FAQ (Part 2)!

For all of my FAQ posts, check out my FAQ page.

4. Carolinebee says, “I would love to hear your educational/career history.”

I went into college undecided.  I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, or what I enjoyed.  I took some econ classes because that was what my dad majored in and I had worked for him my whole life (financial and pension stuff).  I also took math classes because they were fun and I was good at it.  I realized that I could double major and graduate early, and being the competitive/crazy/type-A person that I am, I went for it.  I liked my math and econ classes, but I loved so many other classes too (Italian, Linguistics, Oceanography, Business, etc…).

I graduated in December ’07 with degrees in Math and Econ. (I’m class of ’08.)  I had an internship before my senior year (2007) at JPMorgan as a summer associate; I worked on the mortgage backed securities trading desk.  Hours were 6am – 7pm.  I lived in Greenwich village in a teeny studio apartment that I shared with my friend from Cornell who also was working at JPMorgan.  I got the job offer but turned it down; it was a bad time to enter that field (my friends who accepted got laid off a little while ago).

When I graduated, I got a job at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.  I worked there from February ’08 – May ’08.  I was a research associate.  I worked for a senior international economist.  Lots of statistics and programming. There were parts of the job I liked, but overall I felt like our department didn’t get much done. I didn’t like it enough to stick with the hour-long commute (1 hour each way), so I decided to find a job closer to Bobby’s job.

I fond a job as a software engineer at a local (Mountain View, CA) internet startup.  This job started out pretty fun. Unfortunately, my boss quit, and after that the company started to go downhill.  Many other senior people quit, we had people running things that didn’t know what they were doing, and the company ended up doing a major downsize back in January ’09. They laid off 70% of the company in one day.

Now…

5. Jen asks, “What job(s) are you working right now, and what are your career plans for the future?”

I blog and I do private tutoring; I also get a few students from a local tutoring company.  I tutored for the SAT as well as math and english.  I have also tutored online, which was kinda cool.

I was doing a little bit of webdesign consulting work, but that’s mostly ended now.

I’ve also taken two YogaFit trainings, which starts me on the path to being a RYT (registered yoga teacher – 200 hours of training).  I haven’t started teaching yet, but I do plan on pursuing this more in the near future. This isn’t my main focus, but it’s a lovely hobby 🙂

For the future – I would love to find a job that incorporates what I’ve learned from blogging with education or another hobby of mine (yoga, health, cooking, music).

6. Clare asks, “For a person who is terrified of raw fish, what would be the “safest” sashimi for that person to try first?”

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I had to consult with Bobby on this one.  We decided that both tuna and salmon are probably the mildest fish to start with.  Another way to start would be to get smoked salmon, which isn’t truly raw.  Unagi (eel), my favorite sushi, is not raw either.  After you tackle tuna and salmon, move onto crazier things!

7. Sophia asks, “what is your favorite cuisine?”

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This is so hard!  I would have to say that in general, I love ALL Asian food… but my favorite is definitely Vietnamese (without MSG), or Thai.  My favorite dish of all time is papaya salad (especially with shrimp) and both of these cuisines have amazing versions of it.  I love Vietnamese food because it’s always light and healthy and I leave the table feeling energized.  Thai food is a bit heavier, but it’s amazingly savory and they have the best stir-frys ever.  I can’t decide!  Other favorites – Korean (bi bim bap), Japanese (sukiyaki), and real Chinese food.  Not Chinese take out.  I lived with 3 Chinese roommates when I first moved to Cali and they fed me some amazing dishes.  The Bay Area has so many great Asian restaurants and I’ve even tried Malaysian food (they have papaya salad too).

You’re probably sick of listening to me go on, so I’ll save some more for later. Keep them coming 🙂  I love answering your questions.  Happy Monday!

A Food & Wine Experience…

When I won tickets (thanks, Foodbuzz!) to Dean & DeLuca’s Food & Wine Experience, I was so excited.  I’m not a drinker at all, but I thought it would be fun – and I’m never one to turn down free food.

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For some reason I thought it was in San Francisco (~40 minutes driving), but when I looked up directions the night before, I realized that it was actually in Napa… ~2 hours away.  We debated whether or not to go, but decided to make a fun day of it.  Traffic ended up being horrendous on 880 (why, oh why California?), but aside from that the drive was okay.

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We arrived at the tasting center unsure of what to expect, but the hosts were very welcoming.  We started with the whites (I didn’t try these; a bad college experience makes me gag when I taste white wine).  Then we moved onto a mix of reds.

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I tasted everything, but spit it all out into my spitting cup.  Oddly enough I loved all of the least expensive wines – Paloma Merlot, Poem Cellars Cab, and my favorite – a Cab called Fountainhead from Morisoli Vineyard.  There was one strictly organic wine (Cade by Plumbjack – Cab) that I tried, but it wasn’t anything special for me.  I asked Kerrin (the host) about organic vs. non-organic wines, and she said that most of the vineyards in Napa do have organic practices, but they’re not certified… because in a bad year, sometimes they will resort to pesticides.  I’m okay with that.

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After we were done with the wines, Bobby and I beelined it to the food!  This was the BEST part.  They had this delicious French bread (crispy on the outside, pillowy on the inside).  There were grapes and raspberries.  There were pickles, delicious cheeses, fancy mustards, and salamis.

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But the best of the best part – the pâté.  I adore pâté (don’t hate).  I dipped the grapes in pâté and went straight to foodie heaven.  This pâté was the best I’ve ever had, I think – and I have no idea what kind it was. (I do know what pâté is, and yes it’s bad and unhealthy, but I love it – it’s one thing I will not feel bad about eating.  It’s just too darn delicious.)

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On the way home we stopped at an outlet center and bought clothes.  Bobby tried to buy me a new Coach purse, but I told him no – I think he’s planning something because he keeps trying to spoil me with things (what’s the deal, sweetie pie?).  I got a few new Gap shirts, and Bobby got some Gap shirts and a new pair of Lucky Brand jeans (his other pair had the button fall off).

We also stopped at this great grocery store, Han Kook (Korean), about 1/2 mile from our apartment because I was out of kabocha (!).  When we finally got home we were pretty tired, so I took the whole day off from the computer.  It was pretty nice, actually.  I think VeggieGirl has the right idea 🙂

Be back later with more FAQs!  And maybe a recipe, and some new buys.  Hope you’re enjoying your Sunday and getting rest before the work week starts up again.  Did you do anything fun this weekend?

FAQ (Part 1)!

FAQ’s… (part 1)

I do have an FAQ page, but here are some more questions that I get a lot.  I’m only going to tackle a few of these today, because I want to elaborate on #2 🙂

1.  What is a kabocha?

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Check out my two recent posts: “what is kabocha?” and “neon green oat bran“. I love kabocha.

2.  How did you and Bobby meet?

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(Ithaca, NY – November 2005.  He’s going to kill me for posting this pic.  He needed a haircut.)

Bobby and I met in September of 2005. We were both sophomores and lived in the same dorm on the same floor. The first time I saw Bobby I thought he was ridiculously cute. Kind of exotic looking (he’s half Japanese), tall, and lanky. We were playing this terrible card game (Phase 10) and I was so bored that I left after 10 minutes. The only reason I stayed those 10 minutes was because I wanted to flirt with him.

A few weeks later, Bobby and a few friends were going around knocking on doors to see if people wanted to go to a party. So I went. We ended up drinking and partying together for a few weeks, and developed a close friendship.  We would stay up late in the lounge, just talking and hanging out, and we’d fall asleep out there and wake up the next day sprawled on the couches.

On December 3, 2005 we had our first kiss, and we’ve been together ever since.  What’s cool is that my younger brother, Rob, and Bobby’s younger sister, Tina, share that same birthday – December 3!

We lived in the same dorm again as juniors, and then senior year (I graduated early, in December of that year – 07) we shared a teeny 2-room suite in Collegetown.  I moved out to California in February of 2008, and he joined me in June.  We had a crappy apartment for the first year, but we just moved into a much nicer place last week.  Our 3.5 year mark is coming up in 1 month and 2 days!

3. How long have you been practicing yoga?

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This is a tough question!  The first yoga class I ever took was at a summer camp I did back in high school (I was probably a freshman?  2001?). I did a few random classes over the next 6-7 years.  Sometime in fall 2007 I downloaded an hour-long yoga video that I started doing sporadically (1-2 times a week, then not for a few weeks, etc…).

It wasn’t until this past fall (2008) that I started doing yoga regularly (almost every day).  The video that got me into it was Tom Morley’s Cardio Yoga on Exercise TV.  Then I found yogadownload.com and it snowballed from there.  You can find more of my favorites on my yoga page.

Prior to being a yogi I was a ballerina (10 years) and I also dabbled in tap and jazz.  I’ve done pilates off and on since the beginning of high school as well.  I think all of these factors contributed to my flexibility and how I was easily able to jump into yoga.  If you’re not flexi yet – keep trying!  Yoga is really amazing and it does wonders (body and mind).

To actually answer the question – I have done yoga occasionally for 8 years (since 2001), but regularly for only about 7 months (since October 2008).

Keep the questions coming! I have a few more lined up, but I’m always game to answer more.