June Gloom

Please enjoy this lengthy update from me. I have to tip my hat to the ever-amazing Alison for encouraging me to write. When you’re done reading her blog, please check out my pal Jes too as she travels to Seattle.


Might I interest you in some excuses as to the recent silence over here?I’ve been justifiably preoccupied. Moving and dealing with movers, unpacking and looking for fun government documents, trips to Target, Vons, Trader Joe’s, and the Manhattan Beach Library, and starting a new job, ended my 3 month stint of homelessness and unemployment. I chose to call it a mini-retirement, but let’s not haggle over semantics.

I left Ventura on Saturday, June 4th and moved to Manhattan Beach. Finally the last trip, driving my packed to the gills car, on US interstates. I’d misunderstood the movers’ ambiguous message, thinking they’d arrive on Sunday, June 5th. Nope, they were only loading the truck (my items were stored in Atlanta) which would ultimately deliver the items to me on June 16th. For 12 days a lovely Serta air mattress served as my bunk, and Trader Joe’s frozen food sustained me. I knew when everything arrived this brief interval of discomfort would quickly fade. And it has. The most important thing is that I now have internet.

I looked at a number of places from Redondo Beach, Hermosa Beach, and El Segundo to eastwards, towards Lawndale. The proximity and convenience of this spot to my job, Trader Joe’s, the beach, and nearby parks, made it an easy decision. For some strange reason not having a refrigerator is a thing out here. Nearly half of the places I perused had no fridge. Yes, you must provide your own fridge if there isn’t one. This spot also has a fridge and a gas stove in its favor. It’s old though. The walls are so thin you might as well say, “Bless you,” when you hear a neighbor sneeze.

Manhattan Beach, and the entire South Bay, flows with money. Every other car cruising by is a Maserati, Tesla, Ferrari, or a Benz or a Beemer. If you want to live near the beach and get a 2 bedroom, it’s $3500 a month. The weather, the food, the beach, the vibe, and the scenery, it’s all beautiful and it will cost you. Some call this cost the “Sunshine Tax.”

Dude it's June Gloom
Dude it’s June Gloom

One thing that is not beautiful is what the locals call June Gloom. There’s also May Gray. In the morning a thick, gray fog spreads out over the city. The clouds don’t leave until early afternoon, sometimes later. Some like it, they enjoy the cooler temperatures the fog brings. Not me, I demand sunny skies and warm temperatures at all times. That’s why I moved here! I won’t have to endure these awful 60 degree temperatures much longer. June Gloom is almost over.

I am learning a lot about marketing, writing, and the semiconductor industry at the new gig. I’m writing press releases again, something I haven’t done since 1999. I’m observing and noting the office rhythms, learning who does what, how do things get done, and which roles the players have.

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My rad 80’s style skateboard from Soul Performance

Skateboarding is something I do now. I even rode into work one day. However I am nowhere experienced enough to ride the deck along these busy streets. One weird move or fall and I could be under a truck. I do ride it around my place and I’m getting better. I’m learning how to stop more fluidly and turn with more control.

This past Thursday, June 23rd, my buds from the rocking Atlanta band, Big Jesus were in Echo Park. I excitedly drove through rush hour Los Angeles traffic to see my pals. They played a very short 30 minute set but those that saw it, saw a tight, rocking band with lots of confidence. To see their growth over the past few years was special. They’ve worked hard and I’ve said they’re the next band to break out of Atlanta. Don’t forget I used to sign bands. I’d definitely sign these guys.

Thank you bike, you served me well :(

While so many great things have happened, unfortunately my bicycle was stolen on June 20th. I locked it outside our office that morning. It was still there during my walking breaks. Around 4:30 I was outside on the phone when I noticed it was gone. I went into the nearby businesses to ask if anyone saw anything. They didn’t and it was gone. It’s a bummer, but I’ll get another bike and this time, a much stronger lock!

I started the Ketogenic way of eating (woe) back in April while I was in Ventura. When I moved without any of my cookware I was in a bind so I broke ketosis and ate carbs. I’m happy to be eating Ketogenic again! My goal is drop my body fat and gain muscle. After I get a bit more settled I find a decently priced gym where I can work out.

Today, June 26th, was a day of firsts. I had a first date. A first Bumble date. It was my first time in Downey (we met there as a halfway point) and it was my first date with a Filipino woman. While it wasn’t a love connection we both agreed to stay in touch. We’d talked on the phone several times previously and we texted almost every day. So I have a new California lady friend!

