Monday, February 8, 2010

Schedule Change

Dave’s second week of work brought with it a new schedule for us. His first week was mostly business-skills training (easy). His second week was a primer on the computer programming language Java (much harder). So, since he had a few hours of homework every night and wanted to study hard to keep on top of things, we were up at 5am pretty much every morning so he could get his work done. It was good for our productivity, and bad for our sleep deficit. But, we managed to make it through the week and had a pretty relaxing weekend to catch up on sleep, write a brief (me), and study some more Java (Dave). This week promises to be more of the same, so we’re bracing ourselves for the onslaught of work.

But, on the bright side, Dave’s back is feeling better and things are easing up temporarily in the law school department. With my first draft of my brief turned in today, I can breathe easy for a week or so. We’ve got next Monday off (President’s Day) and a couple of classes cancelled this week. Plenty of time to catch up on a backlog of work! I’ve also got a couple of summer job interviews scheduled.

In the meantime, we’re making sure to schedule in some down time (gotta catch up on TV sometime, right?).

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Of work and backaches...

Dave has now officially had his first day of work! The job is legit, and though his training is pretty remedial right now (basic “business” stuff), it shows promise of getting much more exciting (“computer” stuff!). So far, so good! He’s currently going to training at a hotel in Dublin (about a 30 minute drive from here), so he says that it doesn’t quite feel like work yet. More like a conference.

Unfortunately, on top of the excitement of getting started at work, he has also had the excitement of hurting his back. Though we have no idea how he managed it beyond bad posture. He’s got terrible lower back spasms and can’t sit or stand very well (especially in the evenings). He’s been toughing it out, however, with the thought that you can’t really miss your first week of work. So, we’re doping him up on painkillers, and I drove him to work yesterday. We’ll see if he can make it there on his own today… Poor guy!

Otherwise, as I’m sure you’ve all heard, we’ve been swamped with rain here in California. I think it’s rained for a week straight! We’re not complaining too much, though. At least it’s not snow or ice. But, it has caused me to invest in a pair of galoshes…wet feet are miserable!

Monday, January 18, 2010

New Adventures

The semester has officially begun with a bang, and our normally “newsless” life has accumulated a few changes. For one, Dave got a job! His official first day is January 25th, and he will be working for Kaiser Permanente doing Quality Assurance programming work. We’re not totally sure what that means yet, but we are pretty sure it’s in his field. It also pays well and has a long training period so that he can acquire a few new skills. He’ll be working in Pleasanton, which is about 20 miles away, but the drive has very little traffic. His commute will probably be just around 30 minutes. At this point, we’re between excited and thinking that this is too good to be true, so we’ll keep you posted as we find out!

We finished up Christmas break with a visit from my high school friend Eva, an attorney in Phoenix who weighed in on “real life” as a lawyer, and my parents. We did a lot of sight-seeing including visits to two nearby state parks, several trips into San Francisco, and a stop at Alcatraz (which turned out to be very interesting in light of my Criminal Law class this semester – first week: discussion about the purpose of punishment…). All in all, a restful and busy break!

School started for me last week, and I hit the ground running. I’m not sure why I reasoned that the first week back would be easy. I guess I was thinking that I had the hang of things, so new classes shouldn’t be too big of a change in the routine. I was wrong. Things are busier than ever. My classes (Criminal Law, Constitutional Law, Civil Procedure, Written and Oral Advocacy, and Mental Health Legislation Drafting) are time-consuming with lots of reading to be done each day. I’m also in search of a summer job. Interviews start soon, and I’m filling out more and more applications. On the upside, I’ve got my first business suit, so I guess I’m ready to show up to interviews looking official.

With all that going on, I’m taking this long weekend to get ahead on everything I can – laundry, cooking, cleaning – so that we can survive on minimal time while we take on these new adventures.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Celebrations

We had a lovely Christmas here in California. We made a feast (click for pictures) fit for kings (or at least 10 other people!) on Christmas Eve. I think we'll be eating leftovers for the next week, which is fine by me. We then headed to midnight mass at a beautiful cathedral in Oakland. It had really interesting modern architecture and was well-attended for a service starting at 12am! We were also impressed by the tiny but mighty choir.

Since we were up so late the night before, we slept in on Christmas. We did all the "normal" Christmassy things - ate a nice breakfast, opened a few presents, and watched "A Christmas Story." We headed to Amy's aunt and uncle's house around 6 and had a very festive Indian Christmas party complete with a White Elephant gift exchange that left us with some tasty looking Ghirardelli chocolates after we had stolen from us a Safeway gift card, a corkscrew set, and an Olive Garden gift card. Quite the whirlwind :) We ate delicious Indian food and enjoyed hanging out with all the babies that attended. It was good to borrow a family for the holiday since ours was far away.

Now, we're sitting at home waiting again for our cable guy to move our cable connection. Again. The Comcast saga continues...

We hope you all had a lovely Christmas celebration!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas in California

I have been more than a little lazy about updating my blog even though I promised that I would try to do better. Maybe it's because all of my posts would be about studying and more studying which just isn't that interesting. But, since it's been a while, I guess that we've accumulated some news.

