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Posts Tagged ‘summer’

In the midst of Golden Gate Park is the California Academy of Sciences. It’s pretty much a natural history museum complete with (1) the Steinhart Aquarium that rivals the Aquarium of the Bay in Fisherman’s Wharf and even slightly at par with Monterey Bay Aquarium (I’ll actually leave this judgment for later since I haven’t been to the Monterey Bay Aquarium in a long time); (2)the Morrison Planetarium (Planet Arium South Park episode, anyone?) which I still think is one of the best places for a nap in the middle of the day; (3) a Rainforest which is basically a giant circular humid greenhouse; (4)  the Kimball Natural History museum with the mammal room, and exhibits on sustaining life on earth; and oh…yeah, they have a revolving special exhibit…this time it was (5) SNAKES AND LIZARDS.

Between my boyfriend and my brother, many pranks and psychological torture were applied on me in the Snakes and Lizards exhibit. There is apparently a lizard that can leap from boulder to boulder and run at 16 mph. My brother whispers, “You can’t outrun that…” Then Boyfriend tossed a rubber lizard at me which resulted in a strangled scream which resulted in a lot of people looking at me which had my brother asking in a LOUD VOICE, “Was that scream you?”

I don’t care. I’ll scream if I want to.

After that ordeal, the rest of the day went easy peasy. We went to the Aquarium where we touched starfish and sea urchins, we napped in the Planetarium where Jodi Foster’s throaty voice lulled us into a dream filled with nuclei and mitochondria, we went to the Living Roof (my first time in over 5 visits) and froze our butts off in the freezing San Francisco summer wind, we played with the toys in the gift shop and overall had a great time!

on the Living Roof overlooking the De Young Museum

well, a slice of the Philippine Reef was behind us.

mmm...Moray Eel

Hey, fishy, fishy...

It's a piece of rolled up carpet...Oh, actually it's a snake.

Sssslytherin's in the House

...and finally, this guy always makes me smile by planning little trips to make me happy!

Here’s the caveat: The California Academy of Sciences is a whopping $34.99! This hurts because the Smithsonian in Washington DC is FREE! And even the one in Los Angeles is only $12!

So, unless you really value the rainforest attraction and the planetarium, the living roof, the albino alligator, and the sustainable design of the CAS, then it’s recommended that you really plan your visit for that day instead of just randomly dropping in for 3 hours. If that was the case, then I’d say hop on Thursday nights Nightlife: 3 hours, NO CHILDREN RUNNING AMOK, wine, beer and hors d’oeuvres served — all for $12. STEAL.

Below are a few shots from Nightlife from my birthday in January:

Glow in the Dark

Nightlife Crew

Hey, Lil' Guy...

 

When there aren't little kids running around, you actually get to learn stuff.

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My Life List has “Go to the Alameda County Fair” on it. I’m not sure why. I’ve been to the AC Fair before, when I was in high school. But I created the list well after I had graduated from UC Berkeley, and well into the swing of Law School.

The only thing I can think of is that I remember absolutely zilch about the two times I did go to the Fair back then. All I remember was looking for the photograph that won me a blue ribbon at the fair, and a few of my brothers’ artworks that also won various prizes.

I don’t remember the food, the games, the rides, the anything.

So, the fair was on the the list.

I went with CCop. I never thought he was the type of guy to do the county fair thing, but I guess it’s just one other good thing about him. He is a doer. He makes plans. He follows through. He will suffer through the heat and my quirks.

That, and there was Blue Oyster Cult playing at the fair that day.

So, we hit the horse races. We petted sheep (they feel like knotted up carpet), we watched poor children attempt to do a calf show (think Dog shows, only with cows), we looked at bunny rabbits, we shuddered at lizards (okay, that was just me. CCop mostly laughed at how I broke into a cold sweat at the sight of them).

We also went on Rides. Well, I went on the wimpy ones and he went on the redonkyoulus ones. I also rode the Ferris Wheel for the first time ever. I guess that’s one real thing to cross off my life list (not that it was ever on the list). I just have this thing about heights…or maybe it’s about falling. That whole motion of having the ground slip from beneath you…*shakes head.

