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Where to get individual health care in California

In a few months, I'll be turning 26 and kicked off my dad's policy. [more inside]
posted by madonna of the unloved on Jul 30, 2014 - 7 answers

Going to the SF CA DMV without an appointment.

My out-of-state driver's license expires mid-August. I'd like to a get a new one before then, but the "next available appointment" on the DMV website is at the end of August. How likely am I, in San Francisco, California, to be able to get this done without an appointment? What times should I go, to maximize this likelihood? [more inside]
posted by wayland on Jul 26, 2014 - 17 answers

Yes, I know I'm an idiot.

A failure to pay a fix-it ticket on time in California led to a failure to appear notice and a big-ass bail/fine. I know that I'm dumb, and I do have some valid excuses (my dog died and my life has been a goddamn mess that is sort of starting to get better) for why I forgot to mail in the proof, but I have specific questions after the jump. [more inside]
posted by ablazingsaddle on Jul 26, 2014 - 3 answers

We've been screwed by a vehicle buyer. What should we do first?

My partner and I currently live in PA. Before moving here from CA, my partner sold a vehicle to a private party (I was not a part of this transaction). That guy never registered the vehicle and collected a ton of tickets.. which he never paid. The state of CA just auto-deducted over $800 from his bank account to cover these tickets. Rent is due next week, and our landlord is kind of a drag. We're a little overwhelmed. This is terrible! What happens now?
posted by ElectricGoat on Jul 24, 2014 - 15 answers

How are water rates set in California, and why is water still cheap?

California is in a severe drought. The state just passed a law authorizing heavy fines for people who use water in visibly wasteful ways, and some municipalities are rationing households or talking about doing so. However, my impression is that actual water rates (prices for ordinary use) haven't gone up much. Is that correct? And if so, what would need to happen for rates to go up, and why isn't it happening? [more inside]
posted by aws17576 on Jul 16, 2014 - 17 answers

Weary travellers seek entertainment!

Seven hours to kill in Los Angeles - how to occupy our time? Special snowflake details inside. [more inside]
posted by liquorice on Jul 13, 2014 - 17 answers

Overnight stay in Redwoods near San Jose

My partner and I are headed to California in August and have 2 days to ourselves. We're both very avid hikers and are interested in seeing redwoods. Help us plan an awesome 2 day hike between San Jose/Sonoma! [more inside]
posted by olya on Jul 11, 2014 - 9 answers

From the Portland Airport, to the Redwood Forest...

I need to quickly firm up planning for our August vacation in Oregon and Northern California; we have about 10 days to spend and I haven't gotten very as far in terms of specifics. Degree of Difficulty: 16yo daughter and non-drinking husband [more inside]
posted by drlith on Jul 10, 2014 - 8 answers

It's Always Sunny in L.A. (Dermatologist needed and more LA questions!)

So we moved to Los Angeles four days ago (in what I think is Mid-Wilshire-- the closest landmarks are the tar pits and the Grove) and while I've been eagerly reading past archives of LA lifehacks and tips, I could use some further advice. [more inside]
posted by jetlagaddict on Jul 8, 2014 - 6 answers

Moving to SF-Bay Area: Which local bank/credit union should I switch to?

We are moving from Florida to San Francisco and need to change banks- we're not super knowledgeable about this stuff and will definitely research more, but I'd like to get some on-the-ground opinions on how various local banks/credit unions have worked for them. Great customer service and low fees are of course stuff we care about a lot. [more inside]
posted by drd on Jul 8, 2014 - 13 answers

One woman, ~48 Hours, San Diego - what to do?

I'm going to have a weekend or more to burn in San Diego in mid-September. I've visited several times before & done most of the obvious tourist things (list behind the jump). Complications: I can't drive so public transport/on foot options only; vegetarian; I'm active enough to walk/hike distances but not interested in sports activities; I'm comfortable doing most things by myself, but bars are always a challenge unless you know it's a zero-harassment place; I'll be based in Old Town. [more inside]
posted by AFII on Jul 1, 2014 - 19 answers

Is this actually a lease?

We signed a lease for a place and it's been a debacle and we haven't moved in yet. Is our lease legally binding if it wasn't countersigned and the owner hadn't closed on the place when we signed it? [more inside]
posted by Nimmie Amee on Jun 26, 2014 - 8 answers

Fun stuff to do on a Sunday night in the San Francisco Bay Area

I'll soon be flying to the Bay Area in order to attend a memorial service. My schedule is pretty structured for that weekend, but I'll have about five hours of free time (by myself) on a Sunday night. What's the best way to spend those hours? [more inside]
posted by alex1965 on Jun 26, 2014 - 7 answers

Things To Do In Los Angeles When You're Twelve

Family -- including my preteen cousin -- is coming to visit me in Los Angeles and I'm not sure where to bring them. Special personality snowflakes inside. [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Jun 21, 2014 - 33 answers

Would you pay an extra $1K/yr to be able to choose your own doctors?

