Apocalypse Now (Later)

I purchased some frames the other day, because an Independent Adult such as myself should take pride in her living space and try to make it look nice. No more dorm-room posters affixed with tape for me!

Evil Roommate watched me putting them up and remarked "you're just daring an earthquake to come, you know."

This morning...it CAME!

I woke up at nine in the morning and was immediately disgusted with myself for waking up so early. Suddenly, the apartment started to move. It felt like one giant ripple, followed by some shaking. And then it was over. It only lasted a few seconds, but this was enough time for me to think the following things:

1. What is this?

2. SHIT!!! Earthquake! Oh my god!!!

3. I'm going to die!

4. I wonder if this is the one that makes California break off from the rest of the country and float around the Pacific Ocean.

4.a. If this happens, what can I use in my apartment to construct a crude raft that I can use to sail back to the continent?

4.a.I. I think my IKEA bedframe is light enough to float once I remove the mattress. And I have enough canned goods and bottled water to survive the journey. And my top sheet would make a nice sail.

I thought a lot of things, but none of them were the earthquake safety tips I had cleverly devised and stored in my head for possible future use. These tips were:

1. Get head out from under shelf and picture frame (I have a shelf over my bed, and a picture frame above that).

2. Get body under nearest doorframe.

That's all I had to do, but when the earthquake actually came, I didn't even have the wherewithal to put a blanket over my head. Quite a poor showing.

But there was no time for regret, because I had some calls to make. First, to my parents, so they would know I was okay when breaking news reports of a massive earthquake in Los Angeles made it to their television:

Sara: Hello, Dad?
Dad: You're up early.
Sara: Yes, because there was an EARTHQUAKE!
Dad: That's what happens when you live on an active fault line.

Then I called my mother, at work at the library:

Sara: Mom!
Mom: Yes?
Sara: There was an earthquake!
Mom: Oh, what did it feel like?
Sara: Horrible!
Mom: Was it like an amusement park ride?
Sara: It -- what? No!
Mom: (sounding disappointed) Oh. Are you going to any Halloween parties tonight?
Sara: No because I'm not leaving my bed.
Mom: Um...

Then I called some friends and neighbors, to make sure they survived the horror. First my roommate, who works at a nearby ranch in the Hollywood Hills:

Sara: Evil Roommate! You're okay!
Evil Roommate: I'm at work. I can't really talk.
Sara: Oh, you must be trying to calm down the horses because of the earthquake.
ER: Earthquake?
Sara: Yes. Didn't you feel it?
ER: No. Maybe the hills work like shock absorbers.
Sara: Then I just want to say thank you for jinxing the earthquake into existence.
ER: Did you run under a doorframe?
Sara: No, I stayed in bed and screamed.
ER: Well, if another earthquake happens, I'll let the rescue crews know where they can find you.
Sara: Thanks.

Then I called The Tennessee Girls, who live directly below us:

J: (very groggy) Hello?
Sara: Uh...did I wake you up?
J: Huh? Wha? Wake me up?
Sara: Sorry, but I thought the earthquake would have woken you up, and I was just making sure you were okay.
J: Earth...quake?
Sara: I'll talk to you later. Sorry.

And then I called Djb, who was located on the eastern rim of Los Angeles:

Sara: Djb!
Djb: Sara!
Sara: Did you feel the earthquake?
Djb: Earthquake? No! When?
Sara: Like a half an hour ago! Oh my god, it was awful! I'm not getting out of bed.
Djb: Oooh, what if it's a precursor to an even larger earthquake?
Sara: ...I hadn't...thought about that...

When I was done considering the frightening ramifications of an even bigger earthquake, it dawned on me that maybe my earthquake had not been the devastating event I thought it was. It didn't even wake up the girls downstairs. And the face that none of my pictures fell off the wall, nor did they even seem to move, reinforced this.

And the proof came later when my mother, after spending her workday combing through the internet for a news story about the earthquake, sent me this link:


Dude. 2.7?! I was about to pack up my car and drive home to Connecticut because of a 2.7 earthquake? How embarrassing. That's like living in Florida and fleeing a hurricane that turns out to be a brief rain shower. R. Kelly getting maced made bigger headlines. I mean, sure, it's great that no one died and my beautiful new frames remained unscathed and I didn't get sucked into a giant fault line crack like Lois Lane in that movie, but I am mortified. Especially after my mother called later that day:

Mom: I told the ladies at the library about your earthquake?
Sara: Oh, were they impressed?
Mom: Yes, but then I told them it was only a 2.7 and they said "oh. That's not very big."
Sara: I hope you told them I was brave.
Mom: Yeah, I told them how you bravely stood guard over your bed.