I Heart SCV
in the Now
July, 2012 - Issue #93
Dr. Tali Sharot, a psychologist who studies optimism, has said that our favorite three days of the week are Saturday, Friday and Sunday - in that order. Even though most of us work Fridays and have Sundays off, she explained that anticipation is the reason we prefer Friday. You get to enjoy thoughts of the weekend while, on Sunday, you have to brace yourself to answer the question "How was your weekend?" for people who don't care, and then return the question out of politeness, even though you don't really care either. Future dread spoils Sundays.

I think months work the same way. We like June, knowing it's just getting to be summer, and we can't fully enjoy August because obligations like school are beginning for families. That makes July the Saturday of the year, the sweet spot in the calendar. There's plenty to keep us focused on "now."

"That makes
the Saturday
of the year,
the sweet spot
in the

My grandparents, who live in Newhall, were recently cut a check to let a TV show block access to their driveway for filming. Down the street, someone with an old house got an even bigger check to let said residence be used in the production (this is why the City of SC shouldn't be so strict about code enforcement: Sometimes TV shows need scary old homes for their storylines). There are always lots of shows filming in Santa Clarita, and hot July afternoons are a good time to take advantage of the lull in new episodes to catch up on series featuring Santa Clarita: "NCIS", "Justified", what have you.

While you're conscientiously working your way through the seasons you've missed, keep in mind that live coverage of the Olympics in late July will be essential viewing as well. More than half a dozen Claritans are taking part in the pre-Olympics swimming trials, concluding July 2. With luck, at least a few will be making their way to London, where the Olympics begin on July 28. Watching other people do stuff is the only decent pastime when your "now" is too sunny and hot to do stuff yourself.

Summer Scares
We should focus on the here-and-now to maximize our enjoyment of July. But perhaps there should be one exception: taking preventative actions to stop a monster that is filling officials at Castaic Lake with dread.

It's called the quagga mussel, a dime-sized shellfish that filters tiny particles of food out of the water. Sounds terrifying, right? Well, the problem is that the mussels are a non-native species that can change water quality and the ability of a lake to support fish and other wildlife.

They also attach themselves to inconvenient places like pipes, underwater infrastructure and boats. To fight the mussels, stringent boat inspections are taking place, as it would be easy for the mussels to hitchhike on boats used in other infested lakes in Southern California.

In short, keep your boat clean, quagga mussel-free and dry if you want to go on Castaic. Better yet, just have a friend with a boat, which is infinitely less money and work than owning one yourself.

Your Civic Duty
You didn't think I'd let this July installment go by without mentioning the Fourth of July Parade, did you? The theme for this year is "Santa Clarita Volunteers," so why not volunteer to sit and politely clap for the procession of Claritadom that is the parade? I think of going to the parade as something like church. As long as you show up it counts; you don't really have to pay attention or enjoy the experience. It's about being a body - hopefully one of many - on the street, there in some vaguely supportive capacity to promote neighborhood, country, and all the other lofty notions that we can agree are worthwhile and important. The fact that the parade drags on and on with ponies, scout troops, flag passer-outers, officials, cars and all the rest should be embraced. Two hours that feel like an eternity, stretching the best day of the best month out to the max, are a gift indeed.

That's the best pitch I can make: attend the parade not only because you heart the valley, but because by going you will be part of the very, beating heart of SCV. And that's not a bad way to spend your "now."
This column is intended as satire and a (sometimes successful) attempt at humor.
Suggestions, catty comments and veiled threats intended for the author can be e-mailed to
- What is the sum of 1 + 1?
This is a required value
to protect against spam
community events