Week 16: Easter

Listening to: Bon Iver – Beach Baby (my mood lately has been very Bon Iver … which means I’m probably going to get my period soon.)

Poll: By embedding a giant youtube video into my blog, are you more inclined to listen to it?

Well I normally would be asleep right now BUT it’s Monday and c89.5 is playing all of BT’s new album so I am finding excuses to be online. As I can’t watch a tv show AND listen to music, I have decided to blog. Blog … what do I have to blog about …

Saturday I went to my manager’s house along with another coworker and we made breakfast together! It was awesome. I, of all people, came out as a fairly competent cook because my coworker has never cooked ANYTHING in her life, not even eggs. I said “you don’t know how to cook EGGS?!” and they were like “YOU know how to cook eggs?! I thought you didn’t know how to cook anything” and I said “well they’re EGGS. I know how to cook EGGS.” I also brought Odwalla orange juice and another 3 boxes of strawberries. That plus we made sausages and french toast … SOOOO good. It was a full out breakfast for five people for maybe $12, most of which was the cost of orange juice. A bowl of strawberries alone would probably cost $12 in SF.

Going to my manager’s house made me want to buy my own house. The parts they gutted and redid from scratch look amaazzzinggg. I love how her kitchen walls has tile on them. I think I would want like a white tile with a few random colored ones here and there. Sigh more than ever, I have been thinking about being able to buy my own house. I like where I live but every now and then I think “if I had my own house, I’d do things this way” or whatever. I need to save money to be able to put down a mortgage! Also, find a job in Seattle, which is where I want to buy my house. And as a second option, marry rich so I don’t have the burden of paying a mortgage on a single-income.

Sidenote: my manager sent me an invite to her bridal shower AND her wedding! EEK! This is my first non-family wedding invite! I am super excited. I feel like I just got hooked on a new drug. I must make more friends so I can be invited to MORE WEDDINGS!!!

a Fun Celebrity Picture to break up the monotony of this rambling post

After that I went to Berkeley and walked up Claremont Hills. I NEVER finish all of what I want to walk through Claremont Hills. AND I forgot my camera … but you can see the same pics I posted before from just a little over a year ago. This one is actually my favorite picture of all the Bay Area ones I took. I have to go back to Claremont Hills one day and walk over the entire area.

Sunday: I went to the gym early and accomplished a lot of good courses but then I went home and promptly fell asleep on my ground. The only reason I woke up was because it was kind of cold on the ground and I don’t like napping during the day in my bed (because it feels like I just gave up on doing anything productive whereas sleeping on the ground feels like I’m just taking a LITTLE break) so I called Laura to bother her. We ended up driving to Stanford Mall, not realizing that almost all the stores were closed (except oddly, the heathen BR and GAP). Oddly, there were still a fair number of people strolling about Stanford Mall, probably for the same reason Laura and I were: it was a beautiful day in the Bay Area but being suburbanites, we had no idea where to go to enjoy the sun. So we just walked around the mall for a while, along with all the nonreligious people who were stranded in the world without a church to turn to when everything is closed on Easter Sunday. Lots of dark haired people milling about, that’s for sure.

We ended up going to another yuppiesh area and walking around there and I got so hungry for snacks we went to Trader Joe’s. I was heavily debating 1) yogurt parfait 2) ice cream mochis 3) pumpkin loaf bread 4) banana chocolate chip muffins 5) pesto sauce and loaf of bread, and decided upon a large tub of chocolate pudding. We sat outside and ate it – specifically, Laura ate like 5 bites and I sat there slowly enjoying my super fattening chocolate pudding. Sometimes it just feels good to eat something really fattening out of its giant container. Kind of a big F U! to the whole idea of health and portioned eating.

Then I sat in at Laura’s dad’s birthday dinner. I have now been to Laura’s, Laura’s Mom, Laura’s Dad, and Laura’s Aunt’s birthdays. HAHA Then Laura and I watched Salt which was TERRIBLE. It made me want to watch Wanted, to get it out of my system.

I am exhausted. Now I am kind of regretting this “I’M going to to stay up and listen to MUSIC on a monday night!” plan.

Random Thoughts on a Friday night

Listening to: Avicii – Penguin (after Drowning and this song, Avicii just became one of my favorite DJs!)

Thoughts:

1) I keep telling myself that I need to stop listening to dance/electronica and get back into finding folk/indie/alternative artists but I can’t stop! Dance radio stations are so good and I have yet to find a really good alternative radio station.