We played some games, ate some alligator burgers (yum!) and of course, had some funnel cake. I mean, what’s a county fair without the artery-clogging deliciousness?

I remember the Fair being that much bigger when I was younger, and being that much bigger of a deal. But I guess if you had some piece of artwork to be displayed, it’s a bigger deal. Getting that blue ribbon is pretty awesome. This time around, I had nothing on display though, but there were some pretty great pieces in contention.

 

Later, we watched the Blue Oyster Cult which was actually a really good show. I mean, who can forget SNL’s “Cow Bell” skit? They actually had someone play a cowbell during Don’t Fear the Reaper! And I totally chanted along to Go-go-go-godzilla!!! Haha!

Overall, it was definitely a fun day. It was hot, but hell, it’s summer in the East Bay, couldn’t expect any less. At least, it wasn’t as hot as LA ever got. One of the funniest scenes of the night was CCop getting some ice cream while I munched on my giant bag of kettle corn. He stood right next to these three pretty big, tough looking dudes, working so hard to lick away at their ice cream cones before their tower of flavors toppled over. There they were, four big guys, acting like little kids. It was awesome.

I’d definitely go again, once every year. It’ll be tradition. Yeah, that’s what it’ll be. =)


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It was an extremely hot day in the Bay Area, which made for a perfect beach day in Northern California. 100+ degrees inland = approximately 80 degrees on the beach.

PERFECT.

Poplar Beach, Half Moon Bay, CA

One of those Cool Beach Bluffs, Usually Shrouded in Fog, Perfectly Clear on Tuesday

A Little Bit of Laying Out, A Little Bit of Football, A Little Bit of Awesome

Running Up to Meet the Waves!

Running Away from the Cold Water!

Check out the Detail in the Jean Shorts...Wrong Use of the Camera Focus

My Favorite Picture for all the Little Details

These Two Were Fun to Watch: Humphrey and Herschel

Gorgeous Beach Day

Crab Cakes and Chowder for Lunch, Fun Beach Day, Capped off with a Beer from the Brewery...Now, we can go Home.

I’m beginning to really like this camera.

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I feel like the last couple of months my life has been on pause. I haven’t made any significant decisions, made any real plans, or made any real steps forward that I can really substantiate. This whole studying for the bar thing…I can’t wait for it to be over so I can start living again.

I can’t wait to invest my time and effort into something other than studying. I’m so over it.

But at the same time, I’m so NOT over it, because part of me wishes I just had a little bit more time to get more rules down. But like I’ve said before, time is an equalizer. Everybody gets the same amount; what we do with it is up to us.

But I think I feel this antsy because I know I’m leaving. Just a little over a week after taking the bar, I’ll be out of the LALA Land and back in the Yay. I don’t know if I’m ready. I feel like I should have invested more time in the people and the relationships I have here. I should have developed some a little bit more instead of pushing it back “till after the bar.” I feel like I should have shown my appreciation of others more instead of setting them aside “till after the bar.”  It’s paralyzing.

I want to be able to tell everyone that has meant so much to me here that I do care. Instead, I find myself skipping out on lunches and dinners, drinks and movies. Saying “next time” or “not now” or “please, just understand.”

I wish I had the power to do things differently. I really do.

But for now, I’m on Pause.

I can’t wait to Press Play.

…and by Play, I mean I’m busting out of the City of Angels and diving straight into Sin City!!!

HELL YEAH!!!

