Southern California Is For Suckers

2009 April 7
by mockers

lapalmtreesSeveral years ago I was offered a job in Burbank, California.  The rate of pay was substantially higher than what I was accustomed to, and I’d be in a prime position for further advancements up the corporate ladder.

Plus, we’d be living in Southern California…

I’d only visited the area a couple of times, for quickie business meetings, and almost my entire impression of it was derived from movies and TV shows.  Thinking of Los Angeles conjured visions of guys (who looked a lot like me), driving along streets lined with palm trees, in vintage convertibles, looking down his nose at people and lighting cigars with five dollar bills.

I couldn’t wait!  Southern California??  It seemed almost impossible.  It was a mythical, magic place inside my head.  And we were moving there!!

Yeah, and following is what we actually found.

Brutal cost of living On one of the first days, when we were still living in corporate housing, my wife sent me to the store for breakfast stuff.  And I almost deposited a masonry block in my underwear.

Eggs is what I remember.  In every other place we’d ever lived, a dozen cost somewhere in the neighborhood of 69 cents.  But in SoCal (as they call it), they were $2.49.  It’s not like I walked around with a messenger bag full of boiled eggs all the time, but it was an ominous indicator of what was to come.

Everything was higher – everything – and not by just a little bit, either.   The house we bought cost $50K more than our previous one, and was worth about $50K less.  I’d received a large raise, and our quality of life went swirling down the ol’ poop catcher.  Talk about a cruel joke…

Spiders We lived in the middle of a desert, and our garage was teeming with black widow spiders.  You know, the kind that can make your heart shrivel and detach from its stem?  Our washer and dryer were out there, and every time I reached for a load of towels, I was convinced I was heading for a closed-casket funeral – because of the hideous swelling.

And you can’t kill them, either.  There’s nothing you can do, except maybe burn the bitch to the ground.  I didn’t care for any of it.

Coyotes At night we could hear them hollering across the desert, like in a cowboy movie.  The first few times it’s kind of cool, but then you realize you’re living amongst large wild prowling mountain dogs.

A neighbor got up early one morning, and saw a blood-smeared coyote sitting in the middle of our cul-de-sac, near one of the kids’ Big Wheels.  Again: not a fan.

Birds Huge black birds of some kind perched on the rock cliffs near our house, and would sometimes come swooping down across the rooftops.  Their wings were so large we could hear them cutting through the air:  whoosh whoosh whoosh.

Then they’d land in the top of a tree, and were so heavy the thing would sway from side to side.

I was convinced one of them was going to come in low one day, and carry off a couple of the neighborhood children.  They probably looked like rotisserie chickens in Blue’s Clues shirts to those big thunderbird bastards.  Holy crap.

Mudslides I was driving home from work one afternoon in the sprinkling rain.  And when it sprinkles in SoCal, it’s apparently tradition to run your car up the rear-end of the person in front of you, or straight into the side of a building.  I don’t know.

In any case, I was on the 5 freeway, and a whole hillside started moving in my general direction.  The hill went over a wall, and sloshed across the three right lanes.  I missed it by only a few seconds, and had never seen anything like it before, or since.

Where I come from, the hills just don’t move around on ya.

Wildfires A couple of times per year you could count on a giant wall of fire to descend on you, and threaten to burn up your home and family.  Good times!

We lived in an area where private companies wouldn’t even issue fire insurance policies, and we were forced to purchase it from the state of California.  For “competitive” prices.

One time we were going into a grocery store (probably to purchase Bentley-brand eggs), and it was snowing ash.  I’m not kidding, I think it was the charred remains of silent film stars.

Earthquakes I never experienced any of the big ones, but lived through enough of the smaller ones to know it was always a possibility.

Everything in all the houses was strapped to the walls – like TVs, and hot water tanks, and armoires.  All our kitchen cabinets had special latches on them, so the doors wouldn’t come flying open when the giant crack appeared, and swallowed-up the elementary school.

Continuous heat I remember walking to an outdoor café with a couple of coworkers, a few days before Christmas, and sweating like an August ass.  One of the other guys, a real SoCal booster, was going on and on about how great it was to be living in “paradise.”

I wanted to scream like Jackie Chan, and cycle-kick him in front of an oncoming salad truck.  Hot all the time sounds good in theory, but it ain’t.  After a while it starts messing with your head, maaan.

Smog There were mountains in the distance, in every direction, and during certain times of the year some of them were snow-capped.  Very pretty.  However, most days you couldn’t see them.  Big ass mountains:  invisible behind a screen of car exhaust.

The local news broadcasts always included an “air quality” report, and it wasn’t unusual to see people walking around wearing surgical masks.

And half the vehicles were hybrids, or ran off liposuction fat.  So, who the hell knows?  Maybe I’ll come down with a bad case of thigh-lung later in life?

The Wash All around the Los Angeles area are big cement gutter-like things, which the locals call “the wash.”  It’s either the aqueduct or the mighty L.A. River (I was never clear on it), both of which are always bone-dry as far as I know.

However, several times every year an inexplicable wave of water would come cascading down that thing, and send skateboarders and X-Game bicyclists ass-over-tits into the Pacific Ocean.