2) Dear girl at the gym:

I only say this because you’re old enough to have figured it out, but you’re supposed to follow the colored tags on a rock climbing course. You can’t just hop to any rock you choose. Also, you’re not supposed to wear running shoes while climbing. That is probably¬† the main reason why you couldn’t climb that well. I’m not sure why your boyfriend didn’t give you better tips. You seem like the type of person who would ignore whatever helpful suggestions your boyfriend made. I don’t mean to be a judgmental bitch, but that’s how I react to people who go to the gym wearing full blown makeup and just amble about.

3) Strawberries are buy one get TWO free at safeway. That’s TWO free! AND they’re really good strawberries too – you can smell them from several feet away! I only bought three today but I anticipate buying another three tomorrow and another three on Tuesday when the sale ends. I was looking at everyone’s purchases and NO ONE bought ANY strawberries. DON’T THEY KNOW HOW GREAT THIS DEAL IS?!?! I’m surprised people aren’t buying them by the pallet!

4) Friends With Benefits looks like a movie I would really like to watch. Except Justin Timberlake is in it. I don’t know what it is about him, but his face and speaking voice annoys me. I prefer to appreciate his talent via non-visual media, like my computer speakers.

5) I don’t think there’s anything better than a cash flow statement tie-out to prove how little I understood about a company’s transactions in the last quarter.

Getting stuff done … slowly

Listening to: The Naked and Famous – Girls Like You

My computer got some pretty bad spyware infection about two weeks ago, which I chose to ignore for about a week until last Saturday when I realized that none of my documents were appearing in my documents folder. Also, none of programs showed up in the start menu or in the Programs folder. At that point, I figured it was probably time to seek computer help. Unfortunately I don’t know any genius tech geeks in the area, even though this is probably the prime area for tech support. I just yelped a place, called the guy and dropped off my laptop at his apartment. He called me a little later to tell me that I had one of the worst virus infections he’d ever seen and that I had a tonnnn of viruses on my laptop (to which I responded: hmm yeah … I suppose I did start having problems a while ago but as nothing was really affected I chose to ignore it …). Very luckily, my documents were salvageable and my operating system had some sort of (insert tech babble here that I glazed over) and I didn’t have to buy Windows 7 again or anything. The worst thing that’s happened is my Word, Powerpoint and Excel programs aren’t on my computer anymore, but since I don’t use those on this computer, I don’t really care.

Actually, the WORST thing that happened is my browser history is now completely deleted since I had to reinstall Firefox. I only go on six different sites in the entire day, but there are a ton of yelp reviews I had browsed while living in Seattle so sometimes when I type in certain letters in the search bar, they’ll pop up and it was always a nice reminder of “oh yes … I went there.” Like, whenever I typed M, Molly Moon‘s always came up as the first site suggestion, which I think is odd since I don’t think I visited the yelp site THAT much, and are there really no other websites that I frequent that have the letter M in them? Now I have lost that one little bit of history! ūüė¶

At some point in busy season, I had wanted to one day post a blog on the same day that I started walking around the Bay Area in 2010, which is what I consider the beginning of my exploration of random bits of the US, and say something along the lines of “and now a year later, I’m doing blah blah blah.” I remembered this yesterday, and went back in my blog to 4/20/10, and realized with some shock that a year ago, I was already in the middle of my SD stay. Where did the time go!? When I reread those blog entries, I’m starting to react with more of a “wow this person sounds like she’s having fun” rather than “oh yes, I remember this! As if it were¬† just yesterday…” It’s comforting to look back and see that all the problems I had at the time were resolved. Things like, should I buy another wetsuit? I need to study for FAR! I need to find a place to live in the South Bay. All taken care of, a year later!

Approximately a year ago, I wrote that my schedule for the day was

7:00 drive to la jolla shores and surf
9:00 eat grapes on beach and study
1:00 drive home and shower and eat lunch
3:00 study some more in the park
8:00 go running (ideally, unrealistic though)
9:00 play with friends
1:00 shower and sleep

I can’t tell if this is a good or bad thing, but I’d say that that schedule is how I remember most of my days in SD. I guess it’s nice that at one point, I had such fulfilling days. I feel like it’s depressing to think those days are unlikely to be repeated any time soon.

It’s Friday already! I have had a great week at my current client. This is my favorite team hands down. Even though I went home at 11 one night, I was still excited to go to work the following day. I wish all of my teams/clients could be like that… I like all my teams but this is the one team where I tell them on a regular basis “I AM SO HAPPY TO BE HERE WITH YOU GUYS!!!”

