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Tuesday, August 7, 2012

'So LA' by Bridget Hoida

Hello All-

I come to you from the depths of despair. I am on vacation...not happy you say? NO. I am on vacation, and vacation has been cancelled. Why you ask? You didn't? Too bad, my blog.

As you are painfully aware I have two Brats who play select soccer. If your not familiar with the cult of select sports let me fill you in. Kids do not wear dark and white tee-shirts for 30 bucks...oh noooo...their ensembles are $400.00..a piece. Add on monthly fee's x 2. Combine that with driving from Hell and back and it costs more than my first car payment.

After spending a large amount of money on soccer fee's, and after selling my soul to get 4 damn days off (seriously, at the place I spend my days you have to make a deal with the Devil to get one lousy day off) it has come to my attention that we can't go...anywhere.

Yep, for the past 3 months we were planning on going camping in Leavenworth (fake Germany). The place is so tacky it's entertaining. What do they have that we don't have? SUN. We don't get that here. They also don't have soccer practices, games and far away lands to drive to in record time. In fact, the kids were going to stay home.

Day before we were going to leave, it hit. With the fee's we have coming up and the tournaments, we can't afford to go. We can't afford the house sitter, we just can't. For those who aren't aware the place I spend my days is not my dream job. It is a have to. I have the extreme luck to work with a group of fantastic women. As you know, this is odd  for I can't stand groups of women.

However, I work this job to pay for....soccer...soccer a sport I used to love to play and watch. A sport that causes me to want to take my son's Swiss army knife and stab every soccer ball I see in my house.

So am I feeling sorry for myself? Yes. Am I have a selfish pity party? You bet I am. Yeah, yeah I know this will pass , for tonight I want to be mad.

Now enter guilt. You can get rid of the catholic..but the guilt stamps itself on your dark little soul for eternity. All these Mother's are just thrilled to give every aspect of their lives away for their kids budding careers. They'll work jobs they despise, they are willing to live in homeless hostels if it keeps their Precious happy in select sports.

I am fully aware that I am the worst Mom in the World...but wanting just one lousy week? Come on.
Anyhow, done...done ..done...done..

Wait!!! One positive in this soccer Hell that I live in...Went to Seattle Sounder's game...Sounder's won 4-0 Yes, I was born in Seattle..and no I am NOT a Sounder's fan. The fans are ridiculous and no one sticks out to me...however, the flip side of this game...put your sunglasses on as the stunning life force may be to much!!!

That's right...Soccer God himself..Beckham..sigh...

They played  LA Galaxy..who lost..he even looks good losing!!
Guess who she just spotted running out on field?

On to the book review.....

Beautiful Magdalena de la Cruz breezed through Berkeley and built an empire selling designer water. She’d never felt awkward or unattractive… until she moved to Los Angeles. In L.A. where “everything smells like acetone and Errol Flynn” Magdalena attempts to reinvent herself as a geographically appropriate bombshell—with rhinestones, silicone and gin—as she seeks an escape from her unraveling marriage and the traumatic death of her younger brother, Junah. Magdalena’s Los Angeles is glitzy and glamorous but also a landscape of the absurd. Her languidly lyrical voice provides a travel guide for a city of make-believe, where even Hollywood insiders feel left out.

Like a lane change on the 405 freeway during rush hour, Bridget Hoida, skillfully navigates the impossible in So L.A. offering a portrait of contemporary Los Angeles through the penetrating prose of her female protagonist. Evoking a dynamic and materialist landscape, So L.A. introduces readers to the unforgettable voice of an extremely talented new writer. (Amazon Description)

I received this book by way of a friend of mine from High School (Jen Dietz). Jen posted something or other about this book on Facebook. Being the nosy person I am , I shoved my way in and said I would review it if the author would like. Not only did she say yes but she sent me the book wrapped in froo froo ribbon with a handwritten card. Presentation is EVERYTHING..and I was able to bring out some envy in the ever stunning blond, blue eyed Jen. Apparently she was not gifted with such a stunning lay out.

I loved this book. Not what I expected. I honestly expected some sort of smart..Melrose Place (I know-smart is a stretch) novel. This book was the complete opposite.

Magdelena has lost herself. She had a brother who died from a rock climbing accident. She has never recovered. She marries, moves to LA and changes herself from the person she used to be. Body, mind and spirit.

On a personal note, I got this. I grew up around these people. My Mother worked for a cosmetic company that would send her all over the world . We spent one summer in Beverly Hills Hilton. This was normal. I remember being 16 and watching the women talk about their latest ,"procedures". Discussions went from whose husband left who, to who has let themselves go, on and on .It seemed the norm, but I didn't fit in. I thought at that time that eventually I would have to get things done also..that's what you do when your old - around 30 :)

The women, including Mom, never seemed content. There was a underlying rule. Look a certain way and be accepted, be liked. Doesn't matter who you really were, you needed to be liked and thought of as attractive.

As I became older and moved away, these thoughts caused me to feel resentful.  I didn't want to have ,"procedures". I have witnessed the recovery and it is not for the weak. It all seemed like a lot of pain in order to be liked and approved of. Everyone wanted to look the same.

At 6ft tall, brown eyes and brown hair,  that was not going to happen. The whole production turned from exciting and beautiful to exhausting and insecure.

So, I did the opposite. I cut all my hair off ( I can still hear my Mom telling me I'll look like a pin head). Embraced my flannel and jeans (hello...90's grunge?). Dropped out of college, took off for Alaska and began to run.

38 I am still in the same mode. Sometimes that is good sometimes it's not. I don't feel the need to look or act anyway in order to get approval. I just don't need it. Unfortunately , there are so many women that do. Comes out in competitiveness, or cruelty at times. It's in order to hide who they really are.

Magdelena purposely causes drama in her life to escape her guilt regarding her brother's death. Sometimes she made me laugh. Other times she irritated the hell out of me with her righteous attitude of self destructing behavior.

I  feared her. She was who I fought against for so long. She is the person  it would have been easier to be at times.It was hard to  take the criticism for not looking a certain way. As I get older it's a lot easier.

Overall, Magdelena made me sad.  She made me feel for how lost she was. How unforgiving she was toward herself.  She couldn't comprehend what she was doing was hurting others. 

I rarely read books twice, but this one I will definitely read again.

5 stars.



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