Discussion in 'Pacific Regional Discussion' started by Sol_Jedi, Mar 8, 2011.
I want to see if we can get together sometime. But I don't know who still lurks around here.
Not many people around apparently. How are you doing? I check in from time to time...
Still checking out the board now and again.
I'm still here keeping the LAFF on by a thread. Let's hope the economy gets better so we can recruit and go out again.
It's definitely a lot better than it was! My stock portfolio is almost back to what it was at the peak, which is great. Let's just hope that companies use the money they have on the sidelines to start hiring again, which will boost consumer spending, which is 70% of economic activity. Companies have a record $1.2 trillion in cash right now. A war chest!
Bowen, I'm glad to hear you are doing well. As for many, inclulding myself and other people I know, the economy is not any better, it might be a little worse. I know just as many people, if not more, who are unemployed or underemployed. The last I heard, the unemployment figures are about the same and gas prices have increased by almost 30% (not to mention food, rent and other necessities). I've heard that the recession is fading, but that improvement for the proverbial 'little guy' will be slow in coming. I've heard even more pessimistic predictions that the average American worker will never get to the comfortable level we were before the Bush administration. That's what I've heard anyway. I hope your predictions are more accurate and we can get together again for dinner, conversation and a movie like we used to.
Well unemployment is definitely down a bit, I mean it's at about 8.9% now instead of 10% or whatever it was. It's not a huge difference by any means, and in some cities it's still completely terrible (Fresno is 18% unemployment!), but there is a lot of health in the economy that wasn't there before. Stocks dipped to 6,800 for the Dow and are now back up to 12,300, from a high of 14,000, so they are almost back to where they were before the crash, which is a good chunk of the wealth in this country. Most people have some money in stocks at least, whether it's a retirement account or personal account, etc. The biggest loss has been home values, which continue to be down and don't seem to be improving much at all, if at all.
Gas is a real pain in the butt, I agree. I'm annoyed to see it so high yet again, but I admit it doesn't affect me hardly at all. I mean ok $60 every time I fill my tank, which is twice a month. I don't have to drive much. So $120 per month instead of let's say $60 or $75, really not a big difference in my monthly expenses. I think it affects the people at the bottom of the economic scale the most, and the people who have to drive a ton, then it really adds up and hits you where it hurts. Especially if you only have a few hundred left over every month, that wipes that out.
Most people I know are employed and not really having any problems, it's just business as usual. Still more than 90% of people have jobs, so... it's not a GOOD situation but it's not terrible either. It's going to be a slow recovery, there is no doubt about that, the market always rebounds before there's a real trickle down effect to the average person. The companies have to feel comfortable enough to start spending money again, but the good news is never before in American history have companies had this much cash on hand, so when they do feel like expanding again, that means opening new plants or new stores, which requires more employees, which stimulates hires, etc. So that's the hope, but I wouldn't say it'll be fast. I think you're looking at 3-5 years before the unemployment rate dips down to a more reasonable maybe 6%. Just a guess.
What do you do for work Varekeii? We've definitely noticed more companies willing to spend money on marketing, which is more or less the business we are in besides my writing-directing career. Mainly though we do business-to-business services, creating Web videos or promotional videos for companies, and business is really picking up this year with new contracts and a lot more spending, which is great to see.
I work for Satan Incorporated, also known as LAUSD or Enron Unified School District. There are privileged people here, too. When they make cuts, they are ones that affect the lower paid employees much more than the ones getting $100,000. But, that's always been the way of the world, hasn't it? I can retire and keep my health benefits in 5 years, one month and one week otherwise I might be looking for something else. Maybe a temp or part time job at that time (or sooner if they cut my hours this year)would be cool.
I could go on about this, but there's no reason I should blather away on this forum just to make myself feel important. I'll save the blather for something good about Star Wars and keep the 'me' stuff to a couple of short paragraphs. Besides, I am only too aware of all the people trying to support a whole family on half of what I make. I think I'm even angrier for some of them.
Sorry for the rant. Injustice is something that upsets me, social or economic.
Bowen, that's good that your portfolio is doing good. My 401(k) is starting to recover and my personal mutual funds are paying the fees I paid in about 1 month. I'm looking to invest some of my personal injury settlement so I can go to Europe next year before December 21st. That way, if I do die, I can say I saw the other side of the world with my own eyes.
I'm moving to another area to save money myself, way too much money outgoing on my place. The cost of living is very high in Los Angeles, I mean you have to get way outside of the city to reduce it a bit. I pay $2,900/month for my condo downtown, which is small, has no view, limited amenities (but high HOA dues for no reason, haha)... it's truly both stupid and ridiculous. So I'm looking to offload this place sometime soon but in the mean time searching for condos in Long Beach. There are some amazing deals, very inexpensive, something under $125,000 is what I'm looking for (my condo is $360K, which is hilarious, god bless whoever buys this) and I'm just going to pay cash, so I can cut my living expenses from $2,900/month to $500/month (HOA dues are like $250 or less, $150 property taxes, $100 or less electricity)! That would be really big for me, just don't have the money to keep wasting it here. Plus I work from home anyway, what do I care if I'm 20 miles South of Downtown when I rarely drive anywhere. I haven't even gotten in my car since March 15, haha.
