Friday, September 15, 2006

By Process of Elimination

When we knew we were leaving the Air Force we began the job search the way all intelligent, mature people do. We decided where we wanted to live and started looking.

The east coast was out. We had enjoyed Virginia, but as tourists rather than residents. It was a bit too domesticated on the right side of the map, and too thoroughly populated. South of the Mason Dixon line was out as well, with a particularly firm X drawn through Texas. The desert Southwest was discarded without a second glance although we left a tiny amount of space for Colorado as a long-shot outsider. At the back of everyone's mind was the thought of going back to Alaska, but since Kirk wasn't in the petroleum industry and didn't do commercial fishing we thought it would be best to expand our search just a little. The north-west coast was our target - Washington or Oregon in particular. Both of us discussed seriously how we would think about California, Northern California only... but only just.

Naturally Kirk got an offer from a company in San Mateo, and before we knew it there was a whirlwind of contracts, and strange foreign phrases like 'stock options' and 'vesting period' were flying around. Strange place, this real world.

We pulled out Rand and McNally and took a serious look at things. San Francisco, San Mateo, San Jose spread themselves in an amorphous chalky orange blight across a huge swath of Northern California. We eyed it, glumly. We wanted rural, isolated, bereft of human life even (preferably with a good cheese shop, some excellent sushi, and a really nice bookstore or two. You know, the basics you find on every desert island), and we were heading into one of the largest cities in America. But... if you don't mind a little commute there's a tiny dot on Highway 1, just west of San Mateo and south of San Francisco. Half Moon Bay. Never heard of it - but it was extremely small and that was good enough for us.

Sight unseen, an arbitrary decision based on a tiny black spot on a map - Home.


frog said...

very funny english blog.

child 2 said...

mmm black dots. often the best form of choice. loved hmb.

Child 1 said...

I remember dad showing me where we were going to live on that ancient globe we had and thinking about how small San Fransisco is compared to the rest of the world. Unfortunatly San Fransiscans dont think so.