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What you need:

  • 2-3 packs of basil
  • cherry tomatoes
  • 4 tbs. olive oil (extra virgin)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • bow tie pasta
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • bacon for the meat-lovers

DIRECTIONS

  1. Cook pasta as directed on the box. It really depends on the brand you get. I like to add a bit of salt to the water before it boils and a teaspoon of olive oil so that the pasta does not stick.
  2. While that’s cooking prep the bacon. Mushy and I like to cut off the fat from the bacon, so we use an entire package of the bacon. Cut these into little pieces then fry as usual.
  3. Meanwhile, mince the garlic. I like to mix pre-minced garlic with freshly chopped ones. It just makes everything faster, but fresh garlic tastes better.
  4. Chop the basil into strips.
  5. In a bowl, mix together about 3-4 tbs. of olive oil, basil, and garlic.
  6. Add salt & pepper to taste.
  7. When the pasta is cooked, drain, and then mix in the olive oil, basil, garlic mix.
  8. Top everything off with bacon.
  9. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and then add to the pasta for color.
  10. ENJOY!!!

You can also add cheese for saltiness instead of salt.

Mushy makes this so much better than I do since this is her recipe. I’m putting it up here because I want to save this for myself and be able to come back to it whenever I want a repeat.

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Last Tuesday, I had my first-honest-to-goodness Bar-prep breakdown.

I was working on three essays, working on keeping everything under three hours. On the third hour, I realized the essay was on Torts. I had worked on Torts in the first week of bar prep. I was able to spot all the issues, but for the life of me, I just couldn’t get anything coherent onto paper.

I burst into tears.

Yeeeeaahhh.

I thought about how I could have possibly spent so much time on torts and not have remembered anything. I was probably being melodramatic at one point and going, “Why, God, whyyyy???” Then I wallowed in the piteous thought of how I would wake up everyday only to start the day over. My eyes would open and I’d think, “Aw, fudge, I have to study?” I mean, how bad does it have to be that I actually look forward to something really mundane like going to the post office to mail a letter just because it wasn’t studying. Then I get sad thinking about all the repercussions and consequences of what would happen if I failed this bar exam. I mean, the sacrifices my family has made, the faith people have in me, my own self-esteem… I can’t fail!

I have to be like Yoda on this one. Do or do not. There is no try.

But Yoda never said anything about liking it. And so, bursts forth more tears. I actually have a box of tissues next to me now, in case I ever have another Tuesday breakdown.

Sigh.

I’m definitely not one to just breakdown and cry over work or stress. I’m a workaholic to the very core of that definition. When I was working professionally, if my bosses didn’t tell me to go home, I would have stayed in the office all night.  Most of the time, I didn’t really care that I was still at work. I do like working. It gives me purpose in life.

So…this whole crying over work was really weird for me. I kind of just looked around my big empty apartment and it just made me even more sad. I had an instructor on TV in the living room and I thought how utterly defeating it was that I would have a lecture on just so I can hear someone else talking to me.

Although, I would probably have to warn you that last Tuesday, I went to bed at 2 AM and woke up at 5 AM, drove all the way to the city of Taft in Kern County to take care of my speeding ticket. I had already driven for five hours that day, and was in the last hour of a three hour self-imposed practice exam. I pretty much already had a full eight hours under my belt

Probably not the wisest move on my part.

I was just exhausted and crashing so fast by mid-afternoon so that by the time I realized I didn’t know jack about products liability, I burst into tears.

I looked at the clock. Dear Lord, it was only 2:13 PM. I still had hours of studying ahead of me. And because I had gone to court in the morning, I had to allocate my work-out and dinner time towards that. I didn’t feel like I had a break in sight. I was feeling very sorry for myself at this point.

Pillows Don't Hug Back Either

So then, I hugged myself.

At which point, I cried even harder. I just wanted a hug and there was no one around to give me one! WAAAH!!!

I went over to my room, threw myself onto my bed and laid out all my pillows (I have a LOT of pillows…I’m kind of a pillow-whore) around me so I was cocooned in soft warm goodness. I felt better. It made me think of those autistic kids and the hug machines that they had. I think I should perhaps invest in one, at least for the duration of Bar Prep.

I think what scares me the most is that sometimes I need emotional support (I mean, who doesn’t?) when I feel like…well, when I feel like Tuesdays. I don’t mean I want to be coddled or be told things I already know. I don’t want blind faith in my ability to pass this exam, and I don’t want to hear how you understand that it’s horrible. Because really, I think it’s horrible for different people in different ways.  What I do need is a hug. I miss big bear hugs that just make you feel safe and sheltered from the big bad world out there. And I need laughter. Lots and lots of laughter.