If I could find a permanent job in range of Long Beach, I wouldn't mind moving to the nice part of LB. I'm a Burbank person. I just like it there.
Me too actually, haha. My sister lives in Burbank, and I love Burbank myself. It's a "boring" city and there's really nothing to do there for fun, but I just find it kind of a gem in the rough, it's very quiet and peaceful and seems safe and I always feel like it would be a great place to live. Our offices were in Burbank when I started off in the business, my business partner was there too, so is my storage even now, so I spent most of my time in Burbank besides Downtown. If I had unlimited money, I would really want to buy a condo in the Burbank Collection there downtown, I think that is the coolest location. It would be lots of fun actually -- 3 movie theaters within walking distance, there are several Tae-Kwon-Do schools within walking distance, there are countless good restaurants, etc. Plus I know Burbank so well that it wouldn't be weird to move there since I've eaten at most of the restaurants downtown and spent so much time driving around there. I even did my banking at the Wells Fargo in Burbank. Great city, wish I could pick up a small cheap place there but it's just too pricey for what I'm looking for (a second home, basically, that'll serve as a first home for under a year -- ultimately I'm buying in Vegas on the Strip, want to get out of CA).
I'll look you up if I ever visit Vegas. But we should all get together for dinner again. If anyone can suggest a place that won't break everyone's wallet (so no one complains), we should all get together. I know Islands isn't that expensive or even some place like Hometown Buffet.
I love Islands! I haven't been there in years... wow. I used to go there all of the time to the one near LAX, because I was off Sepulveda and going to Loyola Marymount. I think I went to the one in Burbank just once, but it was a great restaurant when I used to go there.
SJ & B, good ideas! Someplace inexpensive like Islands. Souplantation, Dennys or Hometown Buffet would be a hoot, just because they are so pedestrian. There's also a load of economical ethnic restaurants that will feed us for less than $15 a head. SJ, remember when we went to Roscoes? I'd recommend that, except they are usually too crowded, especially on a weekend.
Ok, where does everyone live? I'm willing to drive to wherever the consensus lives so we can have dinner.
I'd drive to Burbank for sure if people wanted to, because I'm there quite often anyway and it's great. I usually don't mind driving anywhere within 20 miles, which covers a ton from Downtown, but once you start getting out into West Hills or down to Irvine, it sucks!
I drove to Irvine and back today, client meeting, 45 miles to where I was going. Fortunately it was fast both ways, I was amazed, only 45-50 minutes each way, guess I hit traffic ok.
Ok, so is the Islands in Burbank a good spot? Possibly in May so it's after Easter?
I'm in and out during May, will probably be in Portland the last 10 days of the month or so. But I'm sure we could find a date.
Looks like with any luck I'll be moving to Long Beach within a month. I have an offer in for a two-bedroom condo that I really like down there, but we're negotiating, and I have an accepted offer on a bank-owned property down there that I decided has too many HOA issues to be as desirable as it appeared. It is very nice, but the HOA is a wreck, which is unfortunate.
So hopefully I'll be doing that move next month, save a bunch of money!
So, it sounds like the South Bay area would be more convenient than Burbank for more people, depending on who shows up.
I also heard about a Japanese Cultural Exhibition @ the Ken Miller Recreation Center, 3341 Torrance Blvd., Torrance this weekend. Admission and parking are free. The exhibition includes a variety of Japanese martial arts, arts & crafts, food, etc. Since so much of the Jedi/Sith Cultures are reminiscent of Bushido & Zen, I thought some of you might find this an appealing day trip.
The link for more information is: www.TorranceCA.Gov.
If anyone's interested, I will probably be checking it out on Saturday.
Nice, that's pretty cool!
Yeah it looks like pretty soon Burbank is going to be far from me, haha. I just got a great offer on my condo last night, very exciting! We actually had an offer only 5 days after listing it for above the list price, which is amazing, I was just hoping it would be something close to list and it ended up being an amazing offer. So fingers crossed that 1) It goes through ok, and 2) I get accepted on my offer for a condo in Long Beach. Otherwise, by June 10 or 15, I'm homeless lol
Obviously it's been awhile since this was last posted in, so I'm not around much, but yeah, I'm around. I live in Van Nuys now.
I for one would enjoy a get together of some sort. It's been a long time since I've seen you guys.
Wow, MrZap is back!
So it's looking like south bay will be more convenient for most. I know JW is coming up, so how about something after or before then? I need feedback people.
I officially moved to Long Beach, I'm just off 4th Street so a pretty cool area not far from the beach and safe and quiet enough as well. I got it all setup in a few days and then spent this week in Burbank because no AC in the condo yet, that's going in tomorrow, lol. So it's going to be perfect soon, it's a work in progress.
But alas, I'll be spending most of my summer up in Portland, OR, leaving Saturday and I'll be back once or twice between then and late September (late July for a film festival in Pasadena, then maybe mid-September for another festival, we'll see).