Sunday, July 18, 2010

Did the earth move for you too, baby?

Sadly, there will be no pictures in todays's post, because I was forced to steal the batteries out of one camera to make someone's light-up Pooh bear doll illuminate the scary darkness once again, and the batteries from the other camera so that we could continue to play MySims Secret Agents on the Wii without undue interruption. This was not a result of our perpetual brokeness, but rather my absurd inability to write the word "batteries" down on the grocery list. I write "Dr. Pepper" and "Nutter Butters" and "bacon" on the list every time I walk past it, so you would think I could get int the habit of writing down "batteries" at the same time, but I must have some sort of mental block against things that are merely useful and not also tasty.

And besides, the only excitement we had this week, other than my husband's 45th birthday - which only counts as exciting if you get all jazzed over telling a 3-year-old not to open Daddy's presents over and over until she cries, was the earthquake.

YES, I SAID EARTHQUAKE.

Now we live on the east coast, which is not the most seismically active part of the world, so even though I know all you west coasters are rolling your eyes and going, "Huh. Big whoop," it was still a big deal to me. I am a leeeetle bit of a geology/paleontology nerd, and if you came up to me and said, "Hey, wanna see some Pre-Cambrian rocks?" I'd be all "HELL YES." Last weekend I was playing with the girls and one of them got bored and wanted to see what was on TV, and when I turned it on and looked at the guide, the first thing that came up was the History Channel and they were showing something called "How The Earth Was Made." Now, I know how the earth was made. There was nothing this show could have told me that I didn't already know, but even though my kids were howling for Spongebob, I forced them to sit through HTEWM in the hopes that maybe they would be infected by my enthusiasm and we could all go back to the Natural History museum with a better appreciation of the wonders contained therein than we did the last time.

One of the best parts of the show, for me anyway, was when they had a graphic of the tectonic plates of the earth - the pieces that slide, bump, and pull apart during earthquakes. It was just utterly fascinating to see all the pieces, and where the boundaries between them fall, and to have it displayed, not on a flat Mercator-style map, but on a rotating globe, just got my geek goose bumps a-poppin'. Now these boundaries are not the only places that have earthquakes, but the plates are part of the mechanism that causes them.

ANYWAY. Earthquakes had been on my mind, and just a few days later, at about 5 a.m. an earthquake of magnitude 3.2 rumbled through our area. The epicenter was in Montgomery county, just north of Washington, D.C., and even though it was mild, earthquakes in this area tend to be felt pretty far from the source so people in Baltimore and Northern Virginia and Annapolis could feel it. Well, those that do not sleep like the dead.

YEP. I SLEPT THROUGH IT. Found out about it on Facebook the next day. Texted my husband to ask if he knew about it, and he said oh yeah, it woke him right up. Sounded like a huge truck was driving right by the house. DAMMIT. Major geologic activity and the one day I'm not up at 5 a.m. to pee is the day it happens. Broke my little geek heart, I tell you.

Naturally, I consoled myself by looking up images of the Burgess Shale on the internet, as anyone would under the circumstances.  Always soothes me when I miss out on the good stuff like meteor showers and earthquakes.

15 comments:

QuiltSwissy said...

How exciting......even if you did sleep through it.

My grocery list problem is anything from the back of the house. It seems by the time I get to the front where the list is located, I forget.

Peggi said...

How could you possibly forget batteries? Please see your April 1st post for urgent reminder. Sheesh, Megan, I'm starting to worry about you...

Jandi said...

I've invested in rechargeable batteries for everything that I can. I love my new Energizer Wii remote charger I picked up at Walmart. I was sick to death of making midnight runs to get batteries because the kids (okay, my husband and I) were playing marathon sessions of bowling or Mario.

Kim said...

Huh. Have you ever stuck a quarter in one of those Magic Fingers vibrating deals at a cheap motel? It's kinda like that, but maybe only a penny's worth. Really, though, nothing says fun like a 5-point-something quake when you're on the 13th floor of an office building that's designed to sway back and forth in case of earthquake--but you need an E ticket for that ride. Still, even though you didn't really feel it, at least you can say you're not a quake virgin anymore. (No, I won't go for the obvious joke here--it would be too easy.)

Gene Black said...

LOL once (that I know of) we had an earthquake that could be felt where I live. I slept thru it too.

hint- buy batteries in bulk on the internet. Big savings and you have plenty of them for a while. (be sure to get a decent brand!)

Natalie said...

We also had one in Annandale (a few miles from my house) but I didn't find out about it until 2 days later when my dad texted me "I heard about the earthquake. ru ok?". It was only a 1.8 on the scale so I am not surprised I didn't notice it at all.

Mary Anne Drury said...

I am an east coast girl (northeastern Pa) who lived in southern California for 6 years as a newlywed .... experienced more than enough mild -> moderate earthquakes .....those (among other things) sent me running back to my east coast where all I thought I'd have to deal with (natural disaster - wise) was well predicted hurricanes .... but NOW it seems tornados AND earthquakes are infiltrating my safe little east coast world! (there was another small earthquake a few weeks ago somewhere in NY that caused bricks to fall out a firehouse bldg in the Poconos !!! WHAT ?!?!?!?)

Anyhow ---- batteries .....they should be displayed right next to toilet paper or chocolate.... all necessities in one place !

Sarah Craig said...

It's happened to me too! We had a quake on the New Madras fault when I lived in Arkansas and I missed it completely! What a rip off!!

Anne said...

Wow, I haven't heard the phrase 'burgess shale' since geology class in college. Thanks for that.

P. said...

I think we had magnitude 3.2 thunder last week that I managed to sleep through. Sorry you missed your quake though. The geek in me--the one that must have skipped class that day in college (or drank enough alcohol to obliterate the memory)--had to go Wiki Burgess shale. Fascinating!

Marion said...

They think we are due for an earthquake here in Washington (the state). Until then, we have to be satisfied with Mt. St. Helens, which you could have slept through and still gotten to watch the ash fall!

Anonymous said...

Deborah says:

Do you think it's genetic, this sleeping through earthquakes thing?

I was born and raised in the Bay Area (CA), then lived in Southern CA for years. The only earthquakes I ever noticed were the ones that happened during the day. Yes, I, too, sleep through earthquakes.

Oddly enough, though I (sadly) don't have any 2 legged children (all my children have 4 legs), there are only 2 things that will wake me up instantly in the middle of the night. I don't mean wake up in a sort of groggy-what's-going-on way. I mean instantly ALERT!

Those 2 things: someone crying or someone throwing up.

I don't know why. I've just always been that way.

If you store your batteries with your Nutter Butters, then when you notice that you are running out of one, you'll automatically check for the other and will remember to right one or both of them down at the same time.

We store ours with the chocolate and cheese in the refrigerator. Needless to say, we NEVER run out of chocolate!

GA-P said...

What about volcanoes? Are you fascinated by volcanoes? I tell people I want to go to Hawaii and they are all like, "yeah, the beaches are great." I'm like, "Beaches? Who wants to go to Hawaii for the beaches? This country is surrounded by beaches. I want to go to Hawaii to see the volcanoes." You could hear a pin drop three counties away when I say that.

Brenda said...

You are hilarious. When my kids were at home I couldn't keep batteries in the house to save my life! I had to hide my own stash for things that were important to me - I swear, though, the kids always found them.

sunporchquilts said...

I actually have some pieces of Burgess shale, found on Mt. Richardson. You can come and fondle them if you want...