Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving holiday report

The long weekend was pretty awesome. Having finished all of my assignments, I was able to relax more and not worry about anything other than the finals. I also met Connie's daughters, Anika, Suzanna and Kira, all of whom were really sweet. :-)

Pre-Thanksgiving

Suzanna and Kira came back from UC San Diego late Tuesday afternoon. The girls are identical twins but fairly easy to tell apart. I later went on an evening walk with Connie and the twins at one of their favorite spots, the nearby West Cliff Drive. The view of the ocean was amazing, even at night.

The break started early for me as I don't have class on Wednesdays. Anika returned from Cal Poly in the morning and was one of the nicest people I've ever met. Connie and her daughters also 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 as my family already had plans.

It wasn't too late when my parents came to pick me up. They helped move some of my stuff home 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're definitely the type of people I'd want to be friends with.

The bad news is that the printer we brought to Connie's house stopped working. 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.

Thursday

Thanksgiving was nice as our new family friend Jennifer invited us over for dinner. We became acquainted when I attended a job training program with her son Robert. Jennifer is from Indonesia and her husband Spencer is from Taiwan, so there was a mix of American, Chinese and Indonesian food. Yum!

The only downside is that Robert is shy and doesn't talk much. However, that wasn't a problem because Super R-Type and The Legend of Zelda: Link's Awakening DX kept me occupied. Though my friend Lawrence's family had also invited us, Mom felt it would be rude to stand the Panns up. The other option was to visit the Jaus afterwards, but my mother didn't want to show up without a gift. I guess you can't have your cake and eat it too.

This year, I owe my gratitude to our family friend Kitty for helping me get a job at Cisco. I'm also thankful for finding the perfect place to live in Santa Cruz and that Connie was so kind.

Friday

Our Lexus RX 330 was having problems, so my parents had to take it to Lexus of 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.

Saturday

Seeing that we had the entire day free, Dad took us on a road trip up north, going as far as Willits and Ukiah. Although the trails were nice, there wasn't much time for hiking as we had to drive another 170 miles home. We did briefly consider booking a hotel, but 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 excellent. The day trip was easily the best part of the Thanksgiving long weekend.

Sunday

Having already done so much in the past few days, I spent most of yesterday helping Dad design his new company's website and preparing 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 than an internship in the long run. If everything goes to plan, I'll be working at Cisco starting in December. Woohoo!

The transition from classroom to cubicle will be challenging: a full-time job is more demanding due to the longer hours and fewer vacation days. On the other hand, getting paychecks is far more rewarding than paying tuition. Another nice thing is not having 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 have little choice but 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