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.

No comments: