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.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Dave's parents are here visiting us in Emeryville now (his sisters join us today), and we're doing some touring around! Yesterday, we went to Berkeley to check out the campus and the law school, to Napa to do a wine tasting, and to a Beaver-fest in Martinez (to celebrate the return of the beavers to the Alhambra creek). On the way, we stopped at a honey farm where there were five really cute kittens. They might have been the highlight of the trip :) It was a beautiful, sunny, 75 degree California day. Check out the pictures here:

Today, we might head in to San Francisco. We'll keep you posted!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Hot tub one floor down from our apartment
The cafe across the street (which we think is really a bar...Cafe Biere)
The view from our balcony
Our closet (check out the organization!)
Bathroom (goes from bedroom to closet)
More kitchen
Living room
More living room (and out to the balcony...too small to stand on, just a railing)

Thanks to my Gram for reminding me that I should actually post something on my blog! We've moved to Emeryville, California, and this is our new condo! We actually live on the edge of Emeryville near Oakland. We're about 3.5 miles from the law school in Berkeley and about 10 miles from San Francisco. So far, we love it here! Our condo is in a complex called Andante lofts, and the lower level is used for shopping and restaurants (a sushi restaurant, Miyozen, occupies the first floor). We've got a great little Greek restaurant just in the next building, and they give you free lentil soup while you wait for your falafel! There's a supermarket across the street for very easy shopping, and there are all sorts of stores just down the road (like Trader Joe's!!!). We're a 10 minute walk from the BART station, but the streets along the way are a little scary if you're alone. Fortunately, there's a free bus that goes directly to the station (the Emery-go-round :). Dave has interviewed for a job at Leapfrog, which is just down the street (maybe 1.5 miles or so), and we're keeping our fingers crossed that it works out. School starts on the 13th with two days of orientation. We're excited to be here and hoping that everything works out well :)