I woke up today with a bad cold. My head aches and my ears are stuffed and my nose is running, and all I want to do is curl up with a bag of chips and watch cartoons. It's foggy and dreary outside, and it looks like we might be in for a few rainy days next week. I could sure use a couple of weeks on a tropical island. But when I think about all the winter storms the rest of the country is facing, I know I'm happy just where I am -- here, in California. Yeah, we're bankrupt. Yeah, we've got earthquakes, and when global warming causes floods to cover the earth we could wake up to discover that our home in Silicon Valley has become beachfront property. But I wouldn't live anywhere else. Here are just some of the reasons why I love living in California:
1) We can wear tshirts and shorts in January.
2) We don't have to wrap ourselves up like mummies whenever we go outside, or shed our layers of clothing whenever we come back inside.
3) We don't have to deal with frozen pipes or snowed-in driveways.
4) We don't have to deal with salted roads or grimy cars.
5) If we want snow, it's just a 3.5 hour drive away.
6) If we want sandy beaches, they're only 45 minutes away.
7) We can drive through the redwoods and literally breathe in the scent of nature.
8) With Stanford and Berkeley, we're surrounded by some of the smartest minds in the world.
9) With Silicon Valley, we're surrounded by some of the most entrepreneurial, innovative minds in the world.
10) With the diverse immigrant population, California is a true melting pot of nationalities, races and cultures.
11) Which means you can get the best Ethiopian, Vietnamese, Spanish, Korean and Peruvian food -- not to mention the best fish and chips in the US, possibly even better than the chip shops in the UK.
12) I don't feel out of place here, and my mixed-race family is just one of thousands, so we feel right at home.
13) With so many nationalities, the population of California truly has a global perspective on life.
14) Which makes us accepting of new ideas and tolerant of differences. Despite some recent setbacks, we're still at the forefront of the movements for gay equality and the legalization of marijuana, and I'm proud of my fellow Californians for their open-mindedness.
15) Did I mention the weather?
I could go on, and on, but I don't have time. I've got to rest and get over this cold so I can go biking with my kids. Yes, in January. California rocks!