14 February 2007

Left Coast and Right Coast

Extracting myself from a taciturn existence online I find myself in the mood to tap on my keyboard this snowy day.

On the surface everything seems so simple, there is so little explanation needed. Summed up with an "I've just moved from the other side of the country" one can speculate all that I've done without further question of the complete process. The average potato knows the subtext: a catalyst sparked the move, a household has been emptied, a new household filled, a job has been left behind, this individual [me] may know an assortment of people in the area but surely not many. This subtext sweeps through the mind without difficulty, without hindrance.

The obvious left behind, I move to the questions the locals voice once alighted from the obvious. Most commonly, "Pennsylvania? Why would you move here?!" or "How do you like it so far?" The third mindshift is apparent as the local starts to ponder my origin, the landscape, the people on the other side of the country; social differences. Having now lived on both the left and right coasts I find one very specific commanality with those I've observed and spoken with: each coast wonders how the other lives, thinks, breaths, 'do they really do X?'

It's difficult to give an aliquant answer to these questions of differences — one answer begets the next question — but I try in an attempt to not drag the conversation beyond my want.

The coastal personalities (with some exception of course) seem to me as follows.

The right coast'er excels at being direct in life and language. Lives are lived as fate dictates and a certain depth of worldly knowledge is achieved. Interesting to me, the general populace tends not to look too far beyond the protective boundaries built and retained through family lineage some 400 years ago. Within the boundaries however the glue of family is incredibly strong.

The left coast'er is much less direct. Not more reserved, mind you, just less direct. Each is increasingly (as time moves on) more careful not to offend another individual and as a result the left coast'ers are not always clear in all they intend to say or do. In it's purest (and worst) form this trait delicately thrashes its head through the use of passive-aggressive action. Further, people are quick to whine that something is not fair. Wah! Not one of the traits I generally appreciated or admired. In it's best form this thoughfulness, this compassion will run out and seek rights for those that have been wronged. Boundaries are less of issue for the left coast'er whose lineage traveled great distances to explore and settle in an untamed land free of fort's fence. S/he will wander the wilds freely, read a more eclectic blend of worldly topics and finds comfort in solitude. Families are close but not nearly so much as those huddled together in on the right coast. Left coast solitude precludes the regular and seemingly constant large family gatherings of the right coast'ers. Kids grow up and move easily from one state to the next and families keep in contact but not actually in touch; the general mentality drives a singleness in action.

Now, that being said, the most interesting part to me about the personality differences are the exceptions to my observations already mentioned. The left or right coast'er of exception tends to rank higher on my scale-of-generalization regarding the opposite coast than a native inhabitant. Right coast'er exceptions are incredibly well read/rounded, sometimes muddled in communication, often reserved, full with a compassion for others not seen on the left coast and manage to retain the right coast'er ability to quickly take action. The left coast'er exception is not at all reserved like the right coast habitants and is in fact a very magnetic individual. S/he has the ability to take action immediately as fate dictates and retains the west coast ability to move in solitude when the social web fails.

There is much more I could write on the coast'ers and I haven't even touched on the mid-states yet — I spent my childhood years in our land-locked region. These non-coast'ers are a different mindset entirely, and a mindset that varies by humidity. I'll have to revisit further social equations in a later post.

For now. Adieu!

09 February 2007

A night on the town: kittens in peril

Though her kitten was yummy...
Originally uploaded by vrai the dotty prof..

Har! We went out to dinner and this particular establishment actually thought it was safe to leave us with crayons and a large sheet of paper while they took forever to prepare our food. Little did they know.

Waxy mayhem ensues.

This young lady ate her kitten, Waldo perished in a tar pit (actually titled lint trap in the drawing) and a wagon broke down on the Oregon Trail (no one survived).

The manager of the restaurant personally boxed up our leftovers for us — I think in an effort to clear our table and empty the packed lobby. Or maybe ... it was the drawings.