Phone!

Listening to: armin van buuren – this is what it feels like

I am now writing this post on my new smartphone!  Actually this is taking so long I can’t imagine this will last much longer.

Best reaction to my new smartphone acquisition:

Kathy: welcome to the 2000s!  Omg this is madness

Christina: lolllll march 24 2013. That’s one for the books

Jonathan (since I accidentally got logged onto gchat): hiiiiiiii how come you’re on chat
Visible
Are you okay?

I’m in NYC!  The main reason I got a smartphone.  It is wayyyyy easier to go around now!  Now I don’t have to yelp the night before and I’m not restricted!

At first I didn’t understand who would possibly want a blogging app but now I realized I can post pics directly from my phone.  Amaze balls.

This probably took 10x longer than was necessary.

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Love Brooklyn bridge even though I think the whole thing gives imperfect camera angles

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Big gay ice cream store was not what I expected.  Soft serve ice cream,  wtf?!

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Who would think a meatball shop could be so awesome

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Ate at Balthazar alone and witnessed a woman get stood up and a date that the woman was clearly not interested and the guy tried oh so hard. Moments like that are when I loveee traveling and eating out alone.

Accidentally bought a kate spade wallet and Steve Madden boots.  Like.  Yeah.  Credit card just jumped out and accidentally got charged.

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I think my favorite neighborhoods are Greenwich village and West village.

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Went to a Kate nash concert.  I am so blown away that NO ONE smoked pot.

Omg I must have deleted my pic of the Kate spade flagship store on accident.  Boo.

Thus far it’s my best NYC trip yet!  Still would never move here but fourth time’s the charm!

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“Is it bad if my all-time favorite days are drug-related?” “Yes.”

Listening to:

Swedish House Mafia – Antidote (live at Bill Graham)

Swedish House Mafia – Save the World (live at Bill Graham)

I pretty much told someone that I wanted Antidote to be the first song and Save the World to be the last. Antidote was the first of the second half of the set and Save the World was pretty much the last song so … I win. HAHA

I have literally been looking forward to the SHM concert since November when I first started my busy season. It did not disappoint (although I liked Alesso’s set at Beyond Wonderland more).

Ripped from tumblr:

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shm22

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shm18

shm25

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from soojin’s phone
from kathy's camera
from kathy’s phone

And now I’m reobsessed with this video (1min mark):

The Day I Get Everything Done (or like … 60% of it)

Listening to: Ellie Goulding – I’ll Hold My Breath (I hate how her single Lights is being way overplayed now. Hello, America, this song was famous in 2010. US radio stations need to catch up. She already has a ton of new songs out and they are still playing Lights!!!)

Written at 9am: I’m going to work from home today. I decided this at 8:20am today while lying in bed. The things I want to accomplish today are:

1) Make and drink smoothie
Success. Unfortunately I didn’t have any kale so it was predominately fruit (apple, pineapple, banana) over veggie (spinach, celery). Tomorrow I will have only kale and celery and no spinach. Making these smoothies is like trying to make hot dogs: things just don’t come in proportional packages.

I love when it’s this shade of green

2) Wear something comfortable
Success. I have no idea why I put this on my list, but I wore exercise shorts the entire day.

3) Tie out cash flow statement
Success. First work task of the day!

4) Income Tax Training
Success!!! I thought I would fail it and have to retake it but I magically passed. Thank god. I took this training out of boredom and in a quest for self knowledge back in March when I had more downtime. Then it became a required training and I was like “shit … I have no idea where I left off and I certainly don’t remember anything I had learned.” I’m really glad I don’t have to retake this

5) Eat Thai leftovers for lunch
Success. Yesterday I went to Kathy’s house and we had intended to make huevo rancheros but ended up going to a Thai restaurant in the whitest city imaginable.

6) Finish 1/2 of Manufacturing Training
Success!!!!!!!!! I actually finished the whole thing, because it went by very quickly. I’m now done with all my pre-training trainings before we go to Chicago in September, yay!

7) Go to Philz if bored and in need of a mocha
Success. I went at 7pm, not because I was bored but because I knew if I didn’t, I would have spent the entire day in my room and I’d be really miserable and probably not have gone to the gym. So I read some of my for fun book while nursing a mocha. Which is probably why I AM AWAKE AT TWO AM with no sign of tiredness. Damn you mocha!

