Life In Cali

My desk!

A lot has happened in the last year, and I must say, moving to California has definitely been one of the more interesting events. I’ve been working for Citrix since March 2010 and have loved every minute of it. My team is awesome and the work I do is actually interesting. I was a contractor for just over a year until finally being converted to full-time last week, with the perk of relocating to the Santa Clara office! Suuuper-excited to be here. I got here about a week ago and started work last Monday. They even decorated my work area with all my new gadgets and laptop. :) I’m leasing an apartment 15 minutes away from the office (so convenient; I HATE traffic). My roommate is the coolest. He’s a British guy, a couple years younger than me, and works in a similar field. Very nice guy and he makes these awesome fruit smoothies. Can’t ask for much more. lol. The apartment is beautiful too. I bought practically everything for my room from Target, but I’m happy with the way it came out. :) I chose teal and red as my highlight colors.

I wanted to buy a painting to hang above my bed but realized how tricky it would be to get a painting that matched my room colors, so I decided to paint one myself. I went to Michael’s and sort of created the design of what I wanted to paint in my head. Ideas came to me as I went, and I ended up with a Mother Nature theme featuring a girl with flowing hair full of life. I’m happy with how it came out and it matches my room nicely. I used tan paint in it as well to pull out the tan colored wall behind my bed. I figured I’d at least make the best of the wall color since I was stuck with it. Painting this took up all of last weekend but I’m glad I did it. It gives my room personality. :)

My painting

My bedroom!

I also bought a TV stand and bookshelf set that I had to screw together myself (it was an interesting experience to say the least) but I managed to get it done without aggravating my back too badly. I bought a 34″ LG TV and set up my xBox; Call of Duty and Netflix bring me SUCH joy. Who needs cable? …although I effectively missed the last few games of the NBA finals because of this…but I’m not sure how well I would’ve handled watching the Heat give up the championship anyway. Sigh. I think my favorite thing about my apartment complex is the sound of all the birds chirping at my window. It’s one of the most relaxing sounds. Right up there with rainstorms and good music.

I had my car shipped out here, and of course it’s badly in need of a car wash. Sad thing is, there’s a car wash center pretty much across the street from where I live and I still haven’t taken my car there. It rained a few days ago, which I was excited about because I thought it would improve the state of my car, but it dried into the same dirty coat of gray that it had before. Womp. I really need to take care of that. Thing is, after paying for it to get shipped out here in the first place, and after shipping several boxes here and furnishing an entire bedroom and going grocery shopping to stock the apartment with food and cookware, even a $30 car wash sounds unreasonable right now. I’m waiting for my first paycheck to arrive before I get fancy.

Speaking of which, California takes out an INSANE amount of taxes. I mean, seriously. Robbery, I tell you. I’m not looking forward to seeing how much money will be missing from my paychecks. And gas prices ain’t cute, either. Only a few more cents a gallon than Florida, but still. Everything else seems normal; food is thankfully about the same cost. I’m glad that I live close to the office, too. I will need to figure out exactly where I want to live after my lease is up though. Where I stay now is a nice area and close to work, but it’s BORING out here. San Francisco is supposedly the place to be. I hear it’s loads of fun with plenty of things to do and places to see. Problem is, traffic out here is highly unfavorable. It would take me over an hour to drive to work in the morning…which translates to having to wake up an hour earlier in the morning (not a good look). Maybe I’ll live half way between the city and the office; I hear Palo Alto is nice. My lease ends in December so at least I have time to explore the area.

Mountains on the horizon!

Overall, I definitely like Cali so far. The weather is nice; sunny and cool at the same time, without the humidity that suffocates Florida during this time of the year. Plus, there are mountains on the horizon. It’s beautiful. Probably something that Californians take for granted, like how Floridians take the warm-watered beaches for granted, but that’s usually how it goes. I hear beach water here is unwelcoming, but at least my everyday view is spectacular. Silicon Valley itself is a cool place to work because so many tech companies are in the area: Apple, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, you name it. And the area is so diverse. I’m used to seeing Caribbeans everywhere I go (which I dearly miss), which isn’t the case here; there are a lot of Indians and Asians, which is actually cool because it means there are sooo many great places to eat. My team went to a Chinese restaurant for lunch today called Yan Can. The food was SO fresh and tasty. I’m really looking forward to expanding my palette while living here.

So far, everyone is very nice out here, and they sure drive a heck of a lot better than Floridians. Some things are just weird adjustments for me though, like having the CalTrain alongside major roads and shopping for food at Safeway instead of Publix. Living in an apartment is definitely cool and exciting, but the biggest adjustment for me is being waaaay out here with no local family and very few friends. I need to get out more, lol. I have fam in L.A. but I hear that’s not as close as I initially thought it was. :( Another weird thing is the time difference. By the time I settle in at home after work, it’s already too late on the east coast to call anyone unless they’re night owls like me. It does feel kind of cool though; it almost feels like I’m in a different universe. The sun even feels like it sets differently here. It doesn’t get dark until 9pm, which is awesome. It’s still too soon to know exactly what the pros/cons of living here are, but a comprehensive list so far is as follows:


  • beautiful scenery and weather
  • great plaes to eat
  • casinos/poker rooms! (HUGE plus)
  • awesome job located in Silicon Valley
  • lots of diversity and liberalism


  • traffic suuuucks
  • state taxes (eww.)
  • not many Caribbeans (as far as I can tell)
  • boring area (at least where I live)
  • too far from L.A. (and the east coast. lol)

Hopefully everything balances out. I just need to get out more, explore the city and enjoy the scenery. I’m happy to be here. :)

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