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Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

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  • Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

    Fellow TGers,

    I have been wrestling with my thoughts for some time now, and I've decided "why not" to putting them out into the universe for some group thought and outside opinion, and thus I present this debacle to TG. I'm looking for your input, thoughts, and advice.

    Some of you may remember "Spulat's Great Cross-American Journey", of which I had my webcam going to my laptop which was tethered to my Blackberry so at many times, you could peek out of my window to see where I was as I traveled from Mountain View, California back to my home state of Michigan, and my hometown in the northeast suburbs of Detroit. Truly a feat of technology and amusement for those who were with me on parts of the trip, and left comments in the chatboard for it.

    Well, this was back in October. Since then, Spulat has been somewhat enjoying his time at home, reconnecting with the family and close friends he left behind 6 years ago when he set out to California to set the world on fire with his plans as a spunky young twenty-something on the path to discovering more to life than his quaint suburbanite midwest upbringing could ever offer. However, time has worn on in our antihero's life, and once again the fire stirs within. Sadly, employment has been fleeting, and times are truly difficult here. The unemployment rate statewide had recently hit 15%, with many believing the true "unreported" rate is closer to 20%. The layoffs are still continuing from the Big 3, and the hemorrhaging hasn't yet let up.

    Ahhh.. but I'm waxing poetic here, and referring to himself in the third person much as Mr. Damonte has been found to do. He wonders if Mrs. Damonte has been subject to this yet.

    I'll try to keep this as summed up as possible (oh how can I sum it so it's not an impossible wall of text...), while retaining the necessary details: I've grown complacent in the safety of my parents' basement... a place I left when I was 18 years old, and never came back until now, and have been in for a few months longer than I anticipated. Finding work has been on the whole, impossible, save for some odd jobs, and a recent 5 week stint with a company that ran out of budget for me. I can't even find a job at a pizza joint. It's been very damaging to my self-esteem, has made going out to do much of anything so very funds-limiting, and made dating impossible. Which the dating pool here is pretty much non-existent anyhow as most dating material my age of any reasonable quality, have jumped ship. I've become comfortable in a loop of friends and family, and of doing music stuff, but otherwise nothing very productive or lucrative.

    It's this comfort zone, that I need to break out of. Yep... it's time for Spulat to go on a NEW adventure! Spulat does NOT want to still be in Michigan when he turns 30. With no job, there's no funds to go to school, and student loans aren't an option. I'm going insane not having my own space and having to share this house with both of my parents, my two sisters, and my brother. There's no real benefit to being here, unless watching me being wheeled to the Loony-Bin is the goal. I won't stream that on the webcam ;)

    I'm not entirely sure what I want to be when I grow up, unfortunately. So at this point I've decided to at least get back into school and work toward a degree in MicroBiology. Something I've always wanted. Until then, I'll continue to work in IT since I have a lot of experience and have been working in it for over 6 years now and thus well-established with a pretty diverse resume. Case in point, I can't get a job in this state, so I need to move to a different one. I'm stuck here, and I will be stuck here if I stay through the summer.


    My friends in Santa Rosa have offered me a place to crash while I job hunt, and a car to use (and buy once I have said job) in the meantime. They're close friends of mine that I love dearly, but I have reasons as to why I left California, and I'm not sure "Wine Country" is the right place. It would feel funny, but alright, to live in California again; hell, I still have a valid California driver license. The county has a higher unemployment rate (11%) but they've assured me I'd be able to get some sort of job, and I'd be able to start classes at the JC. It also firmly plants me back on the west coast, and re-opens options like Olympia, Spokane, Portland, and Albany. I might even be convinced to give San Francisco a try again (but probably not). It re-introduces the difficulty of visiting family and friends, as a cost-prohibitive (since it's always horridly expensive to visit over holidays) and time-consuming (yearly vacations are pretty much blown) endeavor. Santa Rosa would be another comfort zone, but one with good support. I would sell my Tempo and fly out to Cali, and have my stuff sent over because I just can't do another drive like that any time soon and my car is not fit enough for a drive of that length and the mountains involved.

