Monday, December 27, 2010

to be read on my wedding day



Love has taken away my practices
and filled me with poetry.

I tried to keep quietly repeating,
No strength but yours,
but I couldn't.

I had to clap and sing.
I used to be respectable and chaste and stable,
but who can stand in this strong wind
and remember those things?

A mountain keeps an echo deep inside itself.
That's how I hold your voice.

I am scrap wood thrown in your fire,
and quickly reduced to smoke.

I saw you and became empty.
This emptiness, more beautiful than existence,
it obliterates existence, and yet when it comes,
existence thrives and creates more existence!

From Buoyancy, by Rumi



Saturday, December 18, 2010

idleness


Being a glutton in my room with my favorite snacks and magazine.
Belgian chocolate, pork skin, and shrimp chips!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Room in Rome

Always been a fan of Julio Medem (director of Sex and Lucia), I just discovered the most precious gem, Room in Rome, which only features four actors throughout the film.

The idea of a magical chance meeting, turning into an unforgettable night with a stranger. Something about the night brings out the primal, the raw emotions, and the brutal honesty in all of us.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

she once was a true love of mine

playful gloves at jack spade
the weather outside has been frightful. two days ago, New York saw its first flurry of snow. today I got my first glimpse of ice on the street. we kept ourselves warm by playing holiday music all day. 

going to snuggle into bed and read Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro. I just finished The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. Lovely book, in the loveliest way.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

belated thanks



I didn't do this on Thanksgiving. Because it was cliche and doing anything when everyone is doing it just takes the truth out of it a little, do you think?

But I find myself doing this today because a few things have happened that continually remind me of how blessed I am. And without these little blessings, I don't think I would cherish life as much as I do.

So blessed am I to have friends to call upon, who call upon me when I least expect them to. Who still surprise me by their support and random encouragement. Strangers, too. The ones who read this blog, the ones who sponsor this blog (a self-indulgent display of self expression), the ones who make their presence known with a kind word or two, without provocation or hidden intentions (commenting to get comments back, etc). The ones who say hello, and how are you. In New York, that's a gem when it happens. The ones who hold the door when my hands are full after a long day of work. The ones who say thank you. The ones who acknowledge you with a smile and not just a passing stare.

The 'library' in the solarium/lounge of our apartment that gave 'The Life of Pi.' I put a thank you note inside when I returned it.

The countless people that come and go, imposed themselves, exposed themselves, etc, have all been teachers in one way or another. Each leaving an imprint, remaking me every time.

image

l'esprit de escalier

I exploded today. I didn't mean to but I did. So many things pent up inside. So many months of swallowing my pride and following, listening to the commands of a bitter, rude little girl on a power trip. I want to believe in the goodness of others. I want to think that we are all the same at heart... and perhaps we are, her and I, but at the moment I wanted to yell at the top of my lungs at this little creature who dares to walk as if she were mightier than thou. No humility, no humbleness. No grace. We are all equals. She failed to see that, and stirred a wrath within me.

its not all bad



“It’s not all bad. Heightened self-consciousness, apartness, an inability to join in, physical shame and self-loathing—they are not all bad. Those devils have been my angels. Without them I would never have disappeared into language, literature, the mind, laughter and all the mad intensities that made and unmade me. "


— Stephen Fry


Sunday, December 5, 2010

question



what would you do if you were guaranteed not to fail?


the last night

the grilled Octopus @ Morandi

It was drizzling that night, but not as hard as the first night we arrived in Old San Juan. The Chinese called this sort of percipitation mao mao yu, which literally meant "fuzzy rain." But we carried an umbrella from the hotel, nonetheless. The past three nights before we had carefully asked the concierge for recommendations on where to eat and we were not disappointed. The length of Old San Juan can be walk in less than an hour, so after three nights we had ran out of dinner choices. Tonight was our last night, and wanting it to be special, we were left with the dilemma of where to eat for dinner. The concierge had ran out of recommendations as well. 

So we strolled around, and ended up at a restaurant at the bottom of the hill that led to the city's ports. Our stomachs were desperate for food and it was getting late. The restaurant was brightly lit in white fluorescent. The scene was stark and the crowd was unpleasant looking. Feeling uncomfortable, I occupied myself by skimming the menu, but each of our choices was shot down as the restaurant was out of everything we wanted. I ended ordering something common and forgetful. As we sat with our drinks waiting for the food, he could see the disappointment in my eyes. This night was so different from all the nights before; of perfect ambiance and gracefully prepared dishes. It was out last night. Our last chance to have a good memory of Old San Juan. So without explanation, he went to the back of the restaurant and next thing I knew, he told me to get our things. We were leaving. He had taken care of the bill, and now we would be heading to somewhere we actually wanted to be. 

