I think by now you know that I have a “maybe like – sorta meh” relationship with this palm-laden place I begrudgingly refer to as Paradise. I know that there are many cities I could live that pale in comparison are much more interesting, but my grousing is about more than the monotonous weather that draws people here.
It’s about mindset — as in the mindset of many long time residents and other self-elected expert representatives of the region as a whole. Somehow, as large as this city has become over the years, the only thing that ever seems to matter to visitors is the weather.
So why am I on this particular toot this morning?
A. Because I missed the Friday Follies last week.
B. Because it’s Wordy Wednesday
C. Because I can.
The U.S. Open is finally starting here tomorrow. Here, as in, about 10 minutes from our house, here. Like, right here. For the last week or so, signs have begun to appear on the sides of busy streets and freeways that feed into this area warning of heavy traffic, and noting when and where shuttle routes to the event will run.
They expect about 45,000 gawkers golf enthusiasts each day for the tournament because both Tiger Woods & Phil Michelson are locals. Okay, so maybe more than that, but I haven’t quite figured out how Tiger growing up 90 minutes from San Diego makes him a local. Maybe it’s my math.
Now, what does this have to with yet another gripe from me about this place I call home? Today’s San Diego-Union Tribune tells it fairly well:
- Page 5 showcases blatant pandering by the president of the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau reminding us all of past big events, and how the U.S. Open will be a “boost for the region.” Read cash cow. Everybody and their dog is going to make money on this event. Give me a break. It feels a bit like a lecture to residents about being on our best behavior so everyone can oooh and ahhh about Paradise while they’re visiting, then come back with more events and more money. How about if some of it is used to fix the potholes in the roads, and the sewer lines that keep closing our beaches because they break. Okay, so maybe plant a few more palm trees.
- Ruben Navarrette Jr., a local columnist writes about the sadness of one stellar immigrant student from Mexico not gaining as much attention as a similar student from Armenia in a piece titled, “The benefit of not being Mexican.” You know something? You’re right. Life is not fair. And if you’re an immigrant — regardless of which country you were born in before arriving here — it should be just as not fair to you as to others who do well in school and can’t afford to pay for their college educations. Get. In. Line.
- On the editorial page, there’s mention of the Govenator being here yesterday, and in this puddle of Republicans in a state full of Democrats, there is perfunctory commentary on Ah-nold’s failed budget reform, and a primarily Democratic Legislature that is too dysfunctional to even be called dysfunctional. He did give us some new buses though, and isn’t that swell?
- And my personal favorites — Letters to the Editor. Oh. My. Gawd. Treats are in store today to truly showcase my favorite pet peeves about America’s Finest City…
The consul General of Mexico is pissed off because of a political cartoon “distorting with total disrespect not only our greatest and most important national symbol, but also our National Seal, depicting an outrageous image of the serpent devouring the Royal Mexican Eagle…[which he considers] an insult to the Mexican people.” I am sooooo sorry I missed that one and will only say I wonder who told him he had to write that? Pa-the-tic. How about being outraged that you take such CRAPPY care of the people in your country that they have to look elsewhere for food, work, and education. Pay attention.
The letter from a woman who’s more than upset about a neighbor who has a chicken coop, “filthy” chickens that are “quite loud,” and a rooster that “has crowed constantly since it arrived.” She continues to rage about “rooster crowing being the third most frequent noise complaint in the city of San Diego” and “salmonella bacteria and avian flu that these individuals foist upon their neighbors.” So…what are the top two things people in San Diego complain about? Less than perfect weather? A crappy baseball team? I’m thinking she won’t be following Tiger and Phil on the links at Torrey Pines this week.
Someone from Rancho Santa Fe advocates “a policy that gores everyone’s ox” to resolve the energy crisis, and lays out a step-by-step plan. First chickens, now oxen. What next? Another guy from Temecula weighs in on resolving the energy crisis, but you sort of have to know that anyone who lives in Temecula does so because houses were way more affordable there than in San Diego, so now they’re looking at astronomical gasoline bills commuting. Hell, I drive as little as possible, and for the first time spent over 60 bucks to fill my tank. So I get it, but when you purchase a house that far away from where you work, is it really because of what you can afford, or because you smell a future killing in real estate? Oops! That’s sort of a bummer around here now, too, isn’t it?
Kudos to Prudence today, who said that the best solution to our water problems and impending drought doom, is to “stop all new construction permits.” But only until the problem has been solved “permanently.” Read: NO NEW RESIDENTS IN SAN DIEGO. GO AWAY EVERYONE. NONE OF THE REST OF US ARE REALLY FROM HERE EITHER, BUT WE WERE HERE FIRST SO HAVE A RIGHT TO BE HYPOCRITES. No matter that this is a desert with no natural water supply. No matter that no one in Paradise wants what is lovingly referred to as “toilet to tap” drinking water. No one wants any kind of desalination anything off shore because of the harm to marine life.
And Here, here! to the guy who’s standing up for golf caddies, jokingly maligned by a columnist for not acknowledging their demanding 18-hour-a-day jobs which are only mildly glamorous, and then only if you’re lucky enought be be hooked up with a “Top 10 player.” Um? Get another job? You know, there are lots of other only mildly glam 18-hour-a-day jobs out there, like uh…I dunno. OB-GYN. High school administrator. Firefighter. Social worker. Get a degree, dude. Nobody cares.
And to those worried about the “cool weather” softening the golf course, and lowering the chances for this year’s U.S. Open at Torrey Pines to be “one of the most demanding tests in the history of the national championship?” Have you ever heard of June Gloom?
It’s not a novel concept, but it does seem to play heavily in others’ judgment about whether this is a nice place to be. And when good ol’ Mister Sunshine isn’t out, in some peoples’ opinions, we’re just a podunk town a few miles from the Mexican border with average fish tacos.
We just never seem to “grow up” as we grow larger. When big events come our way, it sometimes feel like we have to dust the mold off our baby blue leisure suits for the party hoping against hope that we’ll be recognized along with the likes of San Francisco, or New York City. Boston. Los Angeles. And you know? Sometimes we come out of it with flying colors. But most often we don’t. What’s the saying about being able to dress someone up, but not take her out?
So, I just may have to find some time in my incredibly busy schedule to find a dirt lot to park in and join all the other looky-loos bound to find their way to our little piece of Paradise over the next few days.
It’s bound to make June here more than just a time for purple blooming flowers, graduations, and county fairs.
Sun or no sun.
Aren’t you glad Wednesdays are nearly wordless?