12.16.2007 Comments: (3)
So, as many of you know, a month ago (yes, it has now been a month. bad friend, bad friend!) Dana came to visit me. She works in admissions at Ohio Wesleyan, and part of her area to recruit is Washington and Oregon - so once a year, she'll get to take a couple of vacation days and head down the West Coast to visit me...I mean, since she's all the way out here already and all. So, I was pretty darn excited to see her, since the last time I saw her was at her wedding for heavens sake. In JULY. Which isn't that long, July to November, but for two years, I saw her approximately 7 times a day, so this has been a big change.

Anyway, we got up early one fine, ridiculously foggy morning to go pick up our Zipcar to go pick her up from the airport. Let me just insert here that the Zipcar we reserved was somewhat unusual - usually, the cars are in parking garages or lots, and there are usually at least two in each location. Yeah, this one was in someone's garage. A private garage. As in, you walk up to it, have to undo the combination lock and lift up the garage door, get in the car, back out, get back out of the car, close the door, relock the door and then get back in the car and drive away. Strange, to say the least.

So, back to it being really foggy - we had to cross the Bay Bridge to get there (obviously) and it was so foggy that we couldn't even see the bridge towers until we were directly underneath them. I've never seen anything like it. We came to learn the next day that I wasn't the only one who thought so, as a container ship ran into one of the columns supporting the bridge and spilled 50,000+ gallons of oil into the San Francisco Bay. Nice. So we picked Dana up from the airport, we went back to Berkeley, I went to one meeting for an hour and then we got the heck out of town to go up to Napa. Of course. Where else would we take someone who was visiting for 2 days?? (San Francisco? Psssh.) We went to a couple of vineyards we really enjoy, and then we went to quite the snooty new place, which specialized in sparkling wine. Not really a winner in terms of what we drank, but we tried a really great Brie, which we remember more than the wine, and the place itself was gorgeous. We tried to give Dana the overall range from really casual places to snooterific wineries, while also seeing some of the scenery. Hopefully we accomplished our goal. She seemed to have a good time, but hey, it could have been all the wine, so who knows.

Snooty winery - Domaine Carneros

The next day, we got up and took our sweet time getting into the city - seriously, it was midafternoon by the time we got there. Ah well. We headed downtown and ended up hopping on the a cable car (because who loves cable cars? Thats right. Me.) and taking it all the way to Lombard Street, which is a nice long ride (nice for the $5 fare). Lots of the obligatory Lombard Street photos, and then we headed down to Ghiradelli Square to see it, and to get some nice views of the Golden Gate Bridge. We had planned on walking out on the pier to see it, but it was closed due to the oil spill, which we hadn't heard about until then. Awkward. Not so cute to see all the sand and rocks covered with a nice skim of oil. Anyway, we walked from Ghiradelli Square up into Fort Mason and then caught a bus back downtown to see the "Painted Ladies" which is a row of very well restored, painted Victorian homes. You may remember them from the opening credits of Full House. Basically the entire way, Dana proceeded to sing the theme song from the show and loudly proclaim her love for the Tanner family and telling us that she thinks that deep down, she in fact is a Tanner. This, my friends, is why I love her. We got to the park and we took many a photo of Dana (and some embarassing video that I will not post here, but will show you upon request) prancing around in front of the homes.

That night, we got back into Bizzerkeley and had to run up to Clark Kerr (which is a little satellite campus of residence halls) because my RAs were putting on a huge program called "Fit For a Queen." Basically, it's a drag show. (Yes, paid for with university money. I love working here!) This is the fifth year in a row that it has been put on, and we hire professional queens from SF to come in, do a bunch of musical numbers and then do a Q&A session, which is fantastic for the students, most of whom are like "What do you mean that's a man?!?!?" Except this year, we also had one queen who is a woman (a "faux queen") and she was SO good. All of them were amazing actually. We had hundreds of students come and the ladies loved Dan - all in all a really good program.

The next morning, we had to take Dana back to the airport - quite the quick visit, I know. But, it was lovely to see her. AND the cats loved her to pieces. Clearly, a good sign.

Posts coming soon: chocolate factory tour, 2008 resolutions, holidays in DC!!!!!

To Do: Visit Greece

12.13.2007 Comments: (2)
As you can see from the last post's comments, Laura, Meghan and I are going to Greece, in the next two years. Anyone else want to hop on this? Also, I PROMISE there will be a real post up tonight. I'm going to be on the East Coast next week! BAH with the excitement. PS - I taught all the other RDs "Awkward turtle" last night. Good times.

We have some serious follow through issues.

12.03.2007 Comments: (5)
Clearly, the every day posting lasted for what, two weeks? Well, at least it was a good run. I think we should stop focusing on the fact that we didn't post last week, and focus on the time when we were posting constantly. The glass is half full! A for effort!

I want you to know that Laura Anne Benson has guilt tripped me into writing this post.

So, since the last post, we explored the vast metropolis that is Nashville, Tennessee, came home, tried to suck up to our cats since they were clearly PISSED that we left them for all of five days, made and sent out Hanukkah cards (that's right, MADE. I'm going all Martha Stewart on your ass), did a practice Christmas cookie run, and made a vast holiday "to do" list which I think has really freaked Dan out and now he isn't really speaking to me.

Anyway, Nashville. We woke up all early on our last day in the Central time zone (which is weird - we totally missed some TV shows because we never thought that when the announcer said "9/8 Central" that the show would be on at 8) and drove into the city. Dan's brother works at Vanderbilt, so we started off the day doing a little wandering around campus - made sure to visit the Chi Omega house in honor of Dana. Then we made a little side trip off campus (just across the street) to see the Parthenon. Took some pictures, then there was....yes, I did just say the Parthenon. The only full size replica of the Parthenon in Greece was erected in Nashville in the late 1800s. Did you know? I didn't until we got there. It's really enormous and...you know, RANDOM. But we took lots of photos. It's also an art gallery, which is closed on Mondays since we were there on a Monday.

Yeah, I know.

So after that we wandered more on campus, which is beautiful, and all around the college towny area - lots of fun college town type stores. Then we drove into downtown Nashville, which is...tiny. We seriously walked around most of it in about an hour. We saw the Country Music Hall of Fame, where I bought a shot glass. The outside, hideously ugly...the inside, really nice, although we didn't pay the ridiculous fee to walk around the exhibits. We went to Music Row, which is kind of "The Strip" in Nashville...all these neon signs for honky-tonk bars and such. We went to Printers Alley, which is historically where the newspaper was printed and then it turned into kind of a red light district. Interesting, no? We went to Ryman Auditorium, which was the second home of the Grand Ole Opry (also bought a shot glass there. it's kind of getting to be a problem.) and...yeah, thats really about it. Oh wait. Hard Rock Cafe. Shot glass. Check.