I am trying to read this book called NurtureShock, which I mentioned last time. The first chapter is very hard to get through because the topic is essentially “are we hurting our kids by overpraising them?” I don’t believe this is really an issue for most Asian families, so I am finding it very hard to relate to research about kids who don’t try as hard because their parents showered them with compliments like “oh you’re so intelligent!” and “great job!” (for doing the most basic task ever). So far, this is the only relevant paragraph I’ve read

While the moms sat in the waiting room, half the kids were randomly given a really hard test … the moms were told their child’s actual raw score and were told a lie – that this score represented a below-average result. The American mothers carefully avoided making negative comments. They remained fairly upbeat and positive with their child. The majority of the minutes were spent talking about something other than the testing at hand, such as what they might have for dinner. But the Chinese children were likely to hear, “You didn’t concentrate when doing it,” and “Let’s look over your test.” The majority of the break was spent discussing the test and its importance.

After the break, the Chinese kids’ scores on the second test jumped 33%, more than twice the gain of the Americans.

LOLS.

Week 15: Life and stuff

Listening to: Rolling in the Deep / Till the World Ends mashup (This is the third remix of Rolling in the Deep that I’ve heard. At this point, I often forget how the original goes)

This entry comes early because I’m setting the bar low and anticipating nothing interesting to happen on Sunday MY BAD I forgot I am going to Victoria’s birthday dinner. Ok, so nothing interesting will happen until 7pm. HAHA HAPPY BIRTHDAY VICTORIA! PDW Laura, Victoria actually reads this blog! So +50 friendship points for her. This Sunday I plan to Get My Adult Life Shit Together because I’ve somehow dragged out things I should have taken care of five months ago and now it’s April and for the past week I wake up every day with the realization that all these little things I’ve procrastinated on doing have culminated into the giant shit show that is my life.

Friday: Last day at the client in Oakland. Example one of how I’ve messed up: there are some things I really need to do concerning my car and I realize now that it would have been very convenient if I had realized this two weeks ago and I could have done them while I was on this client. Now I’m back to Santa Clara clients and I need to figure out how I will drag my ass back up to the East Bay on the weekends.

It baffles my mind that there is this constant push to get things done at a client and when it comes down to the last few days, it seems like none of the managers or seniors seem to mind that open items remain open and we are all about to roll off. It makes me wonder what exactly is it that I do? Why is everyone so blase about everything at the end of the engagement but everyone is so stressed out in the beginning? Can’t we all just agree to not care from the start of it? Just kidding. I care. Deeply.

We left early that day since people had things to do. I suppose what I like about this team is that people have a life. I find it best to be on teams with higher ups who are just embarking on new stages of their lives like getting engaged, getting married, or getting a new house. The other option is being on teams with single people (like me) who have nothing better to do than to work, or to be on teams with people who have been in long-term relationships and have come to accept that they will not be seeing their SOs until late, late night and are in no rush to prove that relationships trump work.

After much internal debate over what made the most logistical sense, I drove to SF for a work happy hour for someone who was leaving the firm, someone I’ve never met. I had a surprising amount of fun considering I didn’t drink and I didn’t know half of the table. You know how sometimes people leave their companies because they don’t fit in with the vibe? Generally because their coworkers are too frigid or overly competitive or whatever? I feel like I don’t fit in with the firm because I’m too uncool. The more people I work with, the more I’m like “everyone in this firm is really cool in their own way and pretty nice and incredibly intelligent. What am I doing here?” That is a sentiment I will not be voicing over my coaching meetings.

After happy hour I drove to Planet Granite SF for rock climbing. I love being able to go there whenever I’m in SF! Friday nights have the least amount of people. It makes me happy since I can climb much more without having to wait, but it makes me sad because people are not there because they have lives. I sucked at a lot of courses that I probably could have done in the past without really thinking about it. Super depressing. After climbing I called Janie to say I’d be coming over. Then I decided I’d get gas instead … and ended up accidentally driving across the Golden Gate Bridge. After sulking at the Vista Point and trying to get my $6 toll’s worth of night time city view (which I couldn’t even capture because I didn’t have my camera this weekend!) I drove back into SF. Good times.

Saturday: Woke up and drove to Mama’s to meet with KIM!!! I told her that all the SF brunch places I have gone to are basically one big delicious blur. I really can’t distinguish one brunch place from the other, so I didn’t have a particular recommendation. Here’s the gist of SF brunch: you wait an hour plus in line with a mix of Asians and brunette people wearing North Face jackets or cute hipster wear, to eat either an omelette, eggs benedict, or french toast. You will be sitting fairly close to strangers since the restaurants are small. At some point during the meal (or maybe before the meal even begins) you will have to move your car (unless it’s a glorious Sunday!) If you decide to use the restroom, you will probably be able to reach the sink while still sitting on the toilet. It will be delicious and at the end of the meal you will feel pretty great about yourself for making the trip out to SF and doing something non-work related.

