Thursday, May 26, 2011

What should you know if you're moving to SD

The question comes up on Yelp, Couchsurfing, WAYN, Reddit, etc. from time to time: "Hey I'm moving to SD! What should I know?" Instead of hand-crafting a response (which I have on a few occasions now), I'm just going to keep this saved in my blog so I can copy pasta my response.

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What should you know?

We are extremely diverse. I consider myself rare because I've lived in San Diego my whole life; most people I meet nowadays are transplants. Try not to judge books by their cover, I may look like I'm Asian, but I act like I'm White, dress like I'm Black, and eat like I'm Mexican.

We have two seasons, Summer and Spring. Summer lasts from April to October, where it's either perfect or hot or somewhere in between. "Spring" are the other months where it looks like it might rain and sometimes it actually does... the other times it clears up and it's perfect. Although we don't have tornadoes or snow days, I have had a week off because of fires (two in the last 10 years). The only noise that earthquakes make... are on your Facebook and Twitter.

There's a high military presence. What does that mean? Well we get air shows from the airforce and more importantly it means we are one of the few Red cities in California. Don't worry, everyone has a laid back surfer-attitude about everything. People are openly gay and secretly Republican. Aside from some bumper stickers and signs when voting comes around, you'd never know. Another thing the high military presence means is that you can find a strip club or casino within an hour of wherever you live.

Mission Valley, to me, is the absolute center of San Diego due to Qualcomm Stadium and the huge hub of public transportation that goes through the malls there. Not that anyone actually uses public transportation, if you live here you probably own a car. Most people drive like the speed limit is actually 10MPH over whatever is posted, everywhere.

The cost of living is considered high (known as our "sunshine tax") but our salaries are decent. There's also plenty of stuff to do - we have beaches, parks, communities for everyone regardless of age, race, or sexual orientation. We have a couple sports teams that people remember when they're doing good too.

The food is obviously great due to the amount of diversity, but it's not as good as say LA or SF. There's plenty to discover in SD, welcome to the home of Comicon, Shamu, and YOU!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Modern Day Etiquette: Holding Doors

I wanted to do an entry about tipping, but I'll save that one for later.

Holding doors is a nice thing to do. It doesn't take you much effort and it saves the person you're holding it for the effort of holding a door you already opened anyways.

When do I hold doors?

My main rule is that if I open a door and it would swing shut on someone, I should hold it open instead.

Depending on the traveling-speed of the person and closing-speed of the door this distance can vary quite a bit. For most doors and most walking paces, the distance is about 10 feet.

Any further than the close-on-them rule, and you might create the situation where the person feels obligated to quicken their pace to get through the held door. Remember the whole point of holding doors is to make their life easier, not to make them jog!

Another must-hold time is when a person is carrying something through the door. If it would be difficult or impossible for them to get through the door without your help, this is a big must-hold time!

So now you know When, but How should I be holding the door?

Silly I know, just hold it whichever way that works! You probably already hold them in different ways in different situations and don't even realize it. A few things dictate how you hold the door. Some factors include: which direction the door opens, their gender, how much of a rush you're in, how much of a rush they appear to be in, the destination of the place that you're holding the door for.

There are generally two ways to hold doors.

Way 1) Holding it from the handle and letting them pass in front of you.

Way 2) Holding it from the inside and placing your palm on the door.

Way 1 is the Rolls-Royce of holding doors for people. It's the ultimate courtesy, you're allowing them to pass ahead of you and get to the destination before you and you are saving them the effort of opening the door. What a gentleman! This is the way I hold doors for females (at all times) and also for people carrying things. I'll also do this at super-busy doors of establishments depending on my mood.

Way 2 is used the most often. To me this is the standard way people should open doors. It saves the person the effort of opening the door, but you also get to your destination in the same order you arrived. What's great about this method is that they usually check behind them and do the same, creating a door-holding chain! Awesome! Also, this way should always be used if there are multiple doors in a row. If you've ever held a door in Way 1 only to have them hold a second door for you later, your goal of making their life easier failed.

tl;dr - Hold doors for people in any way you'd like. It's a nice thing to do!