    A fellow TGer that I've formed a friendship with, has offered help if I were to move down to the Indianapolis area. Another close friend of mine lives in Greenwood as well. But I'm not so sure Indy is the place for me. It would be simpler to visit friends and family. I'd just drive, since it's only about 7 hours' drive. Cheap to live in Indy though.... and I'd keep the car.

    I have a good acquaintance in Nashville who has also offered up a room and job hunting assistance. I think Opry-ville would be a really cool place to live. I don't know of anyone in the area. But the place is centrally-located and the cost of living is cheap. Travel to NYC, Chicago, Florida panhandle, Atlanta, it's all accessible. I'd still keep the car.

    Chicago and Boston have been options in my mind, but I would be starting off completely fresh knowing no one and being on my own. And the downfall being I'd need a much larger budget to move since there's no crash-pads. I'm a nervous and cautious person by nature, so couch surfing with people I barely know isn't something I'd do :)

    Atlanta has also been brought up, and I'm curious about the Big Peach. Other options have included Durham NC, or all up in Maryland somewhere. Even though living close to DC makes me nervous and a bit leery.

    I figured the West Coast didn't work for me, so what about the East Coast?

    So all of this post (and there's much more to it, but I'll spare you and only expand on something if a question's asked) leads up to the question: should Spulat live in YOUR town? If I should, tell me why! Please! Or if you knew of a great place, tell me why I should go there. I'm a very doubtful and skeptical person by nature, and I usually roll things n my head so much I end up doing nothing and simply getting stuck in my own web of thought. I am told by many to "go with your gut feeling", but sadly, I'm just very out of touch with my gut. Despite it sticking out a little bit.

    "Hell" as a location, is not an option.

    Some stipulations and things to keep in mind:

    -The midwest isn't really for me. I'm a progressive person, not to mention, a non-smoker.
    -Nothing in the southwest. Far too hot.
    -Nothing too far north, or with harsh Winters. I'm Seasonal-Affective and I would like at least a little less snow, and for the love of pete, get me out of the Rust Belt... yes I know I'm considering Chicago.
    - Would like to be a homeowner one day. Kind of kills California, doesn't it?

    Some hobbies of mine:
    -I enjoy the out of doors. Camping, biking, things of that nature. Not a big fisher, and not a hunter.
    - I'm a big music person. Listening, performing, creating, playing, all of that. Music is a very important part of my life.
    - The computer. Gaming. Duh.
    - I'm interested in the Sciences, but for the forseeable future, I'm an IT guy. So a reasonably vigorous tech pool is nice.
    - Would like to work on cars.

    In closing, admittedly, at this point I feel I'm living my life for my friends and my family. But my family does fine without me, and mom will make a scene when I leave but moms are moms. My closest friends all have lives (girlfriends, kids, etc) that will be keeping them in Michigan for the foreseeable future. Yet, I just don't really know where to go.

    Thus, the suggestion box. Sorry for the wall of text it ended up becoming. But Spulat has horrid wanderlust, and he needs to satiate that lust and get on with his life. He just wants to finally get the big finger off the Pause button.
    "But way back where I come from, we never mean to bother. We don't like to make our passions other peoples' concern." -Dar Williams
    Former Captain of the 55th Infantry Division

  • #2
    Re: Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

    Austin, Texas - big on IT, good educational opportunities and lots of outdoorsy to do, but it may be too hot for you.
    Portland, Oregon
    Seattle, Washington
    Research triangle area, North Carolina
    San Diego, CA - generally quite a bit cheaper than the other coastal CA cities and hasn't been hit as hard economically. Often underlooked IT sector, has several universities that offer online and/or part-time classes and degrees.

    TacticalGamer TX LAN/BBQ Veteran


    • #3
      Re: Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

      I can vouch for Seattle, I lived around that area for a little while. I miss it.


      • #4
        Re: Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

        Well, hell, if you're not gonna show the video of you being wheeled into the loony bin, I guess we should help you find a new place!

