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Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Season Finale Part Trois: Mixed Feelings


From the Left:
1. My cubicle buddies (i.e. the two other fashion interns and the beauty intern) - the most epic girl talks went on right here.
2. Nous sommes les fashionistas! I'll definitely will miss our skylight and airiness of the floor - definitely the feeling of what I want my future home to be.
3. Our internship bracelets I bought from CM. Each of us has a different colour. - some added sparkle for the holidays :)

** Mission accomplished - the Creative Director / the Editor that does all the editorial photoshoots finally complimented on something I wore. The pleated shorts - that looks like a skirt that I bought from CM. Everyone was raving over it in the office. :D

Is it the end? My darn heart won't tell me.
These three statements continued to play in my mind these past four months:
1. luck is when preparation meets opportunity - I always think about this. Whenever something spectacular happens, I think of this.
2. you got to have the drive to survive - When things get tough, when I almost can't handle it and want to cry, I think of this.
3. you won't know until you try - Whenever I feel like I doubt my decision to have come here, I've thought of this. I'm stubborn, whether that be good or bad, so I usually stick to what I've committed myself to.

I tried packing things in my two suitcases a few days ahead of my departure. I didn't finish packing up until the end - like 3 am the morning of. I even slept in a suitcase for a little bit, so I could try and compress my clothes and fit more. One of my roommates kept asking me what was wrong a few days before I had to leave. I didn't think anything was really bothering me - but somehow he could tell.

I've always known that I'm a passionate person - in life, love, in everything I do. When I like something, I love it and it's hard to let go. People may see me as a person who lacks focus, and maybe I do... I'm a bit all over the place. But, I see it as discovering who I am through the things I try, and since I try with all my might, I have no doubts to not being a half-ass and not taking things seriously. Why does life make us choose to be one person? Couldn't I be everything at once? Well... this weird feeling has developed in me - a feeling of what's next? I've gotten a taste of what it's like to be in the fashion industry.. and not sure what to do with it. Loving things so hard makes them so much more difficult to let go - I've opened these doors and don't know which ones to close. That's what I find is the real downfall of being passionate.

So living in Toronto for four months, I'm bound to develop a new wardrobe - even if I don't get paid. A fashionista will always find a way to get clothes. Try to imagine hauling 2 large suitcases, each about 80lbs, a 50 lb backpack, and a gift bag that needs to remain upright since there's pastries in it out of the condo, into the metro, out of the metro, and a 7-minute walk to work. I had 4 people help me along the journey. Who wouldn't stop to help a tiny girl, who could literally fit in one of those suitcases. I was carrying twice almost three-times my weight. Boy, I don't think I'll try that again. Don't worry, I took the taxi from work to the train station after.

The talk. I finally had a chance to talk to the editors about my future prospects in the industry. They both were very kind in saying that I was an "intern superstar". They felt that I did extremely well. I mentioned to them that I was interested in doing possibly fashion week organization - scheduling, behind the scenes, and such. And, they could not have thought of a better fit. After requesting tickets for both cities, Paris & New York (interns usually just do one), they could see how meticulous, organized, and persistent I was. I have to say, sitting at the desk and calling people internationally isn't the most glamourous or exciting thing, but possibly working for a PR firm and planning shows and actually seeing the work come alive would give me chills. The editor said I would go far in the industry and suggested I stay in Toronto.

I didn't get a chance to make that many friends beyond those I worked with while I was here. But, with those that I did work with I made some close relationships - they were the ones who I talked to about my troubles and their troubles. We became a close-knit familia.

The train ride home. I didn't know how attached I had been getting to this big city - that doesn't seem to be that big anymore. As the train left the station, I couldn't help but let my eyes well-up as I saw the big skyscrapers and bustling city move further and further from my reach. Even though I felt pretty alone here, sometimes the city would surprise me making me feel like it was keeping me company. This dream, this reality - it wasn't all perfect, fun, and dandy. It was hard work and realization that I needed to grow up. But, this internship taught me so much about myself and really was my little miracle. Both of the other interns got in through networks while I did it all by myself. In this industry, I could have never fathomed.

It's time to come home. And, as the editor said, "regroup".


Ah.. Dundas Square. This place I'll miss a lot - late nights coming from work, and bustling times filled with shoppers, performers, and events. This place always makes me feel like I'm doing something spectacular and that something out there is waiting for me...

Enjoy the holidays everyone! :)

Season Finale Part Deux: Last Weekend

One of My Uncles :)

Family Dinner. So I'm lucky to have a few relatives who live in Toronto that I can visit. They were kind enough to have an early Christmas dinner since my cousin just got back from a 10-day meditation camp and since I was leaving soon. (Yes...10-days of silence that she asked me to come along with too...) They have a 2-day kids one.. I think max I could go for that. Haha. My thoughts can be deadly sometimes - I think it has to do with the creative juices. Can't be creative without being a little insane. So yes, dinner was delicious. My uncle is a wonderful chef. I even got into a fight with my dad when I was little about how delicious my uncle's rice is. (My dad drove me to the airport saying I should fly to Toronto and go have my uncle's rice.) Haha. My uncle is such a sweet man - my aunt and him have this apartment and they have family pictures EVERYWHERE, i.e. kitchen cupboards, fridge, tv, anywhere you could fit a photo - like a family gallery.

