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It's a valid question, then, as to why I left Orange County.
It's 2017 when I write this page, so let's set the wayback machine to 2004 or 2005. At the time, my ex wife and I were renting an apartment in east Garden Grove.
A pattern that had established itself for me was a string of what could be boiled down to crappy jobs. I consider them such because of the nature of the job or the nature of who I was working for - the manager was either a compulsive liar, a drug addict, a control freak, or we otherwise just did not get along. In two cases, it was retail. Much of it, however, boils down to cost of living. It was at some point that I realized that, on the pay I was taking in Orange County, I would never be able to afford a home such that I could not only live where I wanted, but get to work easily. Doubly so because all of the affordable homes were a significant distance away, and I did not have the means to purchase a car. (For those not from the area, the Los Angeles basin is very oriented to personal vehicles; while there's public transit, it needs work. Or perhaps, "needed" is a better word - it may have improved by now.)
The clincher was in 2004 or 2005, when walking to the post office from a bus stop as to pick up my mail. On the way there, I saw a 2-bedroom 1-bathroom house in the bad part of Garden Grove on a piece of land about the size of two Amtrak Superliner 2 cars - for $649,000. After yelling some choice words and then picking up the mail, I returned home and told Karmin about this, and we both agreed that we would need to leave the state if we had any hope of buying a home.
We considered, Chicago - but it's too cold in the winter.
We considered Phoenix - but it's too hot in the summer.
We considered Massachusetts, where most of her family is - but not only is it too cold in the winter, she did not want to be around her family at the time. (Just as well, as we since divorced.)
As time went on, we considered other ideas - and one of those happened to be Seattle, on the basis that I have friends in the area, along with a couple of friends who moved up here in 2005. (Well, OK, they're on Whidbey Island - so not entirely in Seattle.)
I started scheming how to do this in 2005, and then a sudden loss of a job significantly accelerated the plan to move. In early May of 2006, we shipped some of our belongings and moved up via Amtrak, leaving many of our belongings to be disposed of.
Since that time, things have moved up. A toxic marriage ended for me, I entered the tech industry, got a driver's license, went back to school, and am now (2017) in a position to possibly buy real estate for myself.
Even beyond this, the greater Seattle area speaks to me in beautiful ways that the Los Angeles area just cannot do. This is a place that I have seen parts of in my dreams - a good number of these places are some that I had, to my recollection, never seen before. I described it in a school paper thusly: In LA, there is stage magic; in Seattle, there is a strange magick.
The long and short of it is that there was simply no opportunity for me in the greater Los Angeles area. Here in Seattle, I found that opportunity.
And for those who are native to the region, sorry about the idiots who transplant here. I don't know them.