a required taste for the pretentious as all get out





"i'm a mid-atlantic spirit"
August 17, 2004, 3:23 pm

"Maryland state line, comin' down the grapevine/I don't wanna stay but I don't wanna go home..."

In going to California, I expected some sort of catharsis; an eye-opening experience that would shout, undeniably, that I Belonged There.

I have to say, that's not what I found. California, I discovered, is a wishy-washy pussy playland of avocado sprouts and teal water, of fake crabmeat and uninspiring sports teams. Oh yeah, the brown mountains are crap, too.

"Just as I predicted, the fact was only fiction here..."

What the fuck is your problem, California? Where are your neurotic people, your blue-collar workers, your semblances of Americana?

Sample Thoughts from an Average East-Coaster: "Oh my God! I'm so fat! I suck at algebra! My mommy never loved me!"

Sample Thoughts from a Californian: "Oh my Gosh! You're so fat! Algebra is pointless, so I'm not going to worry! I fucked your mom!"

Example of Exactly What I'm Talking About:

My sister sends me out for "a bacon, sausage and egg bagel sandwich."

"Oh Chris," I said, "They don't make that shit here. It's against the law, or something." I went to four places; none of them had BACON or SAUSAGE at ALL.

There's a lot of projection going on there, and I don't mean in the movie theaters.

Instead of scrunchies and dive bars, you have chipotle sauce and capers; where there should be three-hundred pound women in lavender spandex patrolling the playground for kids with rattails, you have pushy soccer moms with Coach bags, jockeying for the next pair of linen pants from Ann Taylor. What is relegated to tiny pockets of Annapolitan life is the rule rather than the exception out there.

"Exactly as I feared it..."

I saw a lot of Northern California, and what I saw never seemed quite real. Was it pretty? Yeah, I guess, but how pretty is the desert? It's the absence of life; after seeing it for hours, it's just dead dirt.

What is up with your weather? Why is it nice all the time? Where is the humidity? Why can't you have SEASONS, for Christ's sakes?!? No wonder you have no neuroses; there's never a rainy cloud to dampen your day or fuel a well-deserved gloomy gus therapy session.

There is no smoking in bars in San Francisco. What the hell are you supposed to do then? Have a conversation?

I love my cousins; they're fantastic people who are native Californians, and they party like Baltimore gals...but they have palm trees in their backyard. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I imagine that the real oak tree in my backyard is better for climbing.

"I'm a Mid-Atlantic spirit now..."*

*-from "Bethlehem Steel" by Victory Twin

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