BABYFACE

Babyface. Instead of going downtown clubbing, my roommate wanted to go to this Asian club. First time ever - there's parking for a club. As if? There was also an open-fire pit to keep people in line warm...but only the people at the front of the line! And to make things even more funny.. there was a separate line for karaoke! Well.. eventually, we convinced the bouncer after what seemed like an hour of waiting to let us three girls in, since "we drove all the way from Ottawa to get there.." (like 4 months ago! haha). So what I've realized was that Asians don't dance. Most of them just stare. We tried to have as much fun as we could nonetheless. Random people danced with us... some dude danced with me who apparently had a gf, which this other girl made blatantly obvious to him after dancing with me. (I had no clue until my friends told me after). After some guy got bashed in the head with a beer bottle and a pool of blood spilled on the ground, we left. Definitely not an epic night.


Fancy Farewell Dinner @ Trios

Farewell Dinner @ Trios. I wanted to have a fancy dinner before I left. No one seemed up to go downtown, so I found something nearby our place. Turns out this restaurant was in a hotel. There was barely anyone there.. kinda bummed out about that. But, the food was good anyways. My friend and I tried these tasters, where you can select things of the menu that are appetizer/bite-size. We had risotto (yum.. I had this on my birthday when I was in Italy earlier this year), a goat cheese dish, and calamari. My two roommates got into a fight in the middle of dinner, so that was sort of upsetting as it was my farewell dinner.. but eh.. our roommate dynamic will always be like that. I've learned to love and forgive.

This was at Pacific Mall. I haven't had sticker pictures for SO long. It's when you get the most Asian out of me - when I take these photos. Haha.

Dessert w/ Roomies @ Cafe Princess


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Season Finale - Part 1: Peace Out Club

Last Shift? @ the Eaton Center

The end to extremely late night work at a mall I go in/see almost everyday since I've been here. This last shift wasn't the best note I could end on. It was a downright upsetting last note to end on. The manager was picking on me all night. One, saying I wasn't loud enough to greet the customers. Two, she was surprised that I asked to be transferred...she thought I was just leaving. Three, at close, she asked me, "Do you call this clean?" and nit-picked on everything I did. She didn't know it was my final shift.. but I don't think it would have made a difference. I don't know if she was upset that I was leaving at a busy time at the largest Club Monaco store in Canada, or that she was just having one of those days. But, boy.. was I ever glad to have finished and jetted out of there at 11:30pm. You'd think I've learned to toughen my "shell" by now...with the industry that I'm currently in, but no... it still gets to me. And yes, I did cry a little when I got home.

On a better note, the other manager - who is extremely nice, transferred me to the Club Monaco back home.

Despite all this, I'm going to bring a box of chocolates to share amongst the 100 employees that work there.

I'll definitely miss their amazing visual displays of clothes and special third-party items that only the Eaton Center carries. I'll miss the odd customer that would let me pick out outfits for them that they'd actually buy - those baller customers. And, last but not least...some of the coolest cats there are - my co-workers.

I've learned to hate selling based on productivity. But, I love when I get the chance to give my opinion on how something is worn, or what to wear with items, and picking out outfits.

Being only my second retail job, the first being the Bay in the Menswear... where I didn't necessarily have things I could buy for myself to wear, Club Monaco - I've learned the retail woes of working in a store with great clothing. You go broke. You work for your clothes. Good or bad - depends how you see it.

Let's see what CM has in store back home...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Day 76: I Feel So Bundled Up

Snow has finally reach Toronto and is here to stay for the winter! The first snowfall is always the best. Living on the 10th floor of this condo building, I get a spectacular view of the snow falling, falling, falling. Sometimes the wind blows so hard that the snow even flies upward - what a magical sight. We have a tunnel system through the underground parking lot, but I always skip it when it's fun weather like this.

Time to pull out the winter jacket, cozy sweaters, and warm boots. It's a great time to layer, but the vast difference in weather between the subway station and outside compares to being a hot spring in the subway while being all bundled up. That's why we just sit there like melting snowmen until the stop comes. Have I ever been so excited to run outside in the freezing cold...

Speaking of cold weather... our editor is leaving for Miami in a few days. I wonder what she'll bring to wear. ~~~ Parkas or bikinis!

My nice Japanese phone, which is white, which is the reason why I bought it has finally met it's last call/text message. Great...JUST before my internship ends, and when the white iPhone4 hasn't come out yet.. which I doubt will (it'd be a waste of effort since iPhone5 is only to come out in another 6 months). So, I have to cave in and get the black iPhone4, but there aren't any even available at Fido Stores for the past half week.

After being upset at getting a $350 phone bill for the past month, I got fed up and called customer service. Originally, this mean lady only gave me a $30 credit, and the next day the retention dude said he couldn't reopen it. Today, I got another $50 credit, but I think that's all I'll be able to get. Never have I ever gotten such attitude and poor service from a company. 1. They're inconsistent from agent to agent as to what the rules are. 2. They don't clarify things - and expect you to know the rules right off the bat. 3. They don't understand the motto "Customers are always right." Anywho, I hate negotiating things, but I think that's substantial to help me out. Both my roommates said I didn't sound angry enough - but I thought I sounded PRETTY irate. Gonna work on that... I also negotiated a 3-year contract in advance for the iPhone4 I want to purchase. Here's the plan:

Voice - $25
  • 200 daytime minutes
  • Unlimited Evening (starting at 5pm) & Unlimited Weekends
  • Unlimited Fido-to-Fido calling --> I hope there's a lot of you out there...
  • 2500 text messages
  • Caller ID & Voicemail (a must have for some reason since I got my first phone)
Data - $30
  • 6 GB (not offered to new customers)
What do you think? Did I rob a bank? Or just stole a candy?
_______________

Last weekend:

One-of-a-Kind Show. My roommate and I went to this artisan event held at the Exhibition Place. The best part of it was actually the ride there (you have to take a streetcar from Union Station but it goes underground... so cool!) and the food. There was lots of jewelry, furs, wacky clothing (which the model intern did runway shows for, for the whole week), and art. But, the food was great to try - especially when it was getting to dinner time, and I was super hungry.

Black Swan. This movie sucked the life out of me. SO INTENSE! It originally played at the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). My roommate really wanted to see it, and it was only playing in ONE theatre in all of Toronto for a limited release. The Saturday show was sold out, so we went to see it on Sunday. It was one of the most amazing, dark, suspenseful, and disturbing yet beautiful movies I've seen. Natalie Portman really shines in comparison to the minor characters in the movie. I couldn't help but fall in love with the dress she wears to the party where they announce her as the main role. All the costumes were done by Rodarte - bravo! At the end of the movie, you'll want to wear cashmere everything AND you'll want to kill yourself. Haha.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Day 73: Perfection on a Budget

Black, Black, Black, Black

TGIF. I was pretty much on my own today at the office. So, with all our duties complete, I cleaned this area in front of my cubicle. The editor-in-chief of our magazine asked me to move all the archived magazines at the corner of her area to that section. But how to organize all the magazines with no shelving system available and a zero-dollar budget? Easy-peasy.. I found those cardboard boxes that you buy bulk computer paper in. And since you know those boxes fit letter size, it was perfect for the magazine! And somehow I arranged them so that it would fit PERFECTLY in the little nook on top of the drawer unit. How lucky is that? I felt so proud of my little cleaning project... haha. silly of me, neh?

Today was the photography intern's last day. He has a happy ending - leaving to Holland to join the photography team from our magazine. How great is that? Congrats to him. Though I didn't get to know him that well, we had a jolly good time emailing about contacts together.

Club Encounter. Yet another man approached me on my Wednesday shift of greeting. At least this time he wasn't as serious and didn't get all up in my face. I'm glad I'm so tired by the time I work at Club ... that way half the time I'm not even listening/caring about what he has to say. Though, he did blurt racial and sexual remarks. Why me...

Wen-Do. This week was my last class of self-defence. As our finale, we had the option of breaking a board. How could I pass this up? Here's the result of my hammerfist (Hiyah!):
Imagine This Was Your Face

I really hope I don't have to ever use what I've learned, but if I do, I hope I still remember and that it actually works. >.<>

Monday, November 29, 2010

I Want to Be Your Rocketeer


On Saturday, I worked at Club Monaco for their morning to afternoon shift. It's been a while since I've worked a full 5 hours on the floor. And, this time it was the craziest busy, and I was placed at the front (which I feel is a prestigious role since you're with all the new merchandise) for the whole time. EXCEPT for the first hour - I was engaging, i.e. greeting people. So, I really enjoy greeting people because 1. I get to people watch outside the store, 2. Be alone with my thoughts when there's nothing to do because otherwise I'd just be standing there, and 3. I get to see what people are wearing when they enter the store. Well, NOT this time. This time, YES at 10 AM in the morning, a.. most likely drunken scary looking man approached me and started talking about the most vulgar, sexual things. I thought he'd eventually back off but came closer and closer. He asked for my number and when I was working next. OBVIOUSLY, I didn't tell him anything.. but as he left he asked for a hug and I took a huge step back and he went to slap me on the bum but missed and hit me on the thigh. NEVER have I felt so violated before. Men can be such creeps sometimes. He left and then came back later looking for me, but no real harm was done. The rest of the day was filled with busy American Thanksgiving discount shoppers. The mall was packed! Glad I was going home before the mad mad rush.

My brother was in town. So he came to visit me. We went to Yorkdale Mall - which has the most AWESOME christmas light display. I took a video. Post it soon~ And, then we had dinner @ Ten Ren on HW7. It's the biggest in Toronto? All their food is made with tea, ex. tea drenched chicken. Food was pretty good. I really liked the soup. I'm starting to love soup - because my parents make soup all the time. I used to complain about drinking it... but now I know what's good has always been there.

Raptors Vs Hawks @ ACC

Today, I went to the Raptors vs. Atlanta basketball game @ the ACC (Air Canada Centre). My friend's friend won tickets for the executive suite box seats! Besides have a really good private view and private bathroom, the suite included: all you can eat catering, snacks, AND open bar. They EVEN had dragon fruit. They also had this menu with JUST ice cream (Hagen Daaz & Drumsticks). HEAVEN! Don't worry.. when I got home, I went to the gym for an hour. Though, that didn't help much because the HD ice cream cone was 340 calories. D:

Only 3 weekends left before my internship ends.

We finally got some snow in Toronto <3.

