Friday, December 30, 2011

Best of 2011

I thought I'd bring back the traditional of the Best of posts this year. I managed to accidentally skip last year, but here's the one from 2009.

2011 has really been a truly crazy year. I feel like I've turned life upside down and things are just starting to finally settle in a good place. The upside of this is that there are a lot of great things that have happened during this crazy year for me to reflect upon. Here's an assortment in no particular order.

1. Travel: Italy & Australia - I doubled the number of times that I've been out of the country in my whole life this year and added a new continent.
2. Graduating from Haas - How did the 2 years of b-school fly by already? I'm glad to be done, but do find myself missing the community, growing opportunities, and fun of Haas.
3. Starting my post-Haas career at eBay - So far so good on my re-entry into the real world. It has been a bit of an adjustment, but I'm getting to hang of it again.
4. Moving out of Berkeley - I have looked forward to moving out of Berkeley pretty much ever since I moved there. I loved my classmates, but am so glad to be done with all of the Berzerkeley crazies.
5. Surviving another Nike Half Marathon - ChuThis and I survived another Nike Half. Not our best race, but we made it and had a good time in the process. It's apparently becoming an annual tradition.
6. Winning the most team steps in a day prize in the office turkey challenge - this was both a great way to help me meet new people in the office as well as get off the couch and back into running shape. Hopefully, I can keep this up with my 2012 fitness goals.

7. Seeing the successes and life changes of my classmates and friends (weddings, babies, successful startups) - 8 weddings, at least as many babies, friends with newspaper articles, NPR interviews, successful startups (go Modify!), and so many others. It was great to share in all of your successes this year.
8. Making some really good life decisions for me - while never a fun thing to do, I'm really proud of how I have taken charge of my life this year and really worked to shape its direction instead of just riding with the tides. I'm on a much better course now and can't wait to see where I end up next.
9. Keeping in touch with old friends (no matter the distance) and making new ones - as we move and grow in life, it's really great to keep connecting with friends from the past in addition to meeting new people as you go.
10. More painting & creative pursuits- see my previous post...

All in all, it was definitely a very challenging year, but I have come out on the other side a better and stronger person. Here's to the new challenges and adventures that 2012 brings!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Painting is finally complete!

Ok, so in all reality, I finished this painting back in May/June, but clearly I've fallen off of the blogging bandwagon. I have to say that as I painted, I really liked certain parts of this painting, but really wasn't pleased with others. While I still like some areas better than others, overall I really like the whole effect of the painting. Part of the reason that sunsets are so fascinating for me to paint is because they are so vibrant in the sky and different each day. I generally paint from a badly taken iPhone photo of the actual sunset along with the impression that it left me with as I saw it.

I really like the reddish yellow fiery portion of the sunset at the bottom of the painting as I felt that I got the vibrancy of the colors right as well as was able to add some texture while playing with the consistency of the yellow paint. The clouds towards the top of the painting were really nice as well, but I still love painting with a mixture of colors and black and playing with the streaks that can be created as a result.
This is perhaps only the second time that I've ever actually signed a painting that I've done. This time I'm actually pleased with it. The colors blended well with the work as I don't want my initials to stand out too much. I also wanted the style of signature to blend with the painting, so the streaks that make up the signature are similar to those that I use in the sunset.

All in all, I'm definitely pleased with this work and hope that my friend and her new husband are too.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Painting Progress

I started this painting as a wedding present to a friend of mine quite a while ago. Almost a year to be precise. Now that the weather has been nicer recently, I'm finding more time to work on finishing it. I turned the painting upside down to make the blending process a bit easier so the red you see should be the bottom of the painting.

Honestly, I really have no technique that I use to do this blending. I mess around with adding water to paint to make it lighter and easier to mix with other paint on the canvas. This might be the right way to do this, but I really have no idea. It worked for my needs.

I finished this painting session with the light blue on the very bottom before the white. Next time I sit down, hopefully this weekend, I will be blending this light blue region with the darker blue region that will be the very top of this painting in the end. Finally, I will add a few gray clouds to create some depth in this seemingly flat picture.

My favorite parts of this painting, so far, are the yellow streaks through the red at the top of the photo as well as the brilliant green/yellow spot in the middle left of the painting. The blue colors that I have left at the very bottom of the photo to paint are some of my favorite colors. Hopefully, they will add some depth and bring this sunset to life a bit more.

I need at least one more sitting to finish this painting, so you'll see at least one more update about this before the finished product.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

So, it's been a while....

A while is definitely an understatement. SO many things have happened since I last posted. I'll try to keep this really brief, but still give you some insight into what has happened since July when I posted last.

A good friend of mine and I fall into terrible consulting speak used for corporate status reports when we quickly update each other on life, but it's a great way to share quickly so please forgive me as I borrow this method here.

School: Green

I'm definitely on track to graduate in a little over a month (I can't believe it!!) and looking forward to enjoying the last bit of my time here.

Internship: Green

My summer at Yahoo Groups ended really well. Unfortunately, I can never share the awesomeness of my projects with all of you since our project got canceled after I returned to school and none of my features launched, but it was a great learning experience.

