Meanwhile, in Los Angeles

A picture of the gardens at the Getty Museum.

I’m in my ancestral county right now, the primary reason being to attend the delayed memorial service of a dear friend (it was last night and was bittersweet but also wonderful in its way), but also to see the living, sometimes at museums (see above), and to have meetings, because meetings are what Los Angeles is for. There was an earthquake this morning, just a 3.9er, and I’m happy to say I responded to it in a classically Californian fashion, which was to say “huh, earthquake” to myself, note it on social media, and then roll over in bed and go back to sleep. Some things you don’t forget how to do, even when you live out of state for decades.

Everything is good, just checking in. How’s your weekend?

— JS

24 Comments on “Meanwhile, in Los Angeles”

  1. We’re up in Humboldt County waiting to get sideswiped tonight by the bomb cyclone that’s heading mostly toward Oregon and Washington. Generator ready, etc.

  2. I grew up in the SF Bay Area and rode out any number of minor earthquakes. Then I was in Berkeley in 1989 for Loma Prieta. That one started just like a minor earthquake…except it didn’t stop, and then had one big jolt in the middle. After that, a minor earthquake always left me afraid that it wasn’t going to stay minor.

  3. Like David above, I grew up in the Bay Area and rode out the Loma Prieta ‘quake in my Sunset District flat in San Francisco. I’ve lived up in the Sierra Foothills for 21 years now. Until this year I don’t remember ever feeling shaking up here, but felt earthquakes twice this year. My first panicked thought both times was that a small one here might be a big one in the Bay Area so I contacted my sister and she was happily oblivious. They both turned out to be small ones in the surrounding area.

  4. Sorry for the loss of your friend. As to your reaction to the earthquake, glad to see you still have the innate skills on how to react. Question. Post. Resume previous activities. ;-)

    Weekend is relaxing. Saturday, life stuff. (Oh the Open Enrollment materials must be reviewed…) Ugh.

    Sunday, the storm rolled in. Not bad here but did lose power for a bit. As it was still daylight. Found a window and grabbed a book. I love rainy days with periods of power outages. You just gotta read. What else can you do? ;-)

  5. A bit soggy here in the midwest. Mom and I went out for lunch because we were both craving pizza, and between the heavy rain and the ankle-deep water running through the parking lot we were soaked before we made it to the door.

  6. Went to a cinema on Friday, for the first time in ages, for a documentary on Karl Edward Wagner.

    It must have been interesting for the makers: the afternoon audience was some 20 people, none of whom had heard of Karl before. The evening audience was also some 20 people, and I may have been the person who knew him least (I met him and Barbara at Denvention in 1981, and a few times thereafter).

    I suspect about half of the evening audience appeared in the film…

  7. My condolences.

    I’m in the Inland Empire and felt nothing, of course. I hope you’re home safe and sound.

    A couple of one-liners for you: I went from Land O’ Lakes to Land O’ Quakes.

    Seismologists go from crags to Richters.

  8. Except for noting it on social media (didn’t exist yet) I had basically the same reaction to first earthquake I’d ever been in, in Yonkers, NY mid 1980s

  9. John, you left out a step in your reaction pattern to quakes that most of the Bay Areans I know practice.

    I’ve been in three decent-sized quakes in three different places; Seattle in 1965 (magnitude 6.7), where we evacuated the junior high school and came out to see that the running track had cracked. Claremont, CA in 1971 (Sylmar quake, magnitude 6.6), where I only realized it wasn’t the steam heaters hammering in my dorm room because it was too early in the morning. And Loma Prieta in 1989, after which I had to keep a toddler amused as it got dark soon after and there was broken glass from baby-food jars all over the place that I couldn’t see to clean up. Also a few five-point-somethings and a whole bunch of four-pointers over the years. (Three-pointers are barely commented upon.)

    All this has helped me to hone an additional earthquake response, especially when I’m with other people when it happens, which is that we all immediately trade estimates of what we thought the quake magnitude was. Quite often our initial guesses are within a few tenths of the eventual reported magnitude.

  10. I had friends over to dinner Saturday, first time in ages. It was a very pleasant evening of good food and conversation. At family zoom Sunday a sister had a good way to treat red wine stains which I tested and it worked: rubber band the table cloth with stain around a container (measuring quart container) and pour boiling water on it from a little height (raised arm). Immediate cessation of stain. So, I had fun and learned a few things.

  11. I moved to the LA area (right by Claremont, as it happens) last year and went to the Getty earlier this year without knowing what was in store. I barely even looked at the art inside, just walked the grounds. Truly stunning.