“Never play near the wash,” the local parents warned their kids.  Because wave-day can flat-out ruin an afternoon, and might send your detached head through the Panama Canal.

Tree of Bees Behind our house was a towering tree, just loaded with bees.  Every spring it would come alive, and make a roaring sound like a locomotive.  It was one of the most terrifying things I’ve ever encountered.  There must’ve been a billion bees living in that thing.

We sold the place in winter, and the new owners were reportedly (we have spies) out there with their mouths hanging open when the buzzing began.  I don’t know how much it cost them to have that loud, enormous tree removed, but it couldn’t have been cheap.

Hell, they probably had to do it with robots.

I could keep going with this list, but I’m sure you get the point.  I was fooled by the Hollywood version of Hollywood, and wasn’t prepared for real life in “paradise.”

The place sucked in ways I couldn’t have imagined, even if I’d gone to a quiet place and concentrated on it.  I’m convinced a blue ribbon think tank of suck wouldn’t be able to come up with some of the things we encountered out there.

I mean, trees that roar?  Creeping pouches of poison living in the garage?  An all-you-can-eat natural disaster buffet?

Yes, Southern California is a bizarre Tim Burton-style shithole, and don’t let them tell you any different.

Other items of interest

The Hooters Story – Prostitution, One Overpriced Burger at a Time
Musicians With Annoying Fans, volume 1
Cats Are Not Our Friends
It’s About Time We Finally Get Around to Madonna

93 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 April 7
    kristin permalink

    as tempting as it is, i’m not going to do it here.

  2. 2009 April 7
    metten permalink

    C’mon, you know you want to… I’m just glad you guys are willing to live there and keep the place up so that I can come visit for a few days and escape the winter. Couldn’t possibly imagine living there full time.

  3. 2009 April 7
    Drug Delivery Guy permalink

    Jeff’s in the “zone.” Excellent writing.

  4. 2009 April 7

    No way I could live there. I visit at least twice a year for weeks at a time with my job. Those visits are enough.

    I agree with Drug Delivery Guy. Excellent writing Jeff.

  5. 2009 April 7
    Knucklehead permalink

    I’m a San Franciscan – we are required by birth to detest Southern California. As you can see, it isn’t difficult.

  6. 2009 April 7
    Jill permalink

    Holy God, that was funny – thanks I needed that this afternoon!

  7. 2009 April 7
    2Tall permalink

    I grew up in Santa Monica and I wish it was like it was in the 60’s and 70’s. The incredible cost of a home, English as a second language and the traffic that makes you want to swallow the barrel of a large bore handgun…sheesh. After the Northridge quake in ’94, we started receiving relocation info in the mail. My wife finally fessed up to sending away for it. We’re now in Austin TX which is just wierd enough to be fun. Wouldn’t move back th LA if you paid me.

  8. 2009 April 7
    Limey permalink

    I lived in the Bay Area for 5 years. Could not wait to get out. Haven’t been back, and can only see going back on the way to Hawaii or something. California is a horrible place to live and an even worse place to live and work. I still shake my head in disbelief at all the congestion I inched along in while my life was speeding by.

  9. 2009 April 7
    bennigan's nazi permalink

    Jeff Kay brings the fucking pain!

    Nice update, gangsta

  10. 2009 April 7
    NDfaninAZ permalink

    I sure in the hell wouldn’t live there. The cost of living alone would keep me away.

  11. 2009 April 7
    CaDude permalink

    My first reaction when I saw where Jeff was going with this piece was “F*&% You.” Then I kinda sorta saw the humor in it. Then I realized just how outstanding this is. It’s the antidote to “Wow, look how beautiful it is at the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl on January 1. We should move there…”

    Thanks for keeping the population down, Jeff. Those of us who “endure” living here in “paradise” appreciate your efforts.

    One more thing–it was hilarious.

  12. 2009 April 7
    tilly permalink

    Excellent excellent excellent Jeff Kay at his best!!! man i have missed it!!

  13. 2009 April 7
    Gordie permalink

    Thanks for the timely update. I’m heading to SoCal this weekend. Wish me luck.

  14. 2009 April 7

    I have never been to California. It seems like a nice place to vacation? The mountain/ocean roads look inviting… but, I cannot stand hot sunny weather day after day after day, Give me the four seasons of Ohio any day. (Although the Springtime snow is really annoying today)Besides I can’t imagine what it would be like to be a chunky person in the land of absolute beauty. I like buying filet mignon for $5.00 a pound and king crab for $12.99 a pound!

  15. 2009 April 7

    awesome writing, thanks, it would be funny if it were not so true, oh wait, i do not live there, it is funny! i spent 2 months in LA and would not mind visiting again but would never live there. lets face it, almost everyone who does is crazy, it must be a prerequisite for getting a drivers license. if you have lived in LA, you know Jeff did not even scratch the surface of this dunghole. our consolation, one day it may be an island.

  16. 2009 April 7

    Living in California would be just great if you didn’t have to live in California. Tried it. For me, the problem is the Californians.

    Now I don’t even want to go back to visit. I’ll take snow in April any day….

  17. 2009 April 7
    Limey permalink

    What I said about California was harsh. I’ve given it some thought and it does have some redeeming features – Fry’s, In-N-Out, the Monterey Historics, BevMo’s 5c sale, and closeness to Tahoe/Reno.

  18. 2009 April 7

    I think California is an acquired taste. After living here for almost 8 years, I wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else.

    Besides, my governor can beat up your governor any day of the week. 🙂

  19. 2009 April 7

    HAHA! You hit the nail on the head! But for some sick twisted reason I really do love it here. The views are amazing, the weather isn’t always in the 100’s and it’s just a lot of fun in general.

  20. 2009 April 7
    Scott Gulbransen permalink

    Come on man…you have to be kidding!

    You’re entitled to your opinion…but your experience is just one experience. California isn’t Los Angeles and it isn’t the area you lived in.

    I live in San Diego and yes…the cost of living is high. It’s also high in New York, Boston, Chicago, etc.

    What I find interesting is you complain about things like spiders, bees, etc. I’ve lived all over the country and every area has its issues including pests. Ever been to the midwest? Florida? Minnesota? Misquitos as large as 737s.

    No place is perfect and it sounds to me like your expectations were lofty. I don’t like Los Angeles and would never live there…but all of Southern California is not that way. San Diego is free from most of what you talk about…but it has its issues as well.

    Wildfires, mudslides…so what. Did you know more people die in the US from slipping on ice than in wildfires, earthquakes and mudslides combined? SLIPPING ON ICE!

    Southern California is my home…and I will defend. I am also sorry you had such a bad experience. That’s never fun for anyone and I wish you the best of luck. You’re a gifted writer…so I am sure you’ll do fine.

    But I have to say…I wish more people would feel like you so we could get back our beaches and roads from all of you Hollywood dreamers who are fooled by what you watch at the local multiplex.

    In fact, I hope millions read this and follow your path.

    Thanks for your view and best of luck.

  21. 2009 April 7
    Kenashimame permalink

    The worst part is that SoCal is creeping across the border into AZ.

  22. 2009 April 7

    This was genius! Some brilliant combination of words I’ve never heard before (e.g. “ass over tits”.


  23. 2009 April 7

    I lived in Orange County. Blyech. Did not like it one bit. No trees. No flowers. Cost, at the time, $500 to rent a crappy bedroom in a crappy house and MAYBE have kitchen priveleges. People were NOT nice.

    Gladly moved back to Texas.

    Thanks for the fond memories. NOT.

  24. 2009 April 7

    I have to say, compared to the Hellmouth that is Hampton Roads, what with PETA HQ, Pat Robertson, and the nastily radioactive Elizabeth River, California was an absolute dream for me. Ahl be bahk.

    …and will avoid the bees.

  25. 2009 April 7

    Yes! Nice work!

    Those of us who were born and raised in southern California get pretty tired of people moving here, planting water-hogging lawns, building on our good farmland, clogging up the freeways, and complaining about the lack of seasons. Sheesh, there’s May Gray, June Gloom, Fire Season, Santa Anas, and sometimes even a short Rainy Season. What more could you want?

    Click my name (above) to see a short photo series of what lives in our garage – right next to the strapped-down earthquake-proof water heater. Incidentally, we have neighbors on two sides who have been bitten by Black Widows. In both cases the prognosis was “you’ll probably live, but for the next week you’ll wish you were dead.”

    Thank you for your efforts in warning would-be newcomers away. They wouldn’t be happy here. There’s no snow. And I’m sure they’d miss the mosquitoes, horseflies, and deerflies. And tornadoes, or hurricanes, or blizzards, or whatever they’d be leaving behind. It’s a good thing you let them know how bad it really is.

    (CaDude and I will take up a collection and get your check in the mail shortly.)

  26. 2009 April 7

    Pssst! Scott Gulbransen! Hush up, man. It sucks here. OMG, there have been bees buzzing all over the wildflowers in my front yard for months. The horror! People should not come here, it’s awful.

  27. 2009 April 7

    If you want to see the worst in anything, you’ll find it. As for me, Hollywood IS a paradise and I like it.

  28. 2009 April 7

    I live in SoCal (as we call it) and love it. I work in downtown LA, which is going thru an amazing renovation, and I live in the quiet suburbs in the San Gabriel Valley. There is tons to do, the weather is great and we are in the few places where I could go snowboarding in the morning (an hour drive) then to the beach in the afternoon (another hour drive). Couldn’t imagine living anywhere else but here.

  29. 2009 April 7

    Nice one Linda!

    And for those who live in LA…they do love it. Nothing wrong with that.

    If we lost half of our population in California, I’d be happy.

    Note to the author: where do you live now? Where did you move from when you went to Burbank?

  30. 2009 April 7

    LOL you actually believed it was paradise in L.A.? Watching The Hills much? Los Angeles sucks, San Diego was the original place all the bullshit show business was supposed to take place in and thank God it didn’t, because it’s still gorgeous here and not full of wannabes.

  31. 2009 April 7

    “Eggs is what I remember”
    Eggs *are* what I remember?
    Where is wordnerd when you need her?
    Round up a verbnerd while you are at it.

