Living it up in Fresno

Listening to: Pixie Lott – Here We Go Again

I’m in Fresno! I loveeeeee staying in hotel rooms. It’s like living out of a catalog ad! This whole week is just inventory counts for me, which is kind of fun but I hope they don’t go the same way the one today went. I don’t know why, but my IOs generally go ok and the only thing that goes wrong is that I am there longer than expected. But the one client that seems really difficult to me is the one that I’m on the year-end audit for AND it’s also the one my coach manages. So whenever I fuck up it’s like a double whammy. I can’t even count how many times I called my manager today, it was really terrible of me. I would ask her a question, understand what she was saying, relay it to the client and then the client would ask me something or contradict me and I’d be like … uh … well … let me call her back.

Anyway, Fresno! I drove out here around 7 and got here around 9:30. It’s raining! I like hearing the rain outside this hotel room. This hotel room is prett


Apparently that was when the internet crapped out. I think I meant to say “this hotel room is pretty nice.” The room was very large. Where do hotels get their blankets? Why do they only need two blankets and it’s so warm but I have like five layers and I’m still cold in the morning? I was surprised to realize that after waking up in the morning, I was nostalgic for my roadtrip down the PCH with my mom, which was the last time I had stayed in a hotel. I kind of miss how every morning she would brew coffee and marvel at how she could have a free cup of coffee in the hotel room.

My IO today was in Fresno for wine. I had to climb up about 50 feet in the air and watch as someone dropped a tape measure into these giant tanks full of wine. They thought it would rain so they gave me a yellow waterproof hat. I had probably been walking around the high railing for twenty minutes before I realized I had dropped the hat. The count itself went by quickly but I have no idea why entering all the numbers took so long. I did go out to get Mexican food with the client which I was super excited for. Turns out … Fresno Mexican food in the middle of nowhere is not that great. Unfortunately, the good Fresno restaurants was back near my hotel which was 20 minutes from my IO location, so I didn’t get to try anything awesome 😦

AND. OMG I AM SOOOOO pissed about this. Gas in Fresno is SO cheap. I was passing stations for like $3.13 and $3.11 today. I told myself last night that I would wait until today to fill up. The hotel was right next to an Arco for $3.15 but I was like “no. I saw $3.13. I’m getting $3.13.” On my way out I saw another Arco for $3.15 and I was like “no, I know there’s another gas station down this street.” Then I was cruising down the street when I spotted a gas station for $3.11 and at the same moment that I was deciding how to turn into the gas station, the light turned red and I slammed on the brakes and found myself sitting in the middle of the intersection after my tires made a horrible screeching sound down the street. So I reversed and when the light turned green, cars were blocking my way to the gas station so I just continued on, thinking another gas station was bound to come up …

And suddenly I was on the fucking I-5! And I ended up having to fill up at a 76 right before the 101 for FUCKING $3.35!!! I WAS SOOO mad. Ugh.

Anyway. Today I bought a harness! I had already bought this month’s “luxury gift to myself,” which was a $49 groupon for framing. I will call this … my holiday gift to myself. That way my January luxury gift to myself is still open. This harness is cute and yellow. Someone already commented on how yellow it is. It’s very comfy although it causes my shorts to rise up a lot. Well, now I have a harness and a belay license. Which means now I can send over messages on the intercom saying “if anyone needs a belay partner, please come to the front desk.” Maybe I can ask them to announce “if anyone cute and single needs a belay partner, please come to the front desk.”

One more IO tomorrow then it’s the NEW YEAR AGHHHHHHHH I am so unprepared. I want to plan out how I will live my life next year but I have been working all this time! Well. I’ll worry about that after tomorrow since I have a bunch of IO memos to write up.


A very good day

I want to remember this moment when I actually feel competent at my job. I generally operate under the assumption that I’m falling below everyone’s expectations and any minute now, I will receive a message to head to the HR office, where I will be fired for incompetency. I was telling my coach that I just want one perfect day, one day where I completely understand everything I’m asked to do and I can figure out how to solve any bumps along the way. She said I shouldn’t expect to experience that day any time soon. I just got a performance review back and it was higher than I expected (and my expectation was that I would receive all the lowest marks) so now I’m a little relieved. I constantly tell people that I feel like I’m doing so poorly at my job and they will say things like “don’t feel that way” but it’s nice to see written, hard evidence that people aren’t just saying empty words to get me calm down.

Oof my stomach is really full right now. My breakfast today was a cranberry/pistachio biscotti my housemate Jessica made. My lunch was some food my mom made. My dinner was Thai food from a surprisingly good place I yelped for my coaching meeting. My dessert was a a brownie and cookie my coach baked for me (I have four more treats left!). And my late night dinner was Filipino spaghetti my other housemate Chris made. I am blessed to be surrounded by generous and amazing cooks!