        Orlando has a large technology core here. In addition to theme parks and vacation resorts, we're also known as "Silicon Alley" with over 185 small technology companies, as well as the headquarters of the behemouth that is Cisco, and a division of EASports.So if you need an IT job, I'm sure you could find one.
        About Orlando:
        We're not all theme parks. In fact most locals don't even go to that side of town unless they work there, or for that once a year trip to "Drink around the World" at Epcot. There are lots of thriving little mini-city centers: Thornton Park, College Park, Baldwin Park, Celebration, downtown Winter Park, etc. Big music scene -remember, despite the N'Sync and the Backstreet boys, we did manage to come out with some decent bands in the "90s too! matchbox 20, Sister Hazel being the biggest.
        We're an hour (at most) from the Altantic oceean beaches, two hours from the Gulf of Mexico. Yet far enough away from any major hurricane damage that may occur. Camping aplenty (no real hills though). It can get hot as hell, but we do what northerners do in the winter, but inverse - stay inside with the A/C on in the summer, run out to the car and start the a/c, go back in to finish getting ready. October through May are near perfect. Cost of living is not bad, plus -NO STATE INCOME TAX!
        Bonus: I believe Chris Hooper lives not far away in Lakeland!

        Raleigh-Durham is also supposed to be good with the research triangle there. You can rent 1900 sq ft houses (plus basement) on 1/3 acre lots there for like $800 a month. I almost moved there recently and I was amazed at the low cost of such gorgeous houses.
        I got yer Dancing With the F**&ing Stars right here!!


        • #5
          Re: Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

          Pittsburgh has some good schools and lots of jobs from what I've heard, but hell if I can find them.

          TG-18th 18th SF Operational Detachment Delta

          If you're playing the game, be in the correct TeamSpeak Channel.


          • #6
            Re: Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

            Originally posted by UnDeaD77 View Post
            I can vouch for Seattle, I lived around that area for a little while. I miss it.
            Seattle is a great city and don't believe the myth of rain every day.

            - -


            • #7
              Re: Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

              Originally posted by Spulat View Post
              ... "Hell" as a location, is not an option...
              In particular since there is a Hell, Michigan this would violate one of the key requirements of being out of said state. :p

              ~ Draken


              • #8
                Re: Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

                The only big suggestion I could give you would be where I currently live: Colorado. Specifically the Denver-Boulder metro area. There is a HUGE tech center here. SUN, Cisco, StorageTEK, Google, and Ball are just some of the big names within 5 miles of where I live.

                Also here is the University of Colorado (lovingly known as CU since the University of California stole UC) and Front Range Community College. CU is one of the most highly acclaimed public schools in the country for the sciences. There are several nobel prize winners on the teaching staff, lots to do (the school also offers IT jobs, as well as internships on a work-study basis with neighboring tech moguls), and a sound academic environment.

                The weather here is phenomenal. Warm-to-hot summers with very low humidity, nice comfortable breezes, snow in the winter. The terrain offers anything any outdoorsman could possibly want: hiking, skiing, rafting, climbing, camping, biking, hunting, fishing, skydiving, flying, and any variation of those things you can think of (and many you cant). Theres lots of flatland terrain, as well as, of course, the rocky mountains. Nice thing about these activities is that its good for you, and in addition, most of them are free or quite cheap.

                The job market isnt too bad up here. I'm always seeing ads for jobs. I dont really know many people who cant find a job if they want one (save for your people who think they're too good to work in food service to get by or some such like that).

                There is a wonderful public transportation system out here as well. Light rail and buses, interconnected throughout the entire metro area. You can take a public bus from boulder to denver international airport, some 50 miles away, and its relatively hassle free (and cheap). It's cheap, clean and efficient (even in dead of winter), and has been rated amongst the best public transportation systems in the country for several years. If you need to go somewhere in denver, boulder or the surrounding areas, RTD will get you there.

                The real estate isnt bad either. Apartment prices are very reasonable in areas with lower crime rates. Houses for rent are plentiful with very cheap rent prices (one of my buddies just moved into a 5 bedroom house for 800 bucks a month...not per room, 800 for the whole place, and its in a very nice neighborhood).

