counting white cars

I have never been so obsessed with cars as I have been out here.  This is likely because I can’t drive two miles without having to rub my eyes to make sure I am not seeing things.  People drive the kinds of cars I thought were reserved for royalty and plastic surgeons.  These are the kinds of cars that eat Ford Foci for breakfast . . . no wait, breakfast is the most important meal of the day . . . these cars eat Ford Foci for that snack at 3:00 pm when it has been too long since lunch, but it is way too early for dinner.

BMW 5 series and Mercedes C-class are like the Toyota Camry and Honda Accords of the west coast.  In other words, they are ubiquitous and no one in California is impressed by your ability to own one.  If you really want to get noticed (and everyone out here does . . . Eep! Did that sound jaded?), you are going to have to look outside of Japan for your vehicles.

You are going to want to look in Italy.  Maserati, Lamborghini, Ferrari . . . basically anything that ends in an “i” will get you noticed.  If you need to, make your car yellow.  This ensures that not even the sun will be able to compete with your automobile.  But what if you just need something small and good on gas mileage – for meeting the girls for lunch, going to spa appointments, or bringing Pretty Pretty Princess Glitter McSparkle Puppypants to the groomer?  Italy has you covered there, too.  Just pick yourself up a Fiat with your pocket change.  It’s so adorable for when you want to slum it, and if you happen to ding it parallel parking in front of Starbucks – who cares!?!  Throw it out, and get a new one!!

If you are looking for a little bit more prestige/snobbery in your vehicle, you should definitely check out England.  Bentley, Rolls Royce, Jaguar . . . These cars are designed with a haughty British accent and are meant to make on-lookers feel like vile losers.

pardon me, but could you please move your Kia with the Maine license plate? my Bentley doesn't like being down wind of it.

Beyond all the Luxury (with a capital “L”) cars, my other major car-related observation is that everyone drives white cars.  Seriously, I have never seen so many white cars.  If I were to add up all the white cars I witnessed in 29 years and 10 months on the east coast, it would not total the amount of white cars I have seen here in only 2 months.  Wanting to make this observation more than just a hunch, I decided to pursue my hypothesis through scientific research.

While driving the same 2 mile stretch of road everyday for 4 consecutive days at roughly the same time, I counted cars (one color per day).  Now, before you get all loony about the sheer number of cars I saw within 2 miles, I need to tell you that Carlsbad High School uses said street as auxiliary parking for students.  Below is a complex chart that reveals my findings.

Red Cars: 19

Blue Cars: 26*

Black Cars: 21

White Cars: 60

* I did not count my own blue 2001 Ford Focus mainly because it is so dirty it’s really more brown than blue.

I think these results speak for themselves, but for some reason I really want to include a pie chart.  You’ll notice that, with the exception of black, the colors on the pie chart have no relation to the colors of the cars.  I like green, and I don’t care who knows it.


oh, as it turns out, we don’t live here: the shangri-la series – part triptych

I guess it was inevitable.  The bubble had to burst.  The coach had to turn back into a pumpkin.  My time at Shangri-La had to come to an end.  I’d like to dedicate this post to the things I will miss most about my surreal stint as caretaker/dog sitter extraordinaire.

1. Spinning

I can still remember being the nervousest (can’t imagine what that red squiggly line is for) of Nellys in my very first spinning class.  All it took, however, was that one class.  No turning back, I was smitten.  There is a rhythm to spinning that gets inside your veins, and I swear (by the moon and the stars in the sky) that it has addictive properties.  When I spotted a spinning bike on my tour of Shangri-La, I think I drooled a little.  Needless to say, I will miss the crap out of being able to spin at my leisure.  I even made a special playlist with an odd combination of Gaga remixes, deadmau5, and hardcore music that would be obnoxious to anyone who is not me.

yeah, i spin next to a beamer. what.

In the middle of a 10 minute hill climb, my former spinning instructor (and friend :)) used to always ask, “what are you riding towards?”  This was my spinning view from Shangri-La . . . seems like a pretty good goal.

legitimately, 1/3 of that house.

2. Pool

Don’t tell Nate, but I don’t like swimming.  I don’t like doing laps.  I don’t like watching other people do laps.  I don’t like chlorine.  That being said, there was nothing better than taking a post-spinning dip in Shangri-La’s pool.  Don’t be misled, I was definitely not actually swimming . . . more like floating about and, when the mood struck me, springing up from the bottom of the pool while whipping my hair back like the Little Mermaid.

3. Pool Boy

You know how on TV, pool boys are always stupid hot . . . all tan and chiseled and dreamy??  Having never seen an actual pool boy, I figured that this Hollywood stereotype was more glitter and less gold.  Wrong.  Pool boys are exactly as awesome in real life as they are on TV.  Right after initially spying Shangri-La’s glorious pool boy, I ran home and told Nate all about it.  I was confused by his indifferent reaction.  I mean, he is ALWAYS talking to me about pool-related topics.

4. Dexter

Because of Shangri-La’s extensive cable and premium channel offerings, I was able to watch Season 5 of Dexter . . . and the start of Season 2 of Boardwalk Empire and tons of other awesome On Demand programs that for some reason won’t show up on my television for free no matter how many times I try.  Plus, I got to view them all on a GIANT screen.  I quickly realized that Shangri-La’s television was the exact same model as the one I own.  The only difference is that mine looks like an ipad by comparison.

5.  The Ocean Breeze

Being up on top of the Carlsbad hill comes with panoramic views.  But better than that it comes with a nearly constant, gentle ocean breeze.  The kind of breeze that makes the palm trees sway elegantly.  The kind of breeze that makes it the perfect temperature in the sun.  The kind of breeze that you want to inhale deeply until you remember that it is full of smog from LA.

6. Auglet Doglet and Smella

Ok, fine.  I’ll kind of miss these ass holes, too.  Grew on me like a peeing fungus.

who, us?

yeah, you guys.

7. I hate even numbers.

So, farewell Shangri-La.  There were days when I wanted to burn you to the ground.  There were days when I wanted to change all the locks and exercise my squatting rights.

the red tide is blue (and sometimes green).

Yes, I have interrupted my Shangri-La series, but with good reason.  I just had, like, an 8th wonder of the world experience that I just have to share with my faithful blog audience (what up, Mom and Dad).

It’s not everyday (though I wish it were) that you get to see something so beautiful and magical that you have no choice but to marvel and stare . . . something that reaffirms the wonderment and appreciation you feel for the natural world . . . something that makes you want to roll around in the cold surf, smearing wet sand all over your face while screaming “I LOVE MOTHER NATURE!!!” at every unsuspecting child and dog in your rolling path.

That unbelievably amazing thing, my friends, is the Red Tide.  Rather than bog you down with a lengthy love letter to the Red Tide (Dearest Red Tide, How do I love thee??  Let me count the ways . . .), I am going to let these 2 videos do all the talking (writing?) for me.  There was no way I could have torn myself away from gawking to even think about trying to record the moments.  Luckily, in this crazy Jetsons world we live in, you no longer have to worry about recording your own moments because someone has already done it (and likely better than you would have anyway).  These don’t quite match the feeling you get in person, but they do a damn good job.  Enjoy!