I wish there were some breakfast medium between omelettes and french toast. I want french toast but it doesn’t come with anything beside french toast. It should have at least some potatoes. By the time I’m done waiting in line, I figure “I am NOT going to be full off french toast.” I look at omelettes and think “hypothetically, I could make this. They tell me all the ingredients RIGHT THERE. Why would I pay $10 for this?!” But then the hunger in my tummy says “EAT THE OMELETTE. They come with potatoes!” So I always order an omelette. Then half way into the meal I think “oh god … this is really filling … and I’ve only eaten the toast and the potatoes and none of my omelette…” Ok. I am being told that omelette is the a real word. Omelet, however, is. But I’m PRETTY sure I see the word omelette everywhere.

Well after that I drove Kim and Gin to the Exploratium after quite a bit of detours. Thennnn I drove to Janie’s and spent half an hour looking for parking. I found metered parking next to the homeless man who sleeps by the Chevron. We had planned to go kayaking in the Bay, which I was super enthused for. But by the time Soo Jin and Albert came over, and after we went to buy Whole Foods lunch, the place was pretty much closed. While the sky looked¬† great, I’m pretty sure it was way too windy for us to be kayaking around the bay, so I think it worked out. Instead we opted to go “hiking.” I can’t even claim that we went “walking.” I can’t imagine that we walked any more than .2 miles before we left Land’s End and went to get ice cream.

Then Janie and I went down to South Bay and we picked up Laura before satisfying Janie’s huge In N Out craving. I guess she really missed a good burger after Apple sent her to China for the past few weeks. In N Out was delicious. Laura told us about how deadly the Cal Train is. I am kind of amazed that the Cal Train could run over a car and come out completely unscathed, with zero injuries. Obviously, not for the people in the car. We agreed that it was odd that if we hear “two people died trying to outrun the Cal train” we¬† think “god those people were idiots,” but when we hear “one person was able to get out of the car and the other person didn’t make it” we think “oh wow, that’s really sad.”

Sunday:

Things I need to do

– invest my traditional IRA funds properly
– figure out when to take my car in for repair
– research my vacation
– create other weekend vacations
fix my computer
laundry
– decide what to do with my money (CD?)
– find a doctor in the bay area so I can get a physical
– find an eye doctor in the bay area
fill out dmv forms
– find all the random other “to do” lists I’ve made in the past few months and cross off those items

Week 14: Russian Ridge and BOOKS!

Listening to: Britney Spears – I Wanna Go (my pick for the next great Britney single)

Quote of the week

(while in the car driving to lunch) My manager, Jessica: You know this song, Promiscuous Girl? I found out that Jenny thought the lyrics were “Mister Whiskers.” She thought the song was about a cat! The lyric “promiscuous girl, where ever you are, I’m all alone and it’s you that I want?” SHE THOUGHT IT TALKING ABOUT A CAT.

We also rib on one of my coworkers, Justine, because she is the safest/most paranoid person EVER. We were talking about some 20/20 murder episode and she was like

Justine: But these women who were attacked are walking around late at night! I don’t think people actually do things like that
Me: I do things like that!
Justine: You do?!
Me: Yeah! I walk around Berkeley at night by myself. It’s fine! There are tons of people walking around out there! Witnesses everywhere
Justine: Oh my goodness

Russian Ridge in Palo Alto

Last week was awesome. I love the team I’m on – I can’t tell if the people are just super cool and fun to talk to, or if it’s because we’re not as stressed out since the work load isn’t as heavy. I feel like we’ve reached the point in the year when everyone’s worked with certain people and the higher ups have already decided who they like working with, and even if I like working with someone in particular, they’ll already have their favorites. The good thing is I’m pretty sure that one manager has chosen me as a favorite so at least I’m not left drifting out alone. I would LOVE to work with people on this team again but I can tell they have already made connections with others.

For once I’m actually looking forward to my next engagement, which is the Q1 review for one of my main clients. The client is insanely close to my house, as in sometimes I don’t even get to listen to a whole song in my commute, and I feel the most comfortable with that team. I feel like the hell of busy season is already becoming a distant memory.

Friday I headed to Berkeley after work and grabbed dinner at Cafe Intermezzo with Jon. Before that, I went to the Unit 2 mailroom where he works and looked through people’s mailboxes to see if anyone had a copy of the New Yorker, which has an article about Anna Farris that I really want to read. Unfortunately, everyone in Unit 2 subscribes to the Economist or People. UGH! People need to subscribe to New Yorker so I can browse through their copies!

