Saturday, January 24

Rainy Days & Earthquakes

That long line of lights disappearing off into the distance is a southbound view of the 405 I captured while at the Getty Center this week. Fortunately the 405 isn't a part of my commute, so I didn't have to join that string of lights on my way home. From time to time I end up at the Center for meetings, and as you can see the view from the top of that travertine tower is pretty spectacular. It's been a rainy week. I enjoy rainy days at the Villa. We have so few of them, they feel more like a novelty than an inconvenience. Because ancient Roman villas were designed as summer homes, rain really effects our operations at the museum. When it rains school groups can't have lunch at the picnic tables, so they have to crowd back onto the buses to eat, and walking across the marble becomes treacherous. The Getty kindly provides umbrellas (mostly used for shielding visitors from the California sunshine), so that helps people keep dry in the gardens. As you can see from the images below, I spent some time walking around in the rain.

The school group lunch area was abandoned because of the rain.
I've heard from some of the local natives that changes in weather often happen before earthquakes. I have no idea if there's any truth to that idea, but we did have an earthquake Friday night--the second in a matter of weeks. In my time out here I've felt different kinds of earthquakes, but Friday night's event was different. When it first happened, I honestly thought the building had taken some kind of direct hit. Neither Eric nor I were completely sure of what we had felt until I consulted the website on recent earthquakes in Los Angeles (a website I'm visiting way too often these days). According to the USGS, it was a 3.4 earthquake centered in Marina del Rey, which is the closest we've been to an epicenter in the last couple of earthquakes. Disturbingly, several of my friends out here who remember the 1994 Northridge earthquake have commented that they don't remember having so many quakes this close together since that time.

I guess my time is up. Going on seven years now I've lived in southern California and not had any real experiences or concern with earthquakes. This week's quake makes the third significant one I've felt since last June. Maybe it will help if I stop sitting on my couch. Each time it's happened, I've been reclining on the couch, watching t.v. At this point I'm beginning to think of my couch as a kind of Richter scale. It's an older couch and the legs are a bit loosened on it, so any kind of movement sets it shuffling and swaying--sometimes I feel the shaking before Eric does, because my couch is more sensitive than his. Three times now I've felt nice and relaxed, resting on the couch after a busy day at work, when the earth has started to shake. You'd think one event would have knocked the sense of complacency in my safety right out of me, but no. We're not nearly as prepared as we should be for such an emergency. But I'll tell you what: The third time around you start to pay attention. As a former girl scout, I think it's time to implement the old motto, "Be prepared."


  1. you'll be fine :) dive for the nearest doorway and remember that it usually stops shaking in less than a minute...unless you're on the upper floors of an earthquake retrofitted building, in which case you should prepare to get seasick.

  2. Oh, yeah--so say you now that you're safely on the OPPOSITE coast! :-)