    Loved the post.
    Lived in West Hollywood.
    Hollywood is a dirty little town
    I remember being repulsed at the trash on Hollywood & Sunset Blvd
    all of the band flyers spinning in the wind.
    Everyone wants to be a rockstar.

  32. 2009 April 7
    Chambers McSween permalink

    I grew here. You flew here. That perspective alone makes it hard to understand the handful of rube stereotypes who return to their backwaters with their proud proclaimations of, “I came, I saw, I conquered, I left bored and digusted.” Your littany of griefs with Southern California aren’t counter balanced with the horrible logic of returning to the tornados, floods, snow, rain, shitty schools and cultural vaccuums you crawled here from, admittedly with dollar signs in your eyes. Thanks for visiting. Sorry you couldn’t find your groove here. It’s not for everyone. Shunning’s a helluva coping mechanism. Easier than dealing with the cognitive dissonance of fancying yourself a Californian (convertibles, cigars and whatever the fucking TV sold your uncurious ass). You failed to submerse, adapt and thrive. You know, like the millions of people who come here and never leave. Like my grandparents.

    We know your kind.And we know the real story behind your dislike of our state and our way of life.

    You didn’t gain any purchase. Couldn’t get any traction socially. You just didn’t measure up so you settled for your hometown. Some of us call this place our hometown. Thanks for shitting on it in the most credulous, routine way. California chewed you up and spit you out, loser. Don’t let anybody tell you any different.

  33. 2009 April 7
    Kim permalink

    pretty much agree with Chambers

    we’ve heard all the hate about Los Angeles and California in general that everything you say just reflects on your inability to actually hold any opinion that you haven’t heard somewhere else and regurgitated in a shitty blog post

  34. 2009 April 7
    Kim permalink

    damn I realized that I got too emotionally invested in this post. sorry man great blog 🙂

  35. 2009 April 7
    Lillitatiana permalink

    Right… As a native, it’s people like you who make LA the “shithole” you describe. Imagine scores of assholes moving to your hometown, then shitting on it because they can’t deal with learning how meaningless their lives really are – all the while staying, compounding traffic, and shitting on the city more.

    Goodbye, and good riddance, asshole.

  36. 2009 April 8
    Clifford permalink

    You forgot the worst part, the people. Ugh, the people!

  37. 2009 April 8
    KRam permalink

    In more talented, literary or humorous hands, this collection of hackneyed observations might have been borderline funny. But when you combine a load of tired cliches and a clunky, hamfisted writing style…well. Unless of course I’m missing the point and this is a parody of an idiot moaning about California – in which case it’s great.

  38. 2009 April 8
    Anonymous permalink

    I live abroad. In Southeast Asia, to be exact. Here I meet Americans from all different states, and I can tell you without hesitation that almost every Californian I’ve met is a prick. A royal prick. In fact, I can guess within three minutes of meeting them that they’re from California. It makes me shudder to see so many of them living abroad. No grip on reality. They truly give Americans a bad name.

    No freakin’ way could you get me to move there.

  39. 2009 April 8

    Dear writers of this site:
    If you can
    Ignore the pretentious MeFi shit storm
    I am sure they mean well
    (Can I get a collective *MEH*)?

  40. 2009 April 8
    JFC permalink

    funny how people are getting so defensive. I think you hit a nerve.

    great post!!

  41. 2009 April 8
    Drug Delivery Guy permalink

    This is hilarious. So all the self-righteous, pretentious dumbasses are coming over from MeFi? These are precisely the people who are most mockable. In fact, site writers (Jeff), you should give it a go on them. Their we-are-so-much-more-enlightened crap and the hate on their big taboos of right wing, conservative shite that they’re always going on about is the definition of hypocrisy. But they can’t see that. Exactly like their counterparts on the right. Jeff can and would be able to write rings around you. Figures they’re also from California.

  42. 2009 April 8
    Stems permalink

    Here’s my takeaway: The author has serious issues…with himself. Haven’t you heard the old phrase, “no matter where you are, there you are.”? There are truly horrible places to live in the world, but I assure you, CA is not one of them.

    Your self-centered whining about bugs and mudslides might have been warranted if you were discussing your hovel in rural Africa. But the fact of the matter is that Burbank is home to the most celebrated and coveted industry in the entire world, and most people would be happy for a mere visit to it. (Let alone the nearby beach towns, mountains and and deserts.)

    Sounds to me like this is someone who would be unhappy no matter where he is. So maybe it’s time to take a look at what makes you the negative, unhappy person you are, rather than blaming your dissatisfaction on your environment.

    Peace, love and Rubio’s Fish Tacos,

  43. 2009 April 8
    Niel permalink

    Canyon Country is no more a “desert” than the rest of the LA basin (or the Mediterranean for that matter). We can remind him of its “flaws” the next time he’s driving home through a blizzard.

    An amusing article, but I think Jeff’s opinion of California is tainted because of his (former) employer, and what they did to him.

  44. 2009 April 8
    A Wow permalink

    Scott Gulbransen, Chambers McSween… you go.

    I’m in NoCal and I miss SoCal every day. Life is what you make it, if you are living in a beautiful place and you can only find the bad, it’s your problem, not the locations.

    Grow up.