Next week, holiday hours start, so I'll be working at Club Monaco until 11:30 instead of 11pm. Zonk.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Day 66: Home Early for Once


Perks of working until 11pm @ the Eaton Center

(I got a secret preview of the famous Christmas tree; carolers were rehearsing for the Santa Claus parade too - like a private performance. How lovely~)

Work is per usual. We gettin' our shatz done. We're getting speedier and speedier every issue. And, I actually enjoy emailing the PR people for things and putting in some personal comments here and there that go beyond work. Our cubicle really has become our own; it's going to feel weird to pass it along to another three interns in a matter of a month.

So since I wasn't in Toronto over the weekend, I missed a bunch of fun events. There was the Santa Claus parade...The one I actually really wanted to be at was the Lanvin for H&M launch. Every so often, H&M does a collaboration with high-end designers to make a select few pieces for an affordable price that everyday people can purchase. Mind you, Lanvin dresses go for a few thousand. These pieces were priced at around $200-400? Here's a promo video of the collection that was launched (and probably sold in seconds):

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Day 64: Finally Hailed a Cab

Ode Club Monaco Outfits
From left to right:
Look 1: Iman shirt, Fabian chinos
Look 2: Devon shirt (yes, this was from the men's side...but it's so soft!)
Look 3: Nina scoop back top (one of my faves)
Look 4: Julie turtleneck (part of my gifted outfit), last year's skirt

Over the weekend, I discovered wine & beer make me drowsy. It's been the first experience I've had where things get blurry and I can't walk in a straight line. I FINALLY understand that MADD commercial where they use those wine glasses to impair the driver's vision to show you what it looks like through a drunk person's eyes. I have never felt so drowsy after drinking alcohol. It's like I was in a random state of existence. Trippy.

I went back to Ottawa... it was sort of a last minute thing. I didn't tell anyone that I was going back, so those who did see me - you should feel special. And, those who didn't see me, you're still special - but I'm sad I didn't get to see you. One of the reasons I went back is because I was inducted to the International Golden Key Honour Society. Wasnt' that big of a deal... but I paide $100 for the lifetime membership, so I figured I'd and grace them with my attendance... jkjk. It turned out to be only a 10 minute gathering. Waste. There was also a Begin2Believe event that I was helping with photography. I've been so lucrative with my leave Ottawa for Toronto, that some old friends didn't even know until now. My bad. Ottawa was chilly, but still the place I love.

The magazine cycle is starting to pick up now. Slowly but surely. I started the day by packing last minute things for the editorial 17-page spread photoshoot that's going on for the next two days. The shoot is being spread throughout Toronto and the GTA. We took a taxi to the trailer to pass along stuff. It was a nice break from sitting in the office all the time. Later on in the day, they needed some things to be packed up for a local designer, so again, hit the taxis and head over to a new location, packed things up, and headed to the designer's studio. First time being in a designer's studio... kind of fun. We actually got to meet the designer, which was super awesome. I didn't know what to say...the other intern said, "Hey, nice to meet you. I really like your clothes." And, all I said was, "Hi, we talked on the phone..." Oh god...how embarrassing. Ah well. I really want to be on set for one of the editorial shoots before my internship is done. Please?

So pretty much, I'm scheduled every week on Monday nights at Club Monaco guaranteed. This week, maybe they put me on a Sat instead of the Wed because I sold like $500 worth of clothes to this lady last week. I'm starting to get the hang of their sales tactics (i.e. sweet talking). I sealed the deal for a scarf this man wanted by : a)mentioning it as a sale item b) the colour complimenting both his hair and eyes. Haha. Oh this feels wrong.~ But I was telling the truth. Anywho... I think this manager has beef with me ever since I asked him about my gifted outfit and he snapped at me saying, "Kristy, not to be disrespectful, but this is the least of my problems." Sigh. I don't like being on people's bad side. And today, he forgot about my half hour break, and made me take it after close (meaning I had no where to go but stay in the breakroom). Adding Club Monaco to my plate has really made me test myself as to whether I can handle stress, fatigue, and stamina. I feel like I'm subconsciously testing myself to see where my limits are. We'll see if I go crazy soon enough.

Looking forward to the Pandora event going on later this week. :)

Party Weekend

Clubbing @ Frequency

Last weekend. Some Ottawa friends came down to visit. I got ditched by some dude I was supposed to show around town. Went to downtown Korea town for the first time since I moved here. Soju & beer are a bad mix to deal with. We learned that Friday night is when Asians go clubbing. (We went on a Saturday to Frequency). Circa is shutdown. When you have too many Jagerbombs, you're up till 5am in the morning with ringing in your ears and not one ounce of feeling that you are tired. I'm the BEST person to learn driving from. (cough, cough*** roommate hintage). There's a cool place for speciality selected dimsum right down the street from where I live. Forget what it's called...

Besides many other cool places on Queen Street West, I took my friends to this place called New Era. The one on Queen is the flagship and has a cap press that irons out all the kinks before you roll out with the new swag.

I haven't had Asian cooked meat in a while. Since my roommate rented a car to practice driving, we went crazy grocery shopping. We stopped by the Asian market to pick up some cooked meat. This was a good dinner.

More Than Half Way Mark

Publication for the winter issue has been long done. We pretty have been sitting and doing nothing for the past month. But, it's given me time to reflect and think about the future.

