Tag Archives: California

Life is good with a gated parking garage, OR Taxi Driver Bowling!

There are exactly 14 days until I board a large jet and fly east for the last time. 14 big ones. I really could not be more excited about this, and it’s not because I hate or dislike living in good ol’ dub-C, or because I don’t like San Francisco, or because the nice weather is annoying. I actually love SF and the weather. It’s really just because moving back will mean my job here will be done. And let me tell you I have never been so relieved for an engagement / project / job to be over. Not even in school doing miserable projects or taking miserable classes was I ever this excited to be done. It’s quite extreme. BUT. Instead of complain about my job like 90% of other employed people, I’ve been compiling a list of things that I super love about this place, and want to share some mushy lovies that I will miss once I move back to the right coast. In no particular order, please enjoy the following.

It is really nice to have a gated parking garage in which to park my precious little baby. It doesn’t get nearly as cold here as it does back east (more on this pleasantness is forthcoming) but it is just so nice that my car is dry every morning, not even slightly iced or dewy from the cold night air. And being protected from the rain is an extra perk. When I move back to Raleigh, I’ll be parking little Rose on the street in front of the house like regular suburban-living folks and she’ll be extra cold at night, and I’ll have to allow for extra minutes in my morning to get her started up and warm and do yucky things like scrape ice. Ick.  Plus we all know how good I am at getting up earlier for anything. Fun. I won’t, however, miss my garage door opener which works sporadically at best. I frequently find myself sitting outside (or inside) the garage for minutes at a time trying to hit the button just right so it’ll work. The problems of the privileged I tell you.

There is a Starbuck’s SO conveniently on my way to work. I have the option of hopping on the interstate for a quick two exits and making it inside the building in under 5 minutes, OR I can travel along beside the interstate and make a little pit stop to get myself some morning sustenance. In Raleigh, there is no Starbuck’s or other coffee or breakfast establishment between my residence and the office, due to the fact that I [will] live ridiculously (I mean really) close to the office. Back to me getting up earlier for things in the morning and driving out of the way to get a chocolate-y non-coffee. Again, what problems to have!

The weather. I really don’t think I need to explain this one, but I will since everyone back east thinks that California weather is the same throughout the state. You guys. California is huge and spans a wide range of latitudes. This mean the weather is not like San Diego or LA throughout the entire state. Remember your grade school geography, kids. Anyway. San Francisco and the surrounding bay area are very different when it comes to fog patterns, rain, sun, temperature, etc. And I think living here for 6 months does not qualify me to learn you all about it since I haven’t even seen it go full circle. But I will say, I super love the winter temps. The only winter coat I have out here is a thin pea coat from H&M (read: cheap / not super warm) and I hardly wear it as it is routinely too heavy and makes me hot. I love wearing a cute blazer or lightweight fleece and being plenty comfy all day. Also when it rains here, it doesn’t rain hard. Just a nice drizzle or very light precipitation. No gale force winds and pounding hail which render umbrellas completely useless. Loves.

My apartment is right down the street from the BART station, which means at the end of the street at all hours of the day which are not rush hours, taxis line up by the station exit. I really wish I could explain this more fully, but they parallel park along this road and the drivers mill about all the livelong day. Just waiting for fare I suppose. Anyway. The drivers literally don’t give two hoo-hahs about oncoming traffic in either direction. There is a grassy area with chairs to one side, and to the other a very pleasant sidewalk and more grassy areas for them to frolic whilst waiting for business. But instead they choose to stand in the street, car doors wide open into the lane. My newest game is to go as fast as possible when I approach and see how much they value their lives. It’s quite a fun time. And I really will miss placing bets with myself to see how many have to dive out of the way. I of course wave in a friendly neighborly fashion as I zoom by. Bunch of idiots. The road is for driving, not for standing. So move aside.

There’s this super awesome clothing store that I found in December which I am now obsessed with. It’s called Tart. You may have heard of the brand if you’re a regular shopper at Barney’s, W Hotel boutiques, or other swanky stores in NYC or San Francisco. The brand originated in SF and is made right here in the East Bay. This means that they also have a mini outlet store right here in the East Bay! And guess who lives in the East Bay not 3 miles from this little outlet! That’s right! Ya’ll are so smart. I have gotten some RIDICULOUSLY cute things there at just INSANE low prices. As in this dress for $20. That is not a joke. If you note the original price, that’s like 91% off.  Ninety-One Percent OFF. If that is not the crazy awesomest sale ever then I will eat my shoes. And since it’s the only outlet in the entire nation and world, I will miss it. Also I’m kind of pals with the lady who runs it, so I’ll miss her too.

