10 Things I Miss About California

The very second I stepped out of John Wayne Airport in Orange County, I knew what I missed most about my home state and as the weekend progressed, more things found their way to my list..

1. The Air: it's lighter. If breathing was like drinking water, it's like a good bottled water compared to tap.

2. The Light:
it too is lighter and crisper somehow.

3. Color of the Sky: throughout my life, I used to lie looking up at the sky, which I identified as being in the key of A-major (yes, I have synesthesia), deep and electric, and the citrus and palm trees against it were in G-major. You might think that it would have produced dissonance, but it didn't. It created a kind of pleasant hum in my head that I used to meditate to, my own personal Om. On Friday afternoon I lounged by the pool, listening to my MP3 player and looking up at the trees against the sky. I heard my long forgotten tones and was happily home again.

4. The Morning Hosts on LA's TV Stations: Life is damned serious here in this part of the country. In California, the attitude toward life is much more creative. Fun at any cost! Don't worry, be happy! God, I'm a fish out of water here, but the worst thing is that I forgot that I am.

5. The LA Times: Art & Music, Entertainment & Theater, Image, Calendar, Travel, Books, Opinion. With violinists and the ballet on the front page and reviews of Masterpiece Theater's Complete Jane Austin season, the LA Times is worlds apart from our papers here, where Southern Baptists religion and sports reign supreme.

6. Cars: I don't mean that I miss cars per se, I'm just sick to death of pickup trucks.

7. "Safe" Weather: I've really had it with 60mph winds, hail and tornadoes.

8. KRTH-101: We have oldies stations here, but every other song is either by Creedence Clearwater or some other "Hillbilly Rock" group.

9. The Smell of the Sea and the Sound of Seagulls: I really miss the salt spray. And seagulls? I can't believe I actually miss the little buggers.

10. The Mexican Influence: I miss the food, the architecture, the colors, the warm humor, the history and the people themselves.

If living in California wasn't so expensive, I'd go back home in a heartbeat.