Don’t hate me because I draw pretty houses.

Do you know what I love?
Starbucks? KFC bisquits with honey? THE OFFICE?
No! I mean, yes, of course! But, also? I love that I can write a post in which I act all dramatic and SCARED about getting my hair cut (you’re getting A hair cut? WHICH ONE? Isn’t that hilarious? That’s a joke PigHunter loves to say EVERYTIME that I say I’m getting a haircut. Hardy Har Har.) and people actually become emotionally invested on the plight of my hair and check back to see if I’ve had it done and they cheer me on and tell me to “JUST DO EEEEEEEEET!”
God. I love that so much.
Do you know what I do NOT love?
Specifically the area in California in which I live and must drive because OH MY GOD! THE MORNING TRAFFIC.
You see, the traffic is so horrific in this stupid ass wanna be city which is nothing more than track homes, starbucks and Target shopping centers, that I make my children take the bus to school. Because? The traffic is so bad and the drivers are such assholes, that halfway to the school, I’m calmly sticking my head out the window,lovingly asking “WTF, MAN, SERIOUSLY, W.T.F?” and secretly wishing I had a baseball bat in my car to um, smash peoples “windshields.”
This morning? The boys missed the bus and SWEET MOTHER OF BOBS. By the time we got to the 2nd signal, Ethan was all “You’re going to fight someone today, aren’t you mom?”
It’s frustrating because it shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Seriously, we live so close to both schools and their both in peaceful, residential neighborhoods.
Look! I painted a little (but totally precious) picture for you! (Try not to let my amazing paint skills distract you from the point, ok?)

x-our house
1-ethan’s school
2-andrew’s school
3-the van
How hard could that drive be? Right? Seriously, down the street to Andrew’s school, back up the street to Ethan’s school. (Even though Ethan’s is closer, Andrew has to go first, because his starts FIVE MINUTES EARLIER than Ethan’s. AH!) So easy!
But dudes. Everyone wants to live here! And it’s crowded and there’s a traffic light every 2 feet and everyone drives a Hummer and no one knows how to drive correctly, and everything thinks they are “entitled” to cut you off and AAAHHHHHH. KILL. PUNCH. SLICE.
I used to love living here. Beautiful beaches 45 minutes away. Majestic mountains, with skiing and lakes less than an hour away. Dodger Stadium, Angel stadium (BOO. ANGELS SUCK! But still!) LAKER GAMES! The Price is Right studios! Beautiful weather!
But now? Those things are harder to appreciate because of all of the CRAP that comes along with it.
Outrageous home prices (It’ll cost you $500,000 for a small, ugly, old house in this here shitty ‘hood), traffic, smog, POTHOLES!, traffic, DID I MENTION TRAFFIC? Because, traffic.
Were it not for the fact that all of my family lives here, I would move to a different state in a heartbeat.
But? I am a wimp who does not want to be without my family (and, who, more importantly, is most likely going to chicken out with the whole “cutting of the hair” thing) and so we will continue to live here and be frustrated with The Traffic and the unaffordable housing for the rest of our lives.
The things we do for the love of family. (And for the fear of not being able to make friends in a new state and of my children being the ONLY kids with a Mexican last name. Because, you know, that’s another plus of living in SoCal, The Mexicans. We live here.)

39 thoughts on “Don’t hate me because I draw pretty houses.

  1. Cara

    Delurking for the first time…
    Come to Houston! Sure, it’s ugly and butt ass hot. But, hey, we are 45 minutes from a beach, too! O.K., it’s Galveston Bay (a.k.a. – sewage sea), but it counts… sort of. But, most importantly, there are LOTS of Mexicans… a good third of the city is hispanic.
    Another plus, you can move into a brand new 2,000 square feet house in a good neighborhood for less than $150K… this thanks mostly to the good hard working mexican people who build most of our lovely… and cheap… homes.

  2. Y

    I know so many people who live in Houston! (ok, like, 5) and they are cool people and I would love to have them for neighbors, but I’ve heard about your “humidity” and um, I don’t “do” humid. But TRUST ME, it’s tempting.
    Lena! You big tease. 😉

  3. monica

    The Mexicans, They live here(Texas) too, come one down, it’s hot as hell but the traffic can’t be as bad as what you describe, and bring your baseball bat just in case:o)

  4. Oceanbug

    Yup… I agree, I live her to (SoCal) I live in the Huntington Beach area and yup I am a mexican to.
    Wayyyyyyyyyyy to many people here!

  5. mikey

    Lena, don’t trust that map. Or, has Y told you that she’s really bad at giving directions?
    That said. Y… YOU SAID LEFT, NOT RIGHT.