  45. 2009 April 8
    Dlish permalink

    You have to like that there’s something for everybody here. Great dim sum, good tacos, snowboarding, surfing, all in the same day if you like. Fry’s Electronics for your inner geek. Stretches of beaches for your inner bum. For the inner rockstar, the inner redneck, the inner metro. Whatever. There just aren’t that many places where you can do these things.

  46. 2009 April 8
    NDfaninAZ permalink

    Good lord, lighten up, people.

    Jeff – keep mocking. It’s working 🙂


  47. 2009 April 8
    Melissa permalink

    I’ve been a follower of for some time & have enjoyed this site until this post. But, I will still follow this site and & love it the same.
    I will simply agree to disagree with you, Jeff. You are entitled to your opinion but on this one I think you missed the mark. I’ve read your blogs about your CA life. I am familiar with your dislike. But unlike those other posts, this particular post was filled with hatred, disgust and stereotypes that strikes me as your attempt to insult as many people as you could. It worked.
    I have been born and raised in So. Cali. I will not make the proclamation that I ‘love’ it here, simply because I do not. I don’t like the smog. I don’t like seeing more billboards and advertisements in Spanish than English & I’m tired of the thug gangstas strolling down the street on a daily basis intimidating the masses.
    What I do like about this state is our great agriculture, our ability to visit the snow in a very short drive (then turn around and come back to warmth when need be), the chance to hit the beach on a moment’s notice & the neverending offers of history, culture & education.
    We may not have the best politicians. We may have black widow spiders. We may have lots and lots of traffic. We may have the threat of earthquakes looming over our heads every minute. But I would gladly live amongst those things if it meant being content and happy rather than being bitter and resentful, as you so clearly seem.
    You have often said that you take offense at the stereotypes thrust upon West Virginia, yet you blatantly thrust common stereotypes at CA & expect great comedy. Well, unless your father is your uncle & you have to walk outdoors to get to the bathroom, I would suggest not throwing your stones into glass houses.

  48. 2009 April 8
    Joodah permalink

    I love California but one really needs to be careful where one chooses to live. Living along the beach from Ventura south to San Diego is wonderful but expensive. Moving a few miles inland permits easy beach access and a breeze and is less expensive. ..but moving more than 5 miles inland, depending where you are, can be much warmer during the summer and more frustrating. If you are going to consider moving to California, tour major parts of the whole state to get an overall sense as to what is available (there are lots of different types of climatic regions in the state). Ask lots of questions from locals.

  49. 2009 April 8
    Brandy permalink


    Oh man, people are so uptight. I love it.

  50. 2009 April 8
    Mark permalink

    Thank you for leaving.

  51. 2009 April 8

    Interesting observations from an outsider. I’ve grown up and lived in California all my life, but mostly in the SF Bay Area. I’ve lived in LA now for 2 years, and am looking forward to moving away already–if nothing else because of overpopulation and the most incompetent drivers the world has ever seen.

    But you cannot lump SoCal in with NorCal. Well over 400 miles of separation between the two (and the state is over 850 miles tall) makes for a HUGE difference in quality of life. The Bay Area lacks most of the qualities that everyone hates in LA…so tune your commentary to be a bit more mature. No one know where you got your preconceptions, but they are off. California is not Southern California.

    Since when are eggs only $0.69? Or rent for a 1 bed/1 bath less than $1400? These are costs of living in metropolitan areas…survey every other large city in the U.S.

  52. 2009 April 8

    Um – I really didn’t see a whole heapin’ helpin’ of stereotypes being brandished in this piece of HUMOR.

    Black widow spiders are, in fact, poison pouches.
    The SoCal DESERT is, in fact, quite hot.
    Coyotes do, in fact, live in the SoCal desert.

    And on and on and on. It’s not the authro was calling every person who lived in that area at that time a hysterical weenie with a bandolero full of self-esteem issues, or anything,. My God, can’t a man complain about the price of EGGS?

    (This message brought to you by someone who loves where she lives, but could provide you a list of things to hate about it that even a local wouldn’t disagree with. Balance, people. Balance…)

  53. 2009 April 8
    NDfaninAZ permalink

    @kwwphoto – I live in a metropolitan area (Phoenix), and I pay $800/month for a nice 2 bedroom/1 bath apartment (1000 sq ft). I have no idea how much eggs cost because I rarely buy them.

    And for being the 5th largest city in the US, Phoenix actually has a decent cost of living. Car insurance prices suck though.

  54. 2009 April 8
    simon permalink

    thanx for the infos

    i once had sex in SoCal and ended up w. spider bites and lungs full of smog.

  55. 2009 April 8
    Debbie permalink

    I am from LA (the SF Valley). I now live in Dublin, Ireland. I would give anything to return to the normalcy of Los Angeles. The sun shines in LA. The food is fabulous (which is the opposite of Ireland). And at least I can get a job in LA as a nurse-Ireland is the only place in the world not hiring nurses.

    Complain away about LA….but I would happily exchange places with you. I would also suggest that for future moves, you rely less on movies for your research.

  56. 2009 April 8
    Dean permalink

    Dude, give me a break. You should have known about most of this if you had done your research. Do you not watch the news? We get wildfires EVERY YEAR. We get earthquakes and mudslides almost EVERY YEAR. Smog is overly abundant in LA.

