Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The Bean.

Sometimes I miss Boston so much it hurts. Did you know I lived in Boston? Sometimes I forget I did. Not that I forget, but it seems like it was another life. Another time. Another Jen. I moved back to LA just over 6 years ago. August 2002. I have gone back to visit on several occasions, and it's like getting to relive the old memories. Whenever I'd fly out of Boston back to LA, I'd cry as the plane lifted off as it carried me back home. Every time. Like I was leaving the love of my life behind. And then, on one trip, of which I can't pinpoint, it stopped being the place I used to live, but morphed into a memory. Distant. And no matter how hard I reached, it was no longer tangible. I turned back into a visitor.

But understand this...I've grown up in LA, went to college in LA, and after I moved back here, spent the greater part of my 20's in LA. But living in Boston has made me appreciate all the great things the City of Angels has to offer. I never appreciated LA until I moved away from it. And yet, sometimes I feel like a fish out of water here. I'm not an LA person...I don't fit in with the LA 'scene'. I never have. That being said, it's home. But if ever I was in love with a city, it was Boston. I moved there in August of 2000 with 3 friends, and didn't look back. And I had a ball. I got my first job out of college as a receptionist at Berklee College of Music. I found myself. I made friends that changed my life. Some of which I still keep in touch with and love with all my heart. And others whom I still love, yet wonder where their path has led them.

I have moments when I want to go back to Boston for a month, and see if it still holds something for me. But I don't know what I'd find once I get there. The friends I had there have left, have moved on, gotten married, and some have even had babies. Will I find the same city I left behind? The happy hours at the Last Drop? Thursday nights at the Purple Shamrock? Fish and Chips at Murphy's?* Nah. It wouldn't be the same. I know the Sham would make me feel like an old lady in a sea of 22 year olds. Would I find a niche that fits me as a 30 year old as I did as a 22 year old? So much has changed. The city has probably changed. And I know I have changed.

The one thing that never changed is this picture. I will always be in love with this view :

The Mass Ave. bridge...this picture captures my experience there. Nothing special, just a typical night on the bridge. It's my favorite place in the city. To walk. To take pictures. To ponder. To stumble around drunk as a skunk. And to feel completely at home. There was something magical about my time there, and I'll always be thankful for every part of it. And I'm not sure what moved me to type this tonight...I know it's a departure from my normal rants of ridiculousness.

And it's not like I'm depressed about this, or sad with my life here. I really don't think I could ask for more. But Boston was like my first love...nothing but good memories, and sometimes it's nice to reminisce. Thanks for letting me.

* Notice how my fondest memories of Boston are in some way tied to alcohol or food? Yeah, I'm predictable.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Candy Corn and Candy Canes...really?

Election Day is November 4, and it's quickly approaching. In California, besides the choice we'll make regarding the high profile presidential election, we'll also have a pile of different propositions to vote on. The issues we'll be voting for range from transportation, to clean energy, to gay marriage. All this talk of propositions has gotten me thinking about what I'd like to see on the ballot in future elections. And there is one important piece of legislation very close to my heart that I will fight to get approved by the voting public.

The Seasonal Item Availability Referendum. On Friday afternoon, my local CVS drugstore had an ENTIRE aisle of Christmas crap on display, waiting to be snapped up by the spending public. Um, it's the middle of October...can we get through HALLOWEEN first? All I'm asking is that we celebrate one holiday at a time, and the Seasonal Item Availability Referendum is the way to make that happen. It has one simple guideline: Items for one holiday may not be displayed or put up for sale until the previous major holiday has ended. In other words, if you want an animatronic Santa for the front yard, you'll have to finish your turkey and pumpkin pie first.

People might say this is messing with people's freedom of choice, but I really don't care. It's for their own good. It feeds into the mentality of people not being present in the moment they're in. Decorations are up for SO long that by the time the actual holiday arrives, it's old news, they're already sick of it, and have moved on to what's next, rather than what's right in front of them. What it comes down to is that I find it annoying that at this very minute, I can go to CVS and grab a Halloween costume with one hand, and a set of Christmas lights with the other. And I love to bite the heads off Marshmallow Peeps as much as the next gal, but not while I'm trying to buy valentines. I know money needs to be made, but retailers need to stop. Breathe. And allow us to do the same. To live in the present.

Please join me in this fight. For the sake of the children.*

* I don't know how much this really has to do with the children (except for not wanting them to grow up to become impatient consumers), I'm just annoyed. And people tend to support stuff that's "for the sake of the children". And it's all about tugging at America's heartstrings to get legislation passed. Isn't that how the political big wigs do it?

