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Occidental Oriented - February 2015


Occidental Oriented - February 2015

‘Tis the season for poorly cut out paper valentines and high school romance, for awkward first dates and staying up too late on the phone, for those weird heart shaped candies and for first love. In theory, I find it all rather sickening. In reality, I love the weird heart shaped candies and staying up too late on the phone. High school romance, though questionably overrated, has its perks. Sometimes your very cute boyfriend takes you out places. Last night he, Devin, took me to go see Clybourne Park by Bruce Norris at 6th Street Playhouse. The show was incredible – it won a Pulitzer for best drama in 2011 and a Tony for best play in 2012, but the acting and presentation of the show was amazing. Occidental local Dr. Nadja Masura was the show’s dramaturge. Good job Nadja! I highly recommend everyone go see it. The only not great part of the evening was when I learned that 6th Street has stumbled upon hard times recently. They’re a great local theater with many talented actors and designers working there, and it would be a shame to lose such a gem. If you are able to help them out with a donation of any size, I, and the many others who enjoy 6th Street, would be incredibly grateful. Donations can be made at: 

Of course, 6th Street is in Santa Rosa, but I really had to say something. It’s where Devin and I went on our first date. Not long after that, I brought him to Occidental for the first time. He’d never been here before, and watching him experience all that is Occidental for the first time was both heartwarming and hilarious. We walked from my mom’s office (Gene Gaffney Insurance) to the Y. Along the way, I saw ten or so people I was on a first name basis with, and stopped to say hello to them all. After each person was out of earshot, Devin would ask “who are they??” – sounding more confused each time. I waved to people who waved at me, regardless of if I could remember their name or not. It was an uneventful trip through Occidental – nothing out of the ordinary, but Devin was positively astounded by the friendliness of the people we ran into. It made me realize that not everywhere is like this. Not everyone always says hi. And that made me incredibly grateful. Occidental really has that small town feeling, and I love it. How lucky are we to live in such a place?

Needless to say, Devin has come back to Occidental many times, and now he says hello to people as we walk too. It quite endearing. The last time he was here, we walked through town and I noticed, for the first time, the new groundcover in the strip between Bohemian Highway and Main Street. It looks quite nice, and it’s also much less likely to make one twist their ankle, which is something I particularly appreciate. A thing I don’t appreciate is dog poop – so if all you dog owners out there could make use of the poop stations the Community Council has installed, that would be great. There’s one by the picnic tables across from Howards, and the other is by the bus stop across from the tennis courts. The convenient locations are just another reason that no one else should have to see your dog’s poop.

...Moving on from dog poop, I was walking a few days ago – sadly without Devin-- when I noticed some new graffiti on the old road. “ROADS ARE FIX” it read, if you read it top to bottom. If you read it bottom to top it said “FIX ARE ROADS” Despite the grammar, the message was clear – our road has some potholes. Under the fixing request, it says (top to bottom) “MANGER SCRD FIRE”. Read the other direction (bottom to top) that roughly translates, I would imagine, to “fire the Sonoma County Roads Department manager”. For the record, Sonoma County doesn’t have a department for just roads, but the Transportation and Public Works Department handles road issues, so if you have a complaint, please contact them. 

Having just gotten my learners permit a month or so ago, I can’t decide if it’s worse to have poor grammar or potholes in your road. In pursuit of the answer to this question, I asked several people. My mom said that poor grammar is worse. My very smart friend Sierra said that “potholes hurt externally, but poor grammar hurts our brains”, which she says “is definitely worse”. My former debate coach says that though poor grammar is annoying, potholes can wreck your suspension, which makes potholes worse. Devin says potholes are worse because everyone dislikes potholes, but only nerds get upset about grammar-- which means that potholes are overall worse. (I am most certainly one of those nerds.) Both sides of the argument have good points. What’s your opinion?

Though the phrase “yes, honey” may come in handy sometimes, I hope that thinking about potholes and grammar provides at least a moment of distraction of all the doilies. Have a Happy Valentines!