I did my ritual phone call to Ici and basically screamed to Jon “OMG THEY HAVE EARL GREY THEY HAVE EARL GREY WE NEED TO GO TO ICI’S” while walking down Telegraph. So I went to Ici’s with Josh and my ice cream server gave me sooooo much ice cream. I love you, ice cream scooper girl. Before that I went to Rasputin, browsed the indie section and was really depressed to find out that I don’t even recognize about 2/3 of the artists. Signs that I am becoming out of touch with music: 1) I rely on radio stations to introduce me to new music, 2) when I don’t recognize half the lineup for music festivals (like Bonnaroo) and 3) when Dianna Agron posts a playlist I only recognize half of the artists on her playlist. I need to stop listening to the same dance stations and get back into finding fun indie and alternative music!!!

Saturday: I FINALLY bought Ray Bans!!! I did not bother buying them online. For the nth time, I went to a sunglasses store to try them on. Then Laura and I went to the Apple store so I could do a test run of ordering it online. It’s a good thing I did, because by doing that I realized that I didn’t know the exact measurement (52mm or 55mm) and I was paranoid that I might choose the wrong lens color. AND I would have only saved $5, might have had to pay even more for shipping, and wouldn’t have had the joy of swinging around a little shopping bag proclaiming my brand name consumerism. So I went back to Solstice and after a year of dancing around it, finally decided to buy the damn sunglasses. YAY!!!

The rest of Saturday was spent doing errands with Laura. We both thought of the number of times we have asked our coworkers what they did for the weekend and they would respond “oh, ran some errands” and how we’d think “god how sad.” Well. Hello, new life. Nice to meet you.

Sunday: I started the day by dropping off eggs at Laura’s and ended the day eating a Sourdough Jack, fries, and an Oreo shake. Gooooo meeeee… HAHA Actually in the middle of it I hiked at Russian Ridge in Palo Alto and ran at Stanford Stadium so I can forgive the Sourdough Jack. Not the oreo shake though. NEED TO STOP BUYING THAT.

Behold the beauty of South Bay

I’ve actually seen recommendations for Russian Ridge pop up in a number of places so I was kind of excited. The hike itself is not actually very grueling … it’s mostly level and I didn’t work up a sweat at all. It is also extremely windy at some points of the hike. I think the reason it’s more popular is because it offers a really great view of the South Bay. Unfortunately, it was pretty hazy that day. Also, the view of South Bay is not too inspiring, so for me it was like “oh cool … Stanford has a lot of red roofs. Oh cool … I live somewhere in this area.” The inside of the ridge is pretty amazing though. I can’t believe there is so much untouched land in the Bay Area.

The best part about the hike was  the drive to and from there. The roads are super windy and I had so much fun making sharp turns and blasting music with the windows down. That drive was basically my release for the weekend.

I stupidly threw in all my dance music and the new Britney album onto my iPod before setting off for the hike and it was NOT fun to listen to while walking around. Upbeat dance music makes hiking seem like it’s going by reallllyyy slowly.Now I know why my “walking” playlist consists mainly of mellow indie music.

Running at Stanford Stadium was one of the worst runs I’ve had in my life. I forced myself to run 3 miles but there was an embarrassing number of walked laps in between X____X Need to improve!!! So many things I need to improve about myself…

Reading: I finished half of Tina Fey’s Bossypants (Jessica’s copy – my copy is being mailed as you read this, thanks Henry!) and I’m starting NurtureShock: New Thinking about Children. You might think, Mel, what are you doing reading about raising kids? You hate kids. Well guys – I’m pregnant.

Money! Almost makes busy season worth it.

Update: Never mind. My payment for a traditional IRA just went through I just paid my $2,002 credit card bill. I’m poor again.

AWESOME.

CPA bonus + tax refund in the past week.

Should I buy:

1) This Guess Jacket

or

2) Ray Ban Wayfarers?

Guess Jacket:

+ It’s white and has a sideways zipper which I always like

+ Naya Rivera wore it in Glee

– I have never seen this in real life and am not sure how it will fit or feel

– I decided I wanted this jacket ten minutes ago

– It’s getting warmer already so why would I buy a jacket

Wayfarers:

+ I have wanted these since at least April 2010

+ Having tried them on several times, I already know I love how they fit on my round face

+ The sun comes out more lately so I have a real reason to wear these

+ I can check people out more conspicuously

– I’m too lazy to drive to Gilroy to buy these at an outlet price

I guess I’ve answered my own question. I will buy … both!