    Sorry you had a bad experience in SoCal. But I live here and love it. Where else can you snowboard in the morning and hit the beach in the afternoon? Yeah, it’s overpriced. Yes, some of the people are douchebags. But there is a lot of things to do, MOST of the people are laid back, and the weather is amazing.

    Can’t wait to read your blog about the next city you live in that’s gonna suck.

  57. 2009 April 8
    Joodah permalink

    Debbie, come back to California. There’s a big nursing shortage…:)

  58. 2009 April 9

    Wow, I don’t think I have ever seen such a huge volume of people missing the point in one of these posts. I suppose the author should have spoken about the horrible lack of a sense of humor that, apparently, California is currently suffering from.
    Hilarious post.

  59. 2009 April 9
    Joodah permalink

    There is humour in the article but the emphasis is reasons why CA ‘sucks’ for the author.

  60. 2009 April 9
    Limey permalink

    Wow, I haven’t seen this many angry Californians since Whole Foods removed their hybrid-only parking spaces.

  61. 2009 April 9
    NDfaninAZ permalink

    Hahaha….good one, Limey!

  62. 2009 April 9

    Why doesn’t everyone posting a comment here post where they live? I’d like to know…you anti-California folks need to own up to what burg you hail from.

    Limey…Whole Foods is bigger on the EC than California, actually.

  63. 2009 April 10
    Joodah permalink

    There is a wide range of types of areas to choose from in California – many different climatic zones. If someone is considering a move to California, I suggest a tour of the different types of living environments available, research on these areas, and chats with locals. There is so much to see here. There are pleasant areas to live and not-so-pleasant. Research can help one not make a mistake of choosing an unacceptable living area.

  64. 2009 April 10

    I don’t think that anyone who was actually going to move to California would use a website called as a reference point. I live in Georgia, have been to California several times from San Diego to San Francisco and many points in between, loved it, but can still enjoy a bit of humor. It’s a joke kids, not a travel reference site.
    Good one Limey:)

  65. 2009 April 10
    Joodah permalink

    Obvious people have used as a reference point to discuss California in a serious way. One has the option to show increased flexibility to adapt to a way a Web site is used rather than just by its stated purpose.

  66. 2009 April 10
    Limey permalink

    I live in Pennsylvania today. I have lived numerous places, including California. I am a simple rube from London, that well known cultural wasteland.

    A more interesting question would be where have the California apologists also lived, the places that they are comparing with SoCal?

  67. 2009 April 10
    Joodah permalink

    I’ve lived in Turkey, Italy, Germany, the midwest, northern California, and southern Ca., have visited most of the countries of Western Europe, Canada, Mexico, most of the continental US and Hawaii. I stay in Southern Ca. because of the beach community near where I live. I love it here.

  68. 2009 April 10

    Limey…I’ve lived in Chicago, Kansas City, Las Vegas…and traveled and spent significant time in all areas around the US.

    I am not a California apologist…I am simply pointing out something that I have noticed over the years: when someone from back east, or the midwest, come to California and can’t cut it, they always blame California. It’s never them…I find that funny.

    Where in Pennsylvania?

  69. 2009 April 11
    bree permalink

    You are a Bitter, unacquainted, Bastard. SoCal doesn’t want you, your lack of manners and unappreciative outlook…

    Oh and you can keep your $2.69

    Lots of Love

  70. 2009 April 20
    renee permalink

    Born and raised in the Inland Valley, currently living in Houston, TX (not that it’s a big step up).

    Just wanted to say you hit the nail on the head.

    Oh, and for those black widows I recommend a long-stem lighter and a can of Lysol–just make sure you have a shoe handy in case the flaming ball of hellishness makes a kamikaze rush at you.

  71. 2009 June 4
    J-Man permalink

    I agree with CaDude, the writing was hilarious, and as a ‘SoCal’ Native (only heard the term SoCal when I moved to NorCal), its nice of you to scare off all sorts of lookie-loo’s with warnings of killer bees, torrential mudslides and apocalyptic earthquakes. The question is though, how do you survive wherever it is you live? I’m the worst kind of suburbanite soft-living bourgeoisie, and even I can handle some black widows and a goddamn coyote.

  72. 2010 April 3
    What Spiderz permalink

    I don’t like spiders and snakes,and that AIN’T WHAT IT TAKES TO LOVE ME…YOU FOOL YOU FOOL!
    I’ve lived in So Cali for all of my 51 years,but have seen only about 8 black widow spiders,never seen a coyote in the wild,the only bees I’ve seen are always in my vegetable garden working for me on a daily basis (we drastically need more bees)I’ve seen a couple of rattle snakes while in the desert,but have never felt threatened by them in the least.
    I live by the beach and would never think about moving to the valley. Hollywood is a world of it’s own,a great place to visit for “people” (freak) watching.
    I see people on the news on the East Coast shoveling snow,and think to myself…How can those folks stand not going to the beach today? it’s 84’degrees after all. haha

  73. 2010 December 12
    Thimbnie permalink

    I know it’s ignorant to generalize, but in socal it’s a safe assumption. People in Los Angeles have got to be the biggest collection of poseurs with parasitic personas to match. It caters to, and almost rewards people with no character, class, integrity, or education. Flakiness runs rampant, as does passive aggressive, robotic monologues, and only in a place like Los Angeles do people actually think it’s a compliment to be called arrogant. Where I come from, your arrogant due to self loathing, and have to project a facade. It’s only fitting the state is bankrupt, the people are broke and miserable, but driving a Land Rover. Nothing but a bunch of retards and frauds.