8) Rock Climb
Success – but only a moderate one because I didn’t complete any V2s. At least I was on the elliptical and the rowing machine, but I wish my fingers were more sore from climbing.

9) Read for fun book, Going Solo
Success. I kind of want to stay up the rest of the night to finish this but … it’s 2:15am … and … that seems unwise. I recently finished The End of Normal which was something you can just devour in half a day. I doubt it was really fully written by the wife of the son of Bernie Maddoff but it’s a very good, fast read. I picked it up when I was in the Queen Anne bookstore in Seattle and was immediately engrossed within the first five pages, which never happens. At the very least, you get an interesting insight into what people with unimaginable wealth do in their day to day. Going Solo is about how we are trending towards living alone. My main takeaway is that even if more people are deciding to live alone (and never marry), there will never be a definitive “yes you should marry someone” / “no you should live on your own” answer for everyone. It’s just that now we as individuals have more resources and it’s not as frowned upon to live alone if you choose to, so more people do it. The book is like 1/3 statistics and 2/3 interviewee perspectives. I like the book because a good portion of the interviewees are or were young professionals who live in the Bay Area, so it seems more relatable to me. There were a few paragraphs where someone talked about how they could never travel alone, which I thought was very strange because traveling alone is not as scary or lonely as some people make it out to be. I’ve noticed a lot of people were surprised when I tell them about vacations I’ve taken alone. While I don’t have a constant companion, I end up talking to and meeting way more people on my own, and depending on where I’m going, sometimes I’m more inclined to have that kind of a vacation than one with a friend.

10) Research October vacation
OMFG FAIL. This is exactly why I fail to plan any vacations and why I’ve requested and cancelled vacation about four separate times this year. Because I never find vacation planning pressing  until one day I realize that flight prices have increased and then I’m too cheap and bitter to plan so I cancel vacation. And then I max out on my accrual. And then I freak out. I would honestly say that the #1 stress in my life since I’ve started work has not been work/life balance or how I’m doing at work or whether I’m in the right career: it’s vacation planning.

11) Research Chicago vacation
Fail again. I have until Friday to book my flights. I just need to find enough restaurants and places to stay to justify leaving on a Saturday and coming back on a Sunday. Part of me, the lazy part, thinks that have already been to Chicago three times before and it’s no Seattle, and wants to just leave on a Sunday and come back on Friday. But another part (the cheap me, who knows I would never go to Chicago otherwise since I know my company holds its trainings here) thinks I need to maximize fun time in non-CA cities.

12) Call mom
Fail. Ugh sigh. I kind of want to call her every other day but it’s so hard when I’m at work most of the day, then I’m not in the mood to sit around and gab on the phone when I get home, and by the time I get back from the gym I think it’s too late to call her.

13) Start my “must try restaurants” list for SF, Oakland, Berkeley, South Bay, LA, Chicago, New York
Fail. When I wrote this list at 9am I must have thought I had like … 36 hours in a day

14) Write a couple of e-mails to friends
Fail. Sorry friends.

15) Start planning out how I would redecorate my room. Decide if I want to redecorate my room
Fail. Fail. The thing with this is that I’ve realized that one thing I really admire about people is when they decorate their place well, especially if they don’t intend to live there permanently. I think a room/apt that is well decorated really shows off individual personality and also indicates that someone is capable of committing to a place and takes the time to make their living situation comfortable and homey. Lately I realized that I would be way too embarrassed to ever bring a date back to my room because it looks bare and storage closet-like. And it seems hypocritical to not decorate my room when I find it an attractive quality in others.

On the other hand, adding more furniture that I have to one day move does not seem like an appealing idea.

16) Complete August list of expenditures
Fail. Rawrgh.

17) Drink Lindsay’s lemoncello
Success. LOL So my coworker made me a vial of lemoncello a while ago. I decided I would finish this and give her back the bottle for a refill. Lindsay told me her lemoncello is 40 proof. I basically took two shots of this after my pad thai lunch and ended up falling asleep from 2:30-3:30 and then spending the rest of the day wondering if I had a hangover. I definitely did not feel that great at the gym. While it somewhat torpedoed my afternoon work ethic, I figure I can cross “get drunk in the middle of the day while working from home” off my bucket list.

