022. Bellflower

tldr: i didn’t just sit at home all weekend

I have never lived outside of the state of California. I am one of those sheltered people who has never taken a plane flight in their life. Because why do so? Everything is a short four hour drive away. [Every now and then I am taken aback by the fact that a drive from New York to Massachusetts is the same amount of time as it takes to travel from Fresno to Southern California. But I digress.] Plus, it doesn’t help that one of my parents is scared of planes. That being said, I have lived in various parts of Cali: from [up by] Milpitas, to [currently] Fresno, [down] to Cerritos.

Living in these areas is what you do when your family can’t afford to *not* live with your grandparents. When it comes to ‘blood’ relatives, I honestly don’t have that many. One of my parents was adopted, and doesn’t speak to her biological family, much less her adopted. And my other parent’s side is fairly conservative– but that isn’t as important. My point is: my life has been all about found family. [One could attribute this to the fact that I grew up reading Harry Potter.] And down in a little city called Bellflower, is family friends, who I went and visited this past weekend for 4th of July.

On Wednesday’s, I don’t work until 5pm, so it was the perfect day to go. We left at 7am, grabbed coffee (it was a free sticker with your drink day), and were on our way. We listened to the musical Next to Normal, and I got to explain to my parent the Peano axioms and the derivation of the natural numbers. Good times.
We arrived at about noon, went inside, and chilled. There is something so amazing about a home away from home. A place where you can go in, set down your bags, sit on the couch, and pick up a conversation like you never left. That is what it is like in Bellflower. Hell, it’s gotten to the point where the family’s mom calls me her niece. [A very, very pleasant surprise.] We vibed for the rest of the day.
One of my favorite things about travelling down south is the food, so I am going to include the names of food places we went:
Food: Omega Burger

Today was filled with Zoom calls. Keep in mind that the tutorial center (where I work) only has Friday and Saturday off, so I still have a few tutoring sessions to do. Oh! And it was Thursday, which meant I met with friends to go through a chapter of Abstract Algebra. We have finished Modular Arithmetic then, and are now going to Fields and Rings. It is getting very exciting. Ultimately uneventful.
Food: N/A

Yay! I am done with work. Don’t get me wrong, I love tutoring, but it was nice to not have to wake up (mentally at least) fairly early. I got to sleep in, jam out to music, chill. As an interesting note: my sleep schedule is so much better when visiting a new place? Idk, but I can actually go to sleep when not at ‘home’.
I also feel more helpful when I am out of the house– for example, I helped out at a Firework stand Friday and Saturday. People spend way too much money on fireworks? Like, I would say “this 50$ item is buy one get one free” to which a regular response was “give me 4”. I don’t get it [# poorpeoplethings]. I also got another coffeeshop sticker for my laptop. It’s all coming together.
That evening, we went to my favorite restaurant ever: Portillos. This is the place to go when visiting Bellflower. One year, my family decided that we would take photos in front of the restaurant every time we stopped by, to see how much taller we got over time. Interestingly enough, on the front of the restaurant is a sign that says “Ice Cold Beer”, and if that doesn’t scream “Children’s Height Markers”, I don’t know what does. My go-to order: two jumbo chili cheese dogs and a large chocolate cake shake.
This time we couldn’t take that picture [due to a pandemic or something], nor could we eat inside. But we ate out in the car and it was perfect. Much needed.
Food: Portillos

4th of July! I worked another shift at the fireworks stand from 12-5. I have been told I should look into getting a job in retail due to my customer service voice and multitasking. Really, I just think it was years of Cake Mania paying off. Went home, had burgers, watched Hamilton, and went back to the fireworks stand to help pack up. In the process of putting away fireworks and closing up the stand, there was a crash outside; I had just witnessed my first car crash unfold before me.
A fire hydrant turned into a geyser. It honestly felt insane. Everyone wonders who they turn into when a crisis occurs, and for me, I think I become more realistic/logical of my surroundings. I can’t help the drivers, paramedics are doing that. No way in hell I can turn off the geyser, that’ll be the firemen. So I went back to packing up the trailer. Being a helping hand to anyone who asked. The odd thing was, people were still buying fireworks– probably in a similar state of “there is nothing I can do to help the situation, I guess I should do what I came here to do.” I honestly don’t know yet whether this is a good or bad thing. In the end, no one was hurt and everything went back to normal. It was like nothing had changed. It feels cynical, but also appropriate. Like finishing talking about a serious topic, only to end a blurb with what I ate that day.
Food: Not a restaurant but: Pork Chops

Nothing too eventful. Just as we had arrived, we left. We packed up our bags, loaded the car, watched Hamilton one more time, and went home. It was nice to have a vacation that felt effortless. We didn’t need to go out and do things [whether this was COVID or because of our comfort levels, who can say]. We just, hung out. It is one of my favorite places to be.
Food: Pacific Star

Other updates:
– I am applying to be an MIT Blogger! I hope that goes well. I mean, I like blogging. Worst case, I will continue to blog here.
– I will hopefully get back to a regular posting schedule. As you might be able to tell, last week got hectic, and I was relaxing. But I want to get to 30 posts by August!
– I am halfway through the 6 week session for Algebra and Calc 1! It honestly isn’t as bad/terribly busy as I thought it’d be.
– I am putting stickers on my laptop! I think they look nice. [My laptop’s name is Antiope Jones.]

Antiope, in all her glory.

I believe that is all for now! Til’ Friday,


Published by Paige Bright

Hi- my name is Paige Alexandria Bright. I am a rising junior at MIT interested in mathematics and philosophy. I have been writing this blog since the beginning of COVID. Lets see where this goes.

2 thoughts on “022. Bellflower

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: