Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Shakin' in My Booties

We SoCal-types are so laissez-faire when dealing with our faults (some might say too lazy or too fair). We have so many that we can’t escape barbs and jars that come our way. Almost any fault map of Southern California looks like a vein road map of our bodies – lines everywhere.

I was forty minutes into my LA Fitness routine when the most recent quake hit this morning. I felt a bit of a movement and sensed an incoming. Seconds later, the gym jolted and shook. I, and about 50 other sweaters looked up, and around, and then continued our routines. Yawn. Only one, a forty-something woman, begin walking rapidly for the exit, phone glued to her ear. The local TV stations immediately switched into 24/7 Breaking News mode, while searching for any thing breaking.

The epicenter was about 20 miles east-north-east of Anaheim Hills, and initially registered a 5.8 on the scare scale (later downsized to 5.4). Cruise ships and Amtrak rock more than that. Regardless, I cut my workout a little short (it’s nice to have excuse now and then) because it suddenly dawned on me that a year ago we had tiled half the downstairs. Arriving home, all was well – no cracks to the naked eye. A couple of artifacts had fallen over as well as one DVD floor rack.

Later, before cameras, a Los Angeles city councilman calmly blathered that experts project within the next decade a San Andreas Fault fracture measuring from 7.9 to 8.1. That was unsettling. For the uninformed, anything over a 7.0 is a MASSIVE earthquake.

I recall that during my first year in Los Angeles, after an extended stay with a certain Uncle, I was rudely welcomed to SoCal with a 6.5 quake at 6 AM on my birthday. The epicenter was 30 miles north of my studio apartment in West Los Angeles. It bounced me out of my twin bed. I crawled back in and went back to sleep, only to later be awakened by a panicked call from my betrothed, PJ, from her dorm at UCLA. She was shook up a bit more.

In another 4-5 years PJ and I will be off to our sunset years’ nest, though it won’t be the faults’ fault. Where to, we do not yet know. But our research will include fault maps.

Meanwhile, I’m ignoring The Big One’s inevitability, while hoping it holds off until we get the hell outta here.

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