Second only to stories about rats in the walls, there’s nothing better than trading “where were you when the earthquake happened?” accounts at parties. Having spent only a fraction of my life on the West Coast I’ve never had a very good answer to this question.

I was in a small earthquake in 1998 in San Francisco. It tilted my bed towards the ceiling and back over a series of three broad waves. That was that. The mattress felt like a gigantic version of one of those Brookstone chairs at the mall with roving back rollers. 

Like most people, I kept sleeping right through the 4.5 magnitude earthquake that hit around 5:30 last Friday morning. I’ve lived I Seattle for five years without experiencing a tangible earthquake. Which I’m thankful for, especially since I can almost see the viaduct from my desk at work.

This seismograph shows just how many tiny earthquakes we have in the Puget Sound all the time. To be safe, I’m not ever keeping my wedding rings on the shelf about the toilet before anymore.