Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Can you actually "miss" an entire county?

Just over 19 years ago, I moved to California.  It was february, and my running joke is, "if you've ever been to Indiana, february is a good time to move!"  In all honesty, the timing really had nothing to do with me. A good friend of mine had actually met a girl from Costa Mesa, CA and moved out here to be with her..more on that later.  He was going to the beach and I was shoveling my piece of shit car out of the snow! So I promptly sold my POS to my mom and bought a one way ticket..there was no money left over.  Two weeks later I arrived in Anaheim. Well I arrived in LA, but my friend was living in a "studio" apt in Anaheim..much cheaper than Costa Mesa.  And outside of a short span where my address was Garden Grove (basically on the border of Anaheim) I have lived in this city the whole time.  It took me awhile to realize that living "here" was not just a city's a "county" thing.  It's also a Disney thing..but that's an entirely different topic.  We are from Orange County. Now don't get me wrong, I love this city.  I love the Anaheim Ducks, and the Angels. I hate the fact that the owner changed the name to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim..and I am not alone.  Although we still go to games and support the team.  There are 34 (thanks Court) small albeit over populated towns in the OC..yes you have to say THE OC! lol  (we said that before the show..hence the show)  We do have our share of large buildings, but for the most part each of the cities are very small town like.  In fact the namesake city of Orange actually has a "circle" much like Indianapolis and Shelbyville IN.  Keep in mind folks that this blog is for people here, back home and everywhere. I might tend to get over descriptive!  As far as the TV shows go..and yes even though my wife makes fun of me, I do watch the "Real Housewives" even though I don't think "real" or "housewives" should be in the title, they do represent a certain part of orange county.  In my defense, I only started watching the show because my favorite Orange County Register columnist Frank Mickadeit was writing about the cast.  But the people that live here would tell you that if you really wanted a good representation of the OC, they should film the show in Garden Grove or Westminister!  Or Anaheim! 
whew.  okay. Having "said" all that, I haven't spent all of my time in OC.  Playing music afforded me the opportunity to spend time all over "the southland".  LA, Riverside,Ventura and other surrounding counties and numerous cities within.  It was then that I began to realize the difference's between them.  Even though LA is only 20 miles (60 minutes) from here it's a whole different world.  Which brings me to my point. I know..shit it's about time! 
   5 months ago I began my management career with a different company, left behind the OC and the OG and started training in Cerritos CA, LA county.  After training I was placed in Lakewood CA not far from where I trained and closer to Long awesome city where I've played some great gigs ( Molly Hatchet) one of my favorites and of course where they run the Long Beach Grand Prix every year.  I love the store, the staff, the rest of the management team and getting to know the people of Lakewood.. About half way through this process I found myself "missing" orange county.  I had worked at the same location, in the heart of orange county Santa Ana, for eleven years.  Not to mention the 5 years prior at two different restaurants!  ( I had the pleasure of working with a new server who used to have his grandpa bring him in to see me on friday's at a Pizza Hut in Anaheim..when he was 4!)  I really felt like I knew "everybody". Doctors, Lawyers, Nurses, Lunch Lady's, Actors, Ducks!  My ladies from Mater Dei HS that came to see me every wednesday for 10 years.  I've watched children grow up..watched some of them battle and beat cancer ( children's hospital is across the street)  Helped families deal with the loss of loved ones..and they helped me deal with the loss of mine.  But "missing" the county is not just missing the people. Sometimes I get frustrated having to ask someone if there's a Wal Mart around here!  I guess "branching out" means not knowing where the closest In n Out is. 
Of course, Courtney is well aware of my displacement issues.  And although I don't need another reason to love her, she spent the last couple of days "bringing me home"  Regardless if that was her intent, something inside me tells me she knew exactly what I needed.  She had a meeting at work last night, and sent me a very simple text.."wanna grab a beer?" What do ya think I said?  She decided on the Tartan Room. A little Irish pub where I used to hang out, and she hung out after I had stopped.  It's where we realized how many mutual friends we had before we ever met!  So a few friends were there and we played some darts and listened to the juke box..the usual Cash, Petty, Journey and Flogging Molly.  aah home. She continued today with taking me to Heroes another favorite past/ present haunt in Downtown Fullerton and bowling at LinBrook...cleverly named for the intersection of Lincoln Ave and Brookhurst St.  They were filming a new pilot episode for Disney there, and the clientele was ripe with orange countians. the geeks, nerds, weirdos okay that was the five of us..the tatted up, the misfits, again we fit right in.  And of course someone played a little Floggin Molly on the jukebox. 
  I like where I work..but I love where I live..thanks Court...Orange County IS Tommy's World!


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