This question is directed at anyone who lives somewhere. So as not to discriminate, those who do not live somewhere, but perhaps live somewhen instead, are also invited to participate, but only if they can explain how that works.
It's pretty open-ended really, but a few things to consider:
Even if you frequently move, or do not live most of any given year at a fixed address, I'm still looking for the same basic things: what keeps you in a state of moving around so much?
N.B. Don't feel obligated to answer those subquestions I asked. Photos, words, videos... whatever; answer however you damn well please. I'm mostly just curious about where other TA members are coming from, figuratively and literaly.
Greetings to another Ramblin' Wreck!
If you can, take Robert Blaskiewicz's skepticism class. He's an entertaining teacher and a fun guy.
I live on the northside of Houston, Texas. It's only about half as bad as it sounds. Many of my friends are either fine with my atheism or consider it another quirk of my personality. Is the community at large okay with atheists? Not really. Then again, I don't spend much time with the community at large. It bothers me a bit that the sole reason I don't have an atheist bumper sticker on my car is because I don't want it keyed (again) but there are a few things keeping me here.
1) School. I intentionally entered a field that was highly portable. Then I went back to school and now I'm pretty much stuck in Houston for the next 2-3 years unless I can find another branch of the college with my major.
2) The joys of Houston. I'm a huge fan of museums, libraries, live music, and theater. Houston is second in the US for museums and theater. First is New York and the cost of living is far, far less here than it is there. One can use either the city or county library (I have a card for both but prefer county) and between the two there's a library within ten miles of every place worth being. The live music scene could be better but being the fourth largest city in the US means we do get all the major acts, and quite a few smaller ones, so I'm content with it. We're not Austin but Austin isn't too far to drive for a good festival.
3) Boyfriend. His custody arrangement with his ex means he can't leave the greater Houston area and still see his child. There a reason this is number three on the list. I have every intention of starting a long-distance relationship with him the moment I finish school.
4) The weather. As much I hate the fact that, in summer, you basically walk outside and your clothes are drenched in sweat, I abhor being cold. Cold is, and I will say this regardless of time of day, year or emotions of the moment, the worst feeling in world. I also adore rain and hurricane season in Houston is a beautiful, wonderful, thing.
I am planning a great escape and I have two years, hopefully, to do what everyone else in my family has done: leave Houston only to come back in a decade with your tail tucked between your legs and your eyes marveling at how much the city has changed.
"It bothers me a bit that the sole reason I don't have an atheist bumper sticker on my car is because I don't want it keyed (again) but there are a few things keeping me here."
That's funny, I live in Houston too and I've been telling my family for the past two years that I'd put an Obama bumper sticker on my car if I thought that it wouldn't get my car keyed. What is it with Texas and keying cars??
I live in North Highlands, California. Politically, it is split fairly evenly between Democrats and Republicans. Demographically speaking, there are just over 44,000 people in 12.8 square miles. Most are married and Christian. Many are Russian. Most households make less than 50K/year with many sitting right around 15-20K. Probably because most of the people have an associates degree or less. Temperatures rarely fall below freezing in winter and it doesn't snow. Summer temps are hot. Generally in the 90's, with several days over 105, and even a few over 110.
Kingdom Hall of Jehovahs Witnesses
Emmanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church
Valey Christian Church
Evangel Christian Fellowship Church
Evening Light Church of God
Highlands Missionary Baptist Church
Highlands Christian Center
Slavic Missionary Church
Faith Baptist Tabernacle
I moved to California after my divorce in 2004. My family lived in the area and although I have moved cities, I am still within a 20 minute drive from my first place here. I am open about my atheism, when it comes up, and most people don't seem to care. The only time religion is a problem here is Halloween. None of the Russians celebrate, and very few of the Indian/Pakistanis celebrate.
There are only a few things going for this location, but they are important to me. One is the cost of rent (paying 860 for a 3 bedroom townhouse). But that will go up this summer to a price I don't know I want to pay, so I may be looking to move again. But the location might be worth it to stay.... undecided right now. The school my kids go to (across the street!) have been very helpful when it comes to my son on the autism spectrum, and my college is 10 mins away. My parents also live around the corner and provide child care to my youngest when I go to school. That being said, if I could afford to move, to a place that meets all my wants, I would in a heartbeat.
I'm in Central Ohio. Pretty religious, but I think the people I know are very accepting of my atheism. If they're not, I don't want to know them. I drive my car with my Darwin fish and park it right next to the Jesus fish and pro-life stickers at work. No one's said anything yet. Where I work is right on the way home for some people my husband works with. At a get-together at my house, one of his friends told me he followed me to work the week before. I asked how he knew it was me and he said, "how many other Chargers are driving around here with a Darwin fish and an Apple sticker?" Good point.
I would love to live somewhere more progressive, but, I've never been good at fitting in. I'd rather be the odd-ball, and maybe start something here.