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golden gate

This weekend's beautiful things:

1. Talking late into the night with Jeff 

2. Walking through my old neighborhood in Berkeley and observing how things have changed or remained the same

3. A quiet lunch in front of one of the fountains at the Music Concourse in Golden Gate Park

4. Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit at the de Young

5. Dinner with old friends. Pure joy and laughter, heightened by many bottles of red wine and fat plates of red meat, 

6. A perfectly styled outfit that wins the praises of my friends from fashion school

7. Being present for Daniella and Dante's wedding. I tear up during the toasts. The love and admiration their other friends and family have for them is palpable. 

8. Curling up in bed with Jeff at the end of the day and watching a DVD
As of late, my social life has been picking up. On Friday evening, Hank, Jules, Rupert, Christine, and I went to down to Walnut Creek for a (free!) gelato tasting. Gelateria Naia is planning to roll out a couple of fall flavors and they invited people on their mailing list to reserve a spot at the tasting, exchanging their feedback for gratis gelato. By and large, the flavors were a let down. Butternut squash and sweet potato were inedible. Caramel apple, the most appealing new flavor under scrutiny, was delicious for the first two bites and became overly sweet with each successive bite such that I couldn't even finish it. Ultimately, I liked roasted banana and molasses best, but were I actually choosing from all the flavors available and paying for my gelato, I probably wouldn't select either over known and wonderful quantities like Nutella.

After gelato, Hank, Jules, and I went to Taiwan Restaurant for dinner. Perhaps it was because we didn't know what to order, but the meal was significantly less tasty than the one I had the previous weekend at Davin's birthday dinner. Thankfully, Jules, the pickiest of us three, liked it. Hank was still groggy from the Thursday night/Friday morning push at crunchyroll so he and Jules took off and I met up with Sugar at his friend's place for an aperitif. It was generally a pleasant evening with his buddies from the chemistry department, but somehow at certain moments it devolved into family memory sharing time. While I contributed to the discussions, I probably should have kept my mouth shut, like Sugar did. Sugar's current circle of friends mostly hail from happy families and my anecdotes of unhumorous family dysfunction clearly unnerved them.

Saturday was utter laziness, but Sunday was dedicated anniversary celebration day since Sugar had to work late on our actual anniversary on Thursday. We started the morning with brunch at the Thai Buddhist temple. I'm glad we chose to go to Thai brunch since as it may be one of our last. Apparently some of the neighbors living adjacent to the temple are working via lawsuit and local government to get the brunch shut down as they find it inconvenient. Sugar and I have long decided that when he graduates we are so moving away from Berkeley. We caught "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist" later that afternoon and had a simple dinner of leftover pasta at home. Ok, so we weren't exactly "ballin'" but on our limited budget that was a helluva decadent day. 

turnover

As of last week, I got a job as a personal assistant to a blind Mills College PhD student. Between last Friday and yesterday, I:
  • Took her to make copies of her mailbox key
  • Helped her get cash from the ATM
  • Made her bed (which sounds a lot easier than it really was... the woman has like 10 decorative pillows and 5 different layers over the mattress all of which she insists must be arranged in really specific ways)
  • Returned a book on tape to a library for the blind
  • Picked her up from school
  • Took her to a cafe for lunch
  • Generally walking her from place to place in all this and making sure she doesn't fall in harm's way
As of today, I no longer have this job, as she realizes that she really doesn't have that much stuff for me to do since she still has another assistant and that she can't afford to pay me for as many hours as I'd like to work. Lovely. Oh well. No damage done. Tomorrow I'm going over to her apartment to pick up a check for 4 hours of work plus $10 for gas (which is way more than the gas I used cost) for a grand total of $62, which is not too shabby in my opinion.


it will drive you crazy if you let it

Today was a decidedly good day. I got paid $25 to talk for a little less than 20 minutes to a researcher working on a Bureau of Labor and Statistics survey on the attitudes and plans of people in their 20s regarding marriage and starting families. Flush with new cash and intoxicated by the smell of french fries coming from Amanda's, the trendy new organic burger shop on Shattuck next to the researcher's office that I've been meaning to try but for my lack of funds, I got an order of fries, which I polished off on the walk home. I was finally able to make definitive lunch plans with Davin, who also very kindly offered his perspective on my current employment dilemma, and had a 2-hour conversation with Mony.

Best of all, I got a call back from the woman I had a coffee interview at Peet's with the past weekend; I am now her personal assistant. I'm meeting her at her apartment tomorrow morning to start learning the ropes and shadowing another current assistant on Monday evening. For the mean time, my financial worries are relieved. This could not have come at a better time. Between my late night fretting and losing of sleep and subsequently lethargic and/or caffeine-fueled days, I could feel depression seeping into me. There is absolutely no way I can go into business for myself in such a state.

It's game time again.

come on down, have a look around

Today's rundown:
  • Another excellent CD haul from the library: Carlos Kleiber's recording of Tristan und Isolde featuring Margaret Price, West Side Story featuring Kiri Te Kanawa, Ani, Judy, and Dolly 
  • Last day of web design class for me--What with 7 hours of pattern making on Monday and another 7 hours of apparel construction on Wednesday, both of which compel me to be on the road no later than 7:30am, I just can't handle having class on Tuesday, even if it is fairly easy and doesn't start until 1pm.
  • First time in many years that I've gotten caffeine jitters--Apparently my limit is 1 bottled Frappuccino and 1 mug of extra strong brewed coffee
  • Number of episodes of Studio 60 watched on Hulu: 3--And I've finished the series now, too
  • Number of drinking glasses broken while washing 3 days worth of dishes: 2--Coming off a caffeine high is no picnic
  • The new theme song for Sugar and me: Dolly Parton's "Poor Folks Town"

communication breakdown

Last week I sent an email to my apparel construction professor about potentially leaving lab early in order to take a job at an afterschool learning center. Apparently he didn't receive the message, but said it would be fine when I spoke to him after class yesterday. This is now one of several emails I have sent through my Yahoo account in the past 6 months that hasn't reached its destination. The last time I recall this occurring, I re-sent a resume to a recruiter three different times and wouldn't have known that the original message hadn't been received but for the recruiter emailing me about it. This seems to be more than a couple of isolated incidents and perhaps a systemic problem with Yahoo mail.

I know I could switch over to Gmail but am also hesitant to do that, as some of my Gmail user friends also report messages unreceived and faulty filters. One of those unreceived messages was from a marketing project group member to our professor requesting a specific time slot to do our final presentation and we ended up having to go on the first day of presentations. The presentation turned out fine, but the couple days running up to the presentation where we spent as much as 10 hours at school were not pleasant. Another b-school friend would constantly come up blank when I would ask him whether he was attending one event or another because Gmail filters kept throwing schoolwide mail into spam despite his repeated attempts to mark them as legit.

What say you, dear readers? Any insight into my email delivery issues or recommendations/comments on alternatives to Yahoo Mail?