With Valentine's Day fast approaching, you might be thinking about the love of your life. If things are going well, is it worth buying a really nice present, maybe even an engagement ring? And if things aren't going so well, is it worth sticking it out - at least until you've gotten your Valentine's gift? With all of these questions, it can be easy to forget that we have all recently started another important new relationship in our lives. It's the one between us and our recently-elected representatives. They're still new on the job, but first impressions are forming fast.
One of the very few things that I'm truly good at is sitting under a pile of blankets and not moving for long periods of time. Sadly, human hibernation doesn't seem to be a viable way to spend the winter, so this innate talent goes unused and unappreciated. How to spend a chilly SCV winter, then? Storytelling is always welcome. There are plenty of new stories in the making and old, forgotten bits of history to be rediscovered and cherished. But for this month, let's look beyond the stories and consider the storytellers themselves - the people turning the chaos that is Clarita into meaningful tales.
According to the experts, Santa Claus maintains a naughty list and a nice list. For Santa Clarita, however, I think a WTH list would be far more useful. ("WTH," of course, stands for "What The Heck?" We're Santa Clarita, not Glendale, after all.) Why a WTH list? Well, a number of Claritans have been acting in ways that are equal parts naughty and bizarre. Their behavior makes you shake your head and scratch it all at the same time. Everyone's on edge this time of year, but let the following serve as cautionary tales so that you don't end up making headlines for the wrong reasons.
Politics is going to come up at the Thanksgiving table this year. It's simply unavoidable. If your gathering is a small one, everyone might hold similar political views. But if you're having a lot of people over, disagreement is a foregone conclusion. Counterintuitively, I advise seating political enemies right next to each other for dinner to keep their arguments contained. If you put them at opposite ends of the table, they're still going to disagree, but they're going to have to scream across the whole table to let the other person know. Thanksgiving dinner politics can't come soon enough for me, but first we've got the election that will set the stage.
People in Santa Clarita are used to having backup options - to going with Plan B. Santa Clarita might itself be the backup plan because, as lovely as it is, Malibu is generally regarded as lovelier. But I'd like to talk about a few people who don't follow this norm. These are the people who have made the news for trying to make their Plan A work at all costs, because sometimes, it's the only plan there is.
During the Sand Fire, thousands of Claritans were forced to evacuate their homes. Those who didn't crash with family or at an evacuation center were in for quite a surprise when they looked for a hotel on Orbitz. Several people discovered that the travel website was charging outrageous amounts for even one- and two-star hotel rooms, presumably driven by demand from evacuees. La Quinta may have Wi-Fi and clean towels, but $500 for a room is pretty steep. As outraged screenshots were shared across the internet, the prices came down and agencies took notice. Still, it was a good reminder that there's always somebody or some company ready to push the boundaries. Santa Clarita may seem orderly and restrained, but the limits are always being tested here.
No one watches Game of Thrones to relax. You can't even mention the name without causing panic ("No spoilers! I'm only on season 5!"). Something bad and violent and unexpected always happens. The only thing that changes is exactly how bad, how violent, how unexpected: crossbow to the back, charred by dragons, or evisceration? In such a world, you watch with alert interest and surrender all hope. That's a mindset we could use a little more of in Santa Clarita. It's not as though we're on the brink of disaster - knock on wood - but we can be pretty bad judges of our own safety. A more discerning approach is often needed.
Santa Clarita is made for the Fourth of July. The traffic congestion slows you down just enough to appreciate the beautiful display of flags hung along the roads. The suffocating heat makes the pool that much better. And the fact that no one gets a good view of the fireworks show really makes you feel like part of one big, almost-happy family. It's pretty great. And while Independence Day is perhaps the pinnacle of patriotism, Santa Clarita's embrace of the patriotic extends well beyond the Fourth.
asiye he de da :D
merve ne diyorsa odur :D
fasulye burunlum :D
Even if you belong in Santa Clarita, and you know that you do, where exactly you belong is another question entirely. We like Santa Clarita in the abstract, but what about the day-to-day realities of geography? Does the Target in Valencia or the one in Canyon Country feel more like home? Do you feel like cursing at traffic on Soledad or McBean? Will personalities on Stevenson Ranch or Northbridge HOAs be easier to endure? Finding one's niche is no easy matter.
