alexr_rwx: (Default)
[personal profile] alexr_rwx
Maaaan. Everything seems dumb and hopeless recently.

I need to get some *wins* somewhere. I need to take better care of myself. I feel lonely a lot, and like I'm not making progress on anything useful.

It's not totally obvious what I've got to *contribute*, either.

...

I did have a really nice visit with my dad recently, over the 4th weekend. We cycled from the house to Google and looked around and ate lunch. We visited with his siblings, who were visiting to see our relatives who live up in wine country. (their uncle and aunt; he's my grandmother's little brother) ... it was nice to see the family.

...

I need to feel like I'm making progress. I feel like I'm kind of spinning my wheels, and I get freaked out about living and working here, often.

The Bay Area makes me freak the hell out. I feel terrible about it, but I often can't make myself go up to the city. SF is really stressful, getting to SF is really stressful, *being* in SF is really stressful, being invited to things and then laming out is really stressful. It's dumb as hell and I hate this about myself. I should just person up and fuckin' go to the city. (nb: I am more than happy to go to the city if it's to see your artistic performance or whatever, or for your party, if you're important to me.)

... I wish I didn't have to live here. The whole situation seems immoral; there's no water here, there are eight zillion people who want to live here, traffic is ludicrous, the public transit is mediocre. At least in the South Bay it's not like I took somebody's rent-controlled apartment, and I can usually ride my bike to get around.

Also Martin has, just today, gotten on a plane to Spain. Lauryn will leave soon too :-\

... I miss everybody.

... I started reading SuperBetter recently; I should get back into that. I think it was pretty helpful.

Date: 2016-07-09 03:21 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mindstalk.livejournal.com
I don't remember, where did you grow up? Is SF specifically stressful, or do you not like high density in general?

Date: 2016-07-09 10:10 pm (UTC)
ext_110843: (cat exoticizes the otter)
From: [identity profile] oniugnip.livejournal.com
I *love* a good city. I'm all about, for example, New York or Atlanta or Barcelona or Tokyo.

It's something about SF, and it's something about the Silicon Valley vs SF dichotomy. The vibe makes me feel unwelcome, and I feel like I'm *supposed* to like going there. In fact it's full of people who wish that I wasn't there (I can feel my very presence driving up rents), or who are hipster assholes who can smell how square I am.

And it's uniformly a hassle to get there from the South Bay.

Date: 2016-07-09 10:11 pm (UTC)
ext_110843: (happy robot)
From: [identity profile] oniugnip.livejournal.com
(I grew up in suburban sprawl in North Florida, but I lived in midtown Atlanta for a long time after that)
Edited Date: 2016-07-09 10:12 pm (UTC)

Date: 2016-07-09 10:54 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mindstalk.livejournal.com
"Atlanta isn't a real city." :p

Interesting. I didn't have most of those feelings, but I was actually living in SF, and I left in 2002. I'd guess market rent on my old flat has tripled since then... sort of a shame I didn't stay there with the controlled rent. Might have been kicked out anyway, old landlord.

I did feel a bit like an out of place square while walking around Haight-Ashbury. Wasn't anything anyone did, just me contrasting my clothing to the locals.

South Bay was a huge hassle, yes, so I rarely went. :)

Personally I'd say tech workers aren't to blame. We're just following jobs like any other member of the proletariat. Very very lucky proles, but still. And actually I wouldn't blame corporate capital either, in this case, but the homeowner-voters who block pretty much all new housing (or Peninsular transit) in the western Bay Area. Or the activist-voters in SF's case, sometimes.

(In which I rant with math:)

Palo Alto has 66,000 people, at 1/7th (960/km2) the density of SF (7100). If it went up 5x to just Chicago or Boston density (5000-ish), that'd be another 300,000 people -- 1/3 the entire population of SF (860K) -- right there. Mountain View is another 75k, already at 2300/km2; it could still infill to absorb another 75-150k. Sunnyvale is same density, another 140K, so doubling to not-quite-Chicago would add 140K people. Plenty of other low-density towns too... not to mention San Jose, 1 million at 2200/km2; go to 4400 and add more than an entire San Francisco...

