Approximately 1 week ago, I got a facebook chat message from Caleb Christensen (Brandon’s counter-part bromance) asking whether I would be attending his upcoming wedding. I told him that I would not be able to, as I had to do my sisterly-duties in my brother’s upcoming wedding. I essentially received the cyber puppy-face — which I apparently cannot resist — and within an hour, I had a plane ticket booked home for the weekend. I informed my parents of my plan, and they graciously agreed to come pick me up from the airport and arrange an “activity” for Brandon to be doing when I arrived — it was a surprise that I was coming back.
During my week-long wait, I was informed that Alice, (who I at times refer to as my work-bestie), has decided to leave Yahoo!. This was some serious bad news for me, as I had plans for us to move into a cube together someday. However, I suppose I am happy for her, as the mothership has called her home to the land of shoes — Zappos. She also graciously extended an open invitation to visit her in Vegas whenever she works from the Nevada office. She may have been just being polite (if so, she’s probably immediately regretting this), but either way, I am for sure taking that opportunity — strike while the iron’s hot, and all that jazz.
By the time Thursday rolled around, I was super excited for my weekend home. I called Brandon a couple times before I left for the airport (at 10:30pm) to set the scene for my weekend (boring, staying home, doing nothing), however he neglected to pick up his cellular device. Instead, he called me, repeatedly, while I was at the airport. I tried to find the quietest area in the airport (ha.) and called him back. Of course the attendant started yelling right as he answered. My cat-like reflexes allowed me to mute the call without being too obvious (he later told me that he thought it was Patrick and Andrea. win). So, maybe a bit more obvious than I thought. After making an excuse that I had to finish a project, I turned off my phone and breathed a sigh of relief. After an hour of unexplained or unacknowledged delay, I boarded my flight (I got lucky and sat between the aisle and an empty seat) and headed for Dallas. Apparently, the man sitting next to the empty seat was some kind of celebrity, as he received free snacks, a pillow, and blanket. He continued to act like a celebrity and keep the light on all flight, spill his full can of ginger ale all over the seat between us (he saw it was spilling and chose to do nothing about it until it was over half empty, then he just covered it with the in-flight magazine), then set his half empty can of ginger ale on the floor and listened to it splash all over the gentleman in front of us when we touched down in Dallas — the newly ale-d sir was not pleased. I made it to my next flight just in time to board the plane. I touched down in Des Moines at 9:00am and descended the escalator as something similar to a zombie to meet my mom. After running a few errands in Des Moines, we went back to my parent’s house, where Brandon was helping my dad with some “house work”. I walked into the garage and witnessed what I consider to be the best double-take I’ve ever seen. When he asked my reason for coming home, I responded that I couldn’t let him go stag to his best friend’s wedding. Apparently that answer was completely appropriate.
As it was Friday, I maintained my Yahoo! duties and had a WFH day. Only this time, it was a work-from-IOWA-home Friday. This worked out rather well. Brandon was at work for a majority of the day, and I logged in some serious cuddle time with Baylie.
Saturday was the Christensen wedding day. I immediately remembered why I love the bay weather. It was so, so hot here. However, the wedding was wonderful, and I’m so glad that I was able to come back for it. (This also came with the contract that they will come to Brandon and my wedding no matter what state they may be in… hope he knows that)
The newlyweds — Caleb and Beth Christensen :)
I was also able to make it back for two of my bestie’s birthdays. Although it was a very brief celebration, it still totally counts.
I haven’t blogged in quite some time… so, I may or may not make up 95% of this as I can’t remember back that far. However, I do remember that it was Alice’s birthday this week. We went to the Ocean Blue Sushi Club. It was the first time that I’ve ever had real sushi. It was a wonderful experience… which will most likely also be my last sushi experience. It was all fun and games until I realized that the “red pepper” on top of my California roll was actually fish eggs and what I thought was some kind of fried cheese ball appetizer, actually turned out to be chilled, raw tuna in a fried outer shell. Peace out, sushi-lovers — we’ll find something else to bond over.
Alice’s fan club.