Ryman Auditorium.

Hall O' Fame.

Printer's Alley.

So ends our Thanksgiving, only a week after we got back! It was a really really good time. We have many a photo of Dan's nephews to post as well. ALSO, stay tuned for next year's trip when Dan and I make the pilgrimage to the Jack Daniel's distillery. Oh my good heavens. Seriously, we didn't realize how close we were (about 1.5 hours) until the last day we were there. Something to look forward to. Fun fact: The distillery is in a dry county. WTF?


11.24.2007 Comments: (2)
So, I kind of forgot that today was the UVA/VT game - what a bad bad fan I am. It was a big game! Decided who would play for the ACC Championship! Good thing we won. Apparently, it was quite the good game. Hooray for our season not being over. However, the polls are all up in the air, as LSU lost and I'm watching the Missouri/Kansas game right now, and Kansas isn't doing so hot.
Anyway, yesterday we didn't post, but I don't count it, because we posted twice on Thursday. (Also, big plug for Meghan for posting all over the place!) But yesterday was a good time - we went to the Gaylord Opryland hotel/enormous complex to walk around, look at the decorations (which are amazing) and generally gawk at things. It was really fun - me, Dan, Dan's brother, nephew and parents all went. I'm sure Dan will post some pictures later. Having had stayed in a Gaylord property when I went to the conference in Orlando last March, I wasn't blown away, but the hotel in Orlando was maybe half the size of the one here.
Today was also fun, after some sweet sweet stomach issues this morning, the day improved. Dan's brother made spanakopita for lunch (YUM) and then this afternoon/evening, Dan's brother and sister-in-law went out for dinner and a movie and Dan and I got to babysit. :) There are no words for the level of cuteness. There was lots and lots of playing, some cookie baking, and some snuggling after a nap. Seriously, I know a lot of you are spending time with your family and probably some children of various relations - cousins, friends, etc. - and think that they're pretty cute, but I will challenge you to a picture duel. Nikki and I have done this for quite some time - my cousins vs. her niece. (We're kind of lame.) But anyway.
Tomorrow, there may be some exploring of Nashville, and yes, finally, a recap of Dana's visit :) She has been eagerly awaiting our post. And I know you all are waiting on the edges of your seats as well.

Happy Turkey Day! Part 2

11.22.2007 Comments: (1)
Did you know that a bear can suddenly become a bird and it eats worm pie baked in Dora the Explorer's oven? I didn't, but it's true! It's true... again, and again, and again. Also a blue wagon filled with a mop, swifter, and vacuum accessories becomes the Blue Cleaning Truck that drives in circles around the house with a broom leading the way like a deep cleaning battering ram. Also, by "drive," I mean I am pushing my nephew whichever way he wants to go as dictated by the direction the broom points.
To start, I'm thankful for the power of creativity!
I am thankful for the opportunities I've had. My mom noted today the wide variety of experiences I have had in my young life. I am thankful for the drive to experience new things, and I hope it's only the tip of the iceberg of new experiences I will share with Kristin.
Oh yea, speaking of her... I am incredibly thankful for her love, time, patience, interest, passion, all the long talks, and so much more. I've never met anyone like her. Thanks for that baby!
We're away for 5 days, and we desperately miss our kitties. We are both thankful that we found our kitties! They're our family, even if Lily is the Houdini of cats and tries to sneak out.
My superficial thankful list includes: Thai food, Indian food, dessert... mmm... pie, food! Missy Higgins. Kristin said Grey's Anatomy. So together I think it's safe to say Missy Higgins' music on Grey's Anatomy (a wonderful surprise tonight). Did she say Southwest Airlines? And because I hope we play tonight, I'm thankful for The Settlers of Catan.
Happy Turkey Day everyone! And apparently, Happy Chocolate Chip Cookie Day tomorrow!

Happy mashed potato day!

Comments: (1)
In addition to wishing us all a Happy thanksgiving, and a Happy Turkey Day, Dan's nephew also wished all of us here a Happy Mashed Potato Day, so the same to you my friends :)
Of course, I have to say what I'm thankful for - I guess it helps to remember these things at the end of travelling, and the stress that all of that entails.
**I am most thankful for my family. Isn't it wild how you are born into a group of people and later in life realize that not only do you love them, but you also like them? That in itself is a blessing. I, personally, also include my friends in my family. Many of them have been a part of my life for many years, and so they in fact, know a lot of the members of my biological and extended family, and I know members of theirs. But, these are the people who I count on, get support from, make me laugh and who help me remember what is important. CC - we've been through a lot. I know we will go through more. But I also know that it's alright, because you'll be right behind me.
**I am thankful for the opportunity I currently have to expand my horizons at the job that I currently have, in an amazing place, working with some amazing people. While I'm not sure that Berkeley, or the Bay Area, will ever be my home, it's a heck of a place to rest my head for a few years. It's an amazing place. I'm also thankful that this job provides me a lifestyle that allows me to do the long travelling to see my family.
**I am also, of course, thankful for Dan. (Cue: awwww) He supports and challenges me in ways that I never knew I needed. AND he moved with me to California. AND he doesnt mind my crazy work hours or that consistently, people have no idea what I do - especially since he does and he takes the time to explain. Anyway, he's pretty great. I hope you all like him, because he's gonna be around for awhile.
**I'm thankful for a few superficial things too - good cheese, good wine, fast internet service, and Grey's Anatomy. Southwest Airlines, Buzz cupcakes, and Dave Matthews Band too.
So...what are you thankful for? Also...Happy Mashed Potato Day!


11.21.2007 Comments: (1)
Yes, we're in Nashville, yes we travelled on the day before Thanksgiving. I don't know how many other people have heard that this is actually the busiest travel day of the year, but I definitely have, so it makes perfect sense that I, who don't especially like crowds, and slow moving people in airports, should have travelled today. Being all paranoid abut the potential overwhelming crowds and the children and the all around horror, Dan and I got to the airport at least an hour and a half early (which is really early for us). We flew out of Oakland, which is one of Southwest's hubs (as in, there are two terminals in the airport. Southwest takes up one entire terminal and all the other airlines share the other) so I was expecting quite the line. We got there all kinds of early, boarding passes in hand, ready to just check our baggage and there was...no line. I mean, literally, NO line. We walked directly up to the ticket counter and immediately were helped by someone. OK fine. Maybe SWA is just on top of their game (which they usually are, by the way...I mean, I don't rave about them all the time for no reason) so I anticipated quite the backup when we hit the security lines. It took all of maybe 12 minutes. Good thing I didn't want to get directly on the plane and sleep for the next four hours.
I think next year, we should resolve to actually try to get our act together before we travel. In case you didn't read about our Las Vegas trip, we ended up staying awake the entire night before we got there. Last night, we slept a total of about three before trekking to the airport. What is that about? Any advice on how to get better at this?
But anyway, we made it, we're already enjoying ourselves immensely. Dan's nephew was incredibly excited to see us, and tonight we're having a thunderstorm!! This is the one weather phenomena that I really really miss from living in DC, so this is pretty exciting. Supposedly, Berkeley has a "rainy season" (also known as "winter") but thunderstorms don't happen. Ever. So, all good things.
I hope this blog post finds everyone having a lovely Thanksgiving and that everyone's travels went safely. Look forward to a cheesy, mush-tastic post tomorrow about what we're thankful for.


11.20.2007 Comments: (5)
So, at the tail end of grad school, and then especially since moving out here, I've become one of those people who read a lot of other people's blogs. Sit back and let me tell you the tale. It all started with one blog that I stumbled upon while looking up restaurant reviews while we were still in the DC area: http://www.dcfoodies.com/ The guy who writes it (mostly) is just a regular person who loves food and has steadily gained a lot of readership and recognition in the area. He is relatively young, and writes reviews that are readable, and about the stuff that people care about (not things like "they served their fish without a starch...can you even imagine the horror!" but more like, "it's expensive and not worth it.") So one day, while reading his archives (no comments about that please) I found his links section, which is kind of what I'm creating with this entry right now. One of them was to his wife's website...and wow was it all downhill from there. Her website is http://www.amalah.com/ She is a stay at home mom with their 2 year old son. Seriously, I stalk them. I read her site every day. She is SO friggin hilarious. I mean, Brian Regen level hilarity. I have often sat in front of the computer laughing out loud while people stare at me in wonder and disbelief while I read her posts. But, while hilarious, she's a great writer. If you read her archives, she's written about their whole journey to conceive a baby, her pregnancy, their decision and transition to her being a stay at home mom, quitting her job, etc. She now actually blogs for a living (not on her personal site but on a couple of others.) Anyway, I have gotten a couple of other people addicted to her site as well **cough cough Kevin cough cough** Sometimes we talk about her latest entry. Seriously. So she writes on an additional three blogs, all of which also have links to other blogs which have links to...you see where this is going? It's quite the slippery slope. One of my favorites, though, was discovered by one Laura Anne Benson (how did you find it?): http://dc365.blogspot.com/ When we made the move out here and I wanted to find out about the area, and things to do, and yummy places to eat, I immediately just started searching for blogs. And really, all you need to do is find one or two you like, and follow their links until you find a couple more you like, etc. It's like looking at people's friends on myspace...it easily can suck you in for a couple of hours. Honestly, right this second, I can easily name off 10-12 Bay Area blogs and 5 DC blogs that I have on my favorites list that I read whenever I get a few minutes/remember to check them... Yes, I am having trouble letting got of the fact that I don't actually live in DC anymore. Get off my back...and yeah, it's pretty alarming how much information I get from random people who I'll never meet in real life. Would you like some fun blogs to read? Yeah, I thought so. http://icanhascheezburger.com/ Because I love kitties. http://www.whatimseeing.com/ A photo blog in San Francisco. They actually update every day. http://fogbay.com/ A photo/info blog in SF focusing on one item for each entry. I feel like I'm learning a new fun fact everytime it gets updated. http://linecook415.blogspot.com/ Blog from a line cook in one of the Bay Area's busiest restaurants. Yeah, and the three above. Especially those first three. Now, go forth and read blogs all day. Come back to our blog and tell me how much you heart them. Then, maybe, get back to your work.

Viva Las Vegas

11.18.2007 Comments: (1)
This was Kristin's third time to Vegas, but my first, so you'll hear our tales from my virgin eyes. Vegas is a strange town, there's drugs, sex, and rock and roll. Oh yea, and there's gambling too. I think there are many different ways you could see Vegas, and I'm thrilled with how we saw Vegas, plus we didn't gamble a cent. Strangely, we stayed up working 24 hours straight before our trip, because we're crazy! After a 6am flight, you might think we took a nap. Wrong. The hotel couldn't give us a room at 8am, so we freshened up in their staff bathroom and hit The Strip.

We felt like we actually stayed in MGM, as we were there 2 to 3 times a day because we had a free shuttle from our hotel to MGM. I learned there are no real attractions besides the gigantic themed monstrosities. Everybody knows of the Bellagio dancing fountains, and they didn't disappoint. We stood by the lake and watched the fountains for over an hour, and that was just the first day! The view of the entire city (and the Bellagio fountains) from the Paris Eiffel Tower is rather incredible. (Edit by KK: Also incredible, the number of callgirl cards that Dan managed to collect in 2.5 days. It's really a pretty impressive stack sitting here in our apartment.)

We saw Ka, one of those fancy Cirque du Soleil shows. Actually, it was amazing! The theater is apparently the most expensive in the world, specifically built for Ka, and the show itself was somewhat reminiscent of traditional Japanese theater. There is no spoken word in the entire show and it's a bit startling when the guys grunt at you when you hand them your ticket. Apparently people walkout because they don't like it, my guess being that they don't understand it's not a traditional Cirque show and don't pay attention to garner the nuances of the plot. We were fortunately had a nice long chat with the gift store lady, who filled us in prior to going to the show. So if you plan to go see Ka, we'll pass on the tale, or you can just buy a program.

My critique for the rest of Vegas can be summarized as follows:
MGM -lions! big lions! in the hotel! We watched them for about 45 minutes one day. They look just like James and Lily.
NY, NY - Actually enjoyable inside walking "the streets of NY." Didn't get to ride the roller coaster...next time.
Excalibar - You could skip it, except it's where Krispy Kreme is.
Luxor - The side of the pyramid is a huge ad for Absolut now, but the elevators go diagonally.
Mandalay Bay - they must pump incense or perfume in; it smelled amazing. KK's favorite.
Bellagio - Fountains! That's all really. Didn't overly love it.
Planet Hollywood - It's where we sat in the bar and watched Tech play, which ended up being very disappointing. Go-go dancers among the card tables at night. Saw Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher filming a movie.
Venetian - Please donate to the "So Dan & KK can stay here next time" fund.
Paris - Eiffel Tower is worth it. Minus the old lady next to us giving us advice on shows (thumbs up: Jubilee, the topless revue at Bally's. thumbs down: Cirque. hmmm.)
Ceasar's Palace - they have fountains and stuff. But go for Vosges chocolates!
The Mirage - ummm....we ate at the Jewish deli? Otherwise, nothing remarkable.
Treasure Island - I'll be honest, the vixen sirens vs. shipwreck pirates show sucked. It felt like a renaissance fair when you can't tell if people are pirates, or fairies, or goth, or what.
The Wynn - gorgeous, screams extravagance, and they charge you $10 just to walk in the Ferrari Maserati showroom. But gorgeous.

Putting it all out there.

Comments: (2)
So remember the other day when I told you that I got Season 4 of the West Wing for my birthday from Dan? It's now almost 4 in the morning, and I've been up watching episode after episode. In my defense, I feel like I haven't seen these episodes in a really long time. And also, if you think I'm crazy, which I kind of am, you feel free to blame, well a couple of people. First, Aaron Sorkin for being so amazing, and then blame one Kevin Patrick Romano who got me addicted to the show in the first place. And then maybe also the executive at Bravo whose idea it was to have West Wing marathon Mondays.

Anyway, since all I want to do is ramble about Zoe and Jean Paul, and Andy and Toby's baby, and Sam's running for congress I think I'm going to go to bed instead, because I suspect that if I do talk about those things, you'll just shake your head sadly and wonder if I know they're not real people. I do know, but I have to admit it's just a little disappointing.

Tomorrow (Sunday) is Nikki and Ted's one year anniversary. Talk about time flying.

Ode to Meghan

11.16.2007 Comments: (2)
So today, I had 8 conduct hearings with students. Yes, eight. After work, Dan and I went to Costco to buy supplies to make a spaghetti dinner for 15 people on Sunday. My staff is coming over to celebrate November birthdays (we do this once a month, clearly). So, my brain is a little jumbled. Having to deal with the crazies at Costco will do that to you.

Today Dan and I decided that we should do a whole post that talks about the amazing wonderfulness of one Meghan Housley. I mean, clearly she's pretty awesome, but so is everyone who we know and love and reads this blog. However, Meghan has exceeded you in awesomeness, at least today, because we have noticed that Meghan leaves a fun comment on almost everyone of our posts. Therefore, she is our favorite person of the day.

Also, she totally just finished the written part of her comps. She's a machine. As Ro would say, "Strong!"

Our favorite memories with Meghan.
Kristin: To set the tone, we were in high school, and Meghan was dating Mike Deal. While he was really good looking and had amazing hair, he was a little lacking in the personality department. (Clearly, an upgrade when she started dating our very own Josh.) Anyway, we decided to go to Gonzaga for a band concert (or something...was it a band concert?) and Mike, ever the helpful boyfriend, wrote the directions down for us. So, Meghan was the driver, and I was the navigator, except that in high school, neither of us had spent a lot of time navigating DC, especially at night. So, clearly things did not go as planned. Not that the directions were particularly helpful either...there was something about one street "jogging" onto the next...which I'm still confused about. Needless to say, we never got to the band concert. Although we did drive the wrong way down a one way street, which was frightening, and drive through some areas that I totally thought we were going to get car jacked in, which was even more frightening, and basically freaked ourselves out. We eventually found a police officer who helped get headed back in the right direction (suburbia!) but it was kind of a long night. We were more than a little embarassed about it, and promised to not talk about it for a long time. To anyone. Ah, good thing I have a blog now ;)

Dan: When Meghan finally admitted she was dating Josh! Really, during the New Year's party when she wouldn't tell anyone who she was seeing, but I guessed Josh. She'll argue that I guessed pretty much every guy that I knew had ever talked to her, but still, I had guessed Josh! Though, she couldn't bring herself to admit I was right until way after.

To continue the ode - you, loyal blog readers, now leave a comment about how awesome Meghan is or your favorite memory of her.
(And if you leave comments on other posts, one day, there could be an ode to YOU!)

Yes yes I know, we suck at life.

Comments: (4)
So yesterday we didn't post. In our defense, we felt like crap. I think we should get an A for effort, and chalk it up to the sheer exhaustion of simply trying to post everyday for the past few days. Ugh, our lives are SO difficult. I mean, you really just wouldn't understand. *sigh*

So, I guess I could catch you up on my birthday, since it is still my birthday month and all. And while we don't celebrate the whole month (I'm working that angle though) we definitely celebrated for at least a week. So, really, going to Las Vegas was kind of a birthday present, but it was also for Dan since he'd never been and the trip in itself is a whole other post, but we did have a really good time and we saw Ka, one of the Cirque du Soleil shows that is out there (the one at MGM).

After we got back though, on my actual birthday, we went out to dinner with some of my friends from the summer I spent here. Chris was actually visiting for the week, so that was nice timing, Tiffany drove up just to have dinner with me (cutest.thing.ever.) and we managed to drag Suraj away from his books to go out for just a couple of hours. Dinner was lovely, you know how I love to eat. Tiff also told me she was bringing a present - and she got here and handed me a big box that looked like it was from Dunkin Donuts and says "I got you creme puffs." And in my mind, I'm going...thanks? what the crap? There were a DOZEN of the things and they were humongous. I was more than a little doubtful.

Until I ate one. People, these are some of the best things I have ever eaten. They're from a place called Beard Papa's and they are going to slowly dominate the world. Get excited for something else on the "To do while visiting KK" list, because this will happen.

The next night, which was Friday, Dan did the whole romantic boyfriend type thing. Awww. He went out and strung our whole apartment up with Christmas lights, aiming for that scene from the West Wing where Josh decorates his apartment with lights to make it look like Tahiti for Amy(is this ringing a bell for anyone?) Anyway, I love that scene and so he decorated and made a "tropical" themed dinner for me and then gave me Season 4 of the West Wing as a gift. Don't you love it when themes all come together like that? It was lovely - you should all congratulate him on doing so well :) The only downside was the next morning when I got out of bed ass early to feed the kitties, some of the lights had fallen down, and it looked like I was being trapped in a Christmas lights net of some kind, which was alarming because I didn't have my contacts in. (And this, my friends, is how you overshare in a blog).

The next day, Saturday, I had to chaperone an event in SF, which entailed me simply being in the city in case something went wrong, and so Dan and I wandered about, did some shopping and then ate at a yummy new Thai place that I'm pretty sure if we had tried to go to a couple of hours later, we wouldn't have been nearly cool enough to get into.

And now you're thinking, a couple of dinners out, a romantic night in, yay for your birthday, shut the hell up about it already. But, sadly for you, no. There was more. I'm sure that we have raved to most of you about restaurant week in DC - where restaurants sign up to participate and they serve a 3 course menu for $30, or a 3 course lunch for $20. Well, my friends, I found out (through the millions of blogs that I now regularly read) that the East Bay (which yes, is where Berkeley is) had a restuarant week of it's very own! And of course, it was the week directly after my birthday. So, we had a few more birthday dinners out. Three to be exact. (Truth be told, we had reservations at 4, but cancelled one due to the illness).

So, we got to try three new places - one at the local snooty hotel/resort which is actually pretty famous (The Claremont Hotel. Fun fact - the Cal football team stays here the night before games so they can "focus.") One that is supposed to be one of the best restaurants in the area and another that I simply kind of stumbled upon.