But it won't happen, because it's legally not allowed to happen.

(To be fair, when I left I think SF was 700K and SJ 800K, so there's been *some* addition. But not a lot, compared to demand.)

Date: 2016-07-10 01:26 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterkoninkje.livejournal.com
omg I would love it if MV/Sunnyvale went up to ~5k/km2. I grew up in suburban sprawl and it's terrible. Not just morally terrible, but like it triggers my cPTSD something fierce. Cities are good. Cities are safe. (Rural af is also safe, though somewhat boring and too often bigoted.) They need to build the fuck out of the MV++ area. Doubling or tripling the population sounds about right.

I really hate the inverted work-in-suburbs thing that tech companies do. My wife & I managed to find a gorgeous tinylittle island of safety and sanity in Sunnyvale, but everywhere around it is terrible. From my brief ventures, I refuse to go anywhere south of El Camino Real; it's just terribly terribly bad there. We also looked at a wonderful place in SF, but the commute is awful (again, both morally and (to a much lesser degree than suburbia) cPTSD-ly).

Date: 2016-07-10 01:36 am (UTC)
ext_110843: (happy robot)
From: [identity profile] oniugnip.livejournal.com
Niiiice! Where's your place? (wait, and when do you show up?)

Let's party South Bay-style! *hugs!*

Date: 2016-07-10 02:12 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterkoninkje.livejournal.com
It's a seekrit. We goin all PObox-style when we get there


But I'll show you around :) We're getting the keys on the 21st; Googs start date is the 25th.

Date: 2016-07-10 03:48 am (UTC)
ext_110843: (deus ex machina)
From: [identity profile] oniugnip.livejournal.com
Woww, interesting! Very lo-pro.

See you when you get here!

Date: 2016-07-10 01:37 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] mindstalk.livejournal.com
cPTSD? I know PTSD...

What do you mean by safe? Like, safe from crime? I didn't think most of the Peninsula was bad, except for traffic.

But yeah, when I moved to the Bay Area, I insisted on an SF job. Not knowing how to drive kind of enforced that. I'd still really want an SF, Oakland or Berkeley BA job now.

Date: 2016-07-10 02:44 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] winterkoninkje.livejournal.com
Complex PTSD. I discuss it briefly and give some links here (http://winterkoninkje.dreamwidth.org/98938.html) (before going on to the rest of that post). "Simple" PTSD comes from having a single/acute traumatic event (e.g., rape, car crash, being deployed as a soldier); whereas complex PTSD comes from long-term repeated traumas (e.g., childhood abuse, living in a war zone).

I mean safe like feeling safe in your skin and surroundings, that feeling non-traumatized people take for granted. It's not about actual physical safety, it's about psychological safety. I've lived in DC and Baltimore, so I'm pretty pragmatic about crime; that part's easy. Besides, crime usually isn't much of a problem in suburbia (at least, not the sorts of crime that would put one at risk of harm).

Ooh, I should've insisted on the SF site. The team I'm on is split between MV and SF. I do know how to drive, but I dislike it and my license's expired, so I prolly could've just said I don't

Date: 2016-07-10 02:08 pm (UTC)
ikeepaleopard: (Default)
From: [personal profile] ikeepaleopard
I know a lot of people who have left the Bay Area and believe me it's totally reasonable to not like it. It puts you in good company. That said, you're there and it does have a lot to offer. When I was stuck somewhere, I found that taking an art class (in my case, glassblowing) helped a lot.

Date: 2016-07-15 02:10 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] jcreed.livejournal.com
I remember feeling that tension of "I like cities ok, I should like this" vs. "but oh god I don't like this at all, why?" when I merely visited SF. Much sympathy.

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Alex R

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