The ever-so-tastey baked ice cream cake — compliments of Chef Bajaj
That weekend, we went to an art and wine festival — sorry, no photography allowed. It’s activities like this that make me want to move here so badly. There’s so much stuff to do on the weekends! Plus, you can bring your dog with you wherever you go — major bonus for the Baylie and Bentlers. When we were done walking through the booths, we decided to scope out the neighborhood to see if there were any potential houses for sale (for my brother, not me). We happened to come across an open house, so naturally, we acquired fake identities (I was Fiona) and took the tour. We went through 3 houses. The smallest of which had 4 bedrooms. Gorgeous. And all for a small setback of 1.8 million dollars. Fiona could afford it, Carrie couldn’t even afford it in a high-heeled, cocktail-in-hand dreamscape. One of the houses even had in-law quarters which they turned into a poker room. And by room, I of course mean separate small house — complete with wine chiller, kitchen and bathroom.
The sad thing is that in Iowa, they would probably cost 350,000. Ugh.
After our Cali-style reality-check, we went back to the apartment and finished off the Harry Potter series. Go big or go home.
Since I can’t have a sea lion, I decided a new puppy was a good stand-in. Meet Bentley/Bandit/Hey Dog/To be determined at a later date. This wrinkly ball of fun was born on June 6th and will become Brandon, Baylie and mine in a short few weeks. The actual story, is that a puppy was really the only bargaining chip that I had to get a proposal out of Brandon. We decided that Brandon would FINALLY get his english bulldog once we officially became The Barkemas (weird). He obviously figured that a proposal and wedding were similar enough, and we should just push up the puppy-date (plus I was leaving him all summer) — to be honest, a sea lion really wouldn’t fit well in the bathtub.
Work was very eventful — literally. Tuesday evening, I attended a Demo’s & Drinks Event. The interns were “VIP”s to this event — we received beach towels, icecream treats, and got to lounge on those huge inflatable chairs that we all thought were really awesome in 6th grade. I distinctly remember Talia having one. This event showed off the winners of the hackday as well as some upcoming and new products. It also let us mingle with interns and employees we hadn’t gotten a chance to meet yet. Thursday, the interns got to skip work for a majority of the day to play “The Go Game”. It’s basically a scavenger hunt on steroids. We were divided into teams and given a camera and a cell phone (inside a fashionable Star Wars lunchbox). The cell phone received clues for the item/action/person to find next (very mission impossible, minus the exploding gadgets). The camera, was to photo/video ourselves doing the mildly embarrassing things that the clues lead us to do. We were given points based on speed and creativity. The activity definitely did what it was designed for — you never know someone better than when you’re with them playing chubby bunny.
Clearly not everyone was excited to dote on the maiden after dishing out our best pick-up line.
Even though we didn’t win the tournament (pathetically not even close) we still had a good time, and I got to meet some awesome people… even if I can’t remember all their names. Whoops.
This weekend was 4th of July fun, aka. the best holiday on the planet. To gear up for the big HP7 release, I volentold Patrick and Andrea to watch all of the Harry Potter movies with me (between Lost and HP I’ve brought them into modern times in a jiffy). Not sure they’ll be lined up at midnight in wizard robes and “cyclone” ties, but they didn’t turn them off. We broke up the movies by going to see firework displays every night. Since fireworks are my favorite things in the entire world, this was a pretty awesome weekend for me. Monday, we started off our 4th by watching the San Jose Parade — I’ve never been to a parade (yes, shocking I’ve never been to the VEISHEA parade), so I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect. It was a smaller parade with a very strong community undertone. Perfect for family fun. We then picked up groceries for our mini-feast and ingredients for Patrick and I to learn and master our very first homemade strawberry pie. Our original plans were to enter the brother-sister beer pong tournament and dominate the bay area, however, no matter how hard I tried to convince my sibling of this epic-ness, he wouldn’t budge. Something about how we both hate beer and needed to maintain our family dignity — minor details. Instead, we showed up a few hours late (but still well before the scheduled closing time) and found all 30-some chili booths had shut down and ran away with their tails between their legs after loosing the chili-cup (yes, they have their own trophy — very legit). Instead, we found the final 4 chili stands, with at least a 200-person line waiting for each booth. Scratch this plan. We went home and played water balloon toss. You’ll never guess who won. His name starts with P and ends with cheatingsackofcraptrick. I of course lost — and by lost I mean got soaked.