How much is it worth to you to have (relative) freedom of choice? Enrolling in health insurance and I'm debating between an HMO and a PPO (both under Blue Shield of CA). The difference in cost is roughly $1,000. I'm a 26 year old female but I'm not exactly "healthy". I have mysterious, debilitating, chronic joint pain all over (undiagnosed as of yet), a couple car accident-related injuries that flare up every now and then, and I need to get a pap smear every 3 months due to a recent scare. So acupuncturists, chiropractors, internists, rheumatologists, and gynecologists must all be within easy reach for me. [more inside]
posted by doctordrey on Jun 19, 2014 - 23 answers

North West Road Trip (what to do in Oregon)

I'm taking a leisurely drive from San Jose CA. to Tacoma WA. I have allowed myself 4 days for the ride up and 4 for the ride back. What should I see? [more inside]
posted by doctor_negative on Jun 16, 2014 - 11 answers

Where should my family rent a house in July (driving distance from LA)?

I've got a wife, two small kids, a dog (although the dog doesn't always come with us), and an insatiable urge to get the hell out of LA in July. Where should we go? We'd like to rent a house in an area that's not too pricey but still nice and clean. Has to be within, say, a 4 hour drive of LA. Near the beach is a plus. Maybe not completely swamped with people is a plus. Are there any hidden gems, or should we just go to Santa Barbara like everyone else?
posted by malhouse on Jun 3, 2014 - 7 answers

Mountain Biking between Santa Barbara & Los Angeles

I'm having brunch in Santa Barbara this weekend, and then driving back to Los Angeles where I live. After brunch I'd like to drive for a while into the wilderness, park my car, and then ride my rigid frame mountain bike on some scenic single track (or fire roads, sure) for a few hours before heading home. Where should I go? [more inside]
posted by carsonb on May 30, 2014 - 4 answers

Can I renew my CA teaching credential if I've been teaching in AZ?

I have a clear California teaching credential that I want to renew this year. However, I currently reside in Arizona. Double however, it's likely that my wife and I will be returning to California within the next five years and I don't want to go through the reciprocity process again. Can I simply renew the CA credential? It looks like the process requires a recommendation from a "sponsoring agency" which I would assume is the county Office of Education. What do I do if I'm not living in CA? Can my district in Arizona "recommend" me? Thanks!
posted by john the fourth on May 29, 2014 - 2 answers

Help Me Hack a Timeshare

My family owns a timeshare (yeah, I know) through Interval International. We haven't booked any travel through the timeshare in at least 8 years. I've been put in charge of figuring out how to use it, and I have no idea where to start. [more inside]
posted by therumsgone on May 27, 2014 - 3 answers

Far from the madding crowd

I pretty much only have time off when everybody else has time off, but I don't enjoy spending my time off with everybody else! What are your general tricks and specific suggestions for enjoying tourist destinations without crowds? I'm especially interested in California (I live in the SF Bay Area), but general ideas and other places are fine too. [more inside]
posted by wintersweet on May 24, 2014 - 10 answers

Museum jobs in Los Angeles: tips, suggestions, advice?

Pretty basic: my partner and I are relocating from the East Coast to Los Angeles in July; I am hoping to find a job (or jobs) in one of LA's many fascinating cultural institutions. Primarily looking for positions in research, outreach, or education. I am looking for any suggestions as to listserves, forums, job posting boards, or other places where I can start looking for posted positions, as well as any local groups like the EMPs that I might be able to join once there. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 11, 2014 - 6 answers

Help me find an employment lawyer in Sacramento, CA

I am employed in Sacramento, California. I would like to speak to an attorney with experience in employment law, as related to overtime-exempt status. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on May 5, 2014 - 1 answer

How can I vote in California's June 3rd election?

I'll be leaving the country in early May and won't return before early August, but I'd like to vote in California's June 3rd primary election. How can I do it? [more inside]
posted by crazy with stars on Apr 28, 2014 - 2 answers

Roadtrip from Hammond, Louisianna to Vancouver, BC

I will be in Hammond, Louisiana this October and wanted to make a road trip back to my home in Vancouver Canada. The current plan is to buy a vehicle in Hammond or New Orleans, then drive through Texas and up the coast. I am an artist, so visiting sites like Marfa to see the Chianti Foundation and visiting LA to see the MOCA and the Hammer are priorities. I am asking for advice on art sites and routes with the most interesting or essential things to see. I've visited a few places in the US but this is a big trip for me I may not be able to make again so I'd like to make the most of it. If you are American, assume I know nothing. The obvious for you may not be that obvious to a Canadian. Thanks!
posted by Staples on Apr 25, 2014 - 7 answers

Where to live near/outside Sacramento, CA?

