Another State of Mind
by Michele Christopher

So this is the way it is. We all know the drill. Sometimes you have to move and sometimes you really don't want to, but you do it anyways. Those last looks as you look behind and that last thought of why you liked that state in the first place. Why were you there? What made that to be the place to live? I mean "cause you were stuck" isn't really an answer, but what made that state so cool?

So tonights question is simple.

Why do you like your state or country?

turtle hits the beach.

What do I love about California? Pretty easy question so I thought I'd make into a poem. Well, maybe not. The basic part of California that I love is that it is not a state anymore. It never really was in the first place. You can look at it on the map and it may be there. But not really.DCP01346 California Poppies l.jpg Being in California stopped being crossing a line in the sand along time ago. California became a state of mind along time before any of us were born. Something that is in all of us yet is buried in some.

It's that "fuck it, let's go" attitude.

When the Pilgrims hit the ocean running on go, that was a “fuck it let’s go" attitude. When immigrants left the East Coast for California, right there, another "fuck it, let's go" attitude.When Mexicans came up and helped build the state. When every culture from everywhere in the world all got sick of everyone's shit, that was when California was born. So basically, we are a state of people not wanting to hear anyone else's shit anymore. We just kinda bailed on all of you, erased the chalkboard and tried again. And if that didn't work, we kept going by building docks out in the water. See, us Californians are hell bent on trying over. We look at a situation and think "well this sucks" and before you know it, another Berkeley shows up with some new idea.

Sure, these ideas don't always work, but that's why we have Mexico as a scratch pad.

Really, California is the only place where you take a thousand cultures, mash them all together and get weird ass food combinations that kick ass. I walk down the street and I have no clue where these people came from. But, it really doesn't matter anymore. All of the different cultures all work here together. For some god knows reason, I can eat Vietnamese, shoot pool, play dominos and buy a gun in the same minute. See that's cool. These are people who came here from all over the world cause they were sick of your shit and wanted to try it again. That's the California attitude. I'm not saying we are perfect, but it's that attitude that we have.California and Powell.jpg The "we can do this better than you" attitude. As I said, sometimes it fails miserably, but at least we tried.

Enough about the people, let's talk about the more reasons. Del taco and free tattoos. See, to me in life, that's all that matters. Well, there is Michele, so three things that weren't mutual exclusive when we started this site, but have become since I decided to move to New York. But, that's another story. The ability to eat 39 cent tacos while getting drilled on. I mean fuck, spending all day at a tattoo shop and coming home with new work while only paying like a five bucks in "Macho Nachos" is kinda cool.

I walk outside and have something going on at anytime of the night. In one hour I can be anywhere I want to be. Cept San Diego. Isn't that funny. The one place I want to end up is the farthest away from me. The weather here is, well, weather like, but it’s still really cool. We don't get tornados but I guess that’s a trade off since the earthquakes nail you monthly.

It's a pretty ruthless place but greed is everywhere. People aren't going to be nice to you unless they want something from you. I know that really well. Unfortunately, that attitude spills out to me sometimes, well, all the time, but that's just the Californian in me talking. Remember, we came from a fuck off state that looks after its own and that's where it ends. If you want in, we will take you, but you better wake the fuck up quick and watch how we do this here cause you don't have much time. It is really sad that we do have a tendency to leave people behind, but as I was saying, we have no where else to go. It's cut and dry. We ran out of space to ditch you. So we are going to protect this place till we go down. This is the ultimate attitude.

Angry pilgrims started this state. Although they never put their foot in the soil, they were always us.

When people stop putting city names on tour shirts, stop saying where they came from before they moved here, and just start saying "We're from California", that's when you know you have passed boundaries and state lines. Things have no meaning anymore except for the fact that they are from California now. They always have been and always will be. They just didn't know it yet.

That's California.

And you know what?

That's a good feeling.

Gabba gabba we accept you. - T

ed note We understand that one of our writers hates California so we are ready to take punishment by her.

michele moves in:

As it gets ever closer to the day Turtle gets in his car and leaves California in his rear view mirror, I find myself thinking will he like it here? Love it here? I mean, the guy loves California. I’ve never known anyone so loyal to their home state. How is New York going to hold up? What’s so great about it, anyhow?

I’ll tell you.

Just keep in mind, when I say New York, I mean, for the most part, Long Island. Not that little island known as Manhattan. The hell with the rest of the state. Just this long island that I live on and rarely Sure, we’re only a forked tongue sticking out of the mouth of the state. But it’s my home. And it will be Turtle’s by the end of the month.

