Sunday, April 20, 2008

Cheers to you, Urban Sprawl

Here we go, folks -- or folk, depending on how many of you join me on this maiden voyage. This is a blog about a 27-year-old, white, educated woman of humble-ish roots and meandering ambitions as she navigates the tiny little chunk of the universe in which fate has plunked her down.

That chunk is Manteca, CA.

Picture San Francisco on a map. Let your eyes wander about an inch straight to the right, halfway to Nevada. Along the way your eyes have squeaked throu
gh the Altamont, a mountain pass that cuts through the rolling hills of the Diablo Range. If your eyes made this trip in January, those hills are lush and green and purring like mad in the brief surge of wetness. If it's July, they're brown and singed, and you have to wonder how those random cows that line up on the hillsides are finding any water -- but don't ask. Nobody knows.

The temperature also went up about 20 degrees when your eyes crossed those hills, and you bid adieu to the food co-ops and rainbow flags and independently-owned-anything.

If you're a Commuter, you sat in traffic for about two hours in rush hour because only one highway cuts through those hills, and your cell phone reception cut out like it does every fucking time, and you're going to miss your kid's youth football game and what for? Because, Commuter, you wanted five bedrooms and a wall around your neighborhood and the words "planned community" on your deed because that's a promise that you're never, ever going to have a mobile home inside those walls.

Or else you're a Native: you grew up in Manteca and your family is here and your suspension-lifted F-150 is here, and you make ends meet just fine, thanks. And you know new homes mean a new Target and you're hella stoked about that. But you can't help but hate these rich-ass people with their huge-ass houses that shat all over what used to be the miles and miles of almonds and alfalfa. You can't help but hate them, and the libs, and the fags.

The Central Valley: It's like a thunderstorm here, but both the warm and the cool fronts suck. We'll see which one is standing after this market crash.

I'm riveted.


Eden From Sweden said...

Yeah! Sarah has a blog!

I request a post on "The Bar Scene of Manteca and Tracy". Pulitzer material, I'm sure.

Tim said...

Exurbia sucks -- but you could have been shot in Chicago this weekend. 32 people shot -- one less than 500 feet from my apartment.

Welcome to the blogosphere, don't pee in the pool.

Christopher said...

Youth football games are only on weekends; duh!

Abigail said...

so thrilled to be reading this. can't wait for the next post.

sharon.horowitz said...

Your middle name is Bethany?

Sarah said...

Wow, thanks for reading!

Eden - The Fireside Inn. Wait for it.

Timmy - Hoooooly crap. Can't wait to come home.

Chris To Pher - I don't believe you.

Abi - I miss you.

Sharonee - Well, technically Elizabeth. But Sarah Bethany is a nickname, courtesy my mama.

Elizabeth said...

I love it! You're fabulous :)

Roya said...

Thank god I stumbled upon this... i was running out of non-work things to do at work!

Can't wait to hear more about your life on the wrong coast.

kacy said...

Um, excuse me, but that name is courtesy of your sister.

I hate your blog; it makes it painfully obvious that you're the smart and funny sister and I'm not.
How did this happen?

Honestly-- I love it!!

Sarah said...

Oh! Sorry, you're right. It WAS Kacy that wanted to give me the cool name!

Smart and funny, pshaw.... try good at procrastinating. Your turn to blog!