Just because…

Just because this thought is too long to put on my twitter:

Currently REALLY glad I’m not living in Seattle. Although, there is no way I would even attempt to drive in Capitol Hill (aka the SF of Seattle hill-wise and gay-wise) if the streets were icy.

(Around 2:58 I was thinking, could this video be any slower. Then a few seconds later I was MASSIVELY rewarded)

Random facts: while it was snowing, a bus would move about a block an hour. Cars on the I-5 would move about a mile an hour.

I went to TWO rock climbing gyms today. Belmont at 6am and Sunnyvale at 9pm. I am 100% certain that my forearms are thicker, which was possibly the one part of my upper body that I did NOT want to change. Tomorrow I’m going to head down to Socal immediately after work, which means 3pmish. In a perfect world, I would be in Arcadia around 8pm. On a Thanksgiving holiday, I will have driven myself into a ditch out of frustration from traffic.


A Watery Day

Listening to: Elliott Smith – Half Right

Today was my first real day of rain in the South Bay. I spent my morning watching Harry Potter 7 (EEK!) with Laura and Madhuri. Surprisingly, there weren’t that many people in line … it’s amazing how few people are willing to watch a movie at 10am when it only costs $6. It’s unfortunate that HP came out right before I am probably going to get my period because I was SO emotional. I can’t even keep track of how many times I teared up in the movie. The movie was SO good. Maybe my favorite so far! But I honestly only ever remember the movie right before it, so I think I will have to marathon the whole series one day. I wish David Yates could redo the first few movies. And keep this magic going for two decades. The best thing is that the last HP movie comes out in only seven months! Which sounds so soon, thank goodness. I don’t know what I will do with myself with the credits roll for the last one. I’m not even a huge HP fan (I forget 75% of the plot a few days after reading), but what long term cinema project will I have to look forward to after July 15,  2011?

The trailers for HP were awful. Really terrible. The best moment was watching the Cowboys and Aliens trailer. The entire audience was completely silent because everyone was just sitting there, confused, trying to figure out wtf the trailer was about. Then when the title comes up: Cowboys and Aliens, everyone just burst out laughing at the ridiculousness of it. That’s probably not the reaction the movie studio wanted.

I ended up watching The Big C at Laura’s while she was napping. Her sister came in to watch with me and was like “this is a comedy?!” and I was like “it’s not usually this dark! I’d say it’s usually 60% comedy, 40% dark” and she was like “it looks like it’s 100% dark.” I was tearing up at the last scene and hoping her sister wouldn’t turn around and see me crying at the tv.

The drive from Laura’s to my house is only one freeway exit. But it just so happens that they closed off ALL the lanes on the freeway halfway between the drive. It would appear that the 237 is not equipped to handle a single day of moderate rain. You know where this wouldn’t happen? SEATTLE.

I GOT MY FIRST WALL ART IN THE MAIL! This is like … the first form of decoration that will stay with me for this house and all the ones after it. It’s a step to being an adult. Decorating my room in a non-collegey fashion. I ordered this: an Orkposter of Seattle! The green one. I have wanted this for a long time but finally ordered it when they had $5 off for their yearly anniversary sale. I spent ten minutes just going back and forth between three colors, trying to envision the color scheme of EVERY possible room in every possible house that I will live in for the rest of my life. I realized that the blue one looks nice on screen but I have never and probably will never buy anything that would compliment it. And while I have always envisioned a dark toned living room that would fit the brown poster, the green one will be safer and can brighten up my room.

My first wall art


I’m probably going to end up spending more on the frame than the actual poster (another adult step: FRAMES!). It’s such an odd size. I also want to buy:

There is an orange LA one that would compliment my Seattle one, but I don’t really care about LA. I don’t even know most of the neighborhoods they put on the LA one, while I know the Seattle and SF ones pretty well. I also decided on two posters I’m going to get from art.com one day, but I’m waiting to see if they will have a huge blowout sale during the holidays before I spend my groupon. Then YAY. I will have posters  galore.

The initial plan was to get 1) rug 2) curtains 3) wall art 4) furniture. But I have no idea where to look for the perfect rug and I have been eyeing posters for a long time.

If I lived in Seattle right now, I would be going to a cafe to read a book while it rained over the weekend. I would really want to go to Ravenna Park again, because it looked like a really cool place to walk in while it’s raining. I’m not quite sure what to do here. I just yelped a few coffee shops around here but none of them look promising. I should just  go and try it and not be such a snob about shit. I was a food snob in Seattle and then realized a week later that food in Seattle is actually pretty awesome. Maybe Santa Clara and San Jose will turn out to be a coffee shop haven. I highly doubt it.

