August 23, 2011

one of 45 million earthquake posts

as everyone on earth is no doubt is aware, we had ourselves a freaking EARTHQUAKE here in virginia today. we've had earthquakes here before - two that i can remember in the past decade, in fact - but those were more "earthquakes." like, they definitely happened, but we needed an outside authority to confirm that what we felt (if we felt anything at all) was, in fact, technically considered an earthquake.

let me tell you, you don't need outside confirmation of a 5.9 earthquake. it is PRETTY DARN APPARENT.

there are some on the west coast who have been smirking into their sleeves about how cute we east coasters are with our adorable panicking over an itsy bitsy earthquake, when trust them, this was nothing, they hardly even notice earthquakes of that size over there, teehee!

i've seen a few choice rebuttals to those types of comments, among them:
a. talk to us next time you get hit with a blizzard, and we'll offer our sympathy.
b. talk to us the next time you've had a terrorist attack hit your region - almost exactly 10 years ago - that involved some significant crashing and shaking, and see if your building shaking violently doesn't spook YOU.
my own rebuttal? aside from a general irritated muttering that if your first explanation for what you're feeling is that the construction on the floor below you must have gone horribly wrong and the building is collapsing, YOU'RE ALLOWED TO PANIC A LITTLE BIT?

when i got home today, we discovered that the earthquake had caused a pipe to burst in the apartment above us. i got home 2+ hours after the earthquake hit, and presumably the pipe had been gushing water since then. by the time someone was able to turn it off, water was dripping through our bedroom walls, and had soaked a large spot in the carpet.

another wall - across the apartment, unrelated to the burst pipe - has a crack in it now, from floor to ceiling.

and yeah, half of the pictures and books and knicknacks on our shelves had fallen; pictures were hanging crooked on the wall; a wine glass had vibrated itself loose from our wine rack and was sitting halfway across the room. also: STRUCTURAL DAMAGE. from our adorable, cute, earthquake.

it may have been small by california standards, but that doesn't mean it was completely insignificant.


  1. ahhhh I bet it was scary! My first thought would totally have been BOMB?!

  2. it's weird - that's never crossed my mind! i think because it was so PROLONGED... it started as just this subtle vibrating, then worked its way up to "shaking so much the building must be collapsing, right?" and then just... kept going. while we were all shouting to each other "WHAT.. WHAT IS HAPPENING? IS THIS.. ARE WE HAVING AN EARTHQUAKE..?!? SHOULD WE.. DO SOMETHING?"

    (who knew we should have gotten earthquake training at some point!)

  3. I've seen a lot of condescending posts and tweets and it's irritating. (and I was nowhere near feeling the earthquake)
    I just hate it when people act like that. Irritating.

    Glad you're all ok!

  4. We felt it all the way in western Pennsylvania (in the wait, is this an earthquake? it feels like a big truck going over a bridge) and if we felt it here I can't IMAGINE what you guys must have felt. I'm glad you're ok! Good luck with the cleanup!

  5. I was going to piss my pants. Holy shiz.

  6. Oh, the damage to your building SUCKS!

    We felt it down here in Raleigh, NC. Our building shook, just a little, not feeling like it was going to fall down or anything like that.

  7. So glad you're okay! With damage everywhere, does it mean it's going to take forever to get your apartment stuff fixed? Too bad you weren't home to see how the cats reacted, if at all.

  8. We totally had the "Did the whole building just roll? What is going on? Was that an explosion? Earthquake? What do we DO?" Comments - all while it was going on. It was long enough for that. You felt the ground ROLL.

    I realized that we do in fact need earthquake training!

  9. When I heard earthquake and that the tremors were felt in NYC, I wondered how many DC and NYC people freaked about another terrorist attack.

    No matter how many people have experienced earthquakes on the west coast, it's unfair to demean your experiences. I would've freaked a bit myself had that happened in Chicago. Glad to hear you're just fine.

  10. preach it sister! i was so rattled!

  11. I seriously do not know who these assholes are that are belittling any fear/panic east coasters have about the earthquake but I would like to slap them. I'm a west coaster and have been through my share of earthquakes and they are SCARY. I would imagine if you live in the part of the country unaccustomed to them it would be even more scary! So WTF with the haters? Please know I am not one of them and my sympathies go out to all of you. I am glad you are safe and I hope your apartment gets fixed up asap.

  12. You were the first person I thought of when I heard about the earthquake. I'm glad you're OK, and I'm sorry about your apartment.

  13. Oh my gosh! Scary! Especially if you guys aren't use to earthquakes!!

    Gutted to hear about your apartment too!

    Sure west coasters might deal with worse more often, but probably their buildings are built with that in mind, and they're a little more prepared! It's like when we got snow in (resonably temperate) Wellington, NZ and all the South Islanders (Who get it every winter) laughed at us for not knowing what the hell to do about it. Well it's not like we own car chains or snow boots, or whatever the hell it is you're supposed to use in these situations!!

  14. I really don't understand how you've got all this damage, and I had like nothing. I mean, I swear, I've got bookshelves stacked on bookshelves stacked on bookshelves, and like two things were knocked out of place. I think you should move into DC and find yourself a nice pre-war building to move into. "They don't build them like they used to" is true.

  15. Wow! I was in Australia when it happened. Got home Wednesday night to find my stuff all over the floor and was miffed -- until I realized (as you pointed out) that I could've come home to an apartment filled with water. Or cracks. Woof. Sorry you're having to deal with that!