Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Brief Account of March 11th, 2011"

I've been asked by many friends and family how I am, and I've been replying individually, but I just wrote a very brief summary to an old friend and it occurred to me to go ahead and post it here:

I had a cup of coffee that I'd just topped up when it started shaking, so I took a quick sip to lower the level to stop it from spilling, and put it on the corner of my desk. The shaking intensified and a little spilled onto my scanner - "S***!" said I and moved the cup to the floor.

Then it shook harder still and I stood up, as I do when I'm worried an earthquake will knock over bookcases in the room, so I can hold them up. For a few microseconds I thought it was going to pass by, as they typically do (we get a lot of earthquakes here, after all), but then it got really serious, and boxes started crashing down around me from the bookshelves and I could hear things smashing in the kitchen. I held up things near me; stopped a stack of heavy audio equipment from crashing down onto my head; and cursed as the rest of the room's contents crashed down around me (along with a symphony of noise from things smashing in the kitchen). Somewhere in the middle of this I glanced down and noticed that most of the coffee had sloshed out onto the floor and my foot.

And then the shaking stopped.... I cursed some more and climbed over the mountain of stuff and went through the door into the rest of the apartment to assess the damage. Messy! Very messy! Some things appeared to be completely untouched while other things were halfway across the room. Lots of broken dishes and a broken bottle of whiskey, etc.

The worst part was a pile of wired AV equipment that had fallen off of shelving and into a heap on the floor - I had to painstakingly disassemble it wire by wire, piece by piece. I finally broke it down into its component parts, but haven't gotten around reassembling it.

And just when I thought I was getting past that, I notice at night that - when I hold out a hand - it glows in the dark......

Anyway, still alive at the moment at least!

[And this is an earlier thing I posted about the day (including a comment from an acquaintance)]:

D***... I dropped the ball with video. While things were crashing down around me, I didn't think to grab the camera - I was too busy holding up the computer rack...

[Comment]: "I think you'll be forgiven for that."

Yeah... I guess - but it would have been interesting for the audio track especially - the simultaneous crashing and smashing of dishes and bottles in the kitchen, along with machinery, books, boxes, etc. crashing down around me - with me swearing up a storm while I kept the computer in place and just stopped some old stereo equipment from crashing onto my head.

Come to think of it - without a third hand, I couldn't have held the camera, but too bad I didn't turn it on and put it... where? Wait - better I didn't turn it on! I would have missed the sliding heavy amplifier, etc., and possibly ended up dead while I focused on the viewfinder.

Those... what? 30 seconds? 60 seconds? So much stuff happening so quickly. The audio part of it was definitely the most impressive aspect of the experience. I don't think I've heard a more impressive soundtrack in a movie. They could make one like it I'm sure, but if the action began and was over within 60 seconds - with the sounds all mixed together, movie-goers wouldn't be pleased, so they drag it out and separate the different noises - one crash for one thing falling down, etc. The real version has a whole symphony of disaster going full-out at the same time, and in the heightened state of danger/disaster/oh-s***!/etc., you actually sense the different components to a remarkable degree. Very intense. I'm sort of in a mild state of shock thinking back on it....

Lyle (Hiroshi) Saxon

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