El Cajon

People sometimes ask me where Dena and I live. This usually happens not long after we’ve met someone new, and the requisite “where are you from?” question has come and gone. That particular question seems to be automatic. I’ve no sooner opened my mouth than I have someone asking it. It happens so much that I’ve considered carrying an index card with my answers to frequently asked questions. It would read as follows:


-Georgia  (Where are you from?)

-Since July  (How long have you been here?)

-Walgreens  (Where do you work?)

-No  (Are you a pharmacist?)

-Sort of  (Did your job bring you here?)

-Weather, social policies, to try something new  (Why did you move to California?)

-Yes  (Do you like San Diego?)


This is where things get a bit tricky. At this point people always ask where in San Diego we live. The truth is that we don’t, technically, live in San Diego. We currently live in El Cajon which, while it is in the same county, is as different from San Diego as night is to day.

El Cajon is a city in eastern San Diego county. East county is an unusual place. It is situated between the more coastal climate of San Diego to the west, and the desert to the east. It is surrounded by mountains on all sides, which is where the city gets its name (El Cajon literally means “the box”). Due to its location, El Cajon is consistently ten degrees warmer than San Diego. It is ten thousand times crazier.

We only moved to El Cajon because we couldn’t find an available apartment in San Diego at the time. Sometimes people seem to think that we live here by choice. I always want to ask them if they think we’re insane. No one lives here by choice. I’d be willing to bet on that. Who in their right mind would choose to live in the schitzophrenic capital of the world. I’m not kidding. In this town, it isn’t unusal to cross paths with not one, but several lost souls who are babbling incoherently to no one in particular on any given day.

I belive that one anecdote will serve to express just what living in El Cajon is like. A few days ago, Dena and I decided to walk to the market, which is a few blocks away, to purchase a few items. During our trip, I saw the following items lying in the gutter alongside the street: an empty condomn box, a banana peel, a used latex glove, and a discarded pair of pants. What does this mean, you ask. I don’t even want to know. There are some sick bastards out there.

So we’re looking for a place in San Diego. As a matter of fact, we’re looking for any place in San Diego. Anything would be better than El Cajon. On top of the insanity of the city, we’ve been blessed with neighbors who feel the need to share their music, television, and video game interests with everyone else in the apartment complex. I won’t spend much time talking about these people except to say that I sometimes dream of waking up one morning and finding that they have vanished into thin air. But that doesn’t happen, does it?

Our lease expires at the end of January, and we plan on moving to San Diego. We’ve found some places that appear promising. Hopefully we will soon be living in a better place. I wonder if there are any apartments which don’t allow guitar hero? Or better yet, apartments which don’t allow ignorant people? I guess we’ll find out.

As for our current situation, all is quiet as I write this. For once, I can actually hear myself think. Of course it is 2 am but hey, you take what you can get. As long as we’re stuck here, we might as well make the best of it. I have a fine selection of thrash metal lined up for tomorrow. When our neighbors crank up their “music,” I’ll simply crank up mine. I have a feeling I’ll win this battle.


As long as we’re on the subject of thrash metal, I’d like share some of my favorite songs with you. For those of you who don’t know, “thrash metal” is a genre of music which is not for the faint of heart. Fast, loud, and heavy, it is a hardcore and primitive form of music. For the beginning metal head, here are my favorite thrash songs, in no particular order:

  1. Slayer – Angel of Death
  2. Exodus – A lesson in Violence
  3. Metallica – Battery
  4. Megadeth – Peace Sells
  5. Anthrax – Now it’s Dark
  6. Pantera – I’m Broken
  7. Metallica – One
  8. Megadeth – Symphony of Destruction
  9. Slayer – War Ensemble
  10.   Diamond Head – Am I Evil?


There you have it: my favorite thrash classics. If you have noisy neighbors, or just need to get some aggression out, you could do a lot worse than these songs. Feel free to post your own favorites in the comments below. That’s it for now. As always, thanks for reading. See you next time.






Published by: jkmaxwell76

Hi everyone! My name is Keith. I am a lot of things: Traveler, sports fan, photographer, writer, music lover, trier of new recipes, humorist, avid reader, movie buff, poet, and more. All of these things will find their way into my blogs, so be prepared. Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoy my ramblings!

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