Archive for the ‘Inara’ Category

We’z Moving

Monday, November 2nd, 2015


After over a decade of talking about it, we are moving to Portland, Oregon. We put our amazing, hard-to-(be)leave custom-built Eichler on the market this week. We plan to move to Portland in January and rent while we look for our next dream house. One that won’t require a five-year-long remodel.

Yes. This may seem a bit sudden. But it’s been a long time coming. The timing is right, now. Last month we travelled there to do a preliminary look at houses and schools. Some “research.” But… Oops. We found a house on Day 1 and a school on Day 2. The school is very much like the one Inara attends now in San Francisco. And the house we found is amazing, mid-century modern, beautiful… We knew it the moment we walked in. We sat in front of it and checked the distance to all of our favorite eateries. None of them were more then a 10 minute drive. Some of them we could have rode our bikes to. But… they sold it to someone else. :-(

After coming home, we decided to get things in place so we would not lose another dream house.

Then we decided to not do it.

Then maybe do it.

Then do it, but not until next summer.

Then not do it.

Finally, we did it.

Scott is still panicking about this great idea. Well – the moving there is a great idea. It’s the moving away from here that isn’t. We have a ton of friends and family that we are moving away from. We live in a stunning neighborhood with dozens of amazing people who we have become extremely close to. Friends who we just met in the last 7 years who we know we will be close to the rest of our lives. Scott is also very active in the local community and, although he finds it frustrating to not always make the impact he wants, he has left his mark on Castro Valley. He is struggling with walking away from that and the people he has met through Castro Valley Matters.

But. This is what’s best for our family. Besides our neighborhood, our friends all over the Bay, and Inara’s school, there is nothing much left in the once-great Bay Area we like anymore. We want local restaurants that are not nationwide chains. We want to never ever be stuck in Bay Area traffic again. Ever. We want to live in a place where people can afford to be artists and musicians. Where the middle class is not struggling to pay their bills. It’s exhausting trying to survive in the Bay Area. It’s no longer the place we fell in love with.

And Mona would like to live where people are encouraged to be weird, because really, it’s the one thing she excels at.

I know that this will break the hearts of our many friends, family, and drinking partners here in the Bay Area… because leaving you is breaking our hearts too.


All the emotions. We haz them.

Sadness We have deep roots here.  We have lived in the Bay Area for two decades. That’s a lot of history. We live in an amazing neighborhood with amazing people. It’s really and truly a unicorn of a neighborhood and we hate to leave it. Our neighborhood Facebook page is lively and hilarious. EVERYBODY you meet is wonderful. We have a full-on neighborhood band, Sons of Fortran, which Scott helped start. Five of the six members live in the neighborhood.

Besides the natural beauty and the mid-century charm of Greenridge, there are so many people near and dear to us that we will miss too. It’s the little things. Meeting 4-5 dads  in the park most weekdays at 4pm with their kids. Dropping by for a quick chat that turns into four hours of wine and dinner. Late-night vinyl listening. Spontaneous dinner parties and movie nights. Halloween pirate ships. The little things, they are all big things.

On top of all that, we have spent seven years building our dream house in this neighborhood. We have designed and touched and created every piece of it.

We look at the lights and remember the hours of meticulous research we did finding just the right fixtures and ordering them through a web site which hadn’t been updated since 1963. Or we look at the doorknobs and remember the hours debating whether we should go with the original Eichler doorknob or a rounder (still retro) one that feels better in our hand but wasn’t what Joseph Eichler had originally selected to install.

Makes it hard to find a new house in Portland. (So you can understand how horrible it was to lose the one we did).

Disgust Bay. Area. Traffic. Blows. As does the restaurant scene in Castro Valley. And housing prices. Dear god. The housing prices.  And I could really super duper use being able to sit in a coffee shop without tech bros talking about how they are going to make a great shopping site. For women. Without actually having any women present at the meeting. Because tech bros know what women need. AmIright? I need my tech bro person exposure ratio radically adjusted.

Fear Oh god oh god oh god is this a good idea oh god. But.. jobs? Friends? Where will we live? Rain? Does it really rain 329 days a year up there? What if we can’t make friends with people up there? What is we never find a house we like? What if Scott can’t find place in the tech scene up there? What if we both gain 100 pounds because of all the amazing food? What if we start to think that Lardo’s Pork belly Gyro is JUST ANOTHER SANDWICH instead of a gift from the heavens?? I’m making light of this, but seriously. We are terrified.

Anger WHY oh WHY did we not think to stage our house WHILE WE LIVED IN IT??!!!!!? Oh. So stupid. (Please take this lesson from us – perfect is the enemy of good – just do the renovation, do the landscaping… don’t wait). Our place is (even more) amazing de-cluttered. Our friend Disgust also makes an appearance here and kicks Joy in the throat with a “Don’t get too attached it’s going on the market.” Then Sadness shows up and gives us all a hug.

Joy Finally, we are feeling joy at starting this new chapter of our lives together. We have always loved Portland, except that one time we went at the weather was freakishly cold and everything was frozen and there was so much snow. But I’m sure that will never happen again. We have always loved how laid back it is. How quality of life is prioritized over those 80 hour work weeks the Bay Area treasures so. We love the coffee. Even I drink the coffee up there. We love the food, because what the Bay Area calls Free Range, Organic, Locally Grown Nibbles$$$$$$, Portland calls Food. With one, maybe two $$. Don’t ask me how many $$$ we will drop off our mortgage and other living expenses. We are also looking forward, with joy, to seeing more of our friends who live in the Pacific North West. Mona looks forward to hiking and visiting the Oregon Coast. Scott is looking forward to getting to know wine country and starting a business in Portland. And cocktail week. Inara* is looking forward to going to the school with the guinea pig and the giant tire on the playground. She is also really looking forward to the rain. California has been drought stricken for most of her life, so she is completely and absolutely obsessed with all things rain. The harder, the heavier, the wetter, the better. Because… PUDDLES!

This is a huge, scary move. But we believe it is what is best for our family. We want to raise our child in a more creative, less stressed, higher quality environment. We want to spend more time together as a family without playing Survivor: Silicon Valley.

We will miss our friends old and new, our neighborhood, and our family in the Bay Area. We love all of you dearly, and we look forward to having you move up to Portland with us shortly.