Posts Tagged ‘orange county’

Signs of Spring and Memories of Nasturtium sandwiches

March 12, 2011

Orange trees are awesome. They’re laden with fruit at the moment, and covered in blossoms. Multitasking. And everywhere things are going crazy. The world feels new. Yeah, I have those kinds of songs in my head. So shoot me.

The days are lengthening. The nights are cool instead of chilly. The sun is giddy in the sky. I am beginning to think about the sea and look forward to playing in cold, salty waves again.  And tonight, while filling a not-awkward silence with awkward conversation all of my own making, I remembered nasturtium sandwiches and spent a while attempting to explain why anyone would want to eat them. My mom used to make them for us. They were really simple when I was a kid: Fresh, white bread, preferably warm. Spread with too much butter. Cut nasturtium leaves and place on top. Eat! There’s a fancy pancy version here where you blend the leaves in with cream cheese and place the flowers (which taste sweeter) on top as garnish, which I might have to try with my new discovery, queso fresca or “fresh cheese”, which is like salty ricotta that doesn’t stick in your throat – really delicious.

Where were you hiding? Boing.

Anyhow, I remembered playing treasure hunting with my little brother and stopping to eat nasturtium sandwiches in the shade of a saringa tree, and that, among other things, not all of which are memories, made me smile.

Time to plant new seeds already.

California, you still got it. You amaze me.

Jasmine is my favourite flower. It's like the orchid of suburbia, I guess. It can't be plucked. And the smell always reminds me of september. It's a little disorienting smelling it here. I keep thinking it's already my birthday again.

Orange is in decorating limbo right now, with most of the houses back to craftsmen-style dignity, but others still sporting decorations for a variety of past events: Christmas, Halloween, and Valentine's day are all popular choices. St. Patrick's day seems to be mainly popular with car dealerships and well, duh... bars.

But anyway, for whatever reason, it’s good to feel this way today.

Christmas lights up behind the Orange Curtain, California

December 24, 2010

After all, My mom did arrive. My house feels different. Facebook is quiet. We’re going to Seattle in the morning. So since we’ll be on a train all of Christmas, we had a kind of Christmas dinner tonight at an Italian place near my apartment. I drank some Chianti out of a half litre caraffe. The food was average and over priced but the vibe was awesome.

Wine is cheaper than therapy, says the sign by the bar.

All I want for Christmas. And I got it.

Some of my friends made me these amazing hand made cards. My friend Rosie’s son Sam even made me a special flower. I think it’s the best flower a boy’s ever given me. And the first in a while, too.

Nice red petals to mtach the pimple on my forehead.

People go mad decorating here.

On a random lawn in Orange. Almost every house is covered in sparkling stars, weird Santa Clauses, reindeer and nativity scenes. It's kinda awesome.

Don't hold yourself back

Joy to the world. Or Edison Electrical Company in any case. So pretty.

911 Orange Alert: Democrazy Days

September 12, 2010

Orange, CA is famously one of the most consistently conservative places in the USA. Now I’m not going to pretend to know the USA, but aside from Atlanta its the place where I’m most aware of the the fact that the USA is at war. Now it’s NOT okay to joke about it, at all, of course, so Americans organise war-related events like “Holes for Heroes” (saw the ad on TV). You want to geuss what that is? I know … it sounds like a sick joke, doesn’t it. Or at least something involving strippers… It’s not, though*. How could you think that, you DISGUSTING TERRORIST-LOVER-FAGGOT!!! Now you go ahead and have a nice day now!

Pulled pork is a big favourite in Conservative Orange, where real men pull pork. WARNING: May not contain traces of irony.

Everywhere you go in Orange, you’re reminded that being in the military is good and right, and a sign of manhood. It’s kind of weird that it’s a university town filled with people with no plans to go and fight for their country’s oil supply. on behalf of helpless women in burkahs for freedom and democracy.

Advertising at The Block - a mall that's fairly trendy due to student specials at cinemas, proximity to colleges, good bars, and a skate park.

It's quick. It's easy. It's the law. A sign at the post office. WARNING: May lead to sudden death.

Of course, the people of Orange aren’t very fond of Chapman University, because not only do we have rights to use their public land to build educational facilities for student film-makers, but also we tend to be left of their medium right, we don’t go to sleep at 9.30pm like the good people of The Towne. So they call the police. Seriously. They call the police on a bunch of post-grads standing chatting quietly in the back yard about film, with no music playing. True story. Happened to me last night.

Although this is not in the California Drivers Handbook, I can tell you what it says: "Motorists please yeild to hungover student who may be high crossing road with energy drink in time for 10am class." The people of Ye Olde Towne Orange don't think it's funny.

But, having said all that? America is a hard place not to like. Even though I complain about Orange, and run away to San Diego to get some oxygen, I would far, far rather be living in Orange than in say… Kabul.

* If you’re one of the people who can still walk around, you might want to take a nice vacation and play in a golf tournament, called Holes for Heroes. Yes. Nothing funny about that. Step AWAY from the obvious joke. It’s a fundraiser to pay for prosthetic limbs for soldiers who lost their arms and legs in the War on Terror.