Swimming with Sharks

Not really...but I promised that I'd post the pics of me playing hockey at The Shark Tank! Enjoy. Yes, I had to represent and wear their practice jersey.


It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

So it's been a while again. Sigh. I don't know why I wait so long to blog, but life's been pretty exciting. Thank you Rob for reminding me this site exists. Anyway... where did I leave off? Since my efforts of tracking down Gerard Butler were in vain, I have spent more of my time playing hockey and going out with friends.

I celebrated Diwali for the first time with some Stanford Business Students,

celebrated my Grandpa's 94th birthday.

dressed up as a hockey player at work for Halloween,

went to Oregon for a conference,

Made a wish on November 11th at 11:11...

Got a haircut,

Made a double layer pumpkin cheesecake for my family on Thanksgiving (then for my coworkers).
My cousins were happy...

Had my high school 5 year reunion in downtown Palo Alto, and enjoyed it.
Celebrated my friends birthday in Los Gatos, also enjoyed it.

Put up Christmas lights... and it's been a while since I have.

Then I played ANOTHER hockey game at HP Pavilion...pics will come soon.

And that's all I have to say about that.
Yes, I used recycled paper - old resumes to be exact.

Pumpkins, Cider, & Apple Pie Gum

Wow, I'm pretty good at timing my blogs out. It's been a month and a day since my last post, and honestly I've been too lazy to even open this blog to write. All I've done was travel and travel and some more travel since then. Right after the last post, I hopped back on a plane and went to Dartmouth for the first time, which, to me, was very exciting, until my traveling experience was the most horrendous situation - everything that could have gone wrong did.

This is how my day was supposed to be:
6am wake up (bad enough)
8am flight to Denver
Transfer in Denver to Boston
Transfer in Boston to Hanover, NH
Arrive at hotel at 8pm EST.

This is how my day ended up..
6am wake up
8am flight to Denver CANCELLED
Shuttle from San Jose to San Francisco
Flight from San Francisco to Boston
MISSED flight from Boston to Hanover
News of Steve Jobs passing away and a shooting near my brother's school - way to put an even greater damper on my day...sigh.
Take 3 hour shuttle from Boston to Hanover
Arrive at hotel at midnight EST.

So I traveled for 16 hours that day... at least I got paid double overtime! One of the perks of my job? Paid to sit in airports, plus overtime and all expenses included. So while I'm complaining, I really shouldn't. It just made me tired, that's all.

After the horrible day of traveling, everything went uphill from there. I was happy to see that Dartmouth has very similar characteristics to Smith, and since Smith is always so far out of the way for me to visit, Dartmouth was great for reminiscing. Hanover is a quaint town, even smaller than Northampton, with a downtown located right off of Dartmouth's "lawn".

I stayed at the Hanover Inn, which was smack between the "lawn" and downtown. Albeit it's perfect location, the hotel should be on the tv show "Most Haunted". For $369/night, I felt as though you should have PAID me to stay there. Since Dartmouth is "my" school, I have to visit once a year and you can be sure that I will never stay there again.

The career fair went off without a hitch, and I was proud of myself for being able to manage our 3 reps, and set up our booth all by myself.

Just a peek into what I do. 
Give out freebies, talk about how great my company is. 
And my company IS great!

Collected my Dartmouth Penant for my office!

On my way back to Boston, I took a small Cessna and had the most amazing views over New Hampshire and Boston. However, for safety, I'll probably take the bus next time, or rent a car.

Full view of the cockpit. Scary AND cool!

View of Boston harbor!

During my hectic travels to Dartmouth, Steve Jobs passed away. :( Upon my return home, my dad, brother and I passed by his home to pay homage to our old neighbor. Even though I was too afraid to say hello to him when I lived there, I regret it even more so now.

After a week of rest, I was back on a plane again. This time I traveled for 7 days, visited 3 schools, and sat at 4 airports. My timecard was in an overtime frenzy! My first stop was Harvard (Cambridge/Boston). I always LOVE visiting because my old expo friends are there to keep me company. Unfortunately, not enough Harvard computer science majors came out to the fair...c'mon Mark Zuckerberg clones, where are you?

I spent the weekend with my friends, carving pumpkins, rekindling, and reminiscing. Of course I carved a "Hello Kitty Dracula" pumpkin.

Boston is always a hoot. But I can't stay there forever... :( 

My next destination was Providence, Rhode Island/Brown University. This would be my first time traversing to the smallest state in the US of A. I took the train down and found myself really bored in the city... However, we had a great turnout at Brown - lots of CS/EE students who very excited about opportunities at Oracle! Yay! That's what we want, and this is one major reason I love my job.

Trained back out and took a flight from Boston -> Chicago -> Los Angeles.
Took a Super Shuttle out of Tinseltown into ... Pasadena, yet another hush hush town. I've learned my lesson, I'm renting a car the next time I go to Caltech. I ended up walking EVERYWHERE, which was great for my body and the lack of exercise I get when I travel, but I was walking 2 miles to get from my hotel to Caltech and back. It was all worth it though for the number of amazing students I got to interact with! 

Now I'm back and don't have to travel for a few months (February). So, I'm going to take this time to relax, focus on student outreach, play some hockey, go out with my friends, finally go back to church, and the like. Oh! Also stalk some actors when I can.

I was in search of Gerard Butler since he was supposed to be filming in San Mateo for his surfer film "Of Men and Mavericks", instead I got an up and coming actor - Jonny Weston, who was so sweet and wanted me to stay and watch them film, but I couldn't. Maybe when he's all famous, he'll remember the chick that wanted a photo with him when nobody knew him. One wishes.

Happy early Halloween - no clue what I'm doing or what I'm going to be. 

Worldly Reunions

It's Monday and I'm lying on my (death) bed, sick with the flu. I just got back on Saturday from a crazy, but great, week in Boston/Cambridge. I ran into a lot of old friends, helping to prove that this world is much smaller than we believe. I flew in on Tuesday, landed at 7pm, and headed to my $400/night hotel and had the hardest time falling asleep. I'm still in shock that my company covers such expensive lodging! I finally got my corporate card (the day before I departed, phew), and have to learn how to fill out an expense report for all the cash monies I had spent during my week there.

On Wednesday, I spent the only beautiful day indoors at the MIT career fair. This is probably where I got my first instances of sickness... I shook thousands of hands and collected hundreds of resumes, germ-tastic! Forgetting all about the usage of Purell, I rubbed my nose and eyes with my germ-ified hands. Gahh! On a happy note, I ran into a Smithie at the fair and my Beijing roommate! SO random!

The following day, I had a meeting at Harvard with the Director of Career Services. I might be going back to visit next month! Afterward I met up with my good ol' Expo friend, Kate. It had been a year since I'd seen her and it was a great reunion at Harvard Law School. I sat in on a couple of her classes, where I found "Torts" to be quite interesting, and "Citations" to be quite damning. I was pretty lost and felt like Elle Woods all afternoon. Ran into my two friends from Fudan - Christine and Dorothy in the law library. Reunions everywhere!

That night, Kate took me to a house warming party, where outside the front door I ran into an old middle school friend (what?!) and inside I ran into a guy who went to my high school! So Harvard Law School proves that this world is infinitesimally small.
Following the housewarming party, we went to a bar for the weekly "bar review". It's some kind of law school thing for kids to unwind on a Thursday night. I had fun with Kate's law school buddies and the team of Harvard Business School Rugby boys. Yes...it was l.o.t.s. of fun... ;)

Friday for lunch, I met up with DDDu and Christine at Tory Row for lunch. Finally had a lobster roll!

On Friday night I finally got to see Tina and Phil from the Expo! It had also been a year since I last saw them both. Tina took me out to meet some of her co-workers for drinks and dinner. Then, we met up with Phil and Kate to go out to Lansdowne Pub, right next to Fenway Park. Loved the vibe and the live music that was playing.

Got home around 3am and had to shower in the dark since the electricity was out. Had to wake up at 5:30 to catch a cab to the airport.

Now I lie sickly in my bed for the past 3 days, with the feeling of razor blades in my throat. Ugh. But I still can't wait to go to Dartmouth in 2 weeks, and I'll bring Purell AND Airborne next time.

Rafting, Ziplining, Tarantulas and Corporate Offices - PURA VIDA!

Greetings from my Oracle office! (This will be an extremely long post, with a plethora of photos. Be warned!)

