Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pondunk Moments

We went to a rodeo this weekend with the kids, in the company of our sweet neighbors who have same-aged kids. The ages of the kids are about the only thing we have in common, but yet we have fun together. Even at rodeos. Where we do not belong. The rodeo was a total trip though. I could not believe how people were dressed. Actual cowboys running around with ginormous golden belt buckles, devoid of any irony. Mall hair everywhere. Princesses in sashes, tiaras, and fancy denim, with their hair spiral curled and sprayed to death. Ever see the movie "Borat" where he gets on the mic at the rodeo? It was like that! Only there was no Borat. Just a scary looking clown in a barrel, like in the movies. And a fat emcee who made jokes at the expense of President Obama, gays, and people who enjoy beastiality. We forgot to laugh.

In the local paper, the big story is about the county increasing the cost of marriage licenses to help defray the cost of divorces, where an increasing number of people represent themselves and keep misfiling the paperwork because they cannot read and follow the instructions. Which means the courts have to schedule multiple hearings for each case, and apparently it is all very expensive. Locals are enraged that the courts would "attack marriage." I have no idea where these people come from. That's the big story today. The big story yesterday was that a 17-year-old woman was abducted and murdered last month and police have no leads, and a 17-year-old boy was charged with attempted murder for plotting the next Columbine because he was bullied. Of course he wasn't targeting the actual bullies' houses; his target was a school none of them attended. I live in a crazy ass place, what can I say? I think it is fairly typical, sadly enough.

Do you like where you live?


paola said...

Wow, the rodeo sounded pretty creepy. I saw Borat and wondered how common events like that in the US were. Now I know.

I have to say I do like where I live, although it certainly is no picturesque Italian town like a lot of people think. It is close to Milan to be convenient for work and entertainment, but far enough away to be quiet and peaceful. It is surrounded by acres and acres of park land which is great for running or riding, and close to ameneties like supermarkets and shopping centres.

The only negative is not having a beach close by. I always said I would have to live on the coast near the sea ( like when I lived in Melbourne), but alas the closest beach is not within day trip distance.

hush said...

@Paola - Yes, it was a creepy rodeo indeed. I don't believe there are any non-creepy rodeos. There are clowns and homophobes everywhere = nightmare!

I have never been to Italy - was this close to going in Spring 2005, then the pope died, and it suddenly became very expensive to travel there during the time we wanted to go. We went to Spain instead, which was lovely. Someday we'll go to Italy. DH is Italian American and allegedly speaks Italian with his grandmother who does not speak any English, however my friend from Naples had a hard time understanding his slang-laden, heavily American accented Italian, untrained by even a single grammar lesson - DH cracked him up.

mom2boys said...

I like where I live. I'm in the south but not what's considered the deep south and I'm near the coast so while there are plenty of good ol' boys and their progeny, there are also plenty of northern transplants, students and people who sport tattoos and body piercings. I have very liberal leanings politically and philosophically even after having a child and being old enough to pay taxes (which is where conservatives are born or so I've heard). There are tons of parks in my little city. I'm really loving the public parks right now. I'm in a smaller, less urban city sharing a bay with a bigger, much faster growing city. I lived there for the last five years until recently. I like my new city better but I did cross the bridge over the weekend to go to the art festival in my old city. My new city has a downtown outdoor market on Saturday mornings. Really either place would be a good place to live I think.

paola said...


LOL! I wouldn't worry. Italians are notorious for not understanding someone from another part of the country. I have even been mistaken for a Milanese from someoone down South, which really cracks me up (I am not being modest here either)!I'm sure your hubby speaks Italian like a native.

Cloud said...

Hee hee. Imagine my Hubby, who is from New Zealand, at his first visit to a rodeo. I, sadly, wasn't there with him. It was during a business trip to Dallas. I should have recorded the phone call I got from him that night, though.

I've never actually gone to a rodeo. There is one in a little town not far from where I live (and where I live is pretty darn left coast). I think not all rodeos are as scary as the one you saw.

Of course, my grandpa won't wear any shoes except cowboy boots, and I'm related to more than one man who wears a gigantic belt buckle with pride....

Similar to mom2boys, I have also managed to transition into a mom and into a highly paid taxpayer without becoming a raving conservative. I lean left, but like to think that I am mostly pragmatic and will support any policy that actually solves problems. So I think free trade and globalization are here to stay and we should just learn how to deal with it rather than fighting it. But I also think that our health care system is in dire need of reform, and wouldn't mind a single payer, government run system at all.

