Friday, September 21, 2007

Doddi California

I want to fill you all in on some details of my sooncoming relocation, if you don't know this stuff already. I'm taking a job with the English Language Institute/China, the company that sent me to Beijing as a teacher in 2005-2006. I'm not going back to China, though, instead to California. Specifically, San Dimas, home of a famous Circle K where some strange things once were afoot.

San Dimas is also home to ELIC's North American headquarters and is, for some reference, about 45 minutes east of downtown LA, an hour from the beach, 2 minutes from the mountains, and 25 minutes north of Anaheim/Disneyland. (A year pass will be purchased.) My job title will be "Communications Typographer." My primary responsibility will be newsletter layout and I start October 15th.

Oh, this is cool. Here's the skinny on 19773 (my new zip) from ZipSkinny, via Chris. Also, go ahead and compare your Zip to San Dimas, or Moon Township (15108) or Beaver Falls (15010) or wherever. Lots of interesting stuff there.

But, just so you know, I'll only be living in San Dimas for about a year (maybe less) until all of ELIC relocates to Fort Collins, Colorado, which means I too will be moving--again--sometime next summer, most likely.

I'm trying to approach this big step in my adult life with proper preparation and thought, which means I've been reading up on surviving earthquakes, how far I'll be from Google/Apple/Pixar (the answer: 7 hours) and when Blade Runner is showing in LA theaters in advance of The Final Cut DVD release in December (the answer, I think, is starting October 5. First movie I'll see in California? I think yes.)

Which leads me to my question: What are some must-see/read/listen to LA/California films/books/albums I should get to know before or after my Westward trek?

I'll start the list and you all can help me put something complete together.

L.A. Confidential
The Big Lebowski

The Beach Boys
Red Hot Chili Peppers

The Grapes of Wrath (not LA specifically, but the book I think of when I think California)
Shoot... I need help with books.

While we talk must-sees, be praying that I can find a church home in LA, and somewhere to live. My buddy Ryan has graciously provided me with a bed/couch until Thanksgiving-ish, but I'll need lots more than a pillow leaving home, Providence and friends and family behind. Somehow I'll survive without the Steelers (I left before and they won the Super Bowl), but Wednesday nights at the Stuarts, dinners at Sweet Basil and staying above mom and dad's garage will be harder.

I'll have lots more to say on lots of stuff soon. But for now, good night.


R Gar said...

So... something I've been thinking about is what grocery stores they'll have up there. There probably won't be any Giant Eagles with the cool black shopping carts. :( So I did a search for grocery stores in San Dimas, and here are your options....

As far as book suggestions, I can't think of any other California-set ones off the top of my head, but I did Google it. Apparently Steinbeck wrote some other stuff set in California, such as The Long Valley and The Pastures of Heaven.

I also found you a whole website dedicated to California fiction writing! Pretty exciting, no? It's

Alright, that's all the info searching on California I'm doing for now. Oh, nice Chili Peppers reference in your blog title, by the way. Woah, By the Way is another Chili Peppers album... I totally didn't do that on purpose!

Jason said...


To Live And Die in L.A.
Double Indemnity (amazing movie)
The Big Sleep
The Postman Always Rings Twice
Sunset Blvd. (one of the best films, ever)
Rebel Without a Cause
The Graduate
The Long Goodbye
Blazing Saddles (at least the ending...)
Blade Runner
The Terminator (+2 and 3)
Die Hard
The Two Jakes (the incredibly wishy washy sequel to Chinatown that no one knows about...probably a good thing)
Barton Fink
The Rocketeer
Pulp Fiction
Escape from L.A.
Dark Blue
The Salton Sea

Death Cab's "Why Would You Want to Live Here?"
Matthew Sweet's "Come to California" (especially since he and his wife moved to L.A. a few years ago)

James M. Cain's 'Mildred Pierce,' 'Double Indemnity,' 'the Postman Always Rings Twice'
Raymond Chandler's 'the Big Sleep,' 'Lady in the Lake,' 'the Long Goodbye,' 'the Little Sister,' etc.
James Ellroy's 'the Black Dahlia,' 'the Big Nowhere,' 'White Jazz,' 'L.A. Confidential,' 'My Dark Places,' 'Hollywood Nocturnes,' 'Clandestine,' etc.