The place was a gamble. It was notorious in OSJ because Anthony Bourdain had visited it on his show a year or so before, and as the locals would have you believe, has gone downhill every since that 'sell-out' moment. But it was the last vestige of 'fine dining' yet unexplored on our trip. It did not disappoint. The paella, a sea-food and rice dish, was heavenly and we ate until we found it hard to move. 

That was back in May.

Something similar replayed itself last night. It was 9PM in the west side (New York) and not wanting to wait 45 minutes to an  hour for a decent meal he opted for a generic Chinese restaurant around the corner. We had our favorite Chinese spots and this was not one of them. As the food arrived, he knew something was wrong. Needless to say, he didn't let me take another bite, had the food packed to go, and we headed over to Morandi. I can't even begin to describe how amazing the food was, from the grilled octopus for appetizer to the linguine with clam in white wine sauce, to the tagliatelle in simple meat sauce to the dessert with home-made marshmallow, dark chocolate and pumpkin sorbet. 

But what made the whole meal so romantic was the gesture he made in assuring I would smile through our dinner that night. And I smiled the whole time, ear to ear, as I stuffed myself silly.



Wednesday, December 1, 2010

worn


Today was taxing. That was an understatement. It's only been two months in the fashion industry for me, but so far, from what I've seen and observed, it seems that one either inevitably becomes a vapid snob or the resentful underdog. These seem to be the two personalities that I meet over and over again. The world of fashion, though it presents a very glamorous facade, is poorly budgeted (it pays next to nothing unless you are the top dog), extremely competitive, catty, and constantly beats down on your pride, whatever is left of it at the end of a hards day of bitch work as an intern; unpaid. 

I constantly have to remind myself every day, this is what I love. That's why I am here busting my ass. And somehow I need to find some solace somewhere so I do not end up like these people around me. On top of all this nastiness and ugly personalities, I found out some disappoint/discouraging news today. I will be freelancing for my pr firm, but the position that I was vying for, that I was told specifically would be mines, is no longer available. Life is full of these moments, I guess.

So thank goodness for friends, food and good conversations.


It's been a while, so I met up with M for dinner. We went to Salt. We;re alike in that we both like our quiet time and don't really keep in touch on a regular, but we do make an effort to meet up and when we do, its not to 'catch up.' Nothing bores me more than talking to people about what I've been up to and the trivials of my days. It's like the extent of one's relationship is a continual stream of trying to catch up and stay in the loop. No, thank you.

My future is full of uncertainly at the moment. So coincidently dinner talk bordered the subject of free-will and determinism. To which I offer the catch-phrase popularized by Cheney himself, "It is what it is," to answer all that is uncontrollable and unexplainable in life. M called it a cop-out answer. It is if we use it to explain things within our control, like hurting someone's feelings. But as for the future, consequences of our decisions, and natural disasters; It is what it is.


The chicken liver mousse with caramelized onions. I couldn't pass up a chance to try such a strange dish. And our daringness paid off. It was delectable.


M's apartment is right by the Mud cafe shop, also home of the infamous Mud Truck. I ordered a macchiato for the ride back. A real one, not the wimpy tall cup of sugar they serve at Starbucks. This one consisted of 2 expresso shots and very little milk. It provided the kick needed and I went home happy as my cabbie kept telling me about his past relationships, unprovoked. The little charms of New York. I try to soak it up, but the day's ugliness had worn me down to the core.

Thank goodness I have tomorrow off.


Monday, November 29, 2010

reality of it

People experience a paradigm shift when they start to accept something that they were once opposed. This happens more often then you think.

Though I don't think I've experienced a paradigm shift as much as a shifting of priorities. New York has that effect on people. Everyone is moving and going so fast, doing their own thing, they just don't have time for mediocrity. So it forces you to re-evaluate what is important to you. 

I guess at home I had more time for peripheral friends; the ones that aren't really at the core, they pop in and out sporadically, but don't stay long enough for a substantial connection or relationship to occur. And it does occur to me that some people's social network is only made up of peripheral friends.I can't tolerate these things. I, being the only one responsible for my relationships, choose to have higher standards. And those who cannot or fail to live up to it, will fall by the wayside. A little heartless I guess, but those who give me their precious time and energy, I give back double.

This year I am sending out holiday cards once again. And I want my mailing list to be small and concise. And I don't want to have to include anyone just because they think we are close, or because they have good intentions but are awful friends. 


