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blogger fail.

24 Sep

So I am officially the worst blogger ever. I have hundreds of unread blog posts in my Google Reader, haven’t updated my own blog in two weeks…it is truly shameful. So with that being said, I’m going to take a new approach to my blog. No weekly posts recapping my workouts (it’s too much of a commitment to HAVE to post every Sunday) but I will try and keep up to date with where I’m at with everything. So before I launch into all the fun stuff I’ve been up to – here’s the pertinent updates:

School: 2L is rolling right along – but the “they work you to death” rumors were definitely true. Besides a full course load of Constitutional Law, Law of Sales, Torts II, and Ethical Lawyering, I’m also on the Entertainment Law Review which includes cite-checking, source-collecting, and writing a 33-page note about a case by the end of the calendar year. #Woot. I’m also on a moot court team, but I have a few more weeks before that really kicks off. It’s a lot, but I like being busy.

Fitness: I recently tweeted that I’ve lost my running mo-jo mostly because it’s been so so so hot lately and I have been super busy with school. I got in a 12 mile run a couple of weeks ago, but only managed to eek out a  7 miler last weekend. Whoops. I’ve been spinning and lifting though – trying to mix it up.

So here’s a smorgasbord of some fun stuff I’ve been up to…

I grabbed dinner with a friend two weeks ago at Barney’s Beanery and it just so happened to be trivia night. We got rocked but it was still fun. I’ll be back.

Later that week I hit up the all-law schools bar review at Supperclub in Hollywood. It was one of the most fun bar reviews yet. Oh boy.

That weekend I also visited Whitney’s new apartment in Santa Monica for her house-warming, and found a new-to-me gem of a restaurant, Caffe Concerto in Koreatown.

This weekend was equally epic – Friday involved an all-day Intellectual Property Symposium for the Entertainment Law Review, but then I met up with an old friend from Barcelona for some beer. Saturday featured a 7-mile run and then the Cal/USC game. It was SO much fun – except for Cal’s loss. I enjoyed beer, tailgating with my friends, and of course, yelling at obnoxious U$C fans.

cool, blake.

go bears.

Sunday involved a great spin class, hours in the library, and then a couple of beers with my friend Chris at this awesome place in K-town called Beer Belly. I had a Ladyface IPA (#heaven) and another one whose name escapes me with delicious citrus-hops. We also tried the duck fat fries (with duck on top). So good.

The coolest thing about this place was the fact that you can select the music that plays throughout the whole restaurant using this awesome free iPhone app called “Remote.” I dominated the playlist for awhile – and managed to play Sail by AWOLNation when we were leaving. Awesome.

This week will be busy with school – and then I’m heading up to Monterey on Friday to see my high school BFF Angela GET MARRIED!!

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bird’s eye view.

21 Jul

I’ve recently started reading more travel blogs, and one in particular (Adventurous Kate) featured this post last week, showcasing 6 European cities from above. The photos were stunning, and it made me reminisce about some of the cities (European and North American) I’ve seen from a bird’s eye view...

Los Angeles, California from the Getty Museum

London, England from the London Eye

Berkeley and Oakland, California from the Campanile (Sather Tower) at the University of California, Berkeley

Paris, France from the Eiffel Tower

Seattle, Washington from the Space Needle

Seville, Spain from the Cathedral

Lisbon, Portugal from outside my hostel

Barcelona, Spain from the spires of La Sagrada Familia


What’s the coolest bird’s eye view you’ve ever seen?

WWRSD: What Would Rick Steves Do?

16 Jul

Rick Steves is to European travel as Jay-Z is to the rap scene and Lady Gaga is to post-modern pop. He’s an innovator, and  literally wrote the book on traveling and continues to provide quality guide books (and a PBS television show) year after year, helping American travelers experience authentic European vacations.

Two of my high school friends (Chris and Ryan) just got back from a Euro-trip, and I lent them my copy of “Rick Steves’ Europe.” They raved  about it, inspiring me to confess my minor R.S. obsession.

I first heard about Rick when a friend and fellow AXO, Annie, traveled abroad in the fall of 2007 to Prague. She swore by Rick’s guidebooks, and when I geared up to head to Barcelona  a year after she returned, she gave me “Rick Steves’ Europe” for Christmas. At first I was a little bit skeptical as to how useful these books would really be – the wordy guidebook with hand-drawn maps and hardly any photographs didn’t have the sleek, professional tone that some others do. But, as I quickly learned, it’s all about substance and Rick Steves delivered.

When I embarked for my semester abroad, I brought my Rick Steves guidebook with me – and while I didn’t use him much in Barcelona, he defined my itinerary in places like Berlin, Prague, Vienna, and Rome. We ended up choosing our next sight on a whirlwind spring break trip based on what Rick gave 3 stars too – his suggestion of paying approximately 3 euros for a standing room only ticket for Vienna’s opera was a great one – we didn’t feel guilty leaving after 20 minutes! Also in Vienna, Rick’s suggestion to trek out to the wine gardens (called Heuringers) outside the city center was one of our favorite nights of the trip – we experienced authentic food and culture – and the folky live band we heard at the nearby beer garden (called a Bamraxler) was also highly memorable.

Vienna’s Opera House:

A Bamraxler in Vienna:

The Rick Steves obsession followed me back to Berkeley last fall. A bunch of girls in my sorority had studied abroad, so a group us listened to Rick give a guest lecture at Berkeley’s International House. In the inspiring talk, Rick talked about his travel philosophy, his favorite countries (India tops the list) and what the United States can learn from other countries (his progressive ideas elicited a number of “ah-ha” moments from the crowd). He ended the talk with an FAQ session. In typical Berkeley fashion, one student wondered if, since Rick likes Amsterdam, if Rick has a preference for how to smoke weed – explicitly asking Rick, in front of a crowded audience if he is  ” a bong man or a joint guy.” Rick’s reply “I’ll take it any way I can get it.”

After the talk, my friends and I giggled like 12 years old meeting Justin Bieber when we chatted with Rick and posed for a photo. I was inspired to learn more, so I read Rick’s book: “Travel as a Political Act.” It was well-written and informative and only fueled the growing case of wanderlust I experienced.

Man. Myth. Legend. Rick Steves!

While I’m all about staying away from super-touristy sights, Rick Steves’ suggestions combine the right amounts of user-friendly, accessible travel spots with an inspired philosophy and set of travel goals.

Do you have any favorite guidebooks? Let me know!

The Final Countdown Pt. II

27 Apr

It’s rainy in Berkeley today. While I won’t miss the bipolar weather here (seriously, get this city it’s own clinical psychologist), the list of things I will miss continues…


Quick Trips to the city – for everything from Giants games to nights out to the Ferry Building for Blue Bottle Coffee


Berkeley’s reputation as protesting everything – and actually living up to it.


Raleigh’s – for being the typical college bar, and for no longer calling itself Manny’s


The Final Countdown

27 Apr

In honor of it being my very last Monday of undergrad – I’m going to start the process of listing the things I’ll miss most about Cal. And so it begins…

Beat the Clock EVERY Friday at Bear’s Lair – including the hand-stamp and the Hef
Studying at I-House. And consuming a disgusting amount of their coffee. And the pop music they play:

The Campanile: