Monday, February 28, 2011

Valentine's and President's Day

Our Valentine's Day was really not that romantic. I worked until 7:00 and Sean had class until 9:00 so we got some late night sushi and called it good. Sean did have a master plan though. He had been planning a surprise for quite a while and on Valentine's Day I got to find out what it was. He got us tickets for the San Francisco Symphony! So this weekend we went into San Francisco for a wonderful night of culture. Every good night starts out on the BART of course and Sean and I got a good laugh at the advertisement for MACE that we sat beside. Before the concert we went to the Cheese Cake Factory. We were just introduced the Cheese Cake Factory by some friends and I don't know what took us so long to discover this place. It is amazing! May I recommend the White Chocolate Carmel Macadamia Nut Cheese Cake. SO GOOD! Once we were good and stuffed we made our way over to the concert hall. The Symphony and the choir preformed Mozart's Requiem which was wonderful. Sean made sure I watched the movie Amadeus before we went so I would fully appreciate it. My husband is so culturally astute. :) Here is a picture of us with our tickets and the program. Not the best picture, but you get the idea.

On President's Day, I got a different sort of surprise. Sean had the day off school, which I was definitely jealous about. I got home to be greeted by our very excited puppy and this...
Me: Is their yellow on Bella's head?
Sean: Bella did it.
Me: You drew on her head?!?
Sean: She wanted to say hi!
Me: You wrote hi on her head?!?
Sean: Bella did it.

Yes, this is what happens when Sean get's a day off school. He may be culturally astute but there sure is that kid inside that keeps me on my toes. I love it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Kung Hei Fat Choy!

So I guess Sean's master plan worked. After his last post I had to post something. It must have been a late night for him or something. I have no idea what that was about...
In case you all didn't know this weekend was Chinese New Year! Kung Hei Fat Choy! Since San Francisco is renowned for their amazing China Town and Chinese New Year Parade, we couldn't pass it up. From our door to downtown San Francisco takes us 40 minutes. It was still a pretty chilly night but at least the rain had slowed and it was just spitting for the most part.
Here we are front and center ready for the parade to start. I know, I know, I am such a wimpy Canadian. Here I am in California wearing my big ski jacket and still feeling so cold. What is up with that?!

Yeah! It's starting. Notice how everyone is wearing very beautiful silk kimonos which you really couldn't see because of the rain ponchos.
Probably the first hour of the parade was all elementary schools and Chinese clubs that were all dressed up as rabbits. If the rabbit thing is confusing to you, it's because it is the year of the rabbit. Here were some of my favorite little rabbits of the night.
Oh, and did I mention that this parade was 3 hours long...
It was actually probably a toss between dragons and rabbits being the stars of the parade.
The little feisty dragons were my favorite.
Aww. Notice the little dragon in training at the end? So cute!

After all the dragons and rabbits, these floats definitely caught our attention. Is that a steaming bowl of rice?!

Mmm. Noodles, even better. We must be getting hungry.

By about this time we had been standing there for 2 1/2 hour and I have to admit I was reaching my limit. I have turned into such a wimp! One of my fingers was completely white and the others looked like they were died blue they were so cold. Don't even get me started on my feet! So we decided to start walking down the parade rout. Come to find out, a few blocks down from where we were was Union Square, where the real party was going on. It was packed!

Next time we'll hope for better weather and we'll know to get a good spot early in Union Square.
Finally we reached the end of the parade to see what we had all been waiting for. The HUGE dragon!

It just kept going!

Apparently it was an honor to be one of the over 100 people under this dragon. Ooooo.

After a fun and frigged three hours we hopped back on BART and when home. Of course we didn't forget the takeout Chinese food once we were back in Richmond. There is nothing like take out Chinese in front of the fire to complete a great Chinese New Year. Kung Hei Fat Choy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rebellious Arousal

Amy hasn't blogged too much lately, so I thought that I would give a crack at it.

I often spend my evenings studying into the wee hours of the morning. While studying, I sometimes have interesting thoughts relating to what I'm reading. This evening I was reading about judges giving "limiting instructions" to jurors. This essentially means that while a Judge might permit a witness to testify about something, he only wants the jury to use the witness's testimony for a specific purpose. For example, the judge might allow John to testify that he has seen the defendant hot-wire a car on several previous occasions. The judge is allowing this piece of evidence to show that John has the requisite knowledge to hot-wire a car (I sure don't...). But the judge will follow up with a limiting instruction telling the jury that even though John has hot-wired cars before, they shouldn't take it to mean that he did it on this specific instance that he is being tried for. The jury should only use the knowledge to infer that he knows how to do it. Thus the instruction is limited.

Anyways, according to the "reactance theory," juror's can get psychologically aroused when they hear limiting instructions. Here's the relevant quote that I found interesting:

"According to reactance theory, when individuals perceive that their ability to perform behaviors is threatened they will become psychologically aroused, which is known as reactance. Presumably, this would occur in a courtroom when a judge informs a jury that they must disregard a piece of information that they are aware of.... An individual then is motivated to reduce this psychological arousal. The juror may attempt to psychologically aggress against the threatening agent (the judge) or attempt to reestablish his or her freedom by performing the threatened behavior."

So, what it's saying is that if you tell a juror not to do it, they might be even more tempted to do it.

Anyways, I would say that I was aroused quite a bit as a teenager. Whenever my parents told me not to do something, I wanted to do it.