DC quake

After the 8:30 a.m. staff meeting, my colleagues wouldn’t stop raving about the weather. There was zero humidity in the air and not a cloud in the sky. Some co-workers said they wanted to go out for a stroll, but I wasn’t going to let nature halt my productivity. I had my fun all summer, but today was for working.

I spent most of the late morning and early afternoon jotting down an awesome story (!!!) that will be published tomorrow, but in between transcribing my interviews and writing up the piece, I panicked about chores and household necessities. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: I’m terrible at domestic stuff, and this probably means I’ll be a disappointing wife in that sense. Cooking is torture, grocery shopping puts me to sleep, laundry stresses me out, and my soul dies each time I call an automated phone number and subsequently have to talk at a robot. In a week, I’m switching apartments, so I have a ton of little things to sort out in a matter of days. All the mundane aspects of adult life annoyed me today as I tried to remain focused.

Just as I was deep into my epic women’s article, which you’ll see on The Daily Caller website tomorrow, my desk began shaking. The movement continued and intensified, so I glanced up at my colleagues for some answers. Everyone looked equally puzzled. Steven was the first to vocalize concern, but the both of us jumped from our seats when we heard a loud bang from outside the building.

Though I didn’t immediately realize what had just happened, we’d been hit by a 5.8 magnitude earthquake. It was definitely reminiscent of the frequent quakes I experienced growing up in California, where you’re totally unsure when the nightmare is going to end. At first, I thought my biggest fears had come true: We’d been attacked by terrorists. After all, our offices aren’t far from the Washington Monument or White House, and the ten-year anniversary of 9/11 is creeping up on everyone. It didn’t cross my mind that we’d just been struck by an earthquake. It couldn’t be possible, I thought. That sort of thing doesn’t really affect the east coast.

As soon as my colleagues and I rushed down nine flights of stairs, we gathered that we’d indeed survived an earthquake. The streets were flooded with people, most in sheer disbelief. Many expressed concern about aftershocks and decided not to return to their places of employment as such, but fleeing the scene wasn’t a concern of mine. Suddenly I forgot about the fact that I’d been anxious about ordering a bed, purchasing boxes, calling up the furniture company, and clearing out my current place. All of that took a backseat. The same went for my work, at least for a few minutes.

As we hopped down the stairs, one of the editors turned to me and said, “Do you think we should run back to our floor, get our laptops, and see if there’s Internet access outside?” I had nothing to say to that question other than, “Maybe you shouldn’t worry about that right now.” For all we knew, the building was ready to crumble. That’s what scared me most. The earthquake itself was merely a jolt. As my California friend joked, a 5.9 is nothing. That applies to the Golden State, but not D.C., which rarely has earthquakes. Our buildings weren’t structured to endure that kind of activity, and perhaps the supposedly tilted Washington Monument can prove that.

Nevertheless, many of my co-workers demonstrated true dedication to journalism today. Right after the earthquake concluded, Vince updated our website with the news, waiting at his computer as people streamed out of the building. Many of us stayed in the office for the duration of the day, risking potential aftershocks to file stories and keep the world posted on the quake (but really, there was nothing to fret about). I put together a slideshow of images from the quake as well as a celebrity quake reaction article, which features “Jersey Shore” star Vinny’s enlightening tweet, “Luckily for me I was in the gym during the earthquake in front of a milf with some #tigolbitties #winning.” Idiotic as some of his statements may be, he could have been onto something with the jugs comment. Maybe we had another boobquake! Oh, the musings of “Jersey Shore” cast members.

Washington was a hot mess all afternoon, and everyone chose to ignore the awesomeness of the breezy day. The metro was backed up, phone lines dead, and roads clogged. I couldn’t even go home if I’d wanted to. Usually, I’d flip out with so little control and hold over a situation, but none of the insanity got to me. I felt lucky to be OK and that was all that mattered. There’s also something to be said about my co-workers, all of whom kept me company at work for the rest of the day. I was relieved not to be alone. Vince, the homepage editor, was also the calm in the storm, so it’s great that he didn’t head home early.

When I finally took off from work at about 6:30, there were very few people outside. The weather, however, had remained just as pleasant as it had been earlier on, so that eased my nerves a bit. The metro train ran 15 miles an hour, so an otherwise 10-minute ride took an hour, but I was content to read “The Hunger Games” during that time (Nikki got me into the series). I called Nikki up as soon as I got back to the house and filled her in on TheDC updates. We also chatted about the fall interns, all of whom are set to start soon.

“I won’t love them as much as I love the summer 2011 interns,” I said. “You guys were great.”

“It’s time for you to move on, Laura!” she said, speaking the truth.

“I know, I know.”

“Quit living in the past already!”

I won’t for much longer. As I’ve admitted before, I get a lot more done now that the summer interns are gone, so thank God for that. I ran into the same issue at the college newspaper, where I’d laugh with Anna, Luke, and Jazmine for 45-minute increments when we were all on deadline. On one occasion, I literally had to leave the room and put in my headphones so I wouldn’t be tempted to joke around with them. I haven’t changed since my Daily Wildcat days.

After today, I could really, really, really use some mindless entertainment. With that, here are the latest odd, random, and surprising Google terms that people recently searched to end up at my blog:

yoga theme cupcakes
i mostly just want laura donovan to add this google search to her blog (very funny. Scott, is that you?)
elephantitis of the toe
disapproval, you’ll know it when you see it
dyanna is a giving professor and it seems a student in the school needs her help. she’s going to show this sad little student h… (???????????????????)
pose reading a book
haha skirt
wearing earphones
spanking family
converse girls
romance her son’s coworker
rotten food
bubble tea powerpoint background
grid girls stilettos
our jiminies
he was in the change up & horrible bosses
similar movies like unfaithful
places to study in arizona sonora dorm

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