It’s odd looking south on California. It’s been almost a year since we moved to Oregon. I feel like an Oregonian (especially after what happened in my previous post). Yet I frequently find myself in a bit of a twilight zone between the two states, mostly because the first newspaper I read in the morning is the digital version of the San Francisco Chronicle, rather than the Portland Oregonian. (Please note that as a former journalist, I pay for all my digital subscriptions.)
There are legitimate reasons for this. I still look upon California fondly, though she’s really like a girl I had to give up because of her dysfunctional behavior. That is, the time we had together was wonderful, but no, I don’t need to spend the rest of my life with her. There are stories ongoing in California that I want to follow; my biggest regret about dying is not the actual dying but the fact that I will miss the next day’s headlines.
So I feel like I’m in a bit of a Twilight Zone, state-wise. In the Oregonian, as with any metropolitan newspaper, there are ongoing stories, progress reports about political escapades, trials, corruptions, feuds with the neighboring state of Washington. Reading them is kind of like walking into the middle of a movie, where you’re not quite sure what’s going on, and you really need to focus to figure out who’s who and what’s what.
I’m retired. I don’t have to focus anymore.
It doesn’t help that the Oregonian only prints on paper four days a week; the other three days are online-only. That isn’t conducive to forming a habit. I frequently have to ask myself what day it is to figure out whether I need to go out front and pick up the paper. But since the delivery person doesn’t wander around until seven or eight a.m. (I wouldn’t get out any earlier either if my work had been cut back to four days a week), I’m usually done with the online version even before I get to the print version.
Then there are the obituaries. As you age—and I know most of my readers will back me up on this—the obituaries become more important. I haven’t lived in Oregon long enough to know the people in the Oregonian obituaries. That’s one reason why I’m still devoted to the Chronicle—not that I know people in its obituaries, but I am more likely to.
And by reading the Chronicle, I get to follow all the sturm und drang that drove us out of California from afar: gas prices, traffic, taxes, traffic, drought, traffic. I was going to say that the only thing California has over Oregon is stricter vaccination laws, but then I read that it’s dealing with a measles outbreak too. Apparently you can escape drought and traffic, but not stupidity.
The question remains: when am I going to start reading the Oregonian first and the Chronicle last? That’s a tough question. I suspect it will be when I see the first obituary of someone I know in the Oregonian. Then I’ll know the time has come.