Tag Archives: cats

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…..

I’m The Batman of Moving

16 Sep

I am not sure how moving a whole lot has anything to do with being Batman, or how one can be the “Batman” of moving, but I am watching “The Dark Knight Rises” right now and I moved more crap today, so I feel like it is appropriate to be a Batman of moving.

I finally decided on a mode of transportation for this whole move deal. First, it will be travel by air for me and the kitties via the JETPAWS program. To break it down for you, the JETPAWS program is JetBlue’s “We Fly Pets Program” and from what I can tell, it isn’t really a program, but just me exchanging American dollars for permission to bring my cats on the plane. I specifically asked the lady on the phone when I was booking the flight if there were any perks for me or the cats and she was very blunt, and maybe a little incredulous, with her “um no.” I just don’t think you should give something a name, especially a name as cute as JETPAWS, and call it a program if there isn’t more to it.

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Anyway, if anybody ever needed to bring their pet on a plane, the way it works is: (1) call JetBlue and say “Hey I need to bring my animal who isn’t vicious or rabid on the plane; (2) JetBlue tells you there is or isn’t room, and then charges you $100 for your pet; (3) book an EXTRA seat and pay an extra $100 because you have not one, but two, kitties; (planning ahead) (4) Go to the vet and obtain strong sedatives for cats; (5) go to the airport and check in and have the counter people look at your cats, because apparently that’s a thing; (6) go through security and take your heavily drugged cats out of their carriers so security can make sure you aren’t carrying a bomb (like I would seriously blow up my cats, jerkoffs); (7) buy Jamba Juice because you’re alive so duh; (8) Get on the plane and pray that cat drugs last for lots of hours or else you’re going to be subjected to crying and the smell of cat piss at some point during your flight.

As for the load of crap I have, that is going via UHaul’s UBOX program which is essentially you load all your crap into this wooden box shaped like a storage unit and then when you’re ready, a big tractor trailer comes and picks it up and brings it to California. This option was about $1550 when all was said and done, and while that’s a crap ton of money that I don’t have, it was the best option in terms of price, amount of labor required, and ultimate control over my things. I had been paranoid that if I hired movers, they would toss my boxes around and break everything, because writing ‘Fragile’ all over your boxes means NOTHING to anyone. Dad and I spent the entire morning, and by morning, I mean from like 11-2:30 because it’s Sunday and I don’t wake up for anyone, moving my stuff from Public Storage into the UBOX.

image_1 image_2 image_3 image_4That is a UBOX and if you don’t have a ton of stuff, it is actually pretty decent and very easy. You can either have them drop it off at your house and you can load from home, and have them pick it up whenever (extra $200) OR you can just load the box at their storage facility and have them pick it up for shipping whenever (no charge). I mostly just have DVDs, kitchen crap, and clothes, so one box was more than enough.

Oh and I mentioned it was $1550 for all of this right? And my flight, after paying for TWO seats like an obese person and two pet fees, was $595? I was mildly stressing these things, as I am poor, and I didn’t want to keep asking Navy guy to give me all his dollars. And then, Dad and I went to Mt. Airy Casino on Saturday and either the Beach Boys (if any of them are dead) or Jesus or the spirit of pre-medicated Britney felt the stress vibes I was sending into the universe and sent me this:

image_5We walked into the casino, I sat down at this machine because it played music and the seat vibrated funny, pressed the “spin” button three times, and it was like 80,000 CREDITS!!!! And the idiot in me who doesn’t understand math was like I JUST WON 8,000 DOLLARS! And then it printed out $800 and that was OK too. Another $200 at the blackjack table and most of the UBOX is paid for and I feel like the universe is understanding my needs (come next post and I will talk about how I get my messages out to the universe).

So, my UBOX is mostly full, except for the mass quantity of clothes and shoes I have here and some random odds and ends. I am kind of beat, not to mention BATTERED:

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But not as beat as this guy:

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So now I am going to sit and whine about my scratched arm, while my Dad sleeps, until I realize nobody is listening, and then I will go upstairs and eat chips while I sort through my clothes.

Have a lovely Sunday everybody. Only 30 more days until I leave…..

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?