And I can't for the life of me figure out why letting gay people marry says ANYTHING AT ALL about my marriage or in anyway threatens the well-being of my children.

So yeah, voting for me is always an exercise in deciding which beliefs to compromise.

Cloud said...

oops, forgot to answer the question.

Yes, I like where I live- which is San Diego. It is a nice size city for me, and I love the various outdoor activities. Also, it is one of the three cities with largeish concentrations of jobs for me (I'm in biotech- the other two big biotech cities are San Francisco and Boston).

I'm more than a little annoyed with the perpetual political gridlock and budget crises in my state, though, and my city and county lean a little more conservative than I'd like. Our (Republican) mayor came out in support of gay marriage rights, though, and hasn't suffered any political consequences.

Claudia said...

That description made me skeerd.

I like where I live. It offers very little in what is conventionally thought of as culture or entertainment, but it is good people and not even a 100th of the prejudice I'd expect in its sister podunk in the states. I can slam the states cuz I'm American, 'k?

hush said...

@Paola - That's funny about the Italian ear! ;)

@mom2boys - Your part of the south sounds good to me. And I'm with you & @Cloud about not getting any more conservative with age. It is perhaps strange how my left-liberal politics have not changed at all really since age 13.

@Claudia - Yes, slam away at the States - even if you weren't an American. I think our home country has probably earned the criticism!

Ok all - I'm off to Maryland for a long & hopefully relaxing weekend with DH and our 5 month old. The 2 year old is staying at our house with my mom - Hooray!!!!

Blue said...

Ew, rodeo. I'm getting a Borat funky feeling from that one, too.

Although I am one of the Moxites who routinely complains about the negatives of podunk life, I do like where I live, which is in a tiny new england town. I grew up near NYC, but I chose to leave and move to the middle of the woods and I'm happy about it.

The biggest issue for me is one I think I share with you, Hush: it's hard to form genuine connections with people who appear (and often do) to have one type of mindset and outlook on life. I am specifically referring to the narrow minded, homophobic, farm town mentality that often slaps me in the face after I've gotten to know someone and feel otherwise connected with. It's a bit of a shock and disappointment, but I'm learning to live with it while trying to keep my other long distance friendships intact.

caramama said...

I do like where I live: I live IN MARYLAND! Did you really come to my state this weekend and I didn't even realize until now? If you were in my area, I'll be kicking myself for not reaching out to you sooner! If you are going to be back in the area, EMAIL ME next time! M'kay?

I'm in the suburbs, in a nice neighborhood near lots of good things, and an easy Metro ride into DC. I grew up here and like it mostly. But I miss the South for the sun and the friendly people. Though I also have kept my left-leaning, which was frustrating at times when I lived in the South.

Jac said...

I live in Vancouver, B.C. Canada. I LOVE living here. The only con I can think of is the housing prices (which are astronomically high). The pros are:
- moderate climate,
- family friendly (seriously, there is a park on every third playground, plenty of coffee shops with kids play areas in them, and so many free kids activities that the fact that we live in a teeny place doesn't matter since we are always out and about),
- I can be skiing in 30 minutes, and walk to the beach in 10 minutes,
- my commute to work the downtown core is a breezy 12 minutes,
- I can walk out my door and hit dozens of coffee shops, specialty grocery stores, kids stores, bookstores, etc. within a mile of my house,
- I live across the street from a great community center with lots of kids activities, a fitness center, and a skating rink
- people here are generally liberal minded - in fact, I consider myself to be quite conservative but by US political standards I would be far, FAR left because I support our universal healthcare system and the one year mat leave we get here,
- we have a lot of great restaurants here, as well as cultural events and entertainment

Seriously, I would be hard-pressed to describe a quality I would like in the place that I lived, without finding it here. It can get a little wet and soggy at this time of year, but I'll take the rain over the snow any day.

Seriously y'all, come move to Vancouver.

Jac. said...

Oops - meant to say there is a park, with a playground, on every third corner.

paola said...

I wanna move to Vancouver!!

mom2boy said...

@Caramama - My ex's brother and family recently moved to Maryland and, once they adjusted to the winters, absolutely love it. It's very pretty where they are and I hear good public schools as well.

@Jac - Vancouver sounds amazing!

hush said...

@Caramama - We were in Annapolis. It was amazeballs, even if the town was flooded. I didn't realize it was so close to DC - my bad!

@Blue - You said it. Those long distance friendships sustain me!

@Jac - I am only a few hours away from you (south of the border), but alas, I don't share the perfect climate & resources you have. I heart Canada & BC especially!