Monday, October 13, 2008

Legend of the Santa Ana Winds

As you've noticed, I haven't been posting much lately, I've been busy settling in to my new place and getting reacquainted with work, so I haven't had much time to post. Not to mention my internet was down forever and a day, until the cable company *finally* made their way over to switch on my cable and internet. I'm almost settled... emphasis on almost, because I find myself surrounded by bare walls yet tons of art work lying on the floor waiting to go up, I just can't seem to make it work - it's like trying to stuff a cube into a round shaped hole intended for the cylinder, in that toddler toy found in every preschool, or in Andy's right desk drawer at work. I have less wall space than before so I need to figure out what works in the new place and what needs to go in the closet, right next to BDC's se-shoe-al-ity. Just kidding BDC, Bon Don can set the record straight (pun intended).

I have a few bunnies in my hat, for times when I have nothing to blog about, since we are in October, I chose this bunny: The legend and folklore of the Santa Ana Winds (most Santa Ana Winds activity happens between October and January). I find them fascinating, but more interesting is how they are just a part of life to Southern Californians, a part of our culture, we don't realize that they only exist to us and the impact to our culture these winds present. I am a native of the Southland and it hadn't dawned on me that it would seem strange to visitors and transplants, until one day when I was watching a movie called The Holiday, Kate Winslet's character experiences the fiery winds for the first time and right then it hit me. The film also touched a bit on the folklore which is so much fun to a nerd like me, don't get me started on La Llorona. I started this entry last year, as I sat alone in my apartment next to a window that rattled more than Reina_B's chops, because it was looser than Stripper_D's worn out box, the palm tree outside kept flapping against my window. I never quite finished the entry and timing was bad because the Santa Ana Winds died down before I had a chance to get to it. It's still not quite finished but I figured I'd post what I had, you guys can bring some substance to it via comments, or not but you'll have to quit bitchin at me for not posting for a week :P

“There was a desert wind blowing that night. It was one of those hot dry Santa Anas that come down through the mountain passes and curl your hair and make your nerves jump and your skin itch. On nights like that every booze party ends in a fight. Meek little wives feel the edge of the carving knife and study their husbands’ necks. Anything can happen.”

Reference: Red Wind (1938)

In White Oleander (1999), Janet Fitch uses the Santa Ana as a major device in the plot. She writes of the wind and its effect on the human psyche:

"The Santa Anas blew in hot from the desert, shriveling the last of the spring grass into whiskers of pale straw. Only the oleanders thrived, their delicate poisonous blooms, their dagger green leaves. We could not sleep in the hot dry nights, my mother and I. I woke up at midnight to find her bed empty. I climbed to the roof and easily spotted her blond hair like a white flame in the light of the three-quarter moon."

Reference: White Oleander (1999)


More cool stuff I found on Wikipedia:

  • In the 1995 film My Family, the Santa Ana Winds are mentioned in the sequence when Chucho (Esai Morales), a gang member, is shot dead by the LAPD.
  • In the 2006 film The Holiday, the Santa Ana winds are constantly shown, and Jack Black's character 'Miles' mentions that when they blow, "all bets are off" and "anything can happen".
  • Kitty's fear of the winds were featured in the "Date Night" episode of the ABC series Brothers & Sisters.

1 comment:

  1. YAY finally something for me to read! Very interesting very interesting...especially the part about the loose box's! You know those Santa Ana winds have been blowing so hard they are blowing all the way over here and I LOVE it! Oddly, the wind reminds me of Christmas time maybe that's because it doesn't snow in these parts.

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