Friday, June 19, 2009

In My Short Time Here In California

I’ve learned:

Traffic. No matter where you are from, where you have driven, the traffic in LA is unique. Here, the terms ‘defensive driving’ and ‘situational awareness’ have completely new depths of meaning.

It DOES rain in Southern California.

Palm trees, left to their own devices are gnarly. (note So Cal terminology) Nothing like you see in the post cards.

No matter how my day was, if I have to park more than 2 buildings away from my apartment, the day sucked. Yesterday (last night) I got a “notice of intent to impound” sticker on my car. I am in building L. I have had to park as far away as building A.

I get the heebe jeebes (we’re talking serious panic attack here) when traffic makes me stop on the highway under a bridge. All I can think about is “squashed like a pancake”…

The barbed wire on the sign poles is to keep people off the signs, not necessarily for birds. Some guy was on the news, being convicted of vandalism on (tagging) the big green highway signs. He did over $100,000 in damage. Said he climbed up on them at night and painted away.


Pink Icing said...

hi there, found my way back, albeit briefly, and find you in LA!! Feels like I am in some kind of alternative universe....take care

Anonymous said...

Can I ask you some financial questions:

How much is your rent in LA? And how much would a similar flat cost in your hometown, in Indiana?

Your current job pays enough for all your expenses there, plus your tickets home, plus saving some?

You're still under some kind of short-term contract, right? But cant you work as a freelancer? Here (Europe) its pretty common, you just pass receipts for the money you get, no contract whatsoever. Do you have that there, and if so, why not try it?

Pink Icing said...

I'm wondering if you have been at Sturges??
A couple of my friends went - I'm soooooo envious

DNR said...

Anonymous -

The company has a deal with the apartment complex, they negotiated down to $1,800. Apartment is furnished, including linens, towels, pots, pans and dishes, everything. I only needed to bring my clothes. Normal price is $3,300. I’ve not rented an apartment in years, but, I believe the same in Indiana (Indianapolis) would go for $2,000, maybe a little less.

Barely. Not saving much, if any.

No. I’m an official employee now. Maybe I could (freelance) but being in my mid 40’s I like the security of actually working for a company. We (in the states) have ‘temp agencies’ (temporary agencies) that will help you find ‘contract’ work that can be short time (less that 6 months) or long term (up to 2 years). If I was younger and had less responsibilities, yea, sure. But not at this juncture in my life.

DNR said...

Tani - cant find you on FB. Maybe you can find me.

Had to go where there was work. Not 100% happy but am trying to make the best of it.

Anonymous said...

DNR: Thank you.

Your flats seem to be quite pricey. Even including everything (linens, appliances, etc), 1800 is more than enough for a VERY nice flat, for a single person, in most European capitals. 3300... even in central London, will give you a very good flat.

I understand that the older we are, the less we want short-term, unpredictable jobs. But for example, my father - who will be 60 next year - still prefers to work that way, because in the end he makes more money. He is a welder.

If you're a good professional, with a lot of experience, in your mid 40s... well, looking from afar, either you should start your own business, or try to freelance and be paid a little better, closer to home. I'd NEVER move across the country, leaving my family behind and saving close to nothing, just for some added "security".

But yeah - its always easy to talk about what other people should do.