  6. Angela

    Oh Y, I hear you loud and clear! I am an avid reader delurking to also agree with Cara. After 27 years in the great state of CA my husband and I left our friends/families/jobs/crappy 700 (!!!) square ft. condo, to move to Texas, only we are in the Dallas area. Not quite as humid, but just as cheap to live! Yee-Haw!! Gotta love our new custom built 2,000 square foot house we bought for 145K! Unheard of in CA! Oh, and another perk, it is per capita the heaviest state in the nation so your self- esteem just skyrockets here. I have even been called “tiny”. By California standards I have never, nor will never be “tiny”, but everything is bigger in Texas!!!
    (Sorry for the novel… I bet you are thinking, man I hope this girl goes back to being a lurker!) : )

  7. Kristen

    I LOVE that drawing. is that to scale? LOL.
    Starbucks? Love it. I started losing faith when my Frappuccinos were starting to taste funny. But then I discovered Iced Cafe Mocha’s. Yum.

  8. Nina

    Have you been to Texas? There’s lots of Mexicans here. There are even people with last names I can’t pronounce, and they don’t even have a Mexican accent. haha

  9. Mary

    I was going to say come here (Eastern NC) but then I read that you don’t do humidity……
    *walking away whistling*

  10. Attention Whore

    Tried to leave a lovely comment and was called an evil spammer. Gah! Well then..I was just saying it’s lovely up her in Canada..except for no TIVO, oh, and the snow and the cold…but lovely all the same.

  11. Susan

    I know, I really do. I grew up in Orange County. At first I thought I could never leave. Now I could never go back.
    I live 3 hours’ NE up in the desert (no, not Lancaster/Palmdale — a little further NE). The cost of housing is like $200k instead of $500k, there is very little traffic, the air is clean, there’s almost no crime, and the people are *incredibly* nice. AND we are still just 2 hours from L.A., the beaches, 1 hour from the mountains, Lake Isabella, and 4 hours from Vegas. Oh, and your commute anywhere in this town is like 15 minutes TOPS.
    I love it!

  12. Jen

    You forget the greatest thing about CA (in my mind, 3000 miles away)… the WEATHER!! Constant summer… with no humidity!! Sounds like heaven to me. The parking and traffic suck here too, and we have humidity AND winter to boot.

  13. Sarah

    I totally agree with the Texas comments. If my job ever offers me a transfer there, we’re so moving.
    We live near Chicago, which, albeit is cheaper than Cali is still a lot more expensive than Texas.
    As far as hispanic last names…I think everyone’s name around here ends in a vowel. Including my own.
    Any chance of convincing the whole family to move?

  14. starrynite

    Okay, the picture? Classic! I will totally hire you for all my map drawing needs.
    The traffic here sucks too. But not only do we also have sucky traffic, we have now had all the sun we’re getting for this year. Yup, it’s October and we Brits can now look forward to greyness, greyness and a little bit of miserable greyness until approximately April – well, March if we’re lucky.
    So at least you live somewhere it’s always sunny! Now please excuse me while I go and shoot every other car owner in London.
    (That was a JOKE, okay, any police-type people who might be reading this. A. JOKE! Lol)

  15. fly

    i lived in southern CA. in the 80’s i could not imagine what it would be like now. texas dallas fort worth area is the greatest place on earth.

  16. Jessie

    Come to Montana! It’s warm (for three months), it’s beautiful (when you’re not freezing) and I have Mexican friends (ok, three families…but that’s all there is. I swear I would have more if there were more.)
    Ummmm…or maybe not. Do you have a guest room I could sleep in?

  17. angela

    i’m going to agree with the texas thing. as a half-mexican chick who’s jewish, texas is pretty cool. it’s hot, but it’s cheap, esp. in san antonio where i live. we have a 2000 sq foot house that we pay $700 mortgage on. cheap! we do have traffic though…out the ass! but i love it!

  18. Beth

    Come to my state! I am 5 minutes from the beach! That’s with traffic. There’s a great house on my block. Oh, wait, I live in New Jersey and it basically sucks (the money out of your pocket). And it’s humid.

  19. suzyQ

    Try driving in NYC!! Remember the crazy cabbies there when we were there with Yankee? I was there this past weekend with friends and was thinking of ya! Yep, it’s me, the original suzyQ 😀

    I remembered Val had given me this link ages ago and this is the first time I’ve checked it out and am enjoying it immensely! You are a wonderful writer and your boys have gotten so big! Your little “joy unexpected” is gorgeous, AND YOU LOOK FANTASTIC!!!!!!!! I’m so proud of you girl!!