  74. 2012 March 13
    Thom permalink

    I grew up on the Westside of Los Angeles and I cannot agree more with this author. I left one week before the riots and never looked back. Southern California is the most overrated hell hole I have ever experienced. Overpriced to high living hell and only a sucker and fool would pay what they ask for houses especially on the Westside. Run don’t walk is my advice, and I speak from experience.

  75. 2012 April 30
    Alma permalink

    LOL! I absolutely loved your article…great writing! It is also oh so true about Southern California. I can say this with certainty because I am a native Southern Californian, born in 1964, still(for better or worse)live here, so I’ve known L.A./SoCal pretty good for nearly 50 years now and as the years go by, I can truly say that Southern California for the most part sucks, and am looking forward in a few years(hopefully)to be getting out. There is sooo much that is bad out here, if I start to make a list, I will get depressed…so I won’t! Just wanted to give you a thumbs up for your article!

  76. 2013 January 16
    Mr. X permalink

    Southern California is alright, but for the most part wayyyy overrated. I have to disagree with people like Chambers McSween. I visited southern california and left, but i wouldn’t say it chewed me up and spit me out. More like I realized socal aint anything it’s cracked up to be. It’s a nice place to live if you have a lot of money, and even then its just plain overrated. I think that sums up socal better than anything: nice, but overrated.

  77. 2013 January 17
    wendy permalink

    Wow, never knew there were all of those CA haters out there. LA is not the place I would choose, but there are many gorgeous places to live, and the wildlife is easy to avoid. We just lived through hurricane Sandy, and I will take an Earthquake/Mudslide/Fire all at once instead and it still wouldn’t do as much damage. Lived through the 89 in the bay area, lots of places affected, but NOTHING like the total devastation that hurricane Sandy did.

    Also, sunny and 75 in February when the EC is having sideways sleet, is quite awesome actually. Went to University in San Luis Obispo, which was terrific (beautiful) and extremely inexpensive. Even Berkeley is still only about 12k per YEAR if you are a resident. You don’t even get community college on the EC for that. Also, my heating bill alone for the winter last year was almost 5k thanks to Tony Soprano who sold me the propane.

    It’s expensive, but a nice lifestyle if you can afford it. I’ve lived in 3 different continents, 3 different countries, and 4 different states, and BY FAR California had the best quality of life – only Singapore was a distant second.

  78. 2013 January 21
    Anonymous permalink

    I came from the south in Orlando,fl. Idk about the wild life but NorCal and SoCal are very beautiful places to live.
    But he’s right the people are incredibly rude and there is deush bags everywhere. I have never been in a more fucked up state in my entire life. I admit California ate me up and spit me out, but Idc I’m choosing to leave just bc I hate the people . There rude and fake and it does suck very much so. It’s sad that California is such a gorgeous place but full of deushy assholes wherever you go. And it sucks to drive, people are so pushy and there’s tons of morons on the road. You put you’re blinker on and it usually takes 2 or 3 cars to get over. Everyone just cares about themselves. People aren’t like that where I’m from. Just cause we didn’t fit in and feel home sick doesn’t make us bad people for wanting to leave. It just wasn’t what we thought it would be. Sometimes you don’t know what you got till its gone. Bet you if a Californian came to the east coast he wouldn’t fit in as well. Mainly because we’re more genuine and real and don’t like hearing y’all brag about shit. Stay in you’re shit hole state filled with ugly asians, Mexicans and snobby deush bag white people. All you Californians have you’re heads so fare up you’re ass in pops out on top and you don’t even realize it. I’m glad I grew up on the east coast. Props to the poster.

  79. 2013 May 12

    What an idiot!!!

  80. 2013 September 12

    California is for the most part a giant desert, both geographically and culturally. The entire Colorado River has been dried up to feed sprawling ugly suburbs and low yield farms in the desert with polluted water.

    California peaked decades ago and is now in decline.

  81. 2013 October 24
    Roxanne permalink

    I COMPLETELY disagree. I love California. I found a great apartment here and have loved every moment of living here. I know its expensive but I worked hard to get here and I followed my dream! I found great resources about the BEST placs to live in SOUTHERN CALI!

  82. 2015 February 18
    Ali Hayden permalink

    I love your story, from South Carolina where people actually say hello!

  83. 2016 July 2
    Liza Ballini permalink

    I am a native Los Angeles lady and I agree with this writer wholeheartedly. Los Angeles and it’s surrounds are a horrible place to live. The local government is probably what makes it soooo bad. Everyone aside from “themselves” are considered enemies and all should be incarcerated if you don’t follow their Draconian rules. It’s just miserable to run a business here. You are harassed from the minute your business opens. Not to mention the high taxes and the unkempt city. It’s a mess. The weather is terrible. Little rain, extremely poor air quality. Without the theft of water from Northern Calif. this place would be desert with little population. I know of so many people that came here and left shattered. People did come here and they did make lives for themselves but they were empty lives in my opinion. They may have made money but in the process ended up miserable. No, this place is evil and demonic. Don’t bother coming here it just isn’t worth it.