                The one thing I do want to throw out there about your situation is this: plan to stay out of school for at least a year. Why? Tuition. I dont know how much experience you've had with it, but tuition rates for non-residents of any state are generally triple of what they are for state residents. If you get yourself a place (with your name on the lease), at least one major utility in your name and a drivers license for the state you live in, you can begin to declare residency wherever you move. Now, terms of residency for tuition purposes vary from state to state, but in most places, the residency requirement is one full year before you can be accepted as a resident of the state.

                So why stay out of school? Two reasons:
                1. Most states will not accept residency for tuition purposes if you are a full time student at any point in time during the "proabation" period. This means that if you move to colorado, during the year you're gaining residency, if you enroll in school full time, the clock stops.
                2. Every credit hour that you're taking, you're going to be paying an arm and a leg for. Why waste triple your money for a three credit class when you can easily wait a year and pay a fraction of the cost.

                Keep in mind, that if youre looking at financial aid as an option, it will cover most of your out of state tuition in most places, but the amount you get in pell grants and stafford loans (both federal finanacial aid programs) are not increased or decreased based on your residency. You get a flat rate, regardless. Just something to keep in mind.


                • #9
                  Re: Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

                  I also have to agree with Ferris - I spent about 6 months in Colorado, and Denver-Boulder is absolutely a great place to live.
                  I got yer Dancing With the F**&ing Stars right here!!


                  • #10
                    Re: Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

                    San Jose, CA. Good jobs, bad nightlife, and nice scenery.
                    TG Pathfinder

                    "I travel alone through the valley of the shadow of death, yet in my heart I carry no fear, for Gods hands will guide me to Truth and Honor."


                    • #11
                      Re: Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

                      Thanks for the input guys, let me break it down a bit based on the suggestions:

                      Tau - Though I didn't mention it, I HAVE thought about Texas. Problem is, at least from my "Yankee" perspective, is that the Dallas-Ft. Worth is really the only modern and more progressive part of the state. I have a friend who lived there and enjoyed it, but stated that people are pretty bigoted and closed minded outside of the city limit. So I'm not sure about Austin. Texas has me curious, simply because "everything's bigger in Texas!" and I have a somewhat larger-than-life view of the world and whatnot.

                      San Diego isn't much of an option, even though the closest I got was Irvine. I did a fair amount of research on the area, and for what it offers culturally and whatnot... I'm sure the vibe is good, but probably not for me.

                      Portland, I spent a night out there and hung around earlier in the evening, beforehand. Pretty chill place, but, just too small.

                      Undead & Vulcan- I spent a day up in Seattle, and thought it was a pretty neat place. The climate is actually very similar to Michigan's; in that it has only a few more overcast and precipitous days than the Detroit area does, per year, and is affected by nearby water. However, the traffic is still horrendous, and the real estate market is much higher than it should be. As cool as it seemed, I seemed to have got a weird vibe off the place.

                      Draken - always the joker, my fellow Michigander :P

                      Spyder- From what I hear, Pittsburgh is kind of... the pits, same with Philly. I have an aunt who lived up in Scranton years ago, and we visited a couple of times. Even though Scranton is obviously a bit far away from either. But I haven't really given Penn a look... didn't seem to interest me a lot, though the Poconos are absolutely beautiful.

                      Tau & Tango- I'm quite interested in what kind of state North Carolina is in right now. I lived there when I was younger, and my parents thought it was "OK". But then again, we lived in various junky apartments in Jacksonville while my dad was stationed at Cam LeJeune. I should look into the whole "research triangle" thing more. It just seemed that NC/TN that kind of area, is a "middle ground" overall. It's not necessarily coastal, the cost of living is down, it's centrally located to a degree, there's still a winter but not too cold and you can grow some hardier semi-tropical plants and whatnot. Problem I may have is humidity ;) Another friend of mine grew up in Memphis, and said definitely never go there... but that Nashville is fine. I was also told by some people, that Raleigh-Durham is the way to go and the rest of the state was all redneck ;)