Every sip is like “mmm this is so tasty— OMFG THIS IS STRONG”

18) Do not play Minesweeper. Do not play Tetris. Do not check ThoughtCatalog until after the sun sets, which is when posts stop posting. Do not check LaineyGossip. Do not watch Buffy. Do not leave gmail open. Do not eat open box of girl scout cookies. Do not go to grocery store and buy ice cream or donuts. Do not make plans to eat out with friends for dinner.
Well. I did play Minesweeper … while watching Buffy. But it was for my lunch break! I can’t be faulted for that. I think in general I did pretty well at this.

19) Complete blog about success rate
I think the end result is that anything involving long-term future planning was a massive fail.

We’ll see how this day goes.

Well. Now it’s 2:40 and I have to wake up tomorrow for a 9am training. EXCEPT HAHAHA this training is about recruiting and will be held at Dave and Buster’s before our day-long company party. So … basically I’m waking up to go the mall.

This week has been and will be pretty awesome I think. Sunday night I had driven up to Kathy’s in Danville because I needed to do some things from the office and instead of going to the office 8 miles away from my house, I decided I’d drive 40 miles one direction, crash at Kathy’s, then bart with her to SF. Makes perfect sense.

Monday: bart to SF, minimal amount of work, lunch from Truck Stop which is an alley with rotating food trucks (I got a bacon, mac & cheese grilled cheese sandwich which was incredibly heavy), coffee break at Blue Bottle (decent, different, but I don’t know if it’s worth the extra $1.25 over Philz since with two cups of Blue Bottle mochas I could get three Philz; the affrogato though IS FUCKING DELICIOUS), Bart back to Kathy’s, SWAM after work (this is my fucking dream, to have an easy day of work and then go home for a nice long swim), then Thai, then I drove home. Why can’t every day be like Monday 😦

Tomorrow: this fake one-hour training, then D&B fun for the day

Thursday and Friday: I am assigned to a client who has yet to respond to my “did you get this done” e-mail. I don’t foresee it being too busy there …

Memories I wish I had captured in a pensieve

Listening to: Alex Winston – Host

I don’t know why but ever since my trip to NYC I’ve been a lot more pensive and emo. It’s one of those times where I think if I sat  and processed long enough, I’d be able to pinpoint the root of my emotions but it’s too daunting to actually figure out what’s bothering me, because then I’d have to actually do something about it, so I end up trying to busy myself with other things.

One of those things is making the following list. Lately I’ve been thinking it’s going to be a while before I experience a totally new experience. Until something major changes in my life, it’s going to pretty much be the same average life here on out. Not that it’s a bad thing. I’m in a comfortable spot. I’m not terribly unhappy with life but I just don’t think I’m going to experience any significant peaks in emotions any time soon because I don’t put myself in situations that stray very far from the norm. Basically the extent of my happy peaks lately consist of: finding a new hiking trail, eating a real meal, getting e-mails from coworkers at work.

Life just a few years ago sometimes seems so vivid, but I wonder if I’ve just made up a memory based on a few wisps of what I think happened. Most people know I have a terrible memory (my mom seems to love to say in a somewhat horrified voice “oh my god, you have a terrible memory,” I sometimes think as she says this she’s envisioning her daughter having Alzheimer’s at the age of thirty). But I’m sure no matter how good someone’s memory is, it’s nothing like the first time you experienced something completely new where you had no basis for comparison. Or maybe not a singularly new experience, sometimes I can’t even remember what it felt like to have something just be the norm, and when I try it just seems so abstract.

I would hope we never figure out the technology to entirely encapsulate our emotions and memories in a particular moment. If we somehow figure it out though, or if the wizarding world one day gives us Muggles access to the pensieve, these would be the memories I wish I could reexperience:

1.Faking sleep so I could be carried to bed
This is probably the youngest … oldest? … memory that I don’t even remember anymore, I just know I did it. I remember falling asleep on car rides home, whether it was hours long trips from vacation or just a fifteen minute drive from the grocery store. If I faked a deep enough sleep, my dad would carry me into the house and put me to bed. Sometimes I’d wake up in the middle of being carried and throw a fit. How dare you wake me up! I wanted to sleep in the car! Why are you disturbing me! Oh to be a child again. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to experience being so effortlessly carried to bed ever again in my life.