  84. 2017 January 12
    exangeleno permalink

    racist greedy jews from the east coast who unfortunately relocated to “paradise” are a big reason why southern california as a whole is a pretty bad place to live in TODAY. and i say this as a person who was born and raised in los angeles. i weep for the southern california region. a beautiful place used as a toilet by greedy, soulless people.

  85. 2017 May 31
    mlaiuppa permalink

    Yes. Absolutely. This is the worst place on the planet to live. No one should move to Southern California. By all means you should live in Texas or Oklahoma or wherever it is that those tornadoes rip through. Or the east coast. By all means move to where the hurricanes are dependably ripping the roof off your house annually. Southern California cannot compete with the mosquitoes that carry off small dogs. I believe the mosquito is the state bird of Florida. Where the alligators and pythons compete with the mosquitoes for your small dogs. Yes, I long for the landscape where you must wear long sleeves and long pants and boots in the summer lest the ticks suck you dry not to mention the lyme disease. And the biting flies. I understand those suckers can take a pint or two donation the Red Cross would envy. Yes, I long for the land of humidity and fungus or unending flatness that makes you sob for the sight of a telephone pole to break up the monotony. By all means, I would jump at the chance to live in a flood zone. I understand those asian carp are delicious. Please. Stay away. Southern California is awful. Why, we don’t even have any briar patches.

  86. 2017 July 8
    iExtrapolate permalink

    I moved from Seattle to Orange County for work a couple of years ago. I know quite a few other people who did the same. My conclusion, which is shared by the other Seattle transplants, is that other than the weather, it’s hard to find any advantages to living here.

    The averaged priced house/apartment is more expensive and far shittier. The median house in Seattle is a nice house; the median house in SoCal is a 50 year old crap shack. The populous pays these extreme housing prices/rents not by being richer than people in Seattle (who make 20% more for the same work on average), but by allocating a far larger portion of their income to housing taking away from everything else. On top of this, California residents are required to pay a state income tax that takes up 9% of income over 46k. In Seattle, where there is no income tax, the government services that are woefully underfunded in California are well functioning.

    Other than the places where tourists visit and where homes cost >$1m, California is ugly. The buildings are ugly/dirty and their is no plant life. In Seattle, every place that hasn’t been cleared for buildings is forest/plant life, the buildings are not ugly and, even in the poorer neighborhoods, people make an effort to upkeep their homes.

  87. 2017 July 17
    Heda Case permalink

    I agree but you don’t say anything about positive or you just don’t seek it out…I come from NYC and when I got here I lived in the downtown core so it felt like the same but smaller and more lame..
    As I got used to it I found I had the beach the mountains the desert and to me some of the imagery and places right out of some 1940s ameerican movie still, yes they have trashed the place and yes the bulldoze iconic land marks and yes if you let your car sit still for any length of time they will stucco over it but with any place I have been and I have been all over the world you take the good with the bad,,the time to move is when the bad outway the good.
    Another aspect is it’s said to be a liberal town yet their are more right wingnuts hear them any place else I have been, not that those fucking mindless drone liberals I have come to despise are any about corporate mafia.. And yeah the gangs are not only in the good it’s Hollywood and elite gangs too..they just have the cops on their side and politics in their pockets.

    Still to live here is to know it..
    Comming from NYC it felt like a gigantic ghetto to me and often still does…it’s a vast mall and tract home nightmare the further south you go..and the people are the most passive aggresive douchebags in number, but getting to know a lot of cool people here helps ease the pain.

  88. 2018 December 14
    Alexa Tilbrook KI5JYD permalink

    Whataburger > In-N-Out.

    Enough said.

  89. 2021 December 2
    Jeff Linehan permalink

    Southern California is a Shit Hole.
    Los Angeles County is a F’ing Sewer.
    LAC DA Gascone will ensure your murderer is released to murder your survivor’s.
    Just my opionion.
    Yes, leaving this Shit hole upon retirement in 2022
    Jeff Linehan

  90. 2022 May 6
    Eberhardt Kalmar Huhn permalink

    I know, I know – you wrote this more than a decade ago, but this would still have applied then: you should have made your home in Santa Monica. It’s a fact about living at the ocean: It will be cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter. There will always be a westerly breeze that has never been less than 5 knots, but as I write is blowing at 9 knots.

    Any of the coastal cities would have done you better. From north to south, attached to Los Angeles County: Malibu, Santa Monica, Marina del Rey, El Segundo, Manhattan Beach, Hermosa Beach, Redondo Beach, Torrance and Rancho Palos Verdes… And then there are a few projections of the City of Los Angeles that are communities (but not cities) like Venice Beach, San Pedro, and Cabrillo Beach.

    Had you made your home in one of those, your stay would have been considerably cooler… take it however you please. More than likely you’d still be loving LA.

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