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. 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. >.<>