2. Bon Iver concert at the Greek Theater in Berkeley
This is one memory that was already slightly marred by my being an adult when it happened. I was watching my favorite artist, in one of the best venues ever. It was after he had released the Bon Iver album, which I loved just as much as his For Emma, Forever Ago album, so I didn’t have to sit through new, crappier songs, if he had had any. Maybe if I had been younger, I would have thrown myself completely into the experience. But at several points during the concert, I would think I don’t know how any concert could ever top this one. Still, hearing so many of my favorite songs, flawlessly performed, amongst so many other awed fans, is something I can’t recreate by listening to the album or even watching youtube videos

3. Getting ready for prom
Oh high school. It’s funny how much importance we placed upon one single night. I’m glad I was with a close group of friends to experience it with, and to my recollection, none of us were with romantic dates. We just all had our platonic dates, went together in a big group in a giant Hummer limo and had good, clean, dramaless fun. I kind of loved the moment after getting my makeup and hair done and putting on my prom dress and having my mom fawn over me. I had a white prom dress, so I think a part of me thought maybe this is what it would feel like if I got married one day. I loved the moment when one by one we arrived at Connie Y’s house and there was sooo much excited commotion. Hairspray, straighteners, curlers, bobby pins, corsages everywhere. Getting our TMV group picture was an amazing experience within itself and now I think the chance of all of us ever doing a family portrait like that again is basically nil, so I’m so happy we did it and I’ll have framed proof of it forever. And then at some point between all that chaos of how do I look?! omg you look so pretty! omg we need to do this! omg picture!!! it turned a 180 and we were having our prom dinner poolside and by tealight in the backyard. And this was all before we even got into the limo to go to prom. And then even before our prom NIGHT which I barely remember except leaving at dawn to watch the sunrise at Chantry Flats. I don’t think there’s any experience that comes even close to senior prom, in the sense that it’s a formal event but no one person is the center of attention, and I’m glad that for me, it was pretty much a perfect night.

4. First TMV dinner
I have no idea how this ever came about and maybe someone does, but at some point in our young high school lives someone thought it would be an awesome idea  for all the boys to cook dinner for us in Danny’s cookwareless apartment kitchen which until then, basically served as a microwaving station and storage for Danny’s mom’s ice cream pops (that we would all eat when we invaded). While I’m not too worried that these annual dinners will continue in tradition, more than half of us have moved out of Arcadia. We’ll never have the ease of driving just ten minutes to get together again. I’m glad it’s a tradition, but there’s nothing like the inaugural year of a tradition, where you have no expectations, no comparisons, and you’re just living in the moment.

5. Talking until dawn
I have absolutely no idea what we used to talk about for hours on end, sometimes until dawn. And by we, not just with TMV but all my various groups of friends I’ve ever had. I remember staying up until three or four talking to Chris, Connie W and Tony while playing Big 4 online. About what, god knows but there were a lot of laughs. Or AIM – the program that taught me how to type and that if you stay up past 3am and start talking to someone online, that’s when some real juicy stories come out. We certainly went over to Danny’s a lot, but I honestly can’t believe we spent that much time playing Super Smash or watching Asian dramas. What the heck did we use to do from 3pm  to 3am? I can’t even fathom what was going on in my life that I could have talked about for so long. And in any case, I’d probably be with the same people day after day, so it’s not like we were catching up after months of not seeing each other. We probably ate lunch together just a few hours ago! Nowadays I feel like all conversations follow the same flow: how’s work? are you dating anyone? where are you going on vacation? well if you’re so unhappy at your job, what do you want to do next? ok, see you next time! It honestly boggles my mind that any of us had that much to talk  about when we were young and I wish I could get back to that place, if only to know what the fuck was on my mind back in the day.

6. The first time you watch an awesome scene of a couple you ship on tv
I can probably rewatch a scene dozens and dozens of times (and definitely have) but nothing is quite like the first time you see a well-shot, well-written, well-acted scene and that is powerful enough to create weird little butterflies in your stomach or heart palpitations. Tumblr is starting to ruin this for me because I often see gifs of a scene before I watch the scene itself, but that’s my own fault for going on tumblr. It’s amazing how strong of a medium TV is (at least for me). Attach the perfect song to the scene, and dear god, it’s all over. There goes an hour of my life, dedicated to watching the same forty second scene over and over again.