IT’S 11:59! I swore I would sleep earlier today. So … GOOD NIGHT

Listening to: Benny Benassi ft. Gary Go – Cinema

At long last, listening to dance music has paid off professionally and socially. My senior asked me what I was listening to today and I was like “uhhhhhhhh” because I never know whether to answer with the exact song or the artist or a genre. I told him I typically listen to dance music and that interested him so we started trading favorite artists. MORGAN PAGE NUMBER ONE. I was really pleased to see HIS pleased expression, like “oh cool she didn’t give some lame answer like ‘Lady Gaga! Isn’t that dance?'” He approved of all of my favorite dance artists so cheers to me. He gave me some podcasts to listen to – I have no idea how to access podcasts on itunes. Help? I feel like I passed a test for knowing all the artists he mentioned. Coincidentally, I knew three of the artists because I had just downloaded some songs last night. Woot woot!

Work is going well lately. I really like this team. We get off so early that I feel the need to go borrow some library books. I even went to the gym today (and it was TERRIBLE).

Week 13: Mount Tam and Lobster Shack

Listening to: Armin van Buuren ft. Lauren V – Drowning (Avicii remix) (this is the best trance song I’ve heard in a long time. I heard it while streaming c89.5 on Monday night from 11-midnight, which is apparently when they test play all this new music and then based on forum responses, decide whether to give songs real radio play. From now on, no matter what I’m doing, I will be listening to c89.5 on Mondays from 11-midnight. I got like five new songs just from that)

I’m starting to have a difficult time guessing which week I’m blogging about.

This was one of those hiking weekends (as opposed to a tv weekend)

This weekend was actually pretty eventful and friend-filled but at the end of it, I’m left really thinking wtf am I doing with my life. I just realized – where the hell are my shorts. I am sitting in bed and it is super warm and I have no idea where my awesome bear bottoms are.

Friday: As I somewhat mentioned, went to Berkeley after work! Got my haircut, which I still like, but I think it’s so short that it poofs up in odd places sometimes. Went to the bookstore on Fourth Street, and now I really want to read again but I don’t have time. Agh! I broke my two books a month goal, since I didn’t read a single book in March. Boo on me. Maybe I can read four books in April. I already know that won’t be happening, unless I borrow four Animorphs books or something. I went to Elmwood Cafe from 8-10 and did a little work which felt good. This whole weekend I kept sleeping really late but waking up really early and just stressing about needing to do work. I used to love that I didn’t have to think about work at all during the weekends but that is no longer the case. It’s bleeding into all parts of my life!!!

Slept over at Caroline’s … not sure what I did at night time. I know I slept around 1 and we had agreed to aim for waking up to go hiking around 7:30.

I can't ever get enough of the 1

Saturday: We both ended up waking up at 6am. So … earlier than expected. The great thing about hanging out with Caroline is that 1) if I actually do wake up around 6am it is not a waste because 2) I can actually start my day at 7am instead of waiting around for people to wake up. So we ate delicious PB & honey toast which is my new favorite way of eating toast and I got to watch the sun rise over her backyard which is classically East Bay and one of my favorite sights in Berkeley. I think we left her house around 7:30 and got to Mount Tamalpais in Marin County around 8:30. It was so early that the Stinson Beach parking lot was gated off and we ended up finding street parking right next to the trailhead. It was so early that we were kind of uncertain whether we could actually park there or not, because there were no cars at all.

The shadows reminded me of Hurricane Ridge. You can kind of see SF

The hike was a loop trail (here’s something a few of you may not know ahem Laura – some trails are NOT loops and may required you to walk BACK the way you came, SHOCKER!!!) and a little over 7 miles. Matt Davis Trail! I was like, I’m pretty sure there’s an actor out there named Matt Davis and I was right. I watch him every week on The Vampire Diaries but you may know him as Warren of Legally Blonde. He is one of those actors who has aged VERY well and looks smoking with an added decade.

The trail was crazy in the sense that the scenery would drastically change. First it was like … going through the Hoh rainforest, everything was SUPPPERR green and mossy, like if you were in Jurassic Park or something. Then it became this open field of grassy mountains and we could see outlines of the SF skyline in the distance. Then it was like hiking a SoCal trail – trees with small leaves that don’t seem to change much color during the year and very packed in dirt trails with lots of shade. Then it suddenly felt like I was in Seattle again because we were going through Steep Ravine trail and it reminded me sooo much of Ravenna Park. Tons of waterfalls too. And then there were redwoods, and then it became open fields again with coastal flora. So, kind of crazy! And a lot of awesome.