Saturday, November 20, 2010

do right by your feet




Winters in Maryland were always so easy. You barely spend any time outside and getting anywhere requires getting into a car first. Now all this walking nonsense I have to do in New York totally throws the idea of cute shoes out the window in lieu of practical ones. Practical usually means flat because I can't imagine pounding the pavements of this city in anything above 1 inches. Remember back when I said my feets are a source of pride for me? This is how a girl gets away with living in heels all her life and walking off with still soft baby feet. My rules for shoes:

Never ever skimp on the price: I know Forever21 makes adorable replicas of your favorite overpriced Zanotti's but unlike their well-made counterpart, they were made on the cheap. Cheap in the footwear world equates to pain. You really do get what you pay for. These shoes are made with fake leather insoles which can wear down on the soft skin of your feet, made to fit a standard universal mold that usually isn't very ergonomic to the human foot, off balanced or use toxic materials and dyes. Uncomfortable shoes can lead to blisters, callouses and you walking a little funny (or barefoot) within a few hours to avoid pain. I know how tempting it is to have the latest and greatest without the price tag, but in the long run, your precious feets will suffer, and your evening may suffer as well. How long do you think you can dance on shoes that are literally killing your soles? Well crafted shoes are made with natural and quality material that usually conform to the shape of your feet, not the other way around. These shoes will have added cushion on the soles to increase comfort and extra care is taken during the design process to avoid any unwanted discomfort (ie, the back of the shoe rubbing against your skin to cause a nasty blister).







In the dead of winter, which ones would you most likely slip and fall in?
Leftright.





A well heeled heel goes a long way: Here's a mantra that I like to stick to: the thicker, the steadier. I have very few stiletto heels (the stick skinny ones) and they usually are so exceptionally well made that I don't have to worry about coordination (as much) especially after a few glasses of wine. But most of my heels, even the 4 + inch ones, keep me well grounded because they have wide and sturdy heels. Not to mention, you will find that wider heels leads to a more comfortable wear then their skinnier counterparts.
Flat by Daniblack


Own a great pair of flats and wear whenever possible: This goes a little against my image of wearing heels 24/7, but every girl has her secrets. In order to appear like I'm always in heels, I wear flats in my downtime whenever possible; during errands, quick grocers run, or getting a mani/pedi. No need to wear heels when there really is no need to. And its good to give your tootsies a day off once in a whiles. In the long run, you will see how thankful they are. 



Wednesday, November 17, 2010

letter challenge presents quite a challenge

Remember a few posts back when I so resolutely posted up this letter per day challenge? Well my resolve has since diminished once I realized the thought and depth required of each letter. I mean I cannot push out a letter to my parents in 24 hours. That's some deep issh that will probably will never see final fruition in my lifetime.

I don't know the purpose of this entry except to somehow justify my laziness and postpone emotionally exposing myself in the task that I signed up for.

Friday, November 12, 2010


Religions are, by definition, metaphors, after all: God is a dream, a hope, a woman, an ironist, a father, a city, a house of many rooms, a watchmaker who left his prize chronometer in the desert, someone who loves you- even, perhaps, against all evidence, a celestial being whose only interest is to make sure your football team, army, business, or marriage, thrives, prospers, and triumphs over all opposition. Religions are places to stand and look and act, vantage points from which to view the world.
— Neil Gaiman


Thursday, November 4, 2010

head in the constellations


A few years ago, I pretty much sponged up anything Vanity Fair or Vogue printed out. Add W to that. I had a subscription to W in middle school. I remember running across an article about these two brilliant people who started a PR firm together in New York. They were oh so prestigious and had some amazing brands under their belt. I remember looking at the picture that came with the article, and ingraining it into my head; two sleek New Yorkers, founders of the PR firm, standing casually, their expansive loft in the background, brick walls exposed and wooden columns abound. I wanted to be a part of that company.  This girl from a semi small town in Maryland was somehow going to find her way into this massive loft in New York in the nondescript building described in the magazine. One day. 

That was years ago and so much has happened since. I settled into my comfortable conventional job to earn a steady income. The article was forgotten and the magazines got recycled. And then I got fed up and gave that all up on a whim (in a matter of 24 hours) because I got an unpaid internship in New York.

Then a week or so ago, I googled the name of my PR firm trying to find a logo of it for a report I was working on at home, since I didn't have access to our files. As I was looking through google images, skimming down the pages, my eyes halted at a familiar picture. There stood the two founders of our firm staring right back at me in the very loft that I've been interning at for the past month and a half. I couldn't believe it. 

Somehow I had found my way to the very PR firm that I had wanted to so badly years ago to be a part of,  that I only had enough courage to fantasize about then. It's reality now, and I really don't know how to explain how it happened.

Things are looking bright at the office. More news soon. I hope. =)

“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” The Alchemist, by Paolo Coelho


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Shall we panic? Or shall we dance?