Should I:
  1. Go back to Ottawa (start my masters research)
  2. Apply to UBC for their Operations Research masters?
  3. Stay in Toronto - try to assist a stylist (no clue how to start there)
  4. New York? I saw some postings for finance jobs in clothing companies
  5. Try another internship? - probably not since I'd have no money left
  6. Find a job in Toronto (this man I met in a carpool said he'd try to help me find one)
I don't really know if I love fashion as much to make it a career. It's hard to say with the internship since the tasks we've been doing aren't really what I'd be doing for a career. I haven't decided if it's that I really just like buying clothes OR I really just love clothes? The events are glamorous no doubt. And what better things to get for free, but clothes, bags, and accessories? One thing I'm sure of: I'm glad I picked this internship. It hasn't been as much as I've expected, but I've taken it as something that's made me live my life a little bit more than I could have before. I'm still that naive Ottawa-ian but more stylish and confident in who I am.

So far, it's looks as if the end date will be Dec 23. Bummer.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

It's Like I'm Not in Toronto

High Park

A sunny but cold day, my cousins and I trekked places in Toronto that make you think you're not in Toronto. First stop, High Park - the largest park in Toronto. People say it's like the Toronto equivalent of New York's Central Park. It was a nice walk around the park with the crisp, cold air and scent of leaves flowing around. There were PILES and PILES of leaves that were calling my name to jump in and join the fun... but I resisted. Maybe next time. We saw a residential area behind the park with houses that had windows galore. What a wonderful place that would be live...to wake up and see the wonders of nature amidst the congestion of the metropolitan.

The Distillery District

The quaintest little area filled with historic ventures. There were plenty of little shops, boutiques, furniture stores, and galleries. The picture on the right was from a little art gallery called CubeWorks. All the art is made of rubics cubes! Isn't that crazy?? They also featured an artist, whom I forgot their name, but they had the most amazing metal 3-D netted half sculpture of a women's body...and when there's a shadow casted, it's like a whole other piece of art. That's definitely something I could stare at for an hour. OH! And when you get close to Balzac's Coffee Roasters, you'll know it. The whiff of roasted coffee beans will engulf your sensory palettes and bring a seeping flow of aroma into your nose and extend into the very tips of your blood flow. I'm not much of a coffee drinker, but I love the smell. When you walk in, it's like a modern, huge barn. With artwork everywhere, and scaleable decor, it definitely brings an atmosphere I've never felt before. I think they even have the hot drinks with steamed milk that they make shapes out of the foam! Love. A great place to have a date or to socialize in a group.

For dinner, we went to Greens Vegetarian Restaurant. This was my first vegetarian meal ever! On the menu, it said things like "mock beef, mock duck...". My cousin's husband joked around with me all night saying I wasn't going to get any meat. It's lucky I'm alright with tofu and bean curd...because I think that was basically it. They just made them look like/taste (not quite) the meat. The place was very clean, and the food tasted very clean beside the massive amount of oil that outdoor Chinese food has. I'd say 3.5 out of 5. Haha.

Yay to an extra hour in life. Just for today.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 50: Where's Katie? Veranika? Bianca?

There's this new rule at Club where you have work two weeks in order to get your outfit. Every other employee I tell that I haven't gotten my outfit yet is surprised. Yah. I got screwed. And, I got screwed even more on Tuesday. Two weeks for me was on Monday, but I had to cover for someone the hour I was going to get the outfit. So, I up and went to the store on my lunch break. Not only did I have to accommodate my lunch hour for the manager coming in, but I didn't even end up getting my outfit. They gave me this piece of paper with 6 options for outfits. At Club, all the clothes are given people's names (i.e. Celine, Sarah..) as their style code, so employees can remember them and sell them better. This sheet had all these names on them, but I had NO clue what they looked like. I swear I looked for 40 minutes racing around the store (because 1. my lunch break was over, 2. I just wanted to get my outift..and finding the clothes was only half the battle). After finding the clothes, I'm supposed to try them all on to get a "fit and feel" and get someone's opinion on what looks best on me. THEN, I'm supposed to pick one and put everything back in it's place. All that in an hour? Well...supposedly it's possible, but NOT when the clothes aren't even there. Turns out.. half the clothes are for the December collection. I'm waiting until next Monday... and if it's not there.. well. Screw me.

Pseudo Family (missing 1) @ Sugar

So pseudo family member in the middle of the above photo is leaving us. He's broken our family apart and moving to Hong Kong... for a little while or forever. Isn't it funny? We're colour coordinated. Sigh.. he's the one who actually got my jokes. And, he's the one who told me I should gamble! Hhahaha. We talked at the dessert place about what he'd miss about Canada. Here's what he said: 1. clean air, 2. weed, 3. Ottawa Shawarma (specifically Shawarma King), 4. Pho, 5. clubbing in Ottawa, 6. and although he wouldn't truly admit it, pseudo family.

Nudely Basic

It's been more than halfway through the internship.