Jurassic Parks/Stairs portion of the trail
Insanely expansive green hills
The redwoods portion of the hike
End of the trail

We walked around Stinson Beach area a little bit but we were both hungry and I was kind of set on going to Sol restaurant so then we set off for San Rafael. God Sol Puerto Rican restaurant is sooooooo good. I am going there every time I ever cross into Marin County, unless I suddenly find some other highly yelped restaurant. We walked around the San Rafael area a little because I thought it was supposed to be a cutesy area but it was not really. I guess it looks way better at night with the streetlamps.

Opted for the Veggie Sandwich and a flan

I was exhausted and pretty much fell asleep on the drive back to Berkeley. Thanks for driving Caroline! Ok. I need to find my shorts. It is way too warm in my bed. And I don’t plan on sleeping pantsless.

I showered, then napped and set my alarm for 4:30 because I then had to drive to the Rockridge Bart for an Oakland A’s vs. Seattle Mariners game with my coworkers. So yay! For socialness. I magically wore Oakland A’s colors (in the form of my green Gap cardigan) completely without meaning to. I realized it when I noticed several people on the Bart wearing A’s jerseys and I was like … wait a minute … HAHA The Oakland A’s is one of our clients but I still had to pay for my ticket. Boo on that. But it was kind of hilarious because at one point, while we were sitting in the stands, Natalie asked Mark, who had been on the client during busy season, what the wireless password was and Mark was like “try ——”

I am very slowly learning the game of baseball. Oddly my favorite sport is football, but I’ve never been to a game. And baseball is one of my least favorite sports but I find myself going to baseball games a lot. So we would sort of just talk to each other and ask about what clients we’d been on and what we are going to be on and general catching up on each other lives questions. I feel like after hearing some of the hours my fellow A1s worked, I did not have it that bad. But at the same time there are so many factors besides the number of hours worked that would determine who had it worse, so who knows.

You have to climb some 10ft ladders on this hike. Kind of cool

Seattle Mariners won! I guess in a sense I would be rooting for them but I wouldn’t be able to name a single player on that team so who knows. I can now name some Oakland A’s players! Coco Crisp! And I guess … that’s it.

The baseball game ended around 9:30 and I got back to Berkeley around 10 which felt SUPER late. I would have eaten Gypsys, which I was thinking about the entire game, but then I felt like it was too late to eat something like Godfather’s Favorite, so I just drove home. And felt incredibly exhausted, which is probably to be expected since I had woken up at freaking 6am!

Stinson Beach on a high tide day

Sunday: So I thought, ok, now I can sleep in! NOPE. Woke up at 6:30am. wtf. And on weekedays it takes so much energy to get out of bed at 7am. Stupid body. Well, I woke up, debated going to the gym (which I have not done in FOREVER and need to go ASAP) but after my mom called I decided to just watch tv, eat breakfast, do a little work, do a little nothing. I did just that before heading off to Laura’s (accidentally late) and the we drove to the Millbrae station to pick up her friend Bianca THEN went to hike in Picchetti Open Space Reserve in Cupertino. It’s right next to a winery – at some point on the trail we were kind of confused about where to go and a couple walked up to us and were like “oh we’re heading back to where we came” and we were like “you mean the winery?” and they were like “there’s a winery?!” HAHA

Some part of the Stevens Creek Reservoir

Li-Ting met up with us! So I caught up with her. Talking to her made me realize that I have completely put off my search for hobbies. Thus, my wtf am I doing with my life mood. It’s not the fact that I haven’t picked up any new hobbies that bothers me, what bothers me is that I have not even THOUGHT about that for several weeks now because I have been so consumed by work and the need to relax on the weekends that having new hobbies has completely slipped my mind. So now my mind is stressing out a little for no good reason.

Anyway, after the hike we went back to Laura’s to lounge around a little before going to Lobster Shack in Redwood Shores. Laura has talked about Lobster Shack so many times I’ve lost count. This entire time I thought when she said lobster rolls, she meant lobster sushi rolls. What she meant was sandwiches with lobster meat. So I generally dislike seafood (not fish, oysters or raw sushi, but almost all shellfish) so I didn’t think I’d want a lobster roll. SO glad I split that, and a pulled pork mac n cheese, because the lobster roll was crazyyy good. There was SO much meat in it. It’s pricey but I feel all right buying it. I also got a blueberry bread pudding too… mmm. I think whenever I see bread pudding on a menu I ALWAYS order it. To recreate those small moments in New Orleans.

Beauty of the South Bay

Li-Ting, Bianca, and Jessica drove up north while Laura and I headed back home. At some point Laura asked what I wanted to do and I said, I don’t know, let’s go to Stanford Mall and VERY LUCKILY we were just about to pass the exit for Palo Alto so Laura quickly switched over and we went to Stanford Mall, which I guess is my go-to suburban hang out place. Unfortunately all the stores were already closed, so I didn’t have the pleasure of going into a sunglasses store and debating for half an hour whether to buy RayBans before deciding against it. We walked around for maybe half an hour before it suddenly got REALLY dark. Then we went back to Laura’s and Laura read all these cards she’d received (which makes me wish I had brought my memory shoe boxes up north) before I went home.