Every so often I will have a brief moment of complete clarity when I know exactly how I feel about life and I will want to blog about it. But then I will forget what I had thought and nowadays my mind is generally shut down and not really thinking too hard about anything. Next time, I hope I have a notepad when I figure out what it is I really want to say.

I decided today that I want to be living in Seattle within five years. My new reason to save money is to be able to afford a downpayment on a Greenlake house in five years time. Now when I think about paying rent, I feel like it’s just hindering me from being able to have my own home. CA is such an anchor to my life, and not in a particularly good way.


rah rah rah

A song for every taste!

Listening to: Local Natives – Airplanes, Pitbull ft. T-Pain – Hey Baby (please tell me this song is on the radio by now), BT – The Emergency

I don’t have many thoughts that warrant entire paragraphs. So here’s my life in bullet form

– My current client is in Redwood City. My team is incredibly laidback and the client is very, very helpful. The view from the audit room is of the huge Oracle buildings. Looking at them makes me feel like I’m in the future. Oracle also has a giant lake in front of the buildings and when the sun sets, it reminds me of Greenlake and I feel all nostalgic for Seattle. Basically, things that remind me of Seattle: clean bodies of water, dance music, pink and blue skies, rain, cafes, farmers markets, parallel parking on narrow streets

– In order to beat the 101N traffic, I’ve decided to wake up before the sun breaks and leave home at 6:15 so I can go rock climbing around 6:45. There is a Planet Granite only 10 minutes from my client, so I get to exercise AND have shorter commute times. Additional bonus: there are only ever four or five people in the entire gym so I do a ton of courses and I don’t have to wait around. It’s kind of awesome. Plus, the Belmont courses are way easier than Sunnyvale’s so I feel great about myself because I can say that I can complete V1s on the first try now

– Harry Potter is coming out. If watching HP with Laura last weekend taught me anything, it’s that no matter how many times I reread HP, I will never remember what happened

– It seems like everyone I work with is recently married/engaged. This team particularly loves to talk about registries and wedding dos and donts and decorating new homes. I think I would have enjoyed this type of conversation more in the past, but now I feel like it’s a constant reminder of how static my life is

– My hands are all effed up from rock climbing. And my knees are super bruised

– Wow it’s almost the weekend. And it’s almost Thanksgiving. Which means it’s ALMOST winter break. Which means it’s almost the new year. WHICH MEANS I need to start molding my life into the one I want.

According to some test…

Listening to: Jason Mraz – Make It Mine (Morgan Page remix)

For my current client, I’ve been getting off at 9pm every day. It’s so cold in Moraga that I have to race to my car and I spend the next five minutes blasting the heat and trying to stop shivering. It’s raining right now in Oakland! I’m at Kristen’s place, which feels like a grownup college apartment. HAHA It’s very cozy and she has graciously let me sleep on her giant, comfy couch. Seeing friends during the work week makes the week just fly by.

In order to qualify for a credit that saves me money on health insurance, I had to take a health assessment test. Here are the results.


My life evaluated by an algorithm

I laughed in my head when I saw this. I did not expect to score so high on “weight” or so low on “nutrition.” I’m not surprised I scored the lowest on job satisfaction, but I’m surprised at the number. HAHA

Well I’m at work now – I didn’t finish writing this post and just went to sleep. Even though I’m starting my commute in Oakland, it still takes 30 minutes to get to work. There is always something that slows me down. Today it was children. CHILDREN! I didn’t realize I pass a school on my way to work, and today I just so happened to arrive in Moraga right when parents are dropping off their kids. If I had arrived maybe ten minutes later, there would have been zero traffic. I’ve driven to this client five times now and I had never seen anyone walking on the streets, and then today all of a sudden a bunch of people seem to have popped out of nowhere. I have to find the small window of time where I can get enough sleep, skip the school traffic, but still get to work relatively early. Or I can say fuck it and I only have two more days on this client.

I FINALLY bought a subway sunrise melt today! It’s on their new breakfast menu and every time I see a commercial for it I think, damn that looks delicious. It was actually reallllyyy delicious. Very juicy! But I just kept looking at my sandwich thinking, I could TOTALLY make this. Except I can’t because their eggs are made in a special homogeneous way and I’d never be able to replicate their Italian herbs and cheese bread. Nor would I ever willingly put bacon into a sandwich. So the traffic was actually a good thing today because it gave me time to chow down on my sandwich while blasting my fun dance music mix.

