Beach Boys Fiction in the 34.0522° N, 118.2428° W

The thought of writing has crossed my mind many times in the last, oh say 8 months. But my heart wasn’t in it. I wasn’t ready to face the pen. Because there is no refuge from reality, the real nitty gritty, unless you are a fiction writer. There are times, at least for me, that reality is hard enough to live through much less write about. Which is BS as at no point have I been in a warzone or short of working plumbing.

In my defense it’s all relative. In any case I am not a fiction writer, ever, at least on purpose. I think this fact makes it utterly predictable that I live in and love Los Angeles. Chosen home of Bukowski, Raymond Chandler, Ray Bradbury, and oh hai! George Takei and Leonard Nimoy Star Trek fans . Yes I’m being as the french waiter earlier this evening said a “very sarcastic American”. True story, that really happened (happens a lot). All sarcasm aside, equally predictable perhaps, I’m not a west coast native and can lay no claim to being Southern Californian.

Okay the confession is out there, it’s done, so let’s quickly sort out some misnomers right away. Let’s talk California, roll out every preconceived notion you ever heard or read about “Cali” (don’t ever call it that, unless you are a bonafide rapper) let’s start a bonfire and use the whole lot as kindling. Sure we can do it on the beach you’ll be glad to have a fire I assure you.

See Beach Boys all in warm toasty jackets! Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Pro-tip: A good piece of the pacific coastline, a lot of the year, is decidedly inhospitable for bikini baring. Fair warning the Beach Boys sold a whole warehouse full of fiction. The Pacific is as cold as a mofo a lot of the year. But oh boy when it’s warm and toasty the beach is the bees knees. However you can enjoy the relatively unspoken joy that nearly every month of the year you can watch a tourist in complete denial of this. While you sport your cable knit sweater and boots they’ll be bordering on hypothermia. I’m fairly confident that experience will never get old, however I don’t live by the beach so maybe you west of the 405ers are over that fun.

California’s southern questionable soily reaches nudge right up to Mexico like a drunken coed and might well be the polar opposite of it’s Northern recesses butting right up against Oregon (probably for extra warmth). Up north it’s extraordinary amounts of rain and fog and tech. The two lands are indeed diametrically different places. Lest we even begin a discussion of the places inbetween (cows, lot’s of cows). California is a stunningly diverse. It is both alarmingly divisive politically and socially, but somehow… like all natural wonders indescribably beautiful and horrible in nearly equal parts. Anyone east of Nevada is convinced I abandoned sound mind the moment I defected west.

God’s diagram so he know’s where to “break like a cookie and dunk into the ocean”

I get it, I grew up in Texas (also vastly diverse contrary to popular belief) and Missouri (decidedly less diverse – feel free to correct me central dwellers). The media portrayed the west as risk, artifice, vice and maybe even Babylon. The jokes flew about tree huggers, unwashed zoned out hippies, and fault lines that was surely God’s safety device to drop it into the pacific when he finally got weary of the nonsense.

I hate to break it to you middle lands, sure we have our share of alternative medicine loving tree huggers, and perhaps a spare few more per capita smelly zoned out hippies, we also have everything else. That includes those people that drummed up that social network facebook you can’t seem to stay off of. And oh say that company that made that iphone/ipad you or your kids might be so enamored with. We harbor some of the world’s greatest minds in our workforce, and schools; USC, UCLA, Stanford, Berkely, Art Center, Cal-Tech, trust I could go on. I really do have friends that are scholars, master painters, lauded photographers, tech experts and startup risk takers. I also have friends that bust their bums as waiters/waitresses, actors, artists, and at desks. People are people, geography matters not, maybe the only thing that separates this coast from other pins on the map of America is we fear risk less. What’s more risky than being a biped with crippling nearsightedness like me? In the natural order of things I’d argue very very few.

Now I’m going to tell you what every other west coaster will tell you, that is unless they don’t want you anywhere near our lovely state. The weather, yep it’s true, eleventy times better than yours. Roughly 340+ days a year you can drink your coffee outside. You will never have your feet ankle deep in snow or conversely ass drenched in sweat. True story. Even in San Francisco you can throw away your ice scraper. Keep the scarf though, you’ll need that. FINE pedantic, keep the ice scraper! Only if you are going to be regularly skiing mind you. Yeah that happens out here too, or maybe walking along the beach… oh wait you are more into the desert. Yeah we’ve got that too. While we are conversing on outdoor pursuits we also have a stunning amount of hiking, biking, surfing, kayaking, sailing and yes that muscle beach business is still there. But it’s not nearly as endearing as the vintage photos, fair warning.

Come visit I’ve got a million more insider tips.

-E