The Bright Side of Living in Long Beach

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Cloudy Day in Long Beach

A cloudy day in Long Beach. Photo by Jeffery Todd

There’s a well known line that Tom Hanks utters in the movie A League of Their Own. Actually, eventually, he screams it. “There’s no crying in baseball.” That’s the same way I feel about here, “there’s no crying in California!”

Taking a photo like the one attached of a cloudy morning is such an exercise in futility, because you know that even if it’s August 2 it’s still a June gloom thing and by noon those clouds will be burned off and that the sun will be a shining. And you can’t get away from it.

Coming from a place like Chicago you can spend a good part of the year hibernating. Chicago is a wonderful city, in the summertime. Other times too, my family and old and dear friends are there and I visit often. But those cold, snowy, frozen winters make you want to stay inside and hibernate. It’s a major part of the reason I moved here. I was inside too much. Trouble is, when you feel like hiding here, you can’t. 

When it rains here, people go running for shelter like they’re afraid a big twister is coming and going to pick them up and plop them in Oz. But man, it’s like a little kid with a crappy squirt gun the way it rains in Southern California. In the Midwest, it rains sideways and you get blown and poured on in a way that no umbrella — no matter how large — can cover you. So, to say “did you see the rain yesterday” and use it as an excuse to stay indoors, is as funny to me as the little old Korean ladies who carry umbrellas to keep the sun out.

Which is the problem—it’s always there! You can’t be depressed and hide under the covers all day. Well you can, but the trouble is that you are not usually stocked and planned for those occasions so you eventually have to go to the 7-11 for a snack. And the sun’s out. Bright. Shiny. Annoying. If there’s a Man in the Moon then there’s an SOB in the Sun. Because he is not letting you stay in. He’s taunting you, telling you everything is going to be better, there’s a bright side to life, and other such nonsense. Because he knows that he can do that to you all day and then laugh all night — when it’s dark and you’re lonely and your life is never going to amount to anything again.

But I’m thankful for it. Working out of my little studio apartment, it’s a comfort to know that a block and a half away the Pacific Ocean and the sun that warms it is waiting for me. It’s helped me through a lot of penniless days. And I’ve bought better blinds for my windows for the days that I want to hide. And I found places that deliver. So bring it on you SOB, I’ve learned how to hide from you. Once a month.

About Jeffery Todd
Jeffery Todd is a comedian and writer ( He loves to make people laugh and think and hopes that his words will make you do one or the other and if you do both, his work will be done. Originally from Chicago, he now makes his home in Long Beach where he and his laptop can be outside year round.

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