I met Dan at the end of the summer one day through my best friend Dom. Dom and Dan worked in a shared office space at the ARC on the UC Davis campus. She had called me and invited me to hang out with her, Dan and his roommate Donnie. I said, “Sure, I’ll stop by and say hi but I’m on my way out of town.”
I stopped by and said hello to everyone and hung out for about 20 minutes or so, covering the standard questions: “What’s your major? What part of Davis do you live in? How was work?” During this time, I learned that Dan was also going to be in the same class as Dom and I, “Technocultural Studies 1”, in the fall. Cool. Cool cool cool. It’s always nice to have more friends in a class than not. I left our little meet up and continued on my merry way. At the time, I thought that Dan was nice but kind of quiet. Then again, out of myself, Dom and Donnie, he *is* the most quiet one of all.
It wasn’t until we started our interesting journey in Technocultural Studies that Dan began to pique my interest unbeknownst to me. If I arrived first out of our trio, I would save everyone seats. One day, we had a group project to work on and Dan was going to take on all of the technical aspects of it (shocker). However, Dan wasn’t available during our group meeting so it was my responsibility to fill him in on what we needed him to do. I had called him to talk about the project and we talked for a long time, beyond the project. We moved our conversation onto AIM and next thing I know, it’s 2am and we were still talking.
During the following weeks, we would just talk a lot about everything and anything. Friends would tease me about liking Dan and I would always respond with, “No! I don’t! I just like talking to him.” To which they would respond with, “You can’t stop smiling when you talk about him.” Oh. Hmm. I realized that I liked him on a very foggy night after class one day and Dan left to meet an old friend of his instead of walking me to the bus stop. I was secretly jealous which I hated, but it was that jealousness that made me think, “Wow, I really do like him.” And the rest is history.
This will be much shorter than Karla’s version because she has the memory of an elephant, and I do not. I met Karla through her freshman year roommate at UC Davis, Dom (Thanks, Dom!). Dom and I worked on campus in the same cube (we called it the Bad Kids Cube because we didn’t get a lot of work done), and at some point due to Dom’s love for In ‘N Out (Cheeseburger, lettuce only with milk), we ended up there after work one day. At the time, I lived on A Street with Donnie, so he came along for a bite, and Karla dropped by on her way out of town since she lived close by on Olive Drive. Karla was funny and sharp witted and smart, and I liked her immediately.
Dom, Karla and I shared a class that fall, and we all ended up working on a group project, something about political ads. Karla and I worked on the project together in a computer lab on campus late into the nights that fall, and our conversations spilled over into our lives, our families, our travels, and we started spending more and more time together. Karla and Dom lived with Shef and Mickey, all of whom cooked delicious dishes from their respective cultures, and we all spent many nights eating and talking together that next year. I usually did the dishes. I still do.
Post-College: Sacramento and Travels
We both got jobs in Sacramento and moved there soon after, at first in separate apartments in Natomas, and then moved in together to an apartment in downtown Sacramento. It was on the 11th floor and had a fantastic balcony with a view of the capitol, and on clear days you could make out Mt. Diablo over the treeline, near Concord where Karla’s family lives, and where we drive sometimes several times a month (and the rest of the Bay Area visiting friends and family), racking up over 100,000 miles just in the last 5 years. We’ve traveled to DC for President Obama’s first and second inaugurations, took cruises to the Caribbean, and toured Israel with Dan’s family. Karla won a contest on Twitter from Lufthansa Airlines to France, Norway and Germany on a charter jet with frequent fliers from all over the world, many of which she still keeps in touch with. In 2010, we drove (flights were expensive) to Vancouver for the Winter Olympics, one of Karla’s favorite things, and got to cheer on the USA Curling Team next to fans from all over the world. We visit family and friends in New York every year or two, one of our favorite places. We go camping every July with the Pinecrest group of family friends from the Bay Area, every March visit Yosemite with “extended family” from Berkeley and visit Dan’s grandparents in Santa Barbara every Thanksgiving. Not to mention the dozen weddings in the last two years, spread all over California (and a special one in Oklahoma). We’re almost never home!
Downtown or Dogs
When we were planning on moving in together, we wanted to get a dog, but decided if you get a dog, you need a yard (we like big dogs that need big yards), but we also wanted to live downtown. Since it’s easier to move from an apartment to a house, and hard to do it the other way, we moved downtown first. Then, in December of 2010, Karla (who had been browsing shelter websites for rescue dogs for some time), found a little Staffordshire Terrior on the SPCA website for a second time – he had been listed before, but was back again – and we decided to go visit him. Dan took off work early (which he almost never does), and we brought home Davis (who was named Brody, but that didn’t fit). We soon after went looking for a yard for him, and a house for us, and rented a small house just south of Downtown. After a year and change renting that house, we wanted to be our own landlords, and found a perfect house in the Hollywood Park neighborhood near Land Park. That move was a little more complicated, and we had to stay with friends during escrow, but we settled in fast and soon after adopted a second dog, Zoe, who is full of energy but also loves to hang out and watch West Wing episodes.
We still make time to travel– Davis and Zoe come with us to Pinecrest and other camping trips, we made it back to DC for Obama’s second inaugural (and got last minute tickets to a ball!), and recently discovered Portland’s amazing food and beer scene. The last two years have been filled with busy wedding seasons to celebrate with amazing friends and family. Last fall, like always, we made the drive down to Santa Barbara to visit Dan’s grandparents for thanksgiving, but took an extra day to enjoy the warm weather and spend some time on the beach Dan grew up visiting every year. After reading in the sun, and watching happy dogs play in the surf, we stayed and watched the sun set together. Then Dan brought out a ring, and Karla said “Of Course”.