"One does not simply walk into Mordor. It’s black gates are guarded by more than just orcs. There is evil there that does not sleep. The great eye is ever watchful. It is a barren wasteland, riddled with fire, ash, and dust. The very air you breathe is a poisonous fume. Not with ten thousand men could you do this. It is folly."
Well, clearly, Boromir would NOT win an Independent Spirit Award.
(What's that? TWO Lord of the Rings references in a row? Yep.)
Let’s just say Burbank is not a place I would like to live. Ever. I knew this before I moved to California (in fact, when people trashtalk Los Angeles, they have usually only been to either the Burbank/Studio City area or Downtown Hollywood), but it was confirmed for me on the first day of 110 degree weather and asthma attacks from pollution that it is not a place I should call home.
Burbank is located in the armpit of the San Fernando Valley. While it is home to many television, film and animation studios, it also hosts some of the worst air in the country. The mountains surrounding the Valley make it impossible for the pollution to go anywhere. These same mountains keep hot, stagnant air hot and stagnant. It is also the home and workplace of many a wannabe producer or aspiring... something or other. The result is a nice warm blanket of asphyxiating poison in which many people are behaving badly because they are obsessed with obtaining or keeping power.
To give you an idea: every day there was a new, thin layer of an unidentifiable "dust" on my car (or as we called it in New York: "schmutz"). I had a constant sore throat. It got so hot the day after I arrived that the glue from my shoes in the trunk of my car melted. The soles curled back and peeled themselves off à la the The Wizard of Oz. And it was only 10AM. It also didn't help that there was a hill on fire a few miles away from where I was staying. According to my twitter feed, I wasn't the only one making Lord of the Rings connections...
Still, I was staying with the right people (who I thank ad vitam aeternam for their hospitality). And since then, I have worked several jobs in that area. Forty hours a week is doable. I've gotten to know the area fairly well and have seen that it has its good sides, too. For example, there are many highways that exit out of it.
Okay, it IS really cool that every street you turn down is film-related. And it IS really cool that you can see famous people all over the place. I never recognize them, but I hear they are there. And that’s cool. I geek out taking the studio tours and working on sets and visiting friends who work there. It’s also really cool that there is… like… an Ikea there… or something.
Anyway, my point is...
...I don't know. I didn't have a point, I guess. This is a blog.
I quickly tuned my apartment hunting radar system (which is www.westsiderentals.com for those with an interest in finding housing out this way) to “West Side” and tried to get out of there as quickly as I could. I may have to work there from time to time, but I like to be able to step outside and breathe some fresh air, too.
Nah, Burbank, you’re okay, doll. You know what? Have your people call my people and we’ll… have our people talk to each other. I’m not committing to lunch at Barad-dûr...