I was down in southern Maryland today for a meeting. My ride back had another meeting after lunch, so I set myself up on the patio of a nearby Starbucks for a few hours. After I'd been there for a while, it suddenly seemed there was something wrong with my chair. A glance down revealed no issues with the chair's soundness. "Oh, I think I'm having some sort of episode," I thought, as the wobbly sensation grew stronger. I looked around to see who might be able to assist if I were to pass out, but saw the two women nearby were also looking around with agitated expressions on their faces. Then I noticed the plate glass windows wobbling, and confirmed this sensation was not just me. The shaking stopped about two seconds after my brain concluded, "Earthquake, holy cow!"
Until I got more info, I was a bit worried that it might have been a much stronger quake elsewhere. But once I found out that it wasn't too big a deal overall, I realized that I had sort of liked it. Mostly out of novelty, I think, but I also appreciated that, like a major snowstorm, it injected itself (annoyingly, but mostly benignly) simultaneously into our daily routines, momentarily making everyone think about the same thing. (I talked about it for a few minutes with the other people on the patio, and we exchanged information as we were able to coax it out of our cellphones.) However, talking to my coworkers after getting back to DC, I gather that they were not amused. The shaking was scarier and more obvious inside a large building, and when in downtown DC, the list in your head of potential explanations for sudden shaking does not start with "something's wrong with my chair." On the upside, the quake was a very insistent reminder to be prepared for a real-deal disaster, major quake or otherwise.
In any case, I got home and could only spot three things out of place: teacups came unstacked, an insulated mug tipped over, and my coriander fell onto the stove from a ledge on the counter. Not exactly total devastation.