Honestly, our favorite was, of course, the one that I just happened upon - they were so nice and the restaurant was lively but not obnoxious and the food was pretty darn amazing. The snooty restuarant lived up to it's snooty reputation, but it wasn't offputting or anything. The hotel that it's located in has spectacular views of SF and the bay, so that was a nice bonus.

And of course, the other was basically a horrid experience. The server was rude because we ordered the restaurant week menu (which I can kind of understand because it's cheaper, less tip, etc.) and the plates that we were served were basically less than half of the portion if the dish had been ordered off the regular menu. We could tell because we could see full sized dishes being run around and served all around us. I was so annoyed. I mean, if you're the restaurant manager and you commit to doing this promotional week that is supposed to actually bring in business, you need to just do it and not half ass the whole thing. Instead of getting to sample their food at a discount and be eager to go back, I've basically told everyone I know to not go there instead. Ooooo so there! Power to the people! Damn the man! Or...something. I was just upset that we even spent some of our time and money there.

The best part about most of these nice dinners is that we take the bus to get there. Nothing classier than that my friends.

So that's basically the recap of my birthday. Thank you to those who sent cards and gifts (Missy even sent our kitties gifts and they LOVE them. Wow.) and called and facebooked and the like. I appreciate all the love. I am feeling old, yes, but I'm trying to focus on the fact that many of you will be even older much before me. :)

Fo real, sorry about not posting yesterday, I know you just live and breathe by what we post here! We will keep aiming to post every day for the rest of this month. And, we've made a plan for this weekend to kick start the "do something cool" over the weekend campaign, so hopefully we'll have something fun to write about instead of restaurants that you really could care less about.

Walk 2

11.13.2007 Comments: (2)
This is actually our third walking tour, but it's number 2 in the book. We're rebels going out of order, like George Lucas and Star Wars. (A terrible analogy for humor, but I love people who get it.) Our tour took us on top of one of the 42 hills in San Francisco, and we managed to catch the start of the sunset.

An update to the oil spill. It's still a mess and the fights go back and forth about who is to blame. Long story short, don't eat seafood from San Francisco for the next 10 years.

To the West. Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard street is the 3rd major street from the left. We could see the glare of sun off the windshields as they weaved back and forth down the hill.

To the East. Bay Bridge and Ferry Building.

Amidst a garden in Telegraph Hill where there are no streets, yet there are meters. Kristin is lucky she didn't get a parking ticket.

It's a walking tour of stairs; tada... the next picture is of stairs. They actually lead up to Jack Early Park which apparently is difficult for locals to find. Clearly, we found it.

We miss everyone, and you miss us too right? Post a comment to let us know!

Getting in under the wire!

11.12.2007 Comments: (1)
Yes yes I know, it's almost 3 AM in DC, well too bad! It's not midnight here yet, so I've still got some time to write today. No use not living up to the goal only three days in. Today is/was Veteran's Day, as I'm sure many of you know, so I had today off, which was lovely. Dan and I decided to do another city walk from our book (Walk 2, since you all care).

Besides the fact that we are kinda sorta still sick, and that SF is a city of hills which makes for lots of winded-ness while walking, the walk was lovely. It was another really nice day. I was actually mentioning to Dan that even though we complain that SF is colder than Southern California and windy and foggy and ugh, I bet today while we were walking around in the sun and it was about 65 degrees that it was still warmer than many of you are experiencing now.

So, our walk today took us through North Beach, which is the primarily Italian area in SF, and up and down and all around Telegraph Hill, which is where Coit Tower was built and where we walked some when Rosa was here (see previous posts, and pictures of parrots). We actually saw the supposed "oldest Italian restaurant in America" and the last operational barrel-malting factory west of the Mississippi (which is now condos). We went to Jack Early park, which is this really nice little enclave in a residential neighborhood, up where the views are gorgeous, and which will now be on the "A" tour for anyone who comes to visit. We went through a lot of green spaces and quaint neighborhood parks, saw some AMAZING homes (and by amazing I mean ridiculously huge and expensive) and Dan wants you know that he really enjoyed it.

Also, the highlight of the day, which was not on the walking tour, was a Verizon store where they arranged for Dan to get a new phone, for free! And he kind of picked up a nice blond lady while waiting in line. Huzzah.

I'll post some pictures tomorrow, since we're almost out of time, and hey, another day of material. We got caught up with watching two episodes of "Heroes" since we've been home - does anyone else watch it? The story lines are just a little ridiculous. And Kristen Bell's character is freaking me out.

Keeping the ball rolling with old photos:

Not getting better.

11.11.2007 Comments: (2)
Hello world, here I am two days in a row. And for the second day in a row, I am sick. Well, this is actually the fourth day for me of not feeling so hot. Unfortunately, now Dan is getting sick too. While this is not unexpected, it really blows when both people in a couple are sick because no one can take care of anyone. Who knows, our cats may not eat for days. Plus, Dan is kind of a whiner when he's sick. Maybe even more than me.

We did both go to the football game yesterday, and it was a great game. It almost made us forget that we were soaked to the skin because we were sitting in rain. Happily, it wasn't very cold, but it did rain consistently the entire time we were there. We left with about 3 minutes left in the game because I was pretty much done with sitting there being wet while feeling like crap. Additionally, Dan had realized that his jacket was not so much waterproof, which did not fare well for his phone that he had brought to the game. Last night and much of today has been spent on the phone (my phone) with Verizon trying to figure out if there is a way to fix it. Luckily, it is still under warranty, so at least we have that going for us.

Also, I don't know if anyone has had the pleasure/sat through the torture of a game at which the USC marching band is present. They played after EVERY down. They played during punt returns. They played during TV timeouts. I mean, I get it that they're a very good band, and I enjoyed their musicality and their show at halftime but sweet mother of God, we didn't come to the stadium to hear you play the same 10 seconds of songs over and over. So, USC band, unless you start playing "Tusk" at the games WITH all the members of Fleetwood Mac present, I implore you to shut the hell up and let us watch football.

Nice to get that off my chest.

Just for fun picture 2:

Where is Rosa when you need her?

11.10.2007 Comments: (1)
So last month, Ro had to come out from the East Coast to discipline Dan and I into actually posting on the blog, and we did! For like, two weeks. And then Ro went and left the country, anddd it's been what, three weeks since we've written anything? Yeah, so this is, once again, my public statement of "I'm going to try and do better" especially since I recently found out that November is National Blog Posting Month (abbreviated to NaBloPoMo...seriously), in which bloggers are implored to try and post something every day. Clearly, I have 10 days of not really doing this already but...make sure you're sitting down...I'm going to try to post every day for the rest of the month (and maybe I'll browbeat Dan into posting some days too). At least we're not hurting for story ideas since we have three weeks of stuff to catch up on. There was a Las Vegas trip, my birthday, a visit from Dana which included a trip to Napa, a drag show, and some football games. So yeah, it's looking good for the next few days in terms of material.
Today, however, will simply be an update on life. I'm sickly today with some sort of throat ickiness, so I'm not really looking forward to the Cal game that is later today. I know, it's blasphemy really to not be looking forward to a highly anticipated game, nationally televised, you have good seats, etc. However, I'm sick. It is cold. It is probably going to rain. And, as we all know, I'm kind of a whiner when it gets cold. So, please be thinking of Dan today, as he will be getting the brunt of the complaints.