Also, I promise I'm not a communist. I'm just a gal with an oldest child complex, with the need to control stuff. Of course, Kim Jong Il is an oldest child too. Hmmm. Maybe that's how communism began...a bunch of oldest children banding together to tell everyone what to do. It's an interesting theory. And a slight deviation from the original post regarding selling Candy Corn and Candy Canes at the same time, but I don't care. It's my blog. :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I believe...in baseball.

I am a Dodger fan. Baseball's version of a battered wife...I get knocked down, but I keep coming back for more. I can't help it. I'm in love. I know someday they'll change, and we'll have our happy ending. We will. We HAVE to.

I'm a sucker for happy endings in movies. Whether it's the Von Trapp family climbing the Alps to freedom from the Nazis, Annie getting to stay with Daddy Warbucks, or Ron Burgundy ending up with Veronica Corningstone and landing a bitchin' network news gig, it's all fantastic. It makes my heart sing.

That's the beautiful thing about baseball. It's got all the makings of a great movie, with the eternal hope of a legendary ending. And LA has a fabulous cast: the heroes (the Dodgers), the villans (usually the Giants, but in tonight's case, the Phillies), the fearless leaders (Joe Torre and/or Tommy Lasorda), and the dynamic narrator (Vin Scully), squaring off against the backdrop of Chavez Ravine, tens of thousands of fans, and the buzz of vendors launching bags of peanuts that whiz over my head. I love it. I never grow tired of it.

And baseball is even BETTER than a movie. How, you might ask? Every game is a living, breathing movie moment. It holds the constant potential of a grandiose finish, with a double high-five celebration with your best friend, and all the while cheering for the heroes with 40,000 other people in a slow-motion montage of pure joy. Because for that moment in time, you're not just watching a movie ending...you're an active participant. You're living it. You're part of something bigger than yourself.

Tonight, my beloved Dodgers lost their quest for the National League Pennant, and the chance to go to the World Series. For the first time in LA in 20 years, we could see the World Series on the horizon. We could almost touch it. It would have been easier if we never even made it to the postseason, but that carrot was dangled right in front of us, and we almost grabbed it. ALMOST.

I was at school tonight during the final game of the NLCS. Thankfully, tonight's lab monitor set up a TV with the game on, so I periodically popped out of the darkroom to check the score. The Dodgers got pummeled. It was painful. There was no movie ending for us tonight, instead the Phillies celebrated their victory on OUR field, in front of OUR poor fans. I actually felt a little violated watching their celebration on OUR home plate. As far as I'm concerned, they might as well have simultaneously whipped it out and peed on Vin Scully. I know watching the opponent celebrate has happened to countless other teams and fans, but seeing it on my home turf bugged me. When I could no longer watch the red caps of the Phillies' players bobbing up and down in stupid happiness, I quietly shook my head in disappointment, and slipped back into the darkroom, slowly realizing that our season was over. They were so close, they'd worked so hard. And it's all over.

Dodger fans...remember this? Of course you do.

If Kirk Gibson's 1988 walk-off home run doesn't stir something in you, I can't help you. You're a damn robot. It's because of that video that I still believe in my Dodgers. Tonight was obviously not our movie ending. We had it in '88, and I have faith that this is just part of the plot build-up for the year that we finally do it again.

That's the risk we take in loving baseball...you know you might get your heart broken. But once you finally come out on top, it makes the countless let-downs worth it, because you appreciate it that much more when you finally get it. Call me dramatic if you must, but any baseball fan knows EXACTLY what I'm talking about, and has been nodding their heads while they've read this post.

Our day will come. And it could be worse. I could be a Cubs fan. That's just got to be torture. Poor Cubbies.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

STILL...Top Dog.

Beverly Hills Chihuahua is STILL #1 at the box office, for the second week in a row. SOMEONE please go see Nick & Nora or The Duchess. NOW.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go light myself on fire.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Top Dog?

I'm proud to be an American. But I have to admit, when Beverly Hills Chihuahua became number 1 at the box office this weekend, I got a little embarrassed of our choice in movie-going. And I'm not against it being in theatres...I'm glad there's something for kids to see at the movies. I'm just against it being #1. America, aren't we better than this?

To be fair, I haven't seen it. Nor do I plan to. And if Ebert and Roeper come out to declare it the most important movie to hit screens since Schindler's List, this movie will still not be anything more to me than a rental. And only if I'm not paying for it.

I take a stand against the weirdest things.

By the way, Mr. Chihuahua...Indiana Jones called. He wants his font back.