Monday, June 2, 2008

The big one...Fact or Fiction?

Okay. I'm now officially scared shitless! My Japanese students have scared me to death in regards to the "The Big One." According to my Japanese students, they believe that Tokyo will be hit with the biggest freaking earthquake some time in the coming year. It's just a rumor, but they felt obligated to tell me last week when we were discussing the recent earthquake tragedy in China. The earthquake in China is front page news here, I guess because we are so close.

They believe that a similar pattern in earthquakes has happened over the last few months that mirrors the events that occurred back in 1923-when the last big earthquake hit killing 100,000 people. Okay. So now I'm scared out of my mind that the "Big One" will hit while I'm living here in Tokyo. And, what the Hell do I know about earthquakes?? I'm just a goofy Mexican from Texas!! All I know about is flooding, tornadoes, hurricanes, pipes busting in our house from a deep freeze in 1984, and chemical plant explosions. I don't know SHIT about earthquakes or earthquake preparedness.

Normally when people tell me about rumors or hearsay, I usually ignore them. But, not when it comes to natural disaster. If you have known me through out the years, then you know that natural disaster seems to follow me. For instance, Hurricane Alicia in 1983-during this natural disaster, a huge tree fell in our backyard, and we had some damage done to our house. In 1984, our water pipes froze and busted nearly destroying our entire house. We went out of town for Christmas, and my parents didn't turn off the water. Needless to say, the pipes busted, and we had about 3 inches of water in our house. We were forced to live in one room of our house and shit in a bucket because we didn't have plumbing for a month. Memories like that don't seem to fade away--no matter how long ago they were... In November of 1992, we had a tornado rip through our neighborhood. Our house was fine, but our neighborhood was nearly destroyed. We didn't have power for about a week or 2. I'm sure Rice Spice remembers that tornado well, because her house was seriously damaged, as I recall. Then, in June 2001, Tropical Storm Allison rolled into Texas. My apartment didn't have any damage, but I lived near highway 59 in Houston. I watched as the highway became a lake. Then, in 2006, I had to sit under my stairs in my apartment in North Texas, while wearing a bike helmet, because the tornado sirens had sounded and we thought the end was near...we were wrong, of course. And, then again last April, when my parents, Jude and I drove to Wisconsin to see my sister, we spent an evening in my sister's basement because a tornado was spotted. Then, last June in North Texas, my house nearly flooded. The water came about 2 feet from my front door, and I was shitting bricks. Thankfully, it never flooded.

So, natural disasters have been with me my entire life. I have come to accept the wrath of Mother Nature. In fact, I pride myself in being prepared and ready to Rock N Roll, if the shit ever hit the fan. I've lived through a lot, and I have learned a lot. But, with a hurricane, tornado, and flooding you at least get a bit of a warning. With an earthquake, you don't get any warning at all-- and that is what scares the peejeebeeze out of me. And, now the I am responsible for another human being (Jude)...that throws another element into the picture. Plus, I live on the 5th floor of an apartment building. Supposedly, it is built on rollers and able to withstand a fairly large earthquake. But, who really knows if my building was REALLY built to those specifications?? I sure as Hell don't!

I am so paranoid that an earthquake will hit! Every time I leave my apartment, I always call Husband and let him know where I'm going. I'm not telling him so that he can keep tabs on me or because he has to know what I'm doing every second. I'm telling him so that he'll know where to search for my body if the "Big One" were to happen while I'm out and about. I know, I'm morbid and a sick puppy! Just last weekend we bought an emergency radio with a flash light on it that doesn't require's the wind up type. And, I put an extra change of clothes and shoes, sports bra, bottled water and granola bars in my car just in case the quake happens when I'm in my car, and I might need to run for my life. I know...I'm loony! And, I always try to carry a canvas bag containing a Thermos with water and some granola bars just in case I get buried alive when a building falls on me. Husband thinks I need Prozac, and he's probably right. But, I'm scared that if I take Prozac to calm me down and the crazy thoughts in my head, I won't be able to respond quick enough if or when the disaster strikes. I know, I know, I'm a super dooper loony toon!!

And, I'm super paranoid that the big one will strike in the middle of the day with Husband at work, me teaching English class and Jude at school. That scenario would put all 3 of us in a different location. And, that's why I keep in shape and run. I run so that if the shit hits the fan, and the roads are blocked, at least I can run to Jude, whose school is about 15 Kilometers away.

So, I pray that I never, ever have to experience "THE BIG ONE." And, if I do, please send a search party for me, Husband should know where I am...

After writing this, I'm going to assemble a disaster kit. After all, you never know...

Just anther day in Weenie's World!

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