Our kitties are doing well. They have started losing their baby teeth, and looking like cats instead of kitties. But, they're both curled up on the guest bed/couch with me right now, so really I can't complain about that. Anddddd now they're wrestling. Whatever.

Work is going well, I'm starting to get involved with more projects and committees that make me want to stick around and be involved with them through to completion. The students in my unit, however, have very recently begun thinking that what they should do in the evenings is stockpile an enormous amount of alcohol and throw up everywhere. It's awesome. My RAs, especially, are really enjoying it.

In other news, I don't know if you heard about the oil spill in the San Francisco Bay. On Wednesday morning, which was INCREDIBLY foggy - we were actually driving to get Dana from the airport and I couldn't even see the Bay Bridge while we were, you know, on it - a container ship hit one of the Bay Bridge towers and spilled 58,000 gallons of oil into the Bay. It has started spreading into the Pacific and there are 16 local beaches closed, and about 2 dozen birds have died. All the articles about it are talking about the Coast Guard's slow response and blah blah. So, the bad news for California keeps coming.

So, it's time to do a little cleaning, and some tea drinking to contain my cough before I try to mentally psych up to go to the game. Everyone keep cheering for Illinois!

THANK YOU also for all the of the birthday wishes :) More on that to come.

Just for fun:

Some reassurance

10.24.2007 Comments: (1)
Just wanted to say real quick that Dan and I are safe, and no where near the devastating fires that are burning in Southern California. Clearly, it is a horrible situation, and a LOT of my students and some of my staff have families that have evacuated and some have lost their homes. So, know that we're safe but please keep them in your thoughts.

Sharks, ripcurrents, and Ferraris, oh my!

10.21.2007 Comments: (2)
Well, maybe it was the talking about my job or mentioning the word vagina that had no one commenting on the last post...I don't really know, but we'll keep blogging away over here, trying to keep people we love updated on our lives.

Dan's parents were just here for a short visit - I wish it could have been longer, because I had to work while they were here during the week, and it's such a long trip to make. Either way, I think they had a good time. It was nice to see some faces from home! They got in on Wednesday morning, and their flight on Virgin America was not so great. The inflight stuff (TV and the like) wasn't working properly, and they go delayed for over an hour in San Jose due to high winds in San Francisco...so not so great. Thursday, Dan took them to Sausalito for the afternoon - they got to ride the ferry, I'm a little jealous. They took great pictures, but I'll let him blog about that on his own. Friday, everyone just hung around Berkeley and spent some time together before we had to take them to the airport on Saturday morning! Like I said, quick visit! But we will be seeing them again in about a month for Thanksgiving (we're going to Nashville, where Dan's brother, sister-in-law and two nephews live).

So, since we rented a car for the morning to take them to SFO, and since we were already there we decided to get the car all day and just do something fun. We didn't have any plans, just kind of went where the wind took us. It was SUCH a gorgeous day, clear blue skies and it was warm and sunny, we couldn't have had better luck.

I decided I wanted to drive all the way over the Golden Gate Bridge, since I've never actually been all the way across it. Everytime I've been, my tolerance for cold and wind has only gotten me to the first tower before I peace out and turn back. So, we drove across and then stopped on the other side to look back. Hey - did I mention that it was a REALLY nice day? We also went to the monument for the Lone Soldier, which is dedicated to every soldier who has gone out to sea past the Golden Gate Bridge. It's very nice - worthy of recognition like any of the DC monuments. Made me think of my grandfather, and my uncle who were both in the Navy.

So we kept driving north, and stopped off in Sausalito to drive around and see what Dan and his parents had seen earlier in the week. It's a really nice little town, about 8 miles from San Fran, but basically is the town at the other end of the Golden Gate Bridge. It has a huge marina, and has nice shopping and cafes and bed and breakfasts and the like. I'm supposed to let Dan talk about it, so anyway. After exploring a little, we got back on the road, passed a sign for Stinson Beach which sounded lovely, so decided to go that way. Mmmm k, let me just say that it takes quite a while to get there, down extremely windy roads but it's incredibly worth the effort. After exiting the freeway, you drive most of the way through forests of eucalyptus trees, which smell amazing and occasionally peek out over views of the bay and sometimes of the city skyline behind you. But, when you finally do reach the beach, it feels like a totally new world. It kind of pops up out of nowhere, just a teeny little town built into a cove on the shoreline.

The sign said that it has a population of 486...and I believe them. We found 3 restaurants, a market, a motel, a book store (my new favorite bookstore!! amazing.), a couple shops, a park, a place to rent beach stuff...and houses. That's about all there is. We pulled off at one of the restaurants, because we were, you know, hungry. Honestly, we were expecting burgers and fries and ended up eating some of the best food I've had here. Don't you love it when restaurants surprise you? We had carelized banana stuffed french toast and an Asian pear salad and three cheese mac and cheese. Not what I was expecting in a town of 486 people!

Anyway, we wandered around, went to the bookstore which was, as I previously mentioned, pretty amazing, and then we went to the beach. It's really nice, lots of sand, unfortunately lots of children flinging the sand into my eyes, but it was too nice out to really be upset. Plus their parents were there. Dan wants you to know that he did go and stick a hand into the water, and so now, he's been in the Pacific Ocean. Just in case, I don't know, you're keeping a list of where Dan has yet to swim.

On our way out, I finally took the time to read the sign that says, hey, you might not want to swim here because A) lots of ripcurrents, and those are bad and B) great white sharks swim here and someone got attacked in six feet of water. SWEET. Talk about ideal beach getaway.

Anyway, so I'm trying to determine why on earth people would swim there, when Dan is distracted but what we think is a car show in the parking lot. Ridiculous amounts of wealth on display! Ferraris, Lamborghinis, and just one Porsche. So Dan goes over to talk to them, and take pictures to send to Franklin (seriously) and he ends up discovering that no, while the cars are out and the owners are showing off the engines and people are taking pictures, this is not a car show. This is people, who just know each other and know that they all own ridiculous (sorry Franklin) cars, and decided to all get together and go for a Saturday drive. OK. So, there were at least 25 cars there, and several of them are the same (see photo) but maybe I missed how people interact when they all are in seperate cars? Anyway, they also told Dan that when driving over the Golden Gate Bridge, a police car caught up to them and they got an unofficial police escort all the way down the freeway. So, Dan and I thought we should try to get together everyone in the area who uses Flexcar and Zipcar and do the same. No? Come on, you would totally take pictures of that.

