Friday, March 5, 2010

My first film

Here's my final project for one of my courses; it was intended to be the final version, though our instructor said we have another week to improve it. I sent it to the brewery just for fun, and they put it on their facebook page and a local beer blogger put it on his blog, which is kinda cool/embarrassing. It's very much a student film (audio/video quality isn't great) but I worked really hard on it so I'm proud of it.

Anyhow, this is what I've been doing instead of blogging for the past 3 months.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

A note to my blog

Oh, hello little blog. You may think I've forgotten about you, but I haven't. Sure, there are some other blogs that are playing very important roles in my life right now, but you're still number one in my heart. I look forward to the day when I will be able to post to you more frequently, but for now let us both be content knowing the special place we hold in each others' souls.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Winter Break

I'm still alive (knock on wood) and managed to survive a challenging quarter. It actually ended more than a week ago, but I've been in recovery mode. It's nice to have some time to relax- I'm still working 20 hours a week, but without classes, reading and the two heinous group projects assigned by both courses (one that came with frequent marathon meetings) I'm feeling a lot freer.

I haven't really done anything I promised myself I would do. The apartment is only marginally cleaner, the scarf I promised David for Christmas last year is still not finished, I haven't done any art or cracked open any books. I have a blog post for my program's blog due on the 27th and have only today begun emailing people for quotes- really bad timing. I supposed I should focus on what I have done though: I've baked some good cookies, cooked some good food, completed my Christmas shopping, done a fair amount of work on David's scarf, rejoined the gym and started to get back in shape, and come to the somewhat difficult conclusion to stop writing my Examiner beer column because I don't have the time or the money to drink and review all that beer. Oooh, and I just bought (well, my parents just bought me) a new camera: I found a great deal on a digital SLR. I've been writing weekly blog posts for work, and my 5 year old point-and-shoot isn't cutting it. It's supposed to arrive tomorrow, so prepare for tons of pictures of the Cobra.

Friday, October 16, 2009


I suppose sporadic posting has become a reality instead of a passing trend.

I started my 3rd quarter a couple of weeks ago, and so far my classes are interesting. One is a required research class with all the new students (65 of us) and the other is a web interactivity class which I have high hopes for. I've even made a friend or two, people I met over the summer but now talk more with and actually hang out with outside of class, which has been nice. What's different about this quarter than previous quarters is that I felt overwhelmed immediately after the first class. My first quarter, I wasn't working for the first few weeks, so I wasn't really busy until halfway through the term. My second quarter, I only really had big assignments due at the end. This time, I was hit with a massive paper two weeks in. Factor in a 4-day trip to North Carolina for a wedding that didn't actually happen and a project at work, and you've got a slight raise in blood pressure. The apartment is a mess, I've only written a few beer posts since I've been back, and my willingness to do anything other than heat frozen dinners has decreased. But I'm having a good time.

So, yeah.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Cutest. Story. Ever.

My cousin Shawna and this kid named Trevor were buddies growing up. At age 12, Trevor tells his mom that he is going to marry Shawna. But Shawna likes other boys, and she's really pretty, so the other boys like her. She dates a few in high school. At 18, she has her first kid and then marries the father. She has another kid with him. Her husband treats her poorly, but since they have a couple of kids, she's stuck. Then the husband hits a deer on his motorcycle and dies. Shawna is now a widow at age 23, but her friend Trevor is there to support her. She mourns her husband for as long as she needs to, then she starts to see Trevor as more than a friend. They begin to date. She and her kids move in with him. And they just got engaged.

I don't know if that's the whole story or even the true story, but it's a cute story.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


I went down to California to visit my folks last week: flew out on last Wednesday and flew back on Tuesday. My hometown is one of those places where everything is always changing and yet nothing ever really changes. Stores and restaurants are always going in and out of business, but even though the news ones are different, they are exactly the same. A few years ago, the trend was bubble tea. Then all the bubble tea shops turned into frozen yogurt shops. Next time, I'm sure the frozen yogurt shops will be cupcakeries. If a start-up folds, there is a new one to take its place. Ugly McMansions are torn down and replacements are constructed. A new wave of students comes and goes but they are carbon copies of their predecessors. Everything -cars, phones, gadgets, clothes- is modern, expensive and cutting edge, which means that while there is constant change in the material, the conceptual remains stagnant. In mathematical terms, were you to take the derivative of my hometown's change equation, you would get a constant. Correct me if I'm wrong on that one, math people.

Anyhow, on the first day I was there, we drove to Santa Rosa to meet up with the parents of one of my dad's former patients. The patient is now in her mid-thirties and has a fused-glass studio. She does some of her own work, but mostly she teaches glass fusing classes. It's kinda like a paint-your-own ceramics studio (in fact, she shares the space with a pain-you-own ceramics studio): she has the supplies, and she helps people make stuff. I wish we would have had time to make something (though then we would have had to ship it, so probably not worth the hassle) but we wanted to make a 3 PM tour of a nearby brewery. That was pretty cool: a free sampler of their beer (the equivalent of a pint, plus more if you count that it was pretty high ABV beer, plus more if you count that my dad and I split my mom's) followed by a brief (10 minutes) tour of the facilities. I was only moderately embarrassed to be doing it with my parents, mainly because when the tour guide passed around hop pellets for us to smell, my dad ate it. He broke the pellet in half, sniffed part of it, put it in his mouth, chewed, and then did the same for the other half. Then he turned to the guy sitting behind us dry-hopping a cask with whole hops, asked him for one, and proceeded to eat that too, leaf by leaf. Since he was still hungry, we stopped in San Francisco on the way home so my dad could get a sundae at Ghirardelli Square. Every time we are in San Francisco, we inevitable end up at Ghirardelli because they have the best sundaes in the world and my dad really, really likes ice cream, especially with hot fudge and whipped cream.