I want this. Red lead.

Oh. Work. Time to go, bye.


Walking Trip: Berkeley Hills

Listening to: Cocorosie – Lemonade

This one Saturday felt like it was really three days. Which, I suppose, means I made the most of my day. But the result is I am now too tired to really blog. But sleepy, delirious blogs are the best! (and the longest)

When I have a flower picture, that generally means I went on a long ass walk

Thursday and Friday I ended up getting assigned to a client in Moraga, CA. Where the hell is Moraga? I had that same question. It’s a secluded suburban area east of Oakland, kind of like an Eagle Rock or a Danville. Where the houses are spread out by green. I was looking forward to the one hour commute on Thursday because I really wanted some time to just sit in a car and drive and listen to music. My assignment is pretty straightforward and I think I could finish it by the end of Monday. Once I understand how to format the excel worksheets, it’s very simple, but it’s also the kind of work that is rather monotonous and hard to pull away from to take a break. Which is why my eyes felt like they were going to explode halfway through the day. At least I could listen to music, or I would have gone insane. To my horror, this manager took me away from my usual client (who is conveniently only 2 mi from where I live) and asked to have me for the next two weeks. She is putting a kink in my “rock climb after work!” and “leave 5 minutes before I need to arrive!” lifestyle. I’m not sure if she actually has more work planned for me, or if she just thinks I am going to take two weeks to finish this.

Well, my days at this client end earliest at 8pm. I briefly entertained thoughts of going to Berkeley Thursday night, but realized I was too exhausted to do anything. I did go to Berkeley Friday night though! And caught the last three points of the volleyball match 😦 It was just me, Josh and Jon for the weekend. We went back to the apt and randomly decided to go to Ici. I made them walk there, and they thought we wouldn’t get there in time (we left at 9:35) but I knew that Ici is surprisingly close, plus they stay open past 10 until the line is over. And yup – we got there at like 9:50! I got delicious honey chamomile ice cream mmm Then we watched Scott Pilgrim but I kept dozing off so we just went to bed.

So TODAY! Saturday. I have crossed into workers hours, meaning I wake up at ungodly hours when no one else is awake. I managed to stay in my sleeping bag until 8:20am, but after a lot of turning. I played a really fantastic game of Tetris where I was upwards of 5 million points, then Josh, Jon and I went to cafe durant. Why do I always get Sundeck Combo D? It is always way too heavy for me. But I always feel like anything less is not worth it.

How I spent half of my weekend

Then we parted ways – Josh to his work, Jon to his work, me to my wandering around Berkeley Hills! I was walking from 11am-4:30pm, so that explains most of my exhaustion. It was the perfect activity after a somewhat less than stellar workweek. I feel good about life again. Although that feeling will not be there when I wake up in a few hours and realize it’s SUNDAY meaning tomorrow is MONDAY meaning another workweek is BEGINNING.

I was thinking "Berkeley Hills is nice but I miss finding blackberries on the street like I did in Seattle" and literally 10 sec later I found blackberries

So, does everyone know about Indian Rock?! I had heard about it so many times when I was in college but never knew exactly what it was or where it was. People made it sound like it was in Albany or something. And I have passed by Indian Rock Ave many times during my Berkeley Hills exploring, but never thought the actual Indian Rock was there. It turns out Indian Rock is the most famous of five preserved Indian rocks from … a long time ago. I am not the best learner so I can’t recall what I read. Anyway, after parking my car in the Berkeley Hills area, I just randomly ended up stumbling upon Indian Rock and it was AMAZING.

View of Sausalito area from Indian Rock
Zoomed in shot of SF

The five rocks are basically giant rocks on protected land, and they’re just randomly spread apart in the Berkeley Hills area. I would say three of the five provide really spectacular views of the Bay. All of them can be used to practice rock climbing, and I saw several people in rock climbing shoes practicing their techniques, which was kind of cool. I did not expect to find all five, but in my wandering, I just happened to find all five. At least, I assume they are the five and that there are only five. After the fourth I was kind of like “well, it’s unlikely I’ll find the fifth knowing nothing about where they are, so whatever” and about five minutes later I was like OMG IS THAT A GIANT ROCK? IT IS! Never been so excited to see a rock before.