7. The dawn of Facebook
I don’t even really remember this, I just know it happened: when everyone was getting a facebook account and every time you logged in, you probably had at least one or two new friend requests. This was back when we REALLY cared about what was on our profiles because people could realistically sit there and thoroughly go through your entire profile if it were interesting enough. Nowadays, I pretty much never send friend requests, because either I’m unlikely to see the person again and don’t want to bother, or it’s a coworker and it seems odd to facebook them because it’s like saying “hi I know you from work and I want to see what you do in your personal life.” The funny thing is, even though I don’t want to bridge the work/personal line, I don’t even look at people’s profiles in detail anymore, and I’m sure no one looks at mine either. One, who has that kind of time. Two, most people have just accumulated way too much shit on their profiles, like thousands and thousands of pictures that’s too troublesome to delete. Three, no one really does anything that interesting on facebook at this point. Add on the confusing timeline layout, and I basically use Facebook for … honestly I don’t know what I use it for. I pretty much just have it so that one day if I look for a new job, the recruiter can search for me and confirm “yes, this person is a normal citizen of the world and has a normal looking Facebook profile page.”

8. Perfectly recording a song from the radio onto a cassette tape
This will never ever happen again. I can’t be the only one who did this but did anyone else feel the exhilaration of perfectly catching a song on the radio and perfectly pressing play+record on the boombox to record a song to cassette? Then, I was in POSSESSION of the song and I could play it as many times as  I wanted (after a few seconds of rewind). I’d sit and listen to Rick Dees Top 40, attentively waiting for the him to announce the next song and hope that he wasn’t going to talk over the beginning instrumentals. My god, I used to work so hard to steal music. It didn’t even feel like stealing – it was work.

9. The first time I read each Harry Potter book
I was and still am reluctant to buy things on amazon, so on the release date for Harry Potter, my mom would go to Costco and buy the book for me there. I’d then spend the next day in my room reading and reading, not knowing at all what would happen next. Can you believe that for at least seven days, parents didn’t have to think about their kids for a day because they were all sitting in their rooms reading? Well the series has come to an end and while you can reread the books all you want, and there’s still magic to them with each read, nothing compares to the feeling of the first read. Although I must admit, I once reread the Half Blood Prince and it took me an embarrassing amount of chapters (I may or may not have been past 3/4 of the book) to finally remember who the Half Blood Prince was. I guess in this case, my poor memory serves me well.

10. The first time I listened to Brand New’s Deja Entendu or Bon Iver’s For Emma, Forever Ago in its entirety.
Similar to Harry Potter, you never get to repeat the experience of listening to a great album in its entirety for the first time. For music, I think these are the two albums where I LOVED every song from the start. It’s a rare thing to listen to an entire album and 1) not be interrupted and 2) love the entire thing from the get go. You play the first song and think, yeah this is a good start. Then the next and the next, wow this one’s pretty good too. Oh this might be my favorite. Then you get past the halfway point and it becomes omg I hope this one is just as good. I don’t want there to be a dud song and it’s like an anxious fear that one song will break the spell, followed by surprised relief when it doesn’t let you down. Finally, when the album restarts on track one, I’m left thinking I can’t believe I loved EVERY song. Is this the entire album?! It can’t be over! At the time, you’re excited to have found a great album. But one day, you’ll be listening to it and think “I wish I could relive listening to this for the first time again.”

12. The last few weeks of every school year
One thing you’ll never have after high school is the comfort in knowing that you only have responsibilities for a set block of time: September through mid-May. And even those responsibilities aren’t that heavy, it basically consists of making sure you did your homework and studied enough for tests so that you meet a very straightforward measure of success. This is somewhat true in college but I think in college I was constantly thinking about what I had to be doing in preparation of next year (for the ultimate goal of landing a job), so there wasn’t such a clean line between school time and fun time. But in K-12? omg those last few weeks of school where you were required to go to school but school basically meant watching movies in class, hanging out with the friends under the false pretense that you might never see them again (you probably saw them all through summer anyway), running around getting yearbooks signed. Good god, those were the days. I don’t even really remember what I did the last few weeks, but I think that’s the luxury of it: we just did whatever, we had no concerns about anything. We thought we had worked so hard and we deserved these moments of goofing off. Now I realize we barely did shit but the reward was still so high.

13. Christmas in middle school and high school
I will never again receive as many gifts for Christmas as I did in middle school and high school. I always feel a little sad now when I go home for Christmas and see almost nothing under the decorated tree. The days leading up to winter break … jesus christ. I remember at some point I started to bring gifts to school in waves – every day I’d bring a few gifts and dole them out to my friends, in some premeditated order. I used to plan out when I’d buy my gifts by and when I’d wrap them by. I know for a fact I once thought who is CRAZY enough to do shopping a week before Christmas?! I will never procrastinate! Fast forward to today, where it takes tremendous effort for me to even remember posting on someone FB wall a simple “hey, happy birthday!” I guess this is something mainly girls experience, but what a delight. The day my family opened the gifts, it’d be me and my mom sitting under the tree for like an hour, a mountain of wrapping paper building up around us. Now the extent of my Christmas giving is Christmas cards, and I’m one of the rare people to do even that. At least I’m not yet at the point where I have to buy my friends’ kids gifts. Good god. Auntie Mel’s going to hand out boxes of fruit, just you wait.