Young professional couple, 30 y/o, being relocated from NY to work in Roseville, CA. Currently work in Manhattan and live right outside the city. We're hoping to live somewhere that is within close distance to bars, restaurants, shops, etc. but are not looking to live in the suburbs. Preliminary research has shown us neighborhoods either very suburby or college towns. We still are hoping for the california feel so are a little weary about living in downtown sacramento but are open to any suggestions. We want to avoid living in an apartment building full of college kids. We would like to be west of sacramento so in closer distance to san francisco/napa/weekend trip options.
posted by kmr on Apr 11, 2014 - 29 answers

I just have my suspicions, is all

I'm looking for a relatively fine-grained source of health and environmental data for Contra Costa County, CA. County-by-county is no good, and even city-by-city isn't that great. I'd like to see it by block if possible (zip code would be useful). Anything that fine-grained would be fine: cancer rates, mortality rates, air quality, etc. [more inside]
posted by wintersweet on Apr 10, 2014 - 8 answers

How unusual is the recent pattern of earthquakes in California?

Within the last month there's been a 6.9 off the Northern California coast which I did not feel, a 4.4 near Westwood which I felt, a 5.1 near La Habra which I felt, and a swarm of aftershocks (?) of the La Habra earthquake which I haven't felt. That seems like an unusually large number of earthquakes to me. Has anyone crunched the numbers to find out if the earth has been shaking in California more than usual?
posted by rdr on Mar 31, 2014 - 7 answers

1493, but on Spanish California?

Recommendations for a recent popular history of Alta California before the American annexation? [more inside]
posted by crazy with stars on Mar 29, 2014 - 6 answers

help us plan a route from Vancouver to San Francisco

the other half and I are planning a road trip from Vancouver to San Francisco in early May and we're looking for some advice on route planning and potential stops (and stopovers.) [more inside]
posted by heeeraldo on Mar 25, 2014 - 15 answers

Safety and maintenance of basement apartment in Northern California?

I am considering living in a basement apartment near a major fault line. Is this safe? [more inside]
posted by nilihm on Mar 24, 2014 - 13 answers

Gardening for the overbooked

We've just started renting a house, so we can grow delicious things to eat! However, I need to unpack (and write, and cook, and teach, and...) rather than garden. I am willing to throw a certain amount of money at this problem. What should I look for at garden stores? [more inside]
posted by wintersweet on Mar 7, 2014 - 12 answers

Least corrupt part of a metro area in or near northern California?

Looking for a place to live that's reasonably urban, reasonably priced, reasonably egalitarian, and on the up-and-up, in that it has low to no gang trouble or backroom cigar smoking deciders or other crime, organized or not. Does this exist in the Bay Area? Sacramento? Elsewhere?
posted by Baeria on Mar 6, 2014 - 12 answers

Why no alcohol content info on the wine label?

I thought that, by law, all wine bottles in the US must show their % alcohol content. But recently in California I've bought wine which doesn't display the alcohol content on either the front or back label. Am I just not looking close enough?
posted by mono blanco on Mar 3, 2014 - 11 answers

Is the ongoing California drought a reason not to visit this summer?

Is the ongoing drought a good reason to postpone a planned summer trip to Northern California to another year? We were thinking of spending a week around SF/Napa/Sonoma in August. Interested in things like parks/hiking, wineries, farmers markets.
posted by Perplexity on Mar 1, 2014 - 11 answers

Apartment recommendations in Silicon Valley

I'm moving to California from Michigan to take a job at HP. Do you have recommendations for a 2 bedroom apartment that meets my needs? Safety and dog walkability are prime concerns. Especially interested in perspectives on Prometheus Apartments Metropolitan and Americana. [more inside]
posted by anonymous on Feb 26, 2014 - 10 answers

Southern USA travel in March with a 2 year old?

We want to travel somewhere warm in early March for a week, so the Southern US is on our list. Help us determine where to go with an almost-two year old. [more inside]
posted by evadery on Feb 25, 2014 - 9 answers

Looking for SF consumable souvenir recommendations, especially avocados

I'm in San Francisco and would like to bring back some avocados and/or Bay Area edibles to New England next week. What should I look for, and where? [more inside]
posted by Signed Sealed Delivered on Feb 20, 2014 - 21 answers

Looking for an awesome wedding present involving preparation of cheese

My dear friend got married late last year and I'm a little behind on sending him and his new wife a wedding present. I'd like to find them something ~$50, related to cheese (like a cheese smoker or a really cool cutting board—they love cheese and will be opening a small cheese shop soon). I'm having a very hard time finding such a thing. They also like vintage, retro, rockabilly, steampunk and the like. They are in California and I am in England; sending them something from the US would be preferable but if there's something uniquely British here and not too much cost to ship I could manage that too. Any ideas for specific items to purchase would be most welcome, thanks!
posted by iamkimiam on Feb 19, 2014 - 15 answers

things to do in LA with an 11-month old?

my 11-month old son and i are tagging along on my husband's business trip to LA. staying in seal beach and looking for things to do! [more inside]
posted by sabh on Feb 6, 2014 - 7 answers

Didn't someone sleep through the stop for Winslow, Arizona?

