It’s that time of year again. The heat is coming back around just after everyone gets used to the cool weather.
That’s Sacramento for you: Spring starts a mere month or two after summer ends, while fall is welded together with either summer or winter, take your pick.
The reason I can always tell the seasons are changing is because my Facebook newsfeed starts to fill with people making grand declarations. Now, this is nothing new; during New Year’s, Lent, birthdays, anniversaries, ect., people tend to get a little dramatic on the social networking front. “I’m never drinking again” “I’m going to work out every day for the rest of my life” “I’m going to stop masturbating” “I’m going to quit doing heroin as of today” “I’m going to eat healthier” or even “hey guys! I’m a vegan now!” You know you’ve seen it, and you know you’ve done it. I know I have. Everyone has been immature at least once in their life.
However, around THIS time of year specifically, I have noticed in the ten years or so that I have lived in the Sacramento area, that the sweeping declarations aren’t about bettering their lives by quitting something, or drastically changing their behaviors and habits, but about leaving this godforsaken shithole of a town.
Now, to preface my complaint, and for full disclosure, I am guilty of this too. Well, sort of. There was a time that I needed to get out of here and leave. I came back as well, because of what I discovered when I was away, but I’m getting ahead of myself. Suffice it to say, I’m just as guilty of this behavior as anyone else.
The thing is, Sacramento is a wonderful town. Shocker of the century, right? It really is a great place to live. A great art scene, wonderful eateries, a wide selection of bars, touristy-type spots like the Zoo, Old Sacramento, the American and Sacramento River, and we are within an hour or so of San Francisco and the Pacific Ocean on one side, and Lake Tahoe on the other.
As far as the music scene goes, it comes in waves, but right now, my own bias excluded, it is growing at an exponential rate. With new venues like Ace of Spades, Bows & Arrows, District 30, Midtown Barfly and LowBrau bringing quality deejays and bands, in addition to the tried and true places such as Harlow’s, Old Ironsides, Blue Lamp, Luigi’s FunGarden, The Boardwalk, Marilyn’s, The Townhouse, and Press Club, along with the new upcoming addition of The Assembly, it’s odd to me when I still hear complaints. At this point, it’s your own laziness that is to blame if you can’t find a good show any given week.
But the people that are making these ‘sweeping declarations’ are complaining about isn’t any of that. I don’t even know if they realize what they are complaining about, really, but from what I have watched via social networking and seeing it happen live, the true issue is alcoholism, and a lack of creativity.
First of all, they all drink, and they go out too often. I have never once seen a person do this when they are sober and staying at home. The persons in question tend to be someone that routinely hits the same bar or bars at least once a week, if not multiple times a week. They close the bars they attend; they drink enough to not only get trashed most of the time, but enough to consistently make a fool of themselves, or at least enough to feel embarrassed. Once the bar closes, they head home and drink, head to an after-party (or just after-sad-people-sitting-around-an-apartment-just-trying-to-get-a-few-last-drinks-in-before-morning), and more often than not, do a bunch of coke as well, and predictably at any point during this process, hook up with randoms, who may be strangers or friends. But, hey…we all know that midtown Sacramento is a smaller collective than most cities, so no matter how random you try to be, they’re going to overlap socially eventually. The more often you do that sort of thing, the more likely you are to be sharing fluids with the rest of midtown.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
So, it’s never really a surprise when some random day, they wake up and realize that their life boils down to a bunch of meaningless fucks, shitty hangovers, and boring bars. When a drunk goes looking for a place to hangout, they’re rarely going out for a gallery viewing, to see a great band, to try new, delicious food. No, they head to the darkest place with the strongest drinks and the loudest, most predictable music; and it’s almost always the same 1-3 places.
Eventually, they decide that the best option is not to work on their problems, go to other places in town, or God forbid, go out less often. No, the only option is to move. They need a dramatic change to wake them up. I did the same thing years ago. I left town in order to seek clarity, and to get away from the growing drama that was my life. Well, guess what? It took me about a year to figure out it was me the whole time. You can go anywhere in the world, but your problems will always follow you when the problem is you.
Besides, if Sacramento was truly the problem, then why not get involved in what goes on in this town instead of just complaining about it. If you lived here long enough to complain about things, and get ‘sick’ of the people and places here, didn’t you have plenty of time to help do something about it?
Then again, if you don’t contribute, you go out drinking all the time, you only go to the same bars week-in and week-out, you don’t go to local shows, you’re drunk all the time, constantly making an ass of yourself, and you think moving is a better idea than working on your own problems, maybe Sacramento is better off without you, because it’s certainly not Sacramento, hun, it’s you.