Tag Archives: california

Getting to Know San Diego

10 Dec

I’ve now been a San Diego resident for about 2 months (although it still isn’t driver’s license official – add that to the “To Do” list). Two months has been enough to get a feel for the area, find some favorite places to eat, and drive around without getting lost. It has also been enough time to notice differences between here and home – besides the obvious things, like weather and accents – and to recognize things that comprise San Diego’s “personality”. I shall enumerate here, since that was the intended purpose of this blog – documenting the transition from East Coast to West Coast.

For example, there are ZERO Dunkin Donuts in San Diego (or southern California, for that matter). If you are a NY/NJ/PA person, you know that Dunkin Donuts litter the streets, with their small pink and orange storefronts playing mecca to the working schlubs of the East Coast. I have never been a big DD fan – I think their coffee tastes like bitter water and while I love their donuts, my stomach does NOT love me after eating one. However, as soon as I noticed they weren’t out here, I started to miss them. I don’t understand why they haven’t made their way out here yet (although rumor has it that over 100 will open out here in 2014) but I guess Californians prefer burritos and lettuce to donuts and coffee.

One of the first things I tried to do when I moved out here was figure out the major roads. This has proven more difficult than I anticipated. Having spent most of my life in New Jersey, I got used to the basic idea that if I ever needed to get anywhere, the Garden State Parkway or the Turnpike would take me there. San Diego, and I guess California in general, is different. There are approximately 873621990 different highways/freeways here. If you want to get anywhere, you have to take three different major highways to do it. From our apartment alone, we can quickly hop on CA-94, CA-163, I-5, or I-15, and they are all connected in weird, convoluted ways. Also, the direction I am coming from on a particular highway usually denotes which exit I get off of – for example, just because I get off at the B-Street exit on I-5 North does NOT mean I get off on the B street exit from I-5 South. In fact, if I want to get home from I-5 South without making unnecessary detours, I would get off on the CA-94 exit and take that to G street. Obviously, if you don’t live around here, you have no idea what I am talking about, but it is as convoluted as it seems. I purposely drive around sometimes without any GPS assistance so I can get lost and find my way home. It is the only way to really figure all this crap out. I never thought I would miss the Garden State Parkway, but I do. Go figure.

In addition to the strange highway to highway to highway driving pattern here, the drivers themselves are also strange. Maybe it is because I come from a very aggressive driving state, but nobody here honks their horn. Ever. I got beeped at once since I moved here, and the driver had Florida plates. I’ve seen drivers sit and stare at cars in front of them as a light turns from red to green and nobody moves and nobody honks. I broke the horn in my first car from pounding it so much, so the fact that the instinct to punch the horn as soon as a light turns green and the first car in line doesn’t move is not in these drivers is strange to me.

I’ve already mentioned the whole delivery issue in previous posts but I am going to highlight that again here because DAAAAAMMMMITTTTT if I do not miss Chinese delivery. Or the days of cheap delivery. Any place that delivers around here charges stupid delivery fees (i.e., 4.99 + 15% of your bill). I’m starting to think it is because most of these delivery people have to take three highways to get anywhere, so I guess it makes sense, but still.

There are also a lot of really great things out here, I know I sound like I am hating on it, but I’m not. I think it is part of the acclimation process to immediately notice the stuff that is weird or different. I’m actually starting to really like the area, especially the particular neighborhood that we live in. We live in the Golden Hill section of San Diego, which is just south of South Park, and the whole area is very cute. When I was researching apartments and neighborhoods before I moved out here, I consistently heard that the Golden Hill/South Park/North Park sections of San Diego were the “Brooklyns of San Diego” so I figured they would be the most suited to my general preferences and lifestyle. And, like most times in life, I was correct. I’ve gotten Sam (the guy) to do lots of walking around this area, and there are ton of really cute stores and restaurants and there are always little events going on. The more I explore the area, the more I really like it.

Also, San Diego weather wins. I miss the heat, but everyday here is like perpetual Spring, and that is kind of nice. I still haven’t learned how to properly layer for the weather, since it is warm during the day but chillier at night, but I am trying.

Nothing new on the job front. Still trying to pursue that whole advertising/marketing thing, but all of these employers want portfolios. Anybody know how to make a portfolio? I know there are schools that you can go to where you essentially spend a year building a portfolio, but I don’t have an extra $40,000 lying around to do that. I wish I saved the crap I did in college – everybody mocks hoarder types but I wish I hoarded all the WONDERFUL garbage I had to do for my copywriting and graphic design classes. Sigh.

On that note, I shall end things with a pic of the cats. Because they are the cutest. And the apartment still has a LOOOOOOONG way to go. Unpacking and arranging has been stalled momentarily by funding issues. It drives me crazy that there are still unpacked boxes and a TV on the floor, but it is what it is. Job me San Diego. Seriously.

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Playing Catch Up

22 Oct

This is why I was always hesitant to start a blog, because I knew I would post consistently for a week or two, get bored, forget about it, and then feel stupid about my lack of follow through and come back to posting…Sigh. ADD FTW (FTW = For The Win).

So, there’s a lot to catch up on. Also, this blog has a real reason to exist now since I have actually, finally, moved to San Diego. I have been a San Diego resident for a whole 7 days, or however many days it has been since 10/15/13.

Leaving was hard. My entire family is pretty much an East Coast crew and I have a really great group of friends in the NJ/NY area, as well. Saying goodbye to everyone was hard, but considering I have moved around a bit, I guess one gets used to saying goodbye.

