So I live in Los Angeles now. Imagine that.

I’ve already talked about the prejudice the Northern Californians have towards Southern Californians. As near as I can tell, Southern Californians really don’t care what people in the north think of them. However, I’m not moving from south to north, but north to south, so I get the prejudicial remarks.

My brother says, “You going to become all shallow and superficial when you move to LA”

Well, I personally think I could stand to become a little more shallow and not suffer much. I spend too much time in the deep end of the mind pool.

My mother says, “Everyone in LA does drugs all the time.”

“Mom, don’t worry. I’m too cheap to get addicted to drugs. I would never spend that kind of money frivolously.”

“Well, okay. But how will you find friends? Everyone else will be on drugs”

I guess I’ll have to cross that bridge when I come to it.

Another friend says to me, ” Oh no! You can’t move there. They have no culture.”

Yet another “All they care about is looks down there. People are not nice. And they are just not as intellectual as the people in the Bay Area.”

These are serious problems, I have to say. If I am stuck in a place where people only care about the surface, and social interaction would be the equivalent of living on Baywatch, I don’t know. That would probably suck.

But prolonged unemployment sucks too. I had a job offer in hand, so I went for it.

Now, I’ve been here less than a month. I have to say, I haven’t really made any friends to hang out with yet. But take into consideration that I have only left my house to go to work and buy groceries. I have not gotten involved in the social scene yet.

I have been stunned and amazed by how nice people here are.

Everyone at work has been extremely friendly. I mean, really! My boss sent out a notice that a new person (me) had arrived, and to make me feel welcome. They really have. I chat with people in the break room and they all say, Oh you must be Murphy! I was meaning to meet you. Hi!

The boss and my co-workers almost always invite me to have lunch with them. This never happened in my jobs in the bay area. First of all, people were too busy to take lunch. I always worked through lunch anyway, but even if I didn’t, I didn’t get invited to be with my co-workers. People didn’t go out to lunch so much.

At my apartment complex, which really is huge, there is an elevator. It’s pretty similar to the way Chris the man’s complex is set up. All the floors and the parking garage share one elevator.

When I was moving in, and pulling in all these boxes and bags, almost everyone said something to me. They all were willing to help me hold the door open, and often they said, “Are you just moving in? Welcome!”

Even now, people are friendly and say hello in hallways and in the elevator.

This did not happen at Chris’s complex. If you were forced to be in the elevator with a neighbor, they looked sort of embarrassed to have to be near you.

This Sunday, I went to go check out my complex’s gym. I was trying to figure out the weight machines. It always takes a while to figure out what each one is FOR, you know? They all look like medieval torture device.

There were three muscley Italian guys also working out on the machines. The gym isn’t that big, so we were running into each other a little bit. I had stopped to try and figure out what the next machine I needed was, and one of these guys asked if I needed to use the machine he had just finished with. I said, “No, this is just my first time here. I’m trying to figure out what I need.”

“Well, if you have any questions, you can ask me. I could help you.”

Now, I thought that was very nice. I certainly did not look superficially fabulous in my crabby workout clothes and lumpy body. Not the expected gorgeous LA-type anyway. But this guy, Paul was his name, was quite friendly and helpful. He helped me out a little bit, and didn’t make me feel stupid.

I thought that was pretty decent.

So far, the stereotypes don’t seem to be true. I will have to report back after I’ve been here a while, but I am beginning to think it will be pretty nice here.


The Uhaul journey I completed was complicated by the fact that I had to have my cat along with me.

Cats are not usually known as good car pets. And my cat is special. He is special in many ways, but one of the most obvious ways he is special is in how HUGE he is. He is fat, true. But he would be a large cat even if he were in shape.

Because of his size, I thought it would not be a good idea for him to travel in the usual cat-sized traveling case. I thought he would do better if I just put him in a box. So after I loaded up the truck, I set up a cardboard box with Skellig’s rug in the bottom. I thought he might like to have something familiar near him.

The box fit in the foot area of the passenger side of the truck. And Skellig fit in the box quite well. But he didn’t want to be in the box. NO! He used all his strength to stay out of the box. We shoved him in—after all we are much bigger and stronger than this housecat.

He Burst out of the box. Oh boy. I guess we’d better tape it down. That should hold him. We taped it to death. He yowled for a little bit, and then he was quiet. All right.

So I started out, on this ragingly hot day. As I got on the road, kitty was a little too quiet. I called his name:



Okay, he’s alive. Drive a little further.

Kitty! Skellig!


He’s good. Okay, I’m on the 101, getting up to speed but still in the slow lane. Suddenly, with a tremendous burst of strength, a large grey cat bursts out of his taped down box. He looked like the Hulk bursting out of his clothes.

Loose cat in the cab! Oh my goodness! What was I supposed to do? I couldn’t get over to the side! And he had already proven that he was capable of breaking loose his bonds.

While I was trying not to panic and trying to remember to concentrate on keeping this 8-cylinder leviathan on the road, my cat crawls up onto the seat and sits next to me, halfway in my lap.

He shows no inclination of moving from this spot of refuge.

My brave cat sat by my side the whole way to Los Angeles. He was calm and collected, only losing his cool when we stopped and had to turn the AC off.

He did get a little carsick, and had to throw up. If I had understood cat a little better, I probably would have pulled over. He gave several warning yowls. I cleaned it off with the spongy end of the Squeegee at the next gas station.

After that, he was perfectly fine.

I was impressed with my cat friend. That’s quite an adventure for a housecat that never goes outside.

Adjusting to the new apartment was a piece of cake, after that.