  12. All good. We celebrated our belated 50th Anniversary one year late by staying in a hotel in Midtown and seeing (1) The Mavericks in concert in Staten Island – fabulous and (2) a Sunday matinee of To Kill a Mockingbird on Broadway. Both had the New York sensible practice of requiring proof of vaccination and photo ID. The theater also required that everyone – and the place was packed – keep their masks on the entire show. And yes, they checked frequently.

  13. So sorry for your loss.

    In my 1990s childhood, my family owned a kids’ VHS tape about working in construction that I watched all the time (a guy named Dave Hood narrated it and laced it with goofy humour). The site they visited was the Getty Museum, a year or two before it was finished. I haven’t spent a lot of time in LA, but I keep meaning to go there, both because it’s a museum and because I’m unusually familiar with what it looked like when it was only 75% finished.

  14. I’ve never been to LA, and I’d really like to go and visit.

    I watched Squid Game this weekend, and I thought it was wonderful. Without spoiling anything, I thought one of the episodes was one of the best episodes of episodic TV I’ve ever seen. Yes, the show is deeply based on manga like Battle Royale and such, but I thought the acting was top-notch, the costuming is fantastic, and the direction is spot-on.

    Have fun, stay safe, and I’m sorry for your loss.

  15. Sorry for your loss.

    My Saturday was spent watching my kids lose at their respective competitions. My older son’s rugby team lost to Xavier 88-0. My younger son’s marching band missed qualifying for the state semifinals by 0.8 point. I’m not sure which was harder to watch.

    I did see Dune on Sunday. I would love to read your thoughts on the film when you get a chance. Obviously, you have more important things going on now.

  16. I grew up in SoCal, leaving in the mid-90s. The drill for earthquakes, back in the day, was to sit up and take notice, and make a decision whether it seemed strong enough to worry about. If it did, you went outside and chatted with your neighbors whom you never otherwise spoke with. (Now living in the northeast, digging out snow fill this role.) After standing around a while and deciding the house was not likely to come down, you went inside and turned on the local news to find out whether this was minor, or if San Francisco had slid into the ocean and this is what it felt like three hundred miles away. The best ones for television were in the middle of the night. The station had no clue, and whatever junior producer had the graveyard shift would come on and blather a bit. One station had a second-hand seismograph in the basement with a camera permanently recording. That station would show a video loop of the needle going back and forth, but of course this didn’t tell us anything substantive. Then the station’s reporters would start calling in and talking about how it felt at their houses. In the meantime the station would send a camera crew to CalTech. Eventually the seismologist who had drawn the short straw would come out and report that it was a 4.3, with no major damage. Then everyone would go back to bed.

  17. Well, the 6.7 Northridge earthquake in 1994 wasn’t felt in the Bay Area, and the 6.9 Loma Prieta quake of 1989 wasn’t felt in Los Angeles. If those couldn’t travel so far, then a measly little 3.9 has no chance.

  18. Great weekend. Took Monday off, too.

    Saw Dune, in the theater, on Friday and it’s absolutely worth seeing on the big screen with big sound. Saturday was the usual Saturday stuff. Sunday the weather was excellent so I rode my bicycle from Reston to Purcelleville, got bbq at Monks and ice cream next door, and rode back. Today was a lovely mid-September day and I spent a lot of time on the deck reading when I wasn’t walking around with the Nikon Z6ii getting pictures of fall colors.

  19. Luckily, I read a lot,
    and so I know of earthquake sense from a YA where a girl put a book in front of a porcelain so it wouldn’t topple,
    I dimly recall reading of earthquake behaviour where everybody jumps out a window, (the door was blocked)
    and I learned of the Getty Museum from a well known essay by native Californian Joan Didion.

    When I first lived on the ring of fire in Vancouver Canada I heard a boom one night and felt the walls move, so I jumped up and looked out the window by my bed. No atomic bomb, since I was still alive; no hurricane since the trees were perfectly still. Had to be an earthquake, as I confirmed next morning.

  20. We spent a few days in LA following our only ever cruise with Lindblad / National Geographic to watch whales down in Baja — the time we spent at the Getty was the best part of the stay in LA.

    And yes, the actual facility is as fascinating as the great stuff on exhibit. Everything about it is amazeballs!

    I felt an earthquake here in WV once years ago as I crossed the Kanawha River on a bridge. My first thought was that a big tow of coal barges must have hit a bridge support, but not. Was an earthquake, and I couldn’t imagine the reaction of underground coal miners that night~!~

    The last big ‘quake her in the East was the one over in Virginia that damaged the Washington Monument. We were on a summer drive on wavy country roads during that event.

    When we got up to the Ohio River destination (as much as anyone has a destination on a country drive…) we went to the snackbar for Choc milkshakes, the first question was “Did you all feel that earthquake?” nope, we were driving on wavy country roads, didn’t feel a thing.