14. Buying Scholastic books
Do they even do this in school anymore? I really wonder. (I also wonder what will become of libraries as we continue to move towards e-books). Who was the sick genius who thought of printing out catalogs of books on colorful, recycled paper and handing them out to schools. You could buy basically whatever you wanted because what parent would say “no, you can’t buy books.” You sit there and mark up the little menu of all the books you want, as if you’re ordering sushi, your parents pay for it, and then one day the teacher basically hands out the gift of entertainment which you carry home like little trophies.

I have absolutely no idea where I was going with this but it’s somehow past midnight and it’ll probably be 1am by the time I finish proofreading. I had meant to read (this is an awesome book) but instead this happened. If you’ve made it this far, here’s a hilarious gif and a picture. Thanks for your time

Boring to you, memorable for me!

Listening to: Belle and Sebastian – Sleep the Clock Around

Super tired and it’s not even midnight! Today was a pretty fantastic day though, so I have to blog about it. Nothing unique happened, it was just a productive and friend-filled day, my favorite.

I went to Laura’s yesterday night, making it my fifth night in a row. I’m finally giving her a break from me so I will be showering and sleeping in my own house tonight. Since she and her sister were going to their grandma’s in the morning, I went back to Santa Clara. Productive Task #1: did my laundry. Productive Task #2: cleaned my room, which basically meant picking up all the crap off my ground (as pictured in the previous blog). Made lunch then drove to Berkeley without using my GPS, OR getting lost, OR having a near death experience! That in itself would have made my day – but there’s more!

While on the 880, I was just two cars away from being blockaded by the police. I have no idea what happened on the freeway, but I checked my rearview mirror and realized that a police car had stopped all lanes of traffic behind me and was not letting anyone drive forward. I’m so glad I made the cut.

I’ve been driving freeways in the Bay way more frequently than I drove freeways in SoCal. Partly because I just drive much more often, and partly because there are so many freeways here and it’s not like socal where you could reasonably get around without needing a freeway. I really enjoy driving the freeways here – there are generally fewer cars, the roads are smoother, and they’re just more fun for some reason. I love driving in Berkeley (well, except for the narrow streets, the pedestrians, and the random medians) because it’s the only city where I ever paid attention to streets so I can get around without my GPS, even more easily than I can in Arcadia. I feel so accomplished when I can get around without my GPS.

So, I went to my eyebrow threading which was AWESOME. I went to M&M Thread Salon which was on MLK right next to the NEW TRADER JOE’S. It was super cheap ($10) and way less painful than tweezing and far more effective since I don’t even know how to shape my eyebrows. I would seriously drive back to Berkeley just for more threading appointments. Why have I not done this sooner? It is a little sad to me how good I feel about myself after I “pamper” myself with these beauty things. It seems superficial and shallow, but there really is something uplifting about things like haircuts and manicures and apparently eyebrow threading.

Then I drove to the Safeway on Shattuck because I REALLY had to pee. Since I was already there, I bought some grapes and pears. Grocery shopping in Berkeley! An hour from home. There’s just a familiarity to Berkeley that I love and never want to let go of. Then my favorritteee place in all of Berkeley – 4th St! It really is my favorite street. I wonder what percentage of Berkeley students know about it, because it’s much more of a rich Berkeley Hills kind of hangout place. The atmosphere is always super relaxed, there are always dogs and families and the air was crisp today. I went to Crate and Barrel and bought THE CUTEST BAKEWARE EVER

9×13 cake pan, loaf pan and pie tin for $32!!!

