Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving holiday report

I had an awesome long weekend. The break started early for me as I don't have class on Wednesdays. It was pretty relaxing as I had finished all my assignments and didn't have to worry about anything other than the finals. I also met my landlady Connie's daughters, all of whom were really sweet. :-)


Suzanna and Kira came back from UC San Diego late Tuesday afternoon. They're identical twins but not indistinguishable. I later went on an evening walk with Connie and the girls at one of their favorite spots, the nearby West Cliff Drive. The view of the ocean was beautiful.

Anika returned from Cal Poly on Wednesday morning with her friend Case. She was one of the nicest people I've ever met - just like her sisters. Connie and her daughters invited me to watch Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 with them at the theater. Though that sounded fun, I had to decline because my finals are just around the corner.

It wasn't too late when my parents came to pick me up. They helped me pack up some things as I'm leaving Santa Cruz at the end of the month. I wish I had more time to hang out with Connie's daughters - they would definitely make great friends.

As we were packing up, I noticed the printer we brought to Connie's house was dead. This wasn't too surprising as the LaserJet 4050 TN is around 11 years old. I'm just glad it didn't fail in the middle of an important project.


Thanksgiving was nice as our new family friend Jennifer invited us over for dinner. I had met her while attending a job training program with her son Robert earlier this year. Because Jennifer is from Indonesia and her husband Spencer is from Taiwan, there was a mix of American, Chinese and Indonesian food. Yum!

However, Robert is shy and doesn't talk much. Therefore, I used the opportunity to play The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX and Super R-Type on my laptop using an emulator. Though my friend Lawrence's family had also invited us, Mom felt it would be rude to stand the Panns up. I wanted to visit the Jaus afterwards, but my mother thought it was too much of a hassle. Oh well.

Of course, Thanksgiving is about being thankful. I owe my gratitude to our family friend Kitty for helping me get a job at Cisco. I'm also grateful for finding the perfect place to live in Santa Cruz and meeting someone as kind as Connie.


Because our Lexus RX 330 was having problems, my parents took it to Lexus Stevens Creek for repairs. This took up the entire morning and meant we couldn't get any Black Friday deals. On the other hand, the dealership let us use one of their sedans in the meantime. It was like a free rental. :-)

Also worth mentioning is that the Lexus dealership has Wi-Fi and free snacks. Their customer service is top-notch.


Seeing that we had the entire day free, Dad took us on a road trip up north. He brought us as far as Willits and Ukiah. The trails were nice, but there wasn't much time for hiking as we had to drive another 170 miles home. Although we did briefly consider booking a hotel, this wasn't really an option either as we weren't equipped for an overnight stay.

Our last stop on the way home was Applebee's in Santa Rosa for dinner. Everything we ordered was delicious. The day trip was easily the best part of the long weekend.


Having done so much in the past few days, all of us wanted to relax instead. Yesterday was pretty uneventful, although I helped Dad design his new company's website and prepared for the finals. Speaking of which, I should probably get back to studying as the finals are coming up soon.

On the whole, the break couldn't have been better. Be sure to check out my pictures.

Currently playing: The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

I got the job!

Several weeks ago, our family friend Kitty referred me to apply for a software testing position at Cisco Systems. I'm happy to say that I got the offer. I accepted it right away after figuring a regular job was better in the long run. If everything goes to plan, my first day will be in early December. Woohoo!

The transition from classroom to cubicle is a big deal: a full-time job can be challenging due to longer hours and fewer vacation days. On the other hand, getting paid beats paying tuition anytime. It's also nice to not have to cram for exams. :-)

I had planned to continue studying at UC Santa Cruz and eventually apply for the graduate program. But because it's extremely difficult to take classes and work at the same time, I've decided to leave Santa Cruz after the quarter ends. Saying goodbye to this beautiful place will be tough. I guess we all have to make sacrifices in life. As they say... c'est la vie.

Currently playing: Road of the Dead