Sunday, December 9, 2007

Happy Chanukah and Merry Christmas!!!

These are so innovative, and hilarious!!! Enjoy!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Car shopping

All over (!) San Diego, CA (Nov 2007)- Oh... and did I forget to mention that we took an entire day to car shop! Having done heaps of research beforehand, Andreas, my parents and I bravely set out to the dealerships in hopes of coming away with a new car. After going to three dealerships and dealing with a few a-holes, we found a dealer that made our dreams come true. It was actually the first dealer that we went to funnily enough. So we bought our first car as a couple (and my first car ever!)- a brand new beige 2008 Honda CR-V! It drives like a dream and got me back to Santa Barbara in under a half a tank of petrol! Amazing efficiency- approx 30.4 miles to the gallon. What beauty.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Giving thanks on Thanksgiving

San Diego, CA (Nov 2007)- We gave thanks.... and we ate. I love Thanksgiving. It's the best excuse to stuff yourself silly and then stuff yourself again 4 hours later. It was good hanging out with the family. We also went to the Del Mar Holiday Lights Show, which was pitiful, but had some interesting activities at the end.... mainly our free photos with Santa, in the race car, and strangely enough, at Disneyland?!?! When hanging out with the siblings, everything is fun.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

What's the point of cold if there's no snow?

Ann Arbor, MI (Nov 2007)- So here we are... freezing our tuchases off in frigid ole' Michigan. No snow. It was a spur of the moment decision to come see Andreas before he makes way to CalVegas (we used to call Brissy BrisVegas-I'm stealing the term), and I'm glad that I came to witness him in his element. Ann Arbor is a cute little college town about 64 km west of Detroit, Michigan (which by the way doesn't have the best of reputations- it was just yesterday named the most dangerous city in the US), populated primarily by students from the University of Michigan, or UMich for short. However, there isn't too much to do (especially without a car- story of our lives!) and it's been cold and rainy, so we've mostly been enjoying each other's company, reading in coffee houses, traveling to and from uni, walking along state and main streets in Ann Arbor's 'downtown', eating out and cuddling up in A's heated townhouse. I'm just happy that we are spending some quality time together. Tomorrow we fly to San Diego to spend Thanksgiving with the family. Gobble gobble.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Go Blue, Make Blue, and Feel Blue

Ann Arbor, MI (Fall 2007)- In order to choke any suspicion of my (Andreas) whereabouts, in terms of my not appearing in any of the recent blogs, The NewSimons are up and running in the U.S. and as strong as ever. It is just that I am currently doing a visiting scholar/ lecturer position at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business, University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA. To fill you in on my time in Ann Arbor, my life can be summarized as follows: (i) Go Blue, not only have I found joy in the American way of life by being a passionate follower of the Michigan Wolverines (see video of Gunnar and me with All Access passes at a recent game), I have also had a smooth start working at the Number 1 ranked MBA school in the world (see building where I hold my lectures). (ii) Make blue, well this saying may not make as much sense in English, but what it means in German is to take off work. I have been thoroughly enjoying the time after my Ph.D. and instead of frantically working on research, I use my time to interview for jobs, soak in the scholarly spirit at Michigan, and getting ready for my move to California. (iii) Feel Blue, the only part that blows at the moment is being separated from Rachel. But it is almost over, and it certainly will pay off in the future. So taking on the risk of moving has so far paid off. Or to put it in the words of Arnie Schwarzenegger: "If they don't have the guts, I call them girlie men."

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fish Biology Fieldtrip

Big Sur and Monterey Bay, CA (Oct 2007)- I am a TA (teaching assistant) for the fish biology course here at UCSB. Part of my responsibility as a TA is to double as a teacher and chaperon on the many fieldtrips, both mandatory and not, that we take the kiddies on throughout the quarter. So far, we've been on a trawling trip in Santa Barbara Point (I'm still trying to get the photos from a friend) and this was our second trip of four. We drove up the Big Sur coast, stopped to check out the elephant seals along the way, and camped out at the UC Kenneth S. Norris Rancho Marino Reserve where we went tidepooling in the pouring rain, to collect and ID fish. It was heaps of fun. On Sunday, we drove up the coast to the Monterey Bay Aquarium to get a behind-the-scenes tour and also to see their new juvenile great white shark in captivity. MBA are the first ones to successfully capture and maintain a great white shark. Guess where they got it from- right near where I live!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


Santa Barbara, CA (Oct 2007)- I've finally been having some visitors outside my bedroom door (overlooking my little balcony), other than flies and bees! I wanted to plant some milkweed so I'd have Monarch butterflies, but even without milkweed they come!!! They just can't seem to resist my gorgeous flowers!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Go-go dancing at the Wildcat

Wildcat, SB (Sept 2007)- Let's flashback to our night at the Wildcat, or the "Shitty Kitty", as it's known to native SBers. My friend Becky came down from San Fran so we could hangout with our friend Lyndsey who go-go dances at the Wildcat on weekends. It was great fun. During her breaks, the bodyguard asked me if I wanted to go-go dance on the platform (I guess he saw me in action on the dance floor!)! Becky came up to join me. We had heaps of fun! I love to dance!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Gotta love the fam

Santa Barbara, CA (Oct 2007)- Mum and Dad paid me a lovely visit this weekend up in SB. We had lots of fun, setting up my non-functional cable tv, running around doing errands, going out to eat, buying plants and BBQs (only 1 actually!), foodshopping, visiting my ocean-oriented office at uni, and especially planting the plants. My dad is a pro... he single-handedly potted all of my new shrubbery! He's now dubbed "the flower man". I was very impressed.... he even knows their names and how they fare in different environments! A man to look up to. Stay tuned for some good fauna-related photos once they start to fill in and perk up!

