Tag Archives: bay area

2015: Year End Job Hunt

I’ve updated this blog approximately four times this year. Once to ring it in. Once for a blog carnival. Once, mid-year, to say “hey, maybe I should update this again?” And now finally, again, to say goodbye to 2015.

There are still two weeks left in the year, but by most people’s standards, it’s over. End of the year lists are out. Christmas is in less than ten days. Holiday gift exchange deadlines are coming up. (My first one is on Friday.) The year is effectively over.

This year I made more money than I ever have at a single job and then was let go due to financial strain. Strain I can’t help but feel I may have caused. Now, with 15 days left in the year, I’m still job hunting. I hope I don’t have to ring in the new year jobless, but it seems possible. I also just don’t want the stress of worrying about it over the holidays, as the holidays already cause undue stress, but I guess that’s just what’s in the cards this time around.

 

There are two things I’ve learned about being unemployed, and they are:

  1. You get very bored. There is very little to do when you don’t have a job and when you’re not applying for them. Even with TV shows to watch, books to read, apartments to clean, you run out of things to do.
  2. You get to see a lot more of your area. In the last two weeks, I’ve been to San Francisco more times than I have all year. I visited a city 45 minutes away and took four different freeways to get there. I passed this place and didn’t go in, but I might now that I know it’s there.

In 2016, I hope to have a job. That’s really all I’m shooting for this year. It’s not a New Year’s Resolution – I just need it to survive. Maybe my NYR should be updating this blog again, but eh. We’ll see. If I could see into the future, I probably wouldn’t even be writing this, huh? :P

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June ABCs, Part A, B, C

I’ve seen a meme going around many blogs I read which makes June all about posting alphabetically. Specifically, blogging about something in your life that starts with each letter of the alphabet everyday (or nearly everyday) throughout the month. Being that it’s already June 5th, and I’m running late as usual, I will post the first three letters today and (hopefully) keep posting daily for the rest of the month!

A is for Allentown

billyjoelallentown

Allentown is the name of the city in Pennsylvania where I did a lot of my growing up. It’s not particularly large, but it’s not small either, and most people haven’t heard of it. In fact, if people do know of it, it’s usually through the Billy Joel song of the same name. I grew up in the Center City portion, where crime was fairly common and most of the streets were basically alleyways. A week after my family finally moved out, a man was shot and killed right behind our old garage. I remember my neighborhood vividly and still often visit it via Google Maps Street View. There was a tiny garden in our tiny backyard, and it’s mostly been paved over last I checked, but an Earth Day sapling I got from school many years ago is still there and thriving. It’s big enough that it looks like it might knock over the garage and I feel oddly proud of that.

Goofy and homoerotic video aside, the song portrays the city and surrounding areas well. Which leads me to my next letter…

B is for Bethlehem

Bethlehem is one of Allentown’s neighboring cities, and if you ask the locals, Billy Joel’s song is actually it and Bethlehem Steel. The Steel was a fixture of Bethlehem and it’s surrounding areas for ages, but when it shut down in the 1960s, it put hundreds of people out of work and upset the economy in a way the area’s never really recovered from. Locals are very proud of it’s manufacturing history, but for some strange reason really aren’t into the Billy Joel song. The Steel building, which stood empty for decades, is now a casino and shopping mall.

I moved to Bethlehem the summer before my sophomore year of high school. I was attending Catholic school there, and while I was used to school being very conservative and oppressive, I found the city to be even more so. While living in Allentown I had been more interested in my personal safety and rarely went outside, in the very suburban Bethlehem I found a quiet community with loud opinions. It wasn’t until I transferred to the local performing arts school in my junior year that I started feeling welcome there, because despite it’s religious zealots, it also had a big downtown art scene, and I felt a little better when I wasn’t reminded daily I was going to hell.

I don’t know any songs named after my specific Bethlehem (there are 10 in the US alone), but here’s one named after one of them by Paula Cole. I can still relate to it rather well.

C is for California

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After finishing up college, my boyfriend and I packed up our tiny apartment and moved to the west coast. I was happy to leave the east coast behind for reasons that mostly related to the weather. His family was living in the Bay Area, so we moved in with them for a bit before finding our own place. I have a feeling we’ll be here for a long, long time.

Living here has been a huge improvement in practically every aspect of my life: my allergies bother me a lot less in this climate, I’ve made many like-mind friends, the weather is much more agreeable, and the people here seem much nicer than their east coast counterparts. And as I have mentioned before, this side of the country has an abundance of public restrooms, something Pennsylvania and much of the east coast as a whole sorely lacks.

The only problem I have is that the drivers here are simply not aggressive enough. In fact, I wonder call the driving style out here passive aggressive. Ah well, you can take the girl out of the east coast and all that.

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Go Ask Valis, Part 2

About a year ago, I introduced VALIS, a local tagger whose work I found in and around the East Bay. Today, I bring you more of their handy work. Enjoy.


Dumpster drawing.


Under a billboard.


Drip, drip, drip.


More trashcans.


Written in dust under a Despicable Me ad.


Spot the tag.

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Go Ask Valis

Since moving to the Bay Area, I’ve noticed a certain tagger was quite ubiquitous in my nook of the East Bay. That tagger is Valis. The name caught my attention immediately, as I like to read science fiction, and though I’m not his biggest fan, I’m aware of Philip K. Dick’s VALIS series. I haven’t read it yet, but the name always stood out to me. I’m not sure why, exactly – perhaps because of it’s similarity to the name “Alice”, one of my favorite names and fictional characters. But no matter the reason, this tagger caught my attention, and I’ve been doing my best to document their tags as I find them. Here are a few.

Valis 1
Near my favorite Subway.

Valis 2
Dumpster 1

Valis 3
Chained to a rock.

Valis 4
Outside the old Chamber of Commerce. (Possibly a copycat?)

Valis 5
Dumpster 2

I’ll share more as I find them.

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Ending Start

Hope you’re all having happy holidays. Here’s some photos I took this year that I sorta liked.

Share the Love

Uguu~

Tarte

99%

Some Inaba Bullshit

Sailor Moon Tattoo

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Coastal Differences No. 1

If there is one thing I have noticed since moving from Philadelphia to the Bay Area is the distinct increase in bathrooms. On the east coast, I spent a lot of time looking, and standing in line, for bathrooms. They were rarely anywhere, and even places that would have them, such as restaurants or cafes, would deny you access if you were not a patron.

But here, bathrooms are everywhere: Ross! CVS! Certain BART stations! Places I would have never considered looking for a bathroom on the east coast, like pet or grocery stores, have them in abundance! And because there are so many bathrooms, I almost never encounter lines, either. Stalls are almost always available, and I never have to wait too long. And rarely do I ever need to get a key! My tiny bladder and I are most grateful for all of this.

It does make me wonder why this coast tends to have more bathrooms than the one I’m from. What is it about the east coast that makes people stingy with their bathrooms? Is it the older buildings, that don’t take well to modern plumbing? Is it the general attitude problem the east coast has? Do people on the east coast just need to pee less? (My experiences point to “no.”)

I believe I’ll have to think on this. Possibly while on a public toilet.

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Out Like a Lamb

Winter is ending, and many of us are trading in snow for rain. Here, we’re not so much trading in as just getting lots and lots of rain, but that hasn’t stopped me from snapping some pictures with my phone.

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