The loveliness of April has been forever sullied by what happens on April 15. This year is especially bad. For in addition to the non-stop H&R Block commercials, TurboTax pop-ups and insipid news stories about last-minute filers waiting in line at the post office, it's election season. Everyone is giving their tax plans and telling us what they'll do with our tax dollars. I am powerless to resist the sheer inertia of it all, so let's explore the local angle on taxes. If you're the sort who gets riled up about this kind of thing, grab a drink and put on some soothing music before proceeding further.
Santa Clarita likes to think that it's better than your average SoCal burb. Our government is among the most responsive, our neighborhoods are among the safest, and even our amusement park has the most roller coasters. But then there are those areas where we're not so much better as we are, well, different.
It was devastating to learn that the City of Santa Clarita has officially supported LA's bid for the 2024 Olympics. I have long advocated that we compete to host. As one of the world's greatest and most vibrant cities, Santa Clarita's hosting of some future Olympic Games is all but assured, but support for LA means our chance to shine is deferred yet again. No world's greatest athletes, no opening ceremony spectacular, no Olympic flame atop the Bridgeport lighthouse- at least not until 2028. Worse, this is not our only recent disappointment. All around, dreams of what could be are being dashed by a heavy dose of reality.
Nothing gets me in the Christmas spirit like a mass of warm water in the equatorial Pacific producing storm after storm. It's true. El Nino, after all, means "the child." That child is Jesus Christ, whose birthday happens to coincide with the usual start of the rainy weather phenomenon. Thinking about the origins of the name adds an interesting dimension to conversations about the weather. El Nino made me late for work. I had to get the roof redone for El Nino. We can start watering our lawns again because of El Nino. In short, El Nino is coming, so we best make ready.
Winning can be such a letdown. I'm not talking about those clear-cut triumphs you see on TV dramas - mysteries solved, tournaments won, lives saved. Rather, I'm talking about winning with a "but" or winning with a little asterisk and a footnote after it. All too often, settling, compromise and unforeseen complications rob victory of its sweetness. Santa Clarita has supposedly scored some major victories lately, but somehow, winning just doesn't feel like it should.
You can learn a lot about a town by its favorite vices. Santa Claritans seem to favor restaurants with long wine lists over honest-to-goodness bars. There are no medical marijuana dispensaries, but plenty of shops sell the accoutrements. No strip clubs beckon, but there are several massage joints that might be offering more than back rubs. We like to keep our indulgences politely out of the public eye, it seems. Still, our lesser moments have a way of not staying hidden for long. Vice is here and here to stay.
Santa Clarita is a confusing place. Our roads teem with BMWs and Mercedes while our strip malls brim with Walmarts and Dollar Trees. The same fridge might contain groceries from Whole Foods, Ralph's and Target. We splurge here and skimp there, hoping it all works out. Unfortunately, there's very little logic when it comes to what we're willing to spend a little extra money on. The question of whether Claritans will pay more to get more is weighing heavily on the minds of many, and the answer will shape our valley for years to come.
Santa Clarita in August is a uniquely miserable experience. It's not just the heat - it gets hot plenty of places. It's the fact that you have to live the exact same 102-degree day and 70-degree night 31 times in a row. Finding distraction becomes essential in the face of such repetitive discomfort. So, dear reader, here are some tales of distraction with which you might distract yourself. Just don't lose too much focus, OK?
Billions of human beings have lived and died before us, but you'd be hard pressed to recall more than a few hundred by name. Our minds simply don't have room for all of them. Being forgotten bothers some people, and that's what legacies are for. We want to know that a little piece of ourselves will live on in the world we leave behind. It's a little vain, but then so too are most Claritans. Perhaps that's why talk of legacies is making the local news.
Laws are pretty good at regulating our behavior, but sometimes shame does an even better job. Take the brown-is-the-new-green trend we're seeing with lawns. It's still perfectly legal to water your grass, just not enough for it to look good. You'll start getting glares from the neighbors when yours is pristine green and theirs is full of brown patches. They're the same kind of glares you receive when you don't pitch in enough to cover your share of a restaurant bill or when you cut in line for the freeway onramp. It's a law of human nature, at least in Santa Clarita: If we suffer, everybody else should, too.