Avenue Q

8.31.2007 Comments: (1)
So we went to see Avenue Q last night, and it was pretty much fantastic. I haven't seen anything quite so hilarious in a long long while. Of course, working at Berkeley, and seeing as how Dan and I went with both students and professional staff, we're already thinking about how we can use it as a training tool to talk about things like racism, sexism, other isms, etc. (The pictures below are from the theater we went to - Dan hearts our camera.)

Also, tomorrow is the first college Game Day - it's about friggin time!! Dan and I (today) bought Cal season tickets. We decided to just bite the bullet and buy them, since we were looking at buying $60-$70 tickets for the game tomorrow (Cal vs. Tenessee) and we figured we might as well spend not 6 times as much for 6 times more games. So look for us at 8 PM on ABC tomorrow at the Cal game.

We're also excited about getting to watch the first VT game tomorrow, and all the pregame stuff from Blacksburg. Good thing pregame starts at 7 IN THE MORNING here. Yeah. (LB I hope you have a fantastic time and that it strikes a lovely balance of emotional and drunken good football times).

This weekend, after the game, seems like it is shaping up to be another weekend full of festivals - there are at least 3 fine arts festivals nearby, so we'll probably be there! Hope all is well :)

Family Portraits

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Proud parents :)

8.28.2007 Comments: (5)
Tonight we adopted our kitties :) We got them from Petsmart - and before you attack us, please know that your friendly local Petsmart is actually an adoption site for a local animal shelter - they don't sell cats. So anyway, it was easier for us with a Zipcar to go to one place and get the kitties and necessary kitty supplies.

Anyway - we adopted Lily (formerly Ghost) who is a teeny tiny 3 month old grey shorthair and is ridiculously active and playful. She had Dan wrapped around her paw pretty much from the moment he laid eyes on her.

We also adopted James (formerly Martini -ugh) who is a grey tabby and is about 3 months, 1 week old. He's bigger than Lily, and is much more reserved and hesitant about things. I think Lily kind of freaks him out some because she's so active, but eventually, he joins in her crazy fun.

I would write more about them, except we've literally only had them for about 5 hours and that's all I know! However, they have already both used the litterbox, so hooray for housetrained! We're very excited :) Huzzah for kitties.

Quite the update

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Well, it's been a while since I caught up with y'all on the blog, but I've kind of had a lot going on! When I wrote my last very short post, I was finishing up two weeks of RA Training, which means anywhere from 10-16 hour days, which gets directly followed up by move-in weekend, which I'm sure you can surmise is a lot of organization for a lot of anxious parents. Directly after move-in, is Welcome Week. At Cal, Welcome Week is a week purely for welcoming, without classes or anything, where the students mill around, get to know each other and the area and basically get trashed at night. So, not only does my staff have to plan a bajillion events for residents to go to, because they're bored and don't know anyone, at night they have to confront a ot of drunk people and send some overly drunk people to the hospital. Really, it's been fun. But, today started classes, so hopefully, things are actually for real calming down around here and I will be able to occasionally get 8 hours of sleep again every now and then.
In an effort to do so, Dan and I actually tried to get out of the apartment this past weekend. On Saturday, we went up to Golden Gate Park to the SF Renaissance Festival. Who doesn't love a Renaissance Festival? I mean, there is quality fair food, some jousting, some people in clothes that I would never wear out, and usually some sweet art. Now, there were some high points, including a women who clearly bought an outfit for her and her partner to share in the bedroom that she thought would also be appropriate for this occasion, but this Fair has nothing on the Renaissance Fair in the DC Area. If you have never been to that one, and you live in DC, you should defintely go, it's a good time. And you can get your face painted and eat a turkey leg all in the same place. Anyway, there are some photos from our outing below.

Sunday, to continue the festival theme, we went to the Oakland Chinatown Streetfest. It kind of blew. I mean, there were lots of booths, but mostly they were corporations trying to pick up some more business (like Bank of America or Western Union) or people selling lots and lots of socks (seriously...I have photographic evidence). There were however, lots of performances, which we watched a few, because I mean, can you pass up young people who are clearly performing for the first time? I submit that you can not. Well, we ended up in San Francisco again, in the Ferry Building buying yummy yummy foods - seriously, one of the best cupcakes I have ever had - and CHEESE. There is a Cowgirl Creamery out here, and since we're addicted to the stuff, we end up with a lot of cheese in the house a lot. Um, not to get heavy handed with the advice for people in DC, but if you have never been to Cowgirl Creamery (919 F street) GO RIGHT NOW. I don't care what you're doing, if you're fully clothed or not, you have not lived until you've A) tasted their cheeses, and B) eaten all of the other cheeses they sell. The end *steps off soapbox*

And the photos:

Some inappropriate dress, some jousting, a pug/noble steed (loved it!) , and some pretty hair/dress.

And from Oakland:

Orchids, architecture and socks. Quite a day.

Move In

8.18.2007 Comments: (0)
Move In Day is today (and tomorrow!). I'm totally exhausted and hope to begin functioning like a normal person again soon. Will talk to you all then.