View from Rock #2, which was shielded by surrounding trees
View from Rock #3

SO YAY! Accomplishment. I ended up back at John Hinkel Park and after that I started to walk the same streets I walked a long time ago so I went back to my car, drove to Safeway for some Naked juice and a bathroom break, then drove further east in Berkeley Hills. The houses were not as pretty as the ones near Arlington Ave, but there were a few with really nice decks. Judging from the views I could catch through windows or between houses and trees, I would say that east Berkeley Hills has the best views of the Bay of all the neighborhoods I’ve been in, including Claremont and Presidio. You can get Oakland, SF, and Sausalito all in one. It was a wonderfully clear day. I know in my previous post I was like “why the hell did I like the bay?” Well, Thursday night I was driving home from work and I caught a view of the Bay at night and remembered. I think I love the condensed aspect of the Bay. Houses are too spread out in Santa Clara which makes me feel isolated. But something about city lights makes me feel so comforted.

View from Rock #4, there was no good view from Rock #5
It's hard to describe the elation I feel upon finding a giant rock in the street

East Berkeley Hills was exhausting. It’s very hilly and I kept taking the secret paths which are essentially really long staircases that cut through streets. I somehow walked all the way to the edge of Tilden Park. I made a point to go to a street called Overlook Road, because the obvious assumption is that I would see some great views. It turns out, the houses have all the great views. People walking on the streets see absolutely nothing because there are trees blocking any possible view. But I found some other adjacent streets and got some pretty views.

Secret staircases in Berkeley Hills
View from Hillsdale Ave

So that was Part A! Walking Berkeley Hills. Part B was eating out: Cafe Durant for breakfast, and then Cheeseboard for dinner! Met up with Josh and Jon at Cheeseboard which was DELICIOUSSSS. So all this time, for the past few months, whenever I am in Berkeley I always have this nagging feeling like there is something I wanted to do but I can never figure out what. I FINALLY figured it out on Friday night – I have really wanted to eat CHEESEBOARD. And MAGICALLY today was the corn one! Delicious fresh corn, chile pasilla, feta cheese, mozerella, olive oil, onions, lime. It was sooooo good.

Need. More. Cheeseboard

Part C: watching Cal vs. UCLA volleyball game! I was so exhausted that I looked pretty dead most of the time. And unfortunately, we were sitting right across from the tv cameras. But we won! It was an incredibly close match. We went back to the apt and I had been planning to leave tomorrow morning but since it’s going to be raining tomorrow, there’s nothing much to do in Berkeley if I can’t walk around. And I don’t want to walk around with an umbrella. So, here I am back at home! Yesterday we were saying we would go to Lawrence Hall and watch a movie on our laptops while we are up there, but everyone was so tired. Too bad 😦 Next time!

Indian Rock Park

There are actually a ton of weekend trips I want to do. But between hanging out in Berkeley and Laura’s and going back to Arcadia … I have no idea when I will ever do them. I just need to jot them down when I come up with them, so I don’t forget.

Night time! I will post this tomorrow after choosing some pics and cutting this entry down.

Misc Thoughts

– I totally wasted a perfectly good day today. It was one of those days where my mind kept adding things to my “I could be doing this” list, but my body was too lazy to move. My brain would freak out when it realized how inactive I was being, but when I attempted to move I would immediately sink back into bed. I usually take this as a sign that I am not happy with life.

– I feel really listless right now, like my brain has all these thoughts and my body has been really inactive and I just want to shake it all out. Usually the best remedy for me is to go swimming in Spieker pool for about 100 laps. But now I have no access to a pool. Ugh. Actually, I’m going to google it and see if I can get a day pass to a pool somewhere. Even if it’s infested with children and chlorinated to death, I think it’ll be good for me.

– Well, fuck, how am I supposed to go swimming when the center is open from 8am-5pm and only on weekdays.

– I’m considering just getting a day pass to the RSF the next time I go to Berkeley. That’s $12. Ugh. The more I think about swimming the more restless I feel. I’m at the point where I can’t tell if my body is sore from exercising too much one day or sore from general inactivity. At this point, I am fine with paying $12 to go swimming. I’ll just be in the pool for like two hours. And then go on the elliptical. And then take an abs class. And then pass out from exhaustion at some point.

– Today I woke up and thought to myself “it was really dumb of me to live in the Bay.” I already knew I didn’t even want to live in SF but I didn’t realize that everything I loved about the Bay from when I lived in Berkeley is not here in the South Bay. In fact, I realized that Santa Clara is just an accumulation of every thing I could hate about a city. The inescapable requirement to drive, the lack of greenery, lack of good restaurants, lack of outdoor recreation. If I don’t like SF and I don’t like South Bay and East Bay is mostly too ghetto or too expensive for me to live in, I’m not quite sure what it is I like about the Bay then.

– Back to the “I should have just lived at home” train of thought. On the one hand, this point is not even worth discussing because I work here and I would not give up my job just to live at home. On the other hand, if I had known how I would feel now, maybe I would have applied for jobs in LA even though I really dislike LA. It is a toss up which area I dislike more – I think I just have more ties in LA to soften my dislike of the city. After going home for the weekend and bringing up all this food to eat, I’m left with the question of why I am spending a good fraction of my paycheck on rent when I could have hypothetically lived at home for free. I wouldn’t have the inconvenience of having to care about how late I stay out as others might, plus I would have had my mom’s cooking. The idea is that I have complete independence in my own home. But it’s not like I’m dating someone and I really don’t have much time for “independence” after work. I am tired all the time and I end up doing pretty much what I would have done in Arcadia. I don’t meet people so my independence is rather trivial in the grand scheme of things. I think independence is a euphemism for “freedom to fuck around”

– I do really like my first team though. I’m not quite sure how they feel about me

– I know there are a few things I could do that would at least make me temporarily happy. But I never do them. Such includes but is not limited to: spending some time to search for new music, going for a long run that lasts more than a mile, rock climbing, swimming, biking, surfing. The annoying thing is that when I’m not feeling enthused about life, it takes a lot more for me to attempt these simple things

– God. It’s only Monday.

– Tomorrow I’m freaking getting that god damn frozen yogurt that I have been craving for the past week. Plain tart and andes mint! Why is this combination so delicious.

– I’m reading a new book and she just wrote out the Pabst Blue Ribbon. I feel like I have to commit this acronym to memory, lest I find myself on a game show asking me “what does PBR stand for?”

– I meant to skip rock climbing so I could have a good night’s sleep. But it’s already midnight. Another day of my life, gone.

Relay race

Exhausted. I drove to Arcadia on Friday night and back up Sunday night. It feels a lot like that time TMV randomly decided to drive to Costco and back for lunch in senior year. There’s a mix of incredulity and accomplishment that I was able to fit in a trip back home, never mind the fact that I barely had time to do anything. I’m glad I’m close enough to be able to do this on a whim, but I decided today that if I ever go home on a non-holiday weekend, I am flying. The $40 (maximum) saved is not worth having to drive 5 hrs and remain alert after a tiring workweek.

Although the weekend wasn’t as packed as I wish it could have been, at the end of the day I felt really sad to be leaving again so I figure the weekend must have gone well. My mom cooked about eight different things for me, so that should last me about two weeks. I can finally take food to eat at work so my team won’t think I’m anorexic anymore. She also gave me three bags of fruit – when my housemate saw it she said “omg that’s hella fruit.” HAHA

It’s kind of funny that I drove so far to be at home, only to spend most of my time in Eric’s house. Including one night curled up at the head of his bed with half my body resting on the adjacent folding table. Also, instead of having my mom’s delicious dinners, I ended up eating three cycles of Costco pub mix, pumpkin pie, and guacamole. I know I was pretty thin when I went down. I now have a stomach bulge coming up which makes me annoyed. How did I not eat a single piece of candy for Halloween and STILL end up pigging out and gaining weight. Grr.

I woke up at 8am today and after trying to force myself back to sleep, I had the sudden realization that the people I was waiting for sometimes wake up after noon. So I just decided to get up and resume my Friday activity of reading strangers’ blogs. Kristen had sent me a pretty good one and I looked through his blogroll and ended up reading uncourked.com. I’m not sure how, but I also ended up looking at a site called 43things.com which is sort of like a community of bucket lists.

I made an account and started filling up my list. It’s nice to type one in that is somewhat embarrassing/corny/ridiculous but then feel justified when x number of people have also put it in their 43 things. It’s also really strange to look through strangers’ bucket lists and find commonalities between people who are SO different from me. Like, yes, I also want to reread all five HP books before the movie comes out. But unlike you, “sarahmarie,” I do not need to get off heroin, get off methadone, get all my dental work done, or finish Sims 2 Legacy Challenge.

That was the last sentence before we left to eat pho 40 minutes away. Now it’s 12:50 and I really need to go to sleep. When will the weekend be here?