Archive | January 17, 2014

Really not funny, Mom!

Mother Nature has a sick sense of humour. This morning at around 5:30 am we had an earthquake, a little one but I live about 2 miles from the epicenter at Universal City, so it felt bigger than it really was.

Why does She have a sick sense of humour? Because 20 years ago this morning at 4:30 am I was just getting back into bed after letting the cat outside because he was howling on the end of my bed, the Northridge quake hit. I was sitting on the end of the bed when the wall studs started to crack and grind so I moved to my bedroom doorway looking into a dark living room and hearing things fall off the shelves and the cupboards come open in the kitchen. The noise of glass breaking in the dark is really scary.

A lot of my furniture at the time was really heavy put-it-together-yourself stuff so it didn’t move that much but a few things did go walking. That’s something people don’t talk about much that your furniture sometimes rather than fall down goes walking. There is no other description for it. The vibrations will send it moving a bump at time and it literally walks across the floor. Refrigerators seem to do it best and it’s creepy to watch.

The electricity didn’t go out in Pasadena because they had just put most of the power lines underground so I was able to at least turn on the lights. The year before there had been a quake in Sierra Madre which was 2 miles from my apt so what was going to break in a quake pretty much already had since that shaking because I was so close to the epicenter was pretty hard even though it was a small quake. (I had a lamp whizz by me into the center of the room from the top of a bookcase. It was not there in the Northridge quake after I saw it fly 6 ft.)

My parents called and their power in Glendale had gone off and they had more damage than I did. Their chimney had fallen off again like it had in the Sylmar quake. My mother kept calling after the sun came up because I could see the television and they couldn’t. The television coverage was pretty funny in the beginning because they had no lights in the studio and no computers so they had no idea what they were looking at when they saw footage from the helicopters they had up. When they started showing the brand new parking structure collapsed at CSUN (Cal State University Northridge) they had no idea what they were looking at. I did because I graduated from there. Just wow!

I was working on Wilshire and Robertson at the time and you couldn’t even get there since the 10 Freeway had collapsed and they didn’t want people driving around. Days later when we could drive around it was shocking to see the building collapses. My grandfather was on the committee that made the first earthquake building standards in Los Angeles after the deadly Long Beach quake and I don’t think even he could have for seen that damage, That one gave my mom nightmares for years she said because she was only 11 at the time.

I will always take earthquake over a tornado if given a choice because at least you stay in the same zip code but a really hard earthquake is truly terrifying to live through. You just wonder when the hell it’s going to stop and if you are safe enough where you are. And then you start worrying about the cat and your family and friends and if it’s dark you can really feel helpless until the sun comes up.

I still sleep at home the way we were trained at Girl Scout camp for emergencies. I sleep with my shoes by the bed. My jeans close by and a flashlight and a lightstick by my bed. I have the cyalume light stick in case I’m worried about a natural gas leak. Flashlights can spark.

And due to the fact that they showed the news coverage of all the dead people in an apt building being removed and they weren’t covered very well and you could see that they were either naked or in their underwear I refuse to sleep unclothed anymore. I know I wouldn’t care because I was dead but still do the people who love you need to recognize your underoos on the television?

Anyway, that was an ugly wakeup call this morning, Mom!

Throwback Thursday – a little late





My auto accident Leap Year 1996. A lady ran a red light and hit me broad side and rolled me three times over another car. The dent over my head was from the curb I landed on upside down. The square dent at the back of the roof is from the Don’t Walk sign from when it climbed the signal pole before I landed upside down. For a few years afterwards you could see the divot in the street from the corner of the car as it flipped.

Every window broke except my driver side window. Every seat came loose except mine and my dash statue of Quan Yin lost her head but I didn’t even though the paramdics were convinced I had a broken neck.

Today’s reading



Six of Arrows

Travelling or movement toward new possibilities or cycles, possibly within yourself. Possibly an anxious or testing time, but harnessing positive energies will add momentum.

You have turned your back on one phase of your life, and head towards a homecoming of the soul. Travel. Moving home. An emotional retreat.