The next morning, I went for a jog and then hiked the Dish trail with my mom. Stanford used to have these big radio telescopes to search for aliens (I believe it was part of the SETI project- another reference to a course I took my freshman year of college: I am on fire). The telescopes are no longer used to look for ET; instead, they are props in a scenic path along the rolling foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains, frequented by inhumanely athletic college students, skinny powerwalkers, and yuppie moms desperately trying to get their post-baby body back. So, my mom and I were a little out of place. We came back, chilled for a little bit, and then I hopped on the train up to SF to meet up with Jessica for a night of debauchery (if 2 beers is considered debauchery).

I met up with her on Market Street around 5 after walking from the train station, about 2 miles. We did a little shopping (she needed a new watch and I needed another pair of running shorts). She has been staying at her parents' condo, which is on the 32nd floor of the Four Seasons hotel and has insane views of the Bay and downtown. She took a nap and then we figured out what to do. I had a plan already: Haight Street pub crawl. My beer peeps had told me of a couple of great places to go, both on Haight Street. Even if you have never been to SF, you are no doubt familiar with the Haight (as in, Haight-Ashbury). Back in the 60's, it was full of dirty, strung-out hippies, and today it is still full of dirty, strung-out hippies. But, there are also plenty of trendy boutiques and restaurants, making it an interesting mix of white-collar and tie-dye collar. Anyhow, we got some sushi then walked to the first bar, a cute brewpub called Magnolia, where we ran into this girl we used to go to school with. Weird. We had a beer, then walked to the next bar, a dirty, metal-playing, graffiti-bathroomed beer bar that despite the dive-y atmosphere still attracted the same type of clean-cut person as the cute, non-dive-y bar. Go figure. We had another beer then caught a taxi home.

The following morning, Jessica wanted to go to the Mission District to look at a bike. She has this obsession with Peugeot bicycles after the bike she rode in the Netherlands (despite having flown over the handlebars on said bike and broken her arm). She liked the bike, so she bought it. After realizing that my blood sugar was getting low (not physically dangerous but unpleasant and cranky), we walked around the Mission for a while looking for a suitable place to eat. We got some sandwiches at a way-too-crowded-for-what-it-was cafe and ate them in the park. There's a name for the park (Dolores park?) but I can't remember it. We went back to her condo, where she finished packing, since her summer was over, and we headed back home. I went out to dinner with my parents and called it a night.

I can't really remember what we did Sunday. Went to the Farmer's market... Oh yeah- back to San Francisco! My dad left for a week at his job in New Mexico around noon, and my mom and I saw the King Tut exhibit at the DeYoung museum in Golden Gate Park. That was awesome: tons of Egyptian relics, all in great condition. Then we went to Alive, this amazing raw food restaurant for dinner.

On Monday, I had my first-ever facial: interesting experience. It was very relaxing, except for the extraction part, where they manually cleanse your face of impurities. The woman doing it had to whip out a needle for some of them; in theory, being stabbed in the face with a needle isn't all that fun, but she was very gentle. Basically, she slathered a variety of goo's, creams and rubs all over my face, and told me to wear sunscreen. It was cool, and I know my mom paid a lot of money for it, but I'm not sure if the cost was worth the result. I hung out with my mom the rest of the day, and then we met up with Jessica and her parents for dinner. The next morning, my mom drove me to the airport, and by 3, I was home!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Family Reunion

Oh boy, what a fun summer it's been! Except for taking a full courseload and all. Summer quarter has been over for a few weeks though, and I've been enjoying having extra time to relax.

Last weekend was the big family reunion. It wasn't really that big, since my dad's side of the family is fairly small. He has two brothers and one sister, and only one of those has any kids: one cousin (Betsy) lives in Seattle, and the other (Josh) lives in LA and works in the, umm... film industry. Anyhow, my Aunt Fran flew out from Maryland (her husband stayed behind), my dad flew in from California (my mom stayed behind), and my Uncle John and Aunt Becky came up from Colorado; my Uncle Bill and Aunt Susie live in town, so they acted as tour guides and chauffeurs. My dad and Aunt Fran got in on Thursday afternoon, so we walked around the Sculpture Park before being joined by David and Betsy and heading over to Westlake Center for a Public Option rally. Then we went to Happy Hour at a Japanese restaurant for dinner and hung out for a little bit before coming back to our apt with my dad.

The next morning, I did a couple hours of work, then we went to Best Buy because my Uncle has a temper and somehow killed his computer. I've said it before and I will say it again: my family is very tall. One 6'8" guy draws sideways glances, but two of them together draws stares; my dad and Uncle Bill are both this height, so going out in public is always fun. Anyhow, after a successful best Buy adventure (my Aunt and Uncle left with a netbook, which, now a week later, they still have not figured out) we headed out to the Locks for lunch and to watch the salmon. We hung out again at my Uncle's before going to another Happy Hour for dinner. David joined us after that, while we waited for Uncle John and Aunt Becky to get in.

The following morning, the siblings headed out somewhere to visit some other relatives, and Aunts Susie and Becky headed to Bill and Susie's place on the Hood Canal. David and I chilled here. I can't really remember what we did, but the following morning we too headed to the Hood Canal. It was raining pretty hard, so we stayed inside, played cards, drank beer and ate food. The old folk shared family stories, most of which involve a shared dislike for their father, who apparently was kinda a jerk. Uncle Bill just turned 65, so we celebrated that as well.

We stayed the night, and the next morning my dad headed to Anchorage to see my brother, and David and I headed home. Yesterday, which was my Uncle's actual birthday, my Dad stopped in on his way home from Alaska, and we all went out to celebrate again. We hung out over there for a while, then came back here. I'll see him again in a few days: I'm going home for a week starting Wednesday.