I called my mom because I wasn’t sure if this was expensive or not. But they are just so cute and way more fun to bake with than metal stuff. My mom said “I don’t know … for one thing you don’t even bake” and I was like “no, but I will be inspired to bake with these!” I was sort of iffy but then I went to Sur La Table and uncute bakeware sold for even more than this, so I was like WHAT A DEAL! I suppose it’s not particularly wise to price compare with similarly expensive stores, but oh well. These were half off! And my new favorite purchase. It’s fun to buy stuff and not care about spending money. It makes me feel like Oprah. (As long as I don’t feel like the average American, who is in consumer debt)

Walked around more of 4th St and tried to soak it in. I always love the whiff of smoky bbq around Bette’s Oceanview Diner. I love the trees lining the streets and pretty much everything about 4th St.

Then I drove to Masse’s Pastries and bought three cakes. It turns out my mom and four of her relatives from Taiwan are on a tour of the Bay. And tonight they’re staying at a hotel in Fremont. HAHA So I said I would drive over and see them, so these cakes were for them. My go to “food as gift” place is Love at First Bite. It’s always the first thing I think of, and I will always think afterwards “egh, Love at First Bite is cool but I’m not even a big fan of cupcakes.” Then a lightbulb went off and I realized MASSE’S! Masse’s is my favorite dessert place in Berkeley, even more than Ici. A cake is just as expensive as an ice cream cone but far more fun to eat!

Then I drove up to Berkeley Hills so I could walk around. I was SUPPPEERRR excited. Today was perfect walking weather and I had already walked a few streets to and from my car so I was feeling really great. It sounds crazy but I think in the entire nine months, my favorite time ever was just walking the streets of the Bay Area. You would think it would be the roadtrip or Seattle, but I really think it was the Bay. I ended up calling Jon to see when he was going to leave to watch volleyball and he was like “COME NOW. STOP WALKING” so I was like DAMN I just parked too! But I walked back and drove from Berkeley Hills to the apt. Last week Alvin pointed out that I still call it “my apt” even though I don’t live there anymore.

Then … volleyball game! Jon wanted me to wear my UW shirt so I did. It was a fun idea – putting my $20 tshirt from another school to use – but it ended up being very awkward because Jon wanted to sit on the UW side which meant we couldn’t really cheer for Cal and we certainly weren’t going to cheer for UW so we just sat quietly. Although sometimes we would slip and I’m sure it was obvious we weren’t real UW fans. It doesn’t matter – Cal won! Shutout.

I didn’t want to get to my mom’s hotel too late so I didn’t have time to visit Alvin 😦 I wish I could have spent more time in Berkeley! What am I going to do next year when I don’t have any more Berkeley connections?! I seriously loveee it there. There’s just so much to do and it’s like my home away from home. I think I have many homes away from home. Watching Parenthood always makes me miss Berkeley.

So I drove to Fremont and spent an hour with my Taiwan relatives, who I haven’t seen in a very long time. Pretty fun! They loved the cakes I had bought and were very intrigued by my eyebrows. Then I left because they are waking up at 6am tomorrow so they can go on their tour of SF. God, hearing about what they do, and particularly, what they don’t do on these Chinese tours makes me so appreciative that I travelled outside of a tour. No wonder I used to hate travel – all I ever went on were Chinese tours!

Left, now I’m back home! And ready to sleep. Good night.

The Only ways this day would have been better:

– had signed up for rock climbing membership (which I keep putting off because I always think ‘I don’t have time to really commit to a rock climbing session today!’)
– walked around Berkeley Hills and taken pictures
– eaten at Cheeseboard

Training

I feel like I can’t really say I started my first day of work until this week ends. This entire week is just training, and next week I’m immediately jumping into quarterly reviews. Which should be better than if I had immediately started on a fiscal year audit. I like everyone in my class, only five other people started on the same date as me. The first day was in SF, which affected where I lived for most of the weekend. I am REALLY pissed that I didn’t expense my mileage but just did my expense as a BART ticket. Because in a way, I did drive all the way up there with the intention of going to SF on Monday. Whatever. I’m guessing there will be more opportunities for mileage expensing.

I overestimated the popularity of Rockridge Bart station and left Alvin’s apartment REALLY early to guarantee a parking spot. I basically got there an hour and a half earlier than necessary, and half the lot was empty. I loved taking the Bart to work though, I kind of wish I could do it more often. I was standing on the platform of Rockridge, which is right in the middle of the 24 highway. The combination of the blue foggy light of dawn and car headlights speeding off to work was really calming to watch.

Since I had so much time, I planned to eat breakfast in SF. I got a bagel from Noah’s and sat to read a book. Then walked around in search of coffee and ended up in a Starbucks (bleh I am not a fan of coffee from huge chains). An hour later I strolled into work around 8:45 and started my day!

