Thursday, March 31, 2011

First meeting with a friend

Spring break Monday ago, me and my friend ate at Novel Cafe, which was right across from the Flyaway station. The restaurant had many reviews that were good, so I decided to try the place out. We ordered a turkey breast sandwich and breakfast burrito to share. The place gave us complimentary nachos and sauce. Also, one of our meals came with the fruit selections. We received our meals pretty quickly and at the same time. I noticed that the sandwich had onions in it and I took them out for consuming the sandwich. I ate the burrito first. It was soggier than expected. I liked the turkey breast sandwich. I didn't finish everything on my plate. It was so much food. I usually finish my fries, but I just couldn't have anymore at the moment. After brunch, we took the bus and headed to Chinatown in Los Angeles. From there we got off the Amtrak station and met up with Crystal. I think it was my first time meeting Crystal. I talked to her before, but that was online. We also exchanged pictures. She is talkative like I thought she would be. And, she does like her pictures. I am glad that she was able to pick both me and Chen up and to take us around to different eateries. I really liked Half & Half because the cups were in a cute size and the boba were warm. She took us to Irvine and we paid her for gas. That night my friend took us to UTC because she needed to buy groceries. She made us dinner that night, which was bacon and ham sandwich.

The day Hollywood was suppose to happen

Originally, we planned on going to Hollywood on Sunday. We woke up that morning and it was pouring rain and for the entire day. We were going to eat out in Westwood, but then I thought that things would be so much easier if we just ordered a pizza. We ordered from La Monica's pizza since it had free delivery and pretty good reviews from Yelp. We ordered a pepperoni and sausage 19 inch pizza. The order arrived in under two hours because of the high demand of deliveries that day. Although I carried a umbrella, my pants still ended up getting soaking wet. I knew I should have worn shorts. Luckily, it dried quickly within a few hours. The pizza was delicious and it lasted the both of us the entire day.

Santa Monica beach, pier, and promenade

The Saturday of my stay we took the bus to Santa Monica promenade. First, my friend wanted to eat. We ended up deciding on McDonalds. We brought some food to eat to walk on the pier and the beach. The beach had a ferris wheel and other kinds of activities going on. Next, we walked the promenade and browsed a few shops. After a while we decided to watch The Lincoln Lawyer. When we walked in the movie theater was filled. The only seats we could find were the ones that were all the way in the front.The only other time that I remember the theater being that full was for a showing of Avatar. We explored more shops including the new side of the promenade, which is the mostly the high end shops. Before leaving we decided to get dinner. We went to Wolfgang Puck Express and ordered a pasta and for dessert we had Pinkberry. It was Chen's first time and she loved it!

A day at UCLA & LA Koreatown

After the first evening there, we decided to eat breakfast at a different dorm from the first night. The breakfast had a pretty nice selection. I remember bacon, breakfast sandwiches, omelette, bagels, and others. I tried a bit of what they had to offer, but did not enjoy it as much as I thought I would. I think that I only enjoyed getting the croissant. After breakfast we toured around the campus and took some photos of the campus.

After touring the campus during broad daylight we decided to get lunch at Cafe 1919. My friend swiped each of us a Pepato Piatto. The pizza was delicious! After eating lunch, we relaxed for a while and waited for a couple of people to go to Koreatown with and figuring out how to get there. We decided to go to Castle BBQ. I believe it was about a 45 minute through an hour bus ride and that also includes transfering to a different bus. It was about $6 for a daily pass, which is more expensive than one in Sacramento or Davis. Once we have arrived we had to wait. We waited so long, probably an hour before we were granted seats. Castle BBQ had three different price selections and were different because of the amount of choices offered. We decided to go with the $14.99 one since it offered more for us to choose. After we had korean bbq, we had green tea shaved ice @ Mr. Coffee's I really did like the shaved ice, but I am the type of person who does not devour cold desserts in a huge portion. After dinner and shaved ice we took the bus back and arrived back to the dormitory around 12. I then remembered that I was suppose to meet my friend. I texted her and she was awake, so we eventually decided to meet up and I hanged out with her for about an hour. It was nice catching up, but it was apparent to both of us that we were both tired and I left her place around 3ish. I wanted to stay up later since my friend was going to stay up until 5 to get something for me to use, but I crashed around 4ish.

A lift starting from the feet.

I really like wearing high heels. I feel more confident in them and I think the shoes are very cute. There have been a couples of designs that I been eying, but have not really thought of buying them. I consider them a pleasure item since I could only afford to get them occasionally or maybe I could win a pair or more for free. I entered this contest hosted by AKIRA. AKIRA is having a contest each day this week and another sweepstake to win a $300 gift card. If you are interested in their contest you should like "AKIRA Chicago" on Facebook. I would be delighted to win since my shoes collection is very minimal and I like the style of shoes that the shoe offers.

LA/Irvine Plans

So, My friend sent me this list (in bold) that she had planned since I was coming down to La. She is very well organized and I am glad she thought of wonderful things for us to do while I was there. She definitely made my time there enjoyable and memorable. I also made some comments on what had actually happened.

Thursday, March 17
- Alice Arrives @ 440
I arrived a little later than that since my flight was delayed, but still ended up in LAX before 5pm.
 - Get to UCLA around 530. 
I actually arrived around 6pm because of the traffic.
- Eat with Alice (swipe her at dining hall)
I am glad that I had the opportunity to visit the dining halls. It was similar to the ones in Davis in some many ways. It was buffet style and had similar menu selections. Oh, and they offer mint or candies on the way out along with dessert.
- Walk around Westwood if not too tired or UCLA campus
We walked around and there were more people around the campus at night then I thought it would be. I also recorded parts of my tour around the campus, but I think it is too dark to show.

Friday, March 18
- Take bus to Koreatown (should be ~35 cents one way)
We ended up by the daily pass for $6 to go to Castle BBQ. I think it was about a 45 minute ride.

- Go eat Korean BBQ ($10)
We waited a long time to get inside. There was a selection of the 9.99 deal, 12.99?, and 14.99?. We choose the 14.99 one because it had more selections. I also learned that I do not like bbq chicken as much as bbq beef.
- Green Tea Shaved Ice @ Mr. Coffee's
Yes, and it was good. But, it was too much for me to handle. I usually ordered myself a mini or tiny portion of yogurt. And, I devour my sweets slowly for satisfaction.
- Walk around K-town & explore
We did this while walking to Mr. Coffee's and to the bus stop.

Saturday, March 19
- Go to Santa Monica Pier/beach (must get funnel cake, ride on ferris wheel if enough time $5, or roller coaster $5 or water ride $5--choose one)
We did go to the Pier and beach. We ended up eating McDonalds. Afterwards, we walked around the Promenade. Ended up watching The Lincoln Lawyer. We also ate at Wolfgang Puck Express and had Pinkberry for dessert.
- Shopping area
@ the Promenade there were many different shops and restaurants

- Venice Beach
did not end up going because there was not enough time

Sunday, March 20
- Go to Hollywood to walk around
-It rained the entire day, so we ended up ordering pizza at La Monica's. It was pepproni and sausage flavor.

- Pack for Irvine

Monday, March 21
- Head to Irvine ($0.35 one bus, transfer to another bus $0.35, then $11 train to irvine + $2.50 for bus to UCI)
Nope, Crystal was nice of us to drive us. She also took us to Half&Half and a restaurant.
- Meet Shan

- Walk around UCI area?

Tuesday, March 22
- Beach
visited a portion of the beach, and fashion island, a plaza
- What is there to do in Irvine Shan?? Take over from here

Wednesday, March 23
-played ping pong, table hockey and explore the campus
-tried Le Dip, which was delicious.

Thursday, March 24
 -helped Shan pack up and she left for LV
-met Karissa, Diana, and Meagan. toured around UCI and went to 85C bakery and took sticky pics. also, had lunch at tofu house.
-went back to LA

Friday, March 25
- Head back to LA
Already back at LA. Ended up going to Hollywood. Came back and checked out the supermarkets in the area for cup noodles. Bought dinner and drinks for later so we dont have to go out in case it rained.

Saturday, March 26
- Alice leaves

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Visting UCLA

Spring break ended a couple of days ago, but so many good memories and fun happenings occurred that I want to remember a few details of the break. I consider it my first spring break or pleasure trip that I have taken. I decided to come to LA and Irvine. The main reason for that is because my good friend has been asking me when I would be coming down. I also have not toured and done fun stuff in either LA or Irvine. Since I ended finals early on Wednesday I was able to leave for spring break after that. I decided to book my flight for Thursday afternoon and arrive in Los Angeles by evening time. I was not nervous about flying down alone, but I did find it troubling that my luggage was quite heavy. Once I have arrived at LAX, I immediately looked for the Flyaway bus since it would take me directly to Westwood where my friend would pick me up. At first, I thought I saw the sign for the bus, but once I walked to the direction I did not see the Flyaway sign any longer. I began to get nervous, so I decided to keep walking until I found it. Suddenly, I saw the Flyaway bus sign and one came by. While on the bus, the bus passed by several other flyaway signs at the airport. Ah, I learned something new. For $5.00 the bus took me directly to Westwood. My friend said that it usually takes 20 minutes max to get there, but it took me about 45 min-hour to arrive since it was traffic hour. While on the bus, I took notice of my surroundings. The street names interested me. I remember learning of a Sepulveda in one of my NAS classes. Wilshire and Kinross also sound like interesting names. I immediately took notice of reasons why it was so different from the city of Davis or Sacramento. From Westwood to her dorm at UCLA. The campus looked so new. I was surprised by the hills and how many stairs there were.

This is a image of stairs at UCLA that leads up to Powell Library and other buildings of the campus.

This is Powell library. From the look outside, the building looks big. As I walked around I was surprised that there were couches in the library. I would be happy if they had that at our library. I found it interesting that the books and study areas were separated. I thought that there would be a huge collection of books in this library because of the size of the building.

I noticed that the buildings at UCLA look newer than UCD. The buildings look more architected and that they have been furnished throughout the years. Also, I believe that it gets a lot of funding from alumni and other individuals. As I walked around the campus, I also saw statues. There were many different kinds, there were also two fountains that I noticed on campus. I found it interesting that most students did not ride their bikes. I guess it is because of those hills and stairs.

The dorm area is not scattered, but all located in one area. I really like that they have restaurant choices besides the dc at the dorms. I liked the Bruin Cafe and Cafe 1919. What I did not like was that there was no kitchen space to be found in the dorm area for the residents to take advantage of. I do not even think that the students had a microwave. Since there was no kitchen in the dorms, me and my friend had to either eat out, order delivery, or eat cup noodles for the break while in LA. There were also weird stairs around the dorm area. It is those stairs that are huge that you either have to take two steps or one giant step in order to get to the next one. I also thought that their dorms were much more secure than the one I stayed in my freshman year. I only have to slide my id card and open it with my key. My friend at UCLA had to slide her id card, room card, and then push in a code in order to get into her room.

I really liked UCLA. It was conveniently close to Westwood if students wanted to go dine out at some restaurants or go do some shopping. There is also the choice of taking the buses around LA. I like that all the dorms are in one area of the campus. But, they should offer students a kitchen, Looks could be deceiving here since some buildings look grand and new from the exterior, but they are just like other buildings in the inside.

More than expected

I didnt think much of what I was going to do for this year. I did not have any plans for myself of how I was going to grow as a person. I began this year thinking about my academics and how to perform better in them. I still care about academics and how I am going to perform for my career life. In preparation with my career life, I have done some searches on jobs that are available in the Sacramento area, so that I would be able to work there during the summer. I have also gathered more and more thoughts about how looks matter in not only the career field, but also public and social life. I have become pensive about looks and considered taking actions on it, which I have not taken seriously before.
I bought a few makeup (mascara, eyeliner) products with a goal of knowing how to apply it by this summer. I begin to feel that although I may not wear it often, I should at least know how to apply it on myself. I have had some friends put makeup on me, but it is usually what they think will fit me. Some of them have applied makeup on me that fits me and some have not. Most people my age know how to apply makeup on, yet I have little to no knowledge of how to apply makeup. In addition, I have also learned that knowing how to apply makeup and wearing it is beneficial because it can help protect my skin. It is also a way for me to understand my skin and colors as it fits me as a person.
I have also cared about the health of my eyes. I have wanted sunglasses for a long time, but could not buy the ones in stores because I would not be able to wear them when I am driving. Then, I thought of the idea of getting prescribed sunglasses. Not only could I wear them when I am driving, but they when I walk around areas where sun is unavoidable. I will no longer have to squint my eyes when the sun overpowers my view. Also, I will have another glasses to wear instead of my regular one. I am really excited to receive a new pair of glasses for a different use. It seems that I have become more sensitive about my looks and wanting to improve them to be more accepted and liked in society.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Missing out on Sweden

Today I woke up early to turn in the withdrawal for Sweden summer study abroad program. I am bummed that I missed out on going to it this summer, especially because of finances. I should have prepared more for it financially. It would have definitely been a experience that would open up my mind. I was also interested in taking women's studies classes there, as well as the history courses. I think it is one of the biggest regrets that I would not be going there for the summer. It absolutely fascinated me when I was learning about its culture. Also, Swedish found like a very cool language to learn, especially since around 10 million? people know the language. I wanted to see if what I have learned was real or more intently I wanted to experience it, rather than read or ponder about it. So, what now since I have turn in the application? I think that I should work on future travel plans by earning money and planning further ahead. Since I will not go study abroad in Sweden, there is always the possibility of exploring on my own with the purpose of leisure and learning through experience.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Tomorrow is the beginning of Finals!

Today was our last day of class. It was mainly a reviewful day. I was tired though because I did not get much sleep. After my third class of the day, I immediately went home and took a two hour nap. I woke up when my roommate came in from finishing her classes. I have to finish my history study guide, so that I will be able to study all day tomorrow and review for Chinese. Luckily, I do not have a final tomorrow. But, I do feel stressed that I have two finals that are closely scheduled like back to back on Wednesay. And, after finals I will be working on some projects that I been wanting to start on for a while. Finals seem to be a short time from now since it is so close, but preparing and studying for it takes a while. The good thing about finishing early is thart on Thursday I will be heading to LA! I am so excited!