Thanks for visiting. This site will no longer be updated.

Please visit my new site.

You can find new writing, new photos at


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Terra Firma

We just had a little earthquake a while ago.

I was sitting at my favorite sushi bar, happily popping tiny, salty bubbles of tobiko between my teeth. I was reading my new favorite book, Venice, by Jan Morris, when the earth rolled in slow waves for quite a few seconds.

I happened to be reading the chapter about the geological conditions and other factors that are causing Venice to slowly sink into the waters of the Adriatic, when the ground beneath us started to shudder. Everyone in the restaurant quieted for a moment, but no one stopped eating their sushi (it's that good at Ebisu).

The lanterns above the sushi bar swayed softly for at least a minute before settling back into equilibrium. Their gentle rocking motion reminded me of the floating gondolas of Venice.

PS. Wow, just looked up the little temblor on the USGS website. Apparently it was a 5.6 based near San Jose. Must have felt a wee bit stronger in the sushi bars down there.


miss tango in her eyes October 31, 2007 at 7:21 AM  

You may enjoy the biography The Honest Courtesan, by author Margaret F. Rosenthal, on Veronica Franco, the poetess courtesan of Venice in the 16th century.

miss tango in her eyes October 31, 2007 at 7:22 AM  

You may enjoy the biography The Honest Courtesan, by author Margaret F. Rosenthal, on Veronica Franco, the poetess courtesan of Venice in the 16th century.

Tina October 31, 2007 at 8:43 AM  

I admire your calm in the middle of an earthquake. I get freaked out too easily!
It must have been really good sushi. ;-)

Anonymous October 31, 2007 at 8:45 AM  

And if you want more of a Harlequin romance potboiler, try In the Company of the Courtesan by Sarah Dunant.

studio wellspring October 31, 2007 at 9:20 AM  

yes, ebisu is that good. but that was quite a quake ~ it felt like it went on forever.

tangobaby October 31, 2007 at 10:25 AM  

Miss Tango,

Non-fiction book about a courtesan in Venice?!! Now that's my kind of book! I will definitely be getting that one next...I'm almost done with this book. Grazie!

Ms. Tina,

Yes, the sushi is excellent. Plus he had just made my amaebi--yum!

What happens in SF with earthquake protocol is that you wait to see if the shaking is going to get worse before you decide to get up and stand in the doorway. People just hang out to see if it gets stronger. I don't want to say that you get used to it, but maybe you get kind of lazy. Pretty stupid, huh.


I will have to get a brown paper cover for that book!

Ms. Wellspring,

Do you stand in the doorway? You would have stayed at the sushi bar, too, right?

Eleanor October 31, 2007 at 11:55 AM  

How alarming. I've never been in an earthquake. I suppose you get used to them?

tangobaby October 31, 2007 at 1:39 PM  

Hi Eleanor,

The one like yesterday you do kind of ignore (or I do). They feel rumbly, like maybe a big truck is driving by, but it lasts longer.

The big one in '89 was really scary and that made everyone jumpy for a long time.

Earthquakes are so random that it's the kind of thing that doesn't stay on your mind forever.

But thank you for checking in!


miss tango in her eyes November 1, 2007 at 6:48 AM  

After you read the book, then you can watch the movie, Dangerous Beauty. Rewatching it I noticed a number of actors I didn´t recognize before. Naomi Watts and Fred Ward...amongst others.

tangobaby November 1, 2007 at 11:57 AM  

Miss Tango,

I remember now that I saw that movie a long time ago. I will have to watch it again now that Venice is a real place to me. But I bet the book is better than the movie? It always works that way.

Thanks for the tip!