07 February 2005

a tale of three cities

Unbeknownst to me, the day after Christmas launched Megan's Winter Road Show. Upon landing back in the states on January 4th, my boss called.

"Hey, do you want to go to Chicago next week? Okay, and how about Washington DC? End of the month. Greaaaaat."

So I had seven days on the ground before going to Chicago then, back to Orange County for a few days, and then off again to Washington DC for five days. Good thing I kept that pair of long underwear.

Chicago was good. It was great to get out of the suburbs and be back in a real city where there are real neighborhoods and you can see the personality of the city changing every ten blocks. Back home in Orange County, there are people who brag about living in "Laguna Niguel" as opposed to "Laguna Hills." But the houses look the same no matter where you go, and we all shop at the same damn Target! What the hell is a Niguel, anyway?

Ah well, at least it's sunny. When I left Chicago it was 20 below, and when I landed in Orange County it was 80 - a difference of 100 degrees! I actually had to change into my pajamas when I landed because I didn't have any other lightweight clothes.

Anyway, Chicago was cold but good, and I got to hang out with a very cool friend I hadn't seen since high school. Back home I had a few days to do my laundry and remind myself how much I still suck at surfing before I was off again to the land of the cold.

I have always liked Washington DC, I don't know why. I guess it's the "walkability" of the city (very much like Portland) paired with an unending list of things to do, see and eat. Highlights included: seeing another cool friend from Portland and later going to a place called Cosi where they serve an appetizer of smore's compelete with petite flame for roasting marshmallows. I also had the delightful experience of falling on my ass in the snow. I am proud of myself for landing squarely on my right butt cheek, sparing my tailbone and saving my left cheek for a future fall - I am such a pro. The next day I happily boarded a plane back to the summerland where, if I am to fall, it will more than likely be into water than onto ice-y concrete.

Guess what? At the end of this month, I will officially have lived in Mission Viejo for one year. It's no great accomplishment, but, it occured to me that I haven't said much about it in any of my e-mails.

First off, it's not a city, but, it is one of the largest suburbs in the area. A suburb of what, I can't say because we are equidistant from LA and San Diego.

Mission Viejo is also one of the safest cities in California. There is virtually no crime. If you don't believe me, check the police blotter.
It's 180 degrees from my first apartment, the Trevor Arms. If you lived in NW Portland in the mid-90's, it's the one that had the meth lab that blew up.

Anyway, something else that's nice about Mission Viejo that I have recently discovered is the community library. Though it doesn't have the wonderful smell of "old" that the downtown Portland library has, the MV library has some really good things going for it. The building is very bright, and well organized. They have banned cell phone use inside, and they carry graphic novels (as in comic books).

Yeah, yeah, Megan, your library is great and there's no crime, but we all know that it's boring as hell.

That's what you're supposed to think! I have recently discovered the secret purpose for the Mission Viejo library. From the outside, it's just an obligatory element in the cookie-cutter plan of the city, right? A police station here, a Home Depot over there, sprinkle some houses around and oh yeah, throw in a library for good measure. But really, the library is an on-going experimental art project.

Check it out: this month, the library is offering a scarf knitting class for teens.

Let's think about this for a second.

Not only do you need to find people in Southern California who can find a use for a scarf, but they have to make the damn thing themselves AND they have to be teenagers.

See? What else could it be but some weird nature/nurture art project about modern society? You know: the ever-chilling nature of isolated suburban life; the scarf is a symbol for the ability for the teenagers weave love in to their lives, blah, blah, blah. Isn't that awesome?!?!

please come visit me.


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