If you know me at all, you know that I believe laughing is the best thing on earth. I will always gravitate towards the people who make me laugh (and who will laugh at my extremely lame jokes in return).

However, with Bar Prep, all of my best friends are kind of gone. We are all locked away in our individual ivory towers of solitude and studyhood. It’s almost impossible to find a moment of impromptu laughter. I miss that so bad.

So you know what I did? I got out of my cocoon of pillow hugs, grabbed my laptop, stuck my tongue out at my products liability essay, and went online.

Then I watched Modern Family.

If there was one tv show that could genuinely make me laugh out loud, it’s Modern Family. I mean, not to be disloyal to Big Bang Theory or anything (because Sheldon, I do love you), but ABC actually posts full episodes of MF, while CBS doesn’t post any full episodes of BBT (but the short clips still have me in stitches!)  But, I seriously suggest you check Modern Family out. It’s such a good stress reliever. After a half-hour of laughing, you really feel like you can conquer the world.  After that fix, I got back on to work.

Life was well. Sort of. I mean, I still had to study.

And um… on a final note:

Pretty Please?

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Ever met anyone who overwhelmed you just by being? Yeah…when Evee and @Sigh asked me about him, the only word that really came into my mind was “overwhelming.”

Let’s call him McDreamy cuz even Eon agrees on that count. Haha.

Almost everything about him overwhelmed me. I mean, just looking into his eyes (“are they ‘dreamy’?” asks Eon) is overwhelming. What are you trying to do, dude? Steal my soul? Even @Sigh had to go with an “Oh, shit.” at the sight of his picture. Jared Leto much anyone?

Overwhelming, I tell you. But still dreamy.

And then, there’s his life resume. He’s been everywhere. He’s done things I’ve only ever wished I could. He’s actually helped people. No, scratch that. He has changed people’s lives. Katrina, he was there. Impoverished countries, he’s established foundations and gone to help. Homeless people, he is armed with nail and hammer with Habitat 4 Humanity.

He has traveled. He takes the kind of travel pictures I’ve only ever dreamed I had the vision for. He meets the locals, follows them into places that only locals would ever consider “normal” by any stretch of the word. He finds the beauty and the commonality in the foreign and different.

He dives into new endeavors with an enthusiasm and carelessness of a guy who can’t possibly fail. He’s going to start a band. Just ‘cuz. He rides a motorcycle in a tuxedo to go to a friend’s wedding. He’ll run after the guy who stole his shirt at knife point. He’s had short hair, and he’s had Jesus-hair. He’s had scruff, a full beard, and been clean-shaven. He’d show up dripping wet from a downpour just because he said he would. He doesn’t care about appearances at all. I wonder how you had to be raised to simply not care. To be so laid back and comfortable in your own skin that the possibility of looking like a drowned rat in front of new people doesn’t faze you.

His friends ask him two things: “What are you up to now?” and “Where in the world are you?”

But, I don’t really know if I’m impressed. I’m overwhelmed.

Part of me is more impressed with the guy who has the steady professional, slightly boring and possibly spiritually unfulfilling job. But then I’d know I can count on someone who will be there. I am more impressed with the guy who can make me feel safe instead of awed. I feel more comfortable with the one who I know is grounded instead of spirited. Is that bad? I think it’s just about safety.

But then…maybe I’m just jealous of the free-spirit of McDreamy. Maybe I wish I had more to tell about me than, “Oh, I’m studying for the bar.” I mean to a guy who spent nearly a decade in four different colleges (just because he could) simply for the fun of learning, that doesn’t seem like such a big deal.

I don’t know. Maybe it’s the prospect of not knowing how I could contribute into his life in any meaningful way that really overwhelms me. Hmmm…

But as I always say with these things, “We’ll see.”

And he’s still so damn pretty.

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