What involves Sex questions, the theater, football and a sweet concert? Last week.

10.18.2007 Comments: (2)
I never got to update about a fun program that I did last week. Each of my RAs (I supervise 12 of them) have to do various programs throughout the semester - one that builds community (primarily social), one that is educational/academic, and one that either relates to service or leadership. Juan, one of my RAs, decided that for his educational/academic program, he was going to do one related to sexual health. So, for a week, he left slips of paper and boxes out in each building lobby for people to submit anonymous questions, which would be answered in a seminar type fashion the following week. So, he got an OB/GYN nurse practitioner from the school health center to come in and...me. Yeah, my name was on the flyers people, I'm kind of a big deal. The program was really well attended and we answered maybe 50-60 questions? And programs like this not only reaffirm my enjoyment of talking to students about sexual health, but also reinforce my belief that students, in general, do not have nearly enough education about ANYTHING related to sex, sexuality, sexual health, etc. Need examples? Here's a list of questions (I am not making these up) that people wrote down to have answered:

"So...where do you put it in?"
"What/where is the clitoris?"
"What happens if a guy takes the morning after pill?"
"Do vaginas make noise?"
"Does sex always hurt?"
"I can't have an orgasm. What should I do?"
**If you would like any of these questions answered, maybe email me seperately.**

So, that started last week off on a really good note. I love doing programs like that. In the beginning, even saying the word vagina makes people turn bright red and giggle, but by the end, students are asking questions and gettnig involved and ah, the magic of learning.

Since then, we've been really busy taking advantage of lots of events living near a big city and everything. Last Thursday, we went to see the touring production of Sweeney Todd with a group of staff and students. This production is really minimalist and really awesome. 10 people put on the entire show. The ENTIRE show. As in, there is no orchestra. The actors sing, act and play all of the accompanying music for the show. Every person is on stage the entirety of the performance and wow, it makes me tired to even think about. Sweeney Todd in general is a morbid, but fascinating show, but this production of it was really powerful and very very good. Besides the really amazing acting and performance of everyone in the show, the other highlight was after the show after all the ovations and curtain calls and bowing and everything, the woman in front of us stood up and mentioned to her date, "I totally thought there was an orchestra! It took me a long time to realize that what they were doing on stage was the ACTUAL music we heard!" Yeah wow. Sadly, we have no pictures to memorialize this event, which is doubly sad because it was held at a different theater than Avenue Q, and the theater is small and beautiful. Hopefully, we will be seeing more shows there and we will take pictures next time.

Saturday, aka football "what the hell is going on" day, was really interesting. As you may know from reading previous posts, we have season tickets to the Cal home games, and Saturday was homecoming, and Cal was playing Oregon State. Honestly, before the game started, Dan and I were not stressed out about rushing to the game, we didn't foresee any riveting football, honestly. We actually ended up staying home to watch the LSU/Kentucky game until the bitter end, which was an amazing game. I was sad LSU lost, but excited because Cal would have totally have become the #1 team in the country, and that's pretty awesome. So, we got the stadium actually only a couple of minutes before halftime and the crowd was pumped because they had announced LSU's loss. Too bad Cal was LOSING. To Oregon friggin State. They were losing at the half, they were losing going into the fourth quarter and honestly, with 6 minutes left in the game, Cal was down by 10 and I was asking Dan to look up Pizza Hut's phone number to have them deliver by the time we got home (no, we couldn't leave early...I have a thing about it). So, I had kind of already accepted the loss. And then, Cal scored a touchdown. Hope returns. Crowd is beyond excited. With 51 seconds left, they are marching down the field to field goal range to tie the game and send it to overtime. With 6 seconds left, our freshman quarterback called a running play, didn't get the ball out of bounds and the clock ran out. YEAH. Oregon State rejoices. Cal fans are dumbfounded. The girl behind us cries. Seriously, the picture below was taken about 2-3 minutes after the game ended. Notice all the fans still in their seats looking a little lost.

While I share in the sadness of the loss, I maintain my position that Cal, ranked #2 in the country going into the game, should not have had to rally to tie the game with 2 minutes left. They lost the game long before the clock ran out before they could kick a field goal. So, I am simply trying to remember that hey, Tech is still doing well, Penn State put a hurt on Wisconsin and hey, Dan and I still have tickets for the Cal/USC game. Good times.

Sunday and Monday=nothing exciting.

Last night, Dan and I went to go see Missy Higgins in concert in SF. She was introduced to us senior year in college and is a folk singer with an amazing voice, who is actually from Australia. She's released two albums, but you can hear everything for free on her website http://www.missyhiggins.com/. So, we found out VERY recently that she was on tour and would be in SF last night at a bar/lounge called Cafe du Nord and also that presale tickets were sold out. Awesome. They told us that they would be selling some tickets at the door as well. So, last night I made Dan leave all sorts of early to get to the bar so that we could get tickets. Too bad when we got there we joined what felt like a huge line. We then found out that they only had 40 additional tickets available. But, we waited, and being the Debbie Downer that I am, I started making alternate plans in my head. So, as the line moved we got to the front to check IDs.

Bouncer: Did you already buy tickets?
KK/Dan: No
Bouncer: The two girls in front of you might have gotten the last two...we're counting now, hang on one second.
KK/Dan: *exchange horrified look*
Bouncer #2: I have one ticket left.
Bouncer #1: They're together.
Bouncer #2: Alright, you can both go.
Bouncer #2 to Bouncer #1: No more non-presales.

Um yeah. THAT WAS AWESOME. I kind of wanted to do a little dance down the street past all the rest of the people in line. But instead, we went in, hung out and ordered dinner, and had a couple drinks, and got a table with a sweet view of the stage and Missy came on and she sang for a solid 90 minutes. She's just an amazing talent and sounded exactly the same live as she does on her CDs, which is reassuring you know? What has been recorded is actually her voice. Anyway, she just belted out song after song after song. Not any messing around, just performing. I really appreciated it, it's been a while since I've been to a concert in a small venue and it was nice to find a great new place to go for live music. Also, the place was really amazing - it was a speakeasy in the 1920s and has a really dark but classy look to it. The bar itself is all wooden and carved beautifully, they have a lot of small tables and big plush chairs, and the walls and ceilings are covered in crushed red velvet. So, yeah. Enjoyable.

And now, Dan's parents are visiting which is exciting. Tomorrow, Dan and his mom and dad are going to go to Sausalito (I have to work..wah wahhhhhh) so I'm sure there are more posts to come.