I'm still waiting...

Santa Barbara, CA (Oct 2007)- I've been sitting, not eating, not sleeping, but waiting... I'm still waiting for my husband to come home... I feel so empty... do I look any different to you guys?

Just playin'! I've been living it up actually! I'm getting to know my lab and my labmates, re-familiarizing myself with the uni (there are heaps of new buildings on campus!) and my neighboorhood, and I've just finished up my first week of TAing for the Fish Biology course. It's been great. I DO miss my husband though. Why are we so career focused? Sometimes I wonder....

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

My own personal M and M's

Santa Barbara, California (Sept 2007)- I just had to write a blog about the most innovative birthday present I have gotten, to date. It was of course from my loving husband Andreas. He got me my own personal purple and yellow M&Ms with a message in both English and German: NewSimons 4ever, NeuSimons FurImmer. He never fails to amaze me with his ingenuity.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Our new apartment in Santa Barbara

Santa Barbara, California (Sept 2007)- Here are a few photos of our newly decorated apartment (there are still a few things out of place or missing). I just now got all of the stuff off the floor (I can't remember where I put it all though!), with the exception of our road bike boxes. I am still trying to figure out where to stash them! We have two bedrooms (ours is the one with the tan bed), one bathroom, one large balcony and two small balconies (off of each room), over two stories. The area around the apartments is really cute; each group of 8 are placed around a central courtyard. There are a lot of kiddie toys and bikes around and heaps of families to go with 'em! Hopefully you can all come see it for yourself some day!

Monday, September 10, 2007

I'm moving.... AGAIN!

San Diego, California (Sept 2007)- Ok, enough is enough. It's settled. I'm not going anywhere for at least 2 years... I had to rent a 17 foot (5.2 metre) U-haul truck to drive all of my crapola to SB. My brother and I ended up loading the entire thing ourselves (with intermittent help from dad- he tore a muscle in his arm). 25 pieces of heavy furniture, 12 furniture pads and a few thousand bags later, we finish. All up, around 7 hours. When we got to SB, we hired two guys to help us unload.... I still carried things... up two flights of stairs I might add. I'm still sore. My mom, dad, and sister also helped unload, got me settled and took me shopping. They were fantastic. It was tense at times, but overeall, enjoyable; and their help was invaluable. The next goal... a finished house. Stay tuned for house photos once I get all of the stuff off the floor. =)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Day 3 in Cali-for-ni-a

San Diego, California (Sept 2007)- We're still really jet-lagged, but were offered an invitation we couldn't pass up... going to the Del Mar Fairgrounds Thoroughbred Turf Club for the horse races! It was amazing (we've both never been before). My brother got us VIP tickets ($5000 per person for the season) through his bosses. The horses were beautiful and we actually did a little betting (with monetary help from the sibling) and won $55! That was the extent of our gambling! Fun stuff.

Now it's time to get down to business. Moving again, this time to our prospective towns (me- Santa Barbara, Andreas- Michigan), registering for classes, attending orientations, writing lectures and proposals, etc. All in a day's work, all in a day's work (well, not really!).

California Love

San Diego, California (Sept 2007)- We made it home safely. Thank goodness! We left Brissy at 6am to get to the airport 5 hours early, we packed and unpacked our 12, 32 kg suitcases/bike boxes 6 times (yes, it really was 6 times!), and drove to San Diego in Labor Day weekend traffic. It was a long, but fulfilling day, to say the least. It's been great visiting with family over the past few days. We were especially happy to see Aunt Sari who came down from Turlock. The family celebrated our arrival by going to Coronado Island for a buffet breakfast on the beach at the Hotel Del Coronado and playing in the pool of course! The weather was sensational- 30 degrees C. What a 'warm' welcome!

Friday, August 31, 2007

Last days in Brissy

Brisbane, Australia (Aug 2007)- The last few days in Brissy allowed us to reflect on the surealism of it all, the good times, and also on our sadness. We laughed and we cried. We hung out with many a friend (especially John, Yuling, Banks and Orien- thanks for seeing us 3 times within three days!!!) We miss Brissy already. But we're definitely cured of packing... so if we go back anytime soon, expect to see us wearing the same thing every other day. There will be no more multiple suitcase traveling, that I promise you!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Our Going Away Party

Brisbane, Australia (Aug 2007)- Yesterday afternoon and evening was brilliant. The people, the atmosphere, the food... what a grand send-off. For everyone who turned up to our going away party yesterday, thank you so much for coming and celebrating the close of this chapter in our lives. It was great seeing and hanging out with all of you (even if only for a few minutes) and we really enjoyed your company. For those who weren't able to come, you were sorely missed, but we hope to see you sometime before we leave on Friday. A big thank you in general to every one of you for being a part of our lives. It's been an incredible journey and the people you meet along the way definitely make it more memorable. We will of course strive to keep in touch with each and every one of you throughout the next exciting chapter in our lives (although I feel Australia will be unparalleled!). Apropos correspondence, our new email addresses will be (Rach at UCSB): and (Andreas at UMichigan): We will also be contactable via Skype, LinkedIn, Myspace and/or Facebook. And to close, Andreas and I would like to invite you all to come visit us anytime in the US. Our house(s) are open to you... so take advantage!!! Wish us a bon voyage!