Saturday, July 26, 2008

Stuff I Don't Get (still)

Okay, it’s times like these that having some level of anonymity on a blog is nice. I can basically tell you what I’m thinking without facing the fallout of “Hey don’t say that about me!”

So, for this week, here’s what I don’t get: why would anyone voluntarily choose to live in California? I mean, if you were transferred there for work and it was like, move to the West Coast or else lose your job, then I can understand. I have a few friends who live in CA but still can’t understand what the big draw is. Here’s my reasons:

1. Wildfires. Do I really need to explain this one? Wildfires are everywhere in California. They aren’t a threat only to people who live in the mountains or people who go hiking. They are in your backyard, next to your mall, coming right across the highway you drive to work every day. My very good friend lives in San Diego on a cul-de-sac of 6 homes. In 2004, 3 of the 6 homes were burnt to the ground. No studs. Complete loss. Luckily her house escaped any damage at all. And the wildfires are not a random occurrence. They happen every single year for many months at a time. Check out this article written by a woman who watched as 7 fires raged around her. She called the number for “Tell me what road to take to get me the hell out of here” and was basically told, “We don’t know. There are so many fires we don’t know what roads are clear. Good luck to ya!”

2. Earthquakes. So, have you heard that California gets earthquakes every once in a while? I found this cool site that maps the recent earthquake activity. It breaks it down into the last week, the last day, and the last hour. Hmmm…. Earthquakes in the last hour have their own category. Not liking that possibility.

3. The Price of Homes. The friends I have who live in CA both concur that both they and their spouses have to work in order to afford to own a home. They simply cannot live on one income. I guess maybe it can work, but when the median home price for the whole state is near $500K, I start to understand their predicament.

4. Random Sinkholes - Okay, it's bad enough that you have to pay about $1 million for a home in La Jolla, California, but to have it destroyed by a random sinkhole really makes a person grind their beautiful white veneered teeth. Serves 'em right for working hard (or exploiting some boy band) and buying a house near the beach, right?

5. Mudslides - If the other natural disasters weren't enough, California has mudslides too. Not just the kind that make a mess. We're talking, the kind that destroy homes. It reminds me of the story that Jesus tells about the man who builds his house upon the sand.... and the rains came down.... you know the rest.

6. Smog - Hi! (cough, cough) How's the (cough) weather today? (cough) The smog in California is among the worst in the country. Yes there are places along the east coast that give them a run for their money but California is famous for the air pollution they produce.

7. The price of Gasoline - Everyone in the US is feeling the sting of the rising gas prices. If you want to be stung extra hard, go to California. Their gas prices are the highest in the USA, according to this website. So, basically, if you want to drive in California, you're not only contributing to the horrible air pollution but you're also paying through the nose for it.

I guess the only saving grace of California is that they don't experience hurricanes. Yes, the weather in Southern California is beautiful but considering all the other things that go along with living in Southern California, I see the beautiful weather as a reason to VISIT, not live there.

To my readers who live in California, I am sure you could give me a litany of reasons why CA is the best state in the nation. I have many more reasons that I would never live in California, but I will refrain from listing them here so as not to look like a total a-hole. Let's just say, I am not a liberal and I am a legal American citizen. Add to that all the issues listed above and I'm staying put for now. 'Nuff said.

Okay, now that I may have offended you, tell me where you would NEVER live and why.


Bridgett said...

I would never live in California. You have summed it up for me. It is a beautiful place. I have been many times. But it is not hospitable. I lived in Palm Springs as a child. Ugh.

I have a friend in the Ozarks who says that even ticks have a purpose--they keep the Californians away. People choose places for all sorts of reasons.

Did you mention water? Living by the confluence of two major rivers, water ranks pretty high for me.

quitecontrary1977 said...

i have friends in Cali.. they have earthquakes and what-not, but the place is really beautiful. but i'm from mississippi, where everything is ugly. i'd take my chances on weather dangers!

Lisa@verybusymomwith4 said...

Spoken like a true Texan ;)

(You'd be surprised how many clients my husband has (he's a realtor) from California moving here for many reasons mentioned.

But they do have Brad Pitt..wait he moved--ugh I'll stay in the Lone Star State

Donna-Michele said...

I'd prefer never to live in ANY big city.

I've lived up and down the East Coast and in Oregon... I found nice things each place. I enjoyed Northern Calfornia, and could live there.

We are now in Southern Maryland, in the country. We live on two acres with a small creek, our house is back in the woods. We have privacy. We are within 2 hrs of snow skiing and the beach. We have fresh seafood, pretty clean water and relatively low toxic levels for an East Coast state. We have a wide variety of not-dangerous-wild-life and peace and quiet.

I dont think there is any state I absolutely wouldnt live in, though I prefer the country and to be near water (at least a clean water creek).