August 13th, 2003

ledbetter tat

For a minute, I was Ryan

After the big blond bully had beaten Ryan down to the sand and kicked him in the gut, he yelled, "That's the way it's done in the OC, man!"

Really? Orange County? The Orange County? My panoramic view of the Orange Curtain has been vast, newly sodded lawns with government issued industrial parks and endless strip malls. While the tony sections like Laguna and Newport are beachfront and monied, the rest of the region looks closer to a vanilla ice cream melting on a sweltering sidewalk. Its blandness makes you squint, looking for character and texture but even through eyelashes, it's a white wash.

Ryan, a teenaged Russell Crowe, comes from the mean streets of Chino and has a bum for a brother. The high scores on his SATs made his court appointed lawyer take notice and even bring him home to his trust fund wife and their outcast nerd of a son. After Ryan's drunken mother kicked him out and her boyfriend beat him up, where else was he going to go?

Ryan is a good kid with a cart load of bad luck. He's going to get bounced around and mocked for his humble and troubled background by the rich brats. He's going to emerge a hero to the beautiful girl next door whose father is about to be indicted by the SEC. He's going to be best buddies with the lawyer's son and teach him some valuable life lessons.

And I will be there every step of the way. So will every disenfranchised kid in America, whether they're fifteen or fifty. I like Ryan. I was Ryan. I just wish I had the common sense to steal a car and hook up with a rich lawyer when I was his age.

But when did Orange County buy the definite article?
  • Current Music
    Adam's Room - Blink 182
ledbetter tat

On the road again

“I didn’t know that was there!” I looked over and saw that Billy was staring at a map of California in the Rand McNally book that was held on his lap for most of our drive back to LA. He would look at a map any chance he got. He just liked them. That’s why I came up with the term “my own personal cartographer,” during our trip.

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  • Current Music
    Route 66 - Depeche Mode