Alright, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up! Great resources on the early history of Hollywood? [more inside]
posted by Sara C. on Jan 27, 2014 - 27 answers

SoCal Gifts... San Bernardino?

A friend is moving to San Bernardino, and I'd like to get a gift for her - you know, locally relevant gifts that might help her to explore the area. Any suggestions? She's in her late 20's, married...
posted by noonday on Jan 27, 2014 - 8 answers

Disability Insurance is taxable, right?

I was on California State Disability Insurance (SDI) for a few months in early 2103. My understanding is that this is not taxable as income on my California return. However, I assume it's federally taxable. But confused. [more inside]
posted by colin_l on Jan 26, 2014 - 4 answers

Road Trip - What's not to miss in NW Arizona and Calif. Parks?

I'm in Arizona and want to travel from Phoenix to Joshua Tree Nat'l. Park and then on to other places in Calif., and not miss anything fantastic nearby. I'll visit LA and its museums (and my family) and want to spend time camping in National Parks - Channel Islands, Lassen Volcanic, Kings Canyon, Joshua Tree, Yosemite, Sequoia, Redwood, Pinnacles. I've visited Calif. and spent time in San Francisco and LA, as well as the Long Valley. In AZ, Petrified Forest, & Grand Canyon. [more inside]
posted by theora55 on Jan 17, 2014 - 15 answers

Vive la France! yes!! Vivre en France? well.... maybe California instead

Looking for advice on cost of living in France (South of Paris, Nice or Toulouse area). Partner and I would be making €120 to €140,000 combined household, before taxes. Another option is California where we could make way more money (at least $200-$220k combined, and less taxes). What is the cost of living in California (Irvine or San Diego) as a comparison? Is it expensive to have kids in the US? [more inside]
posted by St. Peepsburg on Jan 13, 2014 - 21 answers

How do I get a feel for living in/near Silicon Valley in 48 hours?

I'm interviewing with a major tech company near Palo Alto and planning a weekend trip to visit the area. I currently live on the East Coast so this would be a major change for me. Where should I visit/what should I do there to get a sense of what the lifestyle might be like if I decide to take the job? Do you have suggestions for neighborhoods to visit or not visit? [more inside]
posted by RobotNinja on Jan 12, 2014 - 14 answers

Foodies in Sin City and Northern California

Were would you go in Las Vegas and Mendocino County (CA) in mid-February for interesting food? [more inside]
posted by bonehead on Jan 6, 2014 - 13 answers

Should I have been charged tax?

I run a promotional merchanding company. We are fully registered as an LLC in the state of NJ. We have a tax ID number and are officially a re-seller. We recently did an order for a client located in the state of California. The vendor who manufactured the items for us is also located in the state of California. When our final invoice came, we were charged tax and were told when the vendor and final destination were inthe same state (or at least in CA), then we are due to be charged tax on the merchandise......We have done plenty of orders with the same scenario (produced in CA and shipped to CA) without being charged tax....... We are confused. Should we have to pay tax or not on this order?
posted by TwilightKid on Jan 3, 2014 - 3 answers

Things to do on Christmas day in San Francisco

So my original Christmas day plans fell through, and I live 5000 miles from most of my family. I do have a brother who recently moved to San Jose, though, and we'd like to spend the day doing something together. We're both wary of bringing each other to friends houses (we're different kinds of people, move in different circles, etc) - so we'd like to try and find something fun and novel that we can go and do, just the 2 of us (though if it were something social in the sense that we may meet a bunch of strangers doing this thing, then that would be cool). Anybody have any ideas? We're also British. I don't know if this information will help you, but hey, there you have it. 2 British guys in San Francisco with no idea what to do on Xmas day. Hive mind, halp!
posted by TheTorns on Dec 24, 2013 - 17 answers

Recommendations please for the nearest gorgeous landscape. [Northern CA]

I am finishing finals and me and a bud would like to go somewhere on tuesday and look at something really gorgeous. I live in Davis, CA and am willing to drive 2.5 hours in any direction. Looking for specific recommendations. [more inside]
posted by afterdark on Dec 21, 2013 - 13 answers

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