I also did my second V2 today! This one I really worked for. Rex is back in Cupertino so I have finally met his friend who I was supposed to call up two months ago. My bad … I had forgotten how much more fun climbing with friends is. The time goes by much faster and I feel like my day is not so pathetic when I can meet up with familiar faces outside of work. I want to buy a harness so I can start top roping and hopefully make new friends!

So work, food, and rock climbing wise, this day is going very well! So well I don’t even feel that annoyed anymore that I was scheduled for an IO on Thursday at 1pm -_____-

Recipe for an early death

Two months ago I saw a fantastic deal at Safeway – an entire pound of potatoes for only 97 cents!!! How could I not pass that up? So I bought a bag and started to think about all the delicious meals I could make. Baked potatoes, potato casseroles, potato salads, stews, hash browns, latkas, mashed potatoes … so many!

Of course, I never cooked since then and instead, I just bring home goodies my mom cooks and I’ll just stretch them out until I can drive home and restock. But Friday I finally had a night where I didn’t have much to do, so I figured, potato time! I looked up a recipe for potato casserole which consists of all the good American essentials:

1 stick of butter
1 cup of sour cream
1 can of potato soup
2  onions
8 potatoes
An embarrassing amount of cheese

Of course, no cooking experience would be complete without some kind of fuckup on my part. It took me forever to peel and dice the eight potatoes so by the time I finished, I just wanted to get the casserole over with and start watching tv. So I threw everything together in a giant bowl, dumped it into my Beautiful blue Crate & Barrel dish and put it in the oven. Ten minutes later, I realize that I had completely forgotten to put in the potato soup.

Generally in these circumstances I think “well, what’s one ingredient” (and immediately think “oh. I see.” when I begin eating whatever crap I made). But this time I was like “no! This is a solvable problem!” So I opened the oven door and proceeded to just dump chunks of the potato soup in random gloops on top of my cheese. My hope was that somehow in the baking process, it would seep through the top layer and settle as if I had never forgotten it.

Forty minutes later, I hear the oven beep and I look to see … a pretty disgusting looking casserole. If you have ever baked, or maybe just had common sense, you might have guessed that my “solution” was not a solution. The good thing is, it doesn’t matter how it looks since I wouldn’t be serving it to anyone. The bad thing is, eating this for a meal makes me feel pretty gross about myself. Generally, home cooking is meant to be a healthier alternative to eating out. But I think I can safely say that I have never ordered something this unhealthy, at least in a sit down restaurant.

Maybe next time I will put in broccoli.

OH MY GOODNESS! Safeway is selling the same 1lb bag of potatoes for EIGHTY EIGHT cents! Should I get it?

Also, 49 cent eggs guys!

I learned how to belay today with Jessica, Laura’s sister. So yay! But I feel really fat after that meal, plus I feel fatter in general, so I think I am going to go to the gym a second time today. Yay! I always enjoyed going to the gym twice in a day. Although that was back when “going to the gym” only meant walking two blocks over. Not driving for ten minutes. Eh.

Also, I want ice cream. Major craving! It’s the holidays. I’ll allow it. I will think about my life while eating a pint of Ben and Jerry’s mint chocolate cookie today. I’m not even going to wait until it’s on sale!

Short and sweet

Listening to: Morgan Page (ft. Lissie) – The Longest Road

I just spent thirty minutes writing a pretty long entry about the goods and bads of my weekend. But you know what … the only thing I really wanted to write about was this

Fourth Street during the holidays!

This is my favorite street in the world during my favorite time of the year. Fourth Street! My pictures won’t do it justice. The holiday lights on this too short street are really well done. I was planning on coming here in the daytime, but since I spent longer than expected on Telegraph Ave and it was somewhat sunny in Berkeley, I decided to come at night. Fourth Street is best on an overcast day or at night. I arrived so late that I didn’t get to smell the delicious barbeque smokiness of Bette’s Diner, but at least I saw the holiday lights in their full glory!

Other great things about the weekend:

1) Meeting up with Kristen at Starbucks for lunch in SF on Friday. My favorite thing about working in a big city is when I can coordinate meeting up with friends in the middle of a workday. It’s such a great feeling to see a familiar face on a crowded street. Our meetup was somewhat of a one hour bitchfest. I love it. I got a Starbucks caramel apple cider, which tasted good on the first sip, but after that it’s more apparent that you’re really just drinking warm sugar. I look down at myself whenever I purchase something from Starbucks, since I already know I will never like anything on their menu. But sometimes it just can’t be helped. SF needs better coffee places.

2) Finally completed this one V1 that I have been trying to do for ages! I went rock climbing right before my inventory observation so even though the count went four hours longer than expected, I was still happy with the day since at least I had accomplished something before. Also, I really enjoy inventory observations. I basically go to a warehouse and ask them how they count and organize. It’s kind of fascinating to me. Plus, free pizza!

3) Went to Rasputin and ended up being in there for 45 minutes. I got four cds for less than $6 – awesomeness! Two I think I will love and two I hope I will be pleasantly surprised with. I found a Morgan Page cd which I am SO excited about.

4) Elmwood Cafe! I think this is my new favorite cafe in California. I’m not sure I can compare it to my favorite places in Seattle. For one thing, I never had a problem finding seats in Seattle cafes since I would go on summer weekday afternoons whereas I’m going to Berkeley cafes in the middle of final studying, so it’s like comparing apples to oranges. This cafe is awesome though. If you turn right on Russell from College Ave, there is a fairly large parking lot, free on Sundays of course. It’s on the same block as Ici’s and Mrs. Dalloway’s Books, so it’s fun to walk around before and after. There aren’t as many college students studying here as there are in cafes closer to campus or Espresso Roma. It’s a good mix of students and rich East Bay hills people, doing who knows what. From what I could see, either chatting it up with other rich East Bay hills people, reading, typing on their Macs or doing a crossword. Living the life I want.

5) I think free parking deserves its own category. I LOVE the Bay Area on Sundays. Especially if I arrive somewhere super early, when I have no difficulty finding a parking spot.

6) Seeing Lucy in Berkeley! We just so happened to be in Berkeley on the same weekend, what a good coincidence! She and her friends basically went to five different restaurants and got a ton of food and made a picnic out of it. It looks like they got nearly everything on Gregoire’s menu HAHA I just ate La Burrita since I was in a Mexican food craving.

7) Fourth Street! As mentioned above.

I think I walked up and down this street like four times. Then I finally drove back to Santa Clara (and took the wrong turn freaking THREE times, good god). There were a ton of things at the Crate and Barrel outlet that I want to get. Like this cute snowman doormat and some Christmas serving dishes. For my future home! I hope they are discounted even more after Christmas. And then I will make a killing!

Ok. Sleep time! I hope this week is ok. The week after this seems like it will be really fun. One night includes a coaching dinner. One day involves an IO in EFFING FRESNO (but it’s a wine company so OOOOO). And Christmas is soon! I’ve only written nine cards so far. They are PACKED with words.

Dear future spouse: if you propose to me here, it's much more likely that I will say yes due to my general love for this street

A log of my thoughts today

Yesterday I got taken off my client since there wasn’t much work for me so I sent out an availability email. I ended up getting put on this one assignment for today. The job entailed my driving from my work office in San Jose to the San Jose County Office  to the Secretary to State office in Sacramento to get a piece of paper signed. Yes. This is what I get paid for. Well, I actually love these sort of mindless, assistant like jobs. So I was really excited for this Thursday… and these were the thoughts I had throughout the day.

1. This day is going to be so great! I get to drive around and maybe spend some time exploring Sacramento! I get to wear jeans and my boots and I just burned a new mix cd for the drive! Awesomeness

2. Uh. I’M supposed to go to San Francisco? This was not what I was expecting…

3. Ok here we go. First stop: four blocks away in San Jose

4. I’m lost. Fuck

5. How does this parking meter work? Turn the handle? There’s no handle. It ate my fucking quarter! Stupid piece of shit. Are there other cars around me? None of them have paid. Eh. Well. I tried to give it a quarter, it must be broken. I’ll just real quick

6. I wonder if I’ll get a parking ticket

7. I’m sure I won’t get a parking ticket

8. I should walk faster. I might get a parking ticket.

9. Oh there’s my car. No parking cop next to it! Good sign!


11. I am REALLY fucking pissed.

12. OMFG I almost died. I am a really terrible driver. And I am thinking too much about this stupid parking ticket. Recollect myself…

13. I love this song. When I play it I feel like nothing bad happened today.

14. Oh shit a toll bridge. It’s a very good thing there’s this envelope of money next to me. Note to self, keep a $20 in the glove compartment from now on.

15. The 80!!! Such fond memories on this freeway…

This is how far I've been on the 80

16. Second stop: Sacramento. Ok. Where should I stick my parking receipt? Don’t want to get another freaking ticket.

17. Yes! This was easy. Two hours of driving to get something done in ten minutes. Next stop: San Francisco. How to get there? Oh … just go on the 80? I can do this!

18. An exit for San Pablo Ave? I must be near Berkeley

19. I was right! I love when I recognize the neighboring cities when I drive on the freeway

20. What the … traffic?! It’s 3! God damn what is this traffic for

21. Oh. So this is what it feels like to have to wait in traffic to get onto the Bay Bridge all the way from San Rafael

22. Bay Bridge!

23. Oh my god. I’m driving on the streets of SF in the Embarcadero. This is one of the last places I would ever want to drive. Park immediately!!!

24. Ok, grab a handful of quarters, I’m sure this will be enough for the meter

25. I swear to god I just put in ten quarters and I only have 20 minutes of parking on this meter?!

26. Ok. Walking to the SF office…

27. Ok. Need to go to BOA because I have run out of money.

28. Ok. Need to walk back to my car because there’s no way I have enough time on the meter. I will just repark in some parking lot

29. Someone better be estatic that they have forty free minutes on this meter. I just saved someone a shit ton of quarters.

30. Ok. Driving to 555 Montgomery… this is easy. I can probably turn off my GPS now

31. Oops. Missed the parking lot entrance, I’ll just go around

32. Hey! Another entrance … I’ll go through here instead…

33. Oh fuck. This entrance is only for people with monthly parking passes. Uh … let’s try reversing back into the street … let’s try not to hit that man walking behind me …

34. Ok! Parking garage. I’m expensing this so who cares

35. I’m in the wrong building?! What the hell.

36. Just walked two blocks in the wrong direction. This day sucks ass.

37. BUILDING. Yes. Now looking for the Taiwanese Cultural Center…

38. This place is SUPER Taiwanese… it’s a good thing they have the only Asian A1 doing this. I bet I can sweet talk this man into processing these papers immediately

39. This man is the __(blank to hedge against getting fired)__ Asian man I’ve ever met. There’s no way he’s doing me any favors

40. Well that’s done. Where the hell is that parking garage.

41. Ok. I’m in my car, now back to San Jose. I am a little pissed. Keep me working until 11pm? That’s fine. Schedule me for holiday weekends? That’s fine. Ask me to go into SF at a peak traffic hour? NOT cool.

42. Wait. Is this a lane? Am I supposed to be driving here? Well. As long as I haven’t hit anything or anyone…


44. There is no fucking way that the entrance to 80 W is so many blocks away

45. There is no fucking way that there are only these few lanes that can lead to the freeway entrance

46. WHAT THE FUCK DRIVING IN SF IS THE WORST. The light has turned green twice and I haven’t moved at all! FUCK THIS SHIT OMFG HATE

47. Finally on the freeway.


49. Moving faster …


51. THIS IS THE WORST. I am hitting every major traffic hot spot in one night.

52. There is traffic on the 87. Can’t just ONE part of this drive have zero traffic.

53. I was driving for eight hours today. I could have driven from San Jose to San Diego in eight hours. I could have driven from New Orleans to Austin in eight hours. I could have driven from Medford to Seattle in eight hours. Instead I went in this damn loop.

SJ - Sacramento - SF - SJ

54. YAY. Holiday party. This is way better than what Laura described

55. Look at all these … auditors. Everyone is so cliquey here. I guess I’m not going to meet anyone tonight

56. Home! Honestly, today was actually fine. And it’s surprisingly early! I can do so many things. Read, write emails, write holiday cards, watch tv … so much time!

57. Vampire Diaries!

58. Exhausted…

59. All I did was watch 20 minutes of Vampire Diaries and blog and shower. Time to sleep.

Happy happy happy

Listening to: Dragonette –  I Get Around (midnight juggernauts remix)

Apparently my posts are a little sad to read now. I did not realize. HAHA Well I am incredibly exhausted right now but seeing as how the past few days was slightly more eventful than my usual weekdays, I might as well write something before I fall asleep. Hopefully this is happy enough for you!

I drove to Berkeley on Sunday since my client for Monday and Tuesday was in Walnut Creek. Thanks Caroline for letting me stay both nights and letting me participate in some Hanukkah festivities. Her mom may or may not still be reading my blog – if you are Mrs. Jablonicky, I very much appreciate your paying for her rent! Waking up on Caroline’s street makes me excited to work and revives my love for the East Bay. I just love staring out at her backyard from her 2nd story kitchen window and seeing the sun rising over the Berkeley neighborhood. I wish I could move to Rockridge but that would just kill my mileage. And pretty much double my rent.