    Anyhow, just wanted to give you a shout out!

    Big hugs to you and your family!!

  20. Kira

    Hey, come to Colorado! There’s many of us here. I mean, I just lost my Mexican surname, but I assure you, there’s lots of others.

  21. wordnerd

    I couldn’t help but notice that your pretty little picture looks like it was drawn with the blood of the drivers who got in your way. Just sayin’…

  22. dana michelle

    You can move to Milwaukee. I’ll be your friend. And we have a large Hispanic population here too. Up until 2 weeks ago, my downstairs neighbors were Hispanic.
    Actually, they are still Hispanic, I just don’t live upstairs from them anymore, cuz my wedding is 11 days away and I just moved to my fiance’s house. Hee!
    But seriously. Milwaukee. A great city on a great lake. Festivals every weekend of the summer. And in winter, SNOW!!!! Just think how much your kids would love to play in snow 🙂
    P.S. The Price is Right Studios?! Damn!

  23. Angela

    so this is my first time commentsing… i found you through amalah.
    i just wanted to say who cares about the traffic? what about that hair cut??? did ya do it?
    i am one of those cereal hair cutters too. i cut my bf’s hair a few times a year, and i think he might be getting smart enough to not let me do it… uh ho!

  24. margalit

    I think there are very few places left without Hispanics. I know in my tony Boston suburb there are many children who attend school with my kids with Hispanic last names. Some are Mexican, many others are Guatamalans, Hondurans, etc. The country is a lot more diverse than you give it credit for. There are 120 different nations represented in our school system, and kids are from Africa, Europe, South American, and the Pacific Islands. In fact, it is MUCH more diverse than where I grew up in LA (West Valley) or where we lived in the Bay Area. Honest, give it a try. You might hate it, but you might be much happier out of California. I know I am.

  25. Heidi

    First, let me just say you’re quite the artist! very nice! 😉
    Second, Illinois has Mexicans….lots of ’em even. Heck, I’ve even seen Mexicans in the most remote part of Michigan and Wisconsin.
    See, you’re not alone. You’d just have to live with snow….or at least the two different seasons we have here…. Winter and Construction! See, things could be worse…..
    Now about that hair dilema….JUST DO IT!

  26. Brandi

    Ay, ya, yay…I live in a very upscale area (although, I’m broke as a joke) in Maryland, literally around the corner from million dollar homes. My little piece of shit townhouse seriously feels like it is in THE hood next to all those fancy schmancy homes.
    Oh, and the Puerto Ricans, the Dominicans, the Guatemalans, the Bolivians, the Ecuadorians, the Mexicans…. – they all live here. Come on down, girlfriend!

  27. Melissa

    Another Texan coming out to say you’re missing out. Yeah, it’s a bit more humid, but you get used to it. Besides, it’s good for your skin!
    Another plus…Texas has nicer people. I moved here from Miami and couldn’t get over how people hold the door open for you here and total strangers say hello when you pass by. I’ll never leave.
    So come on and make your parents come with you.

  28. Dawn

    Two words. San Antonio. Traffic not bad, inexpensive housing, humidity not as bad as Houston… and the freaking Alamo! Come on, the Alamo!
    Ok seriously, what happened with your hair?

  29. evette

    i feel your pain. try driving the 15 more than once a week. can you say road rage?
    wait. you just did.

  30. Emily

    Y, baybee, come to North Carolina. We’ve got Mexicans, mountains, and beaches too. You can bring the whole family – and (depending on which city you move to, of course) you can get 2000+ sq ft houses for around $150K.
    Although….after reading some of the posts about your family, I think I’d want to leave them there. *blinks*

  31. Rachel

    You should just move to good ole Memphis, Tennessee. Sure we are the 2nd most violent city in the country, worse than NYC, and the humidity starts in, um, March and continues through, um, November, but still…

  32. DebbieS

    In for a penny, in for a pound…move to San Diego! Less traffic than the O.C., and at least as many Starbucks! Where I live, we have TEN Starbucks in like a 5-mile radius!!
    And I know a really great hairdresser…

  33. Nila

    Everyone wants Y in their state. You’re so loved!
    But, you should come to AZ. We have great weather 8 months out of the year, and I mean GREAT. The Mexicans, we have them to. Myself included. Starbucks and Targets galore. How about Starbucks in Target. LA’s but a 6 hr drive away. So many people I know go to LA on a regular basis.
    But I know how important it is to be near family. I can’t imagine being far away from my Mom.

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