My First Earthquake

Someone suggested I write about my "first earthquake," (I've only been in LA for 3 years) but, fortunately, I have nothing to report about the shaking that hit the Los Angeles area July 29. It was my day off, I was walking down Beverly in Los Angeles' Historic Filipinotown district, and I actually didn't feel a thing. The only signs that anything was up were the lack of a voice signal on my cell and the plate glass in the local storefronts, which were undulating and vibrating like speaker cones.

Now that I think about it, my lazy, good-for-nothing cat and dog were lying flat on their sides when I left the house, laid low not by spooky vibes and premonitions, but by their own indolence. No warning whatsoever, no weird barking or meowing - nada, zip, zilch. After the quake, I did receive three, rock-n-roll-ish text messages (SMS runs on a separate network, and didn't clog after the quake the way voice networks did) from friends along the lines of "WELCOME TO LA, SON!!! YEAH!!!", this as if I had just inadvertently completed some arcane rite of passage. "I GUESS..." is what I texted back.

I won't call earthquakes the new welcome wagon, but I got off easy, as did the rest the of area. But what about you? How was your earthquake?



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I've been in Los Angeles 16 years. My first earthquake was the 1994 Northridge one. Shall we say it was quite a surprise wake-up? I've had several small ones since then, so Tuesday when this shaker came, I knew what it was within just a few seconds. I had time to think about it since the rolling lasted probably 20 to 30 seconds. I'm just glad there was no significant damage or injuries. Apparently it was more intense in Orange County, according to my friends down there.

Sent by Kerry | 9:52 PM | 7-31-2008

It was my first as well. I've been in LA for almost 3 years, and the #2 question that my friends back in Chicago ask me is have I ever been in an earthquake (#1, of course, is do I ever see any celebrities). Up until Tuesday, the answer was no. I was at home (had the day off) and at first didn't know what the rumbles were. Was there construction going outside? Once the lamp at my desk and the paintings on the wall started shaking, I knew it was an earthquake. I was frozen on my couch, not yet ready to panic. By the time I thought about going into a hallway (that IS what you're supposed to do, right?), the rumbling stopped. A little anti-climatic, but I'm grateful for that. My friends and family in NYC and Chi called to make sure I was ok. CNN and MSNBC made way too big of a deal. No wonder why everyone was asking me if I was still alive.

Sent by Elyse | 5:41 PM | 8-1-2008

Hey Gary!
My first earthquake happened in San Francisco 2 years ago. I was at a friend's house to see if we could make music together. It ended up being a fruitful session and we now have an indie rock band named after that first music-making session: My First Earthquake!

I will admit our search results get a bump every time there is a certain natural disaster :)

Here's hoping that NPR has a musical reason to write about My First Earthquake soon!

Sent by Rebecca Bortman | 6:55 PM | 8-22-2008

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