Halloween Hoopla

DIY Tulle Skirt - Peacock

Friday Night @ Tila Tequila. Okay, so Toronto has influenced me a tad. All the clubbing parties are on Friday nights. Which means, I HAD to go Halloween clubbing Friday night - no doubt. Originally, I wanted to go to Mansion since my roommate told me they were having Halloween festivities all weekend long. But, my other friend said he was meeting up with new friends @ Tila. Did I really care where I clubbed? Not really...just wanted to make my trip back worth my while. So, the ladies and I got ready - we were together a peacock/fairy/cop. Didn't match, but whatevs. They looked smokin' hot anyways. There, we met some new faces and partied all night long. Shot after shot... I was still having fun. Yah, for sure.. I met some pretty dope (bahahah) peeps.

Some personal things happened this weekend (both good and bad), but that's something to share to my close ones in person. It was still hard to leave Ottawa. Everytime, I feel like I'm leaving so much behind. But, this time, the ride back.. I didn't feel this aching pain - I love distractions and this was the best kind.

PS. I took an Asian carpool - you know.. those one from CFC. Oh boy, was it the most asianest ride back. My feet were cramped, and there was old folk music playing. Oh, I love you so, Ipod!

Last Week's Busiest Week So Far Recap

On Sunday. I finally met up with my friend who really made me start this all - an opportunity in the fashion industry. We were coworkers back in Ottawa. One day, when the store was dead, he asked me: "Why aren't you in fashion? Every time I see you on the computer, you're looking at clothes." That's what kind of gave a nudge into the direction of where I am now. How crazy is that? That I was going to just randomly apply for the internship and actually get in. Weird how the world works. So yah, it was great to catch up with him and see where he was at in terms of his aspirations.

Day 45
. I couldn't remember much more than just keeping my eyes open as I folded clothes and cleaned at Club Monaco that night after my internship. But somehow I made it through. I usually can't sleep for another hour or so when I get home from outside... so it felt even longer. Thank goodness, the magazine let me come in at noon, since the week has been pretty dead in terms of things to do. The thing that sucked was because I left so late from work, the subway only ran northbound halfway to where I needed to be. The manager at Club said it should be still running, and if anything they would pay for a taxi ride home. Well no, it wasn't running all the way up... I ended up taking a shuttle bus half way, which took a long ass time. Not only that, there was a creepazoid man that just HAD to sit beside me out of all the empty seats. Bummer.

Day 46. I'm still pretty tired at this point, but I promised my niece (my cousin's daughter) to this self-defence class at night. They told some pretty empowering stories that I think will stick with me for the rest of my life. And, so womanly defence moves. (I tried this later on my brother... and it didn't work. -.-)

Day 47. Today at Club, the regional manager was coming. I was given warning during orientation that you need to look your best when they come, i.e. girls need to wear heels. So being a tiring week already, I was looking forward to standing in heels for 3 hours after 7 hours of work. Great. Turns out? I was assigned to back stock. Bahaha. It was fun. Met some new characters for sure.

Day 48. I left work early! My roommate's friend was in town and was leaving that day. Who wouldn't take an offer for a ride! We got home just in time for me to have dinner with the fam. And rejoice in my much missed room for some long awaited sleep.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Level 3 Spookifier

Halloween Haunt @ Wonderland

Halloween Haunt @ Wonderland. I've never gone to the haunt at Wonderland - I had to...even in the pouring rain. Luckily, the fog from the park protected us from the rain? because it subsided by the time we got in the park. The closest thing to a haunt I've been on is the CHILLS for CHEO, where a CHEO dream home is decorated to spook and scare. I was pretty hyped up for the event and ready to hear my heart pump faster. Wonderland is changed into a ghoulish atmosphere by changing their water fountains into eerie red liquid (via cool lighting) and is decorated with webs, cemeteries, and spooky monsters lurking all over. *Yawn* My rating for the scare factor was a 3 out of 10. There were so many people lined up that sometimes you would know what to expect from the people screaming in front of you... but I tried to leave a longer gap between the people in front and I. No matter, it wasn't scary. Weird thing was each maze we went into a monster would always try to follow me at some point. Guess I know the kind of people I attract...

Beyond the haunted mazes, we couldn't pass up going on the infamous Wonderland rides. If it wasn't spooky fright, then why not try some "heighted-fear." Behemoth - the largest and tallest ride in Canada. We had to crack this whip first. It was definitely the best fun and fear of the night. Even though it says it closes at midnight, we didn't leave until 12:30 - 1am. Guess the park knew that everyone was delayed because of the rain. We drove to MacDonald's because we were oh so hungry... and ended up waiting in line there LONGER than any of the rides/mazes. Ironic.

Upcoming next week...
Monday - having a 15-hour work day. 10-5 internship; 5-1am Club Monaco. (can you believe it? ... it's called a "power close".)
Tuesday - I registered for Wendo: a self-defence workshop for women my cousin referred me to
Wednesday - 13-hour work day. 10-5 internship; 6-11pm Club Monaco
Thursday - heading home at night; got Friday off.
Friday - partying in big O!
**P.S. those partying in da club... try to find me! bet you can't ;) I'm not giving any clues on my costume.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day 43: We Don't Belong In Here...

LG Fashion Week

So yesterday, when we (the fashion interns) were leaving the LG Fashion Week venue, the photography intern just happened to be outside. He took our photo (how nice). Unexpectedly, this morning, we receive and email from him with the photo attached AND notifying us that it's also on a blog in Holland called Team Peter Stigter. We appear in both the main revolving photo screen on the homepage and also in the Toronto Streetwear Day 3 category. (Try and find us!) I couldn't have worn the plainest thing that day... and we seriously don't belong in either of the sections (just look at the previous photo and photo after ours... it becomes really evident). We had a good laugh about it.