The woods

8.17.2007 Comments: (1)
I'm really excited today about buying a vase!!! 1) now we have a large vase to hold the flowers I bought Kristin, but more imporantly 2) it's a really unique piece of woodwork. Besides, if you drool over a piece for a year, it means you really want it, right? If you didn't aleady know, I really enjoy working with wood. I spent months building a maple pool cue which I posted a picture of last month. This vase is a thin single piece of maple on one side and mahagony on the inside, curled and twisted into the form. It's by designer Colin Schleeh in Montreal; he's got a lot of very unique items for the home and office. http://www.schleehdesign.com/

Also, made of wood are trees! I went on a hike a couple days ago straight up the Berkeley hills. There are roughly 150 hiking paths weaving up and down the hills and valleys behind us. I started at a path just a few blocks from our place. According to Google Earth, we live 300ft above sea level, and within a mile I was up to 1200ft. I'm no mountain climber like Kristin's dad, but it was steep! Apparently, I one should randomly make loud noises as you hike and keep keep checking behind yourself because of the occasional mountain lion. But I figured the view across Berkeley to San Francisco was worth sharing!

Kristin and her staff are hard at work preparing for opening on Saturday. They stay up late working while I get to be the guy that randomly brings in masses of food for 30 people. Starting tomorrow, the mass of students move in. They have an entire week without classes to be obnoxious and torment Kristin and her staff.

Huzzah, Wine!

8.12.2007 Comments: (2)
Obviously we spent some time in Napa this weekend, which means wine tasting! I was really excited to see Napa this time of years since the vines are full and it's picking season. We tried a few different places, but we highly recomend Silverado Vineyards. We liked nearly every wine we tasted, especially since they put had a $100 bottle on their tasting menu, and the view over the valley and vineyards was gorgeous! We also visited Mumm Vineyards, which specializes in sparkling wine. Some of them smelled like cheese, but hey, it was nice to try some new things out. Mumm also has a permenant exhibit of Ansel Adams - 75 photos he hand selected himself intended to show his diverse range and skill, and never intended for sale. Apparently, his grandson visits this particular vineyard often. So that was cool. Lots of wine after getting up so early meant us driving home and being in bed by 7 PM. Happy anniversary to us!


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We went hot air ballooning!!!

We celebrated our anniversary this weekend with something we've always wanted to do. We drove to Napa at 4:30 in the morning. Yes, we were up before the sun! The fog had rolled deep into the valle that morning, which makes it a bit dangerous to be at the mercy of the wind, when you can't see anything. Our balloon pilot drove us to the next valley over, so we rode over orchards instead of vines. Our pilot, Frank, was amazing, hilarious, and took us for the longest ride. Oh, and he managed to land us back on the ground without us all falling out of the basket.

We went about 900 feet up, and rode the winds east and eventually saw the Sacramento skyline through the fog. We were in flight for just over an hour. The ride was gorgeous and peaceful, except for the roaring over the burners every other minute.

After we landed, we were treated to a fabulous champagne brunch! Imagine, the pilots spend every morning like this...

Rose Garden

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The most natually thing to do after hiking was to take him drivng up the steep Berkeley hills. We found the Berkeley Rose Gardens! It's 3.6 acres of roses, 250 varieties, and roughly 2500 bushes. The terraces and gardens were built as a WPA project in the 1930's. It's pretty amazing, no wonder it's booked a year in advance for weddings.

Redwood pergolas and roses obviously

We found a snail!

More roses!


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Kristin's dad returned from a 9 day hike in the Sierra Nevada's. I think he climbed to the summit of at least 3 mountains above 14,000 feet. (That's tall if you didn't know. I'm only 6 feet.) He also climbed down, yes... down, to Death Valley and stood 282 feet below sea level. No, we didn't climb with him, but we'll show off some of his amazing pictures!

Apartment Tour

8.08.2007 Comments: (4)
I know everyone's been waiting to see...

Thankfully we have our own entrance just for the 2 of us. You walk right into our living room.

Living Room/Library/No TV allowed quiet room

Plan - We left nearly all our books in DC :( I'm thinking of installing floating shelves on either side of our picture collage to hold books, picture frames, and of course... all those shotglasses.


Yes, it's a huge California King bed! Kristin rolled over 5 times before hitting the other side. Plan - uh..., more art and pictures?


Plan - a teak bench that can sit under the towels or be brought in the shower for those days we're too lazy to stand.

Hallway/Space between the kitchen counter and the wine we call the hall

Plan - This giant blue, green, and tan rug from Target in the hall

Dining Room/Laundry Room

Plan - hang matching light blue curtains to hide laundry/tools/kitty litter box
We're hoping to put up lots of pictures of windows in the windowless room, and all the pictures have to be from places we've been or want to go, so far Venice and Havana are represented from my travels. Also, we found this black rug with white and light blue designs we want:

Office/TV Room/Guest Bedroom

Plan - add more pillows and make the bed into a couch.