I haven't updated you on my new life in new york city as of late. I haven't because I don't know how to put it into words. Nothing solid, nothing concrete has been formed in order to be described. The future is bright and I keep moving forward, but I don't know where it's all leading and I guess that scares and excites me a bit. I don't have a clear path that I am following. I'm just following my instincts and the things I love, wherever they may lead me.

I go about the city doing errands, but I don't feel like I belong. I felt more at home here when I was a visitor than I do living here. It doesn't feel natural yet. I haven't found the right rhythm to fall into. The one time I did feel at ease was when I started yoga again. Learning to breath and ground my body was like learning how to ride a bike again. Eventually I fell into it and for a moment I felt comfortable in my own skin.

Day 2 - Your Crush

Dearest Crush,

I was supposed to write this weeks ago. I started to a few times in my head, but how does one approach a letter to a crush? So here goes my first one.

I don't usually have crushes. I can admire a beautiful face or smile. But to admire a whole person for all their being, well that's really rare. You have to be more than just a pretty face, you have to have left a strong mark from the things you do, and what you say, or don't say.

I like you because you are breathtakingly beautiful, yet painfully unaware. A flawless facade, all at once intriguing and dangerous. You embrace your flaws, your indulgences and your mistakes. You are unabashed in your wants and desires and live your life with your heart on your sleeve. But most importantly you inspire me. You've shown me that a person can be full of desires and darkness, and still be selfless and kind. You taught me to be giving to myself in order to be able to give to others. You taught me to be honest with myself and hide nothing. I think honesty is a source of confidence. If you own your truths, they have nothing to hold against you.

My crushes are very rare, because people worth admiring from afar, worth of inspiration and beautifully flawed are so very rare as well.

slow down


I could play this all day in the background as I work. The imagery is all at once mesmerizing, sensual and inspiring. The sounds are stirring and leave me in the strangest stillness and clarity. He's grown. His eyes are deeper and when they stare out, they seem to be looking for something else beneath the surface. Kanye is very self aware of his own vices, his ego, his biggest flaw and it shows in his lyrics. He's unapologetic about it. But he makes it so beautiful. I hope he never stops expressing himself. 

 

Thursday, October 14, 2010

strings

"He thought of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, assassinated in 1914. As he looked down at the bloody hole in his middle, the Archduke had said, "It is nothing." He was mistaken. There's no doubt that the Archduke Franz Ferdinand Mattered, although he was neither a prodigy nor a genius; his assassination sparked World War I--so his death led to 8,528,831 others."

Friday, October 8, 2010

Day 1 - Your Best Friend





I can't recall the last time I had a best friend. The concept seems a bit prepubescent, or too idealistic. A best friend, in the true sense of the word, can only exist in a world where you are still naive and young, undaunted by life responsibilities, the complications of sex, marriage, children and significant others. When it was all about passing notes in class and wishing on shooting stars, having a best friend didn't seem all too impossible. Now I hardly have time for consistent friends that I see every week. When I have time, we get dinner and catch up. Is that what a best friend is nowadays? Back then it was about sleepovers, crushes, getting grounded, camp-outs, secrets and bracelets. Now, if I'm lucky I get to see my friends on my birthday. Perhaps I'm too cynical. Being an adult does that to you. You're so lucky I only knew you when we were silly little girls. I'm sure I would dislike you now. I dislike most people and can only tolerate most of my friends for a short amount of time. After being let down too many times, I've also learned to stop expecting anything of my friends. So when they do reach out to me, unasked, I cherish it even more. But I don't start seeing rainbows and butterflies. I've learned, people are inconsistent, and it's perhaps time that I let go of my childish idealisms. A child expects that when someone says they will be there for them to be there. I don't think all my friends are bad at being friends, but like me, they are busy with their own lives. I guess the obvious reality of the matter is, we are not part of each other's daily lives.



But I have a thing for being too short sighted. Today, I am just in a cynical mood. I must remind myself that there were people who sat on a bus for four hours to come see me on my birthday. Someone who baked me a lovely 4-tier cake last year --the fanciest home made cake I've ever had to date. Some people sent me gifts and made me dinner, or called me to dinner. Made me special things out of what they were good at. Time. They took the time out of their lives to tell me I mean something. 

Even though we are no longer best friends and I no longer have best friends, I am glad I was lucky enough to have one growing up. Someone to share my silly thoughts and dreams with. Someone to talk to for hours on the phone and someone to see that Romeo and Juliet movie with (the one with Leonardo DiCaprio when he was such a heart throb).

Best friend, I'm glad I knew you. It would be nice to have one today, but I don't think I would even have the time for you. Maybe we can get dinner sometimes and catch up. 


xx


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

30-Day Challenge

i found this here. and it inspired me. thank you. going to start this tomorrow. It's a 30 day challenge in which each day you are to write an honest letter to a different person. The challenge goes:

A Letter to …

Day 1 — Your best friend.
Day 2 — Your crush.
Day 3 — Your parents.
Day 4 — Your sibling (or closest relative)
Day 5 — Your dreams.
Day 6 — A stranger.
Day 7 — Your Ex-boyfriend/girlfriend/love/crush.
Day 8 — Your favorite internet friend.
Day 9 — Someone you wish you could meet.
Day 10 — Someone you don’t talk to as much as you’d like to.
Day 11 — A Deceased person you wish you could talk to.
Day 12 — The person you hate most/caused you a lot of pain.
Day 13 — Someone you wish could forgive you.
Day 14 — Someone you’ve drifted away from.
Day 15 — The person you miss the most.
Day 16 — Someone that’s not in your state/country.
Day 17 — Someone from your childhood.
Day 18 — The person that you wish you could be.
Day 19 — Someone that pesters your mind—good or bad.
Day 20 — The one that broke your heart the hardest.
Day 21 — Someone you judged by their first impression.
Day 22 — Someone you want to give a second chance to.
Day 23 — The last person you kissed.
Day 24 — The person that gave you your favorite memory.
Day 25 — The person you know that is going through the worst of times.
Day 26 — The last person you made a pinky promise to.
Day 27 — The friendliest person you knew for only one day.
Day 28 — Someone that changed your life.
Day 29 — The person that you want tell everything to, but too afraid to.
Day 30 — Your reflection in the mirror.



the obligatory bucket list


{my bucket list. as of 10.6.10}

  • record and retell the life of my father
  • write a novel about growing up, through my oddly filtered eyes
  • help as many people as my mother
  • travel to tibet and have tea with the dalai lama
  • be able to speak fluently in french to my sisters
  • elope
  • swim with the dolpins
  • start a non-profit
  • start an out-reach program for inner-city/at-risk youths
  • paint a mural

Sunday, October 3, 2010

in pictures








all things go

this is to say goodbye. to my grandfather. to my old life. to who i was. to just about everything i knew to be true. everything keeps shifting under my feet. i can't get a grasp on what is going on. you'd think i'd be overwhelmed. i am. but it feels as though I am on a precipice of something entirely new. something that i have never experienced before.

we don't have to get any of it back. whatever happened, it couldn't have been done any other way and to mourn the past, is to be stuck in it. I miss my grandfather dearly. If anyone could love me more than my parents, who spent more time with me, it was him. He made me the happiest little girl growing up. I have never felt so much unconditional love. isn't that the magic about grandparents? your parents can get mad at you, or ground you. But your grandparents will never blame you for anything. he used to shield me from my mother's scorn. Every morning he would take me on his bicycle and we would ride slowly though the city, the smell of dew still thick in the air. so many beautiful childhood memories owed to him. he passed away last wednesday, having lived a full life of 98 years. I couldn't be more blessed to have had someone like that love me.

and after all these things. the move and everything, i feel buried under a long list of to-do's. I've probably inadvertently neglected some friends, but the ones who will hold this against me, probably weren't my friends to begin with. the distance is such a great filter to find out who your true friends are. half of the times, those who made an effort to reach out and keep in touch have taken me by surprised. I never knew they cared. but its a great feeling.

Everything is changing, just the way it's supposed to. I'm sitting back and waiting until my breath catches up.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Drifter


Home. I don't miss it. I am trying to find my own home, if such an idea even exists. New York doesn't feel like home yet. I feel like I will find something that resonates to me here if I was to ever find it, but right now it's still an untamed creature that I've yet to understand, with so many complexities and twist and turns. I am learning a lot. About the people here, the mentality, the way things work around here. I don't ever want to tame New York, but I wouldn't want it to tame me neither. I've seen so many people lose that glimmer in their eyes in exchange for the cold hard stares and stiff mouths. Just about everyone here is cold and apathetic. They call it being cautious. But it really is more like self defense. Why is everyone here so scared for?

I digress. Sometime I wonder if I will ever feel like I belong. If the people who love me will not just put up with me because they love me, but can also connect with me because they speak my language. I am an oddity. I have never felt like my thoughts or words have ever come out as eloquently as the next. I don't know how to be myself because I have always tried to live up to someone else's idea of what a girl like me should be like. That's it. That's what home should be; pure acceptance. You as yourself and no one else, as you like it.



