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July 16, 2010

Lo, and water fell from the sky!

Each day this week I've tried to get out of the house earlier and earlier to avoid the heat. I made the mistake a few days ago of walking past 8:30 in the morning and about had a heatstroke in front of a Starbucks.

So this morning I made a quick cup of coffee (the secret, I have discovered, to my morning exercising success) and got caffeinated for my walk while watching a little Good Morning America. The featured story was about a tiny little tremor in the Washington D.C. area -- a 3.6, not even something left coasters would classify as a quake. We get those every day and twice on Sundays. Apparently it sent people in the D.C area into a mild panic, with a flood of calls to 911. Californians laughed into their lattes.

Having lived here now for sixteen years (!!!) I consider myself fully Los Angeleno-ized and I also scoffed. Just last week we had a 5.4 and people yawned. Put that in your pipe, Washington, and smoke it.

Feeling smug and nonchalant about the earth and its mysteries, I laced up my shoes and headed out into the far more terrifying world of the city in summer, a race to exercise before turning into a melted heap of sweaty lard.

These days I'm clocking just around three and a half miles each morning (it sounds like a marathon, but it's an easy walk on a sidewalk and it takes about an hour.) It's even easier when it's not an oven. I made it to the stoplight that is my turnaround point and I was halfway back to home when I felt a splat on my head. I let out an audible groan.

"Shit!" I said. Then: "Bird shit, most likely."

But just as I was mentally calculating the statistical likelihood of getting avian flu from a bird poop attack, I got hit by another. And another. I looked up to see what incontinent creature was flying above and I saw what appeared to be a cloud. Then I noticed other people around me on the sidewalk also standing stock still, staring upward. What was this strange, fluidlike substance coming from the sky? Was there a movie shooting nearby with a weather machine? Or could it be the unthinkable ... could it be rain? Rain in July? Has that ever happened?

What do people do in such an unusual circumstance?

Well, if you live in Los Angeles and have lived here long enough to fully assimilate, you apparently stand out on the street staring at the sky like a dumbass. That's what I did. That's what all the joggers and dogwalkers and coffee drinkers around me did. We all stopped in our tracks and stared at the sky. Where water mysteriously came forth and moistened us.

Finally I realized I was still a mile from my apartment and this odd liquid aberration wasn't letting up so I hustled my sweaty and now rain-soaked butt back home. When I got home I turned on the news and sure enough Lisa Breck on Fox 11 was saying there were reports of pouring rain all around the city. It's NEWS, people. NEWS. Though I have to say the Southern part of me thought this wasn't really pouring rain. It was more of a little light shower. If that. But still, said the Losangelized part of me, it's rain! In July! Very noteworthy!

Then I remembered that story on GMA about the tremor in Washington D.C. and how I scoffed. I wonder what they would think of us nutballs who don't get out of bed for anything under a 6.0 but lose our bacon every time there's an ounce of precipitation. Funny.

Posted by laurie at July 16, 2010 9:22 AM