Two sisters, two coasts, one blog

Meditation on the California State Fair


This week on “West Twin” I want to bring you something fresh and different – as fresh and different as a chocolate covered bacon ice cold drink?! Oh yeah.

You may not know, but I’ve been wishing for a little more visual pizzaz with my posts. I bemoaned last time that I only have my cell phone to use as a camera  – and I’m not loving the quality of images it produces (see above).

What I need is a little more class. And that is a case for the experts.

In this case ‘the expert’ also happens to be my best friend for the last 18 years (damn!). She is among other things, an amazing photographer by gift and profession. Her real name is Justine Belson, but I and many others who love her know her as Bean, or Beanie, or Mama Bean. She graciously agreed to be a “guest star” on the occasional West Twin post and let me use her fantastic photography to spice up my writing.

The idea is that our collaboration will become a feature here, maybe every couple of months. Something for you dear readers to look forward to! I’ve been so enthusiastic about this idea – it will give us something fun and creative to work on together (besides raising children), it’s yet another forum for me to promote her artful eye to all of you and I think it will make the blog look real damn good. Win, win.

So my first idea for a project was to work together to combine our impressions of the experience of the attending the California State Fair. It  is held every summer here in Sacramento because of course, We are the illustrious capital. According to the official program, this year welcomed the 157th Fair in the Golden State and our very own Governator declared it a “premier destination for entertainment”. For once I agree with Arnie.  I’ve never been disappointed by the fair since I started going almost 8 years ago. True you have to leave at home any judgments regarding white trash offspring and accept the fact that you’re going to pay over $12 for a watered-down margarita, but hey it’s once a year!

Sure that it was going to be a plethora of inspiration, I called Bean and asked her to bring her camera along on our annual pilgrimage. It’ll be great I said, the guys (husbands) can handle the kids and we’ll head off  to do some creative foraging, capturing in word and image this fantastical ode to California livin’.

Yea, um, it didn’t quite work out like that. Too many conflicting desires kept all us parents busy and mostly split up – ‘you take him here, I’ll go there with them’. Bean and I didn’t see much of each other all day. I had started the day on only 6 hours sleep and with a vicious period. I moped around the kiddie area by myself  with a stroller laden with diaper bags and snack packs, trying to find a ride that my hysterical 2 year old could go on. I wrote moody, cheeseball poetry and grew darkly reflective on the state of humanity and our de-volving physicality. It wasn’t pretty. When we finally all found our way back to each other for the evening concert, even the geriatric renditions of “In the Navy” and “YMCA” didn’t make me feel any better. So much for creativity. So long inspiration.

Bean however seemed to make the most of her day – as usual – and a few days later looking over her shoulder at the first of  her state fair shots, I was thrilled to see that she managed to capture the giddy color, energy and spectacle of the fair at it’s best. Thank god.

So, you can hardly call it a collaboration this time around. That’d be like borrowing your best friend’s cutest dress and taking all the credit for how good you look in it! But I am so glad that she gave me another lens to see things through and a brighter view of the day in the end. That’s both the mark of a great friend and of a great photographer.

If you want to see more of her work be sure to click here or come back and visit West Twin over the next few months. But until then, and without further ado, I give you our meditation on the State Fair:


Big Fun



asphalt, pounding


Mad cow Mother



Smelly gator


Lonely, hungry. But for what?

Chicken petting?!


People-watchers paradise

The modern human on display:

Slouchy shoulders, techno ‘hump’

Some grim faces

And imagine that,

belly fat.

Spindley legs

Love handles bubble

Cell-phone fixated

weird Meth creeple

What is happening to Our People?


But ah, who cares – it’s Go fair Go!

Lights a’ spinnin


Parkour percussion

chocolate bacon?

(couldn’t do it)


The Village People!!!

Soccer playing ponies (I swear)

kids on coasters

giant corndogs

& Peacock hair

Sleeping baby…Is it over yet?

Shoulda, woulda, coulda

Next year I’ll try a sickening ride, hypnotist

or deep-fried scorpion.

or this! or that!….





9 Responses to “Meditation on the California State Fair”

  1. Justine

    Holly Cow! Has it only been 18 years?! I guess that is a long time. Half your life Rucha? Or more than half considering you are only 28. Well again your writing is superb. Your poem made me cry. Wierd.

  2. Blair

    Can I please have chocolate-covered bacon flavoured tamales when I visit?

  3. Freda Powers

    Too much for me! My Skagit County Fairs were 25 cents to spend, cotton candy. fish pond, dust and delight…….mustn’t forget the merry-go-round and being afraid to get on a horse!
    Another day and another world….love, G’ma

  4. Norman Ross Powers

    superb! you made me feel as though i was there with you all the way! love, michela

  5. spongeystef...queen of the long run-on sentence

    o the grand days of the upper-midwest tri-county & olden day pacific northwest faires are come & gone grand-ma freda……

    but on live its small town counterparts and big city statewide Phreakfests!!

    glad to have at least escaped for a short time to the CAL-X spa exhibit with my BUBBSY-pal
    AND was able 2 trip the lite phantastic with

    the wee girls, LINKY doo, and the men folks…to the booty shakin’ sounds of
    senior-citizenized Village People

    DAMN one kin git 2 pinin’ 4 the good olde dayz when uve had the same best girlfriends 4 almost 20 yrs…
    thanx 4 the memories (and the rucha eye view recap. always a laff and lovely break n my day 2 read u friend!!!)

  6. Easter Daze | East Twin, West Twin

    […] – it makes us sound old), my # 1 comrade in Mothering and my sometimes  co-conspirator on this very blog. I am lucky to have her in my life, and lucky that sometimes photo-shoots are a two-person job and […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Basic HTML is allowed. Your email address will not be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS

%d bloggers like this: