Posts Tagged ‘philosopher’

UK Vacation Day 5 Recap

laelene Posted in lifestyle glimpses, photo blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

By day 5 of our trip, Panda and I had made it up to my old stomping grounds of York. I went over some of this in my post in honor of York, but here’s another look at it. We walked around town before meeting up with Philosopher and reminiscing about old days with him as we returned to the Uni of York campus. We took a break for lunch at one of my fav sandwich shops, then checked out the rest of the university. Later in the day we wandered back into town and explored a bunch of shops before ending up at York Minster. From there, it was time to grab dinner and hang out with Philosopher a bit more before sending him off… til next time!

[If you missed out on the others, here are Day 1, Day 2, Day 3, and Day 4 recaps.]

hampton inn by hilton in york uk

We stayed at the Hampton Inn right by the train station, which was quite modern and new.

city of york council courtyard

We were right next to the City of York Council, which had a nice courtyard with a quote by WH Auden, who was born in York.

pathway in york with red brick buildings and black metal fence

Off we go to the more busy side of town!

akbar's restaurant in york

I remember eating the largest naan ever here… it was at least the size of my torso and came hanging from a giant hook.

river ouse in york

The River Ouse running through town.

red brick buildings in york with york dungeon and gallery night club

Good old York Dungeon, which I’ve never been in, and Gallery, which was my go-to club.

sunny british street with people walking

Met up with Philosopher and started our stroll to the Uni of York campus.

sunny with dark clouds in sky

The day couldn’t decide if it’d be sunny or cloudy, which made for some cool skyscapes.

foot with knuckle portion rubbed raw and red

I thought my flats would be fine for walking but my feet got rubbed raw.

university of york alcuin college m block flats building

We used to live here in M Block!

staring up at brown's of heslington deli sign

For lunch we went over to Brown’s in the little town of Heslington.

brown's of heslington sandwich, tyrrell's potato crisps, and ribena drink

Brown’s sandwiches are yuuummy!!

collage of university of york buildings

After lunch we went on a little tour of the main campus area.

chasing and trying to catch university of york bird

On our way back towards town, we came across a bird that the guys tried to corner.

edible york mini garden area with plants growing

Love the green initiatives popping up.

clifford's tower up on hill with stairs

We’d never actually been to Clifford’s Tower so we decided it was time to take a look.

view from top of stairs at clifford's tower

Got up to the top of the stairs for a great view, but didn’t feel like paying to enter so we left.

large map of york

Back in town and where to go?

native american street performer playing music

We came across street performers doing Native American music, which was quite good.

pink silicone ice cube tray in cat shape with cat-shaped cubes

I never knew we had a cat store in town! And check out the ice cube tray I knew I had to have.

spider living inside mug in gift store

Browsing a store, I found an unwanted resident in one of the mugs for sale.

view of york minster from side angle

We then approached York Minster and went inside just in time to catch the evensong performance.

interior of gert & henry's restaurant cottage

For dinner, it was Gert & Henry’s for their Sunday roast.

collage of gert & henry's food including lemonade and sunday roast

A delicious meal to warm up to.

Black sedan caravan

laelene Posted in video blog,Tags: , , , ,

So I’m just visiting DC one day, checking out the White House with Philosopher (who was visiting from the UK). Suddenly, this whole parade of black cars starts driving in front of the White House! I was super curious about what was going on, but unfortunately there was nobody to ask…

black cars white house from Mary Qin on Vimeo.

Hobbling duck

laelene Posted in video blog,Tags: , , ,

Philosopher’s in town so we went into D.C. today to check out the sights. We came across this duck at the Constitution Gardens Pond… little did I know it was a wounded fellow! I quickly left him alone after that.

Restaurants with bread

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , ,

I believe that all proper restaurant establishments should serve bread (or some sort of snack/finger food). During my road trip with Philosopher this past week, I found that I would get antsy and slip into impatience as we waited for our food, if there wasn’t something to occupy my hands and mouth. It doesn’t cost much to offer, but the feel of a place improves so much when they provide me with bread!

It’s a similar thing for hotels with free wifi. I’m amazed at how many still charge for the service when it really has become more of a necessity, much like having towels and toiletries. Just because you can get away with charging for it doesn’t mean you should. In fact, by offering a connection for free, the value of your brand is elevated and consumers are much more likely to want to book with you rather than the place down the street where they charge per day or even hour.

When it comes down to it, wouldn’t you rather get that extra booking than lose it and charge a current customer for their internet? What costs more? Obviously you earn more with each room that is booked! Ah, but I digress. Back to bread.

Now while the bread won’t necessarily be a deal-breaker, it does make an impact on the perceived value of your restaurant. The higher the perceived value, the more you can charge and still have happy customers who feel their money was well-spent. So why not spend pennies to provide bread so you can earn dollars more per meal in the long run? Companies often seem so short-sighted, only caring about turning a profit, NOW. But that’s not how to build a sustainable brand!

Road trippin’

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , ,

Wow, it has been two tiring days on the road!  Philosopher and I set out on Thursday, ready for a coastal trip up to Northern California.  We made pit stops at the Getty Villa, Ojai, Santa Barbara, and Solvang before finding a campground in Santa Maria to settle in for the night.  The sleep was sporadic and interrupted by cars driving by, brisk air (it was in the low-mid 50s all night), and of course the uncomfortably firm ground.  Every time I tried to stretch out straight, I would find my blanket was covering my feet and it was way too to have them out.  So, reluctantly, I would pull them back in and curl up in a ball under my body pillow.

When getting things out of the car, I had accidentally locked my keys in the trunk (first time that happened to me!), so in the morning I called up AAA to break into my car for me.  It was really interesting to see their method, using an inflatable balloon pouch and a thick metal rod.  I didn’t quite imagine it being that way based on descriptions I’ve heard using clothes hangers, but hey, whatever works!  With access to all our stuff again, Philosopher and I were able to prepare for the long day ahead.

Day two consisted of a lot of winding roads, driving up and down mountains, and in and out of cloud/marine layer coverage.  I feel at once windblown and sunshone (yeah, yeah, not a term but what would you say?).  This time went from Santa Maria to Pismo Beach to San Luis Obispo, then out to the coast again to drive along the 1.  We took some time at Carmel-by-the-Sea to enjoy the town and beach, then continued on to Santa Cruz and finally San Jose.  While waiting for dinner at BJ’s and looking for another campground, we decided to go for more traditional lodging.  After all, we weren’t having much luck finding a place and it’s been a long two days without proper rest, so I don’t mind rewarding myself with a nice bed and shower.

Luckily, I was able to find the Larkspur Landing Hotel in Campbell, which was offering a really reasonable rate.  There’s free wifi, breakfast, cookies, and a business center, fitness center, and laundry room.  What’s most valuable is a warm and cozy bed, as well as a hot shower!  There’s no need to suffer and doing the whole camping thing another night was turning out to be too much trouble.  I can finally charge up my phone again and start tomorrow afresh.  By dinnertime, we will be meeting up with Panda and I’m really excited for that.  🙂

Sudden gloom in Malibu

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , , , , ,

disappearing sunlight

I thought it was a wildfire at first, but turns out it's just the normal marine layer.

gloomy malibu

Sudden gloom and doom! This was creepy.

dense fog

Can't even see the ocean anymore...

I feel like I've entered into another planet's atmosphere.

I feel like I've entered into another planet's atmosphere.

Ocean currency

laelene Posted in photo blog,Tags: , ,

A beautiful specimen I found.

A beautiful specimen of a sand dollar I found.

I was crushed when I dropped it and it completely disintegrated!  :(

I was crushed when I dropped it and it completely disintegrated! :(


laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , ,

The past two nights, I’ve been playing out my fears subconsciously in my dreams.  Two nights ago, I had a nightmare that I cheated on Panda by kissing another guy, who then tried to get me to leave Panda.  I told him that I had made a mistake and I wasn’t going to be with him, but I was horrified by what I had done.  I woke up vaguely remembering what I had dreamed and feeling miserable, but relieved that it wasn’t real.

