17 March 2004

quiz + new contest

I've come up with this very scientific quiz to measure how much a particular individual identifies with either Mutnomah County or Orange County. Some of the content in this quiz is based on actual quotes from residents of Orange County.

1. You use your turn signal:
a) never. why would I? I'm the only driver on the road.
b) regularly

2. You've started a sentence with "Babe" or "Girlfriend"
a) to convey how serious you were about a particular topic
b) for shits and giggles

3. Have you seen Mel Gibson's The Passion?
a) Of course!
b) Oh HELL no!

4. When you go to the beach you spend most of your time
a) lying in the sun and playing in the water
b) drinking heavily and thinking about your own death

5. You like Ralph Nader, but
a) . . . "only because he got Bush elected"
b) . . .think he's making a huge mistake by running for president in 2004

6. If someone gave you a hundred thousand dollars you would:
a) say, "thanks, Dad"
b) start printing your zine in color

7. You've come down with a minor case of the flu. You're too sick to go to work, do you go to the gym?
a) yes
b) no

8. Oregon is:
a) pretty. someday I'll sell my house and move there. or maybe Arizona.
b) don't try and catagorize me

9. A reasonable price for a nice 2 BR house in a good neighborhood is:
a) $700,000
b) $350,000

10. A decent bar should have the following characteristics:
a) tasteful lighting, friendly service, and wide selection of food and specialty drinks such as a "Midori Mangotini"
b) old, dark, lots of wood, and with a tatooed female bartender

Count up how many times you answered "A" and how many times you answered "B." Each answer is a 10% indicator as to how you live your life. For example, 4 "A" answers and 6 "B" answers means you live your life 40% as someone with Orange County standards, and 60% as someone with Multnomah County standards.

Now forward this message to 10 friends or your head will impload.

P.S. I'm thinking about getting a "personalized" license plate and all suggestions are welcomed. If I pick yours, I will send you a prize. You can use up to 7 letters/ numbers. All entries are due by 5pm on Wednesday the 24th. No purchase necessary, offer void in Texas. My ideas include:
LTL RED, LTLRDCR, and MY T RED. I am considering WA OR CA and PDXGRRL.

11 March 2004

homesick today

Man, I wish I had some McMenamins fries and a pint of Ruby Ale about now. I'm really missing the northwest today, I don't know why. Nothing bad happened today, it was in the mid-70's all day, work was fine, and I didn't talk to a single grouchy person all day. But, I guess that's part of it in a way. I mean, try to imagine what it would be like if you lived somewhere with no personality.

Is it possible to be nostalgic for jaded hipsters who are rude to you for no reason? To long to go to a bar that's so dark you can't see the person sitting three feet away from you and to feel a little bit empty when, upon leaving a restaurant at night I brace for the deep damp cold and there's nothing there but a mild breeze.

I am more certain than ever that Southern California is never going to feel like home. I've come to an understanding that the place you live has to understand you as much as you understand it. Though California and I can agree that going to the beach in March and BBQing year-round are a good thing, we're never going to come to see eye to eye on surprise grumpiness and the merits of socialism.

Interestingly, the majority of the people where I work aren't from California either. It's more common for me to meet someone born outside the U.S. than someone who is a Southern California native. What I find really interesting is that the people who have lived in Orange Country for over twenty years still speak of their former states with the enthusiasm of a kid on December 26th, but eventually they shrug and say, "BUT, you can't beat the weather down here."

The problem is, there's nothing distinct about Orange County. The various regions are all planned communities that have, well, everything in common. Pick any two of these words (Rancho, Laguna, Beach, Aliso, Viejo, Mission, Ladera, Hills, Irvine) and I almost guarantee you that it's the name of an actual place down here. There's no Hippo Hardware, only Home Depot; there's no Stumptown, only Starbucks; every Harley owner has a closet full of suits, and most people are afraid to talk about politics.

I'm not ready to move back, but, man I wish some of you would move down here. There's not a single person in the O.C. that's even 1/1000th as cool as anyone on this list. So whaddaya say, anyone ready to raise the "coolness" bar in SoCal.? I can't hold this whole thing down on my own, you know.

01 March 2004

political rant / apartment update

One of the interesting things about moving to a new part of the country is the change in political scene. The most significant political issue in California, the grocery workers strike, just ended today. The strike lasted nearly five months and involved most of the major chains (Von's, Ralph's, Albertsons and Safeway). To keep from breaking picket lines, many people changed their shopping habits and went to Trader Joes, Costco and Target instead of their usual store. It will be interesting to see when/ if people revert to their old habits. I for one will not be shopping at Albertsons again period because they "preemptively" locked out their workers before they even declared they were striking.

On Tuesday California has its primary and will vote on Arnold's Propositions 57 and 58, "Vich will put Caleeforneea's financial haus in ordah and tear up de kredit kards forehvah." AND there is some kind of local election, I can't remember what the position is, but I remember the ad:

"My opposition claimed she would uphold our local values, yet in 1996 she founded 'Republicans for Clinton.' I, [candidate's name] have supported everything George Bush has ever done and will continue to blindly do so forever. Elect me!"

In other news, we moved into our new place. So far, so good. It's a very lovely spot where you can see Lake Mission Viejo to one side and the Saddleback Mountains to the other. As I was carrying some boxes up the stairs late in the afternoon, I noticed the setting sun made the mountains appear purple and the cast a dusky pink glow on to the wispy clouds. Some tall palms were sillhouetted perfectly in the foreground and a gentle breeze cooled my brow. Then some doves started hooting in a tree nearby and I said to myself, "ENOUGH WITH THE BEAUTY ALREADY!" Sheesh.

Barry started his new job last week. For the sake of brevity, he's working for a couple of Indian guys located in Torrance. They currently sell Macs but are not an "Apple Reseller." Barry is going to help them acheive this status and work as a sales guy. The drive to Torrance is a long one, so he is working on setting up a home/office situation.

How stupid do I look moment-of-the-week: We inquired as to whether the apartment complex collected recycling. The leasing agent explained, "Oh, you just throw everything in the dumpster together. We pay a company to pick the recycling out of the trash later on."

Okay, well, maybe I'll toss the rent check in an aluminum can and they can fish it out "later on."

Until next week.