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Oil!

 Yeah, I’ve been missing. That’s true. But, I was just trying to spare you the inevitable boo-hoo, why-me, gah-gah-goo-goo, sob fest that would have been posted. You’re welcome. 

Driving around Long Beach past midnight (on a work night!), I realized there are enough little cool occurrences out there to keep me from getting bored. Let me explain—we were driving back from Orange County via PCH, and in the distance I could see this incredibly bright light. “What the heck is that?” We decided that it warranted impromptu investigation and chose to keep going until we found the source.  

At approximately 12:31 am on Ocean Blvd. we discovered that an oil something-or-other had caught on fire. While the blaze was controlled, and seemingly a normal Tuesday ritual, we found it extraordinary. Here we were, missing all the little things that happen around us because we are so busy being miserable with the mundane. So, that’s what it was I suppose. Realizing that there is more going on around me than some job, some car, some dog, some apartment and some Tuesday night episode of some show that I TiVo’d.  

Long Beach is a beautiful city. The perfect combination of dirt, vintage and yuppie revision, it’s a place where each block is distinctive and charming. If you wake up one Saturday morning and hear the majestic mountains calling, you can reach them within an hour and some change. Or perhaps the lapping shore and a comfy towel are more appealing, no problem. Just a five minute drive/walk/bike ride and the sand will welcome you with palms and cheerful boardwalks.  

Movie goers have it made with a selection of nearby theaters showing the latest independent films, as well as several mega-plexes for all of their day-long hopping excursions. Even music fiends can get their fix with barrage of clubs, bars and venues.  

I used to think that Southern California was the pits. I mean, you’re inundated with bleached blondes, big trucks, star tattoos, Green Day—one can only take so much. I wanted to move somewhere new, somewhere that had all of the things I loved in one convenient and temperate location. But where?

 After last night’s random oil torch experience, I drove into work and saw Long Beach for something completely new. I couldn’t believe it. I was here all along. Old homes next to new condos, good food, a nice music scene, bars within walking distance, theaters close by, mountains, desert, beach, forest all within reasonable distances—this was what I had been searching for.  I was being unreasonable. I was whining and wasting when I should have been realizing and changin’. Here’s to Long Beach. It’s a fucking great city—I don’t care what you think.   

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One Response

  1. A few months back, during the wildfires that bombarded our fair southern section of the state, Jake and I were out on the beach, marveling at the hills ablaze just miles north of us. They had totally taken over the beachside section of the Malibu mountain range, overtaking the night sky with hot ash and the remnants of what was once a beautiful place to live. As embers fell from the sky, burning up through the thick smoke-like substance we were then calling “air,” Jake brought up the fact that, thousands of years back, we were doing the same thing, gape-jawed and wide-eyed about flames on our land and objects falling from the sky. To say the least, it was pretty awesome to realize that we were merely continuing the trend our neanderthal relatives started and that our advanced brethren 50,000 years from now will continue as well.

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