Boy oh boy! I've been waiting two and a half years for this, and now, at last, it has arrived: I've felt my first earthquake!
It was pretty cool. I was actually blowing off steam by playing some Guitar Hero 2. I was playing "Carry On My Wayward Son," had reached about the three-quarters mark, and for the first time ever, had not missed a single note. I was intently focusing on the screen, had tilted my guitar for Star Power, and then... well, more power than I planned on was unleashed.
I felt a low rumbling. It was weird... it really doesn't feel like anything I've felt before, but it was as if the whole building (I'm on the second floor) was shaking from side to side. I heard some noises, as things were slapping against the wall. "Wow," I thought. "This must be an earthquake."
As experts can tell you, when you feel an earthquake, you're supposed to stand under a doorframe or other stable structure to avoid being struck by anything. So what did I do?
I kept on rocking, of course! I mean, when was I going to have another shot at reaching 100%?
It lasted several seconds... I'll need to check to see exactly how long, but I'll guess between 5 and 10. After it stopped, I felt like I was still shaking. Probably just nervous. Totally worth it, though... I nailed the last segment and was rewarded with a new high score.
Damage appears to be minimal so far. I didn't lose power or Internet access, and it looks like the neighborhood is fine as well. My diploma rattled in its frame, but didn't fall off. My bike got knocked down from the wall, and some water bottles I've stored on top of my cabinets have fallen off. Everything else seems stable, though.
So, you know: hooray! It's a twofer... well, actually a threefer: I have felt my first earthquake, and so feel like a real Californian; I survived without any damage to my self or property; and I have a cool story and a high score to remember it by.
Update 8:38: According to early news reports, the quake was magnitude 5.6. That's interesting and maybe a little worrying... it was remarkable enough, and now I'm extra curious what a magnitude 7 or 8 quake would feel like. However, the epicenter was at Alum Rock in San Jose, so it was pretty close to me anyways. I'm guessing that has an impact on how strongly I felt it.
UPDATE 10/31: After feeding through some news sources, I have some more tidbits of useless information: first, apparently, the quake went on for a minute, which is a little surprising to me; either I didn't feel most of it, or I was way more engrossed in the game than I had thought. Second, the 5.6 factor makes this the largest earthquake in the Bay area since the 1989 Loma Prieta one, which is cool and exciting. Finally, it took place on the Calaveras fault, which means that both the Hayward and San Andreas are still primed to go any minute. Something to look forward to!