                      Tango- Florida is an interesting option. You state there's jobs, but the state's unemployment rate is rather high. I understand there's no state tax, but I grew up with the impression that when you retire, you move to Florida. So it's full of elderly people. There's actually an Orthotics & Prosthetics program I was considering enrolling in, that's in St Petersburg. A childhood friend of mine who grew up across the street from me (who isn't really a friend anymore), for a time was trying to convince me to move down there and rent a room from him. He and his family relocated from Michigan about 8 years ago, down to the Plant City area. Though interesting about Orlando, I may look into it. Hurricanes bothered me about as much as earthquakes did, and I lived through many earthquakes so.... ;)

                      Ferris- I'm very intrigued about your vouching for Denver. Partly because you had the largest post reply by quite a margin ;) My parents have old friends in Denver, and visited there, and wanted to move there at one point. I think they still do, in the back of their minds. I'd be interested in Twiggy's input too, though I think he and the McLarge family live in Co Springs. You touched on many, if not all of my points (thank you), and has me seriously considering doing my research now. If it has a decent IT base, but then the opportunity for a good college, then perhaps that may be the way to go. Though I understand your point on residency, and rest assured, I'm well aware of the fact that I have to wait a year to go back to school ;) I've dealt with the debacle once or twice already. I think the Winters may get to me, though, and perhaps the mountains will contribute to a feeling of being isolated, though I should look up the population concentration.

                      I'll probably have more thoughts coming down the line, but keep 'em coming everyone!
                      "But way back where I come from, we never mean to bother. We don't like to make our passions other peoples' concern." -Dar Williams
                      Former Captain of the 55th Infantry Division


                      • #12
                        Re: Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

                        Originally posted by Ghost02 View Post
                        San Jose, CA. Good jobs, bad nightlife, and nice scenery.
                        LOL... ghost... I already lived there, man :) I lived off The Alameda, then moved up to Mountain View at El Camino Real & Hwy 82. Easy to find a job, everything else... kind of sucked. Wasn't the kind of place for me.
                        "But way back where I come from, we never mean to bother. We don't like to make our passions other peoples' concern." -Dar Williams
                        Former Captain of the 55th Infantry Division


                        • #13
                          Re: Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

                          Oh spulat, you'd only feel isolated until you got your first dose of SKI BUNNIES!


                          • #14
                            Re: Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

                            I'd have to say you sorta described Boston in what you're looking for.

                            +To the outdoors: lots of stuff around, I could find a new place to go mountain biking every weekend if I wanted to, and good amount of camping areas, and NH is close by as well.

                            +To music scene: good amount of local bands, and many are not crap. The music scene in Boston is as varied as you want it to be, and a new House of Blues opened up on Lansdowne Street (where the Avalon was, right behind Fenway Park).

                            +To education: some of the countries best schools are right here in the city.

                            +To healthcare: Like the schools, some of the best hospitals in the country/world are here.

                            Its pretty easy to live outside the city and make it in for work, which opens up the house market and such.

                            I honestly cannot see myself moving away from here at any point. The only place that I could think of would be Colorado, or somewhere West with better mountains for snowboarding, but don't get me wrong, there are some great mountains wicked close by that are very easy to get to.

                            Career opportunities should be ok-ish I bet, I think our unemployment rate is lower than many other places in the country. I would assume that the IT market should be adequate, as there are countless companies in Boston, and the surrounding area.

                            I would also check out some of Texas as others have suggested.


                            • #15
                              Re: Should Spulat live in YOUR town?

                              Boston? Yeah, stay away from that place. Colorado is the place to go. Land is cheap, the local economy is actually expanding a little, and there are a lot of great schools.

                              I could suggest my locality, but you don't want to live in LA... Hell, most of us here don't want to, but it somehow holds us captive. Though there are some great schools around me, there aren't any jobs to be had here. Also, stay away from santa rosa... the economy is sucking there too. My freind who lives up there is having a hell of a time finding work. As a rule, go for the larger population centers.

                              If you want a place like boston, go for New York. Because boston sucks.

                              Disclaimer* : //Raised in jersey and trained to dislike boston from a very young age.
                              |TG-Irr| Dfg872




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