Full-time Job Search: Yellow-y Green

This will definitely be green in the next few weeks as I finish finally figuring out where I'll be after graduation, but it's been quite the ride. The job market is definitely better, but employers seem to be looking for a bit more experience than most career switchers have when they graduate. At least, we're all getting interviews.

Life: Green

Especially as the job search slows down, I've started having a lot more time for life lately and I have to say that I like the new balance. I'm starting to work out more again, probably even going to be running more and perhaps signing up for another race. I will also have to share my recent progress with the painting I started way back last summer. Finally, I have time to hang out with friends and classmates and enjoy what little time we have left before we all return to the real world. It has lead to some great adventures.

Baking: Green

Since this did start out as a baking blog, I feel that I have to give a separate update in this category. I must say that I have been baking/cooking a lot more in the last few months with dinner parties and the like. Mostly, I've been making ice creams and gelatos in my new ice cream maker. Luckily, the banana bread I threw together today (too many overripe bananas...oops) turned out ok despite the fact that I added an additional banana over what the recipe called for. This spares you from a post with photos of horribly disfigured breads and lamenting over my poor choice.

All in all, things are going well. The last semester and a half have been very busy, but it's all slowing down a bit to allow me to do all of the things that I've always wanted to do. I look forward to enjoying every moment that I have left in my MBA.

I promise that I won't be nearly as MIA as I have been. You can thank one of the members of the Google Analytics team for re-inspiring my blogging through sharing a lot of the great features that are available in Google Analytics during my Designing Web-Based Products and Services class this morning. If you haven't installed it on your blog yet, I highly recommend it. Who knew that my most commonly searched for term would be "champagne buttercream."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Happy Friday and Good MBA Humor

I was sent this great blog post by Palo Alto For A While that I thought some of you fellow MBA types might find amusing. I'll share the suggested business school essay topic for Haas:

UC Berkeley Haas: What makes a hippie like you think you can succeed in business? Use the words 'sustainable' and 'green' at least twice in your response.

Check out the rest of them here.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A Painting Adventure...

So, it's been a VERY long time since I've blogged. I apologize for my radio silence. It's been a busy part of the semester. I finished school, had finals, started training for my half marathon in October, and started my internship. The commute has left me with little time for much else. However, I have started painting again.

I have a friend who recently got married and she requested that I paint something for her for her wedding present. I got into acrylic painting a few years ago in an attempt to put some nice art on the walls of my post-college apartment. I generally only paint abstract art because I am not great at drawing. This time, I branched into the slightly more realistic realm by trying to re-create an awesome sunset that I saw one night over the Puget Sound. Check out the cool clouds and sky hidden in the darkness.

For those of you out there who have never painted before, I thought I'd include photos as I make progress on the painting. Of course I thought of that brilliant (insert sarcasm here) idea after I started painting, so you're going to have to start by imagining a white canvas.

The dark bluish-black-gray at the top of the sunset was the easiest for me so I started there by mixing some almost royal blue paint with some black paint. One of my favorite things to do is not quite mix two paint colors together to give depth and artistic touch to the painting. You'll see some brighter streaks of blue along with some almost black streaks.

After starting with the top, I moved on to the bottom red portion of the sunset. I happen to already have a tube of the perfect fiery red color from my first ever painting endeavor so that's an easy one for me to add.

If you look really closely at the white portion of the canvas, you'll see that I've sketched a bit to help remind myself which colors need to go in which portions of the canvas. Of course all of this will change as I paint, but I thought I'd leave myself with a bit of direction.

At the moment, this is all of the progress I've made on the painting thus far, but I will continue to blog as I add colors and work more on it. For those of you readers who have been there for me when this started as a food blog and then became a business school blog and now continue to read as this becomes a bit of a painting blog, I appreciate your continued support and I hope you enjoy the temporary diversion from my other topics.

P.S. Perhaps blogging about my half marathon training will be coming soon as well.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ah!!! Enjoying Second Semester!

All along, I have heard so many people talk about how relaxing and fun second semester of b-school is. Until last week, this was definitely not my experience!! Part of that I did to myself by taking two experiential learning classes that required a lot of time outside of class, but part of it just happened.

I was in full-blown internship search mode from January through April when I finally got my first offer. Let's just say that this took about 5-20 hours of my week every week. From driving to interviews to writing tons of cover letters, it was a very time consuming process. I became extremely worried when I finished the on-campus recruiting season without having had any second round interviews. In reality, it was a great thing that I didn't get a job during this period as most of the really interesting jobs with technology companies were posted after Spring Break. I'm definitely glad that I waited. I got a great offer working with Yahoo! as a product manager which is exactly the role that I wanted.

I've definitely been reminded lately that we all need a break. Haas participated in Challenge4Charity weekend at Stanford with 8 other MBA programs a couple of weeks ago. Spending two days outside in the gorgeous CA sun, running around, and playing games with classmates while not talking at all about work was definitely what I needed. I'm making a point to do this more often and take one day a weekend off from doing a ton of work.

This week has just been blissful! Meetings have calmed down. I've had time to catch up on some of my favorite tv shows that I've been very behind on and go out and socialize with my classmates before everyone heads off to their internships this summer. I even had time to bake not one but two! chocolate decadences! Fabulous!!! I can only hope the last several weeks of school are as good as this one has been!!!