chipotle: (Default)

For no real reason, I've found myself driving farther east than I have in a year or two. I've come to a place just east of Livermore called "Mountain House."

This is like a town, but not. In reality it's a planned community, basically a huge subdivision--in this case, one more or less in the middle of nowhere. It was built during the housing boom over the last decade as "commuting range" to the San Francisco are got farther and farther out, and people looking for bigger yet vaguely affordable homes were willing to put up with 90+ minute commuted each way. The home prices were still ridiculous by rational standards, but cheaper than San Jose for newer, nicer places. Just even more nowhere than the South Bay. (Places that were, well, somewhere cost a lot more.)

Then, of course, there was a double whammy of high gas prices zeroing out the savings in home prices, followed by the housing collapse. Now prices around here are, I gather, relatively affordable--but the expected suburbia never happened. If you live out here you'll have the drawbacks of living in a rural isolated place, and those of living in a character-free giant tract development.

Places like this hold a peculiar fascination for me, although I couldn't tell you why. Emblems of 21st Century American hubris? Nothing that cynical, really; the families here all had expectations of great things. And maybe they have very nice homes and are generally happy with what they have here. Maybe most of them work in Tracy or Livermore or Stockton. Driving around I don't see the plethora of "for sale" signs I half-expected, either.

I've been spending the last few days trying to get shelving units set up, to finally unpack like I actually live where I do. I've joked this makes me feel less secure; God knows my work situation is now awfully unstable. Maybe I like these odd house farms because of the combination of stability and absurdity in them. I don't think I would ever want to live in one--which somehow makes me suspect I will, someday.

Now on to... somewhere.

chipotle: (Default)

...and this time sent from the iPhone, using a native LiveJournal client.

I realized a few weeks ago that I had failed to update my address with the DMV, so my polling place was by [livejournal.com profile] tugrik's place. So, after making the trek down there and voting, I kept going and ended up in Morgan Hill. I'm getting lunch at a fabulous hole in the wall Mexican place, El Rincon, and seeing if I can minimize exposure to election results until 7pm local time. I am much more of a political junkie than I let on here these days, but fatigue has set in, and I expect way too much histrionics from all sides. I have had to stuff a sock in my mouth, virtually speaking, too often as it is. Every national election since 1964 has been about "cultural values" and about the idea that real Americans elect people who hate government, because who's better for a given position than someone philosophically opposed to that position's function? That's why the best CEOs are Marxists, clearly.

But I digress.

Lunch is finished now, and it's time to move on somewhere. Just driving around aimlessly will be a difficult temptation to resist, but I know I'll be home later.

Happy election day, no matter who you're voting for (or have voted for). Even that guy, or the other guy.

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