Don’t Call It A Comeback (Well, You Can, I’ve Been Gone For Eight Years)
I’d first like to tip my hat to Frazgo over at Los Angeles Metblogs for getting the hook up for me here at Philadelphia Metblogs.
My name’s Aaron Proctor. Otherwise/formerly known as “The Noticeable One“, “The Proc“, or “The Most Electrifying Man In Pasadena” and generally known as a damned handsome man. I like long walks on the beach, “Arrested Development“, corporate slang, vodka tonics and house cats that sound like they’re meowing with a “Brrrrrrrowww” instead of Meow. You know what I’m sayin’?
I moved back to the Philly burbs – Delaware County, right in the Chichester area – after living in Los Angeles for the past eight years. You can read about my exploits, triumphs and tribulations in Los Angeles by going here. It’s wiki-accurate.
I grew up in various parts of the Philly area. Was born in Chester. Moved to Mt. Airy to attend the first part of grade school. Moved back to Chester for a short period of time up until around 5th grade and then I finished out my middle and high school experience in the Marcus Hook/Lower Chichester/Upper Chichester area.
I headed to Los Angeles (well, Pasadena, it’s pretty much the same thing but…shhhhh…don’t tell them that or some Caltech kid will throw a thorny Rose at you) eight years ago with an eyeliner-smeared face and a liberal heart and ended up moving back with a v-neck sweater & collared shirt with a conservative head. And since I’m a Republican AND a cigarette smoker, it’s nice to be in an area where I’m not quite a fifth-class citizen. (You know, I really wish there was a “cut and paste” option for real life so that I can always add ‘but I don’t hate gays and don’t mind abortion..I’m a libertarian with a lower case l’).
I ran for Mayor Pasadena back in 2007 and got 11.2% of the vote. In a leather jacket. While wearing eyeliner. How California is that!? Soon enough, I didn’t forget my roots and took a bit of Philly with me. After deciding that being 25, balding, and a Goth socialist wasn’t cutting it, I did a complete 180 and started a somewhat-hilarious, mostly-acerbic, profanity-laced Conservative blog. It was a hit (well, it got a lot of hits – and e-mail from angry Councilmembers) in Pasadena as it equally angered and offended the same amount of people as it made spit out their morning lattes in laughter. I got a writing gig at a local paper (The Pasadena Weekly) – who pretty much gave me ink for shock value (controversial character = cash?) but then, for some reason, only gave me fluff stories to write. I did get to meet my hero, Huell Howser, however.
One thing lead to another, I pushed the envelope too far (people in Los Angeles don’t have a sense of humor and will be quick to call a lawyer or the police even if you make an unharmful WWE-style video challenging a newspaper publisher to a wrestling match) – and I came back to the Philly area after being fired and finding out my parents needed some assistance with their living situation.
Getting adjusted back to life in Delco has been really fun, really enjoyable. You know, to me, the Philadelphia area is truly the greatest metropolitan area in the whole wide world. One doesn’t appreciate the luxuries – both in terms of Tastykakes and peoples’ attitudes – until one lives in plastic-fake-boob-perfect-teeth Los Angeles for nearly a decade. I feel like a lot of people don’t appreciate it here. “Oh, the weather sucks”, “Oh, our sports teams suck”, “Oh, this place sucks, “You’ll get sick of it here”, “Why in the world would you leave CALIFORNIA?” – it’s something I’ve heard a multitude of times. Let me tell you something from my own perspective – the LA area ain’t that great of a place to live these days unless you’ve got a lot of money and are super progressive. Philly has its own charm, an incomparable state of mind and being and something unmatched by any other metropolitan area (and I’ve been to 26 of these great United States AND Washington DC) anywhere else. Other cities should be quite envious of how unique, fun, and awesome Philly has remained in a country full of carbon-copy “up and on the move” cities.
The differences between Delaware County and Philly itself are even more striking. I’m not even an hour from Center City and it can feel like I’m world’s away when I take the R2 into the City. It’s a nice compare and contrast of suburban and urban lifestyles – blue collars vs white collars – and all that Lebanon baloney.
Man, did I sure miss Wawa. And Turkey Hill ice cream and iced tea. And cheaper cigarettes – WAIT A MINUTE – why are cigs more expensive here, even in Delaware County, than in California? Guess I gotta go down to Bidenware and stock up. Oh..what else did I miss? Pathmark. SEPTA. Die hard sports fans. The whole “Philly attitude”.
Especially the latter. People here are sometimes rude, crude, in your face, and – especially in Delaware County – often just look haggard or harsh. I love it! It’s more honest, it’s more real, and by gawd, I’d rather have that than whatever is going on over in Hollyweird. And…the Phillies won the World Series. That was just the icing on the cake, considering I moved out here during the middle of the NLCS and was getting peanuts thrown at me every time I went to a bar. Yeah, peanuts. Los Angeles fans aren’t that tough.
Being gone for a while has also led me to make some prolific and poignant observations. I’ve decided to put together some of the things I’ve either said to myself or shouted out loud into a Top Ten List, a/la David Letterman (one of my heroes). Submitted, for your approval….:
TOP TEN THINGS I’VE BEEN OVERHEARD SAYING SINCE MY MOVE BACK TO PHILLY
10. “Damn, Dawn Stensland is pretty hot.”
9. “Hearing it pronounced ‘wooder‘ sounds more annoying than it did eight years ago.”
8. “Sweet Yuengling. Nectar of the gods.”
7. “The bus fare is how much?!”
6. “Oh, Dawn, you just made that triple homicide sound so f’n HOT!”
5. “LOL. Eight-Twelve. That never gets old.”
4. “Yeah, that’s a California ID. No, it’s not fake.”
3. “Where’s that UN—CLAIMED—-FREIGHT! guy?”
2. “I’d like to form an exploratory committee into Dawn Stensland’s pants.”
1. “I live in Delaware County, not Delaware.”
Over the next few weeks and months, I’d like to share my Phil-adjustments with the rest of you. Since I don’t own a car and work in retail now (yep – the mighty have fallen!), I have yet to discover or re-discover some of the awesomeness I left behind 8 years ago and want to share those adventures with you, the reader, for the low, low price of $19.99 plus shipping and handling. Operators are standing by.
Be seeing you.