minalisms


    Posts Tagged ‘California’

    Pity party

    Tuesday, September 22nd, 2009

    For someone who is big on doing nothing during her time off, I certainly did a bunch this weekend.

    Trips to California do that; they’re never boring, and it’s during those trips that I remember just how many people I am connected to and how good it feels to be surrounded by those who understand you and your context.

    I’m coping with that familiar melancholy that comes after saying goodbye (again) to my relatives and close friends out West — there’s just no one in St. Louis who compares to my crew of parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.

    But there’s a reason for that.

    I’d be lying if I said the few(er), sometimes shallow relationships I have in St. Louis weren’t my own fault. One minute I am bragging about my preference to spend normal evenings and weekends at home doing nothing, and in the next breath I allude to the lack of connections I’ve made here in my new home city. And yet all this time the correlation had escaped me …

    ‘Home’

    Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

    In mid-September, I will finally fly out to California to visit my family, friends and the place I grew up. I haven’t done so since getting married last November.

    Yet I still find myself describing San Jose as “home,” this after two moves, about 2,000 miles and nearly seven years of living anywhere but there.

    So it got me thinking: I wonder when the shift occurs — when people stop referring to their past as their present.

    Homecoming

    Thursday, June 5th, 2008

    I’m flying out to San Jose early Saturday morning. For the past week, maybe two, I’ve been counting down to my departure. 

    California, I’ve missed you.

    My dad and I were chatting online earlier today and he said that he and my mom were finishing household chores because they were “preparing for a celebrity who was coming to town.” 

    My parents are so cute,” I thought, embarrassed a little that they were working hard to welcome their own daughter to a neat house; as if their house was ever messy in the first place.

    I haven’t visited my family since Thanksgiving. I think it’s the longest interval between visits, despite my too-hopeful promise upon moving to St. Louis that I’d visit my hometown every three to four months. But to make up for the nearly seven-month absence, this stay will be the longest ever since moving out of the house: eight days. Eight days! 

    So I’m elated. I love homecomings.

    My comfort mechanism

    Thursday, May 15th, 2008

    Last Friday, I spent $59.20 to fill up my 4-cylinder 1999 Honda Accord with regular unleaded gasoline. After I got over the sticker shock, I thought, “Thank god, I don’t live in California anymore,” where gas would’ve cost me around $3.95 per gallon, compared to $3.69.

    I always do this. Having lived in California for a quarter-century, I can’t help but compare the price I would pay for my lifestyle there versus here, in St. Louis, where life offers a different set of fun.

    I’ll bust out the comparison calculator when considering job salaries; I do it when sizing up real estate; estimating the cost of child-rearing, and, obviously, when summing up transportation costs.

    Aside from a quick mathematical exercise for my brain, I believe the act serves as a so-called comfort mechanism, and I employ it every time I begin to miss my home state and the perks that are housed within it.

    Instead of focusing on my cherished family and friends and temperate weather and breath-taking coastlines that California has going for it, I’ll scrutinize the pervasive gridlock and unaffordable homes and gazillion people who’d surely cramp my space and style.

    Then I’ll turn to St. Louis and say, “Thank you, Lou.”

    So, family and friends from the Left Side — the West Side — if I start up my California rant the next time we talk, just know that it’s because I miss you.

    Cali

    The rocking Midwest

    Friday, April 18th, 2008

    When my eyes fluttered open before the sun came up this morning, I wondered how I was transported back to my dearly beloved, California.

    But as consciousness and logic flooded my head, I realized that, no, I was still in the middle of the country that is Missouri. A middle that was uncharacteristically shaking the way California characteristically does from time to time.

    “Wow,” said Ben, sitting up in the bed and waiting for the magnitude-5.2 temblor to pass.

    “It’s just an earthquake; go back to sleep,” I said, unimpressed.

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