Packing to move was an adventure in and of itself, considering I am a bit of a clothing/shoe/beauty product hoarder. With a little help from Mom, we managed to fit everything that I hadn’t shipped to San Diego into three large (and very heavy) suitcases. As for the cats, I ordered two “airline approved” pet carriers from Petco, and spent a week spraying them with feline pheromone liquid that I got from the vet’s office. When the time came to put them into the carriers, they were actually surprisingly cooperative. It seems that the pheromone stuff worked. If I am spelling pheromone wrong, btw, it is because I am not a scientist AND I am too lazy to get up and read the bottle.

After everything was packed and the kitties were secured, Dad and I got into the car with our cargo and drove off to JFK. The cats were super well behaved in the car – no crying or screaming.

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Then came the whole airport process which GREATLY stresses me out already, but add two kitties to the equation and it becomes infinitely more stressful. First, I did curbside check in and my curbside check in guy was grouchy as f*ck. He was all “oh your bags are overweight and you have to PAY.” And I wanted to be like, no sh*t dumdum, do you not see the debit card in my hand. Instead, I smiled. Sigh.

Then came going through security. One of the TSA officers informed me I would have to take both cats out of their carriers and walk through the crazy metal/bomb/shank/nuclear device detector with them. I asked to speak to his supervisor so I could get a private room where the cats could hang while they ran their bags through security. And it went on like this – back and forth trying to speak to a supervisor for a good 15 minutes and to make a long story short, I got a private room, but also got an invasive pat down and some pissed off looks from TSA officers.

After all this, the cats and I got Jamba Juice, where I proceeded to take some of the anti-anxiety meds prescribed to the cats (they are actually meant for people, but cats can take them, too). Everything else was just fine – getting on the plane, take off, the flight, and landing. The guy met me at the airport with flowers and all was well.

I have been here almost a week and my week has mostly consisted of organizing, unpacking, and buying odds and ends. We don’t have a lot of furniture yet, so things are kind of in a disarray, but I have managed to put SOME things together so far:

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We also had cable and internet put in (FYI: Cox is not an awesome cable company. And as I write this, my internet just dropped. Fail Cox, fail) and purchased a new TV from Walmart – $248 for 42 inches, not terrible. The guy and I got library cards on Saturday because I am a nerd. This week I am focused on getting furniture and going to the DMV to handle all that official business.

San Diego is beautiful – the weather is PERFECT (legit, not an exaggeration). First real complaint though? You can’t order food here like you can in the NJ/NY area. GrubHub informs me that there are exactly ZERO Chinese food places that deliver to my address. Granted, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t any Chinese restaurants but if you use GrubHub or Seamless or Delivery.com back in NJ or NYC, it is Chinese food for DAYSSSSSSS. Yes, I can order Thai food or Sushi here, but F that noise. I don’t want your fancy chicken satay or $15 sushi rolls – I want sesame chicken with greasy fried rice. On top of the fact that it is hard to find Chinese food that delivers around here, the charges for delivery here are RIDICULOUS, as are the minimum dollar amounts required for delivery. I tried to order some chicken teriyaki with sushi last night, and my delivery minimum was $20 AND the fee for delivery ended up being almost $9.00 because the restaurant charged a flat $5.95 delivery fee PLUS 15% of my total order amount. No SAN DIEGO, NO. Go home, you’re drunk.

That is all for complaints. On the positive side, I am going to have some serious Tina Turner legs soon given that we live on top of a series of hills that look like this:

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Dying every time I walk home.

That’s it for now…..

Quickie Post

22 Sep

These are Jell-O Dirt Cups and they are amazing.  And there’s Oreo bits in them. And flower sprinkles. Everybody should buy them. I am not paid to endorse Jell-O, I am just very passionate about novelty food items. You can find these by the cheese (or thereabouts) at the grocery store. You’re welcome.

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As for the whole moving thing, that UBox should be packed up and ready to go tomorrow. Then it will take the 12 day journey to San Diego where Sam and whoever is unlucky enough to agree to help him will move all of the stuff out of it into the new apartment, I told Sam we could wait to unload it until I got there, but I didn’t mean it. I don’t want to move anything anymore. I’m tired of moving (for the time being….that’ll change).

Only 2 weeks left at my job and only about 3 weeks until I leave New Jersey, so weird. Also, I should move far away from friends and family more often because everyone is taking me out to eat and paying. My friends are the best.

Moving is for Ballers

9 Sep

I have moved a lot in general, but those moves were either (1) oh hey, my parents are moving and since abandoning me would necessitate intervention by child welfare, I have to go with them; (2) moving to college with barely any belongings; (3) moving away from college in a parent-funded style; or (4) relatively local.

I say this because I have been pricing and shopping a cross-country move and gotdamn if it isn’t the most expensive thing ever. U-Haul would have me pay $2,300 to rent a truck, moving companies ask for $1,500 (and don’t guarantee some of your stuff won’t arrive royally f-ed), and renting a car has this very insane thing called a “one way charge” that makes a cross country car rental about $1200.

I really don’t have a lot of stuff. I have been slowly getting rid of stuff because I feel that it is common sense that the less stuff you have, the easier and cheaper it is to move. But nope. I have a 15×5 storage that is only about half full. I have some stuff in my Dad’s house. Not a huge load.

Anybody know a cheap way to do it? Anybody own a moving company and like me enough to give me like a 70% discount?

Another moving complaint? Living at my Dad’s house for a month and living out of boxes and bags because half my clothes are packed, a quarter are in garbage bags, and another quarter are scattered around my room. The clothing situation is as follows:

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(These pics are very haphazardly placed all over this post, and I am not sorry. Blog newbie. I get a pass).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sigh. Did I mention I also have to find a way to get these two cross-country:

 

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So, any tips on a cheap cross country move for a cat lady with really nice dishes and a department store level of clothes? OR alternatively, anybody with a lot of extra money that they don’t know how to put to good use?