So there’s more I guess, but it’s nap time. This little baby needs to winky-tinky! [10 points to anyone other than my mother who gets the reference without googling!]

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Land of fruit and nuts, but also hiking, cannabis, parking garages, and nice weather

America is a great country for many reasons, one being that it can contain states like Virginia (which is actually a commonwealth, to be perfectly correct) and California all on one continent. I have to say that Cali is not so vastly different and shocking to this little east coast girl as I thought it would be, or as much as I was warned it would be. I even had some people laugh at me when I told them I was moving here. Seriously, like I couldn’t handle it because of where I was raised. Whatevs. So as much as they are not so very different from each other, there are some things about this state that are extremely different from Ye Olde Commonwealth.  Like how earlier this week it was 58 degrees when I woke up but 107 by mid-afternoon. That is nuts and I’m pretty sure has never happened in VA. Also there is NO humidity here. Obviously in true San Fran it is a little humid since it’s surrounded by large bodies of water, but here not so much. Anywho, this is obviously a boring answer. Who gives two pennies about the weather other than old people. No one. Except it is super nice and I super love it. Moving on.

One of the managers at my new office is a philosophy teacher on the side at a nearby community college. He’s super cool, wise, hip, and graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in philosophy, thus his passion for teaching this subject. How he ended up as a manager in IT I’m not quite sure. Anywayz. He received an email today from one of his students that read something like this: “Hey Prof, Not sure what your stance on the topic is, but I was curious if you’d be interested in getting together to smoke a blunt and talk philosophy with me sometime. Thanks, Student.” Manager informed me he was thinking of suggesting pizza and beer instead, since he’s pretty sure the university would frown on illegal activities with students, regardless of how down everybody is with cannabis here.

There are parking garages everywhere. With gates. I have never seen so many parking garages with gates in every structure everywhere in my life anywhere else. My apartment building has a parking garage with a gate (awesome). The office buildings on the street each have their own parking garage, with a gate. Walnut Creek city hall has a parking garage with a gate. Gate <> booth with little arm-raisey thingy. Like a formidable gate. And in general, there are an over-abundance of parking garages everywhere in every little town, city, establishment in the general east bay area, sans Berkeley which might as well be its own little country of non-car-driving people.

Everyone hikes and bikes. Everywhere. All the time. After work, before work, during lunch, “real quick” on the weekends. There are so many hiking and biking trails everywhere, and in my view this gives everyone limited excuses to be not in shape in some fashion. Even I, with my diet of cheese fries and cereal, will pretty much have no reason to gain weight here because it is a mandatory hobby that everyone take up upon moving to this region. I will be in shape and love hiking or I will be shunned by the natives. One manager here even said she’d give me a bad review if I didn’t go on at least one hike while I was here. That’s totally not true and she was totally nice about it, but regardless I felt pressured and ergo went on my very first hike after work yesterday! I’m such a joiner. And today I am limping a bit, but it’s all good.

I feel turrible, just turrible, about missing my Thursday posting, but you all lived through the day without me, obvs. Happy Friday!

Left my parka in Virginia. Which is bad since it’s FREEZING COLD here.

Oh, the land of fruits and nuts. The People’s Republic of California. It is a large state, and spans pretty much the entirety of the west coast from north to south, which you’d know unless you skipped all of elementary school. I said pretty much. So apparently when people talk about “sunny California” they actually only mean LA and/or San Diego, since San Francisco at this time of year is really more like the fictional vampire-ridden town of Forks, only with high-rises and turrible traffic.

In fact, and apparently everyone knew this except for me, it is freezing cold and foggy in San Francisco pretty much all the time. If I had a dime for every time someone told me the little anecdote about Mark Twain saying, “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco,” I’d be able to reimburse myself for my plane ticket out here, my Hertz rental car, and the security deposit on my new fancy schmancy apartment. Seriously. And it hasn’t even been 2 weeks. Luckily for me, I had the foresight to look up regional weather patterns prior to making the trek out here so I had a couple (couple = 2) cardigans and a cute spring jacket with 3/4 length sleeves with me! Which of course all turned out to be NOT ENOUGH coverage even when worn all at the same time.

