 30, 2007

And The Fun Just Keeps On Coming...

"When stress is at it's highest, just know it can only go down."

-Tom Rataj

At 3:45 AM...

WOW! What a mess! If you haven't already heard, the east bay had a bit of drama early Sunday morning, when a tanker, carrying approximately 8,500 gallons of gasoline, hit a pillar on I880, in Oakland, burst into flames, melted the ramp it was on, causing it to collapse onto the I580 connector ramp below, that eventually merges onto the Bay Bridge. YIKES! The fire was pretty spectacular, the glow could be seen up here in the hills. Jeepers. Tankers on 880 scare the crap out of me, which is why I am willing to drive out of my way to avoid them if I can. One reason I am so afraid of the Caldecott Tunnel, is because of a tanker explosion in the tunnel, in 1982, which ended up taking a couple cars along with it. You can read the about that crash here. Tankers, which carry flammable material are no longer allowed in the tunnel, but I have never been able to shake the eerie feeling it left me with. Fire is my biggest fear. It is so great, that I haven't been able to conquer it. I never forgot that house fire when I was a child. Sigh. In last night's crash, only the tanker driver was injured, but he is expected to recover. If it had been at any other time of day, it would have been a much different story. The CHP believes that speed was the factor, he was going too fast for the turns required on the ramp.

It will probably be months before the commute from San Francisco to the East Bay is back to normal. Fortunately, the governor has been prompt in declaring the situation a State of Emergency, which will allow for funding to come through with very little red tape involved. I was impressed with how all the agencies have seemed to get their respective acts together, and get right on things. The commute for Monday night will probably be stressful for those who work in San Francisco, but who live in the East Bay. For Monday at least, the governor has authorized free BART, Ferry Service and Bus transit. So far it's just for the one day, so really Tuesday might be the worst day for traffic in the East Bay. We'll see. We are all expecting that inevitable BIG quake to hit, so some emergency response planning has already gone into some of this I am sure. We who live in earthquake country, don't sit around waiting for it, but it is something that is never far from your mind. I guess you would have just had to be here for the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake. It was a 7.0. You don't forget that, you just live your life, and hope for the best. If you haven't seen the amazing amateur video of the fire and the ramp collapse, be sure to go take a look. It's simply amazing.

Yikes! Grab The Cat And Run... Wait... Where's My Pants?

Ok, so it's not all that scary now, but at the time! LOL. Ok, so Elvis and I spent the day alone together, Alan had to work a double shift, so with it just being the cat and myself, we had a nice, peaceful day of playing with his new toys and then dining on a big bowl of soup. Soup... a true source of serenity. :) Alan called about 10 minutes before he got off work, and asked if I would like to split a pizza with him. "Oh yes, that would be good. I will call and order it Alan, and all you have to do it pick it up." He agreed to the plan, and even let me choose the kind of pizza we got. Round Table, Large Hawaiian, with extra cheese, and extra sauce. YUM. :)
So, with the pizza ordered, Elvis tucked in, I decided to go into the bathroom, and uhemmmm... freshen up. You know... make myself all pretty and stuff. Tee Hee. Then it happened! All HELL broke loose...

BANGBBBBBAAAAAAANNNNNNNNG! GRIND GRINNNNNND! BANG, BANG, BANG... GRINNNNNNNNNND! CHURRRRRRRRRRRNNNNNINNNNN! All I did was flush! Suddenly, it sounded like I was being I know...bombed...but really, it sounded like the pipes were going to explode! The whole house had this ungodly sound. The floor was vibrating. Sheesh! All I did was pee! LOL. I was shaking, my heart was pounding! What to do? I know, I will call ALAN! YES... ALAN! Ring, ring, ring, "Hello Alan, where are you?" I said in a slight state of extreme panic. "I am about 5 blocks from home," he said. "Well come home now" OMG... I didn't tell him why. Ring, ring, ring, "Hello?" "Oh Alan, it's everywhere, all I did was pee, and flush, and now it's everywhere!" Click. LOL. Seems, I had left out the detail about the sound in the pipes being everywhere... not the pee! "Come home...NOW!" Click. The sound at this point was getting louder, and I was sure something was going to explode. Crap. "I know," I thought to myself, "I will grab Elvis and go out to the car, I will just sit in my car until Alan gets home, and pretend I don't hear any noise at all." I think I was panicking at that point, because I opened the front door, and began to walk to my car wearing nothing but a pair of black tights... not pulled all the way up...and a t-shirt that says "Sassy" across the chest.

Half way to the car, I noticed I wasn't really dressed, and I had forgot the cat, so I bravely made my way back to the house, and went in. I couldn't find my pants. Sigh. See, when it is just Elvis and I at home, I usually just wear tights or leggings, and a sweatshirt. My very favorite sweatshirt, is a deep blue one with a hood, and has the word, "Berkeley," on the front of it. I couldn't find it. With no other real choice in front of me, I bravely picked up Elvis, and tossed him out the back door... thusly... saving his life. LOL. Suddenly... the noise stopped. It was very, very quiet. No sound at all. Was I dead? No, my heart was pounding out of my chest, and I had fallen down... so no, I was apparently alive. What the crap was that sound, and why is it quiet now?

I still had my cell phone in my hand, so I called Alan one last time, to tell him, he didn't need to hurry home. He was already in the drive-way. I heard his phone ring, just as he opened the door. As I looked him in the eye, I said into the phone, "Alan... the noise stopped you don't have to hurry." I couldn't believe it, the noise stopped just as he opened the door. Isn't that always the way? LOL. He was so relieved to find out the sewer wasn't spraying yuckiness into the living room and kitchen. "It was a noise?" He asked. "Yes. A BIG one," I said as I held my now aching shoulder. After a few moments, Alan inspected the toilet, and found that there was some kind of air bubble in the pipes. How that happened I don't know, but he is going to fix it later today. And all will be well. We had a good laugh, and I had a good cry. Then he went out and picked up the pizza, and we laughed some more. He understands what a girly-girl I am sometimes. YIKES. It was just an air bubble in the pipe! I have to say however, as air bubble noises go, that was the worst bubble noise I have ever heard in a bathroom. LOL. It was major WIND. So, in effect, I guess you could say, my bathroom had the farts! Like I said, our life together is an adventure!

Note: To give you an idea of where Berkeley is, in relation to San Francisco, it is in the main photo above, just above the HWY 24 marker. The University and Ashby exits are just above.

Top 2 photos by Google Earth


sunflowerkat said...

I cannot imagine the impact of that road collapse. When we lived out there, we lived in Oakland just a little south of this location (near Lake Merritt). A lot of people will have to make big adjustments in their routine. Maybe once people are forced to use mass transit, they'll stick with it and not go back to daily driving. (Looking for the silver lining here....)

Karen Funk Blocher said...

ROFL...only you, Carly, could turn noisy pipes into such an amazing real-life sitcom moment!

(On to May!)