Englischer Garten, Munchen

November 2006: Lots Ado at Home

I promised to make an effort to not allow my homepage to go untouched for months, but I failed. Luckily, it's for different reasons that originally anticipated. I noted the possiblity of archive mode in case my life became routine, bland, and full of activites not webpage worthy. This turned out to not be the case at all. I've done a number of things while home. Indeed, it has been four months since I updated. I first planned to detail what I've done month by month, but realized that by type of activity would be more fun. I'm too chronological, anyway.

Thus I will break my summer and fall into the below sections: Mexico, Concerts, Exploring the City, Graduate Apps, and Miscellaneous.

Mexico

At an Miguel de Allende

From November 7th through the 15th my buddy and I went to Mexico. We lucked out big time with the tickets. my buddy's aunt is a flight attendent (you probably already see where this is going) and she offered two tickets to my buddy's parents, but they couldn't use them. They then fell to us with the condition that we had only 24 hours to decide where we wanted to go and when.

We choose to fly to Mexico, first into Puerto Vallarta. We stayed there for two days. I strongly recommend the city for American travellers. It's certainly a Mexican city, but creates little culture shock. One of my favorite activities of the trip was our first afternoon there when we went snorkeling. The water was a perfect temperature and the fish were sufficiently pretty.

We next headed to Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city. This city is quinessentially Mexican, complete with four million residents, Orozco murals, a three story labryinth of a mercado, and some beautiful plazas. A trip highlight in Guadalajara was watching a Chivas game. Chivas is a popular Mexican soccer team who only play Mexican players. The fans were unreal.

Guanajuato was the final destination of our trip. It was here I spent my 2002 summer with Amigos. We visited all the fabulous attractions: Diego Rivera Museum, the Alhondiga, the University, the Don Quixote Muesum, and much more. While there we travelled to San Miguel de Allende for a day. Afterwards we overnight bussed back to Puerto Vallarta. For a more complete and visual explanation of my trip check out the slide show below.

>>Mexico Slide Show

Concerts

I was forunate enough to have the time to attend several concerts this Fall. In fact, I saw 4 in less than a month. I saw Roger Waters (bassist from Pink Floyd), the Bridge School Benefit Concert, the Who, and the Rolling Stones. Below is a slide show from the for concerts. Or click on one of the four images to skip directly to a specific concert.

>>Entire Slide Show, or specific slide show by image

Roger Waters Bridge School The Who Rolling Stones

The Roger Waters concert was one of my favorite concerts I've been to. This is certainly because of how much I enjoy Pink Floyd's music. Not only was hearing Dark Side all the way through mint, I also heard all but one track from Wish You Were Here.

The Bridge School Benefit was great because it went on for nearly twelve hours and because it hosted so many acts. My favorite was Pearl Jam, my favorite band from the lineup. I was also happy to attend it because it is such a Bay Area staple for an annual quality concert and I'd never gone.

The Who were sensational. Daltrey still twirls the microphone all over, and Townshend still does the windmill. They played a lot of their new album, which was great since I'd gotten it and listen through several times prior. No Quadrophenia though!

The Rolling Stones put on a magnificent show. They've obviously got the budget to do so. I'm not a diehard fan, but hearing 'Paint it Black', 'Under My Thumb', and 'Jumpin' Jack Flash' live is pretty cool.

Exploring the City

San Francisco CollageFrom left: Sunset from Turtle Hill, the Golden Gate, the Castro on Halloween, the Japanese Tea Garden, the Palace of Fine Arts, Me at sunet in HMB, Chinatown artwork

I've lived in the Bay Area for 18 of my 22 years of life. The first seventeen were in Silicon Valley, the Southern Peninsula. In all the time I never really explored San Francisco. At least to the point where I could locate districts and navigate through them. However, this Fall that has been changing. About once a week I ventured - well, followed is more accurate since I went with SF-native my buddy - into the various districts. What I found is that I've actually been to them all at one point or another, but could never have rediscovered them except through happenstance. I now have an understanding of the city's layout. One especially fun activity was going to the Castro for Halloween.

>>San Francisco Slide Show

Graduate Applications

Only recently have I begun to have free time at home again. Until I turned them in on November 6th, I'd been spending hours each day preparing graduate applications. I've decided to pursue a Ph.D. in economics to enable my current hopes of working for the Federal government or a multinational institution as a researcher or policy analyst. In the end I applied to twelve different schools, which is the main reason the process took so long. Most of them are out of my reach and none of them are safety schools, but I'm still not worried about hearing back. Who goes 0 for 12?

Miscellaneous Fun

A couple final things of note are unrelated to any of my above activities. One festival I finally attended was the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival. This is technically my sixth year living in Half Moon Bay and this was my first pumpkin festival (granted the first I was living in Mtn. View half the time, and for the next four I was at UC San Diego). Around here, it's a pillar of the community. The one time of the year that everyone on the peninsula comes to our town. Its also the time of year that locals never leave for fear of traffic.

In August I had a nice schedule at Sushi Main street that gave me three says off in a row pretty often. One of the nice things about waiting. You earn great money in the evenings and thus work a 25 hour week, but earn like a 40 hour one.

During three such periods I travelled north to visit some friends. I made it up to Roseville, first. There I stayed with longtime friend Josh Rogers. Several weeks later I went up to visit my high school friends in Davis. Many of them went there, and many still remain. It's been a bit of a tradition in our circle of friends during college to 'make it up to Davis'. Sadly, this was my first such trip. The other trip I took was to Chico. Now, it was originally to play with a co-ed frisbee team called Mischief. But after an afternoon I realized that co-ed isn't my thing. Too bad though, they won nationals. I instead spent Sunday with my friend Josh Harmon. I also met Ben Coffelt, an avid prog rock fan. Only the second I've met. These two came down for the Waters concert.

Mischief Frisbee at Chico

Oh, and I also turned 22 on August 23rd.

Homepage for Chris Darrouzet-Nardi

Updated November 30th, 2006