On Sunday afternoon I drove to College Ave and just wrote a few holiday cards in Elmwood Cafe. I had initially planned on going to 4th St but it was raining pretty hard and there’s really no reason to go to 4th St if I’m not able to walk on the streets. College Ave is a great substitute. Elmwood Cafe wasn’t there when I went to college – it used to be some soda fountain shop or something? I have no idea. There are a bunch of new establishments on College Ave and I want to explore them one day! I really love the College Ave / 4th St environment. It makes me wonder if I would be happier living in East Bay. Does living in a particular place really have that big of an impact on my happiness? I keep wondering that lately – like, if I lived in Seattle but had the same job, would I just love life? On the flip side, if I lived in South Bay and had the most amazing job ever, how would I feel about life then?

Anyway, holiday card writing with a cup of mocha! Or rather, a bowl of mocha. I was surrounded by people studying for finals. I stayed long enough to make my $4.94 mocha feel worth it, then drove to Caroline’s where her roommate was busy making latkas and warming up challah. Yum!!! We watched Harry Potter 4 and 5 which was great because I had just watched Harry Potter 2, 3 and a little of 4 on Saturday at Laura’s. Basically my weekend was very Harry Potter filled. Delicious food time, then we did what is supposedly a Jewish tradition of making tea, melting a sugar cube by putting it on a spoon of alcohol and lighting it on fire, and then putting that sugar into the tea. I have never heard of such a tradition but it was super fun!

Then work the next day. Eh. There was one exciting moment where my team left the office at 7:10 and realized that the parking garage closes at 7. At one point the senior manager was like “ok well the worst thing that could happen is we cab to my house and you guys spend the night at my place.” Which I think would have been AWESOME. I want to have impromptu sleepovers with my coworkers! But it didn’t come to that because it turns out that if you just drive up to the parking garage exit, the door will open. Which seems like a giant loophole to avoid paying for parking.

Drove back to Berkeley and ate House of Curries with Caroline and Jon. Of course to feel less full, we went on a walk … to Ici’s. HA. Since I graduated I was under the mindset that I HAD to indulge in all my favorite Berkeley foods whenever I visit, since I wouldn’t be there too often. It turns out that I actually spend a lot of time in Berkeley without really planning on it, which means that I need to tone down the “EAT EVERYTHING I CAN THINK OF” mentality that I have in Berkeley.

Hmmm oh yeah – Tuesday! Well. After work I just drove back home. The 680 needs to be more winding, it’s so boring. I drove straight to Laura’s house and heated up some of my dinner there. Did her dishes of course. Watched Glee then Biggest Loser then went home. I should have gone to sleep – I was already falling asleep at Laura’s. But my housemates had saved me a crab so when I got back my housemate Chris just showed me how to break it open and we just sat and talked while I picked at this whole crab. I am not a fan of seafood (except fish and oysters!) but I will appreciate how conducive picking a crab is for conversation. Yum yum.

So yup! I love how it feels like I haven’t even started the workweek yet since I’ve been in Berkeley. And soon it will be the weekend! Oh damn. I have to do an inventory observation on Saturday though. BUT I am scheduled on it because I got to switch my January 2nd IO! SO YAY I am going to be driving down to Socal for both Christmas and New Year’s! Damn you mileage. Maybe I should just rent a car…

It’s 2010 and I miss…

– Living in walking distance to friends
– Taking that first sip of mocha before starting to study the next chapter in Becker
– Parking and exiting the car after reaching the next destination on the US roadtrip
– The first steps into La Jolla Shores when surfing at dawn
– Feeling competent at my job
– Being in a college environment where I’m surrounded by young, smart, good-looking, mostly single people
– The freedom to nap during the middle of the day between classes
– Pulling up to my Seattle house and walking through the white picket fence at night
– Running the 2.8 miles around Greenlake in the morning, dodging dogs and baby strollers
– Being able to run errands from 9-5pm
– Setting off to explore a new neighborhood with only a hand drawn map, my ipod, and my camera
– The night before a new Harry Potter book would come out
– Coming up for a breath of air while swimming laps at Spieker Pool while it was raining
– Drinking ridiculously sweet hot chocolate during late night finals studying at Crossroads
– Catching the bus right on time and flashing my Cal ID at the bus driver
– Commuting to SF on the F bus
– Watching the boys play Smash Bros while the girls gossiped
– Movie tickets that cost $6.00 for matinee showings
– Being above average in a class
– Parties where people didn’t think you had to drink alcohol to have fun
– Falling deep asleep on an air bed mattress in SF
– Asking hypothetical questions with TMV where the future felt so far away
– Knowing what I wanted to do and what I had to do to get there