Later that night we walked the 2.5 miles to Shoreline to watch the fireworks. Once we got there, I went up with the rest of the Nikon club and set up my tripod on the hill. Meanwhile, Patrick and Andrea made their way to a little less shutter-happy crowd. He wanted his privacy when he popped the question — it’s official now! The fireworks were awesome. I know I’m a Yahoo, but mad props to Google for putting this on. We had good seats too. We were feet from the roped off area — designed to keep the public out of harm’s way of the falling firework tails. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of having one firework take up your ENTIRE field of vision. So awesome. After the show, the three of us synced back up and walked the 2.5 miles back to the apartment — much more difficult in the dark.
This week was pretty awesome. I worked mostly on refining the mobile project I’m involved in (we’re getting close!) with a side of tablet continuation. During these mocks, I’ve found that I know absolutely nothing about finance. Not a thing. I’m finding it difficult to design for a stock layout when I barely know what that term means. So, if anyone knows anything about the stock market and would like to give me a crash course, I (and Yahoo) would appreciate it.
A fellow co-worker and I set up a time for him to critique my resume. Basically, every single thing that 377 taught me…. well… On the plus side, I get to be way more creative with my resume, and he didn’t tell me that I was a failure. I’d say that’s a personal mini-win.
Wednesday was Pride on the Green, which featured a DJ who played some serious toe-tappin’ music, a bubble maker, snowcones and Texas BBQ. Delicious. The search team had a family lunch outing and we had a mini-karaoke concert. I ended up staying out a little too long and am now styling a serious farmer’s tan line.
Christina, Me, Meekal and Alice with SNOWCONES!
During this lunch, I’m fairly sure that I bumped up my puppy-dog face, because in one hour, we decided that we were six-flags’in it up this weekend. Suuuper psyched. I was counting down the days for the rest of the week. Friday, I worked from home and then we took a fam trip to SF to have Andrea’s third dress fitting and to find my dress. Both were successful and my brother greatly enjoyed his time sitting in a coffee shop. We also took the time to buy Andrea’s second and third bottles of ear sanitizer from Claires. When I got my ears pierced, I cleaned them religiously for about 3 days. Then maybe once a day for a week. Then about once a week. I had at least half the bottle left over. Andrea cleans them 3 times a day, every day. They’re so clean, they probably squeak when her hair rubs against them. At least she won’t yell at me about them getting infected.
Saturday was roller-coaster day. Yuseung was kind enough to let me ride along with him, so I didn’t have to brave the train system by myself for the first time (I was terrified). After the hour drive up to Vallejo, we parked the car and walked to the park to meet up with Alice, Kathryn, Meekal and Raphel. Meekal and Raphel had transportation issues, so we went into the park to ride “The Medusa” while we waited. We then realized that the line was already 65 minutes long and immediately started looking into The Fast Passes. Once our entire party arrived, we went to purchase our Passes for ANOTHER 30 big ones. They really know how to make their money — Nickel and Diming heathens. Although it turned into a semi-expensive day, it was a very fun and worth every penny. I have realized that there’s a huge difference between 18 and 22, and after the 5th ride, my head felt like it was in a vice (not unlike some of the rides), but I gutted it out for the sake of my summer fun. I also found that Alice doesn’t scream, or shriek, or squeal during rides — she cackles. That’s right ladies and gents, she cackles like a witch at a stand up comedy club. She’s got a good thing going. Try it sometime — you don’t loose your stomach at all. She’s a genius. From now on, I’ll be the cackler on the coasters.
Later on, we went to the sea lion show. I’ve found my new calling. I may just give up design to hang out with sea lions all day. I thought it was going to be pretty lame compared to a dolphin or killer whale show, but turns out, they’re funny! Highlight of the show was when the sea lion performed “cpr” on the trainer. If they weren’t so slobbery and a few hundred pounds lighter, I’d keep one in my bathtub.
The life-saving sea lion.