Work ended at 5 and I took the bart back to Rockridge, where my car was. THEN I went to stand in line for a LAUREN CONRAD BOOK SIGNING!!! *SQUEEEEEEEE* I HEART Lauren Conrad. If you did not know before. She is my favorite reality star celebrity. I felt incredibly stupid standing in that line. She was signing at the Cal Student Store and I figured, when will I ever be able to see her again? So I bought one of her books and waited in line (the Style one, so at least I can learn something from it, unlike LA Candy or Sugar and Spice). Just listening to the people around me talking made me feel embarrass for my generation. Yet, maybe I would have been saying the same things if I had friends around me.

Meeting her was rather underwhelming. The main reason I stood in line was for the chance to take a picture with her, because I don’t think autographs mean very much. But they didn’t allow cameras past a certain point, so I wasn’t even able to take a picture OF her. She didn’t give personalized messages either – I wanted her to write “AUDITING IS THE SHIT” on my cover. She just drew a giant heart and her initials, LC. I wasted my time with her! I was so sad afterwards I considered just standing in line again just for a redo. I wish I had said something more interesting but instead I asked if she would write me a personalized message and she very nicely said that if she did, it wouldn’t be fair to everyone else she had denied. The girl in front of me got an actual conversation out of her, because she said “You inspired me to go to FIDM!” I may have unconsciously rolled my eyes.

Seeing Lauren Conrad at a book signing was not as exciting as running into a celebrity. But I also stood in line to meet Jason Dohring and that was much more exciting than seeing Lauren Conrad. I don’t know why – I adore Lauren Conrad far more than I adore Jason Dohring. I guess because there were so many restrictions. She looks exactly the way she looks in photos, whereas sometimes people say celebrities look even more gorgeous in real life. I guess photos accurately capture her beauty. She actually looked rather old, like I would have guessed she is 30 if I knew nothing about her. But that may be more of a commentary on anti-aging techniques people use than her physical look.

Anyway, I walked back to my old apt and met up with Jon for a dinner at Gypsys. Delicious! Then I drove back to South Bay, and decided to visit Laura so I could hear her New York stories. I arrived around 9:30pm and around 11 I jokingly said I should just stay the night then realized I TOTALLY could because ALL my stuff was in my trunk! I have basically been a nomad since Saturday! No one is in Laura’s house so I just talked to her until midnight, and by then I was already falling asleep because I was SOOO exhausted. I hadn’t slept very well at Alvin’s because I was SO paranoid I would be late for work, I woke up at 3am and kept checking the time every 30 minutes. So … exhausted.

Laura kept trying to tell me about New York but I would just interrupt her with my own stories. It took about an hour and half before she could finally say “SO ON SATURDAY…” I only made it until Friday and I had to tell her to shower so I could nap. I told her about my first day of work and how we ended at 5 and just had all these presentations. She responded “wow until 5?! My first day was a half day and we just watched a video about how to properly pick up boxes.”

We woke up around 7am and ate oatmeal and watched E news together and then we both left for our jobs around 8am. Too bad she is going to her client in Fremont, otherwise we could have carpooled to San Jose together.

Training was far more interesting today. More real world information and I went out to lunch with others. I had been expecting to show off what I have been doing the past nine months but someone showed me up and actually spent a year traveling Asia. So damn him. And when I try to say what I have done, I only get up to San Diego when I say “so I always wanted to learn how to surf, so I did that. And I would study for the CPA at the same time—” and everyone will go “OMG YOU TOOK THE CPA ALREADY?!” and everyone focuses on that more than the traveling. Seriously, when I went to the bbq I went through all the places I had gone to and the main thing everyone latched onto was “WOW you finished the CPA before you started work! That is amazing.” And I’m like “PAY ATTENTION TO SEATTLE. AND MY ROADTRIP” in my head

Ok, I’m going to stare at my fridge and figure out what veggies I can make before they spoil. Then, going for another sleepover at Laura’s! I think the past few weeks have only been examples of how I need constant human interaction or I will freak out and think I have no friends. It’s weird because in Seattle I never once felt lonely or apart from my friends, even though I think I really only kept in contact with Laura and Kim the entire month. And I knew no one in that city. But when I’m in Santa Clara, if I’m alone for a single hour and no one is available to play, I seriously go insane and become really sad. Once work starts, maybe I won’t even have time to think about my social life.