Then last night I dreamed that Philosopher and I were in a parking garage.  For some reason he had gone up to the second level and came back down telling me I had been rejected.  Confused, we went upstairs where a blue car resembling the one that my parents had owned many years ago was parked with a letter under the windshield wiper and a huge playing card (a jack) on the ground in front of it.  The card was something like three feet tall by two feet wide and seemed to be a play on the word “jacked” because that was certainly a way to describe the way I felt.  The letter was a rejection one from the job I had applied to.  I was absolutely devastated when I woke up in the split second before I realized it was just another nightmare.

I suppose I have been more stressed than I realized and now I’m being bombarded by the things I dread most.  I just hope that both have “happened” already so they won’t in reality.  After all, I never want to do anything to hurt Panda and I REALLY want that job.  So let’s just hope that both those events turn out the way I want them to!

The final push

laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , ,

I’m inching my way closer and closer to a potential job offer!  After passing first-round interviews, I had a second interview and am now a finalist for the position I want so much.  I said before it’s not exactly my dream job, but what I meant is it isn’t my complete life goal, but for a first job, it pretty much would be the ultimate job for me to attain.  It not only allows me to stay close to my alma mater (one of my four stipulations), it would be a great way for me to jump-start a career in environmentalism.

I just sent out my official reference list, complete with a little blurb for each person to describe the (skill) areas they know me best in.  Prior to that, I e-mailed my references to confirm their willingness to speak on behalf of my qualifications, work ethic, and performance (and perhaps my personality as well).  I also did much of the work for them, coming up with some examples of what I did while working for them and reminding them of my strengths.  I hope all goes well and that the hiring manager checks all the references to get the best all-around picture!  I’ve also prompted my boss who’s meeting with two of the people on the interviewing team sometime this week.  She agreed to help put in a good word for me, so I gave her a refresher course on what I’ve done.

Now I’ve pretty much taken every step I can to increase my attractiveness as a candidate.  It seems there is not too much else I can do beyond waiting for this week to (hopefully) fly by!  In the mean time, I will enjoy the last couple of days I have with Philosopher before he heads back to England.


laelene Posted in general blog,Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Today my dear friend Philosopher arrived from a looong trip over, from across the pond, as they would say.  I encountered far more traffic than I anticipated going down and then spent 40 minutes driving in circles trying to see if he was out yet.  I had neglected to tell him to wait outside for me and the poor fellow had to wait for me for an hour while I was stuck in traffic and driving around outside wondering if he had gotten his luggage!  Thankfully, I finally figured it out and parked my car to go get him and that little round trip was expedient enough to render no parking fee!  Brilliant.

I made a pit stop to Boston Market on the way back because I love their cornbread and chicken pot pie, but alas, they no longer have pot pies!  Philo had wanted a salad that they were out of, so I got some cornbread and we headed back closer to Panda’s and ended up getting some CPK salads.  I learned (too late) that the half size was not quite big enough for my appetite, so I had some of the wooonderful cornbread to supplement my meal.  I think Boston Market’s cornbread is amazing – it’s soft with crunchy little bits of meal (or whatever grainy thing that is) and has a bit of sweetness to it.

When we got back, I was surprised with a box of Quality Street candies (between that and Celebrations, I could be dancing in heaven) and a bar of luscious chocolate, straight from England!  Philo then went off to shower off the grime from the trip and refresh a bit before eating.  We then had a lovely chat, with me sharing a lot of the things that have been interesting me in my life lately – like Google Wave, which I finally received my invitation for!  After a few hours, it was getting late and he was getting tired, so we set up his little bed for the night.

I played around with Google Wave for a bit and now it’s time for me to retire as well – I’ve still got a busy day at Opportunity Green tomorrow!

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