But enough complaining, because honestly I don’t even live in true San Francisco so the frigid summer temperatures don’t affect me all that much. But still. Picture my surprise/goosebumps when Roomz and I first hit fresh air off the airplane only to discover that we were both mistakenly dressed for Hawaii. Brnt. Shivering on my part began .5 seconds later. Luckily as I said, we ended up choosing to live in the east-most area that is still considered East Bay, and thanks to a little baby mountain range we are protected from the bizarre fog that literally rolls in with zero notice and takes the temps down 20 degrees in .5 seconds. It’s nice, but also sort of weird since when we leave for work in the morning, it’s hovering around 50. By lunch, I’m still needing a cardigan, but when we leave for the day in the evening, it’s hovering around 90. Weird! Hard to complain since typically I’d be drenched in sweat walking to my car in the gloriously hot and humid Richmond summers. I miss them, but not that much.

I’m adjusting well though, since the other great thing about this cute little town we picked is that it has a famous shopping district! [Poppa Pants, no need to read further.] That’s right folks, the downtown area, complete with wine bars, 20 Chinese and Thai restaurants, a couple diners, and the best mall in the world is just a short trolley ride away! Imagine my joy when I discovered that not only do we live SO close to this mecca, but I can ride a trolley to get there. Ok fine it’s just a bus that looks like a trolley, but whatevs. And BONUS, the trolley is free. You know, Miss Sassy always pinching pennies where she can. So to combat not having appropriate clothing, I of course have hit up sales looking to Californiarize my work wardrobe. It has worked gloriously thus far (on a budget, obvs) and I am thoroughly pleased. Also I never understood boots in the summer (what is the point of a “summer bootie” when I want to wear as little as possible…) and was clearly full of judgement for ladies wearing suede boots in August, but since all weather in the summer is not 100+ degrees with 100 billion percent humidity, I get it now! And will soon be adding these to my collection (I know, they’re so cute right!). Stoked. Little East Coast girl, learning some fashion/life lessons. How quaint.

And look at me keeping to my posting schedule. Happy Monday, ya’ll!

Holy Liberals, Batman! It’s California!

Ohmahgah! So I know it’s been a gagillion years since there’s been fresh juice from this orange, but a quick glance at my reader odometer tells me readership is not down that much. Thanks ya’ll. So what the heck has been happening? Tons and lots and mucho. Once again my social calendar is jam packed to the brim, men all up on my cell phone, ladies all jealous of my fab new haircut and shoe collection. And again just joking. Quick run-down: I moved out of my fab ex-roommates’ house (miss you girls) in Raleigh and came back to live at Casa di Momma Sassy and Poppa Pants for 4 weeks whilst enduring the torture that is 3 weeks of IT training put upon me by my gainful employer. I saw everyone possible, had a fun girls weekend, planned an awesome reunion trip to DC that I unfortunately had to bail on because hey! I moved to California!

There are so many stories I could tell/will tell eventually I’m sure, but for now I want to reflect on things that I have noticed initially that are SO different here on the left coast. Things that I have tabulated in my head over the last 7 days include but are not limited to the following items. There is no sweet tea here. Just “iced tea.” There are LOTS of Prius’s. Like LOTS. And people who drive them are more annoying than usual, with stickers on the back bragging that they passed some emissions test that every vehicle has to pass anyway in this state. Big freaking deal, you’re compliant with the law. There is no good college football, and no one really cares that there isn’t any good college football except for me apparently. I miss Chick-fil-a and Bojangles breakfast buiscuits and potatoes. Children are just as annoying here as they are anywhere else. Weed is about to be legalized here for realz, despite the fact that everyone knows it would get the hold-up from the Feds. I say it’s a good idea because then maybe California wouldn’t be about to declare bankruptcy every day. No one knows how to merge here, so that is something that reminds me of pretty much any place in the world I’ve been where merging is necessary. They love their organic yogurt here. Like in a weird obsessive way. They love organic anything here. The public transportation rocks. No one says “ya’ll” but me. Shampoo costs $20 instead of $6. Gas costs $90/gallon instead of just $2.50. Apartment hunting is just as difficult here as anywhere, but more expensive. A/C is not standard anywhere. Everyone has those weird looking shoe/sandal hybrids that I think are Fugly. The fog over San Francisco is gorgeous. It is not warm here like I thought it would be. And lastly, anyone who doesn’t have a Prius has a Mini just like me. It’s cool but also makes me feel unoriginal, BUT I bet they’ll all give me the peace sign back when I wave UNLIKE everyone in VA/NC who I waved to in a Mini. Jerks.

So that’s my quickie update! I have dubbed my new roomz Big D for lack of a creative genius moment/I’m tired of using Roomz and it’s confusing for all my previous roommates. He’s a nice guy and apparently likes to cook, which I see benefiting me in the future since we all know I enjoy bowls of cereal in liu of real meals on the reg. He doesn’t want to be talked about on this here jank so I will try to respect his wishes, but he must know (if he is reading) that if he keeps requesting to not be mentioned that the chances of me mentioning him increase. Anywho, we are getting along fine and both getting tired of being confused for a married couple. Buying mattresses together gives people that impression apparently, even when you are buying 2 queens instead of just one.