At night, my older cousin invited me over to her place for dinner. She's super vegan and has a holistic lifestyle. I prepared myself with the lack of meat by eating leftover Bulgogi from yesterday's Korean dinner I had with my other cousin. Meal was delicious and not quite as extreme as I had envisioned. My older cousin then took me to a meditation talk. It was in a little store that sold things for spirtuality, like books, cd's, scents... The talk was about different types of meditation and how it can better yourself in becoming more you. A little strange to say/think about, but it made sense. The speaker talked about how we get so caught up with the hustle & bustle of life that we become distant with our conscious selves. We did a little group mini meditation in our circle. It was interesting to learn about but there was so much to absorb that I got lost near the end. My cousin plans to do a meditation excursion for 10 days, where you eat vegan and meditate for 10-days straight. You can't move either... only during breaks and for eating your 2 meals a day. That means... no washroom .. only during breaks!

After that, we got a message from my younger cousin that her fiancee got a free night at the Hyatt on King Street West. So, my older cousin, her family, and I went to go snoop this place out. It was SO modern/classy. And, the view was spectacular. My cousin had some troubles adding her name to the guest reservation because it was under financee's. He told them about their difficulties and upgraded them to the DIRECTOR Suite on the highest floor - 20th!! So how much would you say a director suite in downtown core of Toronto could go for? $1200 smackeroos. The showers even have power jets from the sides. I think I'd take a chair and just sit in there for a few hours.

From Left to Right: view / cool floating couch / the suite / the lobby or lounge area

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day 42: The House of Groves

It was one of the editor's birthday today. I went an another errand adventure and bought her a birthday card + present. The other editor gave me some money and off I went. She told me to buy a card and cookies from Mrs. Fields. Buying a card for someone I don't really know - not as hard as I thought. Since we are in a fashion magazine, I just found a card that had a jacket on it with a price tag that said $Yikes. When you open it, it says "Not a day to be practical. Happy birthday." I totally agree...haha. As for the cookies, turns out Mrs. Fields sells cookie cakes. These large cookies that can be personalized. I got a cookie card for her and a few cookies. No clue what kind of cookie she likes, so hopefully she's not picky. Oh, and since the spelling of her name isn't the usual way, I called our reception to double-check. Wouldn't that be horrible as an intern to mispell the editor's name? What a nightmare that would be...

<<<>>>

Our days this past week have slowed down for sure. We've finished most of our tasks for the Winter issue, so all that is left is some maintenance work, i.e. cleaning the closet and filing lookbooks. Lucky enough, Toronto LG Fashion Week is this week for Spring 2011 collections. I wanted to volunteer for the event, but by the time I thought of it, it was too late to register. The two editors we work under though, gave us their media passes to go see a show and take notes. We took a taxi to the Heritage Court at the Exhibition Place (where the CNE is held and other entertainment venues year-round) and saw The House of Groves by Jennifer Waters. It was a presentation, but great nonetheless. The clothes were neutral tones and seer-sucker with splashes of coral for daywear and black intricate designs of classics for evening. All hair was done so it looked naturally windblown with moderate volume. Natural makeup. A well, put-together show for an LG Fashion first-timer.

Day 40: First Day at Club Monaco

What a long day that was. I had 13-hour workday. 10-5 fashion internship, and then 6-11pm Club Monaco.

What I wore:
- Julie grey turtleneck
- CM gold ring
- Bianca black/white checkered skirt
- thigh high black socks
- black flats
(I wasn't sure if I could wear the skirt, since it was last winter Club Monaco, but they seemed fine with it)

I was a bit worried with what I wore. They're strict on things like, you have to wear flats that are plain, i.e. no bows, no sequins, no studs. The visual manager even said I can't wear patent, which is a shiny black.

Men's Back. I spent a good portion of my shift there - folding clothes and helping customers, per usual in a retail setting. There database system for looking up clothing stock in other stores is pretty neat too. I spent my 15 min break eating what I had brought as my dinner. This was probably 7 hours after my last meal.

Engaging. This is what they call the greeter. You stand at the front of the store, and make conversation/greet entering customers. I liked looking across the hall into other stores and seeing passer-byers. I had a big smile, so most people smiled back. I got a few hi's even though they weren't going in. But then!!!.... from a distance, I saw a familiar face. Could it be? But, an Ottawian. Yes! I was kind of having a stressful first day.. trying to learn the ropes, so it was definitely nice to see that surprise. Turns out he is here for the week for some consulting @ Deloitte. The company flew him over and he's staying @ the Mariott downtown. How lucky is he? I want to be able to fly around the world on business trips too. Too bad though, thought I'd have some more friends in Toronto to hang out with. I really wish I could just move all of Ottawa into Toronto for 4 months. I'd be good after that.

Closing. My shift ended at 11pm, but Eaton Center closes at 9pm, which means we closed for 2 hours. We tried to refold everything and sized (put piles of clothes from XS in order to XL), and spaced (moved the hangers on the rack so they were evenly spaced). As if, a store needs to be that perfect. But anywho, I was pretty beat after that. One of the other employees ended up taking the same subway back towards north, and he chatted with me telling me a few things to watch out for. The employees are all really nice... managers on the other hand.. a few to watch out for.

