Moving out of New York was pretty smooth. It happened so long ago I really don't remember it. Instead of going home I went to visit friends at Umass Amherst before missing a bus to take me to Newton, Massachusetts to see the family before we don't see each other for forever (but not really). I got there eventually, of course, celebrated the Jewish new year together in one absolutely gigantic feast of a dinner. My mother and I woke up at the crack of dawn to get an early flight direct to Los Angeles, carrying, due to the weight limit, two suitcases and two carry ons each. Her stuff took half a suitcase, one of my hard drives alone took the other half.
Our plane took off and started making its turn around the bay. But then it kept turning. It seemed to me that we were definitely doing a whole lot of turning. For a moment I was trying to figure out the route we were going to fly to the west cost exactly, considering it's, well... west, when the captain's voice crackles, "Prepare for landing." After only 15 minutes in the air we landed.
We were debarked; turns out some passengers smelled burning and after investigation there had been some electrical issue causing it. As we waited for the mechanics to right our plane, after about an hour they said they figured out the problem, had fixed it, and were going to run the series of rote tests that every plane gets before boarding. Apparently it must have been something freaky, because they followed by cancelling the flight altogether and accommodating all passengers on something else. We took four extra hours and a stop in Chicago to get to LA. The lesson (if I make something out of nothing) is not that American sucks, which it may, but that you should still let attendants know if something's burning or the back of the plane is falling off. I caught "Snakes on a Plane" on one of the movie channels the night before the flight and although it didn't affect my comfort level with flying it may have affected fellow passengers as they were long subjected to terrible snake jokes.
L.A. from the plane is a massive, sprawling metropolis with no downtown visible, highways snaking around like veins on an 80-year old geezer and clay-shingled houses clumped together on roads so that from above they look like those candy necklaces you got in party bags when you were a kid.
It was kind of freaky to be talking about earthquakes with insurance agents.
Also, this guy is a dick.
NEXT TIME: The apartment, the pool, the spider, the car.