Wednesday, September 15, 2010

so it begins; first runway show


I finally have time to update. Finally. 
It's my 3rd day working as a fashion pr intern, and I love every minute second of it.
On my first day, Monday, I dove head first into my first show at Fashion Week.
My heart was beating a mile a minute the whole time. I couldn't believe I was there, backstage, walking around as models were getting their hair and make up done, film crews from Elle and such interviewing the designer...it was very surreal to be there. Really be there.
The show was Monique Lhuillier and it was nothing short of breathtaking. I soaked it all in as I watched the models, beautiful tall creatures that can't possibly be human, gracefully saunter down the white runway under bright spotlights.
Front row were bloggers like Rumi from FashionToast and Bryanboy. Next to them in the same row were Emma Roberts, Rory from Gilmore Girls, Maggie Grace and that girl from 90210. The brunette singer one on the show. lol

The finale, caught on my iphone:

video



Next up was the Temperley London presentation at Milk Studios. 
We helped set up the show room the night before, so to finally see it all come together the next day was a pretty cool experience. Guests walked away with scarves from Temperley's other line, Alice and a $150 gift card. But only off your next purchase of $1,000 or more. Not kidding.



My favorite look above. Girly lace, corset top, and rockstar belt that really makes the outfit stand out.



Like all interns, I ran around the city doing errands. But I can't complain. Look where I got to go! As I was exiting Simon Spurr's office, Thom Browne walked into the elevator wearing one of his signature suits. I have always admired a well tailored suit, so I am a bit fan of the Browne cuts because they are so non-traditional and unique, but at the same time very classic. All week I was hoping to spot one on the street, but instead I get to see it on the designer himself. So that was a fun moment. I felt like a groupie.



After my first day, overwhelmed was definitely an understatement. The fashion world, as different as it may have seen from the outside, once you are immersed in it do you realize how true that is. This is like nothing I have ever experienced before. The meticulousness of it all, the pressure, the competition, and the career and lives of people all depending on a dress. Not to over simplify it, but that is what it all comes down to at the end of the day. You are working with pieces of art, do not get me wrong (when I handled the dresses from the Monique Lhuillier runway show the day after, I can swear that I've never seen such finer quality and craftsmanship in my life.), but the art is only a minor part of the actual business. From my end, I see the marketing side of it. It's very intricate and fun, but you see how it's manipulated. We are the ones dressing those celebrities you see in Elle, Vogue, V, Blackbook, Lucky, Nylon, and any other major magazine you happen to love. The dresses that you will be dying to buy come next spring, we were responsible for that impulse in you.

But besides from griping about the superficiality of the fashion world, I really am truly blessed to be given the means to be able to pursue what I love. From speaking with the other interns, those who were not still in school were taking on as many as 3 part time jobs to cover food and rent in the city, which is probably one of the most expensive cities to live in. While the rest had 40 minute to an hour long commute because they lived in New Jersey. I was lucky enough to be able to came home on Monday to our apartment in the Financial District (20 minutes from work) with a beautiful bouquet of hydrangea, dinner waiting, and he had ordered lunch for the next day for me.

Friday, September 10, 2010

bittersweet last day

 Today was my last day at the office. We all went out for a nice lunch and it was bittersweet. I've gotten to know everyone pretty well here, and as they left at the end of the day, they each gave me a hug. I'm a total hug person, so I loved it! After dying to get out of here, I thought I would be relieved and happy. I mean I am, but along with it was this sad heavy feeling. These people did manage to get under my skin and I will miss them dearly.

As I carried out my box of belongings, my boss ran after me and took a picture of me leaving. They've become almost family, but like adulthood, you gotta eventually cut the cord. I guess it's time I become an adult.

I'm moving up the rest of my things this Sunday, and Monday starts my first day at Lincoln Center for Fashion Week. I was following my company on twitter, and I'm so sad to learn that I missed the ASOS/Teen Vogue show today. I square I won't miss a single show next year. And maybe if I'm good, they'll even send me to Paris Fashion Week (we have a small office there). Sigh, a girl can dream.

But in the mean time, no looking back!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

the obvious; resumes tips

I've been searching for my replacement here for the past week and a half. We finally found one, but it was after scouring about 200 plus resumes. Having gone through the application process myself a few weeks before, it was really interesting to be on the receiving end this time. Some resumes were shockingly horrid, and some were yawn inducing, but less than a hand full (that's four fingers and the thumb) were decent.

I am by no means an expert, but this is some universal things that should apply to most resumes:

  • One page!! - Most of us (in our twenties with non-executive level jobs) only have enough professional accolades to fill one page. And that's all it should fill. Anything superfluous of 1 page immediately looks unprofessional, and having about 200 applications in my inbox makes it really easy to press the delete button on this one. If you are just out of college or not a CEO, you really need to keep it to one page. 90% of the applicants who sent in their resumes ran 2-5 pages long. Yes, 5 pages. At that point it doesn't even matter what's on the resume itself, you already lost your chance when you decided to list all your accomplishments since high school, summer jobs, or describe every job in novel form. Your resume is a valuable one page real estate. Use every inch, margin, and line spacing wisely. List only the important relevant stuff.
  • Format; a little goes a long way - Every word document defaults at Times New Roman. It would show a little bit of effort if you took the time to fiddle around with the font a little to show you put a little bit of thought into the over all look. I mean the resume does need to look a little bit different to stand out, but it also needs to be appealing to the eye over all. I pretty much deleted any application that looked dull and unappealing. I mean the first 25 of them, I skimmed almost everything, but after a while I stopped caring. Same thing with the hiring managers who are going through your resumes. Don't be afraid to use an unassuming (and unisex) blue color for your name at the top. This makes your resume pop instantly. And remember that sans serif is easier on the eye on a computer screen, not to mention it looks so much better. 
  • Less is more - Be concise when listing your job descriptions. To save valuable resume real estate, there is no need to use complete sentences as long as the rest of the resume stays consistent with this theme. Some people think the more jobs they list the better because it shows how much experience you have. Wrong. Experience to a manager equals years. If you were at a job for a year or less, unless it was a really prestigious temporary or contract job (like interning at the running mayor's office) do not put that on your resume. Managers look to hire someone who can commit for the long haul, so if you put down a short term job, it gives them the wrong impression and can actually hurt your chances.
  • Avoid fluff (aka bullsh*t) - Hiring managers can see through the euphemisms right away because they get paid to do this all day long. So if you were a sales person, do not put down "customer affairs liaison" or something so fluffed up that it isn't even clear anymore what exactly the job was. Just put down "sales associate." Thats concise and to the point.
  • Hierarchy of ADHD - My friend taught me this, and after searching for my replacement, I have to say it's dead on. Managers will pay more attention to things written at the top of the resume, and then their attention wades as they get towards the middle. They usually skip over the middle entirely if you did not grab their attention at the top, and go straight to the bottom, which is usually the part where we have miscellaneous skills or something equally random and somewhat relevant. So keep the most current job at the top with about 5-6 bullets at the most, the most important or prominent duties/accolades at the top. If your job title was "library clerk," you almost don't need to make a bullet to say "Responsible for record keeping." That's a given. The jobs thereafter should only contain up to 4 bullets and only list the most important tasks, otherwise no one will take the time to read through it. Lastly, the Miscellaneous section is where you get to show a little bit of your personality. You can show your creative side by listing that you were a 'freelance graphic designer' instead of listing that your hobbies include knitting and walks on the beach.
  • Desperately Seeking a Job - I had some people with PHD's and Masters applying to fill this job. Sure it requires a college education, but anything post grad is just overly qualified that managers won't even consider hiring you. But it's obvious why these people are applying for a job they are obviously overqualified for; times are really tough and sometimes it's even harder to find a good job when you are just, well, too good. So what I suggest here is to omit those details that would take you out of the running. You are not selling yourself short by doing this, you are simply catering your resume to suit exactly what they are looking for. 

That's all I can think of for now, but I hope it helps. I was dumbfounded to find so many resumes that surpassed the one page limit. It was mind boggling.

two planets colliding have to make a boom

Our lives change drastically depending on who we are with, lovers, family or friends. An old joke goes:


A woman goes back to her high school reunion and introduces her billionaire CEO husband to a gas station attendant. Later, the husband says, ‘Who was that?’ She says, ‘My ex-boyfriend.’ The husband says, ‘Good thing you married me! If you’d stayed with him, you’d be married to a gas station attendant.' She says, 'If I had married him, he’d be the billionaire CEO and you’d be the gas station attendant.'




Monday, September 6, 2010

i'm batsh*t crazy


Busiest weekend of my life. On Saturday, I woke up at 8AM for an eye exam (yay new thick rimmed dior frames! ), drop off a bouquet at my mother's office because it was her birthday, got a oil change because the warning light decided go off that day, packed all my belongings into three suitcases (one reserved for all my shoes), and got in to New York by 11PM. Luckily the lover was there to keep me sane, or at least absorb my intensity a bit. 


When we finally arrived at the apartment, we started setting up right a way. Obviously Rome wasn't built in a day, but having this feeling of incompleteness--my belonging split between two states, and in some sort of in-between-move limbo, I couldn't help but feel a bit displaced.

And then reality hit me like a brick. I was really leaving my previous life behind, for something new....exciting may be a part of it but right now it was overshadowed by how scared and alone I suddenly felt. Safe and secure went out the window. This is all illogical, I know, but fear of the the unknown is never from the brain but rather a source of the heart. I teared up like a baby a few times. I'm giving up my job, my really sweet bed, and my dad's home cookin. I almost curled into a ball as the boyfriend tried to comfort me as best he could. I settled for mochi ice cream and went to bed exhausted, heart unsettled as ever. Life feeling quite bleak.