Weekend was for walking.

Vintage Shopping. One of the interns gave me a list of vintage places to check out downtown. There's quite a few on Queen Street. So, Saturday..I took this lovely day to walk from Yonge Street to Dufferin (which is a really long-ass walk, about an hour walk). I stopped by about 3 vintage shops. It was nice to walk around Queen Street West. There's plenty of things to see.. and as you get further, there's nice cafes and tiny art galleries. I didn't end up finding anything right, since some things I liked weren't my size. I haven't completely given up on vintage... but I got pretty tired of it after that day. There is one store I do still want to check out... it's called Apt 909 on Dundas West. Apparently, this place is where Japanese people go to, to be inspired for looks.

Before vintage shopping, I checked out the Bay for their "Bay Day Sales". Everything in the store was at least 30% off. So, here was my chance to check out the ring I fell in love with from the beauty shoot they did for the magazine. The ring is by Alex Fraga, a Brazilian jewelry designer. Originally I liked the amethyst 3-D stone ring with a stone band, but it didn't fit very well and only comes in one size. So, the sales lady showed me another few, and I found the perfect one - an emerald stone ring w/ a stone band. Oh my, did it ever look so lovely. Didn't end up buying it though. I didn't feel like shelling out all that money at once. Maybe when I start making more money.. I mean any money at Club Monaco.

That day, I had to take the street car up to Bloor once I finished to meet up a friend. I feel like I'm starting to get used to the transit systems in Toronto more since I don't feel the need to look up directions all the time anymore. There are no maps of bus routes, but they're basically straight lines that go N-S or E-W, so that maps aren't really required. But, that day, I literally walked for 6 hours - it was a walking mood. Makes me think of this song.

Oh, so today was Gap's 40% of regular priced item one-day sale. I bought a few items along with my friend. Today was also American Apparel's special customer sale in Ottawa. My friend said there was a crazy line up for it and at least 30% off everything in the store. Tears for not being there.

Sunday. I went to Dim Sum with my roommates and our friend, who also went to University of Ottawa but is from Toronto. We jokingly call ourselves a family, and that we go on family outings. This was one of them. After that, the boys went to watch a movie while us girls shopped. We were at Fairview Mall. In comparison to Ottawa, I'd say it was a bigger Bayshore. It has H&M and Forever 21, but no Urban Outfitters. This was my first time on the purple line of the subway system. Hooray for exploration. And, hooray for some rejuvenating purchases.

Purchase List:
- Gap: black skinny long belt w/ gold buckle $16
- Gap: tan brown belt $10
- Gap: grey & tan cut-out tights; black & cream thigh-high socks $cheap
- Forever21: off-white open-toe strap band heels w/ ankle strap $32 (what a steal for heels)
- Forever21: multi-colour knitted toque w/ pom pom $9
- TradeSecrets: OPI nail polish (top coat, black onyx - for work, big apple red, and makes men blush) $9.95 - Buy 1 Get 1 50% off. - girls, buy your OPI from tradesecrets.. it's cheaper than Sephora. Though, Sephora does have some special colours for the Christmas season that are hard to pass up. I saw this gold glitter one that is so awesome. Another day.

Welcome Back Home, Kristy.

Left to Right: Hangout @ MST; Me meeting Oreo; Breakfast @ Summerhays


The best part of the weekend was seeing my friends and going to Gatineau Park. Ah... some time to get away from a crazy city like Toronto - what better than to reminisce with Autumn leaves. That day I felt like a kid again - I blew some milkweeds and threw piles of fallen leaves in the air. The park was full of families and nature lovers who understood that Thanksgiving is the time to go to Gatineau. This time I finally visited King's Estate and saw some ruins. Apparently there's a stone house somewhere else in the ruins... that I have yet to find. Another adventure awaits.

I got to see a few friends over the weekend, but still others I didn't get the time to. I did bump into a few people along the way... but that's what's so good about Ottawa - you're bound to find everyone without purpose.

Home. I definitely missed home. We got an apple pie from my friend's bakery for Thanksgiving and some imported belgium eclairs! (I texted my brother a week in advance to buy these for the dinner.) We usually have friends over...that don't have Thanksgiving or don't have their families here every year, but this time it just ended up being the fam. For once, I finished my whole plate, which made my mom happy. I even took some back for the roomies. I missed my bed dearly... and I barely had enough TV to last the stretch of non-coach entertainment for the past 2 months. Ottawa is definitely my home. Everyone here is so friendly, and it's like I know everyone no matter where I go. A different story, for sure, in Toronto.

The last day, I saw the butterfly show with a friend. It was held in the greenhouse @ Carleton University. You actually see butterflies that can land on you.. fly around you. LIVE! Apparently, they really like oranges. It was amazing to see all the different kinds, and they're really interesting to take photos of. The day I left, we had some GOOD dinner at home - I had crabs, lobster, short ribs... oh the deliciousness that I missed so much. As I got back into the carpool to leave for Toronto, I felt the same level of homesickness I did when I first left. I debated all the way back to Toronto if I should come back at all before my internship ends...because it's always going to be that hard to leave Ottawa.
*** Butterfly Show, Carleton University ***

**Special Note: CONGRATS to my chingu for getting married on 10-10-10!**