Before you go here’s what I’ve been digging.

Movies: Devil Wears Prada – This year marks the 10 year anniversary and I’ve always loved that film. Very inspiring.
Eye in the Sky – Excellent film with an excellent cast which asks hard questions about modern warfare.
Brothers Grimsby – I’m a Sacha Baron Cohen fan and this film might be his best yet.
The Martian – Simply an amazing and awesome film.
Embrace of the Serpent – Loved this film about an Amazonian shaman across several decades.

Shows: Maron – I’m a Marc Maron fan and this season may be my favorite so far.
GoT – I have a love/hate relationship with this show. I’ve wanted to quit watching it so many times but then something amazing happens.
Silicon Valley – One of the best comedies out now.

Music: Moz, Chairlift, my rad 80’s playlist, Steely Dan (I stupidly missed their recent show at the Hollywood Bowl)

Books: Spiritual Economics – I’m reading this a second time. This book is packed with gems on every single page.

That’s all for now. Thanks for hanging out with me. I promise to do better about updating. I have no excuses now, except laziness.

Slowly Becoming Californian

I have some more exciting news! Before I get to that, I want to own my lack of consistent posting here. Writing consistently is a tough discipline. To take it a step further, to write with precision, quality, humor, personality, and originality it’s a discipline and a huge time commitment.

To be fair I’ve been busy with important stuff: hiking, reading, laying by the pool, going to the beach, cooking for a keto diet, interviewing, and getting a job. That’s right. I GOT A JOB!

I’ve accepted a job with a semiconductor distributor. It’s a phenomenal opportunity and the work I’ll be doing is truly what I wanted to do. I’ll be writing blogs, making videos, posting on social media, and managing the company’s Internet presence.

The company’s in Hawthorne and I’ll be living in nearby Manhattan Beach. This area is known as the South Bay.

I’ve learned a lot, relaxed, and had so much fun during these 3 months off from the daily grind. Now it’s time to get back into the game, earn some more money, and plow ahead for a while. I’m excited to create this new chapter.

Please come visit!

 

HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT! I’M MOVING TO CALIFORNIA!

tl;dr: I’m moving to Los Angeles, California in March. One of the reasons I started this blog was to document the cross-country drive to California, as well as the new chapter of my life.

Ever had a dream, something you’ve wanted to do for years, something that has gnawed at you and never let go? For me that dream has been to live in Los Angeles. Since my first visit in 2000, the city put its hooks in me and never let go.

I’ve gone back and forth on going for years, made up excuses for why it wasn’t the right time. Then, I went to work on removing those excuses.

“I’m not leaving until I sell this house,” I said over and over. I sold my house in East Atlanta in 2014. The next excuse was, “I won’t leave until I get a job there first.” I had interviews at a few places, but being out of state made it nearly impossible to get a job there.

In January, the owner of the condo I’m leasing gave me notice, letting me know I needed to be out by March. She was selling it. I took that as a sign and as the time to go.

With a deadline of March in mind, I asked my amazing employer about possibly working in LA, but we couldn’t make it work. So I’m making a bet on myself, my skills, experience, talents, perseverance and connections. I’m leaving my secure, extraordinary job of 5.5 years.

I don’t have a job lined up. If you want to help me and have connections in Los Angeles, I would love to hear from you. Email me.

It’s scary. I’ve lived in Georgia my whole life. My roots are deep. But I am not the type of man who can live with myself asking, “What if?” and, “Should I have done it?” I could keep waiting, trying to get everything lined up perfectly before leaving. The next I thing I know I’d be 70. So I’m doing it now.

One of the main reasons I started blogging again was so I could document my drive cross-country, as well as this new chapter of my life. I am so excited to share this adventure.

I will hit the road at the beginning of March. I’m going to stop in New Orleans, Dallas, Austin, Las Cruces, the Grand Canyon, and Joshua Tree. I found out yesterday one of my best friends is able to join me on the drive.

I will miss my friends in Atlanta. I’m truly blessed to have so many great friends here. You’re welcome to come visit!

It’s bittersweet to say goodbye, but I’m grateful for this opportunity and thrilled for what’s ahead.

So goodbye ATLiens. So long Dirty South. Farewell Atlanta.

CALIFORNIA HERE I COME!