It’s been an exciting (and extremely) busy month here since we last posted. As a starting point, not sure if you all heard, but Jacs accepted a position (and just finished her first week) at Ruder Finn. So far so good!
We also now feel like real locals, having experienced a few earthquakes! There is a fault line that runs right through Berkeley, and it’s been rumbling. The biggest quake was 3.9 on the richter scale, and happened while I was in class – kind of crazy when the whole room shakes!
This month has also been the finals of the rugby world cup, which despite being such a hugely popular event globally, is almost impossible to watch here! Not wanting to be defeated, a few of us (a New Zealander and a few French Guys) found a couple of bars in the city that show the games. We decided to watch the Australia – New Zealand semi final first, which given the time difference was played at 1am. It meant a late night in the city at a bar called Kezar’s, but it was fun … even if we did lose to the All Blacks. Last weekend was the final between France and New Zealand which we again trekked over to the city to watch at 1am, this time in the Haight at a place called ‘The Mad Dog in the Fog’. Once again it was a fun night, and a great game, with New Zealand sneaking through with a victory by 1 point.
We’ve also had a few visitors come through this month. First we had Domina, a friend from Singapore who lives in LA, and her boyfriend come to stay for the weekend to visit Daniella. Darren also came over so it was fun seeing all three of them. We then had Tom Arnott, a good friend from Sydney come to visit so we showed him around Berkeley.
Jacs went away for the weekend with the girls to Sonoma to go wine tasting. She had an awesome time and visited some lovely vineyards and ate at a delicious farm to table restaurant. While she was busy being sophisticated, I was having a bachelor’s weekend watching the rugby.
Last weekend, Jacs’ Dad Lou also decided to drive up to visit for the weekend which was a great surprise. We had a lovely brunch in the sun in Tiburon as well – it was beautiful over there. We’re looking forward to our next visit down to see them in Pasadena for Thanksgiving.
On the serious side of things, class is going really well, and I’m on to my next set of classes: Finance, Accounting, Marketing and Problem Finding, Problem Solving. Yesterday, I attended a conference on campus called >play, which is a Digital Media Conference. It was a great day, with speeches from influential figures and a chance to meet people from startups and established players in the industry. I was involved in organising the kickoff party on Thursday night which was a great success, and was hosted at Couchsurfing’s office which is pretty cool – it even has swings!
Back on to the social scene, which never has a dull moment here! A few weeks ago, after finals, it was the Fall A party which was Cops and Robbers themed at a bar in the city.
Last weekend was Dragaoke, an annual inter-cohort competition, sponsored by BCG believe it or not, that involves everyone cross dressing and performing a karaoke/dance performance. We came second which I was pretty happy about 🙂
Last night was Haas-loween, which again involved a lot of dressing up since there were cohort and individual costume competitions. My cohort’s theme was superheroes. Jacs looked awesome as hit girl from the movie Kickass, whilst me and a friend Ryan, decided to push the boundaries a little and go as Ace and Gary, the Ambiguously Gay Duo, an old Saturday Night Live skit. We looked hilarious, and were rewarded! My cohort won the cohort competition and Ryan and I won the individual competition!
On Tuesday, it’s the 1st of November which means it is time for the next charity fundraising activity – No Shave November. It’s essentially the equivalent of Movember in Sydney – we all stop shaving for the month and raise money, and at the end of the month people get to shave us, potentially with funny designs. It’s going to be interesting – it’ll be the first time I’ve stopped shaving for more than a few days 🙂
Next weekend we’re off to Chicago for the weekend to visit Alpha and Jared which we’re excited for – although we’re going to need to rug up. It’s getting cold there!
Hope you’re all well
Ben and Jacs