This is nothing compared to those who were displaced in a war or those who lost their homes due to a recession. I am being a big baby, but this is my own personal journey. I wasn't born in the States, I was born in Vietnam, after the war. We moved here when I was 11 years old, so feeling lost is not a new feeling, but rather a fear I've come to recognize and avoided since I was 11. I never felt like Vietnam was home because it belonged to those who won the war, and after arriving in the States, I almost felt like we were in waiting...waiting to return to Vietnam when it would finally be ours again, like it was when my parents were young.

The concept of home is quite idyllic. It's the beautiful memories of a past that is long gone. It's almost an opposition to change because it's a yearning for the familiar, the stagnant past to stay the way it is forever. I'm mourning something that I never had, whose memories were never mines to begin with. The concept of home has always been about the past to me, but I'm starting to realize that along with everything else in life, your idea of what makes a place "home" is also transient. 

We are creatures of change and transitions.


Today he showed me how to use the subway to get to work. I start in a week and after a year of dating my New Yorker, I had purposely remained ignorant of the inner-workings of the New York subway system. Luckily, I only have to stay on the "Green line" and make two stops. Walking to work would take 20 minutes, so I'll save that for when I'm feeling randy. 



One sweet perk to the weekend; the US Open. Attended for the second time in a row and got to see the Murray-Wawrinka match on Sunday. We were rooting for Wawrinka the whole time so it was exhilarating to see him win.

But yes, the title says it all.


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

ready to go

Hello from the land behind the computer screen.

I leave safe and sweet Maryland in two weeks, and start my new life  in fashion PR on the 13th of September in New York. My lucky number.

We got a calendar of events yesterday. My first day will be in the midst of Fashion Week, so I will be working the Monique Lhuillier and Temperley London shows at Lincoln Center. I'm sad to miss the Simon Spurr show, but this is already too good of a dream to be true so I won't pout. We are told to wear all black on shows and special events so I've been formulating some killer outfits in my head. The only problem I have is that they all involve killer heels of some sort and I know I will be running around for 8+ hours. Not that it's never been done before, I am a bit worry about my feet. I'm very particular about feets (I know that was supposed to be foot). After 10+ years or so of wearing heels for a living, I am proud to say I have very soft feet, no callouses, nothing. All smooth and as appealing to the eye as feets can be haha. So other than that very vain and girly worry, I am very excited. I was bouncing off the walls yesterday.

The company's clients are amazing. When I went into my interview there was about 3 large boxes from ASOS sitting in the lobby.

Oh and in the midst of all this craziness, I got bangs!

xoxo,

SL

Friday, August 27, 2010

i took the plunge


I've been wasting away at this very safe job here in Maryland.
As a little girl, like just about most girls, I've been in love with
clothes and fashion. But how realistic is that? Always taking the 
safer route, I stuck to what was secure. I got a job I didn't really care 
for to just pay the bills and be comfortable. But there was always a void.
So I started my non-profit in public relations and communications.
I have no formal traditional training. While my non-profit is just starting out,
I still have this urge to be amidst what I've always loved, because
after 3 years of wasting away, I've come to realize that
no matter how much they pay you, if you are not in love with your job,
if you don't enjoy waking up in the morning to go to work,
you will never be happy. Money doesn't fix everything. Maybe for a 
moment, but in the long run, the void makes itself apparent again.


On Wednesday, 
I sent out my resume for a fashion pr internship and got a response in
half a hour later. They wanted to interview me first thing in the morning.
So it was 2pm, I book the New York bus for 5:25pm 
that afternoon and leave wearing what I wore that day to work.  

It was 10:03AM this morning  when I wrote this entry.  My interview was at 10:30. 

I wrote to a girlfriend:

"Im sitting around the corner sipping coconut water and having
a piece of chocolate. In 10 minutes I am walking over and my life will
either change or I will keep moving forward. The cabbie who drove me
here asked how I was. I said I was nervous because of my interview. And he
said 'you have to be confident. you have to express yourself'!"

It was a strange feeling today as I was walking to the interview, in the same work outfit I wore yesterday. 
New York suddenly seems to open it's arms to me. I felt new energy. 
Inviting energy.

About half an hour after the interview, I get a call back from the PR firm.

I got the internship.

I am giving up a salary for this.

But it means nothing. I will be doing what I love, amongst the things that drive me.
This is a dream. And I have a good feeling about it. I think this is the beginning of something new and exciting.
I'm finally doing what I always wanted to do in life.
The job starts in 2 weeks, right in the middle of Fashion Week in New York.


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