It's lunch time and I'm taking a break to finally update my blog. Since my last post, a lot has happened. I finally made the transition to Oracle last week, and it has been amazing! While I thought my experience at Cisco was corporate, my new experience definitely tops that. I'm getting used to using "Self-service applications" to set up all my e-mail accounts, phone, laptop, etc... without having the access to phone or in-person support. Tough, I know.

Many of my friends have asked...well, what do you do? I'm a recruiting program manager (RPM) in the college recruiting department, which is the only on-site recruiting department at HQ. I work in a team with 5 other RPMs, 3 recruiting coordinators, and a handful of recruiting support staff. Together we reach out to specific colleges to find the creme de la creme of geniuses to induct into one of our company's many tech job openings. I, myself, am in charge of visiting Harvard and Dartmouth this season. I've been armed with a corporate card, have flights booked, and am ready to go!

I love my team and they have been extremely welcoming, especially my director. I feel well taken care of and have already felt the benefits of the many perks of working in corporate. Not to mention, I was given my own personal office! (I know, what!?!)

Of course I have to represent!

 View from the window, overlooking Foster City and San Mateo Bridge.

But that's the "boring" part of my life. On the more adventurous note...my trip to Costa Rica was incredible! It wasn't much of a relaxing vacation since I was doing 2 to 3 rigorous activities a day, but I had the time of my life.

Day 1: Flew into San Jose and met my roomie for the trip. We took the afternoon wandering the streets of of the capital, ate some Gallo Pinto (staple of CR), and visited the National Museum. Later that night, we met the rest of our travel buddies, coming from all parts of the world - London, Canada, Australia, and of course a couple Americans :)

Costa Rica National Museum
Yum! First Costa Rican Meal.

Day 2: We headed out on the road towards La Fortuna/Arenal. After a couple of hours in a van, we hopped off to white water raft our way to La Fortuna, down the Rio Toro- a grade 3/4 river. This was probably the most exciting part of my trip. Not only did it rain, shine, downpour, rain and shine...I fell into the river! So much fun!

Rio Toro...yup.

 Most of our team...plus some strangers behind me.

Can you see me in the river? My friend is holding my leg...I don't know why!

Was quite the adventure, if you ask me!

But, if you can't tell, I made it out alive! We dried off and headed to our hotel, which had the most amazing view of the active volcano, Arenal Volcano.

Day 3: While my group decided to go ATVing this day, I chose to have a more peaceful approach and went kayaking on Lake Arenal, right in front of the volcano. Later in the afternoon, I went rappelling and canyoneering, which was a first for me!

Kayaking on Lake Arenal.

The best pineapple and watermelon I've ever eaten in my life!

My first rappelling attempt. Scary!
Down a waterfall I go!

Getting completely soaked...like every other day on this trip.

Day 4: Early in the morning we headed towards Monte Verde, where the climate was much cooler - hence my rain jacket in the following photos. This was the most naturist part of my trip, including night hikes and wildlife tours. You can't forget the coffee and sugar cane tour either. Oh! or the ziplining!

A mini pineapple on our coffee tour. So cute!

Ox-cart ride. Did you know, the ox cart is the national symbol of Costa Rica? Now you know!

Making candy out of Sugar Cane.

A cute little tarantula on our night hike.

A hummingbird in it's next! The most amazing thing I've seen yet!

A sloth! Didn't even know what they looked like before.

Day 5: More nature hikes in Monteverde. Saw lots of monkeys in the forest!

Cloud Forest

So beautiful, and serene.

And then we ziplined the longest zipline in the world! 1km long!

Then I swang from a rope, like Tarzan.

Did an 11km mountain bike ride, which kicked my butt!

Day 6: Headed towards Quepos and Manuel Antonio Park.

Saw some crocodiles...

Stayed at the Hotel California...

Ate some fresh Ceviche. Probably ate ceviche 6 times during this trip!

Day 7: Spent the entire day at Manuel Antonio Park's beaches.

Pura Vida is the truth.

Enjoyed the sunset with pina coladas and our sunburns.

Day 8: Headed back to San Jose...and there we ate our final meal and said our goodbyes.

So that's my last 2 weeks in a nutshell. Next post will probably be when I get back from Boston...

More exciting news - I joined another hockey league! So I'm playing in two leagues right now, but my new league is at Sharks Ice! We played our first game last night and the rink was fantabulous. I played on the same rink the SJ Sharks practice! Woohoo! Can't really get better than that.

Til next time!