Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Dave's Thoughts of the Day: January 1st

Once again, Happy New Year everyone!  It's a wonderful fresh new start and I hope it's great for all of you.

I'm sorry about my attitude today on the internets.   I was getting really snarky today and just making all sorts of bold salvos about everyone.  I felt bad with the way I dissed Northern Illinois.  Personally they put up a valiant effort and I just lumped them in with other smaller athletic programs.  That was unfair.  Boise State did monster things as a supposed "smaller athletic program."

I was just posting all sorts of gibberish this afternoon about various bowl games and even basketball.  It was a mess.   I was just so excited to see the great games today in College Football.  Games like the Outback Bowl and Rose Bowl are what College Football are all about.  I have got to calm down and tomorrow I'll dial it back a notch.  I just got so excited to watch sports regularly again.

I've been out of my usual zone over the past ten days.  I spent most of them in Oxnard with my family, only leaving to take trips to Palmdale and Anaheim for holiday parties.

I really had a good time, getting away from it all.  Surely I was not in any civilized siberia, but I still was away from the lights, excitement, and traffic of the big city.  I needed it too: I was getting tired of all the hustle and bustle, outrageous parking rules, meters, valets, and all the usual nonsense that comes with Los Angeles.  THIS was great.  It was so great I should have thought ahead and taken Wednesday through Friday off also.

Do you all even KNOW how great it is to go to a parking lot and not have to worry about tickets or those dumb as !$#% double parking spaces, where you can park two cars in one space, one behind the other?  There's nothing I hate more than having to park and leave my keys with some shifty attendant.   Listen, I trust they're trying to do their job, but how do I know some joker won't lose my keys or try to steal something from the dashboard?  It's honestly happened before to other friends of mine.

People are much nicer in the suburban areas.  I go to the cashier to pay for my breakfast at a nice place called Pete's Breakfast House in Ventura and the lady there earnestly was asking about my day, etc., etc.   I didn't want to waste her time if she just asked as an obligation but I could tell she meant it.  That meant a lot, and I hope she didn't mind me sharing some of those deets with her.

Even at our Oxnard Fry's store, I had to return some products and the guy actually went out and called me over.  The line went really fast.  The people there were very nice.   I'm not used to this, folks.   People being nice and helpful, and not only that, but legitimate helpfulness and not the fake kind that I'm sure all of us see in the big cities.

It brought me to an epiphany:  suburbs are where the real people live.  They are where the ordinary, down to earth folk go when you want to make a living.   Even Santa Barbara never fully realized this humbleness of every day life.   People were nice and helpful, surely, but there was always this inner smugness of "We are Santa Barbara and we know it, are you in our club?"   Not a specific kind of elitism but just a general feeling of there being a clique and you trying to get into said clique.

The word that I feel describes people who serve and interact with you in Los Angeles is "professional."   Especially when it comes to upscale restaurants and shops, people are masters of professionalism.  A certain standard of service is desired and demanded, and you get it in spades.  It's fantastic!  But it is, as we said, professional.  Do these people really care about you?  They care to *serve* you correctly but I don't feel like they care about you personally.  That's perfectly fine, and in fact appreciated because they do their job so well, but seeing people who legitimately care about other people really made an impression.  That's what suburbs are all about.

All along, I spent those ten days away from LA AND Santa Barbara and I felt a good humility with all the people I met.  Man, was that sublime.  Now that I'm back in this big city, I wonder if my future lies in the smaller towns and communities?  I might even be able to keep my job at UCLA, but I'm giving serious thought to dialing it back a notch.  It might make for a less entertaining blog but it could mean a happier life too.  A simpler life.  I'll keep it all in mind....

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