Sunday, August 24, 2008

my last year at Berkeley

I've moved back to Berkeley for the fall semester. It's hard to believe summer is over. These breaks are never long enough. :-(

Though my classes don't start until the 27th, this was the perfect time to settle down. I've met my new suitemates Bryan, Danny and Tyler - all really cool guys. They're definitely the type of people I'd want to be friends with.

The other reason I came back early was to see what Welcome Week had to offer. Welcome Week was pretty fun when I was a freshman. Yet that doesn't seem to be the case this year. For example, the RHA doesn't look like they're having their annual Dance & Casino Night. Damn budget cuts. :-(

On the other hand, the theme of this year's Welcome Week is "games." It just happens that my suitemates brought a ton of video games to our dorm. How appropriate. They said this had nothing to do with the theme, but I'm not complaining!

The summer in review

Long story short, this summer was awesome. For starters, my family went to Yellowstone National Park and the Upper Midwest right after the spring semester ended. The vacation was something I had been looking forward to for a long time. To say we enjoyed it would be an understatement.

Taking Physics 7C at Berkeley was also worthwhile. I learned a great deal of things and met many cool people. The downside is that I had to miss my cousin Anne's wedding in Taiwan, but one cannot have their cake and eat it too.

This was followed by a trip to Southern California. Two days after we got home, Jonathan stayed another night at our house while visiting from Singapore. It was a busy summer for sure!

Summer 2008 statistics

I've decided to post some random statistics for shits and giggles:

Family vacations: 2
Pints of sorbet consumed: 1
Pints of ice cream consumed: 7
Pints of ice cream remaining: 5
Comic books read: 4
Summer classes taken: 1
Dances attended: 1
Cousins that got married: 1
Films seen in the theater: 1
Films seen on DVD: 5
RuneScape XP gained: about 1.5 million

Currently playing: Donkey Kong Country

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

back from Southern California

"He's your brother, right?" -- random drunk lady to Mom

I just got back from Southern California with my parents. The plan was to leave Saturday morning, but the trip was postponed because the hotels were all full. Delays aside, this was a great way to end the summer.

Day 1

The trip began at 10 a.m. with a drive to Paso Robles. Our first stop along the way was Paraiso Vineyards in Soledad. The view from the patio was amazing, making it a perfect picnic spot.

Dad took us to several other wineries after lunch. A funny thing happened at one of them: a woman asked if I was 21 as we were in the parking lot. She then asked my mother if I was her brother. It's obvious she's had too many drinks. That was completely random, but Mom was flattered as it made her feel young again. ^_^

The traffic on the way to Paso Robles was light. There was lots of time to explore the area after checking into the hotel. For dinner, the three of us went to an oceanfront restaurant in Pismo Beach. The food was slightly overcooked but otherwise all right.

Later in the evening, my mother and I watched some movies on our portable DVD player. I saw Sunshine before going to bed.

Day 2

The first stop of the day was Solvang. I had a great time checking out the restaurants and gift shops. Though the pastries looked delicious, nothing here was cheap. High prices aside, Solvang was the highlight the trip. This was followed by lunch at a Japanese restaurant as it was already 1 p.m.

Dad took us to Santa Barbara after lunch. The reason for going there was to visit the University of California, Santa Barbara. The campus was beautiful and had a homely feel. UC Santa Barbara was actually my second choice when I was applying for college.

Our hotel was located in San Luis Obispo. Because it was pretty late, my family had dinner at a Chinese buffet restaurant after unloading our stuff. The food was a bit salty but not too bad as far as Chinese buffets go.

The hotel gave us two free DVD rentals. I chose Blade while my mother preferred comedies. However, because Dad was exhausted and wanted to go to bed, the two of us decided to follow suit so as to not disturb his sleep.

Day 3

I finished watching Blade after breakfast. The final fight scene was pretty cool. :-)

The purpose of coming to San Luis Obispo was to see the California Polytechnic State University campus. Cal Poly is another school I had applied to. I liked UC Santa Barbara better, but that's just me. We then went to downtown San Luis Obispo before heading home.

The rest of the day was uneventful, although we stopped at the Gilroy Premium Outlets so Mom could look at shoes. I guess the stereotype that women love shoes is true. Back in the Bay Area, my family had dinner at Pizz'a Chicago before arriving home.


Considering that we don't go to Southern California often, this was a refreshing experience. Of the places we visited, Solvang was my favorite. I'd love to go there again in the future.

At any rate, I should probably get back to studying as my classes are starting soon. In the meantime, feel free to check out my pictures from the trip.

Update: The pictures are now online.

Currently listening to: The Collector's Series, Volume One by Celine Dion

Saturday, August 16, 2008

new dual-core laptop!

It turns out our trip to SoCal has been postponed. On the other hand, this was the perfect opportunity to check out our new HP Pavilion dv2700 laptop. I was busy studying and didn't have the chance to play with it until now.

The dv2700 has a 2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor, 2 GB of RAM and 230 GB of storage. However, the laptop is running Windows Vista. I've heard bad things about Vista but haven't had any trouble so far. Let's hope it stays that way. *crosses fingers*

Currently watching: Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer

Friday, August 15, 2008

done with Physics 7C

The summer session at Berkeley has ended. It was a worthwhile experience as I learned a great deal of things. Having said that, Physics 7C wasn't an easy class. I hope I did well on the final exam!

The bad news is that I tripped and damaged my microwave while moving out of the dorms. Though the damage wasn't too bad, my parents are concerned about radiation leaks. That means we'll have to buy a new microwave. Shit happens.

In other news...

Dad is planning a trip to Southern California. It'll be a great way to end the summer. :-)

Currently reading: Superman: Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? by Alan Moore

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

God damn script kiddies

Someone seems to have hijacked my Yahoo! and Gmail accounts this morning. The person also changed my security questions in addition to the passwords. I was able to recover my Gmail account with relative ease but had to call customer support to reset my Yahoo! login. Bastards.

The good news is that neither account contained sensitive information. I'm also sure there are no viruses on my computer. That said, the script kiddie deserves a roundhouse kick to the face from both Chuck Norris and Bruce Schneier.

In other news...

On a more positive note, there was a swing dance class at Unit 2 tonight. That was pretty fun even though I only watched and didn't dance with anyone.

Currently listening to: "The Sweet Escape" by Gwen Stefani