Sunday, April 25, 2010

Windmills > Tigers, Apparently

At one point in my childhood, I can remember being driven all around California in an effort to show me what my home state had to offer. As part of this experience, I was also given a coloring book — a kid’s collection of tourist locations around California — to help me remember where I’d been.

But being a kid who couldn’t concentrate on much for very long, I never colored most of it in. For example, take a look at the page for the San Diego Zoo, which I loved to the point that I considered running into the landscaping, hiding and then just living at there. You couldn’t tell from the coloring book, however.

As you can see, I inexplicably chose only to color in the clothes and hair of the two children zoo-goers, their balloons and half the shirt of the man standing next to them. In a rare burst of creativity, I also seem to have attempted to put my own spin on the one balloon by giving it a sharp tail or antenna, which leads me to believe that at this point in my life I had never ever seen a balloon in real life, since they have neither antennas or tails.

So, clearly, this coloring book wasn’t my thing. I must have preferred more exciting activities, right? Mostly yes. However, there is one page that colored close to completion.

Solvang. Fucking Solvang. The city I’d come to revisit as an adult and that overwhelmed me with its lameness. This city — which should only appeal to wine buffs, antiques collectors, knickknack hoarders and Denmark aficionados — somehow made enough of an impression on my young mind that I chose to not only color in the picture but actually do so in a chromatically appropriate way — no orange sky and green skin. And I’d say that seems very strange, if it wasn’t for the fact that Solvang would later push me toward mildly creative pursuits, even after I’d realized that it’s a festering swamp of suck.


Solvang, you are and forever will be a mystery to me.

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