Power of Perception

10.11.2007 Comments: (1)
Dear Dove: We thought the Campaign for Real Beauty and the Dove Self-Esteem Fund was worth sharing too. Onslaught: Evolution:

That's what I do...I make glass tubes.

10.08.2007 Comments: (4)
So, Rosa left out a very important fact from our walk in the city (our city walk, if you will). One of the points on the tour was the site of Philo Farnsworth's lab when he was developing all his patents for the first television. This is the best Sportsnight reference I have ever seen in real life. Seriously, I was REALLY excited. Probably inappropriately so.

Rosa left Thursday evening, which was really sad because we won't see her for the next YEAR while she's off traveling the world. Who does that?!?! Oh right, Rosa. Too bad everyone else will soon quit their job and start traveling, learning languages and working on organic farms in Australia, because you know if Ro does it, it MUST be cool.

After we finished being sad that Ro left, on Saturday Dan and I went back to Napa because...we wanted to and we like wine and stuff. We went to four wineries we'd never been to before, and ate some yummy lunch and came home with some yummy wine. The owner of the first place we went, Turnbull Cellars, has the largest privately owned collection of Ansel Adams work in the world and a lot of it was on display. There were signed prints from the 1920s, it was really nice.

The second place we went, Grgich Hills (pronounced grrr-gich...we had to ask) was founded by Mike Grgich who is kind of a big deal. In 1976, he entered a California wine in a blind taste test in France (you know, where they're all snooty like) and his wine won, and was declared best in the world. But the French were completely outraged that this upstart kid from Napa won, and didn't want word to get out about it. That didn't work out. So, he basically put Napa Valley on the map, and he's in his 80s and is still the winemaker for his own winery. Pretty sweet deal. While we were there, Dan got to stomp grapes. He got into it.

I'm kind of blanking on a fun fact about the third place we went, except that it was called Clos Pegasse, and it has a lot of modern art. And it had some wine too.

And the last place is called Merryvale, and is famous for it's cask room, where they hold private events. I mean, and their wine and stuff. But the room is super dramatic, lined with huge casks and barrels that hold thousands of gallons of wine with candles and dramaticness. See photo. We didn't get to Merryvale until about 6 PM - and it's one of the wineries that is open late (6 PM is late in Napa) and so, clearly, there are a lot of people there at that time trying to squeeze in one last tasting, kind of like Dan and I were doing. Except, we weren't sloshed like the middle aged people next to us chanting "chug chug chug!" or the people on the other side of us who totally skipped out on their bill while our wine server man had temporarily walked away. Who lets these people out in public?? Sigh.

But, the day wrapped up by going out to a new favorite restaurant that serves Burmese - yummmmm. And then coming home to watch the Tech/Clemson game that we had recorded. NICE. I was proud. Even though we didn't really have any offense. And even though Clemson got a safety. I love a good safety, don't get me wrong, but only when my team scores them.

What else to report? The kitties are getting bigger, almost by the day and I'm sad about that, but what can you do. Kids these days. Thursday, Dan and I are going to see a touring production of Sweeney Todd with a bunch of the other RDs, and then this weekend is homecoming for Cal, and since they're ranked SECOND in the COUNTRY, it should be a pretty crazy weekend. Next week, Dan's parents are coming to visit and then the next weekend we're going to Vegas to celebrate my birthday. Huzzah.


Guest Blogger: Ro!

10.04.2007 Comments: (5)
Greetings world!
Since KK and Dan are horrible at updating their blog in a timely manner, I flew here all the way from Reston to regulate.

I arrived in Berkeley Tuesday night and was taken to Yoghurt Park, a fat-free frozen yoghurt place that is “REEEEEEEALLY GOOD.” It was late and the line was still out the door. It did not disappoint. However, the winner of the highlight of the night goes to Mrs. Jean Jiao-Alexander, who somehow split her pants at the apartment and then proceeded to walk around Berkeley with her hand on her right butt cheek. Strong.

On Wednesday we had lunch at Thai Basil, a cheap Thai place located in the Asian Ghetto. We took the BART into the city to do a city walk. KK gave me the option of walks 1, 2 or 4 and after looking at the maps for each walk, I chose walk 1, which also happens to be the longest walk in the whole book. She was obviously thrilled at my decision. I was named the walk nazi, Dan was time keeper and puddle jumper (see photo below) and KK was official book reader. The book informed us that this walk had a lot of plaques. It was not kidding. Good times.

Dan and KK are pumped for the walk!

Group photo at Transamerica Redwood Park. We are so cute!

The title of the sculpture is “Puddle Jumpers.” The title of the photo is “We Can’t Have Nice Things or Go Nice Places Because Dan Embarrasses Us in Public.”

We walked by the Church of Scientology and KK was scared for her life. The girls standing outside invited us to go inside for an open house. Dan was the only one brave enough to step in.

Many years ago, some guy made friends with a parrot and then the parrots multiplied and they still hang out at the same spot. We happened to make it to that point in the walk exactly at dinner time for the parrots. Coolest thing EVER. They sure eat a lot.
Then randomly, the parrots would get spooked and fly away. But they usually weren't away for too long.

3.18 miles later, we finally finished the walk! Since I was the walk nazi, I made us walk back to the plaque that marked the start of the walk, so we could stand on it again and take another photo.

For dinner we ate at House of Curry, a great spot for cheap good Indian food. For our midnight snack, we had donuts at King Pin Donut. If you haven’t noticed yet, food was an integral part of this visit.

And now it’s Thursday. After that intense walk around the city yesterday, we thought it would be good idea to go on another hike around the Berkeley hills. We walked up towards the football stadium and saw the tree people. There were some cops there that were searching through a car because last night a police car was set on fire and they were trying to find some evidence.

Dan led the way up the hills and off the beaten path to the big yellow C that is painted on the ground at the top of the hill. The view from the top was amazing and we had a good view of the city and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Now for everyone’s favorite fact game – I am quitting my current job at the end of the month to become a full-time bum. I leave on 10/28 for Hong Kong and will be traveling with a friend around the western part of China for 5 weeks. After that, I will be taking language classes at a University in Taiwan for 5 months. Then in June I am flying to Kuala Lumpur and taking a bus to Singapore to visit some friends. Then my sister will be meeting me in Melbourne, Australia and we plan on working on an organic farm somewhere in the country. After 2 months in Australia, we are going to Auckland, New Zealand for 10 days before coming back to the US in August. Hopefully by then I will have an idea of what I want to do with my life. If anyone has any suggestions as to what that should be, please let me know because right now I have no clue.

Ok, so maybe this post will get them rolling again and all their fans can enjoy more regular updates of adventures in the Bay Area. A big THANK YOU and HUGS for Dan and KK for letting me stay over and be guest blogger. Ciao!