Sometimes when you move to a new area, you have to get used to certain things. New climate. New fast food places. Funny accents. And sometimes, there’s a whole polar opposite attitude adjustment needed. California attitude = laid back. So what. Who cares. Go with the flow. The lazy smile, the slow movements, the relaxed body language. New York attitude = whatchoo talkin’ 'bout willis? The hard stare. The fast walking. The wound up, knotted muscles. We’re a hard bunch. Yes, even out on the island we have that “lead, follow or get the fuck out of my way” thing going on. I guess it’s inbred, like the way certain ethnic things are, like how Italians talk with their hands. Californians act like they just smoked six tons of Panama Red. New Yorkers are always at the tail end of a five day vodka binge. That’s a big adjustment to make. You either sink or swim here depending on your attitude. If you can find a happy middle ground between obnoxious and apathetic, you will swim.

But this isn’t really about the difference between the states and their people. This is about what we have. What would make someone move here and say, hey this isn’t so bad a place.

Wait. Hold. There’s something else I need to address with the Turtle. Let’s get this out of the way.

There’s no Del Taco here. I know he knows this, but it bears repeating. There are no 39 cent tacos to be had. None. But we have White Castle. 59 cent hamburgers that will leave the same acidic hole in your stomach. Really, when the end product is the same - about fifteen minutes on the toilet bowl -does it matter what product you used to get there?

There is no Rooster Sauce to be had. I know it’s in every restaurant in California, but I’ll be damned if I can’t find a bottle of it here anywhere. You’ll have to settle for some other brand of hot sauce to drown your It’s-Not-Del-Taco Taco Bell in.

There is no Wienerschnitzel. You can get chili dogs at Checker’s, but I know they won’t be the same without that whole Wienerschnitzel atmosphere. But hey, I’ll put on some lederhosen next time we go to Checkers and maybe that will make it all better.

We do have diners. 24 hours greasy spoon places where you can get pancakes any time of day or a hamburger that will make you forget you ever ate at an In N Out.

We do have pizza. Better than the crap you have been eating your whole existence. Real pizza that folds over and drips grease and the cheese slides into your mouth.

Sure, we’ve got blizzards in the winter and humidity in the summer and local traffic so bad that it takes you twenty minutes to make a left turn onto the main road over here. roostersauce.jpg Yea, we have laws against driving while talking on the cell phone and we have too many strip malls and no good radio stations and my hockey team might as well play dead and roll over. We’ve got high taxes and ridiculous housing prices and the trees and grass are slowly disappearing from our landscape as the suburbs become little cities.

I’m supposed to be saying nice things, right?

Well, it’s got me. And I cook a pretty decent dinner, even Mexican food that tastes a hell of a lot better than 39 cent tacos and doesn’t leave you reaching for the toilet paper. And I’m a great partner at Gauntlet as long as I’m Valkyrie and not the elf and I’m naked.

See, there’s things Turtle gets that not everyone moving to New York will experience. Dad’s chili. The thrill of driving with me while I’m in a fit of road rage. Wondering why my son and his friends are throwing rocks at each other. A bunch of teenage girl rehearsing songs from some musical you never heard of. Naked Gauntlet. Me.

It’s the best I can offer. Long Island doesn’t have a whole hell of a lot going for it, when it comes down to it. I like it here, I really do. I can’t really explain why though. It’s all I know. It’s my home. Good enough reason for me.

Maybe not for someone moving across the country to settle down here.

I gotta find some Rooster Sauce. -M

So we have told you about our home state and why we like it, what are your feelings on your home state? Why do you like or dislike it?

Michele and Turtle write Late Night Typing across a few time zones. For now.



I'm "from" Virginia (mostly because I lived there the longest), but my job has taken me all over the world and I've lived in all sorts of places. I moved to California four years ago. I'm a Californian now. The surroundings, the attitude -- everything about this place rocks except housing and gas prices, but I can live with those. I'm 20 minutes from Napa Valley, 45 from The City and Silicon Valley, and two hours from Tahoe. I mean, everything's here.

Like I said, I'm from Virginia, where you can't swing a dead cat without hitting something historic. I'm from Southeastern Virginia, or as they fancy it, "Hampton Roads". I grew up in Norfolk/Virginia Beach, which is so different from the rest of the state that it might as well be a little further up north. It's still my favorite place in the Mid-Atlantic region, mostly because it's cosmopolitan and fairly free of ignorant hicks, yet it's not as grody as Jersey, as lame as Delaware or Maryland (lived in both of those places), or full of idiotic raging assholes like the DC region (lived there, too).

The thing I miss most from there is Dumar's Ice Cream Shop and the 17th Street Surf Shop.


Your on the tail end of a good night of drinking and makin merry. its 2:am. Del Taco is like an oasis in the Desert. One Double Del, some fries and a diet coke.

Fuck, where are my keys...

Turtle is right. when you are from California, you're just from "here". Not South Philly, or upsate, or whatever, just here. Thats why I will never leave. Cause all states taken into account, nothing beats California. besides not only do we have Del Taco. We have In & Out. Yeah, all in all, I'm a snob about the whole thing.


