Because, saying "oh" before the year apparently makes anything sound way more dramatic.
So, I stayed home from work today and figured I'd get up and do the dishes after watching Thundercats (oh what an exciting life I lead on my days off!). Halfway done with the sudsy plates, I was rinsing out some utensils when suddenly I realized I was tipping forward against the sink. Weird, I thought. Then I stopped to listen to a loud banging noise. I looked up and behind me and found the ENTIRE HOUSE swaying back and forth like a sunflower in the breeze. The banging sound was my front door, shut and locked, shuddering within the frame.
Holy crap, are we having an EARTHQUAKE???
I knew it had to be a very minor trembler, if so. Nothing worth even blinking about to my friends out on the West Coast, no doubt. But this was the first time I've ever experienced one. We've had minor quakes before in the region, but always under a 4.0 magnitude and always in the middle of the night when everyone is sleeping. I know for a fact that I've slept through three such events in my lifetime here in the greater New York City area.
So, yes, this was a big deal for me. For the 4 seconds it took to dissipate, I felt like I was on a large boat gently rocking in a calm harbor. Nothing broke, no dishes went flying across the kitchen, the pets in the nearby apartments were not barking mad. Just a smooth swaying to and fro. For a second I thought perhaps it was the D subway line passing beneath my building. Or perhaps a construction mishap at the building next door where workers on the scaffolding were already packing up for the day. I stuck my head out the window, but no one on the streets below seemed all that perturbed.
Was I the only one who felt it, I thought?
Around 15 minutes later, the major networks cut in with the news. There was indeed a 5.8 quake some 80 miles south of D.C. It was felt as far north as New Hampshire -- maybe even Ontario, Canada if some reports are to be believed. Whoa!
Anyway, we're all fine here. Not even the subways were disrupted. The local news people, of course, made a HUGE deal out of it. Which sucks because it's going to give off the impression that we New Yorkers can get rattled so easily by what was just a teeny, tiny baby quake.
Most of the people I know barely shrugged at what happened. Hell, some of them didn't even feel it. Those who did, like me, were more bemused by the whole event than perturbed. Something big always seems to strike NYC around this time of year. I think it was on or near this very date back in 2003 when we had a huge blackout and I ended up having to walk all the way home from my job in the baking August heat. And, of course, we all know about 9/11. And now this?
I think from now on I'll take the entire latter half of August and part of September off. Might be a plan. What say you all?