Monday, December 22, 2003

"Didja Feel It?"

As a resident of the Great State of California, whenever there is an earthquake of sufficient magnitude to make the national news, folks I know all over the country phone to ask whether I felt the quake and whether I'm ok.

I did and I am, thank goodness. The little rattler we had this morning was way away at San Simeon -- those of us down here in Los Angeles didn't suffer any damage.

And now, for your reading pleasure, the actual thoughts I have during an earthquake like this one:

Hmm. Building is shaking. Longer than it does when a truck goes by. Ooo, the blinds are swaying. Must be an earthquake. Let's check for confirmation. "Hey! You guys feel that?" Yep, it's an earthquake. Still shaking. Must be a long one. I think my co-worker is going to stand in a doorway. It isn't severe enough for that. She's just gonna look silly. Besides, I never understood why you're s'posed to stand in a doorway anyway. What did that comic say after the Northridge quake? That the reason you stand in a doorway is to get hit in the head with crap flying from TWO rooms? (And hit in the butt by the door.) Ooo, shaking has stopped but the blinds are still swaying. And swaying. And swaying. A co-worker thinks the upper floors of our building are still swaying, which would explain things. And.... and.... stop. Ah good. It's over. Wonder where it was centered. Hopefully right under me.

Those last two thoughts are standard for me after every quake. Once it's over, you realize that the further away the center is, the more powerful and destructive the quake will have been -- so you hope that it was a small quake really close by. (Barring that, you hope it was centered in the ocean someplace.)

I understand the losses from this quake were not nearly as bad as they would have been had it been centered in a more densely populated area, which is good, but my heart goes out to the victims just the same.

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