I've now finished my first semester of law school. I'm pretty excited to be on break even if I still have a bit of assigned reading to do. It was a very busy semester, and there was definitely a learning curve. But now that I know what to expect, I think the next semester will be a little less stressful. I'm looking forward to my next set of classes, as well. Dave keeps asking me about criminal cases we see on the news or on TV, and I have to tell him to wait until I've taken criminal law next semester! I'm also taking a mental health legislation drafting class that looked interesting. Otherwise, just the usual stuff (Civil Procedure, Constitutional Law, etc.).

Dave is still looking hard for a job, but he has an upcoming interview, and we're keeping our fingers crossed. The tech job market is even more difficult that we could have imagined here. So competitive! He often has day-long technical interviews even for seemingly menial jobs! But, in his free time he's taken over lot's of the household chores and has been learning new programming languages that might help him with his next set of interviews. So, he's still keeping himself busy!

As for Christmas, we are staying here in California for our celebrations. We've decorated our tiny tree for our tiny apartment and have been getting in the Christmas mood by baking (and eating) more than we should and listening to Christmas music. Yesterday, we went to Union Square in San Francisco with some friends to see the Christmas tree and the decorated shop windows. We also had tea at a nice little tea shop near there where we sat and talked for hours. It was so nice to hang out with my usual study buddies in a non-studying way! Tonight, we're headed to Alameda (a town about 15 minutes from here) to see "Christmas Tree Lane," a street that supposedly has amazing Christmas lights.

On Christmas evening, we're headed to a friend's house for a Christmas party with her family. We've also got a friend of mine from high school coming for a visit over New Year's weekend, and my parents are coming for a visit on January 5th. So, we're enjoying the holidays and the fun company they bring!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Since last I blogged, we've been quite busy! We finished up our visit with the Riddle family by touring around the Monterrey and Big Sur areas (just 2..5 hours south of here). The drive along the coast is beautiful! Plenty of ocean and hills! And in several places that we pulled over, we saw sea otters or seals playing in the water! We also went to the Monterrey Bay aquarium, which is amazing! As it turns out, Monterrey Bay is quite unique in that it has a very deep canyon right off the coast. That means that scientists can study deep sea life in a really convenient location. The aquarium partners with these scientists to do some really cool educational stuff. (See photos of Muir Woods, the Monterrey area, and more San Francisco here: )

Additionally, we wrapped up a tour of San Francisco with a visit to the Haight Ashbury neighborhood (location of the original hippie movement), a cable car ride, a drive over the famed bridge, and some more hilly walking.

Then, law school began and with it came the end of all our free time :) I had orientation on Thursday the 13th and had a reading assignment already due on the 14th. Since then, it's pretty much been non-stop reading and case briefing. My summary of the experience so far is that it's very time consuming, but not too difficult. The case reading is interesting, and I'm having fun learning about contract, property, and tort law. My free time is now mostly spent catching up on reading and briefing cases for class so that I'm prepared to be randomly called on. The good news is that the professors are not too intimidating and definitely not out to make students look foolish (despite television depictions of law school professors). Everyone seems really willing to help! And my classmates are very cool. I've met everyone from a PhD's biochemist to a Yale music major. There's plenty of diversity! And everyone is amazingly driven! I feel like I'm a slacker if I leave the library prior to 7 each night and don't stay up til 12am studying! But, the atmosphere of the school encourages us to not take ourselves too seriously.

I'm also looking forward to getting involved in some extracurricular activities. The Gender, Law and Justice journal is sounding good as is the asylum clinic where I get a chance to help someone through the asylum process from start to finish.

In other news, we had a nice break from our little routine this week when Andy and Quinn (my first cousin and his fiance) were here to help Quinn's sister start college at Berkeley. We had a lovely dinner and a good visit before Quinn and Andy head off to England for their next adventure. Good luck, guys!

Also, Dave has another job interview on Monday. Looks like a cool opportunity to do some programming with the addition of a little tech support. The company is located in San Francisco, so there would be a little commute, but nothing drastic. We'll keep you posted!

Monday, August 3, 2009

We went into San Francisco with Dave's family (sisters included) yesterday. We didn't have much of a plan...just wanted to get a feel for things. Dave and I realized how close we actually are to the city. Since it takes nearly an hour on BART to get to the San Francisco airport, I was under the assumption that we were quite a bit further away. However, in reality, it only takes us about 10-15 minutes without traffic to get right down to Fisherman's Wharf! You can see San Francisco pretty well from Emeryville, actually, and the bay bridge (the Oakland one) is just around here.

The city is really neat. The hills are insane! We think we would be in awesome shape if we just had to walk around there on a regular basis! We saw the maritime museum and toured around some really old ships. We spent the most time on the Balclutha, an old cargo sailboat. Very cool. Afterwards, we had some pizza, checked out a bookstore, and came home relatively exhausted. Not sure what the plan is today. You'll have to wait on pictures, as Dave and I forgot our camera :)

In other news, Dave found an awesome used bike on Craigslist yesterday for $80 (a great deal!), and the girl selling it through in a helmet for another $10! A good find for us! Now we just need to get those locks so that no more bikes go wandering off! Also need to spend a day cleaning up my bike...chains and sprockets are all rusted.