Now it’s 12. Great. I was supposed to sleep earlier. This always happens. Good going, self. Anyway, tomorrow’s a new client. In Oakland. I’m SUPER excited. Actually, it should be cool.

End of busy season!

Supposedly.

Listening to: The Cataracs – Top of the World

My busy season technically ends March 31st but I may still work long hours depending on what my next client is like. I started the week feeling a lot of hate towards my life/job. Since I spent the last three months of my life making workpapers and looking at financials for 12/31/10, it had not yet hit me that it is 2011. But I’m starting to realize that a quarter of the new year has passed and I have done nothing new with my life. If anything, my excitement for life and desire to lead an interesting life has been dulled by exhaustion and apathy. I haven’t gone rock climbing in a long time and I never feel like exercising anymore, which is not a good sign.

But starting Wednesday everything started to feel reallllyyyy relaxed with my teams. I wonder if it had something to do with the partners/managers meeting on Tuesday. Suddenly I was going home at 5 or 6 AND got to go out for team lunches on all three days. On Wednesday my senior and I went to Elephant Bar and then we ended up going to the Ghiradelli chocolate factory to scope out some discounted chocolate. She said to me “I hope this makes up for all those long days!” and at the time I thought “uh hell no, this two hour lunch does not at all make up for the three weeks of 11+ hr workdays I’ve been subjected to.” But honestly, my memory is so poor and I am so quickly subdued by free lunches and fun non-work related conversations that … by today I am kind of liking my job again.

Today I drove up to Emeryville for a client and since half the team was leaving at 5, I got to leave at 5 too! So FINALLY I went to get my haircut. I have wanted to get my hair cut for about two months now, but I’ve never had the time or my schedule never worked out. I’m too lazy/afraid to yelp a hair stylist in South Bay. Considering my hate for everything in the South Bay, I don’t think I would trust any hair salon down there anyway. So I have been waiting for the moment to go to Eclipxe Hair Salon, which is where I went as a college student. It somehow took me 30 minutes to drive 4 miles on surface streets from Emeryville to Berkeley (compared to 30 minutes it’d take me to drive 11 miles from San Jose to Hayward). I normally get my hair cut by Adrianna but today she was busy dying someone’s hair so I got Pedro. For the first time ever I actually really like my haircut on the day that it was cut. Usually I don’t like it until a few weeks later after it grows out. Pedro is awesome! Pedro was also an accountant for a while so he was telling me what he did and I said “I am really sad that I understand everything you’re saying.” Then we talked about tv shows which is always an easy conversation topic – and we watch a lot of the same trashy shows which is awesome.

So yay, haircut! Then it was only like 7 so I decided to do my favorite Berkeley things. 1) Fourth Street: I forgot Crate & Barrel closes relatively early but I just went to the bookstore which I love because their books are always really cool editions. 2) Would have gone to Rasputin and browsed music but there were a lot of cars around Durant so I was too lazy to find parking 3) Drove to Elmwood Cafe and drank a mocha for dinner and did a little work on my laptop. Doing work in a cafe is the best. It doesn’t even feel like work. It’s like fun productive time. I finished one client’s journal entry completeness testing so I feel super accomplished. JE testing is stupid because it should technically take like 30 minutes to do but client data seems to be invariably flawed in some way and it’ll take me a long ass time to format the data and then figure out that something is fucked up and then I have to wait for the client to resend me better data so I can restart the process again.

I’m at Caroline’s now! Hiking tomorrow in Marin… As I type on this latop, I am really concerned about my eyesight because I feel like there is a significant change in my vision. Everything is a little blurry, almost like if there were just a little bit of liquid in my eye that makes everything have a fishbowl effect. Eek.

I almost forgot – I HAVE LEARNED ALL THE LYRICS TO ME AGAINST THE MUSIC. I feel awesome. It turns out, the hardest part of the song for me to decipher was not the “I’m up against the speaker trying to take on the music” … it’s one of the last lines of the song when Madonna/Naya goes “make the music dance.” I could not figure out the word “music” for the longest time. BUT NOW. I have a go-to karaoke song. This is my biggest personal accomplishment in the last five months. I have never remembered lyrics for any song before … but I guess Me Against The Music just touched something within me.

Sleep time! Actually I really need to pee. But I’m so lazyyyyyyyy