Yesterday we had an earthquake of questionable magnitude here in Orange County. I say "questionable" because the number keeps changing. I am just going to go with magnitude- 5.4 because it backs up my actions in the following story of "The Quake of '08." (Insert flashy graphic with a flipping montage of pictures of books from Cal State Fullerton scattered on the ground and people with their hands pressing their foreheads--music is urgent, but ultimately hopeful.)
When the earth shook, I was sitting on a curb with my kids outside the Orange County Fair waiting in line for it to open. I was among 200 or so of my fellow fair hopefuls and we all seemed to enjoy the shaking very much, thank you. There was a jovial spirit about the quake. No panic, just a lot of joking around about the closest doorway (probably in Centennial Farms' barn) and exaggerated "Thank you's" toward the sky.
The moment the rolling and shaking ended and I knew it was over I reached for my iPhone--to call my husband? To call my mom? To call my friends? No, I am a little ashamed to say, to Twitter.
That's right. I Twittered this, "Earthquake! Not too bad, but biggest one I've ever felt! Kids have a million questions now!"
In my mind at that moment, knowing the earthquake wasn't of devastating proportions, I felt the need to tell the world "this just happened to me." By the world, I mean my network of followers on Twitter and the people who read my blog. I wanted to be the first to deliver the news. I really, really wanted to be the first.
Though Twitter didn't take the message at first--it gave me an error--it finally went through after the fourth or fifth attempt. *Whew* I was the only one in line to get anything through at first. The skinny jean crowd plopped down next to me couldn't get a text through even though they "had bars" and the mom with the "Death Cab for Cutie" t-shirt in front of me was having a cow because she left her phone in the car to charge. Man, she got surprisingly angry for a laid back alternative-type.
Turns out, my Twitter wasn't the only victorious message to get "out there" first. This is from Yahoo! yesterday Los Angeles earthquake chokes phone calls, not Twitter.
Yay for us!
As I told my husband the story over dinner I saw his face change as I mentioned that I Twittered the events from the parking lot. "What did you do first?" he casually asked, knowing perfectly well my answer. "Um, I called you second, Honey," I squirmed and tried to read if he was truly hurt or just teasing me about my internet servitude.
I knew it wasn't THE big one, so I was confident he was just fine. Besides, when I did try to reach him the call just failed--failed, failed, failed. So much for convention, right?
There is a part II to this story which involved the man running the kiddie teacup ride at the fair. Some my call him a "Carnie," but pretty sure that is not PC. I will just call him the ride operator at the fair.