Let's get one thing straight, right off the bat... Philadelphia is not indicitive of the rest of Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania is a state of lush greenery that explodes into a million colors in the fall. It has large Amish and Mennonite populations and we're okay with letting them run their buggy's up and down the main roads. Hell, the state motto is "Virtue, Liberty and Independence". It's no "Live Free or Die", but it'll do.

In Philadelphia, the motto is "Fuck You". And we mean it. This is a hard working, hard drinking, heartbreak town that everyone forgets about and that's okay by us. Are we New York ? Nope. Are we D.C. ? Uh-uh. We're right in the middle.

We're a lot like that skanky strip club you used to go to when nothing else was open. It's dirty and smells kinda weird. We don't have the prettiest girls and the DJ has been up for 48 straight on a vodka and cocaine binge. But we get nekkid as long as you have the cash and kick you out when you're broke. We're not very hospitable to our tourists here....

We are the city of blowing trash, "Lager" and cheesesteaks. No, they're not called "Philadelphia Cheesesteaks" and they don't come with fucking green peppers (as I see them advertised everywhere else). It's "one wit' and some cheese fries". It's historic buildings and cops who like to beat up on people right before the Republicans come to town (cause we need more bad press). It's the place the Cowboys are scared to play a home game and the town where the sports teams will always lose the big game.

It's a big city with the small town feel, because you always run into someone you know. It's a town that only sells beer by the case, because you're gonna need it. We are the ugly stepsister between the two most popular cities on the East Coast.

It's dirty and tragic and goddamn, I love it here....


Oh, and Michele, we can get you Rooster Sauce. Maybe it's just my proximity to Little Vietnam, but the stuff is everywhere down here.


well, we're clearly from two different californias, turtle. but that's okay, it's a pretty goddamn big state, both literally and figuratively.

i've been on the east coast for five years now, and i still want del taco at least once a week. a works burrito & a giganto coke, please--is that too much to fucking ask?? i miss naugles and bakers, midnight drives up PCH, getting crazy full for $4 on olvera street, driving by joints that sell kosher burritos.

did i mention that i miss del taco? the one on highland at 3am, just after the club kicks you out, and you're loaded and NEED a fucking chicken soft taco!!

gah. i wanna go home.


i forgot kickass and cheap sushi at todai, fish tacos at senor fish, and sam woo BBQ! oh, yeah, and postickers with garlic sauce at chin chin on ventura blvd.

i hate in'n'out, though. they have the bunkest fries known to man, and they get preachy on the bottom of their cups. no thanks, man.

california is rad food from everywhere, all in the same block. it's every single race, colour and creed hanging out together--but fuck you if you ain't from the neighbourhood.

i don't miss the shake & bake of summer or the santa ana's, though. i'll take snow over tht anyday.


Buy Rooster Sauce here.

I have lived all over America. I consider Louisiana and the Mississippi Gulf Coast the closest things to home I've ever felt. But man, I just love America.

We rock because of the Declaration of Independence. We rock becaus of men like Franklin, Hamilton and Washington; Lincoln, Roosevelt, Kennedy, and Reagan.

We rock because even if we don't like the way things are, there are ample ways to about getting things changed.

We rock because we don't want to take on the world's problems, but we do it anyway.


I love being outside in Oregon. Just about anywhere. I don't like the people very much. I've been driven insane, slowly, over the last ten years by the goddamn people in this state. And the police. And Oregonians are total retards when it comes to driving a car. The worst Oregon drivers are in Subarus that have some hint of being purchased in Portland. I see a Subaru, i get way the hell away from it. That left turn signal could stay on for MILES.


No dude the Pilgrims had a "Fuck it not even the king of England will let us be that much of dicks to our own people in the name of god" attitude.


I don't hate california. I hate the crowdedness of it, the expensiveness of it. I didn't want my kids to go to school there (but I'm not sure we're much better where we are).

I do miss a few things. I grew up in San Diego. I miss Mission Bay. I miss fish tacos from Rubios and I really miss chicken rolled tacos with guacamole from Marta's on 30th Street.

I miss North Park and downtown and Balboa Park. I miss going to Hollywood and hanging out on Melrose Ave.

Now as for New York, I've never been there. I always wanted to go there. I'd move there in a minute if I could. I'm sure that city would kick my ass, but that would be ok.


For some reason "fish tacos" always makes me giggle.


Oh, and I meant to say, it will be funny to see what Kali has to say about CA! Should be entertaining!


No dude the Pilgrims had a "Fuck it not even the king of England will let us be that much of dicks to our own people in the name of god" attitude.

"fuck it, let's go"

kinda the same thing, really



We got everything.

That's it.



We have Rooster Sauce up here in MA, so you must be able to get it somewhere around there...


We have rooster sauce too, I can send ya some. Try an Asian market, they will have it!


eXTReMe Tracker