If anyone is coming to visit please do leave a note and we’ll plan some fun times! Alternatively, if you have any recommendations on places I should visit while I am here let me know! I have about 20 weekends until I move away, and I can’t wait to fill them all.

PS! New functions thanks to WordPress/whoever designed my theme! Rate enties, “Like” entries, subscribe to MSP! Subscribers get extra benefits, like being notified ASAP when I post something, and possibly future giveaways. I just came up with that but seriously it could happen. So DO IT.

East Coast Girls Are Hip, Southern Girls Knock You Out

Yes, I botched the lyrics, but it was on purpose for the sake of the title. And the reason that I am semi-quoting the Beach Boys’ famous song about California girls is because I’m about to become one! I don’t actually think I will “become” a California girl as I am not even sure what that entails, but I am at the very least moving there for my next rotation, and will pose as a California girl and/or a disastrously misplaced east coast girl living on the west coast for the next 6 months. Exciting! So I have embarked yet again into the wilderness that is Craigslist to try to find someone equally as awesome as my current landlord. I am highly skeptical since she is, like, super awesome, but I am of course maintaining a positive attitude.

Unlike the Raleigh area, Pleasant Hill is one of mucho cities in the San Francisco Bay area. There are a billion choices of little neighborhoods, town-ish places, etc. to choose from. Should I live 2 seconds from work again like I did here? Benefits: I am always late, a lesser commute seems to be helpful. Non-benefit: lack of social scene, lack of urban coolness. Should I live in San Fran and try my hand at super cool west coast urban living? Benefits: being a super cool west coast urbanite. Non-benefit: 30 or 40 minute commute, circa my first rotation in the ‘Mond going to and from Goochland, only longer and with more traffic. Hm. Other options include Berkeley, which looks pretty cute and is very conveniently located halfway between work and the super cool urbanism of SanFran (new word: urbanism). Benefits: awesome location, cute Victorian homes. Non-benefits/potential downsides: I am not a vegetarian by any stretch and did not vote for Obama…two things I fear will disqualify me from living in this region. But again, open minds, one and all. I’m not worried, truly, since I will be oozing southern charm and class from every pore. JP ya’ll.

I am also contemplating roommate choices. There are infinitely more dudes looking for roommates than there are ladies. While we could suppose why this is all day, we can skip that and move right on to the real question: can I or can I not live with a boy that I don’t know? There are so many benefits to living with dudes in my opinion, and should the occasion ever arise that I could live with any of my loving dude friends I would jump at the chance (with few exceptions), especially given that most of them are cleaner than me. Bonus. [Whether they would jump at the chance to live with me…whole other story.] But boys I don’t know are completely different. Benefits include the following: 1) Body guarding. Nothing like a big strong live-in dude to defend me from bad guys. 2) Reaching things in high up places. I have mentioned this before, and I know not all dudes are tall but I also know all dudes are taller than me. 3) Other dude friends. I love dudes, and not just because I may or may not simply love men, I’m one of those girls who refers to herself as a “guys’ gal.” Whatever that means. I’ve always had more dude friends than girls, so whatever. 4) Less drama! Admittedly, my current situation is a drama-free zone (which I love love love. Roomz, you rock) but we all know girls living together increases the drama possibilities by 64,789 times. Dudes are just simpler creatures, and I really enjoy this.

Non-benefits of living with a guy include the following: 1) Extreme skepticism from Momma Sassy and Poppa Pants. You may say it shouldn’t matter what they think but ya’ll they know how to play the co-ed living tsk-tsk card, and will play it until I am married and probably even then. Threats include everything from death to impregnation to “pig-sty bathrooms,” all of which are undesirable, and it’s extremely exhausting to defend all of this 24/7. 2) Some men are gross – see previous comment about pig-sties. Admit it dudes. You are, as a gender in general, just not delicate. It could be dangerous to my health. 3) He could be a skeeze. It’s always possible, and then I could end up…impregnated. Ahem. Anywho. Things to consider. I will obviously report back later.

Moving to CA means that this is my last week in R-town and I must admit I am close to devastated. I have come to love this place and will miss it and my new pals dearly. Also, side note, I’ll be back in Richmond for the rest of the month of July so give me a holler on my cellular device if you’re around! Miss Sassy wants to see you and your beautiful faces.

PS! If anyone knows